Friday, June 25, 2004

They Drank the Kool Aid...
In other Clinton news, I had a very short, yet insightful, discussion with someone in a chat room today. We both have a passion for history, and so this looked as if it would have been a mutually beneficial exchange of ideas.

Alas, I was to be disappointed. The young man in question (I think it was man) claimed to be a history major. Excellent, I thought. What period of history would you like to discuss? "How about Bill Clinton's legacy?", he replied. I already knew I was in for it, but I was game anyhow.

I'll spare you the deatils, because while they were comic, they were also rather disturbing. Here we have a young person in a University, studying history, and the first thing he wishes to discuss is Bill Clinton? Not ancient Rome, Greece, Byzantium, China, India or the Rennaisance. Not even a rehash of FDR's reign or the Marcher Lords of Norman England. Not a word about the Reformation or Enlightenment or the founding of the Ottoman Empire. No, that is not INTERESTING history. We have to talk about a recent ex-President with a wandering penis. Salaciousness makes it's fun, I guess.

Granted, the topic is current. And that's what they probably teach in College history courses these days; a semi-adult version of the "Current Events" crap you used to get in grammar school social studies classes.

What struck me as incredibly peculiar, however, was not only this person's lack of what history should be about, but his lack of memory for events that occured within his lifetime; i.e., within his/her memory. The first words typed were "Bill Clinton was a master at foreign policy" or words to that effect, and he/she rambled on. I just had to defeat such stupidty by meeting it head on. Logic and truth win again, because the poor child left in a huff. There was not even a pretense of hearing me out.

For those of you who are sentient, I don't have to rehash any Clinton "foreign policy successes". However, the fact that you DO have to refute such nonsense occasionally is disturbing. I fear for the future of this country when our college kids study "history" in terms of less than a decade ago (alhough there's nothing wrong with that, the problem is believing that all the facts are available NOW), and probably to the exclusion of everything that came before it.

"Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it's mistakes". I'd like to add to that: "Those who have no idea what history IS are doomed, period.".

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