Why read History?


Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it“, George Santayana.

Remember Northern Ireland?  Remember how the British tried to fight the terrorists?  Remember how they used “Peace Walls” to separate the Catholic and Protestant communities?  Remember how effective that was?

How in this world can a fool like Donald Trump pontificate about building walls and sending Muslims home and have anyone, anyone at all, listen to him seriously?  Like, seriously guys, what have you been reading?

Remember that fateful day when Ronald Reagan stood in West Berlin and said “Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall”?

Hate begets hate.  Fear begets fear.  If you want to listen to someone say something useful I suggest you listen to the Dalai Lama.  We need to build bridges instead of walls.  We need to open doors instead of locking them and barring them.  We solve no problems or differences if we refuse to communicate.

Peace begins with mutual respect.  A taco truck on the corner is a good thing.  A falafel truck on the other corner is even better.  Instead of shutting down taco trucks in Texas wouldn’t it be better to open American diners in Aleppo?

Besides, Trump seems to hate America.  He keeps saying it is not great.  When exactly was it “better”?  What year would Donald Trump like to go back to?  Does he want to re-open the committee on un-American activities?  Does he want to re-introduce the Jim Crow laws?  Maybe he wants all women to return to the home and become good little housewives?

It just seems to me that Donald Trump is one of those people who cannot remember the past.



Gusto: by Brendan Kennelly
The Catholic bombed the Protestant’s home

The Protestant bombed the Catholic’s home

The Protestant castrated the Catholic

The Catholic castrated the Protestant

The Protestant set fire to the Catholic Recreation Centre

The Catholic set fire to the Protestant Recreation Centre

The Catholic cut the tail of the Protestant dog

The Protestant cut the tail of the Catholic dog

The Protestant hanged the Catholic

The Catholic hanged the Protestant

As they dangled like dolls from the freshly-painted

Protestant and Catholic gibbets

They held hands in mid-air and sang

With spiritual gusto, ‘Onward, Christian Soldiers!’