28 December 2016

Living #History: #BingeWatch #SleepyHollow #Kurgen #AmericanRevolution #Armory

I never particularly liked the history courses in school. History was, unfortunately, a staid subject in the hands of the old hat teachers from whom I took classes. Thankfully, I did not allow this to deter my personal perusal. I sought and read far-flung (and at times far-fetched) missives of our past. Enmeshed in journals, diaries, maps and correspondence found through my own tutelage, I became a History buff.

I am overly fond of the Gilded Age, the American Revolutionary period, and the American Civil War/Reconstruction era, my favorite trio of historical epochs in modernity. (Periods of intense struggle and periods of enlightenment & growth speak to me.) I'm the sort of geek who would participate in historically accurate re-enactments of major events. History must remain alive to us, lest we forget it, and carelessly repeat the bad parts.

Occasionally, society requires a memory jog. This may take myriad forms; some of which employ a bit of a license, as is the case with historical fiction. If reading a trumped up story about what might have been makes one curious about what actually was then I'm all for it. If being entertained by borrowed elements of history, intermingled with Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Action/Adventure, gives one any sort of clue that the History of the World is alive and ongoing, it's a win for humanity.

I am not naive enough to believe everyone is interested in History as a subject, but in order for our society to progress, in order for humans to evolve, the layman should have some inkling of History, be it only glancing. (There is a reason history is generally a required secondary school subject.) It is when we live in obtuse denial that we get into trouble.

As important as it is to understand History, there's also nothing wrong in having fun with it, which brings me to Sleepy Hollow (2013-), the television series that I started watching yesterday.
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1820) by Washington Irving is a favorite tale that I first encountered as a young child. I also adore the Disney animated short (1958) based upon the story, it was often shown on television around Halloween when I was a kid.
When I first heard about this new Sleepy Hollow TV series, I didn't rush to watch it, exactly because I so love Irving's short story as well as the imagery of the Disney short. I wasn't certain I wanted updated visuals (and a divergent storyline) tampering with my cherished childhood memories, so I stayed away. In the intervening years since the series debuted, I kept hearing good things about it. I became curious. When my sister mentioned she'd bought the first season of the show during her Black Friday shopping forays, I decided to take the plunge and asked to borrow it. (She loaned it to me on Boxing Day.)

I've only watched a couple episodes so far, but I'm glad I took a chance on it. It has proven to be both interesting and entertaining, which goes to show that challenging one's comfort zones can be a good thing.
An aside: Fun to see Clancy Brown, whom I've adored since he played the Kurgen in Highlander (1986) turn up in Sleepy Hollow. By the way, I'm fascinated by weaponry (and the associated defensive mechanisms), especially historical items like swords, battle axes, bows, maces, etc., and collect them. I have quite a nice little armory. I also have a particular affinity for the Scottish Highlands, in part due to my ancestry. I love the idea of the supernatural and am a rabid Sci-Fi fan, so obviously Highlander is my kind of flick.
Well, I'm off to watch the other episodes and enjoy the remainder of my holiday vacation before getting back in the saddle of the workhorse next week. Toodles!

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