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Gosh. How did no-one tell me of HistoryTeachers, the best channel on the whole of the YouTubes? Dozens of tubes, covering topics ranging from prehistoric anthropology through the classical and medieval worlds up to the modern period. The formula might be simple (take pop song, make historical, profit) but damn if this isn’t relevant to my interests.
Okay, so the formula means that a few of the more interesting tidbits get sliced away to cram things into three-to-five minutes. She mispronounces scop (hint: it’s like ‘ship’) in the Beowulf video. The Crusades falls into traps about the Children’s Crusade and old-fashioned claims that it was about land-grabbing economics. These are the sorts of things that annoy me.
On the other hand, they acknowledgin’ the tradin’ inherent to goin’ a-vikin’.
The project is a great way to break folks into history-learnin’, and that is the point. You can open up the discussions about historical nuances and the more obscure facts after you get bored high-schoolers with their facetwitters and tumbooks to actually pay attention. Which these do. They are so much damn FUN, guys. SO MUCH. I wound up singing along to Charlemagne the first time I listened to it.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Mrs. B, the star of the videos, is gorgeous.
I wrote a long post here, deliberately prolonged and ready for the posting on September Eleven. I counted the dead in the Twin Towers, and contrasted it with the numbers killed by American and Coalition troops in the wars the United States is waging, and noted how larger numbers have died and those days of remembrance are not pointedly and constantly waved in the face of the world.
I deleted it. I am tired of discussion of this day, tired of the hysteria the Right whips into his mobs, frothy-mouthed about vengeance and bloodshed. Tired of American jingoism. People died. It was nine years ago. America has killed a lot more, since. fin