History is always written by the conquerors, sometimes accurately, sometimes falsely.
For latter examples one only has to look towards Turkey who confuses war with genocide. Equally one could look towards France and their inglorious, (tending towards genocidal) revolution. For the latter example the justification would be the cause of the Republic. The apparently less durable cause of Soviet communism killed many more millions. Yet if one looks closely enough into the history of nations, there are often such discords, less clamourous perhaps, but still questionable. The Battle of the Boyne in 1690, and the subsequent annual Orange Day march in Ireland (to keep the wound open and festering) is good example.

For the US Confederates, their engagement would probably be less in support of slavery, than in support of a way of life. However just and reasonable the decree of abolishing slavery might have generally been appreciated, in the minds of those prepared to sacrifice themselves to conserve a way of life, were they not fighting for what they also consider to be their freedom?
Ironically many Afro-Americans fought with them. They too, often accepted as part of southern families, having seen the children grow and having cared for them, might have been fighting for what they believed was their choice, their particular freedom, and Afro-American identity.
Many of them subsequently 'freed', had no place to go and no offer of employment. For them would this be 'freedom'? Often they were also treated as scapegoats, the 'unworthy cause' of the tragic conflict between American brothers.

Naturally this is not an apology for slavery.
Oscar Wilde was quite right when he pointed out that the slave owners who did most harm, were those who were kind to their slaves, in as much as they contributed in perpetuating the abomination of slavery. Yet whilst imbeciles pull down statues of men who fought for what they believed in, the former brainless beings allowing themselves to be so used, are oblivious to the fact that slavery continues even today.
The African migrants (many thousands of whom have drowned in the Mediterranean) being enticed to risk their lives and those of their families, to come to Europe to work, are hardly likely to get executive jobs. They won't even be accorded a minimum wage.
Merkel pointed out the need for cheap labour in Germany. Isn't that slavery? Or are we to believe that being paid something, negates the argument?

What cannot be negated is history. Only fools or regressive ideologues try to negate history. When people who, rightly or wrongly, fought fairly and nobly for what they believed in, and were respected for this, they deserve being remembered and commemorated. Desecrating such memorials is an act of hateful ignorance. Beings who demean themselves in this way trample on history and the essence of freedom. They trample on the notion of: "I don't agree with your opinion, but I would fight for your right to express it". They trample on the USA.
In pulling down a statue of even a modest Confederate soldier, they are virtually pulling down the Statue of Liberty.


The sculpture of Robert E Lee was first carried out by Henry Shrady (1871-1922).
Due to chronic illness which led to Shrady's death, the work was completed by Leo Lentelli in 1924. It was dedicated in May of that same year. Apparently Lentelli's version is less animated than that originally planned by Shrady.

Composite © Mirino (using a cropped image of the equestrian statue of Robert E. Lee, and an image of woods in Virginia, USA, with thanks for their use). August, 2017.


Anecdote accompanied by a cool beer and guitar improvisation. A pause in a favourite Italian bar. A precious moment. The sublime illusion of escaping from a mad world.

Yet for at least five years the guitar stayed in its case. It's owner could no longer hear well enough to tune it. Even with a digital tuner there were tones he could no longer hear. To him even the best music sounded depressing, cacaphonic.

But miracles sometimes happen, his hearing in the only 'valid' ear still in 50% function mode improved enough for him to hear quite clearly with a good aid. (Beforehand a hearing-aid only amplified the distorted sound conveyed by the faulty inner ear, making it even worse).

So he tuned his guitar and started playing again. It sounded alright, so much so that he bought another guitar, two in fact. In spite of old playing habits that die hard, he started to learn finger picking, to improvise blues with thumb base rhythm, and it sounds like he's doing alright.
He let his right hand finger nails grow, and shortened his left hand finger nails. The corns came back on his left hand finger tips. He practices every day. It's a real victory.

There is no time limit for victories. They are not subject to age, as long as one is in reasonably good health. It's also true that each time one shares life with a woman one loves, it's another life, another wonderful gift.
Perhaps I mentioned this before. Going back fifteen years now. A magic evening in a restaurant above Menton. He played the guitar then too. for some reason he was full of confidence. It was then when he met her. They danced together. It all clicked.

Maybe he wasn't immediately aware, but after having had to rely on a hearing-aid most of his life, he no longer needed it with her. This miracle lasted two years before the inevitable audio chute. Nevertheless there is no doubt that it was a miracle, like playing the guitar again. It makes one smile, and feel good.

Text Mirino. Image Curto. August, 2017