September 2014 Archives

History You Definitely Don't Want to Repeat

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I'm glad to have read The Tudors: The Complete Story of England's Most Notorious Dynasty by G.J. Meyer and am even more glad I don't have to read it again. Well written but deeply depressing, regardless of how accurate Meyer's interpretation is. By the end, the litany of brutality, profligacy, and corruption had become a slog.

One thing that bugged me was the simplicity with which Meyer let some people off the hook while insisting on the depravity of others. John Calvin, for instance, got off easy in this book. Here's Meyer on

Calvin's notion of "double predestination"--of some being marked for damnation just as surely as others are fated for salvation--[which] has too often been regarded as the centerpiece of his theology. It is said to have made his God a kind of insanely cruel monster and to explain the severity of the regimen that Calvin imposed upon Geneva. In fact, however, Calvin regarded predestination as logically inescapable but otherwise beyond human understanding and in practical terms not of great importance. It was his followers who, after his death, moved predestination closer to the center of "Calvinist" belief. Calvin's own view was that the idea of predestination should make it possible for believers to set aside their anxieties about earning salvation and put their trust in the mercy of a gentle, compassionate divine father (who was also, Calvin suggested, a loving mother).

What the what?

50 Shades of Stockholm Syndrome

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As Mr. Kurtz so famously put it, "The horror! The horror!"

There's so much here that's horror-inducing that I think that might be the genre.

I was actually excited to read Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. People said that the author was smart! You know, she has a PhD--in SCIENCE! That the premise was unusual! You know, WWII nurse sucked into henge-y highland vortex and transported 200 years into the past!

But really it's just a super boring, super bloated paean to how great it is to be dominated by some big dude in a skirt and no underwear and learn to call him master. Marital rape is AWESOME because even though it HURTS to have your husband fuck you super hard when you're already in pain and begging him to stop, the extra-super intense orgasm you have from it and the special closeness you feel to your husband lord and master afterward makes it all worth it. Same thing with having him beat you: yeah, it hurts, but if you deserved it, well, it just helps you see what a lucky lady you are to have a such a strong, domineering husband. Check it out:


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