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Marching Backwards

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By the power of unwritten law, all American boys and girls were once declared Pilgrims or Indians, forced to meet center stage to exchange turkey and maize, later smallpox and scalps, compelled to sing a song or two, then made to exit both sides of the stage and march single file through the rest of their lives as either one thing or the other. These valuable lessons form the fundamentals of American policy today.

I studied American History from grades K-12, each year starting off with a review of the explorers, landing on Plymouth Rock right around Thanksgiving. Of course we went deeper into detail every year. The pace allowed us to reach the Teapot Dome just around summer. In my senior year, we started with the 20th century and just got to World War II, but had to skim the remainder because the first semester was spent on American Government, as required by law. Maybe this explains how we wandered into World War III.

In America, the study of World History is sometimes offered, though rarely encouraged. The study of ancient failed states is not only misleading but irrelevant, and there’s just not enough time. Simply put, we like our history simply put, and we demand redundancy. If it’s worth learning once, it’s worth thirteen times more the thirteenth time.

In this way Americans became ingrained, as distinguished from its odious opposite, brainwashed. Where the ingrained believe whatever their government tells them, the brainwashed believe whatever somebody else’s government tells them. It occurs to neither that all governments lie by nature and should never be trusted under any circumstances.

Most Americans, having an ingrained sense of US history, have a genetic distrust of government and a deep desire to overcome their distrust, due to the hectic lifestyles they lead. They have mouths to feed, tanks to fill. They want a government that does the right things because it’s the best damn government in the world, that’s why.

In America, Land of Choice, you’re either a Patriot or Redcoat, Cowboy or Indian, Owner or Slave, Carpetbagger or Confederate, Republican or Democrat, Christian or Some Other God Forsaken Religion We Tolerate, Upwardly Mobile or Dragging the Rest of Us Down. You’re either With Us or Against Us, part of the Coalition or a Make-No-Mistake-Terrorist. If you’re in-between, you’re on a work visa.

If someone doesn’t understand something written here, words may be thrown at them, and failing words, bombs. In any case, America must prevail. We must stay the course, whether our direction is right or wrong, for we are not wrong ever, as history will show.

In my junior year of high school, Mr. Hyde told a story about the chair on which the Speaker of the House sat. On the headrest was an ornate carving of a radiant sun on the horizon. Jefferson, or one of those guys, speculated as to whether the sun was rising or setting. After much discussion and placing of bets, they decided as a body that the sun was rising, or had better be for the good of the young nation.

It was the stupidest story I ever heard and I said so. Because any nation that was designed by people who don’t know which way the sun goes is doomed by its own stagnant notion of the workings of the universe to be burned alive slowly over time.

I was told it was good I lived in America where my opinions could be aired freely, and not in Russia, where a comment like that would put me in jail. I was grateful then. I’m grateful now.

Don’t know much about history…

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About CW Fisher

  • sheri

    I was talking to an internet buddy from England , and come to find out their history of WWII events are different in some ways than ours. We were arguing at first, until we both realized that it was the way each of us were taught.

  • http://theapologist.blogspot.com CW Fisher

    It would be fascinating to see side by side summaries of the end of WWII through the histories of its various participants.

  • http://www.gwbush.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    I don’t know about you guys, but the history courses I took, from Junior High School onwards, were hardly jingoistic.

    I remember one teacher in…7th or 8th grade, talking about how perfect the Native Americans were, how lousy the Reagan-Bush (41) Republicans were, how great Jefferson and JFK were, and how the environment was near-collapse.

    Another teacher that same year would rant and rave about how people who chose to get their groceries bagged in “shitty” plastic bags were going to wind up killing us all in the end. The US corporations/government were evil, we were told, and the end was near.

    Maybe others had different experiences. But I do not remember ever being “ingrained” into the idea that the US was perfect and above criticism. (Though I did get a healthy dose of this at home…)

  • Shark

    My nominee for BEST PARAGRAPH ON BLOGCRITICS, 2004 SEASON:

    “In America, Land of Choice, you’re either a Patriot or Redcoat, Cowboy or Indian, Owner or Slave, Carpetbagger or Confederate, Republican or Democrat, Christian or Some Other God Forsaken Religion We Tolerate, Upwardly Mobile or Dragging the Rest of Us Down. You’re either With Us or Against Us, part of the Coalition or a Make-No-Mistake-Terrorist. If you’re in-between, you’re on a work visa.”

  • http://theapologist.blogspot.com CW Fisher

    The best paragraph of BC 2004? Thanks, Shark. What an honor! It’s like being the best sequin on the gown!

  • http://www.blogbloke.com BB

    How ’bout the best writer at BC bar none (excepting Sharky of course and Eric, and … )

  • http://theapologist.blogspot.com CW Fisher

    …uh… that’s Eric. but thanks!

  • Eric Olsen

    The most prolific anyway, but I appreciate the thought very much. Thanks!