Innocence Lost

RECOMMENDATION

Are you confused by all this economy stuff?  I am, pretty much.  I mean, I get portions of it.  Subprime this, credit crisis that.  But nothing connected the dots until I listened to two episodes of This American Life.  It’s a radio show and podcast by NPR.  Normally, it’s a few stories based around a theme.    It’s brilliant.  I listen on and off, but it’s one of those shows that you’d often skip over when you’re scanning the radio dial.  But if you listen for a minute you get sucked in.  You don’t want to leave the car until it’s over.

So for a very human, informative, non-partisan look at the current financial madness:

The Giant Pool of Money

Another Frightening Show About the Economy

POLITICS

Man, this campaign stuff is nuts, huh.  There was something I was going to say but I can’t remember what it was.  You know.  Blah blah McCain yada yada Obama, Palin whatever.  It was interesting this weekend as I dipped in and out of the news talk shows to hear the spin about McCain’s campaign.  But I’ll just let you read this short li’l editorial from Salon.com if you’re in the mood:  McCain advisor: Obama crowds just as ugly

Oh damn.  I have a 9 o’ clock meeting tomorrow morning.  Argh.

Hey!  I just successfully imported my old blogs from AOL to WordPress.  But still no way to do it for MySpace.  Soon, preciousssss.  Soon.  I hope.  Otherwise, I’ve nearly 300 posts and 300 comments to cut and paste.  Not to mention images ‘n junk.

Whoa.  Did you see the video of the guy, going to a Palin Rally, carrying a stuffed Curious George doll with a Barack Obama sticker around its head?  That’s … that’s not.

Okay.  I could let that slide, mentally speaking, except I read this today:

Dynamo Shaken By Racist Incident

Racism in soccer has apparently spread to US shores as the Houston Dynamo franchise was hit by an unfortunate incident this Sunday in their match with DC United.

“It is so sad that he would say that to me,” Crayton told the Washington Post. “I am saying hi to the fans and he walked up to me and told me, ‘Hey, you’re a monkey, go back to the jungle.’ I told him, ‘Hey, you can’t say that to me. I am not a monkey, I am a human being like you.’

INNOCENCE LOST

People, racist people, still don’t think of black people as fully human.  I can sense it, smell it, behind the prejudices and bigotry.  Then again, four+ centuries of chattel slavery will do that to a society.  And that reminds me…

A few weekends ago my big sister, her three sons and one of their friends came down to DC and we went to a few museums and walked to the Lincoln Memorial.  Kyle, the middle nephew, is a knowledge hoover.  Very interested in the presidents and history.  I used my iPhone to show him a little video of Dr. King’s speech while we were standing on the spot where King gave the speech, imagining what the view looked like with tens of thousands of people around the reflecting pool.

Beneath the Lincoln Memorial there’s a little room, kind of a mini-museum.  And I destroyed a sliver of Kyle’s innocence when I showed him this quote from Lincoln:

“My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause.”

He looked at me with shock and disappointment. He said, “Wait.  So President Lincoln didn’t want to free the slaves?”

I said, “Well, I guess it was more important to him to preserve the Union. To keep the country from breaking apart.  His main, primary goal was to keep the South from seceding.”

He processed that for a bit.  All I could say was, “You know what’s strange and interesting about history?  It’s not as simple as they make it seem in school, huh.”

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1 comment

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  1. Rob

    Nope, it’s never as simple as they make it seem in school. Give your nephew my compliments. That he’s thinking about history at all, let alone critically and in depth, puts him miles ahead of most of us.

    I wonder about the Lincoln quote. The thing that makes me wonder if its as clear cut as they make it seem in school is that saying exactly that would have been politically expedient. Maybe he meant it at face value. Any historical context to clarify which it was?

    Rob

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