If you weren’t sure America’s schools are turning out a whole lot of people of, shall we say, uneducated potential – well, dither no more. Certainty can be yours.
A fantasy map of North America, posted in a Reddit forum on 6 August, has taken Facebook by storm – and with it, the impressionable minds of hundreds of thousands of Facebook members.
The original map was an exercise in projecting what North America might look like in 2015 if there had been no colonization by Europeans. As the comments at Reddit indicate, the original map made quite a number of, um, uneducated errors. But the important point for now is that the map never purported to reflect any kind of historical reality (and it didn’t). It was an essay in alternative-history imagination.
Congratulations to the Memphis City Council. As Howard Portnoy reported, Memphis’s finest voted this week to dig up the remains of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest – and his wife – from their resting place beneath Forrest’s statue in a Memphis park.
It’s politically incorrect, according to the council, for the Forrests’ bones to repose there any longer.
“It is no longer politically correct to glorify someone who was a slave trader, someone who was a racist on public property,” said City Council member Myron Lowery.
It is no accident that the arc of the 20th century has in some ways circled back to where it started, one hundred years on from the prelude to the “Great War” of 1914-18. Whether humans imagine themselves to be acting on ideology or “realism,” we continue to do pretty much the same things. Between politics, geography, and time, we humans are very predictable.