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Category Archives: Words

Pishogues; CROSS DRESSING + A WILD HARE

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Original article; http://farmette.ie/tag/pishogue/

Yes, you read that correctly. That is indeed the correct title of this blog post. Now, imagine my surprise to learn that our little parish has been historically known to have women morphing into hares by night and kids dressing up as their opposite sex counterparts on occasion.  Strange, but I must admit it made me feel a little more “at home”…I mean what’s more American than Playboy bunnies and cross dressing…very urban…very cosmopolitan, no?

On a closer examination, I learned that this countryside cross dressing/hare morphing was of a different ilk, which was initially disappointing, but became far more interesting as I listened to the cacophony of stories about “May Eve” and all of the beliefs attached to it. Pishoguery, coaxioriums, changelings, faeries and perhaps the most fabulous and sensational: real women who transform into hares and run around wildly about the land. {without a doubt, a talent I would most certainly love to have}

Now, we all know that Ireland has it’s fair share of lore and such, but I had no idea that many of these teachings still have a valid place in modern countryside society and that furthermore many traditions around those beliefs are still practiced in our tiny village. In fact, I was only just informed yesterday that our entire farm is sprinkled with holy water each year on “May Eve” to ward off Pishoguery and other spirits.

Allow me to explain. May Eve is the evening before May Day (April 30th) and on this evening it is said that a certain type of sorcery transpires in which female evil-doers called “pishogues” come round and do their best to make people’s lives miserable in one way or another.  The pishogues would do things such as lay eggs, bread, meats and other consumable items on another’s land and it is believed that by doing so it would somehow rob the riches from that farm and be transferred onto the pishogue’s estate. Now, let me be clear-these pishogues were real people; neighbours, churchgoers and everyone knew who they were. Real people who were known to be sort of possessed by the devil and forced into doing these dreadful acts.  This pishoguery basically put the fear of God in people and villagers began sprinkling holy water on their homes, livestock, farmyards, machinery….everything and anything to ward off this evil on May Eve. (I hate to say it, but it kinda sorta reminds me of what seemed to happen whenever the Avon lady would come calling in the neighborhood where I lived as a child.)

It doesn’t end with the Pishogues, May Eve offers still more unusual events and characters. There would be faeries flitting about who were known to capture the little boys from farms and change them into their own offspring, i.e. “changelings”. In order to prevent their children from being taken, families dressed up their boys as girls to fool the faeries. Apparently, girls were no good to them.  This meant that it wouldn’t be uncommon to see little boys dressed as girls walking about the village or going to church on the first of May; and nobody would give them a second look. Oh, how times have changed.…

Of course, no May Eve would be complete without a story involving the ubiquitous “love potion”.  Yes, coaxioriums were popular on this evening as well {LOVE the word coaxiorium-despite the fact that I can’t say it out loud}. Allegedly, if a woman made an advance on a man and was rejected she would slip him a potion and he’d come around. After this act, the people in the community would comment that she must have gave him the coaxiorium. Nowadays, it seems it’s the men who need their own secret little potion of one type or another…..

My absolute favourite is the whole business of women who had the power to turn into hares. They would morph into wild rabbit hares and go out during that day or evening and get into all kinds of mischief and then return home and have a cup of tea as if nothing had happened. Often times, a person would come across a lady’s dress and shoes lying near a hedge and they would take no notice, assuming that she had likely changed into a hare and was just out galavanting in the field.  Forgive me, but I would take great pleasure in that type of behaviour…imagine, if you will, gathering all of your best girlfriends, changing yourselves into hares and having a mad little tea party in the Irish countryside with all of the hedgehogs and red foxes.

So there you have it, May Eve, cross dressing and wild women hares in the country. While this all seems a bit Twilight Zone-y to me, many of these accounts have credible witnesses and are steeped in traditions that have stood the test of time. So now I know that in Kilcolman, we sprinkle our holy water to be safe and all I can say is:what’s good for the gander…

Slan Abhaile,

Imen

Is Ireland to retain its standing as one of the best places in the world in which to live.

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Things not nearly as bad as they are often portrayed

Inside Politics: We enjoy living standards that were unimaginable to previous generations

Sten Collins ; http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/things-not-nearly-as-bad-as-they-are-often-portrayed-1.1413641?page=1

 First published:Sun, Jun 2, 2013, 06:00

Michael Noonan’s plan to put structures in place to ensure that budgetary discipline continues until 2020 has provoked a predictable clamour from “anti-austerity” campaigners.

Some politicians and pundits have learned nothing from the past decade and appear to believe that, despite our massive debt burden, the exchequer can return to lavish spending without regard to the consequences.

There is also the question about just how austere our “austerity” actually is.

Some, particularly those who have lost their jobs or have ended up in serious debt, have undoubtedly suffered significantly during the current downturn but for most people the adjustment has not been nearly as painful.

The fact that over 90 per cent of home owners have signed up to pay their property tax obligations is hardly a sign of a society buckling under the stress of “austerity”. On the contrary, it reflects the fact that most people are still doing remarkably well by historical standards.

We enjoy living standards that were unimaginable to previous generations and according to a range of international yardsticks, we are one of the most prosperous and fairest countries on the planet.

That is not something “anti-austerity” campaigners or the media purveyors of doom want to hear but it is worth looking at some of the evidence.

One very important international measurement of a country’s wellbeing and economic health is the United Nations Human Development Index. This ranks countries on factors including income, education, health and life expectancy.

Seventh best
The report for 2012 published a few months ago ranked Ireland seventh best off out of 186 UN states. It didn’t generate a lot of publicity here, probably because it runs counter to the dominant media narrative of a country in the depths of depression.

Ireland had slipped two places since 2008 but coming in seventh overall and the third highest in the EU is remarkable given the scale of the current economic adjustment. The UK was in 26th place, and we were also ahead of some long-term rich countries like Sweden, Switzerland, Japan and Canada.

When the index was first published in 1990 the UK was in 10th position and Ireland was in 17th. We have come a considerable way since then and the financial crash has not destroyed most of the gains made in the interval.

The UN index is not the only international measurement that puts Ireland in the top tier. Average wage statistics from the OECD put Ireland second only to the United States in terms of gross incomes, while the World Economic Forum global gender gap index puts Ireland in fifth place last year, up from tenth in 2006.

A range of reports from the OECD, the European Commission and the ESRI have shown that we have one of the fairest income tax and income redistribution systems in the world. It means that those earning the most have borne the greatest share of the fiscal adjustment since 2009.

Of course statistics and surveys don’t tell the full story about the impact of the crash. Still, they do bear out what many outside the hothouse of the political and media worlds know in their bones: for most people things are not nearly as bad as they are often portrayed.

In a recent paper eminent economist Brendan Walsh explored how Ireland had fared on a range of indicators for wellbeing from the 1970s to 2011. One of his conclusions based on Eurobaromoter polls was that life satisfaction had not shown a marked decline between 2007 and 2011, despite the fact that this country has been among the hardest hit by the financial crisis. While there was a small decline it was not as dramatic as that recorded in other crisis-stricken countries or during previous Irish recessions.

“Furthermore, contrary to expectations, other possible indicators of wellbeing, such as the suicide rate and admission rates to psychiatric hospitals, have not risen in line with the soaring unemployment rate, and the Irish fertility rate has remained high in the face of economic adversity. Overall, the impact of the current recession on wellbeing has been surprisingly small,” concluded Walsh.

His conclusions tally with those of one experienced betting man who wagered a substantial sum on Fianna Fáil to win the Meath East byelection. His logic appeared impeccable. In the last 30 years the government of the day has lost every bylection bar one. So this Government, two years into a tough programme of retrenchment, should have had no chance of winning. In the event Fine Gael candidate Helen McEntee won the contest . This was widely attributed to the sad circumstances that created the vacancy but the punter drew a different conclusion. “People can’t be as angry as the media led me to believe. I should have known that because personally I am prepared to put up with whatever needs to be done to get the country back.”

Big mistakes
The wide acceptance of the need for fiscal discipline doesn’t mean big mistakes have not been made in response to the crisis. One of the outstanding failures is the way the burden of the crash has been heaped on to the shoulders of the young. Tens of thousands of young people have not been able to get jobs or have been forced to emigrate because the pain has not been shared equally across the generations. A recent study by the ESRI established that those aged under 45 have been affected dramatically more by the recession.

The last government and the current one have protected the elderly and punished the young. Putting the economy back on a sustainable path is the best way of catering for the young in the long term but more imaginative short-term policies are also badly needed if Ireland is to retain its standing as one of the best places in the world in which to live.

Another interesting article – on same page of Irish Times 2nd June 2013; http://www.irishtimes.com/business/economy/talk-of-being-masters-of-our-fate-is-just-guff-1.1413621

Further proof of global warming – Irish Times.

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Don’t be fooled by the spring snows, they are further proof of global warming

Action must be taken now to have any hope of limiting the damage

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/environment/don-t-be-fooled-by-the-spring-snows-they-are-further-proof-of-global-warming-1.1343500?utm_source=morning-digest&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=digests

Farmer Donald O'Reilly rescues a sheep trapped in a snow drift in the Aughafatten area of Co Antrim last week. Photograph:  Cathal McNaughton/Reuters Farmer Donald O’Reilly rescues a sheep trapped in a snow drift in the Aughafatten area of Co Antrim last week. Photograph: Cathal McNaughton/Reuters

David Robert Grimes

First published:Mon, Apr 1, 2013, 06:00   

What a difference a year makes; a year ago Europe was basking in some of the warmest spring temperatures recorded. Last week all that seemed a very distant memory as we shivered through a prolonged freeze, with snow encroaching into what was once the height of spring.The reason for this worrying; Arctic ice melted at record rates last year, releasing heat energy. This altered the fast-flowing air currents above our planet, known as the Jet stream, allowing cold Arctic air to travel much further south than usual.While it may seem paradoxical that Arctic warming can freeze us so much, it is exactly what climate scientists have long predicted. And it will get worse. Prof Jennifer Francisof the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences at Rutgers University in the US notes soberingly that “sea ice is… 80 per cent less than it was just 30 years ago… This is a symptom of global warming.”

The scientific consensus is unequivocal: climate change is happening right now, at a rate unprecedented in Earth’s history.

Earth’s climate is sensitive to change, and temperature swings are only the tip of the rapidly-melting iceberg. Despite the gravity of this threat, reaction has been somewhat muted, hovering somewhere between apathy and denial.

Understandably, climate science can be confusing, perhaps explaining some of our inertia; “global warming” refers to the increase in average global temperature. Counter-intuitively, this can lead to regions of cooling. The mechanism behind this is the greenhouse effect, which arises because certain gases have the ability to absorb thermal radiation from the Earth’s surface.

These gases then re-radiate it in all directions, including back towards Earth and essentially act as a heat trap, warming up the planet. This is long since understood — it was hypothesised by Joseph Fourier in 1824 and experimentally verified by Irish physicist John Tyndall in 1859. The fact that humans can thus affect climate is no surprise, what is surprising is just how fast we’re doing it.

Some question whether this effect is anthropogenic; perhaps this is all just a natural cycle? Sadly, no — ancient ice cores yield a record of temperature and atmosphere over hundreds of millennia, and shows our current rate of warming is hundreds of times beyond anything that has gone before, coinciding with the dawn of industrialisation.

More alarming is that while at no point during any previous glacial or interglacial period has the carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration level reached as high as 300 ppm (parts per million), current levels are 390 ppm and rising, with predictions of up to 600 ppm in coming decades. This is most distinctly not natural variation.

Nor can we evade responsibly by postulating that this level is unrelated to human activities — CO2 released from fossil fuels has a distinct chemical signature, and points to our guilt as readily as fingerprints at a crime scene. This leaves only the inescapable conclusion that we are driving the destruction of our own environment.

The discussion is no longer about avoidance, but limitation. The most optimistic prediction is that in order to have a chance of limiting temperature rises to “only” 2 degree Celsius, we would need a global “carbon budget” of less than 886 gigatons between 2000 and 2050. By only 2006, we had already produced 234 gigatons. Coal is without a doubt the worst offender, both in terms of CO2 output and health, killing 1.3 million annually. Yet despite this, 2011 saw an ominous 5 per cent global rise in consumption of coal.

Since 1992, global CO2 emissions have risen 48 per cent, with power generation making up the bulk of this. To mitigate this, low carbon energy is imperative. Renewables are part of the solution, but they simply do not have the required yield or reliability.

Nuclear energy does, but still provokes an emotional rather than a rational reaction, and is all too frequently ignored for the sake of political expediency. Two years on, it bears repeating that the Fukushima accident of 2011 has killed nobody and likely never will. The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, by contrast, killed more than 18,000. If nothing substantial is done, such disasters will increase in both frequency and intensity

It is also vital we reduce our personal energy expenditure. Home insulatation and reducing car usage can substantially reduce one’s carbon foot print. Perhaps the most powerful thing we can do collectively is insist our elected leaders take action, imposing carbon levies, rewarding energy efficiency, and most crucially, moving away from fossil fuels towards renewable and nuclear energy.

Climate change is not someone else’s problem — it affects all of us. To have any hope of limiting the damage we have already wrought, action must be taken now. The writing has been on the wall for some time. Whether we heed it remains to be seen.

Dr David Robert Grimes is a physicist and cancer researcher at Oxford University.davidrobertgrimes.com @drg1985

Green-powered site for Green products

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Jeff has just started up a e-commerce website Made in USA Store llc,  website is powered by wind power. selling green eco-friendly unique products made in USA

http://www.made-in-usa-store-llc.com/

eliminate the carbon footprint from shipping overseas, go green buy products made in the country you live in. have you seen the pollution trail from the cargo ships?. I have first hand and it’s one dirty nasty trail polluting our ocean and air. creating a bigger carbon footprint than it make to manufacture the product. is shipping from China green? do you make a green product made in USA i would like to know about it.

http://www.made-in-usa-store-llc.com/

Great idea  a green-powered site selling products from one’s own land – saving jobs and transport-costs too.

From hats, to honey – from children’s toys to clocks – lots more too – sauces, carry-bags, sweatshirts to waterbottles.

Recitations.

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The Man From God Knows Where

Into our townlan’ on a night of snow
rode a man from God knows where;
None of us bade him stay or go,
nor deemed him friend, nor damned him foe,
but we stabled his big roan mare;
for in our townlan’ we’re decent folk,
and if he didn’t speak, why none of us spoke,
and we sat till the fire burned low.

We’re a civil sort in our wee place
so we made the circle wide
round Andy Lemon’s cheerful blaze,
and wished the man his length of days
and a good end to his ride.
He smiled in under his slouchy hat,
says he: ‘There’s a bit of a joke in that,
for we ride different ways.’

The whiles we smoked we watched him stare
from his seat fornenst the glow.
I nudged Joe Moore: ‘You wouldn’t dare
to ask him who he’s for meeting there,
and how far he has got to go?’
And Joe wouldn’t dare, nor Wully Scott,
And he took no drink – neither cold nor hot,
this man from God knows where.

It was closing time, and late forbye,
when us ones braved the air.
I never saw worse (may I live or die)
than the sleet that night, an’ I says, says I:
‘You’ll find he’s for stopping there.’
But at screek o’day, through the gable pane
I watched him spur in the peltin’ rain,
an’ I juked from his rovin’ eye.

Two winters more, then the Trouble year,
when the best that a man could feel
was the pike that he kept in hidin’s near,
till the blood o’ hate an’ the blood o’ fear
would be redder nor rust on the steel.
Us ones quet from mindin’ the farms
Let them take what we gave wi’ the weight o’ our arms
from Saintfield to Kilkeel.

In the time o’ the Hurry, we had no lead
we all of us fought with the rest
an’ if e’er a one shook like a tremblin’ reed,
none of us gave neither hint nor heed,
nor ever even’d we’d guessed.
We men of the North had a word to say,
an’we said it then, in our own dour way,
an’ we spoke as we thought was best.

All Ulster over, the weemin cried
for the stan’in’ crops on the lan’.
Many’s the sweetheart and many’s the bride
would liefer ha’ gone to where he died,
and ha’ mourned her lone by her man.
But us ones weathered the thick of it
and we used to dander along and sit
in Andy’s, side by side.

What with discourse goin’ to and fro,
the night would be wearin’ thin,
yet never so late when we rose to go
but someone would say: ‘do ye min’ thon’ snow,
an ‘the man who came wanderin’in?’
and we be to fall to the talk again,
if by any chance he was one o’ them
The man who went like the win’.

Well ’twas gettin’ on past the heat o’ the year
when I rode to Newtown fair;
I sold as I could (the dealers were near
only three pounds eight for the Innish steer,
an’ nothin’ at all for the mare!)
I met M’Kee in the throng o’ the street,
says he: ‘The grass has grown under our feet
since they hanged young Warwick here.’,

And he told me that Boney had promised help
to a man in Dublin town.
Says he: ‘If you’ve laid the pike on the shelf,
you’d better go home hot-fut by yourself,
an’ once more take it down.’
So by Comber road I trotted the grey
and never cut corn until Killyleagh
stood plain on the risin’ groun’.

For a wheen o’ days we sat waitin’ the word
to rise and go at it like men,
but no French ships sailed into Cloughey Bay
and we heard the black news on a harvest day
that the cause was lost again;
and Joey and me, and Wully Boy Scott,
we agreed to ourselves we’d as lief as not
ha’ been found in the thick o’ the slain.

By Downpatrick goal I was bound to fare
on a day I’ll remember, feth;
for when I came to the prison square
the people were waitin’ in hundreds there
an’ you wouldn’t hear stir nor breath!
For the sodgers were standing, grim an’ tall,
round a scaffold built there foment the wall,
an’ a man stepped out for death!

I was brave an’ near to the edge of the throng,
yet I knowed the face again,
an’ I knowed the set, an’ I knowed the walk
an’ the sound of his strange up-country talk,
for he spoke out right an’ plain.
Then he bowed his head to the swinging rope,
whiles I said ‘Please God’ to his dying hope
and ‘Amen’ to his dying prayer
that the wrong would cease and the right prevail,
for the man that they hanged at Downpatrick gaol
was the Man from God knows where!

=====================================

Dan McGrew WARNING – OVER 18’s ONLY
This is a story of downfall and shame
The end in Alaska of a very proud name

The boys were all drinking and talking of ass
Of virgins and whores and rolls in the grass.

Of fairies and cocksmen and old moby dick
Who drove the girls crazy with a wart on his prick

Now over all this commotion
In the corner sparks flew
For there on the floor, on top of a whore,
Lay Dangerous Dan McGrew.

And out of the night as black as a bitch,
And into the din and the smoke,
Came shady old prick right up from the crick,
With a rusty old load in his poke.

He rolled out his cock to display to the flock
And every asshole squirmed

He drew from his belt a big bag of gold
And laid it down with a grin

He turned to the crowd and said in a loud voice:
“I’ve come to give Dangerous Dan a choice.

“This gold is for pleasure and I’m here to say
“I’ll spend every nickel for one damned good lay

“So here’s the deal straight and neat
“That girl you’re on Dan or you in the seat”

A hush still as death came o’er that place
And the only smile seen was on the face
Of that old weezened stranger named Ace

The crowd sat and waited for Dan to get through
And the matter at hand between the two

“You’ll not touch the girl while I’m still on hand.”
Said the stranger, “Then it’s your ass Dangerous Dan.”

The crowd made clearing as the circle round
Each eyeing the other but neither gave ground

The lights went out, I ducked to the floor,
And the stranger sprang in the dark.
His aim was true
And the sparks they flew
When his donnicker found its mark.

Mid might and main and screams of pain
And a man’s voice was heard in the room
There were sighs and moans and farts and groans,
And three bodies lay stacked in the gloom

Then a moan of delight mingled with pain
A scream, then a moan, again and again

The crowd was astounded as the lights were lit
And showed two men locked together all covered with shit

A figure arose from the two locked together
Staggered out of the bar and into the weather
With a satisfied look on his pan.
For there on the floor,
With his asshole tore,
Lay poor old Dangerous Dan.

===================================

Eskimo Nell

WARNING – EXPLECIT CONTENT you have been warned.
When a man rows old, & his balls grow cold
And the tip of his prick turns blue,
It bends in the middle like a 1 string fiddle
He can tell you a tale or two.

So pull up a chair, and stand me a drink
And a tale to you I’ll tell
Of Dead-eye Dick and Mexican Pete,
And a harlot called Eskimo Nell.

When Dead-eye Dick and Mexican Pete
Go forth in search of fun
It’s Dead-eye Dick that slings the prick
And Mexican Pete the gun.

When Dead-eye Dick and Mexican Pete
Are sore, depressed and sad
It’s always a cunt that bears the brunt
But the shooting ain’t so bad.

Now Dead-eye Dick and Mexican Pete
Live down by Dead Man’s Creek
And such was their luck they’d had no fuck
For nigh on half a week.

Just a moose or two and a caribou,
And a bison cow or so,
And for Dead-eye Dick with his kingly prick
This fucking was mighty slow.

So do or dare this horny pair
Set forth for the Rio Grande,
Dead-eye Dick with his mighty prick
And Pete with his gun in his hand.

And as they blazed their noisy trail
No man their path withstood,
And many a bride, her husband’s pride
A pregnant widow stood.

They reached the strand of the Rio Grande
At the height of a blazing noon,
And to slack their thirst and do their worst
They sought Black Mike’s Saloon.

And as they pushed the great doors wide
Both prick and gun flashed free.
According to sex, you bleeding wrecks,
You drink or fuck with me.”

They’d heard of Dead-eye Dick,
From Maine to Panama
So with scarcely worse than a muttered cur
Those dagos sought the bar.

The girls too knew his playful ways
Down on the Rio Grande,
And forty whores pulled down their drawer
At Dead-eye Dick’s command.

They saw the fingers of Mexican Pete
Itch on the trigger grip
And they didn’t wait, at fearful rate
Those whores began to strip.

Now Dead-eye Dick was breathing quick
With lecherous snorts and grunts
So forty arses were bared to view
And likewise forty cunts.

Now forty cunts and forty arses
If you can use your wits,
And if you’re slick at arithmetic,
Makes exactly eighty tits.

Now eighty tits are a gladsome sight
For a man with a raging stand
It may be rare in Berkeley Square
But not on the Rio Grande.

Now Dead-eye Dick had fucked a few
On the last preceding night,
This he had done just to show his fun
And to wet his appetite.

His phallic limb was in fucking trim,
As he backed and took a run
He made a dart at the nearest tart
And scored a hole in one.

He bore her to the sandy floor
And there he fucked her fine
And though she grinned
It put the wind up the other thirty-nine.

When Dead-eye Dick lets loose his prick
He’s got no time to spare,
For speed & length combined with strength
He fairly singes hair.

He made a dart at the next spare tart,
When into that harlot’s hell
Strode a gentle maid who was unafraid,
And her name it was Eskimo Nell.

By this time Dick had got his prick
Well into number two
When Eskimo Nell let out a yell,
She bawled to him, “Hey you.”

He gave a flick of his muscular prick
And the girl flew over his head,
And he wheeled about with an angry shout.
His face and his prick were red.

She glanced our hero up and down,
His looks she seemed to decry,
With utter scorn she glimpsed the horn
That rose from his hairy thigh.

She blew the smoke from her cigarette
Over his steaming knob
So utterly beat was Mexican Pete
He failed to do his job.

It was Eskimo Nell who broke the spell
In accents clear and cool,
“You cunt struck shrimp of a Yankee pimp.
You call that thing a tool?”

“If this here town can’t take that down,”
She sneered to those cowering whores,
“There’s one little cunt can do the stunt,
It’s Eskimo Nell’s, not yours.”

She stripped her garments one by one
With an air of conscious pride
And as she stood in her womanhood
They saw the great divide.

She seated herself on a table top
Where someone had left his glass,
With a twitch of her tits she crushed it to bits
Between the cheeks of her arse.

She flexed her knees with supple ease,
And spread her legs apart,
With a friendly nod to the mangy sod
She gave him the cue to start.

But Dead-eye Dick knew a trick or two,
He meant to take his time,
And a girl like this was fucking bliss
So he played the pantomime.

He flexed his arse hole to and fro
And made his balls inflate
Until they looked like granite knobs
Up on a garden gate.

He blew his anus inside out,
His balls increased in size,
His mighty prick grew twice as thick
Till it almost reached his eyes.

He polished it up with alcohol,
And made it steaming hot
To finish the job he sprinkled the knob
With a cayenne pepperpot.

Then neither did he take a run
Nor did he take a leap,
Nor did he stoop, but took a swoop
And a steady forward creep.

With piercing eye he took a sight
Along his mighty tool,
And the steady grin as he pushed it in
Was calculatedly cool.

Have you seen the giant pistons
On the mighty C.P.R.
With the driving force of a thousand horse.
Well, you know what pistons are.

Or you think you do. But you’ve yet to learn
The ins and outs of the trick
Of the work that’s done on a non-stop run
By a guy like Dead-eye Dick.

But Eskimo Nell was no infidel,
As good as whole harem
With the strength of ten in her abdomen
And the rock of ages between.

Amid stops she could take the stream
Like the flush of a watercloset,
And she gripped his cock like a Yale Lock
On the National Safe Deposit.

But Dead-eye Dick could not come quick,
He meant to conserve his powers,
If he’d a mind he’d grind and grind
For a couple of solid hours.

Nell lay for a while with a subtle smile,
The grip of her cunt grew keener,
Squeezing her thigh she sucked him dry
With the ease of a vacuum cleaner.

She performed this trick in a way so slick
As to set in complete defiance
The basic cause and primary laws
That govern sexual science.

She calmly rode through the phallic code
Which for years had stood the test,
And the ancient rules of the classic schools
In a second or two went West.

And so my friends we come to the end
Of copulation’s classic
The effect on Dick was sudden and quick
And akin to an anesthetic.

He fell to the floor, and knew no more
His passions extinct and dead
And he did not shout as his prick fell out
Though ’twas stripped right down to a thread

Then Mexican Pete jumped to his feet
To avenge his pal’s affront,
With jarring jolt of his blue-nosed
Colt He rammed it up her cunt.

He rammed it up to the trigger grip
And fired three times three
But to his surprise she closed her eyes
And smiled in ecstasy.

She jumped to her feet with a smile so sweet
“Bully”, she said, “for you.
Though I had guessed that was the best
That you two poor cocks could do.”

“When next, my friend, that you intend
To sally forth for fun
Buy Dead-eye Dick a sugar stick
And yourself an elephant gun.

“I’m going back to the frozen North,
Where the pricks are hard and strong.
Back to the land of the frozen stand
Where the nights are six months long.

“It’s hard as tin when they put it in
In the land where spunk is spunk
Not a trickling stream of lukewarm cream
But a solid frozen chunk.

“Back to the land where they understand
What it means to fornicate,
Where even the dead sleep two in a bed
And the babies masturbate.

“Back to the land of the grinding gland,
Where the walrus plays with his prong,
Where the polar bear wanks off in his lair
That’s where they’ll sing this song.

“They’ll tell this tale on the Arctic Trail
Where the nights are sixty below,
Where it’s so damn cold that the Johnnies are sold
Wrapped up in a ball of snow.

“In the valley of death with baited breath
That’s where they’ll sing it too,
Where the skeletons rattle in sexual battle,
And the rotting corpses screw.

“Back to the land where men are men,
Terra Bellicum,
And there I’ll spend my worthy end
For the North is calling: ‘Come.'”

So Dead-eye Dick and Mexican Pete
Slunk out of the Rio Grande,
Dead-eye Dick with his useless prick
And Pete with no gun in his hand.

==========================================

Irish Celtism – the big lie.

Posted on
 Assignment 2013
 PG CertTrinity St David, Wales Sense of Place  Peter O’Connor, 1202618 Lismore, Co Waterford, Ireland.
[“The past is integral to our sense of identity – the sureness of ‘I was’ is a necessary component of the sureness of ‘I am’.  How important are issues of authenticity and bias in engineering a sense of identity or a sense of place?]
    


 

“The past is integral to our sense of identity – the sureness of ‘I was’ is a necessary component of the sureness of ‘I am’ Lowenthal, 1985, p41)

How important are issues of authenticity and bias in engineering a sense of identity or a sense of place?

Contents.

Introduction; 2

Folk Memory; 2

Some History. 3

Celtomania in the 18th & 19th Centuries; 3

Bob Quinn. 4

The Mainland Celts. 4

Celtic languages. 5

The sail boats . 6

DNA Evidence and Oxford Scholarship. 7

DNA findings; 7

Oxford Scholars. 7

References; 8

Notes;. 9

Photography. 9

Collective Consciousness. 10

Lateen Sails;  a note. 12

Ireland’s Golden Age;. 12

DNA Tests;. 12

Resources;. 13

Introduction;

Authenticity and bias in engineering a sense-of-identity or a sense of place may seem at first glance a trite way at poking fun at historians who become set in their way and refuse to allow for external considerations or influences. There’s more than historians at fault for some-bias in engineering an identity or (eventually) a sense of place.

Doctored images can affect what we eat, how we vote and even our childhood recollections. A book Ireland Photographs of 1800’s show staged photos. We all know about how the Soviets unashamedly added (or more usually) ‘extracted’ images of people in photos – even in their encyclopaedias.

New York Metropolitan is currently featuring some 200 photographs created between the 1840s and 1990s in the service of art, politics, news, entertainment, and commerce and the changing relationship to visual truth; Manipulated Photography Before Digital Age[1]; More recently changes were made to photos of Hurricane Sandy approaching New York. (Fake Sandy[2]). These images were used to heighten emotions for callous or possibly financial-reasons.

Even more disturbing is the fact that we can manipulate people close to us and others by providing evidence-of-events that simply have not happened. In a study by Elizabeth Loftus Make-Believe-Memories. 2003) it became apparent that old memories seem to be the easiest to manipulate. In one particular study, subjects were showed images from their childhood. Along with real images, researchers snuck in doctored-photographs of the subject involved in particularly memorable-events. After seeing those images, 50% of subjects recalled some part of that hot-air balloon-ride – though the event was entirely made up. (Springer Link pdf).

David Lowenthal points out that “Where history remains remote and critical of its view of the past, heritage thrives on persona- immediacy and embraces the past as building-blocks of identity” Macdonald, S. 2006 International Journal of Heritage Studies.pg 22.  This is especially important to remember when considering photographs of war where “augmentation” is used to manipulate scenes to galvanise public and military alike to great force. Soviet photos of the war on their soil were changed to show Germans in the worst possible light.  Even the Allies showed a short clip of Hitler ‘dancing’ when in fact it was him walking – but the film was ‘looped’. Probably we should never trust any photos of wars.

Folk Memory;

Throughout the history of mankind folk-memory has played a huge role is passing on knowledge and wisdom. It can be in the form of nursery rhymes explaining the effect of the plague (Ring-a-Ring-a-Rosy) to folk songs warning of lovers-tiffs to suicidal tendencies (Barbara Allen). Or it can be in the stories we all learn about the early settlers arriving over the sea and settling in the South and West. But then for 300 years we’ve been told that our ancestors come from central Europe.

Even the ‘collective conscience’ as described by Emile Durkin [i]can hold memories that provide succour and comfort as well as fortifying a ‘national spirit/stiff upper-lip’.  It can also sustain a nation that feels cut off from mainland Europe in a time of crisis.

However what happens when there is a serious push to rearrange the history of a country and its people? What happens when there is serious bias in engineering an identity or (eventually) a sense of place for an entire nation?

Some History.

The Norman/Welsh chronicler-geographer Sylvester-Giraldus Cambrensis often comes in for a lot of criticism for his misrepresentation of people and places and he was not above presenting ‘facts’  as such even though they were blatantly untrue as that the Welsh invented the longbow. (Dr Andrew Halpin, 2012). Others though in more enlightened-ages have created more disservice to academic-research.

Celtomania in the 18th & 19th Centuries;

Around 1707 when Edward Lluyd dreamt up his notion that all indigenous inhabitants of the British Isles (sic) were of ‘Celtic origin[3] it was purely to distinguish between British and Welsh.. This however in his eyes allowed for no input from the South-West. What Lluyd (and many others including William Stukeley 1687-1765) seemed incapable of understanding that sea-roads were infinitely easier to traverse than ‘roads’ that were of little more than animal tracks.

Before Lluyd and Stukley none of the peoples of the lands now referred to as Celtic had any collective name [4]at all. Irish, Scots, and Manx referred to themselves collectively as Gaels, while the Welsh use the term Cymry. (Welsh is a Saxon-derived word meaning “stranger.”). Ironically one Irish word for a stranger is gall which is often associated with Wales and in place-names translated as Ballydavid, (Irish- Baile na nGall).

William Stukeley also did work that led to the term “Celtic” being applied to pre-Roman sites such as Stonehenge and Avebury, and various tombs and standing stones. Most of these pre-date the Romans and ‘Celts’ by many millennia as we now know.

Alongside the genuine serious achievements in the Celtic languages by the likes of Lluyd and Zeuss there was a huge rise on nationalism in ‘Celtic’ countries (Cunliffe, Ancient Celts 11-16; Piggot, Druids123-182, 1968 ).There were three influential propagators of ‘imaginative-romantic-view’ of the Celts; namely William Stuckley, James Mac Pherson and Iolo Morganwg. These men are now considered to have “poisoned the wells of genuine scholarship  …for years to come” (Piggott  1968).

Stuckley’s work is now largely discredited but not before the ideas were firmly implanted in the minds of the public and the idea of ‘British druids’ romping around Stonehenge and other monuments is well embedded. MacPherson was soon discovered to have forged his study by simply writing poetry and passing it off as Poems of Ossian, Fragments of Ancient Poetry (1760) supposed genuine Gaelic epic. Germans in particular loved this idea of ‘fellow-Aryans’ (Quinn 2006) A more successful enterprise was that by a stonemason called Edward Williams (Iolo Morganwg) who promoted the idea that he, and other ‘bards’ had preserved, virtually intact, a continuous tradition of lore and wisdom going back to prehistoric times (Piggott, Druids ). This fabrication whilst romantic was able to be passed off as scientific-evidence, something all serious-scholars now rue. It’s not so much a bias as a twisting of facts.

Later in an attempt to make the disenchanted/disenfranchised people of “West & North Britain[5]” (sic) more ‘British especially after the terrible series of famines in 1840’s the notion of a Celtic Nation was revived.  Even the newly emerging theatre of Yeats and Gregory embraced the lie and staged ‘Celtic’ plays more reminiscent of Wagner’s Ring-Cycle.

Bob Quinn Irish (Gaelic) speaker, writer and film-maker in both the trilogy-documentary and his book Atlantean attempts to prove that Ireland’s heritage and culture has come not from the ‘Celts’ (From the Greek-word Keltoi used to describe any ‘barbarian’ who was not Greek – this was perpetuated by the Romans). Quinn, a former director of RTE Ireland’s public broadcaster, rejects the notion that the Irish are ‘part of the Celts’ but argues that they are an “energetic mixture of many peoples and cultures inhabiting what for thousands of years has essentially been an island trading post” (Quinn, Atlantean, 1986).  In their traditional music, boats and art they are a lot closer to Mediterranean peoples including Arabs and Berbers than to the oft-time quoted myth of them stemming from Celtic or Aryan peoples.

The Mainland Celts

The Celts “…can be traced back for at least twenty-five centuries” beyond the very beginnings of any literate civilization north of the Alps.( Jean Markale; The Celts: 1978; p 14). Markale goes on to write that archaeologists have claimed “with scientific certainty” (Kevin Duffy; Who Were The Celts?; 1999; p 2) that the earliest direct ancestors of the Celts were the Urnfield people. They originated in southern Germany, Austria and Switzerland around 1300 BC and lived in the area for about 500 years, until 800 BC

Walking over land carrying all one’s worldly goods would take centuries to cross the mainland from modern-day Czech Republic/Austria/S. Germany. For what? Getting from Egypt to Gibraltar (Pillars-of-Hercules) would take about 10 days. Rome to Gibraltar 7 days base on ancient sailing log-books (Speed_under_Sail_of_Ancient_Ships ).  Another example shows; Rhodes-Alexandria 3 days 4.5 knots in “favourable wind speed”.

Although the study of Celtic-people (Keltoi) started as early as the 6th century (Hecataes) the modern field of study has its origins in the 16th & 17th C with the re-discovery of Greek and Latin texts (Diodorus Siculos (Greek historian writing 60 – 30BC), Julius Ceasar and Strabo (63BC – 24AD) of Greece. There is a brief reference to the Northern Islands in Ezekiel according to Dr. Ian Adamson OBE; Tarshish and the Origins of the Gaelic Language: …the words of the Prophet Ezekiel in his 27th chapter of the Book of God written about 500 B.C. “Where Ezekiel speaks of the rich purple dyes from the Isles of Elishas we may have the first written reference to the British Isles.  The purple dyes of our Islands were celebrated among the later Greeks and Romans and were very expensive”.  Around the time of Christ Ptolomy writes (Hansard, J, pg 3, 1870) that a tribe of people settled in Wexford and Waterford called the Menapii who  were pushed out of Gaul by Ceaser (having been forced out of Germany by Usipites and later seems to have crossed the sea to Ireland “For the sake of preventing their ancient liberty and of avoiding the insolence of the Romans”.  Later writers used such details to enforce the idea that the British Isles were ‘all one family’ in-spite of the obvious massive influxes in races – even in relatively modern times where we have good understanding of population numbers in Britain from around the 10th century. (Josiah C. Russell, Population in Europe: 1972) and where they came from. And after 10th century there is no evidence of an explosion growth in ‘Celtic areas – quite the opposite as Britain’s population rose from 0.5million 10th century to 5million in 1340. The Anglo-Saxon population “augmented” by Vikings followed later by Norman invasion meant that British Celts were pushed ever further West and North. Perhaps from thence sprang the idea that Ireland was settled by British Celts.

“Despite their bias and occasional inaccuracies, the classical accounts of the Celts have formed the foundation of the modern discipline since the fifteen hundreds”. (Rankin,D Celts and the Classical world, Croom Helm-Rutledge, Oxford 1996). As the study of these classical texts continued linguists began to make progress in the field of ‘Celtic’ languages. Celtiberian or Northeastern Hispano-Celtic is the now-extinct language is directly confirmed in nearly 200 inscriptions dated in the 2nd &1st century BC, mainly in Celtiberian script, a direct adaptation of the north-eastern Iberian script, but also in Latin alphabet. Enough has been preserved to show that the Celtiberian language could be called Q-Celtic (like Gaelic), and not P-Celtic like British and its parent Gaulish. Celtiberian would therefore appear to be the ultimate parent Celtic tongue of the Gaelic language. The elephant in the room hasn’t been mentioned however – the closeness of Morocco and Spain – held apart by Atlas.  This is picked up by Bob Quinn again in his writings (The Waiting Room; The Celtic Cow is also Dead, 2012) when he pointed out that “Tartessian” a language that ‘died even in Roman times (Anderson ; Tarshish and the Origins of the Gaelic 2013) under the influence of Latin. Anderson later in the same paper tell us that the “The first great leader of the Feni (later “Gaels”) in Ireland, Tuathal (Teuto–valos) Techtmar, was probably a Roman soldier, commanding Q-Celtic speaking auxiliaries from Spain”. The Tartessian language is now understood to be Paleohispanic language found in the SW of the Iberian Peninsula mainly in the south of Portugal but also in Spain (south of Extremadura and western Andalusia). In fact the earliest known source of this “invasion” from Spain into Ireland is a poem by Mael Mura of Othain in 885AD showing how the folk memory (or collective consciousness) can exist over a millennium. As an aside to this; there was published in The Dublin Penny Journal of 1834 an account where a gentleman in Antrim noted that some weather-bound sailors from Tunis were able to converse with locals who spoke only Gaelic (Quinn, 1986, pg 81).

Celtic languages are now spoken only on the Atlantic facade of Europe, mainly in Britain and Ireland, but were spoken more widely in western and central Europe until the collapse of the Roman Empire in the first millennium AD. (MacEvoy DNA tests, 2004)

The 5th and 6th centuries saw very rapid growth of Gaelic language (records from that time make Gaelic the oldest written vernacular in the western world) and it’s become obvious that the language was quickly adopted by the original inhabitants. Heinrich Wagner points out that “Gaelic had become one of the most bizarre branches of Indo-European since it’s syntax and structure ….non-European”. Quinn simply points out that like Arabic there is no – yes and no in Gaelic, there is no ‘simple’ way of saying good day (like the Arabic – it’s a long-winded process of bestowing blessings) and the verb is at the beginning of the sentence – unlike any other Indo-European language. Examples of common words; Gaelic-Arabic; Íosa-Issa, (Jesus), scian-sekina, (knife). Rosary beads so loved by the Irish are an Arabic invention and the traditional garb of a nun (itself an Egyptian word) is Middle Eastern in origin. In the great epic tale of An Táin Bó Cuailgne (approx. 3 millennia ago) there is a reference to one of the heroes sporting a helmet made in Syria, while Rí Conchubhair (king O’Connor) is credited with hiring Libyan mercenaries, (along with a Barbary ape).

In music of course some of the greatest similarities show up – from the goat-skin single handed bodhrán favourite of the Berbers to the sean-nós singing of West Ireland that when offered to the Middle Eastern they invariably will claim that it’s “their” music – but they can’t understand the words. When this author first heard Galician music he responded that it was Irish music played by foreigners – as there is a certain non-Irish accent.  The Galician’s too have an elbow-powered (uillean) pipe.  The same author played at Arab weddings where his Irish music was danced to and appreciated.  In 1850’s a Lebanese visitor to The Royal Irish academy was chanting from the Qur’an when the eminent antiquarian and native Gaelic speaker Eugene O’Curry took up the refrain singing sean-nós. Those present could not distinguish between the two. They came to the conclusion that the two were related. (Quinn 1986, pg 29

Much art used in Ireland a millennium ago show a direct influence from Arab.  Unlike the twee-folksy “Celtic-art” of angels and ‘goddesses’ the Book of Kells, Lismore Crosier (Findley, Ian. 1973) and other more ‘pagan’ forms (Seela-na-Gigs. Kelly Dr E, 1996) show how close old-Ireland was to the art from Moorish Iberian-peninsula as well as N.Africa itself.

What is totally forgotten is that the seas were not seen as an obstacle to transport but were the highways of the time and as Bob Quinn eloquently points out sea-journeys were much faster and able to shift vast loads compared to overland journeys (NB the English word travel comes from the French travailler to work). Recent studies of old ships logs throw up fascinating figures and stories of extremely long sea-journeys. Patrick Power noted too in his History of Waterford that huge loads can be easily transported via water, (Power, P.C. 1998) He also writes of the ancient Sea-people fo-mhuirigh in connection with ancient Irish sagas.

The sail boats – The Pucáns of the West coast of Ireland and the Arab Dhow are the only boats that use the lateen sail. Dr John de Courcy-Ireland one of the greatest sea-farers of the modern world decared: “An té mbionn long aige, gebheann sé coir uair éigin. (He who has a boat invariably gets a breeze.)…there is blood in every one of us… that came from across the sea …the first people people came here by sea and laid the foundations of a maritime tradition …that is richer and older than almost any country in Europe”. Thirty-seven years after the Spanish Armada disaster Galway’s govenor described Galway as “next to Spain and trading with it” Hardly surprising then that Arab maps of the time show Ireland lying south of England, illustrating how Ireland was perceived by sailors. As early as 600BC Hanno of N.-Africa had sailed around Africa- Herodotus. As early as 425BC N.-Africans were writing extensively about the Atlantic coasts (Quinn pg 42). Consider too that when the Vikings reached the Hebrides, Faros even Iceland they found that the Irish had been there before them (Tim Severin The Brendan Voyage, 1976). “St Brendan’s travels were as well known as the wanderings of Ulysses” -Severn 1976. Severn set out to prove that “Navigatio Sancti Brendani Abbatis” the Voyage or Wandering of St. Brendan was a possibility.  He did.

It must be noted that when the last of the Irish royalty left in 1607 (The Flight of the Earls) they sailed from Lough Swilly at the top of Ireland they took all their goods and treasures with them sure of their sailing-capabilities.

DNA Evidence and Oxford Scholarship.

What is most remarkable about the whole story of how Ireland ‘became’ Celtic is that it’s taken until very recent to expose the sham. A scholarly volume of essays from archaeologists and linguists et al via Oxford “Celtic from the West” and is edited by Barry Cunliffe and John T Koch. In 2006 Cunliffe (former Professor of European Archaeology, Oxford) wrote the preface to Quinn’s Atlantean.

In Facing the Ocean, Barry Cunliffe, one of the world’s most highly regarded authorities on prehistoric Europe, offers a totally original way of looking at that continent. He argues that the peoples of the Atlantic rim–of Iceland, Scotland, Ireland, Brittany, Spain, Portugal, and Gibraltar–all share a cultural-identity shaped by the Atlantic Ocean, going back ten-millennia. These peoples lived at the edge-of-the-world, in places called Land’s End, Finisterre, and Connemara.

DNA findings;

DNA findings of Trinity Collage Dublin microbiology department has traced our common Y chromosome to Spain and Portugal and found that “any evidence for gene-flow from the North-Apline-Zone  .. to Ireland is conspicuously absent”. This includes what Dan Bradley, professor of population genetics in Trinity’s school of genetics and microbiology describes as the “Atlantic-façade”, places along the Atlantic seaboard where the Celtic-languages were spoken including Brittany, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall and also northern Spain, particularly in the Basque-regions. Ahlstrom Dick; Genes give clues to early moves. The Celts fanned out across the Atlantic seaboard and all the way to Iceland. Irish Sunday Times, The Irish are not Celts, say experts, Jan Battles, 2004

THE long-held belief that Ireland’s population is descended from the Celts has been disproved by geneticists, who have concluded that they never invaded Ireland. The research at Trinity College Dublin (TCD) into the origins of Ireland’s population found no substantial evidence of the Celts in Irish DNA, and concludes they never settled here en masse. (MacEvoy et al 2004)

It would seem that we need to re-think our entire idea of what it is to be a Celt.

There are a number of genetic-markers related to blood groups that link the “native-Irish” and these Atlantic-façade populations, which means they all share a common-ancestry, says Bradle. It may be that settlers from these regions were the ones who originally migrated to Ireland to settle an otherwise empty land. And despite their closeness, it seems that Ireland was settled in a much different way from Britain. Research has shown that there was very little genetic-overlap between the two populations. And while Britain shares genetic-markers with continental Europeans, there was much less continental mixing in the Atlantic-façade populations.

The Oxford scholars now support Quinn’s theories and accept that anything celtic in Ireland may have actually originated on South coastal-fringes of the Atlantic. When modern North-African universities develop their own genetic-analysis-techniques we may find out that we ‘Celts’ have a lot of cousins down there.

References;

Ahlstrom Dick; Genes give clues to early moves. The Celts fanned out across the Atlantic seaboard and all the way to Iceland. Irish Times, 05-11-2004, http://www.irishtimes.com/indepth/ancestors/articles/10-genes-give-clues-to-early-moves.html

Anderson ; Tarshish and the Origins of the Gaelic http://www.ianadamson.net/myblog/2012/05/19/tarshish-and-the-origins-of-the-gaelic-language-2/  Posted on May 13th 2012. Accessed 28-12-2012.

Battles, J. The Irish are not Celts, say experts, The Sunday Times, (Ireland). 05-09-2004, 6.

Cunliffe, B. Celtic from the West: Alternative Perspectives from Archaeology, Genetics, Language and Literature, Oxbow Books, Oxford, UK, 2001.

De Courcy Ireland; Ireland’s Maritime Heritage, An Post, Dublin,1992

Duffy; Who Were The Celts?; Heritage Books, Inc., 1996 Barnes & Noble, London, 1999.

Emile Durkheim. [Internet]. 2013. The Biography Channel website. Available from: http://www.biography.com/people/emile-durkheim-9282252 [Accessed 05 Jan 2013].

Fake Sandy; http://images.mentalfloss.com/blogs/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/FakeSandy1.jpeg  Accessed 28-12-2012

Findley, Ian.  Celtic Art. Faber & Faber, London, 1973

Galician Music; http://www.galiciaguide.com/Galicias-music.html Accessed 02-01-2013

Halpin, A. The Longbow; Terror Weapon of Europe, Lecture, National Museum of Ireland 2012

Hitler ‘dancing’; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwpsZGEIMDw YouTube; Uploaded on May 31, 2010. A Mechanical Icon film; Accessed 26-12-2012

Joyce, P. W. (Patrick Weston), Irish local names explained; 1827-1914. Dublin : Educational Co. of Ireland, 1922.

Kelly E.p. Seela-na-Gigs, Origins and Functions, National Museum of Ireland/Ard-Mhúsaem Na hÉireann, publisher; Town House, Dublin.1996.

Kerry, J ; Kerry_Fonda_2004_election_photo.  and Doctored-Kerry-photo-brings-anger-threat-of-suit  Accessed 23-12-2012

Kinsella, T. Táin Bó Cuailgne, Oxford Uni. Press 1969.

Lluyd E. Archaeologia Britannica: Texts and Translations. 1707, unknown publicist.

Loftus, E. Make-Believe Memories. American Psychologist, Vol 58(11), Nov 2003, 867-873. and Psycnet psychological study in memory manipulation; http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/2004-10969-007 

Macdonald, S. International Journal of Heritage Studies. Vol 12, Nr 1,pg 22. 2006

McEvoy B. Richards M, Forster P, Bradley DG. The Longue Duree of genetic ancestry: multiple genetic marker systems and Celtic origins on the Atlantic facade of Europe. Am J Hum Genet. 2004 Oct;75(4):693-702. Epub 2004 Aug 12.  http://www.gen.tcd.ie/molpopgen/brian.php

Markale; The Celts: Uncovering the Mythic and Historic Origins of Western Culture; Inner Traditions, International, Rochester, Vermont, 1978; p 14).

Metropolitan Museum Exposition on Doctored Pictures before Digital Age press-room/exhibitions/2012/faking-it

O’Cathain Detta; Ireland is embedded deep in the DNA of its diaspora, Irish Times, Opinion and Analysis, 24th Dec 2012. Irishtimes.com/newspaperDiaspora_campaign-centre.

Photographs of Irish/picture scenes; Ireland Photographs 1840 – 1930 Sexton, S. 1994, Laurance King Publishing, London.

Piggott, S. The Druids, Thames & Hudson, New York, 1968.

Power, P.C. The History of Waterford, City and County, de Paor, Dungarvan 1998.

Quinn, B. Atlantean: Ireland’s North African and Maritime Heritage. Quartet Books; NY & London. 1986.

Romney/MONEY; http://whatstrending.com/wp-content/themes/romney’money

Severn, T. The Brendan Voyage, Random House New York, 1978. See also; http://www.allsaintsbrookline.org/celtic_saints/brendan.html

Soviet v German photography WWll; photo-manipulations-in-the-ussr/ Accessed 01-01-2012

Springer Link pdf;  A Picture is Worth a Thousand Lies, Kimberley A. Wade, Maryanne Garry, J. Don Read, D. Stephen Lindsay.  Psychonomic Bulliten & Review 2002, 9 (3), 597,603.

Tartessian” (tarshish-and-the-origins-of-the-gaelic-language-2/) Accessed 28-12-2012.

Waiting Room Magazine; The Celtic Cow is also Dead, Feature; Summer Journal 2012

Notes;

Photography.

Exhibition Devoted to History of Manipulated Photography Before Digital Age.      Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop is organized by Mia Fineman, Assistant Curator in the Department of Photographs.

Soviet Image Editing Tool From 1987; soviet-image-editing-tool-from-1987 nacturation writes”Three years before Photoshop 1.0 was released, computer engineers in the USSR were already retouching photographsusing some surprisingly advanced technology. A video shows how the Soviets went about restoring damaged images with the help of rotary scanners, magnetic tape, and trackballs.

More recently pictures have been doctored to portray politicians seemingly hob-nobbing with other people that are deemed to be less-savoury – one example of this, is the infamous photograph of Senator John Kerry is sitting next to Jane Fonda, with the caption explaining that both Kerry and Fonda were at a Vietnam war protest. The New York Times cited the image, and many anti-Kerry blogs and sites displayed it prominently. The problem is that the photograph is a fake. Kerry and Fonda were never at any anti-war protest together – someone had combined two different photographs. (San Francisco Chronicle “Doctored Kerry photo brings anger, threat of suit / Software, Net make it easy to warp reality). Of course something similar happened to Mitt Romney’s children mistakenly standing in a line spelling out the word “MONEY[6]”,

Kerrry-Fonda photos; Ken Light (copyright-owner of original Kerry-image) sued Richard Taylor creator of (faked) image in NY federal court. The case is still under appeal. Other doctored photos show Kerry sitting next to a Viet Cong flag (Free Republic website www.theodoresworld.net/pages/extreme.html ). Accessed 24-12-2012.

Lessons on photo-manipulation may be found on the web, for instance; http://www.splashnology.com/article/30-new-photo-manipulation-tutorials/4402/

http://www.behance.net/search?field=128  /  http://photoshoptutorials.ws/category/photoshop-tutorials/photo-manipulation/

Collective Consciousness

The Division of Labour in Society, David Emile Durkheim (Epinal, France 1857-1917) considered to be the father of sociology introduces a concept that has become a cornerstone of sociological vocabulary, collective consciousness. Durkheim introduces this phrase as a label for “the totality of beliefs and sentiments common to the average members of a society” (Durkheim 39). He will be remembered as one who feared the mechanisation of life. He felt that the division of labour as well as mechanisation and technology would lead to ethical and moral produced alienation among workers, and feared the greed inspired by increased prosperity. His books include The Division of Labour in Society, Suicide, and The Elementary Forms of Religious Life. Emile Durkheim. [Internet]. 2013. The Biography Channel website. Available from: http://www.biography.com/people/emile-durkheim-9282252 [Accessed 05 Jan 2013].

Bob Quinn; (Born 1935). Atlantean: Ireland’s North African and Maritime Heritage. Publisher: Quartet Books. Publication Date: 1986″ argues that Ireland’s ‘sean-nos’ singing is directly related to Arab music and describes further evidence of cultural ties between Ireland and the Middle East.” ISBN 13: 9780704325241. He has played tapes of Irish singers to Turkish and Asian as well as Arab musicians and they usually respond that that is ‘their’ music. Our dancing too has renonance of the Moorish/Spanish influence of the flamenco. When we start our stories we invariably preface with Fadó fadó – or long-long ago. But Fado is the Portuguese word for a ballad – and a ballad tells a story.

Edward Lhuyd’s Archaeologia Britannica effectively marks the discovery of the Celtic languages and the founding of Celtic Studies. First published in 1707, of a first-hand study of the ‘Celtic’ languages and four-year journey through the different countries where they were spoken.  Celtic Studies Publications 2009. Language: English- with some translations. ISBN- ISBN-13: 978-1891271144.

Born probably in 1660 in Loppington, Shropshire, Edward Lhuyd was brought up by his father, Edward Lloyd, in Llanforda, Oswestry. Edward Lloyd is often described as a colourful character, and is usually portrayed as a dissolute, hot-tempered man seeking to avoid bankruptcy through loans and by a number of commercial ventures. He was, however, an informed horticulturalist who employed a professional gardener. (http://www.llgc.org.uk/Edward_Llud).

Gall; Foreigner (Gaul) one from the East; Gall, Gael, Gaelic word meaning ‘strangers’ or ‘foreigners’. (Weston 1922).  For example, Donegal (Fortess of the foreigners).  Though the official Irish term for Wales is Breathnach (also a family name in Ireland).  And we mustn’t forget that Wales is one of our nearest neighbours and provides the greatest land-bridge to the mainland of Europe. Yet protected us from European invasion of Keltoi and later Romans when the Gales were trading with Iberia/Africa.(Bob Quin, 1986). In another twist of fate the Greeks either invented (or adapted) origin myths about these Keltoi and their progenitor was given as Celtus, a son of Heracles, and Celtine, the daughter of Bretannus.

Wales – What’s in a name? Edward Dawson is of the opinion that ‘Wales’ and its cognates in Germanic languages probably derives from an earlier form of the name that the Celts used for themselves. The ancient Greeks recorded that the northern barbarians were Keltoi, and Julius Caesar reported that the Gauls called themselves Celtae in their own language. Recorded tribal names of Galati and Galaci existed. So how did ‘Celt’ become ‘Wal’? The Celtic habit was to take a ‘w’ sound and stick a ‘g’ in front of it (G and K are usually interchangeable). This occurred before the first century AD at least once with another word, that for forest (wood in English, coed in Welsh). This first shift apparently placed a ‘k’ instead of a ‘g’; possibly due to regional dialects. If one postulates that the original name of the Celts was ‘Walt’, then the Celts placed a ‘k’ in front of it to produce ‘Kwalt’, which was shortened to ‘Kelt’. The Germans would have continued using the original Walt, softening the ‘t’ to a ‘th’, then dropping it entirely to produce ‘Wal’. If so the Welsh were not ‘foreigners’ as such but were literally the Celts.

Sailing; The author has sailed the Irish hookers, (lantern-sailed)pucháns, and (sailing) currachs (while researcher for An Meithal Mara currach-builders Cork) and has sailed Arab dhows (Egypt) and many West European  boats (long-distance delivery) as well as having been cox-swain on the Irish Sail-Training Boat Asgard ll on several occasions. The author has proven on live TV that a weight tied to a rope overboard from a boat can provide more immediate/accurate information on speed than the latest GPS. (VPRO, Dutch TV 1990) as well as having been the driving force that changed the law in Ireland about wooden v steel bulkheads.

In Facing the Ocean, Barry Cunliffe, one of the world’s most highly regarded authorities on prehistoric Europe, offers a totally original way of looking at that continent. Following on from the seminal work of Bob Quinn he argues that the peoples of the Atlantic rim–of Iceland, Scotland, Ireland, Brittany, Spain, Portugal, and Gibraltar–all share a cultural identity shaped by the Atlantic Ocean, an identity which stretches back almost ten thousand years. These peoples lived at the edge of the world, in places called Land’s End, Finisterre, and Connemara (by the sea). Finisterra, and looked out on a bountiful but terrifying expanse of ocean, a roiling, merciless infinity beyond which there was nothing. Their profound relationship with the ocean set these communities apart from their inland countryman, creating a distinct Atlantic culture. Cunliffe culls the archaeological evidence to illuminate the bonds that developed and intensified between these isolated communities and helped to maintain a shared and distinctive Atlantic identity.
Attractively designed and vibrantly written, Facing the Ocean offers a striking reassessment of a people who have usually been regarded as peripheral to European history. It will send shock waves through the history world and will radically change our view of the European past.

Lateen Sails;  a note.

Conventional interpretations give the lateen sail an important place in the history of navigation as a transitional sail–a link between square sails and fore-and-aft sails–that Europeans adopted from the Arabs. The conventional view is that this acquisition endowed European ships with greater manoeuvrability and thereby made possible the new ship designs and voyaging accomplishments of the Renaissance and later centuries. The conventional view also holds that superior sails evolved from the lateen, leading to a lasting transformation of sailing ship technology. This article maintains, on the contrary, that the Arabs neither invented the lateen nor transmitted it to Europe; that it was a specialized sail, the wider importance of which has been generally exaggerated; that it did not lead to further sail evolution; and that lateen-style sails were developed in the Pacific independently of those in the west Asian and Mediterranean culture areas.

Ireland’s Golden Age;

Ireland’s Golden age was from 6th to 10th centuries – which coincides exactly with the Arab golden age. We share much of our art and music.

A Note on Language:

Archaeologists do not believe that the Celts were one homogeneous people but were composed of many tribes speaking a similar language. How these different tribes came to speak a common language is not known, but these various peoples, referred to as Celtic, spoke a language which was a predecessor of modern-day Irish. Thus the word “Celtic” became a way of describing the people who spoke the Gaelic language: In Search of Ancient Ireland: The Origins of the Irish from Neolithic Times to the Coming of the English, by Leo Eaton, Carmel McCaffrey

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DNA Tests;

Am J Hum Genet. 2004 October; 75(4): 693–702. Published online 2004 August 12.

RESEARCH INTEREST:

By examining the genetic variation in present day Irish people we can learn about our origin and history. Previous work in our lab looking at the Y chromosome, which is paternally inherited, suggests that most Irish trace their origin to the initial settlers of Island several thousand years ago. We are now looking at maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA to see if our female history is the same or different to that of our male ancestors.

The paternal inheritance of the Y chromosome is the same pattern typically followed by surnames. In other words, both surname and the Y chromosome are passed from father to son down the male family line. By comparing the Y chromosomes of many different men with the same surname, we are seeking to find out how many men were involved in starting prominent Irish surnames (names under study include McGuinness, Ryan, Kennedy, Murphy, Kelly, O’Neill, Byrne, O’Sullivan and McCarthy amongst others) and how names from the same regions of Ireland relate to each other.

Stone circles from the Early Bronze-Age are comparable to similar work found in Middle-East. [7] Was Drombeg’s stone circle designed using skills learned in Babylon?

Late Iron-Age finds point to N. African ‘visitors’:

Interestingly, the remains of a second probable ‘immigrant’ were also identified at Bettystown. Again this person was a male, who had been buried in a crouched position, sometime between the 4th and 7th centuries AD. Isotope analysis of the man’s teeth revealed an origin in either southern Portugal or along the north African coast (Cahill Wilson 2014, p. 131). http://irisharchaeology.ie/2015/03/immigrant-burials-in-late-iron-age-meath/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+irisharchaeology%2FdNsJ+%28Irish+Archaeology%29

Mammals in Ireland:

A recent book by Prof Ian Montgomery of Queen’s University of Belfast Mind the Gap published by Irish Naturalists Journal has shown that small mammals – “pigmy-shrew, badger, pine martin, and so on” – taken (accidentally) into Ireland have NOT come via Britain as was long suspected but following the DNA trail he has shown that they have come from Iberia and Scandinavia. Again this points out the use of longer open-sea travel and direct contact/connect with sea-faring nations well before ‘Celts’ were travelling here to trade.

 


[1] First Major Exhibition Devoted to History of Manipulated Photography Before Digital Age Opens at Metropolitan Museum; October 11 —January 27, 2013

[2] “Apocalyptic-looking clouds over Manhattan during Hurricane Sandy”-  mentalfloss.com/blogs/2012/10/FakeSandy1.jpeg

[3] Edward Lhuyd’s Archaeologia Britannica effectively marks the “discovery of the Celtic languages” and the founding of Celtic Studies. First published in 1707

[4] It’s also worth noting that many indigenous people have more than one name. The first was a magical and secret name known only to family/close friends, a second name for ‘general usage’ and sometimes even a third name for use with those outside the clan-tribal-village circle. Growing up in Ireland it was very uncommon 40 years ago to know someone’s ‘first’ name until they offered it as a sign of closeness. The American brashness of everybody using the praenomen [4]is a very modern occurrence.  We are apt however to say – I’m one of the Cork(onian) Murphy’s.

[5] Scottish Whisky was referred to as North British Whisky and Irish as West British Whiskey. To this day to call someone a West Brit is about as insulting as one can get without resorting to common-swearing.


Resources;

The Phisical Geography of the Sea by Bernard Bailyn; Belknap Press of Harvard, Mass. 1855 until authors-copy 1963 – Explains about how ancient mariners could ‘read’ the sea and assess tides, current and drift. See also Henry Stommel, The Gulf Stream; a Physical and Dynamical Description Berkley and Los Angeles 1960.

6 Ridiculous Myths About the Middle Ages Everyone Believes

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6 Ridiculous Myths About the Middle Ages Everyone Believes

By:Steve Kolenberg January 13, 2013 888,443 views

With grateful thanks to  https://www.facebook.com/MontagueHeritageServices?ref=stream

When you think of the Middle Ages, chances are you picture gallant knights sitting astride brilliant destriers galloping through a sea of plagues, ignorance, and filth. And you can hardly be blamed for that, when everything from the movies you watch to your high school history teacher (who was mainly the football coach) has told you that …

#6. Scientific Progress Was Dead

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The Myth:

They call it the Dark Ages for a reason. Any scientist who dared to actually study the universe would be shut down by the Catholic church, which thought all that bullshit was immoral and that the Bible was all the learnin’ anybody could possibly need. They even thought the Earth was flat, for crying out loud.

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“No, we can’t cross the ocean there, don’t you see that sea monster in the way?”

The Reality:

Aside from the fact that, as we’ve already explained, most people in the Middle Ages did not think the Earth was flat, the church wasn’t responsible for killing science — to the contrary, it was largely responsible for saving it.

After the barbarians invaded Europe and Rome went the way of the dinosaurs, the Catholic church was the last remaining aspect of Roman culture in Western Europe. The church went about setting up monasteries across Europe, and along with the monks came the monks’ massive libraries. Monks were just about the only educated people in the early Middle Ages, and pretty much everything we know about this entire time period was written by them.

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“Look, the monks’ scroll clearly says that all monks had 12-inch dongs, so it must be true.”

As time went on, the church stepped it up a notch and started establishing universities to foster the preservation of knowledge. You may have heard of a few of them: Oxford, Cambridge, and the University of Paris (not to mention pretty much every other top school in Europe). At these universities, students studied more than most college kids do today, with an average bachelor’s degree taking up to seven years to earn, and a master’s or doctorate taking several more. The universities were also big on translation, having successfully translated into Latin guys like Aristotle and Plato, which effectively made the Renaissance possible. All of this despite the fact that beer bong technology was still in its infancy.

Around the same time as universities were popping up all over Europe, the Crusades were bringing Europeans into contact with advanced Muslim ideas of science and technology. Ideas like the compass and the astrolabe came to the West via Muslim Spain and came in handy during the later Age of Exploration. Italian merchants came back from trading in North Africa and gave us another innovation: Arabic numerals.

Sju
Pfft, like people are going to want to learn a whole other set of characters.

Medicine also made massive advances thanks to the university system. Contrary to popular belief, dissection of corpses was actually fine and dandy with the church, and medieval universities often did it in the basement (OK, so maybe it wasn’t totally fine and dandy). By the 14th century, there were functional hospitals, and doctors had learned how to use antiseptic when lopping off people’s body parts.

And that’s a good thing, because everybody was encrusted in filth back then, right? Well, about that …

#5. Everyone Smelled Like Complete Shit

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The Myth:

Even if we know nothing else about the Middle Ages, we know that everyone was absolutely filthy. Medieval peasants looked like something straight out of Monty Python and the Holy Grail …

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But not nearly as whimsical.

… and the upper classes were hardly any cleaner. People back then took baths with about the same frequency as we go to the dentist — a couple of times a year for the obsessive ones. Just getting to a person’s genitals required a stiff wire brush and a chisel.

The Reality:

They were way into bathing for much of the Middle Ages. Maybe too into it — they continued the Roman practice where a bunch of strangers got naked together for communal bathing, and most towns and even villages in medieval Germany had a communal bath where craftsmen would hang out and bathe together after a hard day’s work. Just sitting there, probably washing each other’s dongs while having loud conversations about how incredibly not gay they were.

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“You see my new pickup wagon with a bunch of tools in the back?”

Meanwhile, not only was it common for medieval folk to wash their hands before and after eating, it was also customary to offer to bathe with guests when they entered your home, something The Man has repeatedly reminded us is no longer acceptable in modern society. Medieval demand for soap (usually made from animal fats, with a variety of oils and salts added) was so great that by the 13th century, soap was being made on an almost industrial scale in Britain, Italy, Spain, and France.

So why do we picture everyone as wallowing in their own filth back then? Well, things changed all at once. If only an act of God could change Europe’s epic bathing culture, they got one — in the mid-14th century, the Black Death strolled up and kicked Europe right in the teeth with its pestilence boot. Suddenly, smart people were telling the previously washed masses that bathing was a surefire way to open your body’s pores and invite in all the bad spirits or gremlins or whatever (they weren’t too savvy on what caused illness back then).

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“The academy is divided down the middle, between Jews and forest pixies.”

As a result, by the early modern period of history, bathing had become obsolete. So it’s entirely possible that George Washington rated higher than Richard the Lionheart on the smell-like-shit-o-meter.

#4. Knights Were Honorable, Chivalrous Warriors

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The Myth:

Knights were gallant and brave warriors, charging into battle to slay the dragon and rescue the fair maiden.

The Reality:

Knights often had less in common with this:

 Wikimedia Commons
“We shall die for the glory of our randomly assigned piece of land!”

And more in common with this:

 Johan Ordonez/NBC News
Wessex side.

Remember, knights were professional warriors, and when there wasn’t a war to fight, they had to findsomething to do with their war-boners. Most of these guys were relatively young and didn’t have Call of Duty to satisfy their violent urges, so they tended to take it out on the local population. Toward the 11th century, many of the local lords started bickering over who would get a slice of the Holy Roman pie that Charlemagne baked, and the knights were at the forefront of these petty wars. These “wars” were less Braveheart-style epic battles and more knights rolling up into villages and slaughtering everybody.

The church tried to curb these conflicts, because frankly, they were nasty and threatened the stability of everything. First they tried to gather up all the knights and shake various body parts of dead saints at them, but when that didn’t work, the Pope called the First Crusade and exported all these assholes to the Middle East, where they chivalrously ate babies and massacred the entire population of Jerusalem.

 Wikimedia Commons
“Hey, the Pope said we wouldn’t go to hell! No backsies!”

Later attempts were made to get these young ‘uns under control, one being the chivalric code that was adopted around the 13th century. Examples like Sir Lancelot and Edward the Black Prince were raised to show knights how to behave in battle and in peace. Knights were encouraged to “defend the weak,” but “the weak” was commonly interpreted as noble women and children, not peasants. So noble-on-noble violence may have decreased, but it was still totally cool for knights to kill and rape peasants, since, like those beers you had for breakfast, they didn’t really count.

#3. Everyone Was a Prude

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The Myth:

Casual sex, and even knowledge of how sex works, is a modern invention. During the heavily religious Dark Ages, sex was strictly forbidden outside of marriage, and every single person of consenting age (a term that was very loosely defined back then) led a life that was a never-ending squelch through a pool of their own sexual repression.

The Reality:

You know those really goofy-looking shoes that men wore back then? The extra pointy ones, like something an elf would wear?

 Ziko
We’d still wear those over Heelys.

Well, those points are called poulaines, and apparently they were meant to directly represent the wearer’s dong. And in a revelation that will come as absolutely no surprise to anyone even remotely familiar with the intricate relationship between a man and his wang, these points were sometimes so big that dudes couldn’t walk up stairs. Good thing they were all wearing those elaborate codpieces to protect their actual dongs when their shoe-dongs tripped them up.

And the sexy didn’t stop with their fashion. Prostitution was a big friggin’ deal back then. Although technically against the teachings of the church, everyone collectively agreed that if there were no hookers around, men would be out raping, just, everyone, because some of what you’ve heard about the Middle Ages wasn’t a myth. In most medieval cities, prostitution was completely legal yet confined to certain districts and licensed by a town’s mayor. The church even got in on this deal andlicensed some holy brothels of its very own.

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“She’ll tickle your schmeckel for only a shekel!”

But let’s not leave out the married folk. Since most upper-class marriages were political arrangements and the people getting married didn’t necessarily like each other all that much, extramarital affairs were where it was at. And man, did these people get down — if you’ve ever watched a show like The Tudors and thought it was all sexed up for a modern audience, you were wrong.

One of the reasons that Eleanor of Aquitaine usurped her husband Henry II was because Henry II apparently had more mistresses than Tiger Woods. Seeing that getting in bed with the king was a good way to get ahead in life, daughters of lower nobility basically became escorts and tried to become the king’s favorite mistress, which worked out pretty well for Anne Boleyn when she married Henry VIII and became Queen of England. Worked out pretty well, that is, until she was beheaded for allegedly banging too many people who weren’t Henry VIII.

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The Bible is very clear that you’re only allowed three affairs at a time.

But the whole situation was still bad news for women, right? Because women were basically property back then? Well …

#2. Women Were Treated as Cattle

  Nino Mascardi/Getty Images

The Myth:

Europe during the Middle Ages is right up there with Taliban-ruled Afghanistan in the Top 5 Places It Would Suck to Have a Vagina. Women were horribly oppressed and were treated as second-class citizens — their only responsibilities were to cook, clean, and squeeze out (male) babies on demand.

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“Sweetie? You get that new male heir I asked for? It’s been like an hour …”

The Reality:

Up until about 200 years ago, Europe was a largely agricultural society. And the funny thing about back-breaking and often dehumanizing labor is that it has a weird way of equalizing people — when literally every member of the family is out busting his or her ass every morning just to fend off the very real threat of starvation, gender roles and sexism suddenly don’t seem all that important. Thus, when it came to household responsibilities, women and men were equals by default, since the women had to do all the same bullshit their husbands had to do. So should time travel ever become a thing, never tell a medieval peasant woman to go make her husband a sandwich, because she’ll probably cackle her plague-breath all up in your face before snapping you in half like a twig.

And the story wasn’t much different in the cities. If dad owned a shop or a tavern, his daughters were the ones helping out. Sometimes a daughter would actually take over the family business and run it herself if her father became unable to, something that wouldn’t really happen until much later in modern society. Women also generally ran the taverns in the Middle Ages — in fact, women once ran England’s entire beer industry. It’s not quite clear when that changed, but we have to assume that at some point men realized they had allowed women to become all powerful by letting them be in charge of both beer and vaginas.

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“Well, at least we still have sports … Oh Christ!”

Women who weren’t busy running taverns or growing crops to survive could join a convent, which may not sound all that impressive until you realize that this gave them access to education in a time when that was extremely rare — nuns could read and write in an age when the most powerful kings couldn’t. And if they stuck with it long enough to become the abbess of a convent, they were in a position of power very similar to a male lord — only, you know, maybe even a little higher, seeing as how they technically reported directly to the King of Kings and all.

#1. Life Was Horrible and Everyone Died Young

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The Myth:

Life in the Middle Ages has famously been described as “nasty, brutish, and short.” The food sucked, the housing sucked, the work sucked, everything sucked. Luckily, people didn’t have to endure all the perpetual suck for long, since they only lived to see 35, tops. Today, if you see a character older than 60 in a movie set in the Middle Ages, he’s also a wizard.

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“A wizard dies precisely when he means to. Or when the giant eagles show up late.”

The Reality:

As for lives being short, while it may be true that the average life expectancy was 35 years, we tend to overlook one very important word there: average. Infant mortality was brutal, since vaccinations against childhood diseases didn’t exist yet and medicine was still in its “Here, chew on this root and stick some leeches on your junk” stage. So that skews the average way down. But if a male living in 1500 managed to see his 21st birthday, he was expected to live around 50 more years from that point.

The typical perception of the medieval peasant is someone breaking his back doing nonstop labor for lords who gaveth not a single fuck as to his well-being, but your typical peasant actually workedaround eight hours a day, with long breaks for meals and naps. And did you know that peasants got more time off than you do? Sunday was an automatic day off, and when you factor in long vacations at Christmas, Easter, and midsummer, plus all the saints’ days (considering the fact that the Catholic church has even more saints than it does scandals), and medieval peasants were on holiday for a goodone-third of the year. And since much of that time was accompanied by epic festivals, they spent it getting shitfaced on various varieties of medieval ale. So not only did they work less than you, they also partied harder.

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“Hey, you guys coming to the after-orgy?”

And it turns out they weren’t exactly living lives of “bare bones subsistence,” either. By the late Middle Ages, your average English worker was making around $1,000 a year — significantly better than people in some of today’s poorer nations. And while no one will argue that that level of income would provide lifestyles that would inspire rap song lyrics, it did allow them to afford varied diets, the occasional luxury item, and plenty of ale to cover all the partying they were virtually required to do. Hell, you could get a rap song out of that, right? Quick, what rhymes with “dick shoes”?


For more things you’re totally wrong about, check out 6 Things from History Everyone Pictures Incorrectly and The 5 Most Overrated Jobs of All Time.