Monday, May 3, 2010

True Lies

Great movie!
Gotta love Arnold and Jamie!
Bill Paxton plays an equally great sleezy used car salesman and Tom Arnold is, well, Tom Arnold.
Not what this is all about.
Remind me one day to stop using these lame segues.
Anyways, as a continuation of the last post, I thought I'd give you, the reader, another heads up on a great book I'm reading.
While I was returning Science and Technology in World History, I checked the new book rack and found this:

Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W. Loewen, is a journey through American history. Make that a corrected and unabridged journey through American history.
I'm only about a third of the way in, so that means I'm reading the part about Native Americans. I've already been through Columbus and the Pilgrims.
If you aren't up on American history and all that kind of stuff, some of the things in the book could be considered eye openers.
I mean Loewen does cover things not usually covered in your typical American history class.
So far, the main idea of the book is that history is written from a Eurocentric point of view. On this I have to agree. I mean Columbus didn't really discover the New World, after all, people were already living there.
That seems to be the one of the big problems with history as it is being taught in the class room. Most of the old stuff is just being regurgitated; new developments and discoveries are often omitted or glossed over.
I mean we now know that the Vikings and possibly Phoenicians actually landed in the Americas way before Columbus.
Who gets the glory?
Only the man who introduced disease and slavery to the New World.
I guess we already knew that; we just don't like to think about it too much.
So anyway, the book doesn't really expose lies per se. It mostly goes into things that aren't usually discussed or documented in history books.
What you don't know, don't hurt right?
The idea is that this is done to glorify the accomplishments of people who otherwise would not be considered so kind and gentle.
History is told from the perspective of the winners, not the losers.
I don't think too many Native Americans would glorify Columbus much less give him his own holiday.
So far, in what I've read, history seems a lot like selling cars. You don't actually lie about stuff, sometimes you just don't tell all you know.
That is what makes it detrimental.
It glorifies and perpetuates the idea of the superiority of the "white man."
Long live imperialism!
I'm never going to celebrate Thanksgiving again in my life.
Okay, not really.
I mean I may eat some turkey and stuffing, but I won't be thinking about any Pilgrims landing at Plymouth Rock.
See it seems the ole Pilgrims weren't too up on surviving in a new land so they just went ahead and robbed graves and stole crops from the boyz in the hood.
Then they had the huevos to invite the natives to a dinner; feeding them their own stolen food!
Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating(not by much), but you get the idea.
So anyways, if you are looking for a book that sets the historical record straight, check this one out.
History reminds me of song by Fleetwood Mac.
Now that would be a great segue!

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