Friday, October 26, 2012

Do We Learn Anything from History

Do we learn from history?  

As my mother would say, "That's the question."  

Maybe what history teaches us is that the only good we can ever have is that SUV, that Lexus or Infiniti.
Forget trying to change the global community. Forget trying to get justice for this schmuck or that schmuck.  Forget trying to convince some desert hooligans to appreciate the sanctity of the lives of other desert hooligans.

All there is -- all that we can hope for -- is the Amana ice-box and the Samsung combo DVD/Blu-Ray player because grace, justice, brotherhood, love, the age of aquarious, harmony and understanding are all lies.

You don’t think so?

Here's something Saul Bellow, a guy from my old neighborhood in Chicago, said:

"You think history is the history of loving hearts?  You fool!  Look at these millions of dead.  Can you pity them? Feel for them?  You can do nothing!  There were too many. We burned them to ashes, we buried them with bulldozers.  History is the history of cruelty, not love, as soft men think.  

"We have experimented with every human capacity to see which is strong and admirable and have shown that none is.  There is only practicality.  If the old God exists, he must be a murderer.  But the one true god is Death."

I’ve known big-time history professors and sociologists  who wonder about stuff like: what can we do with history and what can history teach us?  

Interesting question, but there are 7 billion other people saying, "Where can I get a good price on a Chevy?"

And why do they want to get a Chevy?  Because they know if they don't get it now before the next horde comes down from the mountains or the next ice age starts or the next natural or manmade madness starts they'll never get it, never touch something that once for a couple of minutes gave them the illusion that things were looking up.

So smile.

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