Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Illustration for article titled The creator of iFull House Without Michelle/i returns with documentary on General Robert E.T.
Screenshot: Full House Without Michelle (YouTube)

Once you’ve created videos as bizarrely fascinating as the two-part Danny Tanner grief saga Full House Without Michelle, making a worthy follow-up must take a lot of brainstorming. That’s probably why it’s only now, six years since we watched the Tanners grapple with the breakdown of a deeply unsettled family member, that the person who brought us those videos has found a subject worth their efforts: Introducing us to famous Civil War general, Robert E.T.

Using footage from Ken Burns’ The Civil War, the video begins with a portrait of the bulging-eyed Robert E.T. as a narrator describes him as looking “so cold, quiet, and grand.” A historian calls him a commander who “took long chances” while we see an image of the alien-man himself sitting atop a horse, stubby, three-toed foot dangling against one flank. Something begins to wiggle loose in the viewers’ mind as the plaintive violin melody of “Ashokan Farewell” drifts in and we start to see paintings of Robert E.T. in full battle dress, riding a solo cavalry charge against the backdrop of the shining moon. Suddenly, we begin to accept this footage as a record of some forgotten, real chapter in a nation’s history.

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And then, of course, we also remember what Robert E.T. stood for and his adorableness fades. This wrinkly little soldier was, after all, committed to the racist cause of the Confederate States and his defeat of the Union Army’s own pint-sized battlefield leader, George “Little Mac” McClellan, is nothing to celebrate. There should be no statues of Robert E.T. left standing in modern America. Leave him, Reese’s Pieces-cluttered beard and all, where he belongs: Only in history books and documentaries like these.

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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.

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