Wednesday, July 30, 2014

And I'm done

...well, for a while.

Packed last night.

In addition to the projects I listed, I am taking books:

"Cahokia" (which I restarted and plan to finish this time. Last time I bogged down in all the human-sacrifice stuff, especially since someone I cared about was going through hospice and it just got to be too much. I still boggle at the idea that there were apparently societies where people were groomed for this, where they willingly and apparently docilely went to their deaths for the "good of the rulers." It's not quite the same as the Christian martyrs, who died in service of their own deeply held beliefs and who often gave up their lives because the other option was even more awful...I wonder if there were people in the to-be-sacrificed class who questioned everything and really WEREN'T all that willing)

Another book, by Brian Fagan if I remember, on the first inhabitants of North America. (For some reason, that boundary between prehistory and recorded history is fascinating to me.)

"The War that Ended Peace" (I want to finish this even though it's an enormous book. And I feel more driven to finish it seeing as Monday was the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I. That seems really weird to me, that something that happened in the same century as I was born is now 100 years old. Somehow, there seems to be a bigger and sharper division between 1899/1900 than between anything that happened AFTER 1900 to now.

I was born more than 50 years after the end of WWI. It's still farther away from my birth than now is from my birth. And yet, I think of it as a "modern" thing because I had relatives who were involved. (A great-uncle that I never met was in the infantry; one of my grandfathers was an experimental pilot but he never went "over there")

World War I is such a strange war. It's not a fight against communism or some other extremism like recent wars have been about. It's not a fight to defeat fascism like World War II. It's not like we were attacked like in World War II. It seems, from what I've read, it was a war that started over territorial over-reach and also over people (leaders of countries) feeling "dissed" (to use a modern term) by others. As I've said before, this one is taught badly in many schools and yet, so much of it at base seems to be the same stupid stuff that goes on on the schoolyard.

For a bit of lighter reading: "The Provincial Lady goes to War." About the adventures of the Provincial Lady (a fictionalized/exaggerated character, but somewhat similar to other British women of the period) and the run-up to WWII. Yes, it is lighter reading, because it's the Provincial Lady. Nothing too very bad happens (I think it's set mainly during the so-called Phoney War) and she and her family are never in that great of danger.

1 comment:

Roger Owen Green said...

All sorts of 19th C alliances. Such an ODD war, and tragic, like all of them.