Marszalek has spoken

As long as the new WaPo Civil War section trots out the name-brand hacks, we'll have no shortage of blog fodder here.

For instance, see this piece by Marszalek, in which he instructs us on how to correctly hold a Sesquicentennial. It's worth a quick Fisking.

What then can the Sesquicentennial do?

Note: The Sesquicentennial is not an agent, actor, corporation. Is this a literary device?

Those organizing it ...

Note: Who or what is organizing "the Sesquicentennial"? Is this another literary device?

Those organizing it can let it be known that they want everyone included. "Lost Cause" interpretations must be put aside...

Note: Isn't that a contradiction?

... and the true history of the four year event and the Reconstruction period which came from it must be presented.

Note: The true history! Everyone will be included in celebrating "the true history." What kind of mind works this way?

If there is a reenactment, it must include black and white soldiers and civil populace.

Note: This is quite a rulebook emerging. He should number the rules so statute breakers can be cited by paragraph. I like the contingency "If there is a re-enactment" during the Sesquicentennial. Wonder if there will be any?

Conversely, African Americans can take control of their central destiny in the Civil War.

Note: Past and present seem to be mixed up here. Anyway, this sentence is followed by a series of directives that African Americans are to execute during the Sesquicentennial. This beloved genius concludes,

It is about time that truth shine forth.

Whew! About time!

Thank heavens for pop history writers who can settle the truth for us and then issue the relevant commands.

You might like Mike Musick's piece better: he calls for "Renewed support for scholarly editions of significant documents" and "some observations that will not be welcomed by my friends in academia. Military history, for all its problematic aspects, ought not to be banished from our remembrance of what was after all a war."