Tag Archives: history

LIONEL PODCAST: You Don’t Know Scheiße About History

The history you know is anything resembling history. What the American public craves is a tragedy with a happy ending,” William Dean Howells supra said. I would say the same for history. Especially. I am fascinated by the the idea of why civil wars are so unique in our human appreciation. Thucydides said, “The people made their recollections fit in with their sufferings.” Professor David Blight in this wonderful series references these inter alia. It’s brilliant and I commend it to you.

From the horse’s mouth. “I, Herodotus of Halicarnassus, am here setting forth my history, that time may not draw the color from what man has brought into being, nor those great and wonderful deeds, manifested by both Greeks and non-Greeks, fail of their report, and, together with all this, the reason why they fought one another.” Whose history? Whose perspective?

LIONEL PODCAST: Hollywood Has Absolutely No Duty to Be “Diverse.” So What?

di·ver·si·ty

  • the quality or state of having many different forms, types, ideas, etc.
  • the state of having people who are different races or who have different cultures in a group or organization
  • perhaps the most overused term to inartfully and irrationally suggest that the world is considerate, sapient, fair and/or rational. [I added that.]

I got your diversity right here! According to the data collectors at Lee & Low Books who crafted the disturbing but hardly surprising infographic supra, it’s abundantly clear that the Oscars may just be the hoariest, whitest old boys club there is in these parts. But so what? It’s not the government or the military or a public school. We’re not talking juries or electors or School Boards. It’s Hollywood and diversity appears not to be its number one priority. Neither does the NBA, Junior League, Skull and Bones, the Medal of Honor Society, or Who’s Who in Paducah. Private organizations and ensembles and industries have no allegiance to anyone save its own members or shareholders. And while that may royally suck and make absolutely no sense, while you and I might find it reprehensible causing us to boycott and rant and rave, so what? Herein I describe the pitfalls of diversity as a goal in certain cases, and the rudiments of reality.

LIONEL AUDIO: History, Bran, Women’s Shoes & DUI

What I love more than almost anything is starting an audio piece and seeing where it takes me. Just look at the post tags and find a commonality in sequencing. Good luck. It’s how I think. It’s not scattered or desultory; it’s not veering (the most hated term I know anent critique). One thought inspires another. Some thoughts are interstitial nexuses. Some are logical connective tissue. Think Ella Fitzgerald and scat. Joe Pass and the riff or solo. Or don’t, it’s a free country.

But the most important part of this version is the idea that history ain’t history. It’s a story, a meme, a piece of mythology and lore that’s crafted and amended by so many custodians of the story. But it has nothing to do with the truth. That’s relative. As is incest. But who cares about bugs?

LIONEL AUDIO: The Liberal Media Are. And Stuff.

As statements of history go, Napoleon was right up there with “History is a set of lies that people have agreed upon.”

But nobody beats that coo-coo cat Tolstoy (infra), who gave us this beaut: “History would be a wonderful thing — if it were only true.”

We humans create history out of thin air. We concoct and spin a tale that we swear is history; we swear that it was this way or that. We convince ourselves that we’re verse in subjects that we know nothing about. We lie about having read the Bible, Constitution or the Qur’an. When events are too difficult to fathom or process we attribute all sorts of factors to and reasons for them — religion, astrology, fate, energy, karma. We provide a locus of control on the spot and to hell with anyone who says we’re wrong. We believe in the weird effects of the full moon, people dying in threes and swear that vitamin C can help if your sick. We have no idea why we say these things. We’ve not sure how we came upon these hypotheses and theories. Nope, we’re just one big anecdotal repository.

I’m just saying.