Sunday, July 09, 2006

Those latecomers the pilgrims

The Times has an interesting
take on the immigration debate. While the point they're making seems like a stretch from time to time, what caught my interest was that the describe yet another case in which history as taught in school has almost nothing to do with what actually happened. There were apparently lots of Europeans in America by the time the Pilgrims got here, mainly Spanish. And that's what interests me. It's something Robert Wuhl spoke about in a fascinating comedy-lecture he did on HBO called Assume the Position. I can't remember anything from that special, except that in it he shows that a ton of stuff we learned in history classes is just plain wrong. There's a little trivia quiz on the website, and some questions, like was Benedict Arnold hung as a traitor and was George Washington the first president of the U.S., have surprising answers.

It's really kind of freaky how much stuff I've been told in my life is just plain wrong, or incredibly skewed (I recall Wuhl said that Paul Revere's ride was much shorter than another American on the same night, but a poem was written about Revere because he had a catchier name). It leaves me with the knowledge that my brain is probably filled with disinformation. And even worse, all the lies I was told growing up are still being told.

Depressing, isn't it?

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