Rock On.

This weekend has been about two things.

One, spending some good time getting icky in spiffington’s new flat, painting, chipping, sanding, and gently caressing tools. Who knew I actually did manly-type things? It’s coming along well so far, and I’m just excited to see someone so deserving get such a nice start at permanent accommodation in a city like beautiful and bank-breaking Edinburgh. As well, her design and decoration skills are impeccable, so it should be quite the showhaus when it’s all done.

Two, a good proportion of the past few days has been about trying to solve a minor historical dilemma that relates directly to my impending presentation for the STASIS fellowship. Without boring you with the details here, suffice it to say that it is a hotly contested theme that shows just how important it was regarded as, based on the sheer amount of contemporary accounts there are to be pored over. In other words, people wrote about it in the 18th century because they thought it was necessary to do so. But most modern scholars seem to have skirted the issue as anything more than an afterthought. One of the coolest things about history, and the study of it, is most definitely the amount of detective work that goes in. As I was relating to cygnoir the other day, history is not just the collation and synthesis of fact, but also common sense, critical thinking, and character judgment. You have to reflect your own sensibilities on what was possible and what was not…to find what was probable and what was not. That is where the inevitable bias of historical interpretation infringes on the fact–when subjective emotion eclipses objective probability (or “demonstrable fact”, in the words of Murray Pittock)–but then the historian’s job becomes to recount the best and most plausible reality based on empirical AND intuitive evidence. We forget the “intuitive” part these days, I think. I’ve taken to asking myself lately: “Am I being true to these men? Am I relating their actions and motivations with veracity and honour, or am I disrespecting their efforts and very being with subjective, snide anecdotes that are entirely based on my own personal feelings?”

Hell, there is no Positive, but there are Probablies, and I would very much not want future generations to misrepresent my actions and intentions in much the same way. This notion keeps me on the right track, and feeling good about my work, regardless of what anybody else thinks of it.

Five weeks to go before PooP arrives for a visit…I’m putting away the old dolls and dusting the curtains of cobwebs…may the victrola only play lovely reels and refrain from Gothic dirges…

And speaking of that, don’t forget to check out my new updated playlist on Radio Perfidy. New stuff, good stuff, and stuff that makes me drool with pleasure, pain, or empathy. And sometimes, all of the above.

4 Responses to “Rock On.”

  1. original_aj Says:
    February 8th, 2004 at 1:01 pm

    But what is the issue? I'm curious now. Is there a brief way of putting it or do we need to wait for the presentation?

  2. FunkyPlaid Says:
    February 8th, 2004 at 1:20 pm

    Hehe. Are you thinking of coming?
    If so, I'll wait. If not, I'll bore you right here!
    🙂

  3. original_aj Says:
    February 8th, 2004 at 1:26 pm

    I doubt I'll be free, but when is it?

  4. sleepycinderell Says:
    February 9th, 2004 at 9:34 am

    break from the books
    Howdy,
    Thanks muchly for the offer of photos.
    When you are next on a camera wielding graveyard inclined break from studies the monument is on the Flodden Wall and is for Jean Lauder and family. Its between Walker and Watson and is usually overlooked in favour of a nearby glamorous one when the cameras are out..
    See you soon for blether?
    Mo

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