Remembering

Discussion in 'Soap Box' started by Lovecraft, Dec 20, 2011.

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  1. Lovecraft

    Lovecraft Well-Known Member

    To try and prevent a ****storm over there I didn't bring up the idea in that thread but I still want to ask: Why?

    OK, so there was an event that defined a lot of lives and was sad I suppose, but why should we really remember these events for more than, I don't know, let's say 50 years? One either needs to, as is so common currently, outright ignore the plight of other parties or people. Furthermore most of these events are actual fairly trivial in comparison to others that occurred around the same time.

    How often do the Americans decide to remember when over 100 000 *civilian* lives were snuffed out in an instant by a little bomb the Americans dropped? The children of Hiroshima that are born deformed. On the topic of deformed children when do the Americans remember agent orange that they dropped right onto the Vietnamese to infect their children for generations. (To date there's no end in sight of the problems posed by the nuclear detonation over Hiroshima or the agent orange infecting the Vietnamese, yet we're asked to remember an event that's long since been cleaned up, with almost exclusively military casualties and no medical problems for their descendants?)

    So don't get me wrong, the USA is hardly the only group of people that engage in this practice but they're still a perfect illustration of the idea. I've never understood how people can be so callous just because the people in question aren't from their nation - nations are an arbitrary division of humanity.

    Remember events insofar as they affected history and, if applicable, how they affected your family and friends. Give special status only to those events that still require a clean up - agent orange, minefields in Cambodia, contaminated water on indigenous reserves, the ill of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the veterans of Iraq with PTSD, etc.

    All things will end up like the battle of Dan-no-ura; they'll be known to the historians and recognized for their importance but considered something not worth teaching the general public. One day someone may say "Pearl Harbour" or "battle of Midway" and nobody else will know what they're talking about. WWI is already largely forgotten - how many of you can honestly list at least 4 major battles or events in the war?

    My point is that we should remember the past insofar as it's an important part of what makes humans humans but it's infinitely more meaningful to do something for the living than to cry for the dead long after they're buried. (I think crying for the dead for a decent time right after their death is an important cultural event in which we let the departed go, but to hold onto them so long can be damaging.)
     
  2. Belladonna

    Belladonna Well-Known Member

    I think most of us undepressed Americans choose not to think about it or distort history to avoid the truth. It's easier than feeling guilty, especially since most of fear our government rather than to think it is for the people, by the people.

    I learned on my own, through the internet that we caused Pearl Harbor, we weren't innocently attacked so schools don't teach proper history. Many Americans can't understand why we are hated internationally because we don't grow up learning the truth.
     
  3. Lovecraft

    Lovecraft Well-Known Member

    I think the USA gets most of the heat for being bastards internationally because they've been the most intrusive nation on Earth for some time, but really every nation has baggage they try to hide and a few events that are passed off as them being great martyrs or otherwise awesome.

    Even in Canada, where plenty of our less wonderful days are mandatory curriculum - the residential schools for natives, internment camps for the Japanese, the Chinese head tax, turning back a boatload of Jews only to hear they've been taken by the Nazis, etc - there's still plenty of people that try to pretend that Canada has a clean conscious and justify what was done to the natives.
     
  4. Belladonna

    Belladonna Well-Known Member

    That is true and the more wealth/power a country has, the better able that country can be corrupt. I'm impressed that you were taught both the good with the bad when it comes to canadian history.
     
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