On this day in 1863, the Battle of Gettysburg concluded with a Union victory, leading directly to Shelby Foote’s finest hour. Although I know enough to be skeptical, and to carp, cavil, and, most of all, quibble rather more knowledgeably than the next chap, I’m still wowed by Ken Burns’s ability to evoke the horror of war by weaving together footage of talking heads and a series of still photographs, mediocre paintings, and an empty field, all backed by dramatic readings of primary sources, now-iconic music, and David McCullough’s spare narration. And speaking of masculinity and patriotism, I should know better than to let this bring tears to my eyes. [Sniff, sniff.] Damn you Ken Burns! You and your moving pictures!

Scott adds: Remember there’s a reason Ari and Eric invited me here. (Not that correlation has anything to do with causation, mind you.)