Skip to comments.PBS Special Last Night
Posted on 10/26/2010 5:30:22 AM PDT by SMARTY
Was anyone else able to catch the PBS program last night about the history of Indian wars in the American and Midwest? I missed a lot of it, but saw enough to make some observations.
The art direction was spectacular!! However, the program was grinding the same old ax. America is awful and has no right to exist. Period.
I mean, it was a perfect laundry list of all the evils of civilization!
Of course, Native Americans were entirely blameless and the unqualified textbook image of the noble savage... far above the crude brutality of white settlers and the military.
Make no mistake I feel that there is almost NO population in this hemisphere which got a worse deal than Native Americans.
That said how about a little academic rigor and empirical scrutiny?
When white people came to this hemisphere, they were appalled at the extent and severity of the vicious, nearly wanton, savagery which natives practiced on their enemies. I mean, APALLED!!! And THAT is saying something coming as it does from a people settling here after the ravages of nearly perpetual religious and political butchery which had taken place (was taking place) in Europe!!
And, it may be my imagination, but it seems that the producers (etc.) scoured the universe to find an exact double for O, to portray Tecumseh
blue lips and all! Please!!!???
It’s PBS. Positively BullScoot.
The extent of brutal guerrila warfare that went on in the midwest has been largely forgotten by history. Everybody fought in the woods and swamps of the midwest. British, french, spanish, American, indian, you name it.
I call my cable company nearly daily and ask them to dump PBS and replace it with something usefull like more home shopping.
The Indians were not nice people. But we learned to adopt their ways -- much to their regret.
I thought about the Patriot and the fact that it touched on that type of brutal hand to hand warfare that went on. One or two shots from a musket and then the fighting fell to clubs, knives, and hatchets.
...because torturing/executing a prisoner of war by cutting a slit in his abdomen, tying one end of his small intestine to a stake and jabbing him with spears in order to force him to walk in circles around the stake until he has completely disemboweled himself is NOBLE!
And staking a man out in the desert, eviscerating him while he is still alive, filling his abdominal cavity with rocks and then leaving him to slowly die in the hot sun is HONORABLE!
The "whites" didn't treat the Indians any worse or differently than they had treated each other for as long as recorded history. History tells a story of brutal competition between rival factions. It was a world of conquer or be conquered. The Indians were not even in the game. They were incapable of governing themselves, and thus incapable of handling their contact with the European powers. It was their destiny to be conquered.
This brutal competition between European powers didn't do us any favors either. One of the reasons our quaint, limited government was transformed into the centralized monster we see today is because the leaders of the Union had to worry about Europe. They had to have a government capable of standing up to that sort of competition. Were it not for that fact, we might still be a small confederacy of states.
But, I love that it is on and is so popular.
So long as PBS persists in its extreme and rabid anti-American posture, we will NEVER want for a perfect, always-up to date model of just why we can never relax our commitment to Conservatism.
If you ever want to convince anyone of the ultimate and asinine limit of Liberal credulity and blind malice, just refer them to PBS. VOILA!!!
PBS stands as the permanent monument ever changing, ever contemporary, to how far Liberals will go in their ignorance/disrespect for plain facts and their hatred for the traditions, culture and values of the majority of hard-working and honorable individuals who make up the majority in this country.
What is new, however, is this brand of self-hating handwringing that idle intellectuals insist on inflicting on the rest of us. It's a testament to the success of Western Culture (thus far) that these fools have the time for and can get paid for such nonproductive, valueless claptrap.
....and people see that crap, and believe it, so which way to go? I say blow ‘em off the air.
Nothing about widespread cannibalism by American aborigines I´d bet.
If you want a first hand description of the true condition of life in the “Wild West”, circa 1840’s, pick up a copy of “The Oregon Trail” by Francis Parkman, a vivid historical account of the author’s adventures on the open frontier and his encounters with the Plains Indians. You will discover, as I did, the dishonesty and fabrications of Hollywood in such revisionist pulp as, “Dances with Wolves”.
“This planet, not just the Americas, has ALWAYS been realigned through warfare and invasion.”
What could be more true?
I have been reading history my entire life. I have read the history of people and times far removed from our own as well as American history.
The fact that humanity stinks to the sky is rarely presented for straightforward and unambiguous fact that it is. That is NOT to say that it is justifiable, but rather that it is SO! A little honesty would go a long way here.
No culture, in any period of time has avoided/rejected this monstrous behavior when possessing the motivation or given the opportunity or NOT possessing motive or opportunity! Period! THATS people!
For educators in this country and for the MSM to constantly present history to the public and to students in a way which neglects or misrepresents this widely documented and incontestable fact is abjectly dishonest, and nothing short of outright deception.
I want to see the description of history which admits of THIS truth. You dont need to read MUCH history to understand that it will make NO sense at all when this information (for whatever political/moral/social/cultural reason) is omitted from the equation.
BTW: Native Americans were a stone-age culture when they encountered white men. They dealt with one another as such.
If hostilities immediately descended to the most primitive and inhuman level, I think THAT fact has a lot to do with it.
Amazing isn't it? After 400 years of contact with European civilization, that Indians in my grandmother's day were still living a stone age existence. My grandmother was born in 1894.
If a people can not defend their borders they will lose their land. It was inevitable. Given their culture they doomed themselves.
I would hardly call the indians “bystanders”. They were right there in the thick of it shifting alliances right along with the Europeans. Each individual tribe or group of indians went with who ever offered the best deal at the moment.
One of the pivotal events that led to the revolution in my book was the British decree that there would be no expansion west beyond the appalachians. The brits didn’t do it out of love for the indians, they did it as a means of gaining indian support and as a means of keeping the colonies. After the revolution, all best we off and several different factions fell into decades of fighting. The fighting in the midwest was especially brutal due to the strategic importance of the midwest.
Native Americans did not possess the numerical advantage necessary to withstand encroachment of whites on this continent.
Add to that, the limitations they had in technology, inability to resist disease, lack of cohesion as a population, etc. and the history practically writes itself.
Actually, Native Americans underwent what other ancient and vulnerable groups had long since experienced at EACH OTHERS’ hands. The strong overcame the weak for millennia before Europe took on the national boundaries and cultural expression we recognize today.
Native Americans experienced this so recently in human history simply because Europeans took so long arriving in North America, in any kind of numbers.
Well, that’s a fair point. Pawns maybe, instead of bystanders. But really, none of the Europeans intended to honor any deals with the Indians. They were just being used. My point remains: the conflict was between European powers, who were not acting in concert against the Indians, but were rather in conflict with each other. That they played the Indians for suckers, and that the Indians tried to choose sides as a means of survival, doesn’t change the fact. It’s a fair enough point. They got mixed into the politics for their own reasons, but really, they never had a prayer.
I don't know that I'd agree with that. Europe went through the same thing as the more advanced civilizations basically wiped out the indigenous barbarous people (Caesar against the Gauls, Charlemagne's conquests, etc). The American treatment of the Indians and the American institution of slavery are mentioned so often because it gives America haters (both here an abroad) an excuse to spit on America.
And some tribes were worse off than others. Some were pretty organized. Others were bark-eating beggars. Just as it is racist and simplistic to view the Europeans as monolithic, the same goes for the Indian tribes. The Flatheads were a lot different than the Cherokee, who were different than the Apache, who were different than the Cheyenne, etc.
I agree with all your thoughts on this thread. SMARTY gets it! It’s impossible to study human history and not reach the conclusions you have reached. It puts things in perspective, doesn’t it?
Liberals will always make it out that whites in North America took immediate, constant and gratuitously unfair advantage of Native Americans.
That happened but NOT immediately, invariably or permanently as Liberals like to claim!
Also, to the extent that Native Americans became involved with the ‘politics’ of the colonials and the crown, they exacerbated the situation.
But, I dont honestly know how they could have avoided it. Native Americans wanted trade (weapons, especially) with whites and compromised themselves from that point on.
I have found that if you take money and blood out of the narrative, history will make even LESS sense...and history is pretty confusing, anyway!
I’m with you. It’s sometimes hard to understand WHY people are motivated the way they are, but it’s easy and important to understand that it is SO.
The great Khan would pile up the skulls of his conquered enemies so that people could see them from a mile away. In an age without mass media... what better way to send the message that ‘you will die, if you do not submit’? This is pure and unalloyed terror and PR worth its weight in gold!
Much of this behavior has been bred out of humanity or criminalized by mutual consent, but if you force individuals into a desperate corner or engage backward peoples on the ground ...they will revert to type. Count on it!!
It went from ancient times all the way up to modern times, and the effect was to see the entire panorama of savagry, bloodletting, greed, conquest, all in one great timeline. It really struck me. What a messed up breed we are!
Humanity has survived in spite of itself...NOT because we are superior.
The butchery which has been committed is beyond belief. Staggering... much abated these days, but still evident and dormant just under the most urbane and ‘civilized’ veneer.
Personally, I believe the Christian (New Testament) conception of Mercy, has been the single most significant bar to senseless and wanton killing ... for which there existed NO moral censure in the ancient world.
If left to other beliefs wed still be robbing, killing and worse with perfect impunity
That's not entirely true. The Iroquois were very well organized with a functioning government. The "Iroquois Influence Thesis" has been pretty well dismissed as an influence on our Founding Fathers but the fact that such a thesis could even be considered shows that there were common elements in both models of governance.
That's not to say they weren't brutal; "killed by Indians" is too common a cause of death in my family tree. Some tribes were organized and quite efficient at warfare. Disease, poor alliance choices, and military technology were greater contributors to their downfall.
You’re correct. I eluded to that point later on in the thread. You can’t treat the Indians monolithically. Some were more organized than others. The Sioux and Cheyenne were the ones who couldn’t control their younger warriors, and thus were drawn into conflicts that their elders had tried to avoid.
The way I see it, the greedy power-mongers of the world smartened up. They’re like crime families. They figured out it’s best to avoid a war whenever possible. I think nowadays they fight their battles behind the scenes, and instead of body counts, it’s credits in bank accounts that measures success. I think they’re just more business-like now.
The last, decent PBS special I watched (then owned) was REVOLUTION’ wherein the characters were explaining to the camera on segments why they rebelled against the British.
I even saw Philip Seymour Hoffman in the documentary as a young conscript in the Colonial Army. Truly the best documentary about the American Revolution.
Sounds not so different from current-day environmentalists.
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