Saturday, June 13, 2009
Aliens Did It
Yesterday's political cartoon rates a full five barks from Old Word Wolf, based on the apparent failure of a Viewpoints page editor at the Charlotte Sun to apply his history teacher's lessons to the real world. In the cartoon, a tall skinny figure representing the president says, "Let me get this straight -- they built this without government funds?"
Let me set you straight, dear Viewpoints Editor: Archaeologists and historians teach us, starting in about the third grade, that Egyptian pyramids were built by pharaohs -- heads of government. The government had at its disposal thousands of slaves who quarried thousands of acres of limestone and granite. The government ordered the slaves to shove thousands of tons of stone across the desert and make a pile of rock into a figure determined by thousands of engineers because the government, in the person of the pharaoh, wanted a place to rest its bones. Slaves and engineers alike received bed and board from the big guy on the throne -- the government. All these resources, both human and material, were spent at the behest and expense of the government.
So, anyone who can remember the story of the pyramids and how they came to be -- such as an editor who is relatively awake and not a victim of early onset senility -- would take one look at this cartoon and wonder why any ink in this time of frugality and cutbacks -- should be wasted on such an obvious error of generally accepted historical fact. Not at the Sun.