Two Tests: a Response to the Nullifyin’ Varmints

This is a response to an absurdity from my friends at the Nullifyin’ site Missouri Tenth. They are good people. Some of them descendants of the Germans, the “48ers” who came to America after the failure of the Europe-wide revolution of 1848 and who were Union men. But owing to mass media and, I will say, the damned 1960s teachers, these boys can be DUMBER THAN A BOX OF ROCKS. They have been deprived of all culture and history.

A Test in American History

Take this American History test

If you do not get a passing grade (60%) do not post on politics or American history on the Web until you have taken a class in American history, and passed it, or read at least TWO good general histories of the USA such as Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States (on the left), Charles Johnson’s A History of the American People or A Patriot’s History of the United States (on the right), or some or all of the volumes of The Oxford History of the United States (in the center).

I took the Harrisonburg test. My score was 97% although I’ve been out of school for years. I’m a bit weak on African-American history since it wasn’t taught when I was in school, although I’ve read some general African-American histories available at the Chicago Public Library and an African American bookstore near that library.

No whining. No claim that the test is “biased”. Prior to the Civil Rights movement, tests WERE biased: we’ll see that in the next section of this post. You punks don’t know bias.

In fact, the very idea that knowledge itself is flawed and used against one, the general form of the conspiracy theory, is the delusion of the world-historical loser, including Adolf Hitler after he hosed his examination for art school and Hong Xiuguan who in China flunked his examinations for the Imperial civil service. Hitler we know: Hong Xiuguan decided that he was Christ’s younger brother, and ignited a civil war.

It is a typically, modally, wearily male reaction to loss that is preferable, if you’re a loser, to facing, in Karl Marx’s words, the real conditions of your life and your relations with your fellow men, with sober senses. That’s preferable to the alcoholic’s moment of truth…Missouri Tenth is an exception, but many of the sites it links to are so absurdly freighted with advertisements for scams and bunkum, of the sort that appeal to losers, from “buy gold” (at its peak) to “get rich through foreclosure” (on misery in other words) that they run too slow.

By making absurd proclamations founded on ignorance of American history, stealing the Black man’s truth, that there WAS a real conspiracy against him, you have attacked the very foundations of knowledge, because today, anyone thinks their fantasy is as good as another’s.

The Fourteenth Amendment was NOT based on Christianity, for Christians ranged themselves on both sides of the slave question, and Judaeo-Christianity of the Bible speaks on both sides of the question of the equality of man.

The Old Testament advances a tribalism and the insane notion of a Chosen People which many Americans use to fantasize that THEY are really “chosen”. Jesus Christ on the other hand told his Apostles to “go and teach all nations” and St Paul concluded that in Christ, there is neither slave nor free. In Judaeo-Christianity, the locus of “tolerance” is spotty: it appears in some of the prophetic books of the Old Testament, in the Gospels to some extent, and in some of the Epistles.

It appears not at all in the insane ravings of the final book. It appears not at all in the text “slaves obey your masters”.

You’re destroying knowledge, people. In the 1960s, Irving Stone, in writing a historical novel about Michelangelo, thought it necessary to travel to Rome, read Michelangelo’s letters and consult historians. The novel and film “The Agony and the Ecstasy” was squarely based on solid, time-consuming, and costly research.

In the 1990s, Sylvia Nasar of the New York Times contacted me and many of my Princeton co-workers to learn the truth about John “A Beautiful Mind” Nash and her book of that name was based solidly on this research. The film took only minimal liberties about which its directors were very clear; it omitted the role of Nash’s access to the Internet through Information Centers in which I worked and made his aural delusions visual.

But, the book and film Da Vinci code were a cheap and rotten little fantasy which mostly aided the world-wide American and Protestant attack on Catholicism. Dan Brown’s “research”? Oh, just because St John has long hair he was a woman…in da Vinci’s era when most Italian youths sported long hair!

The destructive film director Ronald Emmerich, who in Independence Day satisfied the secret American lust for destruction by showing the destruction of the Capitol, is releasing a film based on the ABSURD proposition that Shakespeare didn’t write the plays collected in the First Folio, and the few other plays published in quarto form under his name.

And here you clowns FANTASIZE about American history and politics while not being able, I am certain, to pass the Harrisonburg or any other American history test.

Mike Godwin, with whom I debated online at a 2000 colloquium sponsored by Princeton University Press, is deluded. The probability of comparison to Hitler, or Hong Xiuguan, converges on the Internet to unity because Hitler’s pre-WWI personality has been generalized, and the personality of the Chinese boy who thinks he’s a Little Emperor.

Hitler was like the modern twenty-something who’s flunked his examinations and whose mother encourages him to believe this was someone else’s fault…a conspiracy. Hitler and the Starbucks raver both fail to look at themselves and rave on about conspiracies. They reject knowledge because they can always claim, of an Inconvenient Truth, that it’s the product of some academic “liberals” or other slicksters.

That’s why the “Hitler videos” on YouTube are the truth. By failing to face the truth of the Holocaust, there’s a danger, that Auden saw on Sep 1 1939, that we’re becoming him.

Harvard’s 1869 Admissions Test

Now, let us take a look at this test.

It is Harvard’s admission test from 1869. I took two years of Latin and no Greek, and can answer one or two Latin questions. I can guess a few things about the history part, which is focused completely on Greece and Rome: the “Ten Thousand” seem to me to be the army in Xenophon’s Anabasis, and if Leonidas was a Spartan, then perhaps Pausanius and Lysander were as well.

I can grind through the very difficult math…but the babyish SAT procedure which I was forced to teach by The Princeton Review (that of plugging in constants) is no help. You have to use, as I discovered in university math, not only math but also logic, and “logic” is no longer taught, as it was when I taught it in 1973. A professor at Hong Kong Poly told me last year that “logic” is a forbidden word at her institution.

No woman could pass this test in 1869 since pre-university education for ladies excluded most Latin and any Greek. Abraham Lincoln would do well at the history and math but did not have enough Latin or Greek. US Grant (who was in the bottom of his class at West Point) would be too hung-over.

Custer would probably have done poorly at the math (I base this, admittedly, only on his failure to assess his numerical inferiority at Greasy Grass: “gen’ril, there’s a power of Indians behind that Coulee”).

Robert E Lee would have done well. The test is of course designed for men of the upper classes whose parents had the money to educate them. It was expensive to even create: note that the Greek questions were carefully written out in longhand by a person known, in 1869, as a “scrivener” (portrayed in Melville’s short novel Bartelby the Scrivener), since printers did not, it appears, have the technology to print classical Greek in the USA.

Even in 1987, Princeton’s classics department informed us in Information Centers that the costly IBM font for “Greek” was the “Greek” character set for engineering, not classics. This may have led to Apple’s creation of a usable character set for classical Greek.

Missouri Tenthers should note one interesting thing about the Harvard test.

“And no religion too.” – John Lennon, Imagine

There’s no religion on the test. Many Missouri Tenthers believe the utterly false proposition that before the 1960s, Americans were all “religious” and then ripped off their clothes and became a horde of Satan, saved by the election of Reagan.

In fact, starting long before 1776, men stopped running their mouths about religion in Europe and the USA, and educated men replaced the religious discourse of the 16th century with the discourse of Greece and Rome. Latter-day fools who call themselves “historians” can indeed root about amongst the minor characters of the American Revolution to find subaltern figures who didn’t wear wigs, and dressed homespun, and these characters did indeed use religious discourse.

This was because, as we see in the Harvard examination, that the educated, whose fathers had the money to send them to Harvard and Princeton, read the classics. It was also because, commencing in England around Shakespeare’s time, men who wished to write found that they were well advised to stay away from religion: after Calvinism, doctrinal precision became so important that any error could get you burned at the stake.

This is why no play of Shakespeare is about a religious topic, despite the fact that Shakespeare saw the old English “mystery” plays performed in his boyhood. Religion of course appears: but religious zealots (such as Shakespeare’s Joan of Arc as portrayed in Henry VI part 1) are villains: Richard III pretends to be pious: and the late romances take place in pre-Christian Greece, Rome and Britain.

This was part of a great and very good EVOLUTION. The United States is the most religious country in the world, and its many different churches, temples and MOSQUES (suck on it) do great good, because the elite learned to zip it about religion…in part by getting a CLASSICAL education which taught virtue and courage as part of the natural law.

And I tremble for my country when I realize that the absolutely last United States political family to get anything like a classical education were the Kennedys.

John F Kennedy presaged Reagan’s “Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall” speech of 1985 in 1961, when Kennedy said “the proudest boast of a Roman was ‘civis Romanus sum’: today, the proudest boast of a free man is ‘ich bin fine Berliner'”. JFK pronounced “civis” correctly because his father’s millions sent him to Andover, Princeton for a year, and Harvard.

In the last month of his life, in 1968, his brother had to announce, to an African American crowd, the news of Dr. King’s death. Robert Kennedy quoted Aeschylus, pronouncing Aeschylus’ name correctly: “peace comes through the awful grace of God”. Reagan would have found a way to blame Dr King for getting his fool ass killed because classical models gave educated Americans a way to talk about suffering without blaming the victim in some sort of Old Testament way!

Robert Kennedy had read Aeschylus’ Prometheus about the necessary wrong of revolution: but for idiots like Reagan, Christian America was the only game in town: therefore to call it to account, as did King, was to have a secret character flaw.

Today, politicians live in a world of garbage as seen in the Mike Judge film Idiocracy: Gingrich raves and gibbers about science fiction and Romney promises “economic growth” failing to see that he and his useless family are associated with the destruction of Michigan’s industrial base. Mike Judge was not far wrong, except for the fact that the Dark Ages have already commenced. Historians may date them to March 2003 and the American invasion of Iraq. The Sack of Baghdad may be their Sack of Rome for describing the start of The Thousand Years of Darkness.

Two tests. I only got 97% on the modern American history test and if I tried the Harvard test I would not pass. My father would do better on the Harvard test but might have hosed the African American questions on the modern test. I am confident based on the posts in Missouri Tenth that you punks would get close to zero on both. And your failure on the Harrisonburg test means you should not post about American history or politics.

A lot of over-mothered punks whine, stealing the discourse of the 1960s, about bias. So make a Hitler Video instead of writing about politics.

I’m 62. Sure, a lot of old codgers have always raved about degringolade. My great-grandfather spoke like Teddy Roosevelt of the coming war of color at one end of the Thanksgiving table.

The problem is twofold. Sometimes, those old codgers are RIGHT, such as some old codger at the end of the fifth century AD. And sometimes they speak within a long decline, like Spengler or my Pop, and they are RIGHT.

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