With a subtle, and exploding, nod to the troubled state of this country’s civil liberties (as in, like, the wiretappings, and holding without trying, etc. read all about that elsewhere!), this humble villa of Nevada City celebrated Constitution Day by, in part, reenacting the Civil War.
But wait, shouldn’t they have reenacted the Revolutionary War? I mean, the Rev. War happened around the same time as the signing. Is it because not enough cosplayers own Revolutionary War gear, and so have to default on Confederate/Union gear? Maybe, but let’s say no.
So what does the signing of the Constitution have to do with the Civil War? It has a little to do with it, but that little part is ingenious, and this is it: during the Civil War Abe Lincoln took the Constitution into his own hands and suspended Habeas Corpus (the issue which orders prisoners to court). He did this so that the pigs and whatnot could arrest protesters for peace and confederate organizers — all for not really doing anything.
Nevada City chose to use the event of Lincoln’s usurpation of power from Congress as a means to examine the current state of our civil liberties. By juxtaposing the furor that went along with the suspension into a contemporary setting (in this case, a community baseball field) during the “celebration” of the glories of the US Constitution, and by, very importantly, choosing to reenact a battle in which the Confederates win, the organizers of the event — the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine — and the participators, and the audience, layed down a bold critique of President Bush’s behavior and, consequently, his state of mind. Thus, on this Constitution Day weekend, in this little burgh called Nevada City, observers were encouraged to dissect our current state of affairs in this light, and then conclude that it’s lousy and that the racists are going to win.
In any case, I attended this affair and took some pictures. I also recorded a 49 second field recording, featuring lots of gun shots and cannon explosions. Check it all out! Enjoy! And think about what I wrote.