Meet Kevin Levin
This fall I plan to attend the annual meeting of the Southern Historical Association in Louisville, Kentucky. where I’ll be chairing a session. I suspect that this time I’ll finally meet fellow blogger Kevin Levin, who holds forth on the award-winning Civil War Memory.
There’s always something a little strange about meeting someone in person when you’ve dealt with them online (and, in Kevin’s case, over the phone) for some time. Fifteen years ago I met Mark Grimsley at Louisville at another meeting of the SHA. Moreover, I understand that at times Kevin’s blog arouses passionate and controversial discussions, and at times I’ve taken part in them. There’s always something going on at Civil War Memory, it seems.
In the past I’ve suggested gifts for people to buy Kevin, including a black Confederate toy soldier that I came across at Gettysburg, and I know he loves Civil War art … well, at least some Civil War art. But I’ve always been somewhat fascinated at the response some of his posts provoke. If some people are to be believed, Kevin is the embodiment of all (or at least much) of what’s wrong with left-leaning liberal politically-correct professors who really don’t understand the South at all, especially the true meaning of the Confederate flag. Some people just can’t understand why he can’t recognize the military service provided by thousands of African Americans who embraced the Confederate cause … and that cause, we are told, surely could not be the protection of slavery and a society based on slavery. It was not until I was poking around a store in search of a toy for my six-year-old daughter (who has a fondness for Transformers) that I came across the real reason why Kevin frightens so many people, especially certain folks from the South.
It’s because he’s an alien force. Really. See the picture. An ALIEN force.
That’s right, an action figure. NOT a doll. And a very tricky action figure, because he wears a gray shirt, doubtless so he can infiltrate SCV meetings without being detected, so long as he does not betray his South Jersey accent.
However, if I were someone who froze in fear every time I learned that Kevin had fired another shot at the glorious Lost Cause on his blog (why the heck he does not put music on the blog, say, “Marching Through Georgia,” is a mystery to me), I really should calm down. Because, where there’s an action figure, a voodoo doll is not far behind. That’s right, Dixie Outfitters, here’s a chance to make a little more money. Take on this enemy of the South, this corrupter of our children, this revisionist of all that is good and true and sanctioned by General Lee himself. Why limit yourselves to t-shirts and bikinis and bandannas and all those other ways in which you pay touching tribute to the Confederate battle flag (I await the male thong) when there’s a voodoo doll market waiting for you. No need to take out an ad or say some rather bizarre things on message boards about Kevin. Just sit at home with your dolls … er, action figures … no, I mean voodoo dolls … and poke away.
(Note to George H. Thomas fanboys: too bad you didn’t think of this, eh?)