21
Aug
17

Is History Funny?


We have all heard the expression “history repeats itself.” And so we also know that human beings have a tendency to forget harmful and even wicked events. We bury them. And once we bury the history, do we forget it?

It struck me today that when Jerry Lewis died, people start talking about the film e made. Being a natural comedian, and being Jewish, he couldn’t reconcile the events of the Holocaust, so he tried to create film that made fun of it. So did Charlie Chaplin, not of the Holocaust, but of the rise of Hitler, and was and he also Jewish. Maybe Jerry was just smart enough to never show the film, because it would have offended so many of his fellow Jews. His being able to deal with it in a comic fashion, would’ve been anathema to others.chaplin as hitler

This also coincides with the Charlottesville racist protest of the removal of General Lee’s statue. And the horrific act of a young man from Ohio, plus all the other violence that occurred. So here we have the contrast of a symbol that has grown to represent racism, which is the Civil War, in the southern combatants.

With the fresh violence in our minds, we are struck with the horrors of war, the glorification of the provocateurs, the hate and the anger that was generated more than 100 years apart. Then should we remember this as history, or forget it as a violent, evil past.

Isn’t history always told by the Victor and not the vanquished?

So now we must consider what we’re going to forget. Should we tear down all the monuments in countries related to any war? Why should we glorify the dead fallen in the horrors of war? Should we remove all the stones from the cemeteries? Many of the wars in the world glorify the atrocities of one culture over another. Racism, sexism, colonialism and a whole lot of other isms, should we forget them by destroying the monuments to those times in history?

This really makes me consider any monuments that are designed to capture history. What else are they capturing? Are they also glorifying some wickedness?

ReichswaldForest cemetary of dead soldiers

So you comedians out there, don’t start making fun of the Charlottesville incident. It may only do your so good, but the rest of humanity is still deeply troubled by what they saw in Charlottesville.  Too some this is the precursor to another civil war in America, and that really is not comical.

It seems to me, that you really can’t make fun of historic events, while the people who suffered from them are still alive. That’s just wrong. You can go back and make fun of Caesar being slashed to death with knives, Napoleon being exiled, and other historic events just as long as everybody who was involved with them are dead. So take a tip from me comedians, start crack in the jokes, but focus on content that occurred before your grandparents were alive.

Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

 

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