"I love your "Malaysian Accent", can you say it again?"

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Saturday, November 21, 2020

New blog picture - 21st November 2020

"I love your "Malaysian Accent", can you say it again?"

Description: Meme from Dexter's Laboratory (original scene - omelette du fromage [sic])

Edward VIII, Wallis Simpson & The Abdication Crisis

Edward VIII, Wallis Simpson & The Abdication Crisis | HistoryExtra Podcast - HistoryExtra

"‘Wallace Simpson made the very elementary mistake of believing that the king had a similar power to the American President. Unfortunately, so did Edward VIII. He believed that he was going to be able to take over the country and more or less run it on the lines he wanted to. He was called the most modernistic man alive by one of his admirers. And also very interesting is that he wants to take over BBC itself. He, at a dinner party one day, he said with robust good humour, that he would fix the question of BBC’s independence. It would be the last thing he did before he went.’

‘Was this just delusion or did he have any grounds for believing that the monarchy either possessed or could regain this sort of power?’

‘Well, something I found out about Edward VIII was that one of his private secretaries Lord Wigram believed that he was actually mentally ill, and put procedures in place for him to be certified if needs be. It was thought they might have had a second George III on their hands. So although posterity hasn't generally agreed with Wigram, there was a sense that I suppose if you look at it now, we’d probably give him some sort of delusion, narcissistic personality disorder or something like that, because he had these insane delusions of grandeur. Okay, he was King Emperor, which is a bit better than most of us going to get’...

‘Initially, there was no great spark between the two of them, but she became part of his social orbit. By the beginning of 1934, he was as obsessed by her as it'd be possible for a human being to be with another one. And there’s two ways of looking at this. The first way of looking at this is he was a deeply lonely man who for the first time in his life had actually met somebody who took him for what he was, rather than being something else. And that's the romantic way of looking at it’...

‘The person rather than the prospective crown?’

‘Absolutely. But she wrote in her autobiography that she had been the first to penetrate his inner loneliness. But without wishing to be crude, I think she penetrated something else entirely. And I think that what it was with Edward was that he was a masochist of the highest, indeed most submissive nature. And a lot of the contemporary accounts of their behavior together, suggested that she took a dominant role far, far beyond what you would have expected, and that he, the King of England was only too happy to appear pathetic and submissive in front of her... of course was always a feature of BDSM relationships, that the submissive partner is encouraged to give something up to prove their adoration to their dom. So why not, if you be King of England, do the most submissive thing of all, give up your friend for your mistress?’...

He would seem to be a trance. Over and over again, it's that specific phrase people used. He was in a trance like state, in a dreamlike state. And he would keep on sentence like, she is the most wonderful woman in the world. Nothing else exists except for her. And you start to think to yourself, what did she done to him? How has she bewitched him? What was her hold over him?

Because he showered her with most extraordinary amounts of money. I mean, even before he became king, he was giving her gifts so worth, well over a hundred thousand pounds a year which was, so so many times the average income as to be absolutely fantastical. But you have to ask what was she like?

And if you see the letters that she was writing to her aunt, and indeed her letters, which she wrote to Ernest Simpson after divorce, you do see a different side of her to the femme fatale of legend. You see a much more human figure and a much more frightened figure. One thing I want to bring out through the book was that she wasn't this ogre which people have often described her as. Yes, she was somebody who enjoyed the finer things in life. Yes, she certainly had mild insecurity. But I think to her credit, when she saw the game was up, she tried desperately to stop Edward leaving the throne. And she really did try to stop the abdication. And he wouldn’t. And because of that, I think that she was stuck with him forever. And I don't believe that the long marriage afterwards was a testament to how deeply in love they were, because the pictures that you see of them, especially later in life, look like they’re vampires emerging into sunlight for the first time...

The time that she spent in China, there's been a lot of discussion about the so called Shanghai dossier, which was said to have been something where she essentially went to the Sing Sing [sp?]  houses, which would be upmarket brothels and learned various arts. And of course, the sexual arts are one thing, but what we’re more interested in these Sing Sing houses, was actually teaching women to get men to become obsessed by them. Because obviously, the nature of how these things work in Shanghai and in these other Chinese cities, was that you would have Westerners especially, would become kind of completely enraptured by the courtesans, and they would do anything for them, and the courtesans would deny them release until they show themselves worthy"

Friday, November 20, 2020

Everything You Wanted To Know About The Cuban Missile Crisis

Everything You Wanted To Know About The Cuban Missile Crisis | HistoryExtra Podcast - HistoryExtra

"One of the things that had happened before the Cuban Missile Crisis was that the Kennedy administration developed contingency plans to attack Cuba. The origins of this planning go back to the Eisenhower years. But those plans were updated during the Kennedy presidency. Now, it's not easy to gauge the significance of them. The US has contingency plans for everything. I think as one historian once put it, you know, they probably have contingency plans for, you know, what would we do if we invade Canada? These things are not likely to happen...

John Kennedy had this reputation in the White House as being a sort of intellectual, a cultured man, a sophisticated man. He's very intelligent, educated, but that really wasn't him. It was his wife who was very cultured and sophisticated. And in fact, John Kennedy's fav, favorite literature, his favorite novels were the James Bond stories. He loved the James Bond stories. And, and he met Ian Fleming. During the 1960 campaign, he was in Washington. And the author of the James Bond stories, Ian Fleming was in a car driving down the street with someone who knew Kennedy and the car stopped, and that's when Kennedy was introduced to Ian Fleming. And Fleming was invited to dinner that night.

So this extraordinary, extraordinary event or episode during the 1960 presidential campaign where you have a Presidential Candidate John Kennedy, talking to the author of James Bond and soliciting his advice on how to handle Castro. He says to Fleming, you know, how would you handle Castro? How would you get rid of him? And Fleming comes out with all of these extraordinary stories, or policy suggestions like right out of a James Bond novel or film as to how to get rid of Castro.

Two months into his presidency, Kennedy is asked by a magazine to name his top 10 favorite books. One of them is a James Bond book. And actually at that point, the sales of James Bond books skyrocket. I mean, Fleming should have paid Kennedy royalties, in part of the extraordinary popularity of James Bond is due to Kennedy's endorsement of them. What's interesting is, of course, it turns into a film franchise. What's the first film? Doctor No. With Sean Connery and Ursula Andress. And what’s Dr No about? It's about a Cold War crisis in the Caribbean with a sort of despot Dr No who is building sort of rockets...

‘If it is a US invasion of the island, I want you to respond by carrying out a nuclear attack. It seems incredible. But that is what Castro said to Khruschev. If Kennedy invades, you must start a nuclear war. I think the general assumption is that this increased Khrushchev's sense that the crisis was spiraling out of control, and that he better bring about a peaceful settlement of the crisis quickly.

As for the ending of the crisis, Castro was furious. He was absolutely enraged. We have an account of this. He basically felt like he'd been betrayed by Khruschev, that Khruschev had been weak, he basically saw it as humiliation. So in terms of how, you know, the Cuban leadership responded, Castro responded, it was with unrestrained fury, rage and a sense of sense, a sense of humiliation. And just in a practical sense, Castro did think I mean, the early part of his government, he was concerned that the US was going to overthrow him and his rule of Cuba would prove to be ephemeral, short lived. Once the missiles were deployed, that increased Castro's sense that his regime was secure. So the removal of the nuclear missiles, I think, increased a sense of vulnerability.’...

'In 1975, the US Senate carried out an investigation. A committee in the US Senate carried out an investigation into alleged assassination attempts by the CIA against various foreign leaders, including Castro. What the investigation established was that at least eight assassination plots had been devised by the CIA to kill Castro, many of them during the Kennedy years. Now we're not certain, absolutely certain that [Kennedy] knew about them, or was it the CIA doing on its own initiative? And this is because of a practice known as plausible deniability. If a President was briefed about an assassination attempt, this was never written down, so that the President's knowledge was plausibly deniable'"

"War Plan Red was one of the color-coded war plans created by the United States Department of War in the late 1920s and the early 1930s to estimate the requirements for a hypothetical war with the United Kingdom."

Links - 20th November 2020

How Rahm Emanuel Would Run the World (Ep. 415) - Freakonomics Freakonomics - "LEVITT: My own hypothesis is that we’ve done a really bad job in this country at making people data-literate. And our school systems haven’t focused on data; they haven’t kept up with the advances in thinking and computing over the last 50 years. And I think we’re paying the price in this epidemic because many public servants and many policymakers aren’t trained to think in the right way about data science and models. What’s your reaction to that?
EMANUEL: Well, this is rare for an Emanuel. I haven’t thought about that, so I don’t know. But usually we have answers before we have questions. My knee-jerk answer is: I’m not sure everybody should be walking around being a data scientist. That’s what data scientists are for... everybody goes, “Oh, just follow the scientists.” Well, I come from a medical family. My dad— how many times my dad asked for a second opinion? There’s a reason you ask for a second opinions. The science— I hate this analogy when everybody goes, “Oh, just follow the science.” Well, the science isn’t clear! We’re chasing information and it’s moving in real time as we’re making judgments. And that’s where you’re going to need just making a judgment. In the storm of a crisis, you’re making informed, educated guesses. And the emphasis is on the word, “guess,” not “informed” or “educated.”...
You’d have to be idealistic enough to know why you’re doing what you’re doing, and then tough enough to get it done. And if you look at successful presidents in history, neither one tips the scales too far one way or the other. They have both of those skill sets. And you look at all the ones that never make it, they usually tip one way or the other...
You got to help the president evaluate all the options. President Kennedy used to say, “To govern is to choose between bad and worse.” And the judgment you need is to figure out which one is bad and which one is worse."

Timothy Sly's answer to My mother-in-law leaves the butter out on the counter 24/7 for days. I am certain this is a health hazard. Is it a health hazard or perfectly safe? - Quora - "Perfectly safe. In warm weather the butter may melt, but whether you use it melted (as for frying shrimp) or refrigerate it again, it is SAFE. After a longer period of time, the surface may take on a slightly oxidised taste (like soap or cardboard). This is a quality issue and has NO basis in health.
[Added edit] Butter is between 86%-93% butterfat. the remainder is moisture and salt. This means all of the salt is in the small amount of water. Bacteria do not live or multiply in either fat or very salty water. That is why butter is so safe."

Justin Coates - "We need to remake 300 from the Persian perspective where it’s a bunch of cultured monotheists coming to liberate a nation ruled by slave-owning, baby-murdering, pedophile pagans. Same ending obviously, except it’s depicted as a tragedy where a bunch of backwater dipshits who think their shit-awful society is the height of civilization eventually get steam rolled by an empire that will go on to be one of the greatest in history."

Steve Horwitz - "From the comments, James Hanley wins Facebook for the time being:
"Some of us are free enough to enjoy playing at being oppressed.""
Comments: "How history is taught over the past 20 years:
The world divides into two groups, the powerful and the oppressed. The powerful are bad and the oppressed are good.
How rich liberal arts majors react:
I am oppressed and therefore good!"

Yaakov Markel - "We need to pay teachers the way we pay athletes. What a beautiful world that would make."
"If we paid teachers how we paid athletes, it’d be based on ticket sales and there would be an extremely small number of elite super-teachers that’d rise to the very pinnacle of the field......while everyone else pretty much remained unpaid hobbyists. 🤷‍♂️"
Comment (elsewhere): "So, 1% of them gets millions, while 99% of them get paid less than min wage, and gets cut after 3 years?"

Roo stays at home 🦅️🇨🇦🇭🇰🇺🇲 on Twitter - "Don'tcall yourself a feminist ifyou don't stan the British monarchy"

Moment boy, 9, weeps with joy as he tucks into his first McDonald's after months of lockdown - "This is the heartwarming moment a nine-year-old autistic boy broke down in tears after his mother brought him his first McDonald's since the start of lockdown... McNuggets with fries and ice cream was Adam's favourite meal.She also said that her son has sensory sensitivity and mild autism that caused his 'overreaction.'"

SFF community reeling after Marion Zimmer Bradley's daughter accuses her of abuse - "The world of science fiction and fantasy is in shock, following news that the daughter of the bestselling late fantasy author Marion Zimmer Bradley has accused her mother of abusing her as a child.Authors such as John Scalzi, G Willow Wilson and Jim Hines have reacted to the allegations against a woman who had been regarded a pillar of the SFF community with horror... "The first time she molested me, I was three. The last time, I was 12, and able to walk away … She was cruel and violent, as well as completely out of her mind sexually. I am not her only victim, nor were her only victims girls." Greyland is the daughter of Bradley and Walter Breen, who was jailed for child molestation and died in prison. Greyland wrote in her email to Moen: "I put Walter in jail for molesting one boy ... Walter was a serial rapist with many, many, many victims (I named 22 to the cops) but Marion was far, far worse." SFF fans are reeling at the news. Bradley, who died in 1999, has been a celebrated author, beloved for her take on the Arthurian legend, The Mists of Avalon, which told the story from the perspectives of the women behind the throne, and for the Darkover stories. Set on a planet colonised by humans, the world of Darkover has continued in anthologies written by other authors... "I'm proud of those stories. I believe the Sword & Sorceress series was important, and I'm grateful to Bradley for creating it. I believe her magazine helped a lot of new writers, and her books helped countless readers. All of which makes the revelations about Marion Zimmer Bradley protecting a known child rapist and molesting her own daughter and others even more tragic."Greyland, writing to the Guardian via email, said that she had not spoken out before "because I thought that my mother's fans would be angry with me for saying anything against someone who had championed women's rights and made so many of them feel differently about themselves and their lives.  I didn't want to hurt anyone she had helped, so I just kept my mouth shut""
Looks like it's not just male feminists who turn out to be creepy abusers

Re-reading feminist author Marion Zimmer Bradley in the wake of sexual assault allegations - The Washington Post - "Answers like these throw passages from “The Mists of Avalon” into a new and disturbing light. Take one passage about a Beltane ritual. Zimmer Bradley writes that “The little blue-painted girl who had borne the fertilizing blood was drawn down into the arms of a sinewy old hunter, and Morgaine saw her briefly struggle and cry out, go down under his body, her legs opening to the irresistible force of nature in them.”Without the context of Zimmer Bradley’s personal history, it is possible to read this sentence as a description of an ancient religious practice that is unsettling both in its depiction of an altered state and behavior that contemporary readers would not find acceptable. In the context of her testimony, and an article she wrote about sensual relationships between older and much younger women in literature, we lose the reassurance that the author shares our moral and ethical presumptions.Similarly, Breen justified his attacks on young boys by comparing them to sexual relationships between men that crossed significant age gaps in ancient Greece. Knowing that, and reaching  the point in “The Mists of Avalon” when a young King Arthur compares the men who will become the knights of his round table to Alexander the Great’s closest companions makes that allusion seem less like a bit of cultural ephemera, and more like a queasy signal, placed there for those who know to look for it... Zimmer Bradley’s descriptions of the awakening of sexual desire, the devastating power of sexual assault and the psychic damage wrought by constricting women’s roles in society remain beautiful and evocative in ways that much contemporary pop culture could learn from. Many of her characters are young women, married in their teens, and Zimmer Bradley handles their shifting thoughts about their husbands, their roles as wives and their nascent sexuality with care and consideration. She sustains a sprawling narrative with a huge, intergenerational cast of characters over almost 900 pages. And her main character, Morgaine, is a tremendous accomplishment.How, then, to reckon with the masterful public work and the allegedly monstrous private life? Zimmer Bradley’s contradictions raise an unnerving but important proposition. Survivors can offer tremendous insight into pain and transcendence. But so can the people who committed or facilitated depredations against them."

Watch - Discover - "TikToker Cleans Out Astonishingly Dirty Computers
Watch these oddly satisfying TikToks of a guy cleaning out dirty computers "

Pregnant Wife Finds Second Wife for Husband, Says She Can’t Bear Seeing Him Uncared For - "The strange arrangement happened in Shah Alam, Malaysia after Khuzatul Atiqah got pregnant. The young woman saw that her husband, Samuel Dzul, was always tired after a busy day at work but still had to do chores and make her feel better as she was having a difficult pregnancy."

Alan Dillman's answer to I heard employment in Canada is not at will. Is this not a deterrent for companies to setup offices in Canada? - Quora - "Canadian business owners often hold different values than American business owners and managers.In fact, I have had several employers say things like “You don’t work for me, you work with me”, or “We work together”. One owner/employer didn’t even have his title on his business cards. All our cards had the company name, our name, and a contact number for each. No hierarchy or titles... I might be employed by someone, but I work for me. That is how business owners see it too. They work for themselves, and understand that we do too."

Yuna: "The Biggest Racism and Discrimination I Had was from My Own Race" - "The pride of Malaysia’s up-and-coming singer Yuna has been taking the heat for having hugged fame rapper Usher during a live performance of the track, ‘Crush’ during The Roots Picnic 2016 gig in Philadelphia, USA, last month... 'Isn’t it weird, the biggest racism and discrimination that I’ve ever faced, was never from the Americans – it was from my own race.There I’ve said it. They call me ‘perempuan sampah’ and tell me to ”might as well go naked’. The worst, hurtful & sexist things I’ve ever had thrown to me, were from the lips of the Malays'"
Damn white supremacy!

Walter Ulbricht - Wikipedia - "When Khrushchev approved the building of a wall as a means to resolve this situation, Ulbricht threw himself into the project with abandon. Delegating different tasks in the process while maintaining overall supervision and careful control of the project, Ulbricht managed to keep secret the purchase of vast amounts of building materials, including barbed wire, concrete pillars, timber, and mesh wire. On 13 August 1961, work began on what was to become the Berlin Wall, only two months after Ulbricht had emphatically denied that there were such plans ("Nobody has the intention of building a wall"), thereby mentioning the word "wall" for the very first time. Ulbricht deployed GDR soldiers and police to seal the border with West Berlin overnight."

Why Do Cats Like Boxes? - ""Cats like boxes because they are cryptic animals; they like to hide," Stephen Zawistowski, science adviser for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, told Business Insider. "And a box gives them a place of safety and security.""

Cold hands, cold heart. - "So my boss once robbed a museum to prove a point and honestly, I think she is my new role model... Many years ago, my boss was working at this museum and they had these original Churchill documents on display. These documents are worth millions of dollars… The only thing separating the public from these documents was a sheet of glass secured with 4 philips head screws. Seriously. No security guards in the room, no cameras, just an easily removable piece of glass.My boss pointed out the security concern, but she wasn’t taken seriously, so she took matters into her own hands.She bought a ticket and  pretended to be a guest. She entered through the main entrance with a huge drill clearly visible on her belt, went straight to the documents and opened the case with the drill. (While  wearing gloves,) she removed the documents, put them in a folder, reattached the glass, and walked out the main exit.  Literally no one even questioned her.She immediately went around to the back of the museum, entered using the staff entrance and went straight to her boss’s office.  She dropped the folder on his desk and said “I just stole these in 15 minutes“Once he was done being mad at her, he listened and the museum increased security."

I,Hypocrite - Posts - "The Past, the present, the future. Consult her now! ON matters of... love, marriage... Closed due to unforseen pandemic"

Historian Sally Dixon-Smith On Medieval Love & Marriage

Historian Sally Dixon-Smith On Medieval Love & Marriage | HistoryExtra Podcast - HistoryExtra

"The majority of the Christian population who did get married. I mean, this is a period that we particularly associate with monasticism. With monks and nuns, with not getting married, but for by far the majority of Christians, marriage is absolutely normal. It's part of their lives. It's what shapes how they live everyday, their households, who they live, with their social contacts, their networks. And it's sort of estimated that probably about, only about 15% of people in this period didn't get married. Marriage is also a really important tie that bound in medieval society. So it's a very important way of making social connections...

When looking at the Church's approach to love and marriage, it's to do with the spiritual connectedness of marriage, how it can create spiritual connections between man and God, between the people in actually in the marriage and between their families. And this idea of also that marriage can be used for peacemaking. And this actually has really quite important ramifications in terms of some of the rules about who and how you could get married as a Christian in the Middle Ages.

So one of the things that the church is very concerned about is that Christians should marry outside of the group of people they're already related to in various ways. And this is because marriage is a bond that can create love, friendship, compassion, and can be an incredibly valuable tool in peacemaking. So if you'd like it's a shame to waste it on people you're already bound to, that you already share interests with. And you can see that in the Middle Ages, you know, marriages are often part of peace treaties on a national scale, but also on a more local scale. There's a strong assumption by the church, that love, affection, caring for the other person, putting them first is something that will develop in marriage. Great if you've got it beforehand, but that this is something that that will grow through working together within the marriage...

‘This kind of freedom of choice is very important. So consent makes a marriage, how do you exchange consent? There are three ways, really.

The first is words of present consent. So if you like, the I dos. So this is literally saying, there's no set phrases, there doesn't have to be a specific set phrase, but it's something along the lines of either I marry you, or I take you as mine. And it was normal. And it was expected that parish priests would teach their parishioners something appropriate. Something that also shows that priests are not necessarily there and don't have to be there when you're getting married. This is something that you can do on your own. And so once you've exchanged those present, words of present consent, you are married. This is for life. This is indissoluble, this is an absolutely legally binding bond.

There's also a second way of getting, of exchanging consent, which seems to have been actually the most usual way to get married in the Middle Ages. And this is exchanging words of future consent, like I will marry you, yeah, let's get married, and then expressing your present consent to marriage by having sex. And so this idea of you agree to marry, then you have sex, the sex sort of means that, yes, you mean it here and now. You want to be married. Now you're married, it's indissoluble. That's for life. That's done. And you see this actually being used to sort of enforce within s-, within society as well. So there was often a feeling that, in fact, single people having sex with each other, wasn't a great problem, something that obviously the church did consider a big problem, fornication. And so what tends to happen later in this period is that, if you like, people who are living in sin, who are sort of notorious couples, who are having sex but not getting married, can be hauled up before church courts, and made to publicly get engaged, so that if they then decide to have sex, again, they are married, whether they like it or not, and it's called under pain of marriage, if you like. So this, marriage used as a kind of penalty if you like.

So besides being able to give consent, by verbally, and also verbally plus physically, there's a third way of showing control and exchange consent, that was far more gestural. And this is actually a gift exchange. And so it's normally when a man gives a woman something that represents the desire to marry or the agreement to marry, and the woman accepts it from the man. And so technically, this is called a suburation [sp?]. And it can be anything, as long as both parties understand what its symbolism is, but it was often a ring that was given by the man to the woman.'...

The fact that this also gesture is, is so powerful and can bind you for life means that there are actual warnings from the church, not to muck about with this. So the statutes of Salisbury in the early 13th century actually give a warning about this, that you shouldn't muck about with this incredibly potent symbolism of the wed, of the wedding. And it says, it says that young men should be really, really avoid putting anything vile or precious on a woman's hand, in case they accidentally bind themselves in marriage. Even though you might think that you're joking, that you've actually pledged yourselves to the burden of matrimony.

And you can see with these kind of ways of giving consent sort of verbally and gesturally and verbally plus sex, that there can be confusion, an actual, genuine confusion between couples about whether they are married or aren't married, or you know, disputes. One thinks they are and one thinks they're not. And you can see this reflected in some literature. So for instance, in Troilus and Cressida, Chaucer’s Troilus and Cressida, there is a scene where it, and the word Chaucer uses is playing, they exchange their rings, and it's fairly clear that he thinks they're married or considers that they are married, and she doesn't...

There was a proper, if you like proper marriage ceremony available with a priest, but you didn't have to have that in order to be legally married. So as we can see, it's actually incredibly, possibly stupidly easy to get married. And these are normally described as impediments to marriage, that I think the easiest way to explain it is if you think of, you know, if you're either writing a job description or looking at a job description when you're applying for a job, and they have the sort of columns of essential and desirable.

So there are certain rules about marriage that are essential. So for instance, you have to marry another Christian. You have to marry somebody who is available to be married, they can't be married to somebody else, and they can't also be kind of bound to the church by a religious bow. And bigamy is actually used as a word in the Middle Ages for this kind of having two bonds at the same time, a bond to the church and trying to get married or, or, at the same time, and it's also used for what we would call today probably serial monogamy. And why this is seen as bigamy comes back to this idea of the symbolism, if you like, the symbol, the Christian spiritual symbolism of marriage, representing union of Christ and the church.

It's, the ideal and best marriage is just one person with one person. Of course, if that person dies, you are free to get married again. But that second marriage somehow is, if you like, less spiritually potent or doesn't have quite the perfect symbolism, because there's always this ghost of the previous relationship and the previous marriage in the background. However, having said this, though, you know, from the church’s point of view might not have been a spiritually wonderful, second and subsequent marriages were very, very common… That [first] marriage was seen as more correct. And, as I say, more symbolically perfect than the later and subsequent marriages...

Ideally, you shouldn't get married to someone who you've been committing adultery with, because that legitimizes or puts a sacred spin on something that's sinful...

Getting into a marriage is incredibly easy. Getting out of a marriage can be incredibly hard. Divorce in our sense of the word of ending a marriage that everyone accepts was absolutely fine. Just really doesn't exist. And this is another word a bit like wedding. That has quite a different meaning in the Middle Ages. So the word divorce or divorcem [sp?] is used, but it means either an annulment. So that means that say you did marry someone who was already, you know, married to the church, therefore that wasn't a marriage. So it's just, it's null and void. It's annulled….

It was also used for a type of legal separation that was granted incredibly rarely, and normally due to really extreme domestic violence and sort of threat to life. And that meant that there's sort of permission given for the man and wife to live separately. And this is the separation, this is the divorce if you like, but they're still married, they're not free to go off and marry anybody else. Because of this idea that that marriage is for life, and it's indissoluble.

The first contract you undertake is the binding one and this could have interesting outcomes in real life, particularly given what I've said about how easy it was to get married and how people could actually be mistaken. So for instance, to give a very high profile example, Joan of Kent, who was an aristocrat in the 14th century, she's granddaughter of Edward the First and she goes on to be the mother of Richard the Second. When she's 12 she enters into a completely secret marriage with a knight in her family's household. He then goes off on campaign. Then her family themselves organize a marriage to another aristocrat, big public in church, the whole business. And so she's married to him.

But her first husband, her secret husband comes back from compat, campaign and says: what about me, and is basically ignored. And so he saves up to press his court case. And he takes it to the papacy. And he manages to prove that, yes, he was married to her first. And so after about seven or eight years of her second husband, if you like, her public husband, her church husband, thinking they're legally married? Nope. She is ordered to return to her first husband...

People could also manipulate these rules. So as long as you're willing to commit perjury in court, you could say, well, you know, I'm not terribly happy with my marriage. But what if I decided to swap for my old boyfriend and if he’s up for it. And then we'll both, you know, declare that we previously did get married, but nobody really knew about it. And then I can get out of my current marriage and go back to a pre existing pre contract...

There are quite extended incest bars, much, much wider than is common today. So this is called the impediment of consanguinity, which means you're related by blood. And this is one of the big changes that the church actually makes to get round one of these loopholes that they think people are using. Because initially the rules are, you can't marry someone who's related to you by blood within seven degrees. So there were actually different ways of counting degrees in different parts of Europe, but potentially this, because it could mean you can't marry someone with great great great great great grandparents in common. There's one way of counting where you count up from one partner to the joint ancestor and then down again to the other partner. And one way where you just count up to the joint ancestor.

And so you could see that this could be used, and the church was obviously concerned that it was being used in the 12th century, and particularly by aristocrats to get out of marriages, or to marry so that they would be, so they could say that their first marriage was invalid, was annulled and that they're free to get married to somebody else. And so in 1215, at the fourth Lateran Council, massive Council of the church, one of the big changes that's made is that they sought out exactly how you're supposed to be counting degrees of blood relationship. And they also say it's within four degrees and you're only counting up to that joint ancestor…

Compaternity. So you can't get married to someone who's either your godparent or has stood as a godparent to your child. And again, it's all to do with this idea that you're already bound spiritually and in sort of Christian love with these people. So and there is a sort of an acceptance and you see this in in church discussions of it, that there's, if you like, real incest, and real lines that shouldn't be crossed. And then there are these sort of desirable wider ideas of incest and who you shouldn't marry…

One of the other essentials when you're getting married is about age of consent, and people being old enough in order to enter marriage. And because from the point of view of churchmen marriage was the only spiritually safe place for sex, it means that Christians have to be able to get married as soon as they might want to have sex. So in other words, from the age of puberty onwards, and this was normally regarded as about 12 for girls and 14 for boys, but depended on the individual. And it was also seen as a point at which you are mature enough to give your consent to a lifelong bond.

What happens in practice is that you're much much more likely to get engaged or married young if you are from a rich and powerful family. And so you can see this a great deal in royal marriages. So for instance, Isabella of Angouleme who's married to King John was about 12 when she got married...

However, as I say, if you're not in that top echelon of society, you would tend to get married old, at a older age, at the late teens or mid 20s. And this is seen, this has been described as a sort of European marriage model that applies for most of Western Europe. Tend to get married, as I say, so a bit later on, with the man being older. And why it's sort of correlated with wealth is it's to do with being able to be in a position to set up your own household, to be able to provide for the marriage... at almost every level of society, people had a prenup. And sort of things were put in place for what would happen if one partner died or when one partner died. And also what would happen or what would support the children of the marriage'"

Ironically for all the anti-"pedos" who like to invoke Crusader imagery, the age of consent in medieval times was so much lower than now

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

My wife FINALLY agreed to a Star Wars role play in the bedroom...

[Nsfw] My wife FINALLY agreed to a Star Wars role play in the bedroom... : Jokes

"...The only catch was I had to be Obi Wan, because she always had a thing for Ewan McGregor.

"Of course!" I said, and got to work putting together the sexiest Obi Wan costume I could. I even managed to find Glow in the Dark condoms so I could impress her with my "lightsaber".

The night finally came. Dressed in my Jedi robe I slowly opened the bedroom door. The room was dark. I could only barely make out my wife's pale naked body, posed sensually on the bed.

I slowly remove my robe, revealing the faint blue glow of my 'lightsaber'

'Hello there,' I say, in my best sexy Obi Wan accent

'General Kenobi,' she replied, as four other 'Lightsabers' appeared behind her"

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