Rewriting History

In the Smithsonian Magazine’s excerpt of Narrative Tension, Inc.. From the forthcoming book Making History: The Storytellers Who Shaped the Past by Richard Cohen to be published by Simon & Schuster, Inc. Printed by permission, Richard Cohen writes this:

‘Around the same time, between 1934 and 1936, the Politburo, or policy-making body, of the Russian Communist Party focused on national history textbooks, and Stalin set scholars to writing a new standard history. The state became the nation’s only publisher. Orwell had it right in Nineteen Eighty-Four, where the Records Department is charged with rewriting the past to fit whomever Oceania is currently fighting. The ruling party of Big Brother “could thrust its hand into the past and say of this or that event, it never happened—that, surely, was more terrifying than mere torture and death.”’

He is writing about the old U.S.S.R., the Soviet Union, and how Putin’s Russia draws from the lessons learned from Lenin and Stalin about rewriting history to control the narrative.

I can’t help but think of the United States. GOP led legislatures in several states are fighting hard to rewrite history or ignore it, battling against teaching critical race theory, solidly misrepresenting it as they do. Alabama passed HB 312 earlier in 2022, 65 to 32. Pushed through by Republicans, the bill bans teachers from broaching subjects that Republicans find divisive, like ideas that the United States is now or was ever racist.

Ignoring facts or history that is painful or inconvenient has become the GOP standard. It’s been going on in Texas for over twenty years. The Texas textbook controversy erupted as Republicans attempt to color the United States in white, Republican, Christan hues. Trump leans hard on this idea of changing history to fit his needs, denying that he fairly lost the election in 2020, accusing everyone he can of voter fraud, lying, and cheating, without offering evidence. Officials and lawyers working on his behalf have had their cases and lawsuits rejected as lacking merit in courts across the United States. The most prominent cases of voter fraud involve Republican and Trump lackeys being caught while illegally voting or tampering with the process. Search the net for proof of this. Of course, deep Trumplicans hold that anyone saying or printing anything except their version of the truth is guilty of spreading false news.

This is all supported by ‘Evangelicals’, a group that holds the world is only six to ten thousand years old, depending upon which group you hear. They ignore all evidence and facts to the contrary. Listening to such would distort their reality.

This operating process of distorting reality and twisting and denying history is just like Russia and the old U.S.S.R. It’s sad but not surprising that several Republicans are admonishing the world for not embracing Russia’s excuses and lies as the truth for why they invaded Ukraine. Why, paraphrasing their thinking, Russia is only destroying Ukranian cities and killing Ukrainians to protect them. Doesn’t that sound like thinking right out of 1984?

And the one excusing Putin and Russia most of all? That would be the dear GOP leader, Donald J. Trump.

The GOP has become a shallow party, bereft of principles, and desperate to remain meaningful. The only way they can now make history is by pretending what has happened — and is happening, in the case of climate change, and LGBTQ rights and equality — didn’t happen. Deny, deny, deny.

It’s been a long, sickening fall to watch for the party begun by President Lincoln.

Power of Eight Dream

I went through a period a few years ago where eight figured prominently in my dreams. Last night, it made a return in another superpower dream.

We were youngish people, nobody I recognized from RL. Eight of us, we seemed to be on the run at the beginning, fearful of being caught, though I don’t know who was chasing us or why. I’d just made a decision to leave them and was walking out when a young woman confronted me. I realized she was one of those chasing me. She told me that I wasn’t leaving, to go back into where I’d been, with the others, and threatened me with harm if I didn’t.

I refused, then tried advancing with intention of going around her and escaping. She raised her hands, spread her fingers and fired her magic crystals at me.

I blanched. I knew the crystals incapacitated people. They struck me.

And bounced off with no effect.

I was astonished. She was flabbergasted. She unleashed more of them. They did nothing as I walked toward her. “My powers don’t affect him,” she said with a shocked voice.

An older man stepped up from behind her. “I’ll stop him.”

He released a repelling wave at me that was supposed to shove me backwards. It had no effect. Raising my hands, I repelled him with his power, then did the same with her. Realizing they were defeated, they took off.

I hired back to the other seven, told them quicky what happened, and then urged them to see if they had powers. They did. I found that I had more powers than I realized. I had eight, in fact, including levitating.

We huddled up. I told them that we need to defend our country and that we should fly out to do it. We eight swore a vow that we would never give up nor surrender. Then we headed to the airport to get on a flight.

All flights were booked but we separating, we managed to slip onboard an aircraft. Five of the others were caught and escorted off, leaving just three of us. All the airline seats were bright red. The aircraft was amazingly wide, more like a large waiting area. I found a row of seats that ran parallel to the aisle. The third seat was empty so I jumped into it. One of my companions was in a row behind me. The attendants realized that he didn’t belong there and escorted him out.

A young male flight attendant approached me and asked if I’d like the meal that I’d ordered to be served now. I agreed to that. He brought me the meal on a tray but then withheld it, announcing, “I think I need to confirm who is supposed to get this meal.” I protested that it was mine, that I’d ordered it, but he went off and came back with the news that it belonged to someone else, and that it was included in their ticket, which cost $28,000. He then asked me for my ticket. I told him I didn’t have one but that I was on an important mission.

He told me that I had to leave the flight. I refused. He drew out a taser and said that if I didn’t leave, he would taser me. I told him, go ahead, it won’t hurt me.

Everyone around me was ordered back. He fired the taser. The barbed darts struck me and stayed in but I felt nothing. The FA was astonished. “It must not be working,” he said. I suggested that I fire it on him to see if it worked. Declining, he acquired another taser and shot me. Again, there was no effect. He said that it didn’t make sense that two would fail, and then asked me if I’d felt anything at all. I told him that I’d felt a little warm, that I had special powers, and that I was going to the other side of the world to defend my country. I levitated myself and then him to demonstrate some of my powers.

The attendant said that the other person didn’t want the meal because I had ordered it, and it was already made, so he would give it to me, if I still wanted it. I did, and he brought it to me on a dark red tray.

Dream end.

Sunday’s Theme Music

We’re in cloud city this Sunday, March 27, 2022, facing a temperature of 54 F. It’s expected to go up to 70. The sun bounced a feeble few rays our way at 7:02 AM. Sunset is expected at 7:31 PM.

Some of my balance has returned. It feels like a proper Sunday. Yardwork plans are in the offing. I’ve gone out, pulling weeds and trimming things, in the afternoon a few days this week. We cleaned yesterday, then I walked for a few miles on my own. The sun was full and strong, and it was beautiful to see the flowers in bloom, green flushing the lawns again, and leaves filling trees’ branches.

On the DIY front, I did buy a new thermostat and installed it Friday, which fixed the heating issue. Fifty dollars at the local hardware store, it’s a mild upgrade to the one I’d installed in this place about fifteen years ago. I reckon it’s the fifth thermostat that I’ve installed in my lifetime. The first was one with a mercury switch, a long time ago in a duplex that we rented.

My neurons are having fun with me this morning, inserting an old song, “Polly Wolly Doodle”, into the morning mental music stream. I haven’t heard that song in ages but remember singing it in an elementary school class with the teacher at the piano. You should hear my neurons snickering and chortling as the song goes round and round. I answered their efforts with that classic retort, “How old are you?” That should’ve put them into their place, but they reacted by pumping the 1999 Blink 182 song into the stream, “What’s My Age Again”. More of their mischief. Although it’s been a featured theme song before, I haven’t had any coffee and don’t feel like arguing with them. So, here we go, folks.

Stay positive, test negative, adjust as needed to the changing situation, and stay alert. Don’t let complacency take you down. I won’t, once I have some coffee.


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