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tiny terror 02-19-2009 03:41 PM

sanitizing history...
 
Cain and I have spoken at length about the removal of swastikas from toys and models so when I ran across this article I was reminded of how certain groups are attempting to white-wash away all the "ugly" history leaving us with a clean un-offensive story.

Word from World War sparks a war of words | IndyStar.com | The Indianapolis Star

Quote:

Tom Mattice said he was trying to promote a "healing environment" when he removed the old, yellowing wall decoration from a hallway at the VA hospital.

But in doing so, the hospital director has opened an old wound -- and spurred debate about political correctness, free speech and how to be true to history without being offensive.

At issue is a framed newspaper front page from an August 1945 Indianapolis Times. The headline: "Japs Surrender."

Mattice, director of the Roudebush Veterans Affairs Medical Center, said there'd been a complaint: A new employee was offended by the term "Japs," a commonly used slur during World War II.

So, Mattice took down the framed front page, which is now tucked away in the center's executive offices.

That decision, however, has riled a group of retired Marines who call it whitewashing history and akin to offering an apology that isn't due. They are campaigning to have the artifact put back on the wall, where it had hung alongside other World War II memorabilia for more than a decade.
Should we remove everything offensive and pretend history was all sunshine and applesauce?

jupiterboy 02-19-2009 03:46 PM

Reminds me or George Carlin’s bit on Shell Shock’s digression to PTSD.

tiny terror 02-19-2009 03:48 PM

How so?

jupiterboy 02-19-2009 04:09 PM

Although he was probably glossing over some real distinctions, his point was that Shell Shock is a strong and descriptive term that means exactly what it describes. He gave two intermediate examples predating PTSD. His point is that we somehow feel the reality less as we add length and complexity to a term, thus making it more comfortable for the news to broadcast.
Quote:

In the first world war, that condition was called shell shock. Simple, honest, direct language. Two syllables, shell shock. Almost sounds like the guns themselves. That was seventy years ago. Then a whole generation went by and the second world war came along and very same combat condition was called battle fatigue. Four syllables now. Takes a little longer to say. Doesn't seem to hurt as much. Fatigue is a nicer word than shock. Shell shock! Battle fatigue. Then we had the war in Korea, 1950. Madison avenue was riding high by that time, and the very same combat condition was called operational exhaustion. Hey, were up to eight syllables now! And the humanity has been squeezed completely out of the phrase. It's totally sterile now. Operational exhaustion. Sounds like something that might happen to your car. Then of course, came the war in Viet Nam, which has only been over for about sixteen or seventeen years, and thanks to the lies and deceits surrounding that war, I guess it's no surprise that the very same condition was called post-traumatic stress disorder. Still eight syllables, but we've added a hyphen! And the pain is completely buried under jargon. Post-traumatic stress disorder. I'll bet you if we'd of still been calling it shell shock, some of those Viet Nam veterans might have gotten the attention they needed at the time. I'll betcha. I'll betcha.

Scout 02-19-2009 04:13 PM

History is history. The last time I checked there was no way to change it.

Dare2BSquare 02-19-2009 04:54 PM

I heard Hitler was prone to farting at the dinner table. But, we won't talk about that. It might give him a bad rep!

EvilRay1 02-19-2009 05:02 PM

You might not be able to change the past, but history is far too easy to change.

jupiterboy 02-19-2009 05:06 PM

Tickle-down economics was a loser post Reagan, but given the span of a single generation they dusted it off and screwed us with it again.

The catholics have always done a fine job of selling the idea that the Jews killed Jesus, when the story actually says the Romans nailed him to a cross.

History is always written by the winner.

tiny terror 02-19-2009 05:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jupiterboy (Post 327615)
Although he was probably glossing over some real distinctions, his point was that Shell Shock is a strong and descriptive term that means exactly what it describes. He gave two intermediate examples predating PTSD. His point is that we somehow feel the reality less as we add length and complexity to a term, thus making it more comfortable for the news to broadcast.

I see no parallel between sanitizing history and renaming a disorder that's been dismissed as malingering since soldiers started taking up arms.

Joe Dirt 02-19-2009 05:13 PM

Those who don't study history are doomed to repeat it. I close look at the great depression might remind people of what didn't work!

tiny terror 02-19-2009 05:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Scout (Post 327619)
History is history. The last time I checked there was no way to change it.

Taught history is written by man and anything that is written by man is subject to his perspective.

Scout 02-19-2009 07:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tiny terror (Post 327654)
Taught history is written by man and anything that is written by man is subject to his perspective.

What? That's too deep for me. :confused:

h8nagn 02-19-2009 07:52 PM

Scout I thought you said you liked it DEEP? Must be I was mistaken :(

jupiterboy 02-19-2009 07:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tiny terror (Post 327652)
I see no parallel between sanitizing history and renaming a disorder that's been dismissed as malingering since soldiers started taking up arms.

It’s the history of psychology. Seems that the more obtuse the term the less we have to think about it.

Collateral damage? Anyone? Champagne with that? Maybe some ordinance?

jupiterboy 02-19-2009 07:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by h8nagn (Post 327717)
Scout I thought you said you liked it DEEP? Must be I was mistaken :(

She did trot out “malingering”, so I dunno… :wavey:

tiny terror 02-19-2009 08:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jupiterboy (Post 327718)
It’s the history of psychology. Seems that the more obtuse the term the less we have to think about it.

Collateral damage? Anyone? Champagne with that? Maybe some ordinance?


PTSD has very real physical markers in the brain. The renaming comes from a deeper understanding of the fact that rest and relaxation will not heal "battle fatigue". However, the removal of swastikas so people aren't offended is not from a better understanding of what went on in WWII but this incessant need to perfect our past.

skeeter 02-19-2009 08:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Scout (Post 327705)
What? That's too deep for me. :confused:

Compare a history book from 50 years ago to a current one.

skeeter 02-19-2009 08:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jupiterboy (Post 327648)
Tickle-down economics was a loser post Reagan, but given the span of a single generation they dusted it off and screwed us with it again.

The catholics have always done a fine job of selling the idea that the Jews killed Jesus, when the story actually says the Romans nailed him to a cross.

History is always written by the winner.

I would be more than happy to debate those two issues in another thread.

4Jeepn 02-19-2009 09:02 PM

It should not have been removed.

jupiterboy 02-19-2009 09:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tiny terror (Post 327734)
PTSD has very real physical markers in the brain. The renaming comes from a deeper understanding of the fact that rest and relaxation will not heal "battle fatigue". However, the removal of swastikas so people aren't offended is not from a better understanding of what went on in WWII but this incessant need to perfect our past.

Point taken. Still, psychological discomfort is often remedied by changing language or visual history so we don't have to look at or understand what happened.

The effects of extended battle and trauma on the brain are the same as they always have been. History is what happened.

I don’t see the removing of the swastika being motivated by a desire to perfect the past as much as a desire to obscure the past in favor of a more palatable fantasy.

tiny terror 02-19-2009 09:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 4Jeepn (Post 327790)
It should not have been removed.

Sort of an insult to the Veterans, removing part of their history.


Jupiter, I know all about ptsd, and I know it hasn't change. Medicine has. Sort of like Aids and Grid. Same exact disease, however one name was born out of misconception, as was battle fatigue and shell shock.

jupiterboy 02-19-2009 10:01 PM

Right, but consider the continuum. Another few decades of brain science and PTSD will be leftovers, replaced by newer and better. Public opinion will still be a simplified version as it always has been, with the bias and generalizations.

Academia runs on a rotating system of terminology in the soft sciences. Not trying to step on your personal experience. You know about a human brain under stress. PTSD is just another term. Map is not the territory.

chasm 02-19-2009 10:43 PM

Hitler was a superstious psychopath. The swastika was a symbol of luck in a number of early cultures and was pictured in artwork, carvings, and on utilitarian wares, hundreds and hundreds of years before it was hijacked by Nazi Germany. Unfortunately, these days, the only association that the swastika has is with Nazi Germany. Most folks today don't even know the origin of the swastika... they only associate it with hate...

jupiterboy 02-20-2009 06:04 AM

Hitler, Himmler and crew were occultists. They were well versed in mythology and symbolism and they used these techniques with great skill. Eugenics, however, is a particularly nasty bag. Trying to out think nature is just plain arrogant. The tools they used are still widely used today, and are just as effective.

skeeter 02-20-2009 10:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tiny terror (Post 327597)
Should we remove everything offensive and pretend history was all sunshine and applesauce?

No, when we forget history we throw away all the lessons it has to teach.


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