Friday, December 09, 2011
Psayings 5Y, Part Three
PART TWO. Hi, nite owls. Thought I'd break into the office and post while the grown-ups are asleep.
I've been in deep seclusion working on a project so top-secret, even The Boss doesn't know about it. And to keep it secret I haven't answered any of his calls or emails in the last two weeks. On the off chance I spill the beans "in the heat of conversation," as George Lowe put it. Secrecy is paramount.
Here's part 3 of that date list thing I was doing a while back. Was it worth the wait? Probably not.
23. 1917. Russian Revolution. Shammadamma.
24. 1500 BC. I think that's a bit early for Greece. Egypt? Something happen in Egypt? Akenaton? Big Bang?
Not a lot going on this decade. The start of something called "Mycenaean civilization." Should I know about them? The domestication of ferrets begins. And the "Biblical Exodus, according to Simcha Jacobovici in the earliest suggestion of the documentary Exodus Decoded." Is that the consensus? 1500 BC? K.
25. 1912. Titanic sinks.
26. 1916. WWI something or other. Let's find out.
Wilson wins reelection. Cubs play their first game (and they win!). Margaret Sanger starts killing unborn black babies. Rasputin dies. Some stuff in China. I'm stumped on this one.
27. 1588. England the Spanish Armada and sends them home with red butts. The beginning of British sea power? Sounds right. Let's say it is.
28. 1929. Black Tuesday: stock market crashes.
29. "Two thousand and one million B.C.". It's a whole thing.
30. 1348. Black plague. Started by dead Chink rats in catapults, right?
31. 1607. Jamestown. Looking it up, I just now learn that this is not the same as Roanoke. Jamestown was the first colony that took. Guess my brilliant quip comparing National Geographic's obsession with Roanoke to The History Channel's obsession with Hitler and UFOs will have to wait.
32. 1877. No clue.
Holy hell, this year was jam-packed. First up: The Compromise of 1877. Turns out Rutherford B. Hayes, current remembered only as the best name to use in a joke about obscure US presidents, was significant right from the very start of his administration. I could explain why this is, but I'm not... it has something to do with reconstruction. It's all very... look, I could explain it, but it's all very intricate and there's lots of extenuating... details. Your time is valuable, and it's late. Suffice to say, it's historic and the fact that no one at all remembers it shows the shameful state of education in this country. Or maybe every teacher in the last 50 years made the same choice I just did to skip it because it's complicated and these little bastards don't care anyway (Hall.B.19).
And that's just January. After the first half the year, which includes the surrender of Crazy Horse, the first Westminster Dog Show, and the first Wimbeldon, there's a massive railroad strike that gets so out of hand that, according to the synopsis in Wiki's 1877 entry, a sympathy strike in St. Louis "briefly establish[es] a Communist government" and Hayes has to call in federal troops to wrap it up. Dude!
(the page on the St. Louis strike looks to be only lightly paraphrased from A People's History of the United States and is begging for a "neutrality questioned" tag, but I don't have the time. Secret project and everything)
Then some lucky sumbitch discovers both moons of Mars inside a week of each other, Crazy Horse is killed, and to cap the year off, Thomas Edison invents the effing Phonograph. No big deal!
I have never been taught or exposed to any of this, and that is bullcrap. There's been an eighty-year gap in every history class I've ever had, jumping from Appomattox straight to Black Tuesday, with maybe the Titanic mentioned if I was lucky. Nary a word (other than "Carpetbagger") on Reconstruction, WWI only ever brought up to explain why WWII had the II. Bogus.
TOMORROW, OR WHENEVER: Part 4? Who knows.