Modern scholarship is a sad joke

The following article is a satirical take on the way that modern scholars write about medieval and ancient history.

 

“US’s Founding: Separating Fact from Fable”

by Dr. IhaveaPhD Whichmakesmesmarterthanyou

July 4th, 3010

Across the country millions of classics-aficionados will be celebrating the 1,234th anniversary of US’s founding today. But although most understand that the significance of July 4th, 1776 is purely fictional, they struggle to understand just where to draw the line between fact and fable. Drawing from the most up-to-date scholarship, I will sort out the facts of US’s founding.

According to American mythology, US was originally made up of colonies under the British crown. Although historians are certain that the British Empire had some colonies around the world at that time, there is severe doubt that any ships ever made trans-Atlantic voyages before 1812. [1] As the story goes, colonists led by a mythical group of tribal elders called the “Founding Fathers” revolted against the crown and seceded from the British Empire. They then won their victory after a long war (an impossible task given the immense military might of the British Empire) and became an independent confederation of sovereign states. The date for this independence is traditionally given as 1776, although some sources state that US did not begin until 1789, as this was the inauguration year of the first president, George Washington. [2]

George Washington was the mythical first president of US. Modern historians universally agree that he never existed. [3] His first name was borrowed from the reigning English king, King George III whose existence is attested from other sources, and his last name came from the capital city of Washington DC. George Washington was created to give prestige to the city–according to American mythology the city was named after the person, whereas modern scholars are certain that the city’s name was retroactively applied to the mythical person. [4] Several stories survive from George Washington’s life, and they all serve to affirm that he was a purely mythical figure. He was said to have had wooden teeth, and at some point during his childhood he is said to have confessed to chopping down his father’s cherry tree, saying, “I cannot tell a lie; it was I.” [5] As a general who fought in the War of Independence, Washington was said to have crossed the Delaware River on Christmas to launch a surprise attack on the British. Archaeologists have found no evidence of such a river crossing, and this story is obviously political propaganda that made Americans seem invincible. That perceived invincibility was bolstered further by the story of Washington and his soldiers braving the harsh, cold winter in Valley Forge. This story is not considered the least bit accurate because global warming would have made Valley Forge comfortable even in the dead of winter.

The city of Washington DC was, at first, also purely mythological. Washington DC was always afforded reverence and awe throughout American mythology, and was seen as a place where great American moments happened. For example, a preacher named Martin Luther King, Jr. was said to have given a famous speech in front of the National Mall to a crowd of thousands. [6] This speech was probably made up by a Christian historian at a later date. The National Mall was set on one side by a statue of the mythical Abraham Lincoln (perhaps a confused memory of the Biblical Abraham?) and the Washington Monument on the other. The Washington Monument was an obelisk that was said to be 555 feet and 5 inches tall. [7] This is obviously the work of a very fertile imagination! If such a monument ever existed, we can be certain that it was not to such a specification. 555’5″ makes for an entertaining story, but it is hardly a real structural measurement.

Sources state that the capital of US was Washington DC, but earlier sources from before 1790 say that it was Philadelphia. [8] Because historians recognize that older sources are generally more reliable, Philadelphia is considered to be the true capital of US for at least the first 150 years of the nation’s existence. Washington DC seems to have evolved out of an American ideal. Even before the nation’s founding, a preacher named John Winthrop wrote a poignant message called “City upon a hill” that called for Americans to practice good conduct. [9] It is possible that this evolved into the idea of a literal city representing the best of America, and Washington DC was this realized ideal. Later on there was a real city named Washington DC and it is probable that Philadelphia was renamed to Washington DC as a political move by the president to secure support from the American people. The city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is often confused for the Philadelphia that became Washington DC.

The first historically attested US president was Richard Nixon, for his name appears on the Lunar Plaque which lies on the Moon. [10] This was the result of the fabled “space race” of the Cold War. Surviving sources claim that the “space race” was the idea of the president JFK, who was assassinated in 1963. JFK was said to be assassinated by a lone sniper, but this was debunked by Oliver Stone’s film “JFK.” [11] Although Stone’s film has been lost, it demonstrated that JFK could not have been killed by a lone gunman, and this assessment makes more sense once we understand that JFK was not a single person. Rather JFK was an amalgam of tribal chieftains from US’s three most powerful tribes who lent their initials to the acronym: the Jacksonians for J, the Federalists for F, and the Klansmen for K. These three together composed the council of JFK. [12] Later generations made up the name “John Fitzgerald Kennedy” and retroactively applied it to JFK, and thus he was eventually seen as a single person. After key members of JFK were assassinated in 1963, the nation was vulnerable to a power vacuum. Two of the tribes, J and F, banded together to share political power evenly amongst themselves. With the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1965, a crushing blow was dealt to the Klansmen who then lost power. [13] The remaining two factions then evolved into the Democrats and Republicans. The Democrats, formerly the Jacksonians, traced their lineage back to the mythical founder of the Democratic Party, Andrew Jackson. Some sources say that JFK’s successor was LBJ, but modern scholars are unsure what to make of this.

The Republicans tended to revere certain leaders such as the semi-legendary president Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan was an actor who dabbled in politics, although there is no evidence that he ever became president. Another Republican president named Donald Trump was also an actor and prolific businessman, and it has been suggested that Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump were the same person; the names Ronald and Donald are only one letter apart, so it is possible that over the centuries their names and identities became conflated. Ronald Reagan was said to have ended the Cold War, but the events surrounding this are spurious at best.

The Cold War was supposedly fought between US and USSR. In 1957 USSR was said to have launched the first artificial satellite into space. [14] The only other surviving source says that the satellite was launched by CCCP, however. [15] Although the sources disagree on the name of the country, they both agree that the year was 1957. The satellite launch was followed by the aforementioned “space race.” Although pseudohistorical sources such as “PBS” [16] and “Discovery Channel” [17] claim that the “space race” ended in 1969, there is evidence that extraterrestrial rivalry continued between US and USSR (if we assume that the USSR was US’s enemy during the Cold War, which some scholars dispute [18]). Supposedly the Cold War ended because USSR could no longer afford to compete with US’s expensive space initiatives, the most infamous of which was “Star Wars.” According to the pseudohistorical sources, “Star Wars” was an advanced Strategic Defense Initiative which was designed to protect US from space. Scholars universally agree that no country back then possessed the requisite technology to carry out warfare in space. [19]

The accepted explanation for Ronald Reagan’s “Star Wars” is that differing pieces of information were blended together over the centuries. Historians have discovered a film franchise called “Star Wars,” the first installment of which was made in 1977. Because Ronald Reagan was a film actor in the late 20th century and Star Wars was a late 20th century film franchise, scholars surmise that later historians thought that either the “Star Wars” films were non-fiction or that their name applied to a real government program. [20] Thus, although we know that Ronald Reagan was a real person, at least in name, very few details about his life or career can be stated confidently. It was not until the late 21st century that we begin to have a mostly factual history of US.

Scholars may never know the true details of America’s formative early centuries, and our job is not made any easier by different dates that are floating around (don’t even get me started on the mythological 1607 founding of Jamestown!) but that doesn’t mean that we can’t celebrate the idea of US. Just please remember to separate history from pseudohistory, and fact from fiction. Listen to modern scholars. We know what we’re talking about.

 

 

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Scholars’ statements that inspired me to write this article:

  • Romulus never existed. He was said to have been suckled by a she-wolf and because that one thing didn’t really happen, nothing in his life really happened.
  • Romulus was named after Rome, not the other way around, because that somehow makes sense. If the person was named after the city, then why was he called “Romulus” instead of “Romus?” Don’t ask me. I’m just here to say that things are false without any evidence to back up my claims.
  • Even though I begrudgingly admit that Troy was a real city and the Trojan War really happened, I can confidently declare that Aeneas and Ascanius never existed, and Trojans never migrated to Italy or Britain or anywhere else after the war.
  • None of the Roman kings existed, or they were legendary.
  • Eudaf Hen and Octavius “Eudaf Hen” can’t possibly be the same person.
  • King Arthur never existed, and none of the British kings before him existed either.
  • None of the kings of Kvenland existed. None of the Norse kings existed. No viking before Harald Bluetooth existed. Scandinavia simply emerged out of the sea in 900 AD fully-populated.
  • All of the historical sources attesting to their existence are automatically pseudo-history, because I have a PhD and that makes me smarter than you.
  • Geoffrey of Monmouth: liar. Nennius: liar. Gildas: liar. Every historian who disagrees with me: liar. Karl Marx: brilliant, accurate, insightful, a god among men.
  • Every ancient historian I agree with is truthful, even if they are less reliable than the historians I disagree with and label “pseudo-historians.”
  • Barry Fell made a few mistakes in his work, so no one crossed the Atlantic before Christopher Columbus.
  • I freely admit that everything that Manetho wrote is a lie, but he’s the only ancient Egyptian historian there is, so I believe him.
  • If the Jews crossed the Sinai desert, there should still be archaeological evidence after 2,500 years despite the near-constant desert crossings by Bedouins, the treading of wild animals, and weather.
  • Nothing in the Bible before II Kings is true, because I disagree with it. Oh sure, I recant my beliefs every couple of years when new findings prove me wrong, but I’m always right because I live in the 21st century and that makes me better than the people who were actually there at the time. Subscribe to “Biblical Archaeology Review.”
  • (Various other assorted claims)

If you would like to read a book that tears into modern scholars while defending the writings of Nennius and others, I highly recommend that you read After the Flood by Bill Cooper. Also, don’t watch Oliver Stone’s film. It’s full of crap, and that’s why I included it as a “reliable source” in the article.

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Beauty and Virtue

This was my final project for CHI 443, Modern Chinese Culture Through Film. It didn’t turn out nearly as well as I would have hoped, but I think it would be a waste to not share it. Video after the jump.

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Super Mario Bros. [1985/09/13] |Famicom|

I’m pretty sure you already heard that music in your head before playing the audio file. It is burned into all our brains! The impact that Super Mario Bros has had on modern culture is astounding. And why shouldn’t it be? SMB defined the platformer genre and inspired generations of games. Although not the first platformer, it stands in history as the iconic grandfather of platformers and is the earliest memory I have from my childhood. Before I could even speak full sentences I was already defeating Bowser. Click “read more” to go down the pipe and take a look.

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Contest! Win up to $100! (It’s a lot easier than you think.)

UPDATE: I have selected the essay winner! From a staggeringly large pool of 1 (one) entrant, I have chosen John Everett as the winner! John submitted an essay that was only two words long (“The End”), but since there were no other contestants, this essay was by far the best. John will be spending his $100 prize money on a self-congratulatory party with cake and ice cream.

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Do you want to win some prize money? Of course you do! With $100 you could buy almost 400 chicken McNuggets. All you have to do is write a brief essay. No, don’t run away! It’s MUCH easier than it sounds. All you have to do is write a 500-word essay (that’s less than one page!) on a short book I wrote. The book is available from Amazon for cheap, it’s only 100 pages long, and the essay topic requires imagination more than it does research (and you have three months to write the essay). Think about this: most people who see this post won’t even think about entering the contest because they’ll be afraid of writing less than a page about a short book. The odds are already in your favor if you’re still reading this.

Here’s how to participate in the contest.

  1. Read Everett’s Ultimate Commentary of the Bible: Volume 1: Genesis Chapter 1, 3rd Edition, available from Amazon. It’s only 100 pages long. Don’t sweat it.
  2. Write on one or more of the questions in the essay prompt below. Be sure to read the contest rules below the prompt.
  3. Submit the essay to me and complete the bonus tasks for additional winnings (see the “Winnings total” section below).
  4. Sit back and wait for the winner to be announced. If you win, you will be contacted via email.

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If You Vote, You Have No Right to Complain

Imagine that you made a bet with someone. It doesn’t matter what the bet is over–it may be the outcome of a football game or the toss of the dice. But whichever game, and for whatever reason aside, you and a rival enter into a wager. The stakes are as follows: The loser’s house will be burned to the ground. Now, assuming that you take the bet, you are aware that you are entering a wager where someone’s house will be burned down. To such a bettor, the desired outcome is a house burning down. Of course, you will surely wish that it shan’t be your house, but you will wish that a house burn down. You’ll just wish it’s the house of your rival. Notice I have said nothing of intentions or motives. Morally speaking, it does not matter why you are taking the bet. Maybe you need the winnings for emergency surgery or to make your car payment. But the reason does not matter. No matter what the outcome, someone’s property will be destroyed for the benefit of a short-term gain by the winning party.

It is despicable to take a bet where you know that no matter what, someone’s house will be destroyed. What would be more despicable still would be to delude yourself into thinking that your rival will be better off, and/or that the destruction of his house is either secretly benefiting him or the charred rubble is just an illusion. Of course, if you were the loser you would not fall for this assurance; you would recognize the lie for what it is and you would want your house back. If this situation seems absurd, it is only because I have substituted the words “house” and “wager” for “liberty” and “vote.”

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My Funeral: A Request

When I typed in the title of this post, I immediately thought about how if I were still a minor, some authority figure would find this post, misconstrue its title to mean that I’m suicidal, and then there would be a big hullabaloo about it. I feel an odd mixture of relief that no one cares because I’m an adult, and sadness that no one cares because I’m an adult. Anyway, when I do eventually kick the bucket, this is what I want my funeral to be like.

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Beauty Beauteous and Age Aging

The idea of exactly what beauty is or what nature it has is a topic beloved by philosopher and poet alike. Is beauty an entity unto itself, or is it a part of a greater whole? This is the topic of an essay I recently wrote based on a two poems by Shakespeare and William Butler Yeats. Read more after the jump!

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