Tammy's All Things History

Bringing the Past to Life!


June 2014

History on Saturday: One Bad Apple


We often hear about bad apples these days. Politicians love using the term to get their opinions and ideas across to a large audience. Business owners use it in marketing to boost sales or discredit competition. Journalists use it in their editorials to gauge public opinion and place it, in a way, that everyone can see it. These ideas bring discussion, debate or interest in a topic and it allows the viewer to think about what choices they might have in order to make decisions. The method used by journalists is the center of the political cartoon because they can reach the public, politicians and business owners. In the past, the other groups could only directly reach people that were interested in a particular topic.

In the US, we grow up hearing the phrase, “One rotten apple will spoil the whole bunch.” It means that if you have a bowl of fruit out on a counter or table for a week or so the fruit starts to decay from the center outward. This is because the fruit is smothered by the others and it does not get enough oxygen. Once that happens it begins to decompose and the decomposition spreads to other apples. Americans use the term to say that if a group of folks has an idea and a particular goal in mind and one person in the group goes against that idea, the goal will not be met. That one person has the power to influence the others to change their mind and not pursue that goal anymore. Today politicians and news media are tossing the term around to let voters know that there are problems within political parties. This is why there is so much confusion in Washington and why Congress can not agree with the president on issues. There is really nothing wrong with this. It has been gong on since the country was founded. There will always be one person in a group with a doubt or an idea or even a personal agenda that differs from the rest of the group whether they even know about it or not.

Here are some examples of the political cartoons used to start talk about the bad apple idea.




Political cartoons are not as popular as they used to be and that is probably due to the use of mass electronic media today. Before there were electronic media, the political cartoon was the way everyone could be exposed to the same idea and it was useful to people and their daily lives.


For further interest in this topic see, The Art of Polemics. They publish a daily cartoon as well as other historical topics. Next time you see a political cartoon, think about the way that cartoon is being used to reach a wide audience and what that cartoon may be saying about what society as a whole is feeling about a certain topic.

Finding Ideas for Historical Writing



First, a blog update:

I have not written much on my blog since it was introduced in 2012. One reason for this is because since that time I re-enrolled in school. So, my time has been critical and management a top priority. Another reason is due to writer’s block and writer fatigue. I have had to write so much in class that my mind gets clogged with information overload. I sit at the PC wanting to blog something, but my creative juices just will not flow.

To get out of the funk, I do follow a number of other blogs, and they all inspired me to keep the faith and keep pushing on. They inspired me to keep going on with my studies in class and to continue publishing a blog post once in a while. It is OK if I do not blog every day or every month. A blog is something I can come back to when the time and space are right. While searching for something to write about, finding historical topics to blog about, I found is a good place to start back up with.

from my library


I usually find ideas for my blog by reading books. I find little known tidbits of history in them, and the light goes off in my head, and I think I could write a blog about it. But when I am up to my eyeballs in class stuff, reading for leisure gets swept to the wayside. Recently I sat down and thought up a few ideas for finding history topics. It has always been a problem for me. What to write about. I don’t want to get too broad with a subject because then the job gets too big to handle. I don’t want it to be too narrow because then I can’t find anything relevant to add to the discussion. Whatever I set about to write, reading other books by other historians or non-historians always gives me ideas for blogging.

History tv
some found here


I recently listened to the American Historical Association president talk about historians moving to a global approach with historical interpretation and this got me thinking. I should do a global historical topic. I should do something that tie in two or three countries over a particular topic. I can keep it simple by finding just find one common theme and blog about it.



Other bloggers

Some fellow bloggers are busy in school as well, or they are in a block of their own kind. In that instance, some of them only post a picture to write about and add a few lines. This is great because it stimulates the reader’s imagination and allows them to ask questions. Others might blog about current issues like global conflicts or global economic issues that affect us nationally. Others break their topics down so much and only blog about one thing. This is cool because the narrower a topic is the more the reader is able to question the information and this lead to sleuthing for more information on a topic.


Creating ideas

With history, the possibilities are endless. We just have to broaden our thinking and get creative with it and see what opportunities arise from the thoughts we create and share.




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