Being A Historian – Part Three – Once Upon A Time…

We’ve all seen the Facebook meme that says those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it – a somber thought. It is only when you look deeper into the matter that you discover there is a parallel Facebook post. It says that those who learn from historians are condemned to listen to them repeat it…in book after book after book.

There are many degrees of history:

  1. The stuff that really happened.
  2. The stuff that didn’t happen.
  3. The stuff that could have happened.
  4. The stuff that couldn’t have happened.
  5. The stuff you can get a doctorate and a series of grants for.
  6. The stuff that you can sell ever after to the right customers.

Note that for the right history salesman, these different departments can all be rolled into one. This is known as the Brothers Grimm school of history and can be very well paid if you and your brother can be grim enough and then get Disney to make an animated cartoon about it. Note: try to get Morgan Freeman to voice over your part. He’s terrific. If you can’t get him try for Judy Dench or Spongebob Squarepants.

History happening is generally a series of horrors, but as it ages it can be converted to something rather sweet. It’s almost like a fermentation process. If you let your re-telling of history sit long enough in a vat, you can get quite an intoxicating brew out of it. Heroes can be manufactured, as well as villains, and it doesn’t really matter which one triumphs in the end as long as you are telling the tale and someone is paying to listen. You can be paid for truth, lies, imagination, or anything in between.

Ask for cash…folding money. Tell ’em you’ll give them a receipt next time you see them and then leg it.

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