Hermits Rock

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The primary reason things like Godwin’s law exist is that most people just don’t know history that well. They endlessly compare contemporary events to Nazi Germany and Adolf Hitler because their well of historical references is shallow and because they were the most exposed villains of the twentieth century.




I would also add that people don’t know history broadly. There are lots of men people who have an encyclopaediac, blow-by-blow knowledge of the various battles of WWII, but know fuck all about anything else, except maybe a similar type of knowledge about the Civil War.

Such things are one of the few types of non-practical, non-athletic knowledge manly men are allowed to have and still remain manly men.

Gack! My dad just quoted Pat Robertson for me. Approvingly!

And, re: men and their knowledge of historical fact, allow me to point to this New Yorker article that pretends to be about fake memoirs but which is ultimately about gender and the nature of historical narrative (which, I might add, was more or less the topic of my undergraduate thesis).

You totally should have written that article, L. (Which I say say having not read it yet.)

On the subject of the New Yorker and historical knowledge, another worthy essay is this one, on American torturers in the Phillipines, and the ways the U.S. government excused them, after the Spanish-American War at the turn of the twentieth century.