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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

As If Working At Colonial Williamsburg Didn't Suck Enough

Now the place is being invaded by teabaggers!

"Tea party" activists drawn to Williamsburg and its portrayal of Founding Fathers

Washington Post Staff Writer

Amid the history buffs and parents with young children wandering along the crushed shell paths of Virginia's restored colonial city, some noticeably angrier and more politically minded tourists can often be found.

They stand in the crowd listening closely as the costumed actors relive dramatic moments in the founding of our country. They clap loudly when an actor portraying Patrick Henry delivers his "Give me liberty or give me death" speech. They cheer and hoot when Gen. George Washington surveys the troops behind the original 18th-century courthouse.
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Okay, so they love historical re-enactments, or maybe they don't even realize that it is a re-enactment, they might think they're really seeing Patrick Henry and George Washington, but I guess all in all they seem pretty harmless.

And they shout out about the tyranny of our current government during scenes depicting the nation's struggle for freedom from Britain.


Oooh. shoulda seen that coming.
Yeah, that's a totally apt comparison, an overseas monarchy levying taxes without any input from its subjects is pretty darn similar to a group of democratically elected representatives lowering taxes for most Americans. Boy, history repeats, as they say.

"General, when is it appropriate to resort to arms to fight for our liberty?" asked a tourist on a recent weekday during "A Conversation with George Washington," a hugely popular dialogue between actor and audience in the shaded backyard of Charlton's Coffeehouse.


Seriously? You're going to ask some actor for advice about when armed insurrection against the United States government is "appropriate?" Really? You know he's not really Washington, right? And if he were Washington, he would kick your sorry ass back to whatever hickville you came from for suggesting such a thing. You do know that when a bunch of whiskey distillers tried to pull this kind of shit he federalized several state militias to crush their tax-hating little asses, right? You all seem to know so much about the founding fathers, try reading up on the Whiskey Rebellion of the 1790's

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Standing on a simple wooden stage before a crowd of about 100, the man portraying Washington replied: "Only when all peaceful remedies have been exhausted. Or if we are forced to do so in our own self-defense."

The tourist, a self-described conservative activist named Ismael Nieves from Elmer, N.J., nodded thoughtfully.


Oh, he nodded thoughtfully. That's great. Did he stroke his beard pensively, or cluck his tongue earnestly, or do any other thing that dumb people do when they think that they're smart?

"We live in a very dangerous time," Nieves said. "People are looking for leadership, looking for what to do. They're looking to Washington, Jefferson, Madison."


Oh, hey, yeah! Let's ask some dead guys to lead us! Or better yet, some actors pretending to be those dead guys! Oh, also, the times are only dangerous because of nutbags like you. You teabaggers are the ones talking about violent revolution and watering the tree of liberty with the blood of patriots and whatnot.

"I want to get to know our Founding Fathers," he added. "I think we've forgotten them. It's like we've almost erased them from history."


Um, only in Texas. Everywhere else, the history books are full of the Founding Fathers. Oh, I'm sorry "history book." It's a bunch of pieces of paper with words on them that tell about things that actually happened in the past. It's like a Glenn Beck book if it were written by someone not insane and dishonest.

"They all should come here and listen," said Bob Rohrbacher, a retired plumber from Floral Park, N.Y., who opposes President Obama and was inspired to visit Williamsburg while watching Glenn Beck on Fox News. "They've forgotten about America."


No, no. We remember America. "Horse With no No Name," right?

Sometimes, the activists appear surprised when the Founding Fathers don't always provide the "give 'em hell" response they seem to be looking for.

When a tourist asked George Washington a question about what should be done to those colonists who remain loyal to the tyrannical British king, Washington interjected: "I hope that we're all loyal, sir" -- a reminder that Washington, far from being an early agitator against the throne, was among those who sought to avoid revolution until the very end.



Ooh, that's not going to go over well. Everyone knows that George Washington would have hated everything in Washington and would have totally shot someone.

When another audience member asked the general to reflect on the role of prayer and religion in politics, he said: "Prayers, sir, are a man's private concern. They are not a matter of public interest. And nor should they be. There is nothing so personal as a man's relationship with his creator."
But, but. . . Mr. Washington, you founded this country as a fundamentalist theocracy, remember?

And when another asked whether the Boston Tea Party had helped rally the patriots, Washington disagreed with force: The tea party "should never have occurred," he said. "It's hurt our cause, sir."

This just in. . . George Washington, the dirty Commu-Nazi, is no longer considered one of the founding fathers. Clearly, he is a secret Muslim who wants nothing more than to destroy America. And he hates God!

2 comments:

Maria said...

Cripes, those actors need pay hikes if they really have to deal with that nonsense every day.

There's a silver lining here... Most of the people role-playing these men (at least the really good ones at Williamsburg) tend to -know- their history. All of it's messy, complicated, and twisted nooks and crannies.

It's part of their job to understand who these key figures really where as well as what sorts of conversations they might have had with the regular Joe. That's simply because they have to interact with the tourists and be 'on' all the time.

So, maybe, just maybe, a few bumper sticker spouting know it all's will learn something. At least their kids might. One can hope.

ColonialAmerica said...

More often than one would expect the tea party people seem fairly uninformed on the American Revolution.