I’m not watching Ken Burns’ new Vietnam series. PBS has already done two and that’s enough.
Wags often quip that if you can remember the Sixties, you didn’t participate. Well, I remember those times, part of an unbroken string of less-than-worthless wars.
Then as now, any criticism was presented as lack of patriotism endangering soldiers.
After Bush the Elder propagandized more than nine in 10 Americans into supporting Gulf War One, the Reno Gazette-Journal printed an early 1991 front page purportedly presenting both sides. One story was entitled “anti-war,” the other “support the troops.”
Apparently, nobody was pro-war, not even the organizers who tied a yellow ribbon “for the troops” around the entire McCarran Loop.
In a “making of” addendum to his 1990 Emmy-Winning PBS series “The Civil War,” Ken Burns himself responded to the question of slavery as a cause.
Burns elegantly finessed it, stating that no matter one’s perspective, slavery was like a snake curled up under the table.
Apologists like the Confederate Battalion of the Virginia City Civil War Volunteers (Barbwire Sept. 2 and 20) assert that slavery was not one of the major causes of the biggest shootout in cowboy American history.
Now comes another PBS show with questionable perspective. I wrote “Travelscope” host Joseph Rosendo earlier this week.
“On the local affiliate of the PBS Create Network, I watched your 2015 installment documenting fiesta week in San Antonio, TX. You included the Alamo within the program as well as on the closing credits. You also showed a plaque commemorating ‘Alamo heroes.’
“Several times, your program showcased the Texas city’s culture of inclusion. Mrs. Rosendo was noted as a onetime San Antonio resident
“Did I perhaps miss something, or are you not aware that the ‘heroes’ of the Alamo started a war to secede from Mexico because Mexico had outlawed slavery?
“That may not fit nicely with ‘Davy Crockett — King of the Wild Frontier’ a la Disney, but it’s accurate.
“You close every edition with a quote from Nevadian hero Sam Clemens, ‘travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.’
“What did you find in auld San Antone regarding the Alamo myth? Did I miss any inclusion in your program?”
I sent a copy to KNPB TV-5 Channel 5 boss Kurt Mische. I have not only asked Mr. and Mrs. Rosendo for comment, but I’ve also asked the Washoe County School district how its textbooks treat the causes of the Civil War and the Mexican War.
MAKE HISTORY. Attend the Reno-Sparks NAACP’s second Community Policing Forum at 7:00 p.m. on Oct. 12 at Northern Nevada HOPES, Third Floor Community Room, 580 W. 5th Street, Reno NV 89503. Admission is free. Get there early. Last year was SRO.
Two days later on Oct. 14, Circus Circus again will be the site of the Branch’s 72nd Annual Freedom Fund Awards Banquet. Make reservations early. Last year was a sellout. Buy tickets, tables, and sponsorships at RenoSparksNAACP.org/
THE ROBIN AND THE FIREBIRD. Last July 26, I noted the passing of former Sparks businessman John Hanks. I did not know that Robin Vonderheide Andrews had preceded him on July 4. Beautiful, effervescent Robin was an excellent actress who portrayed “Pauline” in the award-winning “Apparels of Pauline” tv commercial series, an homage to the classic “Perils of Pauline” silent movies. Our Pauline was always having G-rated wardrobe malfunctions solved by Hanks’ Pauline’s Sportswear shops. Our Robin, a longtime Sparks resident, was 67.
Firebrand Democrat Virginia Cain died at 95 in Los Angeles on Sept. 19. She held just about every Nevada party office and was still able to bring the heat long after she attained the additional title of senior citizen. As someone on the receiving end of dear Virginia’s fire more than once, I wish we had more fighters like her in today’s toxic environment.
Adios, ladies. You have done well.
Be well. Raise hell. / Esté bien. Haga infierno.
Andrew Barbano is a 48-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com. He serves as first vice-president of the Reno-Sparks NAACP. As always, his opinions are strictly his own. E-mail <email@example.com> Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988.