Revisiting History

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As tempting as it is to evaluate history based on post-modern standards, its results ultimately tend to be somewhat spurious.

I was listening to the iconic Frank Sinatra last night singing that it was Just One of Those Things.

In case you don’t remember or have not been exposed to the lyrics, they go like this:

It was just one of those things
Just one of those crazy flings
One of those bells that now and then rings
Just one of those things

It was just one of those nights
Just one of those fabulous flights
A trip to the moon on gossamer wings
Just one of those things

If we’d thought a bit, of the end of it
When we started painting the town
We’d have been aware that our love affair
Was too hot, not to cool down

So goodbye, dear, and Amen
Here’s hoping we’ll meet now and then
It was great fun
But it was just one of those things

It was just one of those nights
Just one of those fabulous flights
A trip to the moon on gossamer wings
Just one of those things

If we’d thought a bit, of the end of it
When we started painting the town
We’d have been aware that our love affair
Was too hot, not to cool down

It is not dissimilar to any number of other songs sung by Frank – or his Rat Pack — and heralded by countless millions nationally and across the world.

Do you remember Luck be a Lady? Take a look at the lyrics:

Luck be a lady tonight
Luck be a lady tonight
Luck if you’ve been a lady, to begin with
Luck be a lady tonight

Luck let a gentleman see
Just how nice a dame you can be
I know the way you’ve treated other guys you’ve been with
Luck be a lady with me

A lady never leaves her escort
It isn’t fair, it isn’t nice
A lady doesn’t wander all over the room
And blow on some other guy’s dice

Let’s keep this party polite
Never get out of my sight
Stick with me baby, I’m the guy that you came in with
Luck be a lady tonight

The old term used to be chauvinism, followed by sexism; but, at the end of the day, it is just simply gender-based disrespectful-ism, culturally acceptable at the time, but laughed at today. Nothing more and nothing less.

So too for this current obsessive-compulsive myopia on the issue of the Civil War mediated through day’s eye-sight. Al Jolson’s rendition of Swanee is quaint when frozen in time, though problematic under today’s standards. But so what?

We can no more reject the blatant sexism of Frank Sinatra as early as the 1960’s, when he filmed Come Blow Your Horn than we can Gone with the Wind in the 1930’s.

The tendency to want to recreate history based on current models of thought is understandable. But at the end of the day, to do so is revisionistic – which is an academic term for “false.” Life does not work that way. There is no value in attempting to revise what came before.

Life is an evolutionary process. Consciousness is an evolutionary process. And when life and consciousness evolve, the past is the past.

 

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