I just saw one of my favorite SMBC strips: http://www.smbc-comics.com/comic/2013-04-15. To what extent do you feel this is accurate?
There was this move afoot to ignore the “great person” theory of history, yet I don’t see how one can totally ignore, for good or ill, a Charlemagne or Elizabeth I or Hitler. Still, it’s often nameless people who put their lives on the line to change history; you might know an ML King or a Gandhi, but they were leading movements of people, lots of anonymous folks.
Stuff does happen: earthquakes, floods, and the like. But it’s often how we RESPOND to the stuff that truly matters. In other words, it’s ALL true, plans and randomness.
Do you ever just totally forget yourself and accidentally use language or terms that are foreign to your audience? (Example: I referred to something as “Kafkaesque” to a church friend who is not college educated.)
It happens. I used KJV recently when referring to the King James Version of the Bible.
I’ve mentioned in the past how terrible it was to be in Charlotte, NC in 1977 when my use of ANY three-syllable words was subject to me being ridiculed. It might have been a word as basic as “ridiculed.”
Still, I think I do OK on this front. I TRY to be the listener.
How boss are you at Trivial Pursuit? What version do you play?
I haven’t played this century, I believe. I was quite good in the day with the traditional game, and I got another set of cards, but I have no idea which iteration.
I do know that my 21st-century popular culture is very weak. Offer me a million dollars to name one Justin Bieber song, and you’d keep the cash in your pocket. The problem with pop culture is that there’s too much of it. In the days of three TV networks and the Billboard charts counting actual physical sales, it was easy. But in the era of 257 channels (and nothing on) and downloads, it simply doesn’t stick. And I have other priorities.
I’m fascinated by watching JEOPARDY! The questions I’ll have zero ideas about involved video games and popular movies that I didn’t see. But there was a recent Final JEOPARDY: Created in 1971, this company’s logo has been likened to a wing & was supposed to connote motion. I thought this was really easy, but none of the contestants got it. (It’s Nike, of course.)
2 thoughts on “Trivia and the great person theory”
NPR just covered the election of 68. What a president Bobby Kennedy would have been; what an agent of chaos Sirhan Sir hand was.
On the other stuff: I think you’re modest. 😀
(Oh, that’s why you sent us to a link to see the comic. Somewhat foul language!) Think of it this way: Great People AND The Masses are wielders and purveyors of Random- er, Stuff. Other than the occasional meteorite or earthquake you need a conduit for randomness, and that’s where people come in.
That being said, there has never been a great general without a great army to lead. Leaders are followers who run in front of the pack.