Sunday, March 6, 2011

Historical Misconceptions

Historical Misconceptions

I know we've gone through some little trip down memory lane last week with the whole Presidents day, but perhaps it's time we cleared up a lot of the historical misconceptions that people seem to keep going on about. So here's some misconceptions:

The Civil War was about state's rights

The Civil War was about slavery

That the civil war ended slavery altogether instead of just ending chattel.

That the North didn't fight the Civil War to maintain access to the economic benefits of slave labor.

That the USA won the space race by losing all events except longest golf shot on the moon.

Or just every single thing ever written by Washington Irving that has been used as the basis for history textbooks

Before Columbus everyone thought the world was flat. Christopher Columbus was a hero. The whole how people now think that people used to think the world was flat up until the 1500's was all Washington Irving right there. Seriously, read about the guy. He started some of the more ridiculous shit that's out there. You know how they figured out the world wasn't flat? Because ships get smaller in the horizon. They don't just fall off a cliff. And go fuck yourself if you think Columbus deserves a holiday.

Unless of course it's a holiday that isn't all about contemplating the horrors of genocide, child prostitution and forced labor that's because Vespucci Day is just too hard to say.

On that note, when the Muslims take over America, they should change its name to Vespuccistan.

The best part of history is how pretty much an entire hemisphere is named after Amerigo Vespucci because he wrote a lot of stuff about how the brand new continents were full of women with three tits who'd fuck anyone.

That Abraham Lincoln actually gave a shit about black people.

That pre-contact Indians ever rode horses.

Which I think pretty much 99.99999% of Americans still believe this.

That there was a "Roman Culture" beyond infantry tactics, engineering, and borderline-American levels of pointless litigation.

That history only started 200 years ago. Yes, your average American knows only this.

More of a misconception in the moment is pre-invasion Iraqi WMD's. It was a huge talking point before the war. Leading to everyone freaking out expecting Hussein to rain gas on the troops and then refusing to believe that he didn't have anything.

The fall of the Berlin wall brought freedom.

Reagan was the one who brought down socialism.... HA!

That the battle between capitalism and socialism will end in a total victory for one or the other and not a synthesis of the two like what's really happening.

That Stalinist and post-Stalinist Russia were actually socialist.

That we had to nuke Japan... twice.

The first thanksgiving idea that"The Indians had never seen such a feast!"

That the American economy is based on free markets.

That booze was always treated as bad. Booze used to be so much more a part of general Western culture. From way back when to now. Shit, Medieval nuns used to get a ration of a gallon of beer a day. Ben Franklin advocated temperance and moderation, nothing but. For the most part, beer was the reason society was created as a whole.

That Israel has any legitimate claim to Palestine.

That Han shot first.

That Jesus was white

That Andrew Jackson deserves to be on currency

That Buffalo died because natives killed 230,000 a year. And a drought got to the buffalo, ignoring the fact that whitey hunts were millions per day and on low counts, 200,000. Oh yeah, can't forget that a large portion of buffalo specicide was carried out specifically as a strategy of war against the plains Indians.

That the 50's were a better, more innocent and simpler time.

That the Renaissance was just white people suddenly coming up with a ton of shit in Humanity's dark age despite the fact that Muslim and eastern Asian societies were absolutely flourishing and all white men really did was finally borrow from the Arabs.

That whole idea of lobsters. Real lobsters don't resemble the cute caricatures that wave a friendly claw at us from a seafood house's oversized bib. On the contrary, as biologist Douglas Conklin of the University of California's Bodega Marine Laboratory told times magazine, " They are mean, rotten, aggressive creatures." Their aggressiveness is one of the main reasons that inland lobster farming has not taken off as a profitable or even practical venture.

Once they reach a certain size, the cannibalistic lobsters will turn on each other without provocation, ready for their next meal. Keep them together in any quantity ends up as a lobster vs lobster slugfest. Winner eats all. You can tell a good lobster from a bad one by how long their antenna is. Old lobsters have been in the tank too long if they are starting to cannibalize by eating each other's antenna.

And there you go. Dropped some knowledge on you.

1 comment:

CSieg said...

You basically just stated opinions without any basis whatsoever, while I can agree on some I disagree on many - this coming from a history major. So...yeah, this is pretty much just a bunch of nonsense.