Knowing history from “spin”

Posted on October 11, 2018 by

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In the age of so much “fake news”, folks should also be mindful of, well… “fake history”. I’m not just talking about history that’s factually incorrect, although there are certainly memes-aplenty with a great many incorrect quotes and/or quotes taken out of context. Readers should also be conscious of the rhetoric behind presented history and/or the facade of history (an analogy being, perhaps, something like a “Big Bad Wolf in sheep’s clothing”). My point should not be confused as calling out a presenter merely because you disagree with the presenter’s interpretation of history (though that also has merit, but be ready to back up your counterpoint with more facts than emotion), but rather, calling out the presenter for the underlying current/rhetorical pot-stir in the message.

But… stop right there…

It might be that the best part of “calling out” the presenter is ignoring the message altogether; throwing a virtual wet blanket over the “fire” a presenter is attempting to make (I do realize this also comes with potential compromise in one’s ability to effectively engage in this social media world, but…). The fact is, that “fire” requires a fuel source… remove the fuel source, and, well… it’s obvious enough.

In short, despite the antagonistic approach of a message and/or the presenter (whether out in the open, or an undercurrent), I believe more time is wasted on reacting to “trawling” (and even “trawling”, itself) and not enough time spent on thoughtful discussions of history. In a world dominated by a reactionary social media, we need to step back when it comes to our grasp of history as a serious study.

Less Jerry Springer, more serious students.

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