Tag Archives: history

The Wit and Wisdom of the Lumineers – Throwback Thursday

One of my favorite blog series I’ve done is my “Listening to Music Without Understanding It” series over on Sourcerer. I thought I would reblog it here for Throwback Thursday over the coming weeks. Enjoy!


One of the most interesting bands I have found in recent years is the Lumineers. They are hard to describe in a few words, hard to nail down to a genre or style. iTunes describes them as “front porch Americana.” Not a bad start.

I want to consider a few of the great traits of this band, to share with you what I like about this band, and to share why I think you they deserve a listen – if you haven’t already! Their eponymous first studio album came out in 2012, so I’m at least hoping there’s more to come from them soon.

In the meantime, this is a band from Denver, and I’m from Denver, and it would be neat to see them play there sometime! But for now, my sense of the Lumineers.

A Sense of History

One of the things that stands out about the Lumineers is their sense of history. They sing songs set solidly in the past, and seem to capture some of the feeling from the time. They tap back into the Roaring Twenties, World War II, and Vietnam.

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History of the Entire World!

This one’s only about a week old, and Fine Brothers Entertainment already got it in front of YouTubers React. And I’m glad they did.

Oh man, the speed and the cuts just get more complicated when you’re switching between the reactors… Still, their discussion about the video is interesting.

For one thing, I was reminded I was a history major when they were talking about how they were amazed at all the things they didn’t know that they were learning…

And their thoughts on using a video like this in teaching were interesting. The idea of using it as a jumping-in point for topics in history class seems good and fun.

However, as they point out in the informational text near the end, the video took creator Bill Wurtz about 11 months to make – so the idea of teachers creating things like this for use in class is a bit intimidating. Which means that for this to work for classes, teachers are stuck either making something like this over a long time, or else they’re stuck waiting for YouTubers to do the work – and hoping they’re accurate.

I’m interested in what you think! And here’s the original, 20ish minute video…

 

The Super Secret Origin of the Azor Ahai Myth in Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones is a sprawling fantasy epic that carefully blends grounded medieval realpolitik with magic and supernatural elements. George RR Martin has gone on record about his inspiration for the politics of the series: the real-world dynastic battles of the War of the Roses, with Starks and Lannisters being analogues for ye olde Englande’s northern Yorks and rich Lancasters.

But what is the origin of the supernatural mono-myth that seems to dominate the story? I’m talking about the story of Azor Ahai and related myths that are so prevalent in Westeros and Essos.

RedSunset

Born under a bleeding star…

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Technological Advancement and Star Wars

Lately we’ve been reading a lot of Jeffrey Brown’s Darth Vader books with the Geek Toddler. She loves them, and they’re great. We’ll probably talk more about them at some point. But there’s one page in particular that made me just stop and think.

Haha, common parent statement, right? And in this case it’s also totally true.

We get to see plenty of big space ship battles in Star Wars Episodes I-III. Lots of different ship types. Which, we know from seeing things like the Rebel Fleet in the later movies, sure, there are lots of different ship types in the Star Wars universe.

However, like the Death Star, the Star Destroyer is a product of the Empire. A product of an authoritarian war machine that only really exists for maybe 20-30 years? Wait, there’s a timeline, hold on…

Okay, so 23 years is how long the Empire is around? And 19 years between episodes III and IV (and Rogue One). In that time they develop and build Star Destroyers and a Death Star. Wow! Both the R&D and the actual manufacture there is impressive, even with the full might of an intergalactic state behind it.

As seen in Rogue One, so major coercion was needed, and I liked the point that was made about how they would develop the weapon sooner or later – just sooner with the help of a genius. That’s still a really tight window, and even if some of that development started before the Senate fell (might have I don’t know), that’s still a whole lot.

But Star Wars lore goes a whole lot further back than that. For one thing, there’s the whole Old Republic, a long time ago even from the standpoint of the films. I imagine there are books and other media in this era, but mainly there have been video games – so the most time-intensive and immersive form of media.

And there’s so much about the society of Star Wars that seems the same between the Old Republic and the movies. The droids, the crime, the relevant races, the Jedi…

I have always been a bit amused by this lack of change, but had not fully thought about how, once the Empire began, there was a massive surge in new technology. Even the Clones seemed like something that had been researched for a long while before finally coming together just in time to have some Clone Wars.

I suppose that the Old Republic is also missing from that canon timeline, sadly. So maybe this isn’t really a problem from a canon standpoint. But it’s sad to set history like that aside as well. What do you think?

Life is Hard

Because it needs saying.

I hadn’t actually watched the music video before… history! But it’s the lyrics I chose this for.

What other songs would you say share the sentiment – that life is hard? Let me know in the comments!