A pseudo-review of this book is here. I recently felt compelled to re-read it. Reason? Something has stuck in my head for the last few years based on something I read about this book a few years back. I can’t remember who wrote it–or maybe it was something I even heard someone say–but it went something like this: A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn is a book of propaganda.
Whaaaaa? Propaganda?–I thought and thought and thought.
How can such a book be propaganda? All this book does is tell a certain side of a story in a certain way–regarding the history of the United States. It is a point-of-view of the history of the United States. Or? After re-reading it recently, though, especially in the aftermath of the #Trump election that is an abomination, and what’s going on in Charlottesville, VA, I finally realised what someone could mean when making the claim that Zinn’s book is propaganda. And in that vein, allow me to worst-elaborate as only worst-writer can.
My favourite parts of this book are the chapters that cover the history of the US from the Civil War to the end of WW2. I’ve always thought that this time period has determined what #americant is today. In essence, between 1865 to 1945 the United States finally cut the umbilical cord to Europe and set out on its own–as a small rodent prodigy. Luckily, that rodent prodigy, via the genetic and historical proximity of its birth, was endowed with two things that would determine THE future of the western world.
- It was born with a really big cock and
- It was born with a really little brain.
Coincidentally, such a combination, in order to grow, needed two more things.
- Lots of fcuking (see/hear “American Woman” by Lenny Kravitz!) and
- something to busy its little mind.
I know. I know, dear worst-reader. Fcuking and thinking haven’t proven to be a good combination–considering the human condition. Which also means, according to worst-writer, my beloved #americant achieved its greatness within a grand divide–a juicy oyster-like crevice, if you will–that is between two human acts that are mutually exclusive, especially when compared to other species on this earth.
Big dicks and little brains. Let the magic begin, eh ladies!
The other grand thing that happened between 1865 and 1945–according to what I got out of Howard Zinn’s book–was that the little brain of America was being programmed to think in one very particular small-brain way–which may or may not coincide with the size of genitalia. The ideology of GREED was being permanently embedded in the American psyche after the Civil War. And not just embedded. It was made part of the whole–the whole idear of America–which, IMHO, was/is the only way to get around avoiding facing the reality that is our original sin (slavery). Howard Zinn doesn’t go anywhere near the reality of GREED in his historical re-counting. He simply narrates a somewhat left of centre point-of-view regarding racism, capitalism and a love for all-things greed. And that’s where the crux of Zinn’s book runs awry. Or. Put another way. I’ve finally figure how some people can consider Howard Zinn a propagandist.
One of the motivating factors for writing this post is wanting to expand one of my recent tweets. This tweet was motivated after reading about what’s been going on in Charlottesville, VA. A place I know well, btw. In fact, I lived in various parts of VA in my youth. It is a place I was glad to leave. It is a place I never care to return to. But enough about worst-moi. Below is the tweet I wish to worst-expand on:
Allow me the following question: what does the racism and stupidity of white supremacists in Charlottesville, VA, have to do with Howard Zinn being a propagandist? The answer, I fear, is easy. It’s all just a matter of perspective, of point-of-view, of racists being tired of being discriminated against. I mean, shouldn’t everyone have their say? Shouldn’t even stupid white people and their stupid politics and their well-earned poverty (yes, they’ve earned their poverty!) have a say? That about sums up how #americant can get to where it’s at… after the fcuking Civil War. Whose turn is it to have their say? For right wingers, Howard Zinn had his say (in his book). Since he had his say, others, not unlike the white supremacists of Charlottesville, VA, deserve to have their say, too. Ain’t that how it works, dear worst-reader? One side of the political spectrum wins. Then the other side wins. In-between there is faux newz, Rush Limbaugh, David Duke. Indeed. Really, really stupid white people start gathering after having spent most of their lives living in the wake of their fail-upward belief in a system that has ultimately duped them to the hilt of both mind and cock. This is all way better than openly avoiding (our) original sin.
Greed + small brains = …
It’s all a matter of perspective.
If one reads through some of the book reviews that are quoted on the Wiki page about Zinn’s book, there is one common theme that runs through all of them. Those who praise Zinn are from the left. Those who do not praise him are NOT from the left. For those who think that the political left and right are two threads that may or may not run through what people say about Zinn, I reckon I can’t argue with you on that. That’s because I see the left and right as one these days. Especially considering where my beloved #americant is in its current political iteration. With that in mind, #Trump didn’t win the election. The other politician, the one who would have obviously been better, simply threw the whole thing to the $hitshow. But don’t misunderstand me here, dear worst-reader. I’m not making false equivalencies either. But. But. But. If you want there to be two parties battling over what you want to believe in, that’s your problem. Seriously. It is your problem.
We are dealing with Everything and the All of #americant, dear worst-reader. Whether it’s love, family, community, church, government, etc., etc., greed is what makes the whole $hitshow function. Greed is what makes people stupid enough to allow white supremacists, in fcuking 2017, to protest their right to take their country back–and, of course, make it great again! Up till the end of the 20th century, America did a pretty good job of managing all this greed. I mean, there was enough (greed) to go around. When, for whatever reason the barrel of greed that is #americant ran out, like our original sin, just avoid it–no matter what the means as long as all that’s left are big dicks and little brains.
If Howard Zinn is a propagandist, I’m good with that. Reason? I’d rather read his version of history than that which is being written now by those with LITTLE dicks and little brains. Re-reading this book can never be the wrong thing to do.
Rant onwards, suckers.