Saturday, December 10, 2005

It Was the Worst of Times...

Here's a headline that's currently on the Yahoo! News top 10: "Historians: Past Eras Were Worse Than Now." Well, no kidding! What's next, "Having Electrodes Attached to Your Genitals Is an Unpleasant Experience"? (That one would come strictly from the left-wing press, mind.)

Not that we're living in especially happy-go-lucky times, but I think a brutal war that killed over a half-million Americans in the 19th Century is a tiny bit worse. (That would be the Civil War, by the way, Siena College students.)

The Siena Research Institute poll of American historians was undertaken by researchers after hearing students of Siena College in the Albany area "comment they felt today's era was one of the most trying in America's history."

"I definitely think today is one of most trying times," said Kristina Hicks, 20, a Siena junior. "When I read about things like 9/11 and the war in Iraq in textbooks, it doesn't actually portray the whole picture of what happened." (Possibly this is because these events happened in the last few years and textbooks get written at the pace that stalagmites form?)

The survey asked historians to rate eight different eras in American history on a scale of how trying they were. Guess what? Today was deemed the least trying era of the eight. The results, from most trying to least, were as follows:
1. The Civil War (nearly destroyed the country)
2. The Revolutionary War (nearly destroyed the idea of the country)
3. The Great Depression (Okies, Okies everywhere)
4. Vietnam and the Cultural Revolution (dirty hippies, Nixon)
5. World War II (less fun than Hogan's Heroes implies)
6. The Cold War (bombs bursting in air—not the good kind)
7. World War I (machine guns!!)
8. Today (not specifically December 11, know what they mean!)
Now, if we throw in a little bird flu pandemic and a few more seasons of The Simple Life, we might be getting up there.
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