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The Spanish-American philosopher George Santayana wrote the above (our motto) in 1905. The SHRS dedicates itself to creatively re-enacting some of the biggest (and smallest) mistakes in human history in both live and television presentations. The fateful decision process leading up to the critical
event are included in our presentations so that the full lesson might be learned.
Our goal is that these idiotic events of human history will never be repeated.
Some of our past re-enactments have included:
Burning of the Library at Alexandria
Custers "Last Stand"
Tacoma Narrows Bridge Disaster
The 2000 U.S. Presidential Election
We are now soliciting from the public more crucial stupid events in human history that should never be repeated. Please submit them to our web site at www.historicalstupidity.com or by other means.
(?) George Santayana
Our hero [krelnik, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]
[krelnik, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]
Year 2500: Internet Stock Market Bubble Reenactment Society
a like minded organization created by [hippo] [krelnik, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]
Museum of Mistakes
mistaken identity? [FarmerJohn, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]
History repeats it's elf
Maybe **it happens regardless [Amos Kito, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]
Baked according to Nick@Nite. [A note re. the web site: if you believe their links, the burning of the Library at Alexandria took place in a suburb of DC - clearly they need to do a little more work...] [krelnik, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]
||Since your solicitation covers the small as well as the epic, I'd like to nominate the time in college when I left my math books in the cafeteria the night before the mid-term exam, whereupon, deciding that I could not study, proceeded to go out and get drunk, causing me to earn a 12 on the test, fail the class, wind up with a sub-optimal grade point average and not be wildly successful thereafter.
||If future generations want to learn anything about us, they would to well to avoid my example.
||<obligatory annotation re the value of revising for exams *before* the night before the exam> WTAGIPBAN
||//This differs...only...bad decisions?//
||No. All historical re-enactment societies I've seen or heard of have the following characteristics in common:
||1. They specialize in a particular era or milieu. (U.S. Civil War, Renaissance culture, etc). This one crosses all of history.
||2. They largely re-enact events or situations that people find interesting or laudable--not things they are embarrassed about.
||3. They repeatedly re-enact the same event. This one doesn't necessarily (note the mention of television).
||Following the re-enactment of the engineering errors of Apollo fire, there could be one of the political decisions to IGNORE the engineers that gave us the shuttle disaster!
||But if you want to get off this topic, how about a series of vignettes from all over the world of the US shoring up brutal repressive but "anti-communistic" regimes, instead of progressive populist democratic elements, only to have them fall to communist revovlutions.
||//The WW2 Bombing of London (which was a mistake for Germany, lucky for everyone else)//
Well, except for the poor sods who had the bombs dropped on them.
||//I'd like to see how they'd pull off the Tacoma Narrows wiggly bridge in front of an audience//
waugs, clearly you never watched Michael Bentine's Potty Time.
||(Edited idea & related annotations to remove reference to one event, which people were focusing on instead of actually discussing the idea).
||Oh you shouldn't do that sort of thing, krelnik. Where will it all end? For example, I particularly object to the death of George Custer being described as a 'last stand'. The implication being that he was conducting a heroic defence when, in fact, he was the vile invader. The whole incident would more properly be described as the Sioux's Last Stand in defence of their lands.
||That is precisely the point of our re-enactment, DrBob!
||Oh, look at the tree over there.
||Surrender Speech by Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce
||"I am tired of fighting. Our chiefs are killed. Looking Glass is dead. Toohulhulsote is dead. The old men are all dead. It is the young men who say yes or no. He who led the young men is dead.
It is cold and we have no blankets. The little children are freezing to death. My people, some of them, have run away to the hills and have no blankets, no food. No one knows where they are--perhaps freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children and see how many I can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead.
Hear me, my chiefs. I am tired. My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever."
||Can you reenact designing a spacecraft to be made in
as many congressional districts as possible leading to
ballooning costs and the Challenger disaster?
||Waiting to see my grandfather who came for a
visit, after seeing him only three years before, I
spotted a man with a suit and hat slowly
proceeding towards me. I was exhilarated and ran
towards him yelling "Zeidy! Zeidy!" as I came closer
I realized this cannot be my grandfather, so I
continued running and yelling till I turned the
street and was way out of sight and sound.
||Saw for the first time the new-look of tall buses,
on one that had Jacque Ulegrie printed on it. The
bus driver, a Morrocan Jew with large hairy arms,
was at his seat and the door was open. I stopped
to chat with him. Wow! I said. So your Jacque? He
stared at me. I continued: A few years ago, people
in our status wouldn't have dreamed of having our
own bus. And to proudly put our name on it!
That's really great. About a week later on the news
they were talking about an accident that
happened to one of the 200 buses from the
Jacque Ulegrie bus company.
||I gave a lesson to 400 teachers about Systematic
Inventive Problem Solving (or SIT for Thought).
The night before I decided to look up in King
Solomon's Proverbs a verse that say's something
similar to: You can't have your cake and eat it.
The idea was to show that with proper thought,
you actually can. I found a verse: "Watching the
fig, he will eat it the fruit". There it is! I said to
myself. About 20 of the teachers were bible
teachers. I asked them all if anyone had heard this
verse before, and wrote it on the whiteboard.
I then explained that it was actually a riddle, an
ancient question, asking: Can you watch the fig,
and eat it? On the way home I suddenly
understood. The verse is talking about the fig tree
and its fruit. Actually it says: "(He who) watches
the fig tree will eat HER (the fig tree in Hebrew is
||One night in Lebanon (the country) we were
posted as commander course cadets me and my
friend to guard over a small army tractor. We had
no idea where we were, or what needed to be
done, but stayed up in shifts. Around 2am I heard
a loud PING. Who's there! I yelled in Arabic, and
woke up my friend. We heard the pings continue
and they seemed to get closer. You go around to
right, and cover me, I said, and I'll attack them
We sprayed the area, and reached the target
together. The tractor was leaking from all sides,
and no enemy was seen. Then it made the cooling
sound again: PING!