What is about history that makes it so boring in textbooks and so interesting on TV? My mom was my history teacher at my school for quite some time and in all fairness to her, she did manage to breathe life into those black and white images and cold, dry dates to some extent. The history that I read in school still forms the backbone of my understanding of our past. But those facts and figures never caught my fancy like the wonderful documentaries on the Discovery Channel and its knowledge spouting brethren on the tube.
My hands down favourites were documentaries on South American civilizations. With their forgotten pyramids overgrown by tropical forests, fierce vengeful gods and a penchant for human sacrifice, they were infinitely interesting. Ancient Egypt and it's scheming ruling dynasties came in a close second. World War 2 and the madness of Hitler's plans were an interesting topic too. You never realize that history was dotted with so many colourful personalities until you've watched his/her "Biography" on the History Channel.
Not that I depend only upon TV to appreciate history. I love the ambience of any old place be it a palace or a name of historical significance. A peaceloving man for most purposes, the only persons I'd really like to line up and shoot dead are the morons who draw their ill fated lover's name with chalk on the aging walls of our great historical monuments. They had better not let me catch them in the act of vandalizing our past if they wanted their love story to have a happy ending. Most of all, when I look at the follies of humans in the past and see a re-run of it scheduled for the future, I wonder when and if we will learn.