"History is always happening" at Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site
Back in the 1990s I had a couple of UFO afficionados on my program, a couple of folks who had been on another show, and so I was looking forward to having them on my show. I have to tell you at this point that there were two of them, a man and a woman.
In preparation for the show, the woman had loaned me a book about UFO abductions and the horrific experiences that so many “guests” on board these vehicles often undergo at the hands of those who snatch up from . . . well, wherever they might be at night.
Just before the show, I joked that where was Billy Jack when you really need him him, and she looked at me and said that those who had been taken aboard UFOs (known as “xperiencers”) just looked on the positive aspects of their time aboard the interstellar torture torture chambers, and didn’t bear any ill will towards the alien beings.
I’ll leave it to you to make any Earthly comparisons you may wish, but you aren’t alone.
Experiencing the gruesome aspects of suddenly being being grabbed up and taken up and having foul things done to you by naked aliens who don’t even seem to enjoy what they are doing leaves only two explanations, I think, given that the same “experiments” have been conducted many (hundreds? Thousands?) of times over the years:
They are a science class.
They just don’t like us.
I sort of favor that explanation myself, given the facts that there probably isn’t much left to learn after all these years. And surely computer modeling would give them any answers they need about the human body; we haven’t changed all that much.
No, Galactic Reader, they are getting their jollies by being the bullies of the solar neighborhood, and we should treat them accordingly.
Here come the emails . . .
No, really, it’s not a radio show
I thought I was ready for the guy who was coming on, who had spent the entire tome he was on other show he was on (The Linda Telthorst Show) just looking down down at the materials in his lap and reading aloud from them, never looking up.
Before we went on, I reminded him that we were on television not on and not on radio, so eye contact was really important in a conversation. He agreed with me.
He spent the entire show reading aloud from the materials on his lap.
I covered by editing in edited of UFOs over him over few minutes.
John Brown: Madman or Freedom Fighter?
It’s hard to get a good grasp on the enigmatic John Brown, the abolitionist who led the infamous raid on Harper’s Ferry, in the hopes of igniting a slave rebellion across the southern states. Most of what people know seems to come from Santa Fe Trail - an entertaining though grotesquely inaccurate (and racist) movie chronicling the early years of West Point graduates who later fought against each other in the Civil War.
If you ask someone with strong Southern roots, they may simply tell you, “John Brown was crazy.” But other than that nugget of priceless information, they may be as clueless as anyone else about a man who embodies the troubled complexities of his age.
In John Brown, Abolitionist: The Man Who Killed Slavery, Sparked the Civil War, and Seeded Civil Rights, David S. Reynolds makes the claim that while the Civil War was inevitable, Brown’s actions helped bring it about that much sooner.
Of course, many southerners will calmly tell you that the Civil War was about “state’s rights,” usually without making reference to the fact that chief among these “rights” was the right to enslave men, women and children in conditions that were often nothing short of barbaric.
To understand Brown, one must understand the world in which he lived. The South was a conservative culture which saw itself as coming from aristocratic roots, and with an economic system blessed by God. Indeed, the Episcopal church - which today is one of the most progressive churches - was one of the staunchest defenders of slavery.
Reynolds has written a biography that deals not only with Brown but with the culture of both the North and the South. The puritanical nature of John Brown’s world view led him naturally to see the opposite of the teachings of Southern churches. He saw slavery for what it was, a cancer on humanity.
Brown began his violent career in Kansas, where he earned the moniker, “Pottawatommie Brown,” following his actions against slave-holders who had been murdering and maiming those opposed to slavery. Realizing that pacifism was a lousy defense against folks who would cut your head off and laugh, Brown was essentially making the statement: “I’ve got your ‘Kum Ba Ya’ right here, fellas.”
Boy, were they in for a surprise.
John Brown proved that he could be just as cruel and ruthless as those who delighted in killing abolitionists. But his adventures in Kansas were not enough for him. Inspired by such slave rebellion leaders as Nat Turner, Brown hoped that an attack on Harper’s Ferry would inspire local slaves to revolt against their owners. Such a revolt, he felt, could not help but have a ripple effect across the South, and slavery would come to a very bloody end.
To say that he miscalculated would be an understatement. John Brown was captured and hanged, along with several of his cohorts.
Brown’s actions threw the South into what can only be described as a paranoid frenzy. Not only was he attacked by newspapers and politicians, but fearing slave revolts, Southerners indulged in a wave of killings that claimed the lives of slaves and Northerners alike.
And by claiming that Brown’s moves were the acts of a crazy man, the South did not have to reflect on his motivations, or the larger issues that were at stake.
John Brown is a problematic figure, especially in the 21st Century. Who among us has not considered at some point that only violent action will solve the problems of society? The rational among us realize that violence is rarely, if ever, the answer. And in an age when abortion providers are murdered, and killers like Paul Hill, John Burt and others openly invoke the name of John Brown in their defense, it’s hard to look well on Brown’s actions.
Reynolds helps the reader to understand a time when the country was divided even more than it is today, and how the actions of one man were felt and debated throughout the whole nation.
Quote of the Day
My New Year’s Eve rez is to give up hope. Not persistence and determination, just Obama-style hope - as in, “Leave it to the suits (or in the red state version, God) and everything will be all right.” Abandon hope. Take charge! - Barbara Ehrenreiech