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I am not fluent in Vietnamese. And even if I could find volumes of English translation, I wouldn't read them. It's not a topic in its particulars that interests me. The "Conflict" --as my eminently offended parents reminded us back in the day-- is barely History. The stories to tell are still memoirs, which is to say, in my mind, abject and belated explanations for ones's part dressing a naked genocidal project this way or that.

When I was a child I watched news of The Conflict on the evening news delivered by Cronkite, Huntley, and Brinkley. Mr Lt. Calley's trial was a topic in my "social studies" class. About the same time, for different reasons, we were given a project to present our family histories. I, by comparison to the many purported descendants of Mayflower settlers, little to offer to the grand scheme. My daughter informs me that the narrative of personal mementos scattered around the National Museum of African American History leaves the same impression.

I have spent a little time though in Ho Chi Minh City twenty years or so ago. The city was teeming with youth and poverty. I was startled that my guide could find no war memorials of the "American War". I was startled to learn that "Yo!" is a toast to good health. This all gave me pause for thoughts about symbols signifying tribute or triumph. If I'd ever made it to Hanoi or crawled through the tunnels, I might have today a different perspective on the history of the Vietnamese peoples, but I doubt it. I've learned my lesson.

So in my dotage I amuse myself reading "revisions" as black history of the world's civilizations comes to light.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Mon Sep 3rd, 2018 at 08:02:15 PM EST
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