[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

Wednesday, 2019-12-18

Festivus for the rest of us!

Filed under: Family,Friends,History,Television — bblackmoor @ 16:08

On this day in 1997, the world learned about Festivus, the Seinfeld Christmas alternative. Let the airing of grievances begin!

Friday, 2019-12-06

Remember the 14

Filed under: Firearms,History,Society — bblackmoor @ 19:24

The École Polytechnique massacre (French: tuerie de l’École polytechnique), also known as the Montreal massacre, was a mass shooting in Montreal at an engineering school affiliated with the Université de Montréal. Fourteen women were murdered and a further fourteen people were injured: ten women and four men.

The murderer stated that he was “fighting feminism”. At the time, it was the deadliest mass shooting in Canadian history.

Friday, 2019-06-28

No more “boob plate” comments, please

Filed under: Fashion,History — bblackmoor @ 12:27

ArmStreet just shared photos of a lovely set of actual functional SCA armor made of spring steel, approved by SCA wardens, providing better protection than a lot of approved SCA armors, and it got entirely sidetracked by smirking idiots complaining about “boob plate”.

Contrary to what some keyboard “experts” want you to believe, armor has often been decorative, as well as functional. The ancient Greeks were not the first or the last culture to incorporate an idealized human form into armor (for those that could afford it).

“Not dying is gender neutral” is a great sound bite, but it’s balderdash. Functional armor and decorative armor have never been mutually exclusive.

Dark Star armor

Wednesday, 2019-01-30

R.I.P., Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe

Filed under: History — bblackmoor @ 08:00

Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe
Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe (née Clemm; August 15, 1822 – January 30, 1847) was the wife of American writer Edgar Allan Poe. The couple were first cousins and publicly married when Virginia Clemm was 13 and Poe was 26. Biographers disagree as to the nature of the couple’s relationship. Though their marriage was loving, some biographers suggest they viewed one another more like a brother and sister. In January 1842 she contracted tuberculosis, growing worse for five years until she died of the disease at the age of 24 in the family’s cottage, at that time outside New York City.

Along with other family members, Virginia Clemm and Edgar Allan Poe lived together off and on for several years before their marriage. The couple often moved to accommodate Poe’s employment, living intermittently in Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York. A few years after their wedding, Poe was involved in a substantial scandal involving Frances Sargent Osgood and Elizabeth F. Ellet. Rumors about amorous improprieties on her husband’s part affected Virginia Poe so much that on her deathbed she claimed that Ellet had murdered her. After her death, her body was eventually placed under the same memorial marker as her husband’s in Westminster Hall and Burying Ground in Baltimore, Maryland. Only one image of Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe has been authenticated: a watercolor portrait painted several hours after her death.

The disease and eventual death of his wife had a substantial effect on Edgar Allan Poe, who became despondent and turned to alcohol to cope. Her struggles with illness and death are believed to have affected his poetry and prose, where dying young women appear as a frequent motif, as in “Annabel Lee”, “The Raven”, and “Ligeia”.

(from Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe, Wikipedia)

Monday, 2018-11-12

Make your individual voices heard

Filed under: Civil Rights,History,Society — bblackmoor @ 08:45

“If you see intolerance and hate, speak out against them. Make your individual voices heard, not for selfish things, but for honor and decency among men, for the rights of all people.”

— General J.M. Wainwright’s 1946 message to discharged soldiers.

General J.M. Wainwright's 1946 message to discharged soldiers

Monday, 2018-10-08

Happy Columbus Day!

Filed under: History,Mythology,Philosophy — bblackmoor @ 07:43

Happy Columbus Day! Much like St. Patrick’s Day, this day has very little to do with the actual historical Christopher Columbus (who was by all accounts a truly despicable human being, although he may also have been a completely typical example of his time). What we are actually celebrating is the spirit of exploration that is tied so firmly to the American spirit. We are explorers and pioneers. We went where no one had gone before. We are risk takers who follow our dreams even when the people around us claim that we’d fall off the edge of the world (not in Columbus’ era — those folks knew the world was round). It’s also a day to celebrate the contribution that we Americans have gained thanks to Italian immigrants and (if we’re lucky) our Italian ancestors. These are things worth celebrating.

If you use this as an opportunity to complain about Columbus, Imperialism, or colonialism… well, there are good reasons to be aware of those things. But that’s not what we are celebrating on Columbus Day.

map and telescope

Sunday, 2018-05-06

Theodore Roosevelt on the cowardice of cynicism and the courage to create

Filed under: History,Philosophy — bblackmoor @ 09:19

This week’s “Brain Pickings” features a 1910 speech by Theodore Roosevelt, admonishing people to do something, rather than merely criticize what others do.

“The poorest way to face life is to face it with a sneer. There are many men who feel a kind of twisted pride in cynicism; there are many who confine themselves to criticism of the way others do what they themselves dare not even attempt.”

Fun fact! (And somewhat relevant due to yesterday being Cinco de Mayo, celebrating when Mexico helped the United States win the American Civil War). When Roosevelt gave this speech in 1910, there were no border controls between the USA and Mexico. There was no such thing as a Mexican “illegal immigrant” in the USA until the 1920s, when white supremacists in the USA starting imposing quotas on immigrants based on their country of origin. (There were earlier laws regarding immigration, but these did not actually prevent anyone from Mexico from coming to the USA freely. Earlier laws mainly focused on Chinese immigrants, and on preventing the importation of “contract labor”, which is to say, slaves in all but name.)

Theodore Roosevelt

Fun fact! Increased “security” at the USA-Mexico border in the early 1900s had the perverse effect of increasing the number of permanent Mexican residents in the USA, because it made it more difficult for them to go back home once they got here.

Saturday, 2018-05-05

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Filed under: History — bblackmoor @ 09:56

Happy Cinco de Mayo, or as it’s known in Mexico, May 5. This is a day when we Americans celebrate the day that Mexican troops defeated French troops which were on their way to Mexico City. By doing so, they helped the United States win against the Confederacy in the American Civil War. Just one example in a long history of Mexicans and the descendants of Mexicans contributing to make the USA a better place.

¡Viva México! ¡Orale que viva!

Tuesday, 2017-12-26

Humans live too long

Filed under: History,Philosophy — bblackmoor @ 13:48

I think a large part of what’s wrong with the world is that humans live too long. In 14th century England, most people were married by 16, dead by 50, and every so often you’d have a plague that killed a huge chunk of the population. Yet even then, they’d already hunted boars and wolves to extinction by the mid-1300s.

Friday, 2017-11-03

The Battle Of Vukovar

Filed under: History — bblackmoor @ 13:52

We visited Vukovar, and nearby towns, a few weeks ago. Vukovar was the first major European town to be entirely destroyed since the Second World War. When Vukovar fell on November 18, 1991, several hundred soldiers and civilians were massacred. This is what happens when people hang onto ancient grudges, and turn a blind eye to the injustices of the here and now.

We should learn from history, not wallow in it.

Vukovar water tower Comments Off on The Battle Of Vukovar

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