Toledo Talk

A Mandatory History Course at UT!!!

About 25 years ago I had the good fortune to take a course at UT, about WW2, taught by Professor Wilcox. In that course, we examined how propaganda films, like those by Frank Capra, were made. How dark shadows and sinister music were added to create strikingly evil images. How certain ideas were expounded upon, while others were completely disregarded. By studying all this, it is so very easy to see all the crapola that is being foisted upon us today! Ask the right questions, stack the audience with cherry-picked questions, show mutilated children, and the list could go on forever. Everytime I see 60 Minutes, watch the presidential debates, see the 6 o'clock news, read The Blah, I'm reminded how a particular viewpoint is being proffered to the public. Even when it's a view I agree with 100%! This course should be mandatory, IMO. Without a doubt, it is the most useful college course I ever had, and basically the only one that I still get something useful from almost every day, 25 years later. Thank you Professor Wilcox!!

created by CharlieA-Z on Dec 27, 2007 at 01:02:48 am     Comments: 9

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Or you can sleep through a high school marketing course.

You sell things by accenting certain features, perhaps a some dishonesty, some persistence, repetition, and totally avoid talk of the real world costs.

Public policy has to be sold to the people, domestic or otherwise.

posted by charlatan on Dec 27, 2007 at 01:30:21 am     #  

Unfortunately, logic and the ability to discern junk from jewels is not something that will be brought about by any particular course.
Today I talked with my 15 year old nephew. After speaking with him for an hour, I was repulsed by the number of words that he mispronounced. Any word with more than 5 letters was inevitably mispronounced, and the same problem goes for my 15 year old niece. (Both are products of the TPS system!)
The problem goes far deeper than any college course offering.... the problem is our education system and parents. Sorry, if a child can not pronounce simple words, then they should not be pushed forward to the next grade in hopes that the mystical god of knowledge will inflate their intelligence with a magical knowledge pump.
Many, if not all, of the above sentiments hold true for some adults that I know as well.

posted by JJFad on Dec 27, 2007 at 03:37:07 am     #  

Today I talked with my 15 year old nephew. After speaking with him for an hour, I was repulsed by the number of words that he mispronounced. Any word with more than 5 letters was inevitably mispronounced, and the same problem goes for my 15 year old niece. (Both are products of the TPS system!)

According to a study by Educational Testing Service and published in an article, The Family: America's Smallest School: By age 4 the average child in a professional family hears about 35 million more words than a child in a poor family. While 62 percent of kindergartners from the richest 20 percent are read to at home every day, 36 percent of kindergartners in the poorest 20 percent are read to daily.

posted by Offshore on Dec 27, 2007 at 09:10:05 am     #  

These 2 films are worth watching as well:

Why We Fight is a nod to Capra.

War Made Easy by Norman Soloman

posted by charlatan on Dec 27, 2007 at 04:47:14 pm     #  

Dr. Larry Wilcox is still among the many fine faculty members of the history department at UT, and I have taken a number of German history courses with him. He is an excellent scholar, and I have learned a great deal about historiography under the tutelage of Dr. Wilcox.

For those of you who attend UT, or who are thinking of taking/auditing some history courses, I highly recommend his undergraduate courses on the Holocaust and on twentieth century Germany. He also teaches a variety of graduate seminars for those of you who are working on an advanced degree.

posted by historymike on Dec 27, 2007 at 05:19:36 pm     #  

Personally I think kids from first grade on up should be getting a healthy dose of US and World History and Geography because what they seem to be learning now is rather sickly

posted by OhioKat on Dec 27, 2007 at 07:57:56 pm     #  

Agreed, OhioKat. What I see with the incoming college freshmen can be discouraging, as many of them have trouble naming on a blank world map more than 3 or 4 countries in Europe, let alone much in the way of Aisan, African, or South American countries.

While I enjoy helping them get up to speed on world history and world geography (when I teach such college courses), it is evident that most students are leaving high school with little in the way of basic knowledge of history, geography, and culture.

And these, mind you, are tomorrow's leaders. I suspect that the collective ignorance increases among those who go straight to the workforce from high school.

posted by historymike on Dec 27, 2007 at 10:26:39 pm     #  

I took an intresting course about the "cold war" once. I managed to disagree with the "propoganda" that the hippy instuctor was spewing. i got a "d" for the course.

posted by tm2 on Dec 27, 2007 at 10:36:55 pm     #  

I never had to take Geography in high school and totally reget it now. I admit that if you ask me to find an "uncommon" country on a world map I'd probably get it wrong. And in American History class, we totally skipped over WWII. How sad is that? One of my goals in life is to take a WWII history college course.

posted by dell_diva on Dec 30, 2007 at 09:32:35 pm     #