Archive | May 2014

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There’s no such Thing as a Dumb Question pt. IV: Why did France collapse so quickly in WWII?

American and French perceptions of one another have not always been so negative. France participated heavily in the American Revolution, using it as a proxy and later direct war against the British. The French aristocrat, the Marquis de Lafayette, later a moderate in the French Revolution, had been a trusted young officer in George Washington’s […]

Your Views of Hitler and the Third Reich are likely Influenced by Nazi Propaganda

When one creates mental images of Nazism, one likely thinks of shouting in German, marching soldiers, the horrific atrocities, war, and totalitarian control by one man, Adolf Hitler. This image of Nazi Germany as a well-oiled bureaucratic machine completely controlled by Hitler is a product of Nazi propaganda, which was then utilized by the victorious […]

Religious Revivalism, Cults, and why South Park was largely Correct about the Mormons, but forgot all the Manifest Destiny: The History of those weird, little Religions

The South Park episode “All About the Mormons” gives a relatively accurate secular historical description of the founding of the Mormon religion. However, while a hilarious rendition of the story, it understandably leaves out the cultural and political context in which Mormonism emerged. The founder of Mormonism, Joseph Smith, was a product of the 19th […]

A Much Uncredited Revolution part 1: The “Boring” Political Introduction, Religion, Civil Strife, and Liberty: the Glorious Revolution of 1688

The death of King Charles II had profound implications for world history. Charles was a popular monarch; following the authoritarian and Puritan rule of Oliver Cromwell, which had banned theatre, music, and Christmas, the British public was overjoyed with the return of the monarchy in 1660; albeit, this time, ruling with Parliament. In addition to […]

Cultural Appropriation Isn’t Necessarily Bad

A flurry of internet activity has been dedicated to a phenomenon referred to as “cultural appropriation”. Certain charges, such as describing Westerners adopting clothing from the Indian subcontinent as trendy, while those who actually wear those clothes are painted as backwards, or perhaps certain popular music performers participating in a heavily troped music video, are […]

Shakespeare Wrote his Plays, and Anyone who tells you Otherwise is a Saucy, Swag-bellied Puttock

William Shakespeare was not always considered the greatest wordsmith of the English language. A late 18th century trend, sometimes called Bardolatry after the mid-nineteenth century, began largely thanks to the efforts of actor David Garrick, who organized a large Shakespeare festival, called the Shakespeare Jubilee, in 1769. Since then, William Shakespeare has generally been perceived […]

The Anti-Racism “Social Justice” Movement Needs Saving from Itself, or Risk Utter Failure in their Cause

In his work The Road to Wigan Pier, George Orwell discusses working class culture in Britain in the 1930’s, and attempts to discern why Socialism and socialist-inspired policies were so viscerally unpopular amongst those whom they would most benefit. Two criticisms Orwell cites were use of heavy handed language peppered with Marxist vocabulary, often using […]