Sunday, May 27, 2007

PEARLS OF WISDOM FOR TODAY (or Chris being sociopolitical again alienating even more readers!)

Don't worry, I will deliver on my 45 rpm roundup in a few days time, but in the meanwhile I found (and became staggered by) this particular list which was part of the comments that popped up after a rather delicious Clyde Wilson post I chanced upon while perusing the CHRONICLES website only just yesterday. This bit was written by a Sid Cundiff, who labeled these tastefully sarcastic barbs noneother'n "Myths Believed By Both Brits and Yanks," or something to that effect and frankly, self-righteous I has gotta 'fess up to the fact that I pretty much agree with the man on just about all counts (at least the ones I have familiarized myself pop quizzes pleeze!]) 'cept for the one about Marcel Duchamp and Michaelangelo natch! (Duchamp was the tops in my book [w/regards to setting the stage for 20th cent. art hijinx not to mention John Cage's entire reason for existence], at least compared to that fag Italian!) And since this is MY blog I thought I'd shove a li'l more pointedness your much-needed way in order to show you all the grave error of alternative/hipster deceit so common in this postmodern world of ours. In a word, a wowzer...

That Richard III of England was a wicked hunchback,
– that the Spanish Inquisition toasted the toes of thousands,
– that the Anglican Church exists for some other reason than that Henry VIII wanted a divorce,
– that Charles I was just Lucius Tarquinius Superbus recycled,
– that James II of England was a evil Papist hatching one Popish Plot after another,
– that the “Glorious Revolution” brought religious and political freedom, along with peace and fiscal security (especially to Ireland!)
– that the same was “glorious” (i.e. unbloody),
– that the value of a product is determined by how much labor goes into making it,
– that in 1914 German soldiers were eating Belgian children,
– that the Lusitania wasn’t carrying munitions to use against Germans, and thus only carried innocent civilians, who were never warned of the possible danger by the German government,
– that the only thing wrong with the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 was that it didn’t hang the Kaiser,
– that Fascism, Naziism and Francoism are all the same,
– that the Spanish Republicans were great friends of justice, democracy, and human rights,
– that the strategic bombing campaign of Air Marshal Arthur Harris was just, effective, and shortened World War II,
– that the Blacks brought to Jamestown in 1619 were slaves, or were enslaved at once,
– that the Pilgrims were the first English settlers in America,
– that the American War for Secession From the British Empire was a “revolution”,
– that Africans did not sell Africans into slavery and did not sell them to New England ship masters,
– that Slavery and Jim Crow only existed in the South,
– that the US constitution of 1787 stripped the states of all sovereignty and made the Federal Government sole sovereign and sole judge of its own powers, and that Webster sincerely believed this,
– that the Federal Government made the states, and made them to be franchises of the Federal Government,
– that states didn’t make The Federal Government as their agent, answerable to them,
– that the Constitution means what the Supreme Court says it means,
– that the Constitution forbids states secession,
– that the 10th Amendment is fairy tale collected by the Brothers Grimm,
– that George Washington was the first president of the US [he was the 13th],
– that Al Hamilton and Nicholas Biddle were really swell economists,
– that U.S. won the War of 1812,
– that “American blood [was] shed on American soil” by the Mexican government in 1845,
– that the majority of Southerners before 1863 owned slaves,
– that Robert E. Lee thought slavery was just peachy,
– that there were no Black slave holders,
– that Lincoln’s War Against Southern Secession was a “Civil War”,
– that the same was fought over slavery, not tariffs,
– that Lincoln thought Blacks were really groovy,
– that Lincoln opposed slavery,
– that the Emancipation Proclamation freed the slaves, and had that purpose,
– that Reconstruction was a really awesome expression of justice & peace & love,
– that the “robber barons” were robbers,
– that the Spanish sank the Maine,
– the Federal Reserve has stabilized the currency in a way that gold didn’t, and has actually increased the dollar’s value (in a way gold didn’t),
– that the Germans started World War I,
– that the US acted as an impartial neutral in World War I until April 1917,
– that World War I was a great crusade by The Righteous Nation to make the world safe for democracy, led by St. Woodrow,
– that what happened in 1929 was a “depression”,
- that the programs of Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt were different,
– that these programs didn’t turn the Recession of 1929 into the Depression of 1931 and didn’t prolonged the same,
– that the New Deal saved the country from the Great Depression,
– that there was less unemployment in the US in 1937 than in 1933,
– that World War II ended the Great Depression,
– that Germans – one and all – were and are cold-blooded killers,
– that Pius XII stoked the ovens at Auschwitz,
– that the A-bombs are what brought the Japanese to surrender, and not the belated promise to protect the Emperor,
– that the Black family is better off as an institution today than in 1950,
– that The Great Society programs significantly lowered the rate of poverty,
– that The Reverend Louis Farrakhan has talked to the late Reverend Elijah Muhammad on an alien space ship,
– that Alice Walker is just as good Homer,
– that Marcel Duchamp’s “Great Glass” is just as good as the Sistine Chapel,
– that Brittany Spears is better than Josquin des Prez,
– that today more American children than ever have an opportunity for an excellent education,
– Marie Antoinette said “Let them eat cake”,
– that Washington had a wrath against cherry trees,
– that one should never wash out a teapot with soap and water,
– and that if you step on a crack then you’ll break your mother’s back

Beg to differ???


Anonymous said...

A few comments: Richard III's depiction by Shakespeare was done for political purposes (to promote the legitimacy of the Tudors) and there have been efforts to rehabilitate him - Olivier himself thought that Richard III got a bad rap.

The "cannibalism" charges regarding WW1 Germany have long been refuted - sadly the reports of German excesses in WW1 made the media in the US at least reluctant to believe the real German atrocities in WW2. The Kaiser was stupid, not evil - there is a difference. The war was not a result of his malevolence, but of his stupidity and arrogance.

As for Francoism, it was a coalition of fascists and monarchists, and only purely fascist in a Mussolinian sense until the end of WW2. It was best described as "clerical fascist" until the end of the '50s. As time went on the monarchists got the upper hand. The regime did commit real atrocities and excesses (particularly in the Basque region, a region whose population was traditionally conservative and Catholic, but whom the Nationalists hated with a passion - bombing villages and killing priests etc.)

The Spanish Republicans by and large were great friends of democracy, justice, and human rights, but this is not to deny that their burning of churches was counterproductive for attracting foreign support. Sadly they were divided and more interested in fighting each other than fighting Franco and Mussolini (and the small number of German troops in Spain as well)

Jamestown preceded the Pilgrims.

Slavery had existed outside the South, but died out in the north (except for Maryland and Delaware) before the civil war.

The War of 1812 was a tie. Nobody won.

Lee was personally against slavery, so was Judah Benjamin (the most adept Confederate politician and one of the greatest legal minds of his time). Lee's loyalty was to Virginia, and Benjamin thought that the right to secede was legitimate, which is why they did what they did.

There were a few "black" slave owners, and far more mixed Creole slave owners in Louisiana.

Lincoln's views on slavery and blacks evolved over the course of his administration. Originally he favored deporting freed slaves, but his views evolved to the point that he accepted that blacks deserved equal rights and the franchise.

The Maine myth has long been discredited, and WW1 was started in Bosnia.Claiming ALL Germans were cold blooded killers - didn't that die out after the war? The allies made a distinction between regular German army and SS.

As for Farrakhan (and L. Ron Hubbard), scammers will always play on peoples' fears to make money. No more, no less.

"Let them eat cake" was stated by a French princess in the early 18th century, long before Marie Antoinette was born.

Pius XII had pro-Nazi sympathies, and failed to excommunicate Hitler or the Nazi leadership, but even if he did they probably wouldn't have cared. Even his enemies conceded he helped Jewish refugees after WW2.

As for Britney Spears, she's a complete joke with a dead career. Like today's Joey Heatherton except uglier and with less talent.

Christopher said...

Interesting post...some comments re. yours.

I guess that the Germans weren't actually eating Belgian babies...just bayonetting them! Still, I guess those atrocity stories hadda've been circulating around in order to get Woodrow Wilson (the George W. Bush of the 20th Century!) all hot and bothered with regards to breaking his pledge to keep outta World War I! (And say what you will about William Jennings Bryan, a man whom MUCH could be said both positive and negative, but at least he did the most honorable thing he could when he resigned!) Speaking of such tall tales, did you know that there was one going around during the Civil War where some rebels, trying to wind down after a battle, alledgedly decided to play a game of football using the head of a dead yankee???

As for the Spanish Civil War, the Republcans, no matter how altruistic some may have been, were more or less Communist dupes and I'm sure the few who weren't were promptly taken care of in ways we'll probably never know about (or maybe so...never did read THE BLACK BOOK OF COMMUNISM. I will say that perhaps too much online-reading regarding some of the dirty little truths regarding what did go on sure make me glad there was a Franco victory or else the whole Iberian Penninsula would've gone red by 1940!

Slavery was illegal in most of the north (not counting the states mentioned natch) shortly after the Revolution and was pretty much dying out (as opposed to what some historians would have you believe) by the mid-nineteenth century. Unfortunatly the slavery issue wasn't ended peacefully as it should and maybe even could have been, or else we'd be living in a much better United States than we are now given how conflicts settled by force/war always lead to worse problems ahead which makes me shudder to think what toll the current Mideast battle will have on future generations. And Lincoln was more of a politician than the Will Rogers-styled downhome guy he has been lionized as in films for years...ironically enough he was a guy who could fool all of the people some of the time (such as with his playing up to religious, particularly Protestant Christian feelings in people with his knowledge of the King James even though the guy was pretty much an agnostic!) and he had a dislike of blacks (maybe not exactly a hatred) and used to tell jokes about them just like the Polish ones that were spread about in the seventies. Lincoln was rather hard to gauge at times though there is one story about how members of some black organization had a meeting with Lincoln at the White House in 1862 expecting him to do tumbles and tap-dances for them, only to get a racist browbeating about how he cared not one whit for their race and if he had their way they'd all be shipped over to Central America. Naturally they were crestfalled afterwards. As far as secession went, did you know that Northern abolitionist and proto-libertarian Lysander Spooner was all for it, feeling that states had the right to leave the Union??? (And besides Lee, did you know that Stonewall Jackson was also vehemently anti-slavery, and not only that seemed to like blacks? I think that Beuregard was anti-slavery as well while strangely enough Grant and Sherman presumably couldn't stand 'em one bit!)

You could say the War of 1812 was lost by the US as we were trying to rid Canada of further British influence, which was still deemed dangerous given the imperialistic nature of the Brits at the time. And considering their bloodthirsty ways, maybe there was a point.

As for Pius XII, a lotta the accusations made against him were pretty much Soviet hogwash...good item on National Review Online written by some former Soviet agent who says just about that after agents infiltrated the Vatican for documents and, failing to find anything negative, decided to concoct their own. I tend to believe that the charges are twisted and trumped up given the nature of a lotta the detractors who still seem to have loyalties to the old "anti-Fascist" (read-"pro-Stalin") camp but we'll see for sure when the archives are sprung open (which I thought they were, but who knows, like Velvet Underground outtakes there always seem to be more!).

Good points.

Christopher said...

And as far as Pius XII excommunicating Hitler goes. Hitler excommunicated himself! (As did Phil Donahue and more'n a few modernists out there!).

Christopher said...

And as far as Pius goes...#XI was passionately anti-Nazi and #XII considered pro=nazi due to some misinterpretations that seem more or less willfully construed as such.

There were plenty of black slaveholders in the south as well which is something most civil rights activists will not own up to.

And of course, FDR was just Hoover on wheels as some like to call him.

More may follow...