Tuesday, October 01, 2013

How to Succeed in History without really Trying

Do you wish to follow in the footsteps of such notables as Howard Zinn, James Bradley or even Gore Vidal?  Do you want to push your left-wing views and be published?

Based on reading these three "historians" let me offer some advice:

1.  Don't care about dates or numbers.  I mean what are you, a Historian or a bean counter?  What difference does it make if 3,000,000 Filipinos are killed as opposed to 300,000 or that 15 Filipino POW's were killed by the US army instead of 1,500.  Or that 1.8 million not 18 million  visited the 1904 Philippine exhibit at the World's Fair? Leave the zeros to the mathematicians and dates to the Scholar-squirrels.

2. Use Labels to guide your readers -  At every opportunity attach "bad labels" to people/things you don't like and "good labels" to people/things you do.  It doesn't matter that these labels are historically irrelevant or reduce complex attitudes/beliefs to a bumper sticker.  It makes everything simpler for everyone.  Suggested bad labels: "racist", "Sexist" "bigot" "Imperialist" "Aryan" "White Christian" "Haloe" "Bourgeois"  - Suggested good Labels - "People of Color" "freedom-fighters"  "Democracy" "President (not dictator)" "revolt (not massacre)"

3.  Remember that Non-whites are always better.   If  you compare whites and non-whites  always state the non-whites are better. Note: this rule also applies to Christianity and other religions.

4. Set those Racists Straight.   Readers love to feel superior to dead folks of the past.  So, always couple any historical quote expressing the superiority of  Western civilization/Christianity with a sneering condemnation.  For example, if Teddy Roosevelt states the USA was more than advanced than the Philippines in 1900,  knock that racist down.  Don't worry, he can't fight back - he's dead.

5.  White Imperialism is always wrong even when it appears to make things better for the subject people.  Note: to show this may take some creative apples-to-oranges comparisons.

6.  Omit any historical facts that might question Rules 3 to 5.  If your non-Whites were even more racist, xenophobic, sexist, greedy, or violent than the comparable Whites do not under circumstances mention it.   Consult "Imperial Cruise" for examples.

7.  Exaggerate any American atrocity or misdeed. Omit any foreign atrocity or mis-deed.  Plus any American atrocity or misdeed should be stated as proven fact, despite evidence to the contrary.

8.  Use  recent secondary sources not original primary documents.  This saves time and ensures the book will have the correct political viewpoint.

9.  Don't source most of your facts.  This makes it easier to support to your opinions and is also a lot less work.  Besides only "scholar-squirrels" care.

10. Use one-sentence quotes from obscure letters, diaries,  and unpublished manuscripts.  This seems to contradict  "Rule 8" but really doesn't.  Almost all these quotes will be embedded in secondary sources. However, it will appear to the uneducated or hasty reader you did a lot of research.   You can also support your viewpoint by plucking quotes from obscure online sources confident that no will plow through hundreds of pages trying to find one sentence quotes.

11. Use historical Newspaper and Magazine Articles.   Like the today's media, you can always trust them to print the objective truth.  Plus, is any skeptical 'scholar-squirrel' really going to look up Page 16, of the August 14, 1899 Manila Advertiser?

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