How do you enjoy history?
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09-04-2017, 02:07 AM
RE: How do you enjoy history?
I enjoy all the crossroad moments, all the what ifs and I often wonder what those unknown, unnamed people thought after it was all over.

As an example, those who sat on the admissions board at the art institute in Vienna. You know, the one that denied Hitler admission. Twice.

Surely, if they survived the war, as they sat there in the smoldering ruins that was Europe, they were all kicking themselves thinking, "My God, my God, if we had just let that little twerp in, none of this would have happened!"

Such a small, insignificant decision -- just one more anonymous applicant who just wasn't a good enough artist to gain entrance into such a prestigious school. Hitler's application was denied along with hundreds of others and yet ...

Who could have known that such a commonplace, trivial decision would change the entire history of the world from that very moment.

That's how I often see history, the roads not taken, the missed chances, those hindsight decisions that I'm sure people wish could be re-done. I don't mean actual failures, incompetence, stupidity, or stubborn refusal -- I mean the truly innocent decisions like not allowing Hitler into the school that intrigue me; it sometimes makes me stop and wonder about the choices I make in my own life and how they might ripple on into the future.

Oh yeah, I'm like the other poster who has a documentary collection on DVD. I have over 2,000 now and counting -- though honestly, documentaries are getting hard to come by now thanks to everything being so dumbed down and with the reality TV craze still infecting everything like the plague virus that it is.

A pox on the house of the person who invented reality television -- may he rot in the jaws of Cerberus for at least ... a few hours. Just enough to get a few puncture wounds and to smell like rancid dog breath when Cerberus lets him go.

"If my God exists, then the laws in the Bible should apply to everyone. I am certain my God exists, so ..." -- words of a theocratic fascist justifying theocratic fascism.
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10-04-2017, 03:00 PM
RE: How do you enjoy history?
@Shirina

One wonders if those crosdroad moments aren't such only in hindsight. WW II could happen without Hitler; there were authoritarian tendencies in Weimar Germany and Hitler was no wizard befudling minds of Germans, he just told people what part of them wanted to hear.

But in wider context I agree - individuals can change course of history. Not entirely though, Hitler probably would remain shitty bear hall screamer without economic crisis and underlying tendencies of German political scene.

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The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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10-04-2017, 03:27 PM
RE: How do you enjoy history?
(06-04-2017 02:18 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Causality.

Memorizing the exact date of the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor does little but leave you with a potential Trivial Pursuit answer.
Dec. 7th, 1941, 0755 local time.

Without chronology there is no understanding.

Quote:Studying the context of the situation, the real political and economic forces at play that lead Japan to roll the dice with their desperate gambit? Learn that, and you come away with real insight into how the world works.
Read http://www.ibiblio.org/pha/monos/ or Togo Shigenori's The Cause of Japan, or Eri Hotta's Japan, 1941.

For more on the Pearl Harbor Attack, The "Magic" Background to Pearl Harbor, all eight volumes, PDF and HTML or The Congressional Investigation into the Attack on Pearl Harbor, forty volumes.

(I started reading the Hearings in 1965.)
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10-04-2017, 04:25 PM (This post was last modified: 10-04-2017 04:31 PM by abaris.)
RE: How do you enjoy history?
(10-04-2017 03:00 PM)Szuchow Wrote:  One wonders if those crosdroad moments aren't such only in hindsight. WW II could happen without Hitler; there were authoritarian tendencies in Weimar Germany and Hitler was no wizard befudling minds of Germans, he just told people what part of them wanted to hear.

It runs deeper than that. Of course, a totalitarian regime could have come to power without Hitler. Of course some kind of war could have happened without him, since many Germans felt insulted by the treaty of Versailes. Many historians these days agree that Versailes was a big mistake and totally disregarded Wilson's 14 points.

There are other factors at play, of course. With or without Hitler, the extreme right wasn't as powerful as many make it out to be. In 1928, the NSDAP won a whooping 2,44 percent in the general elections. In '32 they were at 33,1 percent. Everyone knows what happened in between, the year 1929 and the ensuing depression.

Even in '32 the communists were at 16,9 and the socialists at 20,4 percent. If Hitler hadn't been there to be such a successful populist, Germany could have well turned to communism under the same circumstances. Even without being allowed to campaign and many communists and socialists already being behind barbed wire or prison doors, in 1933, the communists got 12,3 percent and the socialists 18,3.

What if isn't a category in history, but it's remarkable how similar people are still reacting when faced with similar problems. The rise of populism in Europe today is again tied to the economic crisis of 2008 and the feeling of people being left behind.

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10-04-2017, 04:31 PM
RE: How do you enjoy history?
(10-04-2017 03:00 PM)Szuchow Wrote:  @Shirina

One wonders if those crosdroad moments aren't such only in hindsight. WW II could happen without Hitler; there were authoritarian tendencies in Weimar Germany and Hitler was no wizard befudling minds of Germans, he just told people what part of them wanted to hear.

But in wider context I agree - individuals can change course of history. Not entirely though, Hitler probably would remain shitty bear hall screamer without economic crisis and underlying tendencies of German political scene.

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Well ... WWII, I agree, *could* have happened. But ... where? Who would have started it?

I suppose it would all come down to who succeeded Hindenburg -- Schleicher? Papen? And would any of them had the guts and fortitude to abolish the presidency upon Hindenburg's death, take away the rights of the people, and declare themselves dicator?

Without Hitler, there would be no feasible Nazi party. Even while Hitler sat around in Landsberg prison, the party was in trouble and he was only there for, what, 9 months or so? Without the Nazi party to join and Hitler's charisma, I don't think any one man would've had the power or the backing to become a Fuhrer the way Hitler did.

If Hitler became an artist, there would be no Nazi party. No speeches. No Nuremburg rallies. No huge rearmament program. No abolishment of the Treaty of Versailles.

Then you have the generals, many of them Prussian, who had no desire to invade the USSR and didn't even want to take over Poland; they wanted a return to post WWI Germany thus they only wanted to retake the Polish Corridor. It was Hitler's singular force of will that drove the Eastern Front. Without that, without Hitler's drive, I don't think anyone else could have convinced the generals to do much more than take Gdansk.

Now, having said that, I do agree that there probably would have been some kind of war -- perhaps global -- in Europe. WWI left too many things undone. Without Hitler, even the communists had a chance to obtain a majority in the German Reichstag, especially if the right-wing had a split vote. If that had happened, Germany would've fallen into Stalin's orbit and the war *might* have been the Allies minus the Soviet Union -- against the Soviet Union and Germany. We might not have been able to win that one considering how horribly the West was prepared for war.

"If my God exists, then the laws in the Bible should apply to everyone. I am certain my God exists, so ..." -- words of a theocratic fascist justifying theocratic fascism.
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10-04-2017, 05:41 PM (This post was last modified: 10-04-2017 05:46 PM by RearViewMirror.)
RE: How do you enjoy history?
History and Science are by far my two favorite subjects (though I must admit I was bored to tears during Western Civ in college). I've always been interested in the "why" and "how" things in history came to be and not so much actual dates that you could recite verbatim. You learn the "why" and "how", and you learn history (same thing with science).

We just got back a few weeks ago from a vacation to D.C. My daughter, who is 12, is as much into history and science as I am. D.C. was a very interesting place to visit and not at all what I expected. The city itself is beautiful and the architecture is something to behold. But you can actually "feel" the history there.

I'll preface this with most of my vacations are taken out West. In 4 years we are moving to Colorado when I retire (I'll be 50) at the time. But the right set of circumstances came up for our trip to D.C. this year and I'm glad we went. I always assumed that I could spend weeks in the Smithsonian Museums but I have to be honest... I was a bit underwhelmed by them. Don't get me wrong... They are still amazing but not what I expected. We started off in the Museum of American History and this was by far my least favorite museum we visited. Partly because half of it was closed off due to an exhibit they are creating for 2018 but also there honestly wasn't much there that you couldn't find in countless other museums scattered across the country. The Star Spangled Banner Flag was impressive and is a must see if you enjoy anything about American history. But again... that's just a portion of the story. What really, for lack of a better word, pissed me off was a small display with a video camera sitting inside of it tucked back in some corner of the museum with no real context of it being there. If you didn't look hard you wouldn't know (or care) what it was.

I was lucky and stopped and looked. Then I realized what I was looking at.

[Image: I2shhn0.jpg]

[Image: LpnJwvx.jpg]

This is the camera that caught the first plane that flew into the World Trade Center on 9/11.





This camera captured the very first images of that fateful day along with the collapse of the buildings and was being held by Jules Naudet filming a documentary on the FDNY. In my opinion this camera deserved a room all to itself due to what that lens saw that day. But no... it was tucked back in some small corner of the museum.

Here is a picture of the spire off of the World Trade Center (which by the way was in a different museum).

[Image: KQb7grb.jpg]

But... on a lighter note. Here is a picture of the actual guitar that Jimi Hendrix played the National Anthem on at Woodstock. I stood there and looked at that guitar for at least 30 mins in awe of what I was looking at

[Image: dUXqoYu.jpg]





The Air and Space Museum did not however disappoint. It is everything that you would expect and more. I've got way too many pictures to post on that but it is a must see.

The National Mall is something that you can not describe until you actually step foot on it. Absolutely beautiful.

But out of everything that I saw and experienced there. Nothing compared to Arlington National Cemetery. Once you step foot inside you realize you are walking on hallowed ground. Watched the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and if that doesn't move you then not much will. I had studied how the Tomb came to be and it is a very interesting story and a must read. But when you actually see it nothing can prepare you for just what it means to be standing there. Everything is done in increments of 21 in relation to the 21 gun salute which is one of the highest honors you can receive as a soldier upon burial.





There is so much more that I could speak of about D.C. but it would take up the forum. So I'll just leave a random picture. This is an actual piece of the Hindenburg.

[Image: EtujrJE.jpg]

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10-04-2017, 05:49 PM
RE: How do you enjoy history?
Like my coffee - taken solely so that I don't end up with a headache later on Drinking Beverage

(And sometimes as a counterbalance, when things get too sweet)

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderò."
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10-04-2017, 05:55 PM
RE: How do you enjoy history?
With a glass of the contents of the Speyer Wine Bottle? Wink

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10-04-2017, 06:04 PM
RE: How do you enjoy history?
(10-04-2017 05:55 PM)TheGulegon Wrote:  With a glass of the contents of the Speyer Wine Bottle? Wink

No, I'm more of a rum/cachaça person. But whenever I can, I try to I drink it from the silver-lined skulls of my enemies Drinking Beverage

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"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderò."
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10-04-2017, 09:39 PM (This post was last modified: 10-04-2017 09:58 PM by Szuchow.)
RE: How do you enjoy history?
@Shirina

Even with Hitler being artist rearment could have been. And it's not only Hitler who was interested in Russian soil, just look at Brest Litovsk treaty during WW I.

I doubt that things would be worse but one newer know. Without Hitler things could be worse. Or not. No one can know.

Edit: Real branching point is economic crisis I think. Without it failed artist would remain on the fringes judging by perecentage of votes, if I recall correctly. Hitler being denied entry into world of art had some consequences but only thanks to underlying conditions and specific post-war circumstances.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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