I read this in the most recent issue of the New Yorker and thought some of you might want to also, as we are now just shy of a week from the anniversary of Armistice. The article covers history about that event (how was the Armistice forged? what happened in the days before it? what were some of its terms?) and more broadly (why did the Germans feel confused and angry at the Armistice)? Additionally, it touches on propaganda, attitudes toward the conflict, and the role of African American troops, which is a topic we will be turning to with our next book. Warning: parts will make you angry:
In class today while discussing Borden, Dr. Scanlon brought up how some people viewed the war as a great purge, akin to Noah’s flood, that would clean the Earth of its sins and allow humanity to start over. She also said that major cities we all know of will go under water in our own lifetimes because of the way people have trashed the planet (paraphrasing here). In a way, humanity’s inability/unwillingness to care for the planet is like a sin.
I hadn’t been out of class for five minutes when a friend sent me this news article about major flooding in Venice: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/30/world/europe/venice-floods-italy.html
Whether or not you believe that climate change is going to wipe us all out and we’ll deserve it because humans are selfish shitbags who ruined Mother Nature’s resources in the name of colonization and capitalism (I’ve given up on trying to be erudite because I just don’t have it in me right now), it should be concerning to everyone with an ounce of sense that the extreme weather patterns we’ve been having are wreaking death and destruction throughout the earth.
I have a brother who’s done tours in Afghanistan but is now stationed very close to Venice. Being the sister of a man who’s been bombed at multiple times has made it very difficult for me in class some days, because I frankly do not want to read these horrifically gruesome, detailed, and hopeless books about dead soldiers when my brother is getting shot at on the reg. And now I really, really don’t want to think about God sending a second wave of watery punishment down to Earth because humans are awful and it’s doubtful as to whether or not we can still salvage the planet. Maybe it’s selfish to not want to open my eyes to the history of political conflict in the world, and to not want to keep educating myself about this. Maybe I’m just selfish, then.