Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sunday Early Edition

I've been reading some lately.
Not what I'm supposed to be reading, which is like The Count of Monte Cristo, but these other books that deal mostly with the history of Hawaii.
Actually I got to page 78 of the Dumas book, then these other books sort of side tracked me.
The reason for reading up on the history of Hawaii is that one of the classes I'm sitting in on is well, the history of Hawaii so I figured I better brush up on it.
I took a college class on all this way back when, sort of in this life and sort of in another life.
Was a transitional period don't you know.
I think it's sort of important to know about Hawaii, living here and all, especially about how things came to be.
Presently I mean.
Especially that most touchy subject of how Hawaii became a state of this great Union.
You'd think history would be laid out in black and white by now, but around these parts, anything to do with the overthrow of the monarchy and the annexation period is mostly a grey area.
Everyone has their own opinions based upon whatever source of information is deemed to be valid whether it's word of mouth or history book.
I gotta say, I don't really trust history books anymore, not after reading this.
I thought it sort of interesting that I found and read that book in our own school library.
Anyways, when reading about history, it's important to keep in mind that you are still reading about it from the perspective or one or two individuals.
You are putting your trust in the research they did.
There are bunch of books on the annexation of Hawaii, and I'm on my third one.
The first one I read, Shoal of Time by Gavan Daws, was actually my college text. In fact this is probably the most commonly read history of Hawaii, I remember using it during high school also.
Because of it's popularity, it may also be the most controversial.
Again, depends on your point of view.
Then I read this.
Since I had previously only read Daws' book, I wanted to make sure I got another perspective.
Finally, I'm working on this:

Now just because I've read a couple on books on the subject, a scholar I am not.
I gotta say though, someday, maybe when I'm like retired or something, I'd like to go and look through some of the reference material, just so that I can see it with my own eyeballs and form my own opinions.
Which is what reading about history is.
Reading someones opinion.
Sort of.
I mean it's fairly easy to manipulate the facts.
Journalists do it all the time.
Leave out this, emphasize that, and you can sway public opinion one way or the other.
If you know what I mean.
So I take all these "history" books with a grain of salt.
Except for when it comes to the history of the state I live in.
I think it's important in this case, to just present facts, and let the kid's decide for themselves what happened.
Okay, we all know what happened.
Or do we?
The monarchy was overthrown and five years later, Hawaii became a territory of the United States.
I have a problem when the words "American Imperialism" are tossed in there, for there was a lot more to it than that.
Did I mention I wrote a paper on the annexation?
The thing is, when I wrote that paper, way back when, interestingly, or more like surprisingly, it did not tell the same story I had been told.
Not when you read about it from the United States point of view.
I gotta say, I also had to do some on the side reading about the history of Pearl Harbor, which lead me to something else(more on that later), Marconi and his first spark gap transmissions across the Atlantic, the Panama Canal, the Spanish American War, and the laying of the first telegraph cable from San Francisco to Hawaii.
I mean Hawaii is a nice place and all, but there's a reason why we are like the only state stuck out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
Let me just say that what these kids are learning in the classroom is nowhere near what they should be learning.
That's about as far as I'm going with that.
Which leads me back to where I started, and why Hawaii is what it is today.
I'm telling you, I should have minored in history.
Or maybe English.
Okay, not really.
About the minoring in English part.
Anyways, I was just thinking, I wonder if I'll find any similarities if I start reading about Texas.
Seeing as how you folks over there were like a republic and all.
I like reading about history.
Even if you have to wade through the chaff to get to the good stuff.


Steve A said...

I think you'll have to study real hard to find a lot of similarities between BBQ Brisket and Poi, though the last two presidents have come from the two states so perhaps you will find parallel paths after all. Speaking of which, have you ever seen GW Bush's birth certificate? Neither have I. Hmm...

limom said...

Steve A., the fastest commenter in Texas!
You may be correct on the similarity part for if I remember folks in Texas didn't really want to become a state.
Well actually, folks here didn't want to become a state either.
As far as GWB, that's a part of history I'd rather forget.