I’ve found that just like in the old Soviet Union, we know more or less what the future will bring (at least a lot of us are beginning to be very afraid we know what the future will bring, while our adversaries are sure they know. And also wrong. And pushing us towards a precipice*.) It’s the past that keeps changing.
Now, this was not a surprise to me, so much as it must have been to Americans born and raised who were paying attention at the time (seemingly a minority, but what do I know, since we were in the power of the MSM back then) but I’ve watched the past change many times in this country. It wasn’t as much a surprise, because I’d watched it change in Portugal too, as good years of sane-ish economic policy became in retrospect “good agricultural climate years” or complete messes of leftist governments became “Competent” and “unimpeachable” in the rear-view mirror.
Leftists in the rear-view mirror look more centrist than they really are. And everyone to the right of Lenin is evil and corrupt. I’ll say it again, in case you missed it the first few times: of all the events in my life that I was present at and which were reported in the press, not a single one matched, and the slant was sadly and stupidly predictable.
But even that did not prepare me for the suddenness in which the prosperous 80s (following on the f*cked up 70s) became “the decade of greed.” Or how Clinton’s grasping and corrupt administration was whitewashed in retrospect.
And the thing is, there is always an agenda, always a plan. The left will pull the strings of their media puppets — always — with intent to lead people somewhere. The stampeding is that of a band of primitive men surrounding the mammoth. The mammoth is much bigger but never realizes it, because there are these scary sounds all around. Any minute, he could break free, trample a couple of the annoying gits, and get home free, but he doesn’t. He allows himself to be driven to the precipice.*
Thing is, if you look at what the left is stomping and yapping about, you know where they want to lead you and what their ultimate plan is.
Deriding the 80s as the decade of greed allowed for shaming corporations into cooperating with the Clinton crime syndicate. It allowed for people knuckling under tax increases. It allowed for a patina of “virtue” needed to hide Clinton’s zipper eruptions.
You could sort of see it coming, if you paid attention.
This is particularly obvious with the culture.
Sure, some of their moves are obvious to anyone who can read print written seven feet high and in letters of fire, right?
Their distortion of history so that everything America ever did is wrong and evil-bad is designed to make our own kids hate their own country and imagine themselves as “citizens of the world” which is to say citizens of nowhere.
Which in turn allows for wide open borders which bring in the population of 3rd world serfs the statists count on to keep them in power forever.
For the last ten years I’ve been disquieted and disturbed by the persistent myth of: Our ancestors were far more cleanly, happy and prosperous than we think. Yep. Your foot-in-the-mud ancestor didn’t suffer under the lash of his feudal overlord. Oh, no. He had hot running water, regular baths, religious holidays off and–
Spits. And the girls sang as they wove garlands on Mayday, I suppose.
Most of these myths are arrant nonsense. Some are arrant nonsense on stilts with a dash of oikophobia thrown in.
I’ve mentioned here that I went to the Viking exhibit at the museum some years back, and it was all about how free and egalitarian the Vikings were, male and female. Which I suppose was true, if you miss the large component of slavery. And the fact that they raided foreign shores for slaves and loot. And that almost every skilled artisan was a slave. And–
Then there is the continuous “The Vikings were much cleaner than the Christians and women preferred them.”
First let’s cut the crap. We have zero clue if women preferred them. When the raiders come to town, they don’t stop to ask thee fleeing women to sign “affirmative consent” forms.
Second, yeah, I’m sure in some Viking villages they were cleaner. We do have have reason to suspect some areas had functioning saunas. But then some of the areas raided had functioning Roman baths still extant.
I’m sure for some times and places, that was true. I’m also absolutely sure that for most times and places the Vikings were about as clean as everyone else, which is to say not very, due to the lack of easy-accessible soap (yes, it existed. In certain times and places. NOT everywhere and not of a kind you’d want to use on your skin) of easily accessible acceptable-temperature water, and/or of warm enough places to bathe in.
No, medieval people weren’t as utterly filthy as it’s imagined (though there were some, I’m sure) but I’m also utterly sure, having experienced this in a temperate climate, that washing in winter would be limited, careful, and therefore maybe not as thorough as we imagine. Or to put it another way, when the Victorians went on about catching a chill, they weren’t just blowing smoke, guys. People didn’t willingly strip down and dip in lukewarm water int he dead of winter and when clothes would take forever to dry, unless they had other clothes, and facilities for getting warm right after.
In other words, Vikings and the rest of the Middle Ages were, from our POV a little wiffy. As were most places until the late 20th century.
So why the cleanly and perfumed Vikings (Particularly since the records of the time don’t support this view, except in very few, highly publicized circumstances?)
Oh, that’s the “don’t go imagining Christians were better” wing of the oikophobe chorus. They will tell us Christians were filthy. The pagans, on the other hand, were cleanly and perfumed.
Weirdly the one people we know were cleaner than Christians, also more literate and prone to less domestic violence never come in for praise in these comparisons. I suspect being part of the foundational build of the West, the Jews aren’t considered “wonderfully other” enough. Or given some of the recent bs on the left and the people they embrace, perhaps it’s a hate thing.
BTW that Christians being filthy is bullshit. Later on, in defense of “but medieval people weren’t that filthy” they’ll bring in the injunction to change your underwear daily. Which is more than a little confusing when you researched the heck out of “underwear use” in various places in the renaissance and know most women at least wore none. Eventually you find out the injunction to change underwear was in monasteries. Monk’s orders in fact, also had various guidelines on cleanliness which, for their time, were amazingly enlightened. Even if, yes, by our standards, they were all a bit wiffy.
The same applies to a ton of other things. These revisionists tell us they ate better than we think, oh, and by the way, except for infant mortality they lived as long as we do.
All this is insanity on stilts.
Those of us who didn’t grow up in the first world (second and a half at best!) know d*mn well how people lived in the 20th century, with nominal indoor plumbing, but without a lot of changes of clothing, washers and dryers, heated houses, etc. (The trains from the mountains, where it was colder, in winter, smelled like a mix of VERY unwashed bodies and wood smoke. You never forget that smell.) The particular etc. I have in mind in this case is the lack of refrigeration.
Look Portugal is fertile enough that a careful planner can feed a family on less than an acre of land (particularly the area I come from, apparently one of the oldest inhabited in Europe and whose name in Indo European translated as wet and fertile valley.) I’m sure the food available to us in the 20th century when you could buy improved seeds, etc. was way better than the one available to people in the middle ages.
But … yeah, no. We didn’t eat like people do now. Not even close. For one, meat was fairly scarce. We mostly ate fish (thanks to the coasts!) and vegetables. Oh, and we were relatively lucky. A lot of people got almost no protein. The most common lunch among the people was the “isca” that is a bit of fried flour which might or might not have a couple of shreds of codfish in it. The very poor ate a lot of vegetable soup.
And again this was in the 20th century. In winter vegetables more or less vanished and the only fruit available were the wrinkled, flour-like apples.
Christmas treats were dried fruit, not cookies. It tells you all you need to know. (Yes, it was healthy too except for the scarce protein for most people, but no one said the way we eat is particularly healthy.)
I’m not complaining, but I know that we ate massively better than my parents did in the mid 20th century. And they ate better than their parents. So, kindly, do not tell me some serf on a medieval estate got his choice of however many flavors of ice-cream.
Sure the very rich ate well, if sometimes oddly. But the average person, not so much.
And as for living as long? Yeah, no.
I still remember vividly — as do many our age — when 60 was old, 70 VERY old.
Yes, I’m concerned for my parents in their late eighties. And that’s, as my dad puts it “after 80, that’s old”. But it would surprise no one is they lived another 10 years. Because a lot of people do now. And now one makes a big deal of people who turn 100. (Even though 114 seems to be, a little inexplicably, our hard drop-off limit.)
And besides we KNOW. Shakespeare at 58 — two years older than I’m now — was “very old.”
So kindly take your “people lived about as long,” fold it all in corners and put it where the sun don’t shine, even if people in the arctic in winter will be a little puzzled by it.
So, why is the past changing in that curious way? What are we being stampeded towards?
Ah. Well, see Occasional Cortex’s magnum opus: the Green New Deal (Temptation to write The Green Nude Heel intensifies.)
If you believe your ancestors who were serfs to their “betters” and tended a plot of land by “natural” means (read ox and man power) lived about as well and were about as fulfilled, wouldn’t you say “okay, maybe.”
The problem being of course, that none of that is true. The Green Nude Heel (eh) would in fact put us on the verge of what was it Obama called it “A precipice* of achievement.” I’d even call it a precipice* of prosperity. A veritable Venezuelization, in fact, like… oh, what happens to all the democrat controlled areas from cities — hello, Detroit! — to states — I’d say California should chime in, but it’s hard to make smoke signals with candles.
What the Democrats and their associated media and education industrial complex are signaling so hard with their changes to their past is that what they have in store for our future is about as good as the Middle Ages… if we’re lucky. And if we’re not lucky we deserve it, because our ancestors were filthy Christians, and generally evil.
The thing is you see that if you refuse to let them change the past, and you make sure the kids know we know that’s bullshit, you’ve gone a long way to reclaim the future.
Reclaiming the language helps too. For instance *contrary to what Obama seemed to believe means, in fact, a great drop. Mind you, maybe he knew what it meant and just experienced a need to be truthful, for one moment, who knows.
However, I’d very much like for people to stop imitating his misuse.
Keep in mind when someone is lying to you about the past they’re trying to stampede you. They’re trying to stampede you because they don’t have the ability to force you.
If you end up going over the precipice, it’s because you listened to them.
And that would be tragically stupid.