Greetings, Boys and Girls!
My name is Robert the Llama Butcher (although I often go by Robbo the LB) and I usually post over at http://www.llamabutchers.mu.nu. I'm in my early forties and have three daughters aged nine, seven and five, respectively, so when Ted came along and suggested the idea for this blog o' stuff kids oughta know, I was all for it.
If you've ever spent any time over at my other blog, you'll already know that I delight in posting about history. I do this mainly for two reasons: first, I strongly believe that we as a culture cannot possibly understand what we are now if we don't first understand how we got to be here. If there is a weakness in the American character, it is a tendancy to look only forward, not backward, and while this is fine in terms of general optimism and has undoubtedly done much to power our rise to greatness, it also blinds us and leads to many tedious and spirit-wasting debates. (I'm thinking, just at random, of those smarmy people who think it's clever to point out the hypocracy of the Founding Fathers in that for all their talk of Liberty, many of them were slaveholders. Yes, such talk would be ridiculous in the early 21st Century, but these men lived in the last half of the 18th and must be taken in their own context. You would think this would be pretty obvious, but apparently it isn't to some.)
Second, I am a great believer in what is sometimes called the Kings and Battles view of history, something that is not much emphasized anymore. This simply says that there are key events and people who have shaped history far more than most others, and that it is important for us to know who and what they were. My experience of what I believe is termed "Bottom Up" historical study, with its fashionable emphasis on the day to day drudgery of the downtrodden, the disenfranchised and the oppressed, is that it is generally nothing more than a platform for sociological agitprop and rabble-rousing. So, for example, you probably will not see much here on the sorry lot of the Medieval serf or the Roman slave, but you may see posts on the efforts of the Plantagenets to take the French throne or the consolidation of power in late Republican and early Imperial Rome by the Julian and Claudian families.
I also like to post about artistic matters, mostly musickal. I am a very strong believer in the concept of High Art, that is, a canon of works that have stood the test of time because of their aesthetic excellence and intellectual rigor. I don't pretend for an instant to be any kind of expert on these matters, but instead cheerfully occupy the position of an enthusiastic amateur. I also believe that an exposure to, say, Haydn and Mozart, Shakespeare and Milton, Rembrandt and Michelangelo, to name just a few, is a part of the well-rounded education of any young lady or gentleman. I feel this is particularly so in that the current age is largely devoid of any real artistic achievement, and it is important for children to get a sense of what Man can achieve when he puts his mind to it. There is an enormous difference between Bach and Britney, and all of you young'uns ought to know what it is.
Anyhoo, welcome aboard and enjoy the ride! Yip! Yip!