One of the things that maddens me about my children is how they refuse to take advantage of the cornucopia of information so readily available on the internet. In my day, I actually had to get out of my chair, go to my Dad’s office, get the encyclopedia off the shelf, riffle endlessly through the pages to find the correct entry, and then read that tiny, tiny print.
It was Hell, I tell you! Hell!
Now, all that the kids need to do is to activate their omnipresent smart phone or laptop, type in a few words and — badaboom, badabing — the world’s knowledge is at their fingertips. And still . . . they won’t do it.
Instead, they ask me to answer their questions, something they invariably regret. I either tell them to look it up themselves or, worse, I answer their question in my inimitable Mom style: “So you want to know about the revolution in Cuba and why Castro was such a terribly evil human being? As with all things, if you really want to understand it, we need to start with the Romans.”
In my narrations, everything starts with the Romans, unless I’m feeling particularly cruel and move further back to the Abraham, Moses, Pharaoh, etc. From ancient history, I move on to the early Christians who tried voluntary communal living, to the rise of the feudal state, to the Black Death and its effect on the European economy and peasant rights. That, of course, leads to Renaissance monarchies and, of course, to the Enlightenment, with its two pivotal revolutions (the American revolution, which focused on individual liberty; and the French revolution, which developed the modern idea of the commune); and only then do I really get going.
Most of these conversations end with me saying, “Why are you walking away? I haven’t finished answering your question yet!”
I’m not going to do that to all of you. Instead, I’ll just tip you off to some wonderful things I found on the internet and think you might enjoy. After that, you’re on your own!
The exquisite cognitive dissonance on the Left. I’ll just leave this Yahoo squiblet out here. I don’t need to add anything, do I?
If you’re interested, you can read more about this cruelly irony-unaware initiative here.
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Photo by SEOPlanter