If you remember the sixties, you weren't there. Where were you the day Kennedy died? or John Lennon, or Princess Di, or the day of the tsunami, volcano, snowstorm, and on and on and on. We tend to relate history to our own place or involvement in it. Otherwise, we tend to treat it like another school class, a little dry and one dimensional but knowing it, may explain why we have reached this particular place we stand in today, so we are told. History, as we know it in an academic sense, is rife with inaccuracies, opinions, revisionism and outright lies. Up until a couple of hundred years ago, very few people could write and there was no other form of mass communication. Most newspapers, until a few short decades ago, had only a limited local following. What history was recorded, was done quite often, long after the fact through heresay, conjecture and opinion, We have ascribed thoughts, words and deeds to kings, gods and conquerors centuries after they have passed from this mortal coil. How do we know what really happened when a very small and select group of scribes, under who knows what influence, have presented information without witness to people without access to other sources and usually many years after the event. What opinions do we hold today that are based on fictional episodes of historical conquests and discoveries? We know that in this age of communication, in this age of cellphone cameras, news networks, blogs and instant access, that information that we think we are witnessing on our television and computer screens is being manipulated, massaged, edited and politically corrected.
In our search for the truth, some of us have become too cynical (ya think?) and consequently miss what truth is sometimes staring at us and yet, there are still many who glance at the headlines, listen with half an ear to news radio in the car and glance at the TV news during dinner and can still offer an opinion on daily events. Presidential candidates are judged on hair do's, 15 second sound bites, whether or not they inhaled (yes I did), their squeeky-clean past and their ability to say much while offending no one. The point this morning is a little elusive as I had hoped to focus on the importance of sharing our own history with the significant people in our lives. That was the original idea but no, I couldn't leave well enough alone, I just had to rant on about the shortcomings of the rest of the world instead of my own. Oh well, stay tuned and I will reveal all, eventually.