September 19, 2014
"

I asked seven anthropologists, archaeologists, and historians if they would rather have been a typical Indian or a typical European in 1491. None was delighted by the question, because it required judging the past by the standards of today—a fallacy disparaged as “presentism” by social scientists. But every one chose to be an Indian. Some early colonists gave the same answer. Horrifying the leaders of Jamestown and Plymouth, scores of English ran off to live with the Indians. My ancestor shared their desire, which is what led to the trumped-up murder charges against him—or that’s what my grandfather told me, anyway.

As for the Indians, evidence suggests that they often viewed Europeans with disdain. The Hurons, a chagrined missionary reported, thought the French possessed “little intelligence in comparison to themselves.” Europeans, Indians said, were physically weak, sexually untrustworthy, atrociously ugly, and just plain dirty. (Spaniards, who seldom if ever bathed, were amazed by the Aztec desire for personal cleanliness.) A Jesuit reported that the “Savages” were disgusted by handkerchiefs: “They say, we place what is unclean in a fine white piece of linen, and put it away in our pockets as something very precious, while they throw it upon the ground.” The Micmac scoffed at the notion of French superiority. If Christian civilization was so wonderful, why were its inhabitants leaving?

Like people everywhere, Indians survived by cleverly exploiting their environment. Europeans tended to manage land by breaking it into fragments for farmers and herders. Indians often worked on such a grand scale that the scope of their ambition can be hard to grasp. They created small plots, as Europeans did (about 1.5 million acres of terraces still exist in the Peruvian Andes), but they also reshaped entire landscapes to suit their purposes. A principal tool was fire, used to keep down underbrush and create the open, grassy conditions favorable for game. Rather than domesticating animals for meat, Indians retooled whole ecosystems to grow bumper crops of elk, deer, and bison. The first white settlers in Ohio found forests as open as English parks—they could drive carriages through the woods. Along the Hudson River the annual fall burning lit up the banks for miles on end; so flashy was the show that the Dutch in New Amsterdam boated upriver to goggle at the blaze like children at fireworks. In North America, Indian torches had their biggest impact on the Midwestern prairie, much or most of which was created and maintained by fire. Millennia of exuberant burning shaped the plains into vast buffalo farms. When Indian societies disintegrated, forest invaded savannah in Wisconsin, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, and the Texas Hill Country. Is it possible that the Indians changed the Americas more than the invading Europeans did? “The answer is probably yes for most regions for the next 250 years or so” after Columbus, William Denevan wrote, “and for some regions right up to the present time.”

"

Quoted from the essay "1941" written by Charles C. Mann, about the major impact that Native Americans had on the Americas (ecologically and culturally) before white people invaded, bringing their diseases and shoving Christianity down the Indians’ throats and murdering them and banning their cultures.

Check out the whole piece (which is rather long). (P.S thanks to @cazalis for sending me this great link)

another excerpt:

Human history, in Crosby’s interpretation, is marked by two world-altering centers of invention: the Middle East and central Mexico, where Indian groups independently created nearly all of the Neolithic innovations, writing included. The Neolithic Revolution began in the Middle East about 10,000 years ago. In the next few millennia humankind invented the wheel, the metal tool, and agriculture. The Sumerians eventually put these inventions together, added writing, and became the world’s first civilization. Afterward Sumeria’s heirs in Europe and Asia frantically copied one another’s happiest discoveries; innovations ricocheted from one corner of Eurasia to another, stimulating technological progress. Native Americans, who had crossed to Alaska before Sumeria, missed out on the bounty. “They had to do everything on their own,” Crosby says. Remarkably, they succeeded.

When Columbus appeared in the Caribbean, the descendants of the world’s two Neolithic civilizations collided, with overwhelming consequences for both. American Neolithic development occurred later than that of the Middle East, possibly because the Indians needed more time to build up the requisite population density. Without beasts of burden they could not capitalize on the wheel (for individual workers on uneven terrain skids are nearly as effective as carts for hauling), and they never developed steel. But in agriculture they handily outstripped the children of Sumeria. Every tomato in Italy, every potato in Ireland, and every hot pepper in Thailand came from this hemisphere. Worldwide, more than half the crops grown today were initially developed in the Americas.

Maize, as corn is called in the rest of the world, was a triumph with global implications. Indians developed an extraordinary number of maize varieties for different growing conditions, which meant that the crop could and did spread throughout the planet. Central and Southern Europeans became particularly dependent on it; maize was the staple of Serbia, Romania, and Moldavia by the nineteenth century. Indian crops dramatically reduced hunger, Crosby says, which led to an Old World population boom.

Along with peanuts and manioc, maize came to Africa and transformed agriculture there, too. “The probability is that the population of Africa was greatly increased because of maize and other American Indian crops,” Crosby says. “Those extra people helped make the slave trade possible.” Maize conquered Africa at the time when introduced diseases were leveling Indian societies. The Spanish, the Portuguese, and the British were alarmed by the death rate among Indians, because they wanted to exploit them as workers. Faced with a labor shortage, the Europeans turned their eyes to Africa. The continent’s quarrelsome societies helped slave traders to siphon off millions of people. The maize-fed population boom, Crosby believes, let the awful trade continue without pumping the well dry.

Back home in the Americas, Indian agriculture long sustained some of the world’s largest cities. The Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán dazzled Hernán Cortés in 1519; it was bigger than Paris, Europe’s greatest metropolis. The Spaniards gawped like hayseeds at the wide streets, ornately carved buildings, and markets bright with goods from hundreds of miles away. They had never before seen a city with botanical gardens, for the excellent reason that none existed in Europe. The same novelty attended the force of a thousand men that kept the crowded streets immaculate. (Streets that weren’t ankle-deep in sewage! The conquistadors had never heard of such a thing.) Central America was not the only locus of prosperity. Thousands of miles north, John Smith, of Pocahontas fame, visited Massachusetts in 1614, before it was emptied by disease, and declared that the land was “so planted with Gardens and Corne fields, and so well inhabited with a goodly, strong and well proportioned people … [that] I would rather live here than any where.”

and another excerpt:

In as yet unpublished research the archaeologists Eduardo Neves, of the University of São Paulo; Michael Heckenberger, of the University of Florida; and their colleagues examined terra preta in the upper Xingu, a huge southern tributary of the Amazon. Not all Xingu cultures left behind this living earth, they discovered. But the ones that did generated it rapidly—suggesting to Woods that terra preta was created deliberately. In a process reminiscent of dropping microorganism-rich starter into plain dough to create sourdough bread, Amazonian peoples, he believes, inoculated bad soil with a transforming bacterial charge. Not every group of Indians there did this, but quite a few did, and over an extended period of time.

When Woods told me this, I was so amazed that I almost dropped the phone. I ceased to be articulate for a moment and said things like “wow” and “gosh.” Woods chuckled at my reaction, probably because he understood what was passing through my mind. Faced with an ecological problem, I was thinking, the Indians fixed it. They were in the process of terraforming the Amazon when Columbus showed up and ruined everything.

(via badass-bharat-deafmuslim-artista)

in my zine SKIN, FACE, INTERFACE this is exactly what i mean when i talk about indigenous technologies btw

(via justwantobehere)

(via halleluyang)

September 15, 2014

carlboygenius:

BETTY BOOP - The Original Story

Ms. Esther Jones, known by her stage name, “Baby Esther,” was an African-American singer and entertainer of the late 1920s. She performed regularly at the (The Cotton Club) in Harlem.


Ms. Jones singing style went on to become the inspiration for Max Fleischer cartoon character’s voice and singing style of “Betty Boop”.

YES: “Betty Boop” was a black woman. 

Singer Helen Kane saw her act in 1928 and copied it, stole it. Ms. Jones’ “trademark” singing style for a recording of, “I Wanna Be Loved By You.” with interpolated words such as ‘Boo-Boo-Boo’ & ‘Doo-Doo-Doo’ in her songs at a cabaret was a style all her own. 

An early test sound film was also discovered, which featured Baby Esther performing in this style, disproving Kane’s claims. During the $250,000 infringement lawsuit, Esther’s manager testified that , “Helen Kane & her manager saw Baby’s act somewhere between 1928-1929.Baby Esther’s manager also testified that Helen Kane had saw Baby Esther’s cabaret act in 1928.” 

Supreme Court Judge Edward J. McGoldrick ruled: “The plaintiff has failed to sustain either cause of action by proof of sufficient probative force”. In his opinion, the “baby” technique of singing did not originate with Kane.

As an added note, scholar Robert G.O’Meally said, Betty Boop, the WHITE CARTOON character herself had, as it were, a BLACK grandmother in her background. 

Baby Esther was presumed dead by 1934, just when the lawsuit had ended.

(via ruinedchildhood)

March 16, 2014
bana05:

dglsplsblg:

dglsplsblg:

Harvard and Slavery: Seeking a Forgotten History (PDF)

Harvard students were deeply entangled with slave-owning. They recited their lessons to slave-owning professors like Judah Monis and obeyed the rules set out by slave-owning presidents like Increase Mather and Benjamin Wadsworth. They ate meals and slept in beds prepared by four generations of the Bordman family, the college stewards, whose many slaves likely did some or all of the actual cooking and cleaning. On Sundays they attended church at the First Church of Cambridge, where they listened to sermons by the slave-owning minister, William Brattle, himself a Harvard graduate of the class of 1680. When they graduated, many Harvard students became slave owners themselves.


again, fuck harvard. go Howard.

Yep, that’s the one thing they don’t tell you on the tours; that Harvard got a lot of its weath from people being enslaved. Da welp.

bana05:

dglsplsblg:

dglsplsblg:

Harvard and Slavery: Seeking a Forgotten History (PDF)

Harvard students were deeply entangled with slave-owning. They recited their lessons to slave-owning professors like Judah Monis and obeyed the rules set out by slave-owning presidents like Increase Mather and Benjamin Wadsworth. They ate meals and slept in beds prepared by four generations of the Bordman family, the college stewards, whose many slaves likely did some or all of the actual cooking and cleaning. On Sundays they attended church at the First Church of Cambridge, where they listened to sermons by the slave-owning minister, William Brattle, himself a Harvard graduate of the class of 1680. When they graduated, many Harvard students became slave owners themselves.

again, fuck harvard. go Howard.

Yep, that’s the one thing they don’t tell you on the tours; that Harvard got a lot of its weath from people being enslaved. Da welp.

(Source: alwaysbewoke, via halleluyang)

March 11, 2014
immaculatellamalord:

lauriejuspeczyk:


221becquerel:



queenaglaia:



uncalmly:



silentknightley:



rookieoftheday:



Do you understand how scary this picture is



god forbid a real person do real person things he wasnt just a robot who killed people jesus fucking christ



uh yeah its not like he killed and tortured six million jews or anything



Hold on just a tick. Listen, I’m Jewish, so I’m perfectly capable of understanding that what he did was just…..well, there are no words for it. But let’s not round it up to simply Jews that got killed. It was six million people that died in those camps, not just Jews. Did you know that homosexuals were sent there, too? Yeah, I’m sure you did. They had to wear special little symbols on their clothes. Do you know what it was? It was a pink triangle.
It was six million PEOPLE. 
But you let that roll over in your mind for a while and you are going to forever see this man as a monster, but that’s not what he was. He was someone who thought he was truly doing something right for his nation, no matter how shitty he was doing it. Believe me when I say that I don’t like him. I really don’t. My grandfather’s brothers died in those camps, and my grandfather escaped to Spain, then to Mexico. He was lucky.
This is not a monster holding hands with a little girl.
This is Adolf Hitler, a man, holding hands with a little girl. 
Yeah. It’s fucking scary. It really is. Do you know why?
It’s because you’re seeing that he wasn’t, in fact, a monster. You’re seeing in this picture that he was a man. He was a man, and that’s really the saddest part of it all.






As a History major who specializes in the history of early modern Europe, I’ve studied a lot of dictators in detail, not just Hitler. The number one mistake anyone could ever make in history is making the assumption that only inhuman monsters are capable of doing terrible things. Stop dehumanizing Hitler just so you can reassure yourself that “normal” humans aren’t capable of doing bad things. Hitler liked children and dogs, he was a vegetarian and he cried like a little boy when his mother died. I’m not saying he was a good, innocent person, but when you stop attributing human characteristics to historical figures like Hitler, it’s how you overlook people just like him in real life, and it’s how people like him end up back in power.


That last statement.

immaculatellamalord:

lauriejuspeczyk:

221becquerel:

queenaglaia:

uncalmly:

silentknightley:

rookieoftheday:

Do you understand how scary this picture is

god forbid a real person do real person things he wasnt just a robot who killed people jesus fucking christ

uh yeah its not like he killed and tortured six million jews or anything

Hold on just a tick. Listen, I’m Jewish, so I’m perfectly capable of understanding that what he did was just…..well, there are no words for it. But let’s not round it up to simply Jews that got killed. It was six million people that died in those camps, not just Jews. Did you know that homosexuals were sent there, too? Yeah, I’m sure you did. They had to wear special little symbols on their clothes. Do you know what it was? It was a pink triangle.

It was six million PEOPLE. 

But you let that roll over in your mind for a while and you are going to forever see this man as a monster, but that’s not what he was. He was someone who thought he was truly doing something right for his nation, no matter how shitty he was doing it. Believe me when I say that I don’t like him. I really don’t. My grandfather’s brothers died in those camps, and my grandfather escaped to Spain, then to Mexico. He was lucky.

This is not a monster holding hands with a little girl.

This is Adolf Hitler, a man, holding hands with a little girl. 

Yeah. It’s fucking scary. It really is. Do you know why?

It’s because you’re seeing that he wasn’t, in fact, a monster. You’re seeing in this picture that he was a man. He was a man, and that’s really the saddest part of it all.

As a History major who specializes in the history of early modern Europe, I’ve studied a lot of dictators in detail, not just Hitler. The number one mistake anyone could ever make in history is making the assumption that only inhuman monsters are capable of doing terrible things.

Stop dehumanizing Hitler just so you can reassure yourself that “normal” humans aren’t capable of doing bad things. Hitler liked children and dogs, he was a vegetarian and he cried like a little boy when his mother died. I’m not saying he was a good, innocent person, but when you stop attributing human characteristics to historical figures like Hitler, it’s how you overlook people just like him in real life, and it’s how people like him end up back in power.

That last statement.

(Source: satanel, via cyanommetaphobia-deactivated201)

August 6, 2013
killingforsport-eatingthebodies:

tonidorsay:

ladyw1nter:

obstinatecondolement:

knitmeapony:

mimejuice:

dduane:


spodiddly:



tinuelena:



Whose intervention ensured Star Trek saw the light of day?
Answer: Lucille Ball
Most people recognize and remember Lucille Ball as the lovable and silly star of one of America’s earliest and most loved sitcoms, I Love Lucy. What most people don’t know is that Lucille was a savvy business woman and that she and her husband Desi Arnaz had amassed a small fortune and owned their own studio, Desilu.
It was at Desilu that acclaimed Sci-Fi screenwriter and visionary Gene Roddenberry got his big break. Roddenberry pitched the Star Trek pilot to the studio as a sort of Western-inspired space adventure. While many within the studio balked at the idea, Lucille liked the idea and the first pilot was approved and filmed. The pilot was pitched to NBC and was promptly rejected on the grounds that it was too intellectual, not enough like the space-western they had been lead to believe it would be, and audiences wouldn’t relate to it. Lucille, a fan of Roddenberry’s work, pushed back against NBC and insisted they order a second pilot. Ordering a second pilot was a practice almost entirely unheard of and save for Lucille’s charisma and clout with the network it would never have happened.
Roddenberry shot the second pilot, NBC accepted it, and Star Trek premiered in 1966, thus beginning a new era in the Sci-Fi genre and laying the foundation for half a century of Star Trek fandom–an era that would have never come to pass without the intervention and insistence of Lucille Ball.
Bonus Trivia: After her divorce from Arnaz, Lucille bought out his share of their studio. As a result she became the first woman to both head and own a major studio. (*)



Now I love Lucy.



So few people know about this! Too few. Glad to see this turning up here. Also: it was through Lucille Ball’s influence that the concept of the rerun (previously unknown and thought to be worthless by studios to whom it was pitched) finally took hold. Desilu essentially pioneered the concept of syndication, and of the “syndication package” — the minimum number of episodes (initially 65, now sometimes more) necessary for a series to become commercially viable, via onward sales, for longer than its initial live run.
We have a lot to thank Lucy for besides that beautiful rubbery face.  :)


whoa.

This is just another way that we can remember that as women We. Created. Scifi.
Never let anyone tell you that women are a recent addition to fandom.  From Mary Shelley on, horror, sci fi and fantasy have been a women’s realm since the beginning.

Always reblog.

fuck. I never knew this. A NEW FOREVER REBLOG.

There is much, much more to know about Lucille Ball and her contributions to pop culture, but even more to know about her and her contributions to feminism.
Without Lucille Ball, there would never have been a Mary Tyler Moore.The Untouchables, Mission: Impossible, Mannix, the Andy Griffith Show, Dick Van Dyke, My Three Sons, I SPy and That Girl were all part of what she, specifically, realized were going to be popular, often despite everyone else saying she was wrong.Desilu bought RKO, though later sold many of the rights to films from that incredible collection.
As a company,they developed the standard multiple camera format that is used on all sitcoms today.
Today, what was once Desilu, is known as CBS Televisions Studios.She was an older woman who married a younger man — a Cuban, which in those days was an interracial marriage — through elopement.  It was, for the times, scandalous.So scandalous, that the radio show that ultimately became I Love Lucy was sidelined because Executives didn’t think the public would go for it.
A Cuban headlining a major hit was and is a major win, that is often overlooked these days because of the stereotypes that came from such a popular show.
Together, her and Desi were incredibly shrewd.  When the sponsor, Phillip Morris, wouldn’t pay for the expense of filming the show, they said they would take a cut in pay in exchange for the rights to the film, and ended up owning I Love Lucy.  It would be two decades and change before CBS got it back, and then under some terms that were favorable to Lucille and Desi’s children, ultimately. Both of whom were born when she was in her 40’s.
She registered as  communist in the 1930’s, and as a result, was brought up before the damnable McCarthy HCUAA.   She supported Roosevelt for President, and then later voted for Eisenhower — showing that she was more interested in doing what’s right, over doing it for personal gain.She was one of the greatest women of the last century, a “B movie queen” who changed the world in ways that are, as is often typical, consistently overlooked.
She was the prototype that pushed women to question the status quo, the icon that many struggled with and against, an example that reverberated with people old and young when marching and shouting and arguing about a woman’s right to be her own person and have control over her own life.
She not only inspired it, she lived it.


Wow!

killingforsport-eatingthebodies:

tonidorsay:

ladyw1nter:

obstinatecondolement:

knitmeapony:

mimejuice:

dduane:

spodiddly:

tinuelena:

Whose intervention ensured Star Trek saw the light of day?

Answer: Lucille Ball

Most people recognize and remember Lucille Ball as the lovable and silly star of one of America’s earliest and most loved sitcoms, I Love Lucy. What most people don’t know is that Lucille was a savvy business woman and that she and her husband Desi Arnaz had amassed a small fortune and owned their own studio, Desilu.

It was at Desilu that acclaimed Sci-Fi screenwriter and visionary Gene Roddenberry got his big break. Roddenberry pitched the Star Trek pilot to the studio as a sort of Western-inspired space adventure. While many within the studio balked at the idea, Lucille liked the idea and the first pilot was approved and filmed. The pilot was pitched to NBC and was promptly rejected on the grounds that it was too intellectual, not enough like the space-western they had been lead to believe it would be, and audiences wouldn’t relate to it. Lucille, a fan of Roddenberry’s work, pushed back against NBC and insisted they order a second pilot. Ordering a second pilot was a practice almost entirely unheard of and save for Lucille’s charisma and clout with the network it would never have happened.

Roddenberry shot the second pilot, NBC accepted it, and Star Trek premiered in 1966, thus beginning a new era in the Sci-Fi genre and laying the foundation for half a century of Star Trek fandom–an era that would have never come to pass without the intervention and insistence of Lucille Ball.

Bonus Trivia: After her divorce from Arnaz, Lucille bought out his share of their studio. As a result she became the first woman to both head and own a major studio. (*)

Now I love Lucy.

So few people know about this! Too few. Glad to see this turning up here. Also: it was through Lucille Ball’s influence that the concept of the rerun (previously unknown and thought to be worthless by studios to whom it was pitched) finally took hold. Desilu essentially pioneered the concept of syndication, and of the “syndication package” — the minimum number of episodes (initially 65, now sometimes more) necessary for a series to become commercially viable, via onward sales, for longer than its initial live run.

We have a lot to thank Lucy for besides that beautiful rubbery face.  :)

whoa.

This is just another way that we can remember that as women We. Created. Scifi.

Never let anyone tell you that women are a recent addition to fandom.  From Mary Shelley on, horror, sci fi and fantasy have been a women’s realm since the beginning.

Always reblog.

fuck. I never knew this. A NEW FOREVER REBLOG.

There is much, much more to know about Lucille Ball and her contributions to pop culture, but even more to know about her and her contributions to feminism.

Without Lucille Ball, there would never have been a Mary Tyler Moore.

The Untouchables, Mission: Impossible, Mannix, the Andy Griffith Show, Dick Van Dyke, My Three Sons, I SPy and That Girl were all part of what she, specifically, realized were going to be popular, often despite everyone else saying she was wrong.

Desilu bought RKO, though later sold many of the rights to films from that incredible collection.

As a company,they developed the standard multiple camera format that is used on all sitcoms today.

Today, what was once Desilu, is known as CBS Televisions Studios.

She was an older woman who married a younger man — a Cuban, which in those days was an interracial marriage — through elopement.  It was, for the times, scandalous.

So scandalous, that the radio show that ultimately became I Love Lucy was sidelined because Executives didn’t think the public would go for it.

A Cuban headlining a major hit was and is a major win, that is often overlooked these days because of the stereotypes that came from such a popular show.

Together, her and Desi were incredibly shrewd.  When the sponsor, Phillip Morris, wouldn’t pay for the expense of filming the show, they said they would take a cut in pay in exchange for the rights to the film, and ended up owning I Love Lucy.  It would be two decades and change before CBS got it back, and then under some terms that were favorable to Lucille and Desi’s children, ultimately. Both of whom were born when she was in her 40’s.

She registered as  communist in the 1930’s, and as a result, was brought up before the damnable McCarthy HCUAA.   She supported Roosevelt for President, and then later voted for Eisenhower — showing that she was more interested in doing what’s right, over doing it for personal gain.

She was one of the greatest women of the last century, a “B movie queen” who changed the world in ways that are, as is often typical, consistently overlooked.

She was the prototype that pushed women to question the status quo, the icon that many struggled with and against, an example that reverberated with people old and young when marching and shouting and arguing about a woman’s right to be her own person and have control over her own life.

She not only inspired it, she lived it.

Wow!

(via halleluyang)

July 27, 2013
kateyfeltfree:

nezua:

hardcoregurlz:

Slave gravesite in New York City

“SOMETHING YOUR TOUR GUIDE MIGHT NOT TELL YOU: 
The heart of NYC’s Financial District is built on a huge 18th century African Burial Ground. Some 419 Africans were discovered in 1991, a large portion women and children.
The burial ground extends from Broadway Southward under City Hall, and almost to the site of the former World Trade Center. It is believed that there are as many as 20,000 slavery-era Africans in graves under the buildings in Lower Manhattan. 
Abolish historical amnesia and ponder for a moment the fact that this financial epicenter of the world is built on slavery, oppression, and death.”
Literally, and daily.

yo. that last sentence hits you in the face like a brick. 

kateyfeltfree:

nezua:

hardcoregurlz:

Slave gravesite in New York City

“SOMETHING YOUR TOUR GUIDE MIGHT NOT TELL YOU: 

The heart of NYC’s Financial District is built on a huge 18th century African Burial Ground. Some 419 Africans were discovered in 1991, a large portion women and children.

The burial ground extends from Broadway Southward under City Hall, and almost to the site of the former World Trade Center. It is believed that there are as many as 20,000 slavery-era Africans in graves under the buildings in Lower Manhattan. 

Abolish historical amnesia and ponder for a moment the fact that this financial epicenter of the world is built on slavery, oppression, and death.”

Literally, and daily.

yo. that last sentence hits you in the face like a brick. 

(via popegingery-deactivated20130905)

June 4, 2013
brimming with danger: incandescentquill: tatterdemalionamberite: binghsien:...

niche-pastiche:

incandescentquill:

tatterdemalionamberite:

binghsien:

aporeticelenchus:

heidi8:

sonneillonv:

dressthesavage:

narwhalsareunderwaterunicorns:

anglofile:

spicyshimmy:

how is it possible to love fictional characters this much and also have people always been this way?

like, did queen elizabeth lie in bed late sometimes thinking ‘VERILY I CANNOT EVEN FOR MERCUTIO HATH SLAIN ME WITH FEELS’ 

was caesar like ‘ET TU ODYSSEUS’ 

sometimes i wonder

image

oh my GOD

the answer is yes they did. there’s a lot of research about the highly emotional reactions to the first novels widely available in print. 

here’s a thing; the printing press was invented in 1450 and whilst it was revolutionary it wasn’t very good. but then it got better over time and by the 16th century there were publications, novels, scientific journals, folios, pamphlets and newspapers all over Europe. at first most were educational or theological, or reprints of classical works.

however, novels gained in popularity, as basically what most people wanted was to read for pleasure. they became salacious, extremely dramatic, with tragic heroines and doomed love and flawed heroes (see classical literature, only more extreme.) books in the form of letters were common. sensationalism was par the course and apparently used to teach moral lessons. there was also a lot of erotica floating around. 

but here’s the thing: due to the greater availability of literature and the rise of comfy furniture (i shit you not this is an actual historical fact, the 16th and 17th century was when beds and chairs got comfy) people started reading novels for pleasure, women especially. as these novels were highly emotional, they too became…highly emotional. there are loads of contemporary reports of young women especially fainting, having hysterics, or crying fits lasting for days due to the death of a character or their otp’s doomed love. they became insensible over books and characters, and were very vocal about it. men weren’t immune-there’s a long letter a middle-aged man wrote to the author of his favourite work basically saying that the novel is too sad, he can’t handle all his feels, if they don’t get together he won’t be able to go on, and his heart is already broken at the heroine’s tragic state (IIRC ehh). 

conservatives at the time were seriously worried about the effects of literature on people’s mental health, and thought it damaging to both morals and society. so basically yes it is exactly like what happens on tumblr when we cry over attractive British men, only my historical theory (get me) is that their emotions were even more intense, as they hadn’t had a life of sensationalist media to numb the pain for them beforehand in the same way we do, nor did they have the giant group therapy session that is tumblr. 

(don’t even get me started on the classical/early medieval dudes and their boners for the Iliad i will be here all week. suffice to say, the members of the Byzantine court used Homeric puns instead of talking normally to each other if someone who hand’t studied the classics was in the room. they had dickish fandom in-jokes. boom.) 

I needed to know this.

See, we’re all just the current steps in a time-honored tradition! (And this post is good to read along with Affectingly’s post this week about old-school-fandom-and-history-and-stuff.

Ancient Iliad fandom is intense

Alexander the Great and and his boyfriend totally RPed Achilles and Patroclus. Alexander shipped that hard. (It’s possible that this story is apocryphal, but that would just mean that ancient historians were writing RPS about Alexander and Hephaestion RPing Iliad slash and honestly that’s just as good).

And then there’s this gem from Plato:

“Very different was the reward of the true love of Achilles towards his lover Patroclus - his lover and not his love (the notion that Patroclus was the beloved one is a foolish error into which Aeschylus has fallen, for Achilles was surely the fairer of the two, fairer also than all the other heroes; and, as Homer informs us, he was still beardless, and younger far)” - Symposium

That’s right: 4th Century BCE arguments about who topped. Nihil novi sub sole my friends.

Note that the printing press in China is invented much earlier and it has basically the same effect. Social conservatives in the censor bureau censored huge amounts of literature and poetry because of the devastating effect it had on the literati class (who formed most of the government bureaucracy, let’s not forget: So your state governor can’t work this week because he’s having Baoyu / Daiyu feels.) This did not stop it from leaking out anyway, in secret editions and hand-copied versions. And OMG the feels that these people have. There’s basically a constant struggle between the censors and this underground fandom, most novels are copied chapter-by-chapter, with people inserting fanfic chapters when they don’t have all the material (so if you have chapters 2, 3, 4, 10, 12 of your favorite book you might write your own 5-9 and circulate them) or just writing straight-up fanfic (famously in Water Margin and Red Chamber it _becomes canon_ after the author’s death.)

This post is the best thing, every part of it. Nothing to add except wow. 

I’ve reblogged this before, but it had less information on it then.   Shakespeare is almost entirely stuff we’d call fanfiction nowadays and his histories are RPF. We have evidence medieval nobility did things a lot like weekend-long LARP as entertainment, with paid performers as game organizers and NPCs.  For centuries, there have been rumors that Queen Victoria knighted Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in order to pressure him into retconning Reichenbach and continuing to write Sherlock Holmes stories.  

I was an enormous Tolkien geek in middle school, and went as far as reading a lot of his letters/a lot of Simarillion meta.  The short version is, he deliberately left gaps in the Silmarillion because Tolkien, as a professor of language and mythology, believed that for nearly all of human history storytelling had been participatory and involved many tellers of the same tales.  He thought early-to-mid 20th century pop-culture and mass media were destructive because people did far less telling of stories, claiming of stories, and reworking of stories.  I am pretty sure that, despite being a stuffy old professorial Christian white dude who would probably not read any porny fic or watch shippy vids, Tolkien is beaming in his grave over such things’ existence - over participatory storytelling having finally made its glorious comeback, over the 20th century’s approach to narrative being firmly established as an abberant nightmare that is thankfully mostly over. Did we get mythos we all reference and participate in to come back in style?  Oh, by Harry Potter’s scar and every Jedi’s lightsaber, have we ever pulled that one off. 

Also, don’t forget about The Sorrows of Young Wertherby Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. 

It made cosplay a fashion trend. Young men were dressing up as the main character and Werther-Fieber (I kid you not) was the name given to the phenomenon.

It spawned fanfiction in the form of The Joys of Young Werther by Friedrich Nicolai, which was basically a fix-it AU crack fic. 

Unfortunately, dyingfrom feels was less a figure of speech than a harsh reality. As an unforeseen consequence of the books popularity, Young Werther’s fictional suicide sparked similar suicides by several young men similarly caught in the throes of unrequited love. This is why the term “The Werther Effect” is sometimes used to describe “media induced imitation effects of suicidal behavior”

Even a far back as 1774, fandoms were being stigmatized based on the actions of a small group of individuals and the belief that young adult readers all think with one collective brain. Rather than encoruage open and honest dialogue about why the novel was problematic Italy, Germany and Denmark banned it.

But fandom has never been an inherently destructive force. In fact without it, the world would lack so many things we take for granted.

Something amazing happens when you define fan works a creative endeavor involving beings, events or objects from a narrative or body of work created by another.

Suddenly, Ode to Joy is filk. The celling of the Sistine Chapel becomes a giant fanart mural. The School of Athens is a piece of self insert historical RPF artwork for Raphael and his contemporaries. 

The only prerequisite to be a fan is that you love something.

Fan works have always existed, and no one from Savonarola to the MPAA will stop that.

July 28, 2012

cosascool:

The Ghosts of World War II by Sergey Larenkov

Taking old World War II photos, Russian photographer Sergey Larenkov carefully photoshops them over more recent shots to make the past come alive. Not only do we get to experience places like Berlin, Prague, and Vienna in ways we could have never imagined, more importantly, we are able to appreciate our shared history in a whole new and unbelievably meaningful way.

August 29, 2011
weirdasscrap:


Long before the invention of agriculture or the domestication of  animals, the Japanese already lived on villages and cooked their meals  on pots. Ten thousand years before the Christian Era, possibly even  earlier, the inhabitants of the eastern islands had already developed  the art of ceramics, which would arise on the “Cradle of Civilization”,  western Asia, three thousand years later. Reason for the Japanese to  yell “Banzai!“, which actually means “ten thousand years”. Such ancient  ceramics mark the so-called Jomon Jidai, a term from Japanese  archeology: Jomon, meaning “rope pattern”, and Jidai meaning period or  era. The word Jidai would become famousworldwide on a variation created  by filmmaker George Lucas. With his space knights with strict  honor codes, Lucas was inspired by the “jidai geki”, Japanese period  dramas with samurais. That’s where the Jedi knights come from. Our  interest here is something that likewise links Japanese prehistory with  the modern space fantasy. Beside pots, the Jomon Jidai ceramic artifacts  include some figures, called Dogu. With an intriguing appearance,  highly stylized, some of them were recently understood as “six thousand  years-old space suits”, proof of ancient contacts with  extraterrestrials. The idea of ancient astronauts antedates its most  famous promoter, Erich von Däniken, in decades. And we can locate the  association between the Japanese Dogu figures and“space suits” as early  as an article by Russian scientist Viatcheslaw Zaitsev published on the  soviet magazine Spoutnik in June 1967. This article was also the origin  of the Fergana astronaut hoax — which was not Zaitsev’s fault — and also  played a big role in the popularization of the legend of the Dropas.  Curiously, though, real space suits were never exactly like Dogu  figures.Granted, there’s a general resemblance, but made from flexible  parts, like a clothe with many layers, real astronaut suits are not like  the seemingly rigid round shapes that can be seen in the clay figures.  The space suits we know have something very familiar: creases. More  curious still is the fact that future space suits may become very  similar to the thousands-years oldclay. …

Posted by Weird stuff!

Whoa. All hail the Japanese?

weirdasscrap:

Long before the invention of agriculture or the domestication of animals, the Japanese already lived on villages and cooked their meals on pots. Ten thousand years before the Christian Era, possibly even earlier, the inhabitants of the eastern islands had already developed the art of ceramics, which would arise on the “Cradle of Civilization”, western Asia, three thousand years later. Reason for the Japanese to yell “Banzai!“, which actually means “ten thousand years”. Such ancient ceramics mark the so-called Jomon Jidai, a term from Japanese archeology: Jomon, meaning “rope pattern”, and Jidai meaning period or era. The word Jidai would become famousworldwide on a variation created by filmmaker George Lucas.

With his space knights with strict honor codes, Lucas was inspired by the “jidai geki”, Japanese period dramas with samurais. That’s where the Jedi knights come from. Our interest here is something that likewise links Japanese prehistory with the modern space fantasy. Beside pots, the Jomon Jidai ceramic artifacts include some figures, called Dogu. With an intriguing appearance, highly stylized, some of them were recently understood as “six thousand years-old space suits”, proof of ancient contacts with extraterrestrials. The idea of ancient astronauts antedates its most famous promoter, Erich von Däniken, in decades. And we can locate the association between the Japanese Dogu figures and“space suits” as early as an article by Russian scientist Viatcheslaw Zaitsev published on the soviet magazine Spoutnik in June 1967. This article was also the origin of the Fergana astronaut hoax — which was not Zaitsev’s fault — and also played a big role in the popularization of the legend of the Dropas. Curiously, though, real space suits were never exactly like Dogu figures.Granted, there’s a general resemblance, but made from flexible parts, like a clothe with many layers, real astronaut suits are not like the seemingly rigid round shapes that can be seen in the clay figures. The space suits we know have something very familiar: creases. More curious still is the fact that future space suits may become very similar to the thousands-years oldclay. …

Posted by Weird stuff!

Whoa. All hail the Japanese?

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