Sunday, April 10, 2011

What is History?

My latest screenplay pitch is about a janitor who works in a hospital and unwittingly cures a whole floor of coma patients (he cures them with motown music). Then he has an opportunity to teach everyone who has been out of touch for 20 years about the world and he basically makes everything up. He says the Jews and Arabs are best friends. America was a gift from African Kings to a crew of sickly English pilgrims who helped build the pyramids. Things like that. Basically, it would be a study in what history means because, it occurred to me, that prejudice must be relearned every generation. Ethnic hatred has to be taught. Class envy has to be taught. So, what if we didn't teach it? Why teach the truth about the American Civil War? It only perpetuates bitterness between Georgia Folk and Northerners. What's a good argument to teach it? No one is alive that was there so at this point we are basically manipulating the past to introduce our own prejudices (the good side won) into our story. That's understandable, but the problem is that everyone is doing it and when history is taught basically to recruit kids into one army or another then it serves no good purpose.

This theory is on trial with three different online and user-generated encyclopedias. And three different explanations of, for example, Israel.

Wikipedia: A Jewish and democratic state
Conservapedia: Location of most biblical events.
uncyclopedia: The Kike Reich

The one that survives will be what future teachers call history.

Should we know what actually took place at all points in history? I think that's debatable if not impossible.

"Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it." says Edmund Burke. Well, what does it mean when you know history and still repeat it? Or does it mean the history we study is so diluted with the agenda of the teachers that it doesn't resemble history, but rather a training manual of prejudice. It's propaganda, like most things, and guarantees we repeat it. Whites hate blacks. Jews hate Arabs. Boston Hates New York. Why? Well, look here in 1920 this event happened that blah blah blah...and our reptile brains translate this to: "That was a bad thing and should not be forgiven and thus I will also hate them. Otherwise, the people who were killed that I identify with will have died in vain and justice will not be served." Thanks Edmund Burke! I think the reason history was an oral tradition for so long is because nobody thought it was healthy if every person in a tribe knew all the history of the tribe. Only when great thinkers realized they could manipulate the masses if they manipulated history did everyone get in on the game. The tradition of history was probably more of a way to amuse people at a gathering. Everyone basically acted like history didn't exist.

So, the idea is to demonstrate that if you teach lies that are designed to produce people who look forward and not backwards then the question will not be where did we come from--a family of oppressed Quakers--but where are we going? So, I'd like to thank Adolph Hitler for inventing the Internet! And Mussolini invented the hot fudge sundae with Gandhi! Yum!

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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.