The Lighter Side of History

Gullible’s Travels

Thoughtful people know one thing about history and that is it’s more colorful than they teach in high school. For one thing it’s full of campy rises to power. Take Hitler for instance. When he started out he was a no account aspiring painter living in the slums of Vienna. Then, with apparently nothing more than some costumes and a bunch of satanic pep rallies, he rose to become the leader of a nation that he would eventually run into the ground. You’d think that it was a Monty Python sketch if it hadn’t actually happened!

Hitler wasn’t an isolated incident. Recent American history is full of similar incidents. Take George Washington for instance. It’s a little known fact that he made his first buck and even financed the revolutionary army by carving nickels from logs. The George Washington nickels had buffaloes on them, so it’s where we gets the expression “Don’t take any wooden nickels”, and also “he got buffaloed”. It also makes George W not only the first American Pres, but also the first to undermine the American economy!

George W may have been the first American Pres but he title of “Father of the Nation” goes to Abraham Lincoln. Like Washington he succeeded in life with nothing more than ambition, industry, and a little trickery; and by doing things his own way. For instance Lincoln spent his nights studying law by lamp light. That was after working 16 hour days. Eventually he developed splitting migraine headaches, and began wearing petticoats. He started insisting that friends and neighbors call him “Lucy”; though that called him “Abe the Babe” behind his back just to make fun of him. Luckily his editors caught this disturbing behavior in time, and before it got into his official biography.

Not every great American becomes a president, but not becoming president doesn’t diminish their greatness. Benjamin Franklin was just such a great American. Ben started out at the bottom, by working as an errand boy in a print shop. Ben discovered that you were more likely get ahead in life if you had a sideline. So he convinced his boss to let him sell beer to his co workers for a penny a bucket. Ben soon started pissing in the beer and charging 2 pennies per bucket. So it was clear that the lad was going places! When he started adding pyschodelic herbs to the beer, after studying shamanism with the local Indians, then the way was open for him to start practicing mind control on his unsuspecting colleagues. The rest is history!

Heroic rises from obscurity aren’t restricted to politics. Take Thomas Edison. At 12 he told his mother that school was for losers. The he told her he wanted to go west for opportunity! Since young Tom was a handful, she let him. Tom started out on the trains as an errand boy. He quickly got the idea that there were untapped possibilities in the rail road. So he bought a broken down printing press and put it in the caboose, to cook up some money making schemes with in his spare time; between washing the toilets, loading wood and coal for the engine, catering to demanding passengers, playing flunky to other rail road workers, and generally being demeaned and run ragged. Needles to say Thomas Edison was an energetic lad.

The printing press idea didn’t work out like he’d planned. For one thing it was to crude to print the pornography he’d intended. Never one to let adversity hold him back he developed a plan B and started selling Civil War news out of the stations. Since no one likes news as well as pornography the plan didn’t really pay off. So Young Tom began dressing in ladies’ clothes and selling kisses to lumber jacks at every stop. He’d charge anywhere from a nickel to a quarter, depending on what the local market would support. That means depending on how long it had been since the lumber jacks had seen a woman, to put it in plain English! His few friends became concerned, and confronted him about it; but he began muttering about how “work and now play makes a boy dull”. Besides, the kissing booth business was booming. You just can’t keep a good man down!

So now you know how the west was won. It was won with the American Success Story. That’s a new version of the fairy tale. In the fairy tale a young hero goes out to seek his fortune in the world and succeeds despite nativity, trusting a bunch of strangers, and getting cheated multiple times. He buys some magic beans or something, and then inherits a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. In the Success Story and young hero goes out into the world to seek his fortune. With a combination of ambition and hard work; and by tricking everyone through cutting corners but not breaking laws, he becomes a big deal. He doesn’t find a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow; he gets it out of the pockets of people who don’t deserve to have it. So that’s how you know the story is incredible! But don’t take my word for it. Just have a listen to the following 6+ hour special on John Taylor Gatto and his take on the not too distant past!




After that what can you make of history? It’s not what we think, and it might not even be what we think it isn’t! So history is complicated, but at least it’s funny. Let’s say it’s something familiar and something peculiar!

Occupy History!

There’s one other thing we can say about history – like a bad comedian it repeats it’s self!

BTW get your free copy of C Quigley’s Tragedy & Hope by hitting the link –

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