you can’t learn anything if you deny history
the gloomy sunset can still presage a bright new dawn
Some things in our past may be painful, uncomfortable, unpleasant, disgusting, illegal, or just a big mistake. Personally, I will admit to trying hard to forget the painful, uncomfortable, unpleasant mistakes I’ve made ~ and there have been more than a few. But, you know what? Without fully accepting and trying to understand the what, why, and how of the mistakes in my past, I will never learn anything. To be a real man I need to learn from my past so that I will not make the same errors of judgement again in the future.
More people would learn from their mistakes if they weren’t busy denying them. ~ Harold J. Smith
Conversely, I also need to remember the good people, places, events, and things in my past so that I can repeat and reinforce anything virtuous, righteous, ethical, principled, and enjoyable things I have done, experienced, or been responsible for. And you know what? There are far more of those good things in my past than there are expressions of my dark side.
The very worst kind of people are those who will never honestly look at their past and say; ‘I should not have done that…..’ But, those who look at the past and see only negativity and darkness are not such good people either. The past is what it is, nobody can change it, we can only accept what we do in this moment and resolve to do better in the future.
Perhaps the very worst people of all are those who have no ambition to be better tomorrow than they are today. Those who have no good aims, goals, dreams, desires, and aspirations are doomed to fester in the slough of despond forever.
Some say that the past has nothing to teach us. And that we should wipe out history as being unacceptable and pointless. All I know is that as you give to the world, so you shall receive in return.
tomorrow is another day
another chance to be better
Sowohl für die Verbündeten als auch für Deutschland
wird es der längste Tag, der längste Tag
27,760 days ago, Allied Air Power made the landings on the beaches of Normandy possible. It was the longest day.
Please listen with respect.
of course on June 6th 1944, these aircraft would have worn invasion stripes
Any mature and educated Englishman will recognise these images.
Dixon of Dock Green
Desire is the history that drives the engine…..
In Albuquerque I went to see an old railway locomotive being restored by a bunch of unpaid enthusiasts ~ older and interesting guys.
It turned out that the massive 450 ton engine ran on the AT & SF, and how cool is that?
go to New Mexico and see this
Ninety-Nine years ago today;
on the eleventh hour
of the eleventh day
of the eleventh month
the guns fell silent
From Great Britain and it’s colonies 744,000 were killed in combat, or were missing in action, and 1,675,000 were wounded in the Great War ~ The War to End All Wars.
If I should die,
think only this of me,
that there’s some corner of a foreign field,
That is forever England.
~ Rupert Brooke
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Durham; half church of God, half castle against the Scot.
The City of Durham was founded in 995 AD, although I guess there were people living there for centuries before the monks arrived to ‘officially’ found Durham City. Building work on the spectacularly imposing Norman cathedral was begun in 1093 AD, but there was an earlier Anglo-Saxon cathedral on the site for about 100 years before that.
History is always written by the winners.
get a book about Durham
The first picture of the cathedral is a stock photo, the tower was covered in scaffold when I was there.
In medieval times touching the door knocker gave criminals sanctuary.
I used to drink in that pub when I was a younger man.
two nations divided by a common language
A couple of days ago in travel broadens the mind I listed some strange things about the average American’s of idea leaving America and visiting England. Mostly it doesn’t happen, most Americans never leave the Americas, mostly American’s think Mexico is ‘foreign’ enough. Just to be fair, here are some complementary and contradictory facts about the unbalanced social interactions between the uneducated American and the ignorant Englishman.
For a start there are some things that Americans just do not understand about the English;
- Apologising needlessly. The English will say ‘sorry’ even if they’re not in the wrong and it’s an American who’s trodden on their foot. This is confusing to Americans, but don’t worry it just means that Englishmen can be unbearably polite. Nobody is going to sue anyone. In contrast, underneath their superficial politeness most Americans would just as soon shoot you.
- English Accents. When I was a kid I could tell to within a few miles where someone came from by the way they spoke. Even towns as close together as Sunderland and Newcastle upon Tyne, (10 miles), still have totally different accents. Honestly, to English ears there are only three American accents, so don’t expect an Englishman to know you’re from Nebraska, or Canada. Anyhow, most Americans think the language is called ‘American’.
- Strange and strong-tasting ‘Foods’ are to be found in England, and not eaten elsewhere. I cite Marmite, Brown Sauce, and Bovril. On the other hand, in the USA I’ve eaten stuff that would make a goat sick; I cite grits, and American bacon which you have to grill until it snaps to make it edible. English people do not willingly eat real Mexican / Latin American food, which looks like dog puke. Most English people think most American food is only fit for the trash. An Englishman shouldn’t try to explain black pudding to an American.
- Pubs. The traditional English pub is nothing like an American Bar. A real English pub is more like the landlord’s front room, and some things are just not allowed ~ for example sitting at the bar, talking to people you don’t know, and running a tab. Not a chance. Some acceptable behaviour in American Bars would have you thrown out of an English pub ~ and maybe arrested for sexual harassment.
- English Reserve. The English will not strike up a conversation, or even speak with, someone they haven’t been introduced to. The English will not speak to people they don’t know in lifts, (elevators), on public transport, in the street, in bars and restaurants, or during any other chance encounter. In fact the English do not speak at all in elevators and on public transport at all. The English never, ever hug, and a handshake is to be used only sparingly and with care. Americans don’t seem to care who they talk to.
- English Understatement. The English are in no way effusive. The way the average American ‘goes overboard‘ all the time is childishly offensive to the average Englishman. In contrast, if an Englishman says ‘nice’ that’s high praise indeed. English people will poke fun at themselves, Americans don’t.
- Sports. By and large the English do not play, and have no interest whatsoever in; baseball, basketball, ice hockey, and what the Americans call football. The English play cricket, football, (soccer), and Rugby. In England your social class can be determined by which sport you like; only chavs like soccer. Wearing your team colours is beneath contempt among polite Englishmen.
- Religion. Unlike in the United States of America, there is an official state religion in England ~ The Church of England. English people do not go to church, and never, ever talk about religion.
- The Royal Family. An Englishman will be contemptuous of and roundly criticise every member of the Royal Family, with the exception of the Queen. Normally a well-mannered Englishman will discuss the Monarch only with the utmost loyalty and courtesy.
If you are American want to impress an Englishman, then just don’t be overtly American, unless you are actually in America. For an Englishman, the one and only impressive thing about America is that it’s big.
On the other hand, if you are a real Englishman you will not want or need to try to impress anyone.
Most American women are cute, smart, well-groomed, intelligent, and well-educated. Until they get into a bar, when they sometimes transform into loud skanks who like karaoke. Most American men are jerks. Most English women try too hard, and a real English Gentleman doesn’t feel he needs to try at all.
Despite the fact that the English and Americans almost share a common language and a common culture, we are as different as chalk and cheese. If you are in an across the pond relationship, then expect constant misunderstandings, friction, and disagreement. For example, it will surprise most English people that Americans actually care about politics. In contrast most English people don’t give a damn about Trump, Clinton, global warming, pipelines, transgender identities…
Personally, I’d have to say that nothing has really changed since 1776.
In December seventy years ago the French decided they would stay in Indochina. This set off a chain of misery which did not end when the Americans were defeated by Vietnamese communists in 1975 with the fall of Saigon. French occupation of Vietnam ended with their defeat at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu in 1954. The Vietnamese Cambodian war then went on until 1991.
Billy Joel ~ We Didn’t Start The Fire
Please listen responsibly.
Perhaps we should all learn a little more forgotten history.