olds
Joyce, I'm sorry
Thu Dec 08, 2022 6:25

that you have difficulty understanding me, but then, as Andre Gide once wrote, "Please, do not understand me too quickly." Maybe you just need more time to mull.

The thrust of what was I trying to say, and apparently miserably failing, isn't "give up, can't be done," not at all." It was that a factual inaccuracy and/or dubious interpretation is not the same thing as a myth, and that to use those concepts interchangeably, as you seemed to be doing, is simply wrong, simple as that. The difference between the two is much more than some mere semantical distinction.

If you know that the myth is "written in cement," which it is, then what is the point of trying, even with a jackhammer, to "dis-spell it"? Factual inaccuracies and wrongheaded interpretations, on the other hand, beg correction and/or revision. But those corrections and revisions at this point are not likely to make much of a dent in the myth. They may matter to "the few who still care about" such things, among whom I count myself, but let's not kid ourselves that at this point the (populist) myth can be turned on its head. There simply is too much baggage there ever to be sufficiently unpacked.

Raising questions about "decisions made 140 years ago," is not only perfectly fine, but to be encouraged. Informed skepticism about conventional wisdoms and the "official line" is one of the most important tools in the historian's toolbox. In that respect, no question is ever stupid or out of line and there can never be too many of them. No history, I would suggest, is ever "settled." Myths on the other hand....

I am just old enough to mainly agree with your last graph. It is the curse of being a certain age that one inevitably finds oneself comparing the present to the past, often unfavorably. The world of our youth often takes on a certain glow (typically of a rose or golden hue) owing to some combination of hindsight + nostalgia + romanticism; every generation is susceptible to the phenomenon. Yes, there is much of "today's world," that is "disgusting"--you are being kind with that descriptor--but there was much about yesterday's that was, in its own way, as well. If you are any kind of student of human history it is difficult to gainsay that that history, precisely because it is human, has always been disgusting--and worse, much worse. And that, Joyce, ain't no myth.




  • Olds/ I think what you are....Joyce A. Aros, Wed Dec 07 2022 16:24
    ...trying to say so that I can understand it , is 'Crap, Joyce! Give it up! It can't be done.' Well, I read you over several times to see if I could understand but decided that was what I got out... more
    • Joyce, I'm sorry — olds, Thu Dec 08 2022 6:25
      • Olds/ mulling continuously...Joyce A. Aros, Fri Dec 09 2022 6:11
        ...You said something that I think made some sense to me. The difference between factual inaccuracies and myths. If I understand correctly, this is a comparison I need to grasp. But I think one blends... more
        • Unfortunately, if we areolds, Fri Dec 09 2022 10:37
          going to be precise and accurate in the way we use the language, to sufficiently answer your questions requires opening the pandora's box (which is itself a myth) of definitions. What, for instance, are... more
          • Smoke & Mirrors!....Joyce A. Aros, Fri Dec 09 2022 12:00
            ...As you probably knew it would, I got bogged down heavily until I got to "Perhaps..." And that is where I am. Trying to establish how and why these inaccuracies developed in the first place!... more
            • There is a whole otherolds, Fri Dec 09 2022 12:46
              if no less abstract discussion to be had about the difference between Fact and Truth, but I will spare us both the "boggy" agony of going there.
              • the "boggy" agony of going there...Dan Brown, Tue Dec 13 2022 16:18
                I have to admit you have a way with words. A good way, actually.
                • He certainly doesButch Badon, Thu Jan 05 11:54
                  And I hang onto every word of his writings. Butch
                • Half the time, Dan,olds, Wed Dec 14 2022 5:41
                  I suspect that it's the words that are having their way with me, but I learned long ago not to fight their flow when they're flowing. Swimming against their tide gets you nowhere fast. It's a dance. They... more
                  • Remember what they saidDan Brown, Mon Dec 19 2022 22:35
                    About Ginger Rogers: she did everything Fred did and she did it backwards. You're all right on those tricky parts. Just keep the toes tapping.
      • Wow!!! You made my day!....Joyce A. Aros, Thu Dec 08 2022 7:47
        ...Thank you for your understanding and encouragement. I feel much better and more likely to accomplish some form of....accomplishment? You are very kind in that you shrank the whole thing down to... more
        • Re: Wow!!! You made my day!....Dan Brown, Tue Dec 13 2022 16:22
          Whilst we may disagree to agree, I harbor great admiration for your continuing spirited defense of those cowboys.
          • Dan, I am happy to know...Joyce A. Aros, Wed Dec 14 2022 5:48
            ...that you are enjoying these exchanges so much. Disagreement with patience is how we learn. Somebody has to defend those guys so I guess I will soldier on. Stick around; there are some interesting questions... more