On Monday Dr. H and I went to see “The Iron Lady”.* As I sat soaking in the film, I couldn’t help but be embarrassed by the level of suspense I felt as I watched the storyline unfold. Though based almost entirely on historical events which occurred during Prime Minister Thatcher’s life, I found myself blissfully ignorant of outcomes to things like elections and wars. It was the British history equivalent of going to see Titantic and wondering if the iceberg would really sink the ship. How could I be so unaware of real life events!?
I left the theater deep in thought. Was it that I never studied the astonishing leader that Margaret Thatcher was with enough depth or that I simply didn’t have the capacity to absorb her awesomeness at the time it was being taught to me? Did I learn about the war for the Falkland Islands at some point in AP European history (or AP International Government or Intro to International Relations..!) and just TOTALLY forgot about it!? Yikes!! Dr. H tried to calm my “I’m an unaware idiot” qualms as we walked home by reminding me that we only have so much capacity for knowledge and perhaps knowing all aspects of global history is a bit beyond my reach. Though I know I’m not a candidate for tomorrow’s episode of Jeopardy, I still felt as though my education and worldliness were seriously lacking. There was a lady PM who went to war and won..? There was a King of England who resigned for love of a married American woman..? How did America react to the hostage crisis at the Munich Olympics!? I’ve learned a lot of history from watching movies. Do you rely on Hollywood for knowledge of historical events? Is that a bad thing!? (ps- at least I came home and did a little research:)
*The movie was excellent and I highly recommend it. Meryl Streep is a goddess of character transformation and the movie, though at times a bit depressing, is a must see for lovers of history, feminists and “Oscar nominee junkies”.