Friday, April 11, 2008

History? You're having a laugh!

I have a confession to make; I failed miserably in my history exam at school. For accomplishing this onerous achievement I have to thank my history tutor. Matt was a retired Math teacher brought in to ‘baby-sit’ our class. Our only two hour lesson per week was one of the highlights of our schooling; something we boys all eagerly looked forward to. Our lesson would start as soon we entered the classroom. ‘Matty’ would welcome in this post pubescent horde and ask us to take a comic from a pile stacked neatly on his desk; we duly obliged. Our lesson would entail us swapping around the comics we’d read with our fellow history students. After we were settled down to our reading, Matty would pull out his broadsheet newspaper, put his feet up on his desk, retrieve his packet of twenty Embassy and proceed to light up. His only utterances would be his smokers cough whilst reading his broadsheet and puffing away. Brilliant! We didn’t learn anything but we knew all about Desperate Dan and Korky the Cat.
Later on in life I started a hobby which entailed me having to read up on some of the British Kings and Queens. Easy, one would think, until you delved into this quagmire. You may as well ask a blind man to negotiate the maze at Hampton Court. He stands more chance of finding his way out than you have of de-coding the intricacies of European royal family histories. It’s bad enough that the monarchs’ parents had no imagination, for they named all their future kings with the same names, European royal trees are full of: Louis, James, George and Frederick, but this is further confused by having the same man or woman having different names in different countries. Example: James Stuart the VI of Scotland became King James the I of England. The English call him James I of England and the Scots call him James VI. Who’s right you may ask yourself; well both are! Don’t think that is all the confusion that arises; this is just the tip of a huge iceberg. On top of this they kept changing their last names by adopting the names of the places they ruled. Take the current British royal family, the Windsors. Easy one that, no it isn’t. Their name changed about the time of the WW1 because their real name was Saxe-Coburg, from Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s husband. Her family name was Germanic too; she was a Hanoverian Anyway, it sounded too German so they changed their name to one of their castles. I don’t know why they bothered really because they’re all Germanic anyway. They were related not only to the Kaiser, whom they were fighting, but also to the Russian Tsar, the Romanovs. In fact, the three of them were cousins. Over eight million people had to die because three cousins couldn’t get on with each other. If we decided to have a family tiff and started shelling each other over the garden fence the police would be around straight away, arrest us, throw us in jail and throw away the key; and quite rightly too. So, where were the police in 1914-18? As usual, they arrived when the fuss was all over. My grandfather, who fought in that war, was gassed; he must have had terrible toothache.
I think that it is only fair that I start with my own country of the United Kingdom. I hail from the city of Dundee in Scotland; to confuse the issue slightly more I was actually born in West Berlin in West Germany. My father was in the Black Watch at the time defending the West against the threat of the Russian Hordes, or so I was led to believe. I had a picture in my mind, as a child, of my father manning the barricades with his .303 Enfield and having a Russki in his sights. Actually he was guarding Rudolf Hess in Spandau prison. I never really understand why the British authorities decided to keep Hess in a prison for so long as I can’t see what it was that he did wrong. The only thing that I can think of was that he made an illegal entry into Scotland in May, 1941. He probably forgot to bring along his passport. Nowadays they would have given him Social Security money and a Council house in some rundown council estate. I did find out later that the only defending of the West my father actually did was stopping the Russkies from capturing our good British beer by drinking copious amounts of the stuff at every available opportunity. I think that it is in the British Army’s standing orders somewhere that every squaddie has to imbibe his own weight in alcohol every day. So, I grew up in the pleasant surroundings of Dickens Weg in Charlottenburg, West Berlin. This happy time was only rudely interrupted by the Russians invading Hungary in 1956. My father’s sphincter must have been vibrating rapidly when he heard that news. No need for Senokot then.
Anyway, back to the history bit. History is normally written by the victors of war so all history is a biased mish-mash of half truths and blatant lies, supported upon a bed of wild and inaccurate conjectures. These falsehoods through time become legends and further on in time these legends become the basis for historical thesis of tweed-coated middle class people who haven’t the urge or the courage to go out and conquer somewhere for themselves. Instead, they had to be careful in their suppositions while writing history papers because if they upset the people who won the wars then their measly pittance will be cut off, or worse, they would not be invited around for dinner with their peers. Heaven forbid!
So let’s start with the Scots. A braver nation of people you will ever meet; forged from the peaty waters of the snow covered highlands and led by kings devoted to the goodwill and independence of their own people. Sarcasm? No not really, for the kings were devoted to their own people. It just so happened that the ordinary Scot was not one of their own people. A prime example is of that greatest of Scottish heroes, Robert the Bruce. How more Scottish can you get! It’s a shame that the Bruces were probably of Norman descent, they weren’t Scottish at all. They come from a place in Normandy called Brus or a place in France called Brix. Take your pick, it doesn’t really matter where the Bruces came from, it is more important to realise that they weren’t Scottish. He saw himself as Scottish but of French descent. The same could be said for Edward Longshanks; Edward I, that great English king who became known as the ‘Hammer of the Scots’. English King? He wasn’t English actually. His family name was Plantagenet. They were descended from a Frenchman called Geoffrey V, Count of Anjou; who was the son of Fulk V, King of Jerusalem. So Geoffrey was just another little French Fulker. Therefore the great battles between the Scots and the English were just a scramble for power between two French Knights. Multitudes of indigenous British people of the so called British Isles were slaughtered on the battle fields of glory because French knights wanted control of our islands. French Knights, those great Gallic fighters who took over our country. Gallic? No, I’m afraid they weren’t Gallic either. They were Germanic. I don’t mean German as ‘Der Deutcher Folk’. (They were just another bunch of Germanic tribes who amalgamated under the Prussians in the early to middle 19th century.) Confusing? It certainly is! If the Kings and Queens of Scotland, England and France are not whom they pretend to be, then who are they? The answer lies in the frozen lands of what is now Scandinavia. Yes, Sweden and the likes. It was the mass exodus of the Norsemen who ended up controlling the whole of Europe and for a short period of time most of North Africa and the Middle East. So how could a nation of masochistic sauna dwellers take over a continent. The answer is simple. They were running away from the Asians. At that time Europe was virtually an empty continent. Nowadays we have a population of over 400 million people, whereas in those days there must have been fewer than 40 million. This meant that there were huge tracts of land that were entirely empty. It seems that the Scandinavians, let’s call them Nordic, the Nordic tribes poured out of Scandinavia by the tribe-load not long before the Roman Empire fell. Now there’s a coincidence. Nordic tribes flood out of Scandinavia and shortly afterwards the Roman Empire collapses. What has that to do with Scotland and England? Well, everything! A butterfly farts in Scandinavia and 2000 to 1500 years later the whirlwind that this caused shows us that we are still being ruled by the descendants of those Nordic tribes. All the Royal families of Europe can trace their history back to this ancient European corporate take over. The problem we have is that most of the knowledge we gained about those Nordic types was based upon Roman writings. Yes that all encompassing civilisation which stood as a bulwark against the northern barbarians. That great Roman civilisation which brought technology and order to Western Europe? Not quite. The Romans were just a bunch of organised thugs, apologises to the thugees. Their technological skills were plundered from the very barbarian nations they despised. So, what have the Romans ever done for us? Roads, no, the Celts had roads stretching all the way from Western Spain to Poland, Ireland to Slovenia long before the Romans had finished suckling from a wolf. Well, what about building? Well, not really either, as they stole that technology too. The Persians, Egyptians, Greeks and others were building cities when Rome was a tiny village on the Tiber. So really we need to ignore the Roman point of view of history as it was most certainly Roman centred. However, most of our information in the Roman times comes from the Romans, themselves. So we are forced to take their information on the goings on in the Northern regions and try to sweep clean the balatant Roman propaganda within their writings.