lundi 8 juin 2009


On 6 June, we remembered D Day. Others were, maybe, remembering the beginning of the end of a dream, evil as that dream may have been. Now don't misread me. I shudder at the thought that this dream could have come true and we were right to crush it. That is not my point.
I just happenned to think that one person's cause for jubilation can be another's cause for sorrow. For instance, I win the lottery jackpot; it means another one did not. My team wins, the supporters of the losing team can't be as happy as I am, no?
When rejoicing we tend to forget about the other less fortunate ones. Should we look at how we rejoice and celebrate and how, at times, it may affect some other peoples? When an U.S. group planned a commemoration of our Plains of Abraham battle, on the Plains, in Québec, it caused such a ruckus that they withdrew their project. For over 300 years, in Ireland, riots have erupted when the Orangemen commemorate the Battle of the Boyne. Is all that really necessary?

7 commentaires:

  1. I guess with age, we become more understanding of differing points of view. In all things, though, we make up our own narratives. In the same family, we all remember events differently. The historians get to do a "factual" check and write a compendium for all to accept.

    So, answering your question, it is necessary to celebrate victories or events to immortalize their significance once and for all. In the states, the Vietnam conflict was such a mire of information, that it was years before we could agree on its significance.

  2. "Historians get to do a «factual» check"??? Well I'm not so sure. Two historians starting from the same fact will draw different connections and interpretations. What is holy today will be anathema tomorrow.
    I still vividly remember a conversation I had back in the 70s at Nag's Head, NC, with a student working on a campground down there. At one point I told him:"Donald, listening to you I have the impression that the Secession War is not over". He shot back:"You'r dang right, it isn't". So much for history.

  3. Yes, whenever one wins somebody else loses. Compassion should be the word, but we are often self-centred.
    As for historians, they are biased, but some are less than others and try to be balanced (or 'factual', as Rosaria said.) The thing is human sciences cannot be exact as natural sciences. When man studies himself things get complicated, even when one tries hard to be objective and 'scientific'.

  4. Yes man of Roma, your observation is right to the point. I remeber a retired Hungarian teacher who once told me: "As a student, in Hungary, I learned two hungarian historis, as a teacher before leaving Hungary I taught two other ones. I now know four histories of Hungary, but none is real."
    Much history is just stories and legends nurtured by the powers that be.

  5. It is more or less ascertained nowadays that history and philosophy are just literature.

  6. Therein lies the danger. If you can not sort out truth from fiction you are in big trouble.

  7. Truth is one philosophical concept that has always puzzled me. But I won't get into that.