Thursday, January 26, 2023

History Dork #1: Gary W. Gallagher

This is my favorite lecture on the American Civil War. Gary W. Gallagher is a very bright guy and makes a lot of incredible points, both on a specific level and a general level. If you are a Civil War Dork I highly recommend watching.

But if not here are my favorite general takeaways:

  • History and memory are two very different things. There's history, and then there's memory of history, and it's important to keep that in mind when trying to understand historical events.
  • Don't start at the end of the story and work your way backward to figure things out. Read forward in the evidence.
  • A bad Hollywood movie will still have a far greater impact on the public's perception of history than the world's greatest history scholar.
  • When standard exams have answers to questions that are "wrong" right answers, tell your students to put the "wrong" answer down, and then explain to them why it's not true. It will be a good life lesson for them.
  • If you wait for everything to be perfect before doing something, you'll never do anything.

For the history buffs out there, here are some specific takeaways I found interesting:

  • Barely anyone in the country paid attention to "The Gettysburg Address" when it was delivered.
  • If America today was mobilized to the degree that the United States was mobilized during the Civil War, there'd be 32 million people in uniform.
  • If America today was mobilized to the degree that the Confederacy was, there'd be 50 million people in uniform.
  • The Confederacy (up until the late 20th century) was the most intrusive federal government in North American history. They passed an aggressive income tax and taxed 10% of all Agricultural production from their citizens.
  • There were 100,000 total casualties in six weeks during the Overland Campaign
  • Gallagher considers Winfield Scott to be one of the five greatest soldiers in U.S. history
  • Ulysses S. Grant's funeral was the largest funeral in U.S. history, with 1.5 million attendees
  • Grant's tomb in New York City is the largest tomb in North America
Just a cool video I thought I'd share. I guess this technically should fall under the YouTube Cavern category lol. I guess History Dork posts will be a subsidiary of the Cavern, with oppos for going outside the YouTube wormhole. Hope you found something here fascinating. God Bless.

- ZB James

Thursday, January 19, 2023

ZB's YouTube Cavern #14: This is a Song Called "Bad"

"We're and Irish band, we come from Dublin City, Ireland.
Like all cities, it has it's good and it has it's bad.
This is a song called "Bad"."

- Bono

One of my childhood best friends passed away late last month. And in the emotional whirlwind of getting the news, my mind kept coming back to this YouTube video. U2’s legendary rendition of “Bad” at Live Aid back in 1985.

I remember throwing this on the TV one night at his house when we were teenagers. I’m a big U2 fan, and I was hoping to share that same joy with him. And so I thought of this video - one of the most legendary moments in the band's history - and put it on.

I’ll never forget his reaction. Just sheer amazement, the same type of reaction I had when I was a little kid and my Dad showed me the performance. It was - and will forever be in my mind - one of the most meaningful music-sharing moments I’ve ever experienced. To have somebody just get it, and feel that same awe and reverence that you have for a singer, or band, or any artist, is just pure magic. It’s what music and the arts are all about: sharing with others.

We fell out of touch over the years, and I only saw him a handful of times in the last decade. But any time I did see him, he would bring up U2 and that moment. We had endless memories growing up, but that one is one I’ll really cherish.

Rest easy brother.

- ZB James