1598 Shit People.

Statistically speaking people with below average intelligences are more prone to be violent criminals, serial killers, and whatnot, but there have certainly been some remarkably intelligent people who were also evil.
When I was a kid you never heard about how shitty famous people were. Even now unless you dig a little you rarely find out about the dark side of people who are considered important. History isn’t made by gods, it’s hammered out, often in a way that isn’t pretty, by flawed humans. Christopher Columbus was actually kind of a stubborn asshole, to say nothing of his kid. The story of how he discovered America is so twisted from the reality of how it went down it’s disgusting. In fact, in his own time people were disgusted by his actions. He’s often painted as a victim, but that’s far from true. History is often written by people with an agenda. It’s difficult to find unbiased sources. Columbus is just an easy example. Henry Ford is now pretty well documented as being an anti-Semite. I don’t even remember when I learned that. Certainly not in school. Even his museum acknowledges it now. A life sized portrait of Ford hung in Adolf Hitler’s office.
Roald Dahl probably wasn’t a raging anti-Semite, but he certainly was critical of them, and was prone to the level of racism that was common in his day. Ompah Loompahs, for example, were originally written as African pygmies. Later on he changed them into a white skinned race with gold hair, and then the movie made them into tiny Donald Trumps.
Walt Disney probably wasn’t nearly as racist as the world would like him to be these days, but he certainly wasn’t abnormal in that respect for his day. He was hardly a monster to be sure, and generally wanted to improve the world. Arguably he wanted to improve it for his own family the most, but still…
Nuance is not something that is welcomed in a classroom setting. People tend to want to see history in black and white but, as with most things, the reality is muddy with many gray shades. I recently found out that respectable historians actually look down on people who write history text books. They see them as money motivated and not to be trusted. I’d never really given it a lot of thought, but it makes sense. When you’re being paid to write a book that has to please the average American parent you’re gonna get fucked over in the reputation department.
Movies based on historical events are also problematic a lot of the time. Some more so than others. There are actually some really comprehensive breakdowns of the historical accuracy of various movies online. One of my favorite movies, Amadeus, is woefully inaccurate. They made it a great story, but Mozart and Salieri were hardly enemies. In fact, in his last days Salieri lamented the fact that the rumor of their rivalry would live on after his death and implored a friend to tell people the truth. I have to admit, for most of my life I assumed that the film was accurate and thought the two were bitter rivals.
Sadly, it’s impossible to check every source. Sometimes you have to accept that you’ve been wrong your whole life, admit it, and move on. That is not always easy to do.

Here’s something completely unrelated that I was thinking about. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that you are white and male. You’ve never seen an Japanese woman before. You would judge them based on the standard of beauty you’ve been raised with and your own internal preferences. So, potentially, you might think a woman was beautiful who might be considered ugly in her own culture, right? That strikes me as interesting. Cultural bias like that is something that is getting less and less prominent as the world gets more and more connected, but it still exists. I think that’s interesting to think about.


It’s obvious that Amadeus isn’t the whole story because Haydn never gets a mention despite him and Mozart being close friends.

They wanted to put him in the movie but couldn’t find him…. Because he was Haydn.

And he’ll never be Bach.

I want to groan at these puns but I’d best remain COMPOSED.

“I’ve been compared to many a shitlord in my day.”

I feel ya there man. Except it was in person. All the time. Mostly because I was putting up a front of apathy.

I’ve moved past that stage where it’s a front, now I’m pretty close to purely apathetic regarding other people’s comments on me.

There was a great comedy special on history called assume the position robert wuhl that spoke on the Christopher Columbus myth. Every thing you were taught in school about him came from a book that was”based on a true story ” it’s a very informative and funny show if you can find it!

Here’s how Hollywood interprets that phrase: the Die Hard series is based on a true story, because once there was this dude, and his name actually was John. That makes it okay.

Many of our ‘heroes’ are flawed, get over it.

Was Henry Ford an anti-Semite? Did his best-buds Harvey Firestone and Thomas Edison hate Jews? The evidence seems to bear this out, but we are rapidly approaching the Century mark since any of the were alive.

Famous flier Charles Lindbergh was known to be antisemitic, supported Adolf Hitler early on and was in favor of institutionalized eugenics. Did he engineer the kidnapping and murder of his infirm 20-month old son? Maybe…

Was Walt Disney prejudiced? Well, consider that ‘Unca Walt’ was born in 1901 — less than a year after the passing of Queen Victoria of England. He was very much a product of his age — the early 20th Century (he died in 1966). I won’t apologize for him, but I own a copy of Song of the South, and I find Gone With the Wind more culturally insensitive. Disney also made frequent and generous donations to many civic charities — including some that provided aid to Jewish people.

Firesign Theater was right: Everything You Know Is Wrong.

I’ll agree with most of that. The movie actor, John Wayne, in my opinion, probably wasn’t one for trying a lot of new ideas. That [may] be because he was born in [1907?], and his ideas probably solidified around the time he was 20 or 30, + most US men were pretty stuck in their views, in the 1920s + 1930s.

I own some John Wayne films…not because I like his views of- women, non-Caucasians, 1970s students supporting their Constitutional rights + etc., but- I like good action show by Wayne, + Chuck Norris, + Jet Li, + S. Stallone.

I also like comedy movies by Buster Keaton, + music by Frank Zappa…but I don’t think that either of those men would like to share a cabin, + discuss world problems for an evening.
Actually, I would really, really, [not] like to hear a political discussion, between those two guys, if a p.d. by those two, has ever happened.
Thus endeth the soapbox stuff. *shrugs*

Reminds me of all the real stories of the Indians and how terrible they were and not the peace loving hippie style we’ve been taught, or how everything was laid out for the pilgrims when they came.

Hell, even apple tree’s were planted everywhere just because people wanted their hard cider (which was likely weak compared to today’s standards).

Ford went about figuring out ways to make his cars worse, so everything would break down at the same time (and sooner).

Slavery was rampant in Africa.

The whole world has come out to look like a whole bunch of messed up people, with history trying to make a lot of them look better than they were, and my only question is, why?

I can only guess it’s because parents want their children to be taught “good” things and not the true things.

As for the unrelated, I think back to the episode of NCIS where we meet Gibb’s father.

“Back in your country, you were likely considered pretty for sure, but nothing special. You come here and you’re exotic.”

Which circles back to another thing I was reading recently that wasn’t taught in school. Europeans come over, see the Indians and BOOM, they think they’re exotic beauties!

Regarding two of your points:

The Henry Ford story is a legend, according to Snopes.

As for the African slavery thing, yeah. A lot of people don’t realize that African slaves weren’t captured by white raiding parties or whatever. They were sold to the whites by other Africans.

“Sold to the Whites” is also very different from reality, for the most part. The African (International) Slave Trade was created, and mostly run, by Arab traders and African Muslim converts.

Now see, that just makes me question the other history books I’ve read. Was it true or not that he muscled out others with his own hired thugs or not? :p

What, some one on the internet saying Walt Disney wasn’t basically American Hitler!? But seriously, I’m not even sure where the “shocking” discovery Disney was probably as racist as everyone else came from. When you look into it, it seems for the most part, everyone who worked with him thought he was nice, even people he supposedly should have treated poorly because he was a racist. Still, you do hear every so often that some of his nice moments weren’t real. Like that recent documentary about Mary Poppins being made? The author did NOT get along with Disney, ever, hated the movie, and wasn’t even invited to see it.

Also, the Columbus being hated by everybody thing is interesting, since basically everyone who came after him was just as bad. You had the people who hated him for being terrible and then the ones who acted just like him, who hated him for leveraging his influence with the Crown for power. Guess which group had a lot of people actually bother to cross the ocean to see the New World for themselves?

I actually read about the making of Mary Poppins and apparently after the premier of the movie, which she had to cajole them in to getting an invite to, she approached Disney with a list of changes she wanted made and Disney, as politely as he could muster, told her it was too late. Her bad experience with Disney is why she never allowed anyone else to take a stab at the other books.

I also watched a documentary where they gathered up people with more of an axe to grind against Disney. I can’t remember for sure, but I think it was the lead animator for the Charlie Brown cartoons that disliked him the most. That said, even the people who were critical of him had kind words too, or at least an understanding of why he conducted himself the way he did. In a lot of ways though it seemed like he got tired of getting fucked over and once he got the power for a change he wasn’t ever going to give up an ounce of it. The incident with Oswald the rabbit probably went a long way to hardening his outlook as far as business was concerned AND his alleged anti-Semitism.

I’ve read a bunch of unauthorized stuff about Disney, and the general consensus about Walt the man seems to be that he was a shrewd businessman* and could be a hard boss to work for, but overall was very much like his public persona. So the worst stories are like the lie about Fred Rogers’s first career as a sniper–people want to find a dark side.

And the strongest argument I’ve seen about him not being antisemetic (above and beyond what was common for people who came of age before WWII, anyway) is that if he were, he would never have hired any to work for the studio.

*Apparently he knew that if even the barest hint of a rumor got out that he was thinking of building a new park real estate prices in the affected aread would skyrocket, so he set up a number of shell companies headed by various employees to buy the land near Orlando that would become Walt Disney World with none the wiser until it was too late.

There’s a great discussion of Disney in the book The Comic Book History of Comics. He was no doubt a brilliant man, but he took his work very seriously, and many of his animators lived in fear of his judgement.

Perhaps it’s no surprise that his animators named the harsh, stern-faced Sorcerer from Fantasia “Yen Sid” (Spell it backwards!).

Mentioning his losing Oswald the Lucky Rabbit really does put a lot of his attitude into perspective. For those who don’t know, here’s the reader’s digest version (I suggest reading about the full version if you get a chance):
1. Walt Disney works for Universal (The same one that now owns Dreamworks)
2. Disney creates Oswald the Lucky Rabbit for Universal, and he stars in some great cartoons
3. Universal screws over Disney, forcing him to leave; the studio keeps his animation staff and retains the rights to Oswald, his first cartoon star
4. Disney decides to go into the cartoon biz himself and creates Mickey Mouse. The rest is history.
Epilogue: What happened to Oswald? Two words: “Epic Mickey”

When dealing with a genius you will know him by these signs, dunces are all in confederacy against him. John toole you where right.

Racial based beauty preferences are part of a wider set of topics.
First of all it is very difficult for people to recognize individuals in a population that they are not familiar with.
Likewise it is very difficult to judge the age of someone from and unfamiliar group.
And attractiveness is a similar issue.
I have a friend from SK that tells a story about himself. He attended college in the US (his first time here), and had an Asian/American roommate. One day he told his roommate that he had asked a girl out on a date. His buddy asked him which girl it was, and he began describing here in detail (nose, eyes, ears). But he didn’t know her hair color because where he grew up you didn’t use that to recognize people.
I have traveled enough in Asia to be very used to these issues.

I once read a story of a young American man working among primitive peoples in Africa (Peace Corps, or some such). He was sitting in the Men’s Lodge while they were all taking about their favorite subject: women. He kept quiet while each of the men described how ugly they found women who were the color of grub worms, with hair like dead grass, all the while noting that these where things that he found especially attractive.

He came to the conclusion that a lot of attraction is based on what you grow up with.

one of the most misunderstood and misrepresented historical figures is Lincoln. He issued the Emancipation Proclamation which freed the slaves in the South-which he no longer had any authority over, but didn’t free some slaves still in bondage in places in the North(where a president probably still didn’t have the authority to do such a thing either.) Of course he wanted to end slavery. And round them all up and send them to some island more suited to their complexions. He imprisoned journalists who disagreed with him. The more you learn about him, the less you’ll like him. If you really want to understand the “Civil War”, ask yourself,”How many poor and middle class people do you suppose gave their lives fighting for the right of rich people to own slaves?”

Yanno, I was really tempted to let this one pass, but eh, might as well…

Slavery was not the cause of the Civil War. Well, not directly, at any rate. It was all about State Rights, where the power of the federal government ended and state government began.

Sure, Slavery was the boil that brought everything to a head to get lanced, and that is the one issue out of many that is sensationalized these days due to certain political pressures I won’t bother getting into here, but in the end, it was just one of many.

The Emancipation Proclamation was a pretty bit of politicking as any ever devised. Lincoln originally issued it mostly to destabilize the South’s infrastructure so the North could have a chance to shift gears and find someone able to lead their army. The fact that it freed so many slaves and led to slavery being outlawed as a practice was simply a happy coincidence, the toy in the cracker jack box, and hitting as many birds with one stone as possible.

Completely agree, but saying so would stretch the bounds of believability for those educated recently.Every state that joined the union did so with the understanding that they could leave if it failed to live up to expectations. Slavery was a convenient issue for Lincoln to demonize the South. Part of what was so terrible about slavery was that they had no right to the fruits of their labors. But few people seem to have a problem with working about a third of a year before you’ve met your share of taxes. The “Civil War” is one of the best examples of how the victors write the history books.

It really is something that so much is conveniently left out of our history textbooks. Which is a shame, because history is very interesting and informative.

Looking at history with blinders on makes you miss things sure.
Part of why we don’t pass on so much of the bad is because cultures NEED heroes. Cultures which reject their heroes seem, inevitably, to collapse.
Take Walt Disney. Anti-semite? Arguable, and yet he absolutely HATED Hitler. We seem now (at least to me), to be in that beginning stage of cultural collapse where we “teach the controversy” so much that no one can have any respect for cultural heroes. Those we do have are torn down and “exposed” in such a way that the flaws are emphasized over the good, leaving us with very little for most people to look up to.
Probably my favorite example of this is Shakespeare’s Richard III series of plays. Dude was not that bad, but Elizabeth was queen, and Shakespeare wanted to keep royal patronage; He made the decision to portray a fairly decent leader as a stumbling, evil, buffoon because Elizabeth”s grandfather had essentially taken the Crown not by right, but by being the last man standing with any legitimate claim. Hell, the entire War of the Roses is all twisted up and a pain to research to this day because the historians kept trying to please whichever side had grabbed power that decade. Or week.

While it is true that history is hammered out, often by deeply flawed people, this is not something that history books gloss over, so much as it is a fact that they simply don’t have the space to cover. History mentions all of the many things that Andrew Carnegie did to break the unions whenever they reared their heads–up to and including hiring mercenaries to kill however many workers were necessary to get the others to get back to work–because if you don’t know that, you won’t really understand why the unions currently have such an adversarial relationship with modern American business leaders, something which continues to massively affect American politics to this day. It doesn’t mention, because it’s really not as important to conveying the grand scope of history, that Carnegie was one of the most important figures in securing workers’ rights, or the fact that he donated millions to various philanthropic causes at a time when such things were largely derided and certainly looked down upon. Today, we take such things for granted, and something like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is not THAT unusual…but until the richest man in the world decided to devote himself seriously to such causes, it was viewed as weak-minded sentimentalism.
History, and history textbooks, suffer from a simple problem when they try to educate the average person–note I did not say the average American, but the average person, because this is true regardless–as to the vagaries of history. Namely, they have to compress six thousand years of history into the space of a few hundred pages. Even in a course like American history, that comes out to less than half a page per year, even if we only cover the history of America since European settlement started. The fact that somebody like, say, Rockefeller, gets even a paragraph in such a work says huge amounts about the earth-shattering importance of his life and death. The end result is a history that is massively truncated, and contains only the briefest mentions of many of the most important events in history.
Just for an example, you could create an entire TV mini-series about Edison’s creation of an economically viable light bulb, or the ensuing duel between Edison and Tesla to provide the dominant system for electrifying the country, and still miss out on important details. Perhaps one of the most extreme details that would almost certainly be ignored in such a show is the simple educational disparity between the two men–Tesla had a Masters degree in electrical engineering (such as it was), and had a very solid understanding of how electricity worked, and what it could do. Edison was a high-school dropout who had to reinvent the wheel in almost every aspect of electrical transmission, generation, and use…and, as it turned out, Edison’s systems have eventually proven themselves to be largely superior to Tesla’s creations.
Actually, now that I think about it, that would be an awesome series.

Those with lower intelligence, statically speaking, have a higher percentage of going into thuggery, but the dangerous criminals are the intelligent ones who go south. There aren’t nearly as many of them, because an intelligent person is well aware of the fallacies behind criminality and can calculate the loss points to demonstrate the ultimate non-viability of the strategy.

But when one decides ‘screw the numbers, I don’t care if I’m not going to last very long, I have stronger motivations that have nothing to do with long-term gains’… it can get very, very messy. But when that person who goes south is in a position of power… things go sideways on a global scale.

Hitler was an evil person by almost anyone’s measure. But he was, ultimately, a product of his environment. The personification of the anger the Germans had over the punitively harsh conditions of surrender from the first world war, made manifest in one brilliant, charismatic, and morally bankrupt individual. More important than the man himself are the conditions that caused such a man to have such power that he nearly succeeded.

That is the true priceless treasure that History holds: how it went sideways before, so you can keep it going sideways like that again. So you can see the signs, and be able to divert the problem before it causes a global calamity. People, even important people such as Rockefeller, Lincoln, or (yes, he was important even if depraved) Hitler were but players, acting according to their script. They are excellent examples of a particular phenomenon, and should be respected as important historical figures, but ultimately… what caused them to be, what caused them to act in such a manner, what influences and pressures caused their actions are far more important than the people themselves.

Which is why I am so deeply concerned about the current electoral practices in general. When you focus more on the faults of the opponent than your own strengths, you’ve got a problem. For more examples in history, go back to Rome and the senatorial collapse, the French Revolution (Look up a fellow by the name of Maximilien Robespierre), Russia’s Bolsheviks (both how they got into power, and how they fell), and, perhaps inevitably, post-WW I Germany. Compare and contrast modern political tactics. Prepare to be sickened.

It’s always kind of odd, to me, that lots of people are out to find some [highly corrupt] thing, about Disney.
From what I’ve read about him, granted: was he a very stern boss,…and a highly paid, really square guy? Yes, I guess so.
I guess it’s sort of like having a really strict, 1950s-like, school principal- he’s just so square, and off-putting, that people would like to hear something dirty, corrupt, or bizarre, about him.

In a similar idea- on snopes [dot] com, you can find a myth that Mister Rogers [R] was a tattooed, army sniper. Go figure.

In short, America has long been a country inundated with Hitlers. While we have seen many, many, many, many examples of the Hitlerism of famous Americans during the 20th century, recall that in 2012, it was narrowly avoided that Romney Hitler came to power and before him in 2008, McCain Hitler. Before that, the dictator ruling with an iron fist was indeed Bushitler himself. Now it’s time to see if Trump Hitler can grab power from the forces of good to build his thousand year Reich (with extraordinary skyscrapers).

If you like reading about artists, + writers…and unusual political views, try looking at Dr. Seuss, [you know, the “Green Eggs and Ham” guy].

Supposedly, someone asked him, [ “Is there an inherent moral in any story”], and then Dr. Seuss answered with something like: ” Am I subversive [in my stories]? I am as subversive as hell.”

When an average intelligence person (or below) decides to try to be serial killer they generally fail badly, getting caught after 2-3 deaths.
When a genius decides to go on a murder spree, they can go through 40 people before they mess up/get cocky/want to be caught cause it is getting boring.
That is why most of the people we think of as serial killers are geniuses.

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