We're anxiously awaiting the end of "Native American summer" here in South Carolina! I've enjoyed all the 90+ degree weather that I care to for a while. If the meteorologists are to be believed, we should get back to more seasonable temps before the weekend. Phew!
This week is/was Columbus Day. It bothers me a little that Columbus Day is now celebrated on a Monday rather than on October 12th, the day that a sailor on board the Pinta first sighted land in 1492. The first recorded celebration of Columbus Day in the United States took place on October 12, 1792, the 300th anniversary of that event. For centuries October 12th was Columbus Day here in the USA, but I guess it's more important that an extremely small number of people have a Monday holiday and a day off. Strangely enough, this year that long weekend would still have been possible since the 12th is on a Friday this year.
What bothers me far more than moving holidays is the rewriting of history that's happening fast and furious. It's all too common nowadays to have our nation's heros portrayed as villains or simply totally ignored in history books. And worse yet, villains and nobodies are painted as heros. (It's kind of like the "black and white" theme in my last blog post, only this is calling white black and black white.) It was weird to read that there were actually protests resulting in arrests in connection to Columbus Day festivities this past weekend, like Christopher Columbus was some kind of evil person! I say that if history is to be rewritten, it should be done by people who don't know any better - like history students - rather than by those who call themselves historians!
Today's iv is a compilation by Richard Lederer of bloopers from students in history classes. This compilation is from a published work called Anguished English.
The World According to Student Bloopers
"One of the fringe benefits of being an English or History teacher is receiving the occasional jewel of a student blooper in an essay. I have pasted together the following "history" of the world from certifiably genuine student bloopers collected by teachers throughout the United States, from eighth grade through college level. Read carefully, and you will learn a lot." - R. Lederer
History of the World
Ancient Egypt was inhabited by mummies, and they all wrote in hydraulics. They lived in the Sarah Dessert and traveled by Camelot. The climate of the Sarah is such that the inhabitants have to live elsewhere, so certain areas of the dessert are cultivated by irritation. The pyramids are a range of mountains between France and Spain. The Egyptians built the pyramids in the shape of a huge triangular cube.
The Bible is full of interesting caricatures. In the first book of the Bible, Guinesses, Adam and Eve were created from an apple tree. One of their children, Cain, asked "Am I my brother's son?" God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac on Mount Montezuma. Jacob, son of Isaac, stole his brother's birthmark. Jacob was a patriarch who brought up his twelve sons to be patriarchs, but they did not take to it. One of Jacob's sons, Joseph, gave refuse to the Israelites.
Moses led the Hebrew slaves to the Red Sea, where they made unleavened bread, which is bread made without any ingredients. Afterwards, Moses went up on Mount Cyanide to get the ten commandments. He died before he ever reached Canada. David was a Hebrew king skilled at playing the liar. He fought with the Finkelsteins, a race of people who lived in Biblical times. Solomon, one of David's sons, had 500 wives and 500 porcupines.
The Greeks were a highly sculptured people, and without them, we wouldn't have history. The Greeks invented three kinds of columns--Corinthian, Doric and Ironic. They also had myths. A myth is a female moth. One myth says that the mother of Achilles dipped him in the River Stynx until he became intolerable. Achilles appears in "The Iliad," by Homer. Homer also wrote the "Oddity," in which Penelope was the last hardship that Ulysses endured on his journey. Actually, Homer was not written by Homer but by another man of that name.
Socrates was a famous Greek teacher who went around giving people advice. They killed him. Socrates died from an overdose of wedlock. After his death, his career suffered a dramatic decline.
In the Olympic Games, Greeks ran races, jumped, hurled the biscuits, and threw the java. The reward to the victor was a coral wreath. The government of Athens was democratic because the people took the law into their own hands. There were no wars in Greece, as the mountains were so high that they couldn't climb over to see what their neighbors were doing. When they fought the Parisians, the Greeks were outnumbered because the Persians had more men.
Eventually, the Romans conquered the Greeks. History calls people Romans because they never stayed in one place for very long. Julius Caesar extinguished himself on the battlefields of Gaul. The Ides of March killed him because they thought he was going to be made king. Dying, he gasped out: "Tee hee, Brutus." Nero was a cruel tyranny who would torture his poor subjects by playing the fiddle to them. Rome came to have too many luxuries and baths. At Roman banquets, the guests wore garlics in their hair. They took two baths in two days, and that's the cause of the fall of Rome. Rome was invaded by ballbearings, and is full of fallen arches today.
Then came the Middle Ages, when everyone was middle aged. King Alfred conquered the Dames, King Arthur lived in the Age of Shivery with brave knights and prancing horses and beautiful women. King Harold mustarded his troops before the Battle of Hastings. Joan of Arc was burnt to a steak and cannonized by George Bernard Shaw, and there were many victims of the blue bonnet plague. Finally, the Magna Carta provided that no free man should be hanged twice for the same offense.
In midevil times most of the people were alliterate. The greatest writer of the futile times was Chaucer, who wrote many poems and verse and also wrote literature. Another story was about William Tell, who shot an arrow through an apple while standing on his son's head.
The Renaissance was an age in which more individuals felt the value of their human being. Martin Luther was nailed to the church door at Wittenberg for selling papal indulgences. He died a horrible death, being excommunicated by a bull.
The government of England was a limited mockery. Henry VIII found walking difficult because he had an abbess on his knee. As a queen, Queen Elizabeth was a success. Her navy went out and defeated the Spanish Armadillo.
It was an age of great inventions and discoveries. Gutenberg invented removable type. Another important invention was the circulation of blood. Sir Walter Raleigh is a historical figure because he invented cigarettes. Sir Francis Drake circumcised the world with a 100-foot clipper.
The greatest writer of the Renaissance was William Shakespeare. Shakespeare was born in the year 1564, supposedly on his birthday. Shakespeare never made much money and is famous only because of his plays. He lived in Windsor with his merry wives, writing tragedies, comedies, and errors, all in Islamic pentameter. In one of Shakespeare's famous plays, Hamlet rations out his situation by relieving himself in a long soliloquy. In another, Lady Macbeth tries to convince Macbeth to kill the King by attacking his manhood. The clown in As You Like It is named Touchdown. Romeo and Juliet are an example of a heroic couplet.
Writing at the same time as Shakespeare was Miguel Cervantes. He wrote "Donkey Hote." The next great author was John Milton. Milton wrote "Paradise Lost." Then his wife died and he wrote "Paradise Regained."
During the Renaissance America began. Christopher Columbus was a great navigator who discovered America while cursing about the Atlantic. His ships were called the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Fe. Later the Pilgrims crossed the ocean, and this was called the Pilgrim's Progress. When they landed at Plymouth Rock, they were greeted by Indians, who came down the hill rolling their hoops before them. The Indian squabs carried porpoises on their back. Many of the Indian heroes were killed, along with their cabooses, which proved very fatal to them. The winter of 1620 was a hard one for the settlers. Many people died and many babies were born. Captain John Smith was responsible for all this.
One of the causes of the Revolutionary Wars was the English put tacks in their tea. Also, the colonists would send their parcels through the post without stamps. During the War, Red Coats and Paul Revere was throwing balls over stone walls. The dogs were barking and the peacocks crowing. Finally, the colonists won the War and no longer had to pay for taxis.
Delicates from the original thirteen states formed the Contented Congress. Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin were two singers of the Declaration of Independence. Franklin had gone to Boston carrying all his clothes in his pocket and a loaf of bread under each arm. He invented electricity by rubbing cats backwards and declared "a horse divided against itself cannot stand." Franklin died in 1790 and is still dead.
George Washington married Martha Curtis and in due time became the father of our country. His farewell address was Mount Vernon. Then the Constitution of the United States was adopted to secure domestic hostility. Under the Constitution the people enjoyed the right to keep bare arms.
Abraham Lincoln became America's greatest Precedent. Lincoln's mother died in infancy, and he was born in a log cabin which he built with his own hands. When Lincoln was President, he wore only a tall silk hat. He said, "In onion there is strength." Abraham Lincoln wrote the Gettysburg address while traveling from Washington to Gettysburg on the back of an envelope. He also signed the Emasculation Proclamation, and the Fourteenth Amendment gave the ex-Negroes citizenship. But the Clue Clutz Clan would torcher and lynch the ex-Negroes and other innocent victims. On the night of April 14, 1865, Lincoln went to the theater and got shot in his seat by one of the actors in a moving picture show. The believed assinator was John Wilkes Booth, a insane supposed actor. This ruined Booth's career.
Meanwhile in Europe, the enlightenment was a reasonable time. Voltaire invented electricity and also wrote a book called "Candy". Gravity was invented by Isaac Walton. It is chiefly noticeable in the autumn, when the apples are falling off the trees.
Bach was the most famous composer in the world, and so was Handel. Handel was half German, half Italian and half English. He was very large. Bach died from 1750 to the present. Beethoven wrote music even though he was deaf. He was so deaf he wrote loud music. He took long walks in the forest even when everyone was calling for him. Beethoven expired in 1827 and later died for this.
France was in a very serious state. The French Revolution was accomplished before it happened. The Marseillaise was the theme song of the French Revolution, and it catapulted into Napoleon. During the Napoleonic Wars, the crowned heads of Europe were trembling in their shoes. Then the Spanish gorillas came down from the hills and nipped at Napoleon's flanks. Napoleon wanted an heir to inherit his power, but since Josephine was a baroness, she couldn't bear him any children.
The sun never set on the British Empire because the British Empire is in the East and the sun sets in the West. Queen Victoria was the longest queen. She sat on a thorn for 63 years. Her reclining years and finally the end of her life were exemplatory of a great personality. Her death was the final event which ended her reign.
The nineteenth century was a time of many great inventions and thoughts. The invention of the steamboat caused a network of rivers to spring up. Samuel Morse invented a code for telepathy. Louis Pasteur discovered a cure for rabbis. Charles Darwin was a naturalist who wrote the "Organ of the Species". Madman Curie discovered radi0. And Karl Marx became one of the Marx Brothers.
The First World War, caused by assignation of the Arch-Duck by ananahist, ushered in a new error in the anals of human history.
In reference to the recent passing of the famous mime Marcel Marceau... "Do you suppose they observed a moment of noise in his honor anywhere in France?" - Barry Ray, Greenville Journal
Did Washington just flash a quarter for his ID?