Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Forensic History

There's a recent Sunday TV documentary called Sharidyn's Homecoming, which tells the story of the NZ family of 14-year-old Kiwi-born schoolgirl Sharidyn Svebakk-Bohn. Along with 76 other people, mostly young teenagers, Sharidan was murdered by the far right terrorist Anders Breivik in 2011. I don't usually watch these sorts of documentaries, as they tend to indulge in a form of sentimentalism I do not like. This documentary however was quite well done, and the interviews with Sharidyn's mother made fascinating viewing. Inevitably there were scenes showing photos of Sharidyn with emotive piano music in the background, but this sort of thing was done in a sensitive and relatively restrained fashion, considering the enormity of the horror her family must have endured.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

My Other Blog

Although I'm really fascinated by WW1, I don't want to think about it all the time. So I started a new blog call Psuedo Reality Prevails, which will be for anything I might write which doesn't relate to WW1. My first post is called "The Misery of Statistics", and it examines the reasons why I consider the NCEA statistics curriculum to be fraudulent form of mind cancer.


Friday, 16 May 2014

Missions and Objectives

I have just been reading through the “Missions and Objectives” of the official government project for WW1 centenary commemorations. You can see for yourself at this website

I was compelled to make some comments of my own.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Inglorious Basterds, a Donkey Bridge and an Ex Nazi

The First World War is fairly consistently overshadowed by its more spectacular and far more deadly sequel, World War Two. Although many historians and intellectuals might regard both wars as being equally momentous and consequential, I think that from the perspective of popular culture in the 21st century, WW2 wins against WW1 in terms of fame and impact by a large margin. I'm not sure what the exact statistics are, but I am quite certain that the number of Hollywood movies made about WW2 far exceeds the number made about WW1. There are some very interesting and notable movies made about WW1, such as All Quiet on the Western Front. Whatever artistic merits these films might possess, they lack a crucial ingredient: the Nazis.