The Background to Medieval Agrarian History

Curator’s Comments: A full transcrip of these talks can be found here.

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Happy Flag Day!

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Thus the Question, “If It’s Tourist Season, Why Can’t We Shoot Them?”


Exhibit Label Lessons, or Be Like Liedtke

Curator’s Comment, Part the First: Beverly Serrell, in her opening paragraph to Chapter 6, said exhibit labels should provide, “information about objects accessible to visitors with different backgrounds and interests.” This may not be what she had in mind (even if it might be effective):

'Art rhetoric' - 'Normal language'

 

Curator’s Comment, Part the Second: Or you could skip all that layering and just write compelling, provocative labels, like Walter Liedtke, who died tragically last year, did. Here’s his label for the Merrymakers at Shrovetide:


Interactive Museum Hologram is Too Historically Accurate

Fine for late-night NBC, but maybe a wee NSFW


Donald Trump, Through the Ages

Actually By John Flowers

From McSweeney’s

The ancestry of Donald Trump stretches back to the Ancient World. Listen, as several of Trump’s forebears recount some of the most famous moments in history.

The Death of Julius Caesar

So this is, maybe, a week after the Ides of March. I’m in Rome. I got a new coliseum there. Great coliseum. I build a lot them. Make a lot of money. Very successful.

So I’m in Rome. And Brutus and his cabal ask me to say a few words about Caesar. Really, begging me to say something about him. And Brutus is an honorable guy. So, I’m like, “Sure. Whatever.”

But then right before my speech, Brutus comes up to me — he’s real nervous, Brutus — and he says, “Whatever you do in your speech, don’t blame me for Caesar’s death.”

I think, “That’s odd.” But, whatever. Brutus is an honorable guy.

So I deliver this speech. Great speech. Tremendous speech. It’s about Caesar. He’s dead. Lot of emotions. Really brings down the house. I get rave reviews for the speech. Rave reviews. Everybody loves it.

But then, weeks later, the media is saying I said these things that I never said. Awful things.

I’ll give you an example: The New Rome Times, which is losing money left and right. Unreadable. Total trash. Hates the empire. But the New Rome Times says that I came to praise Caesar, which is totally false.

What I said was — and this is a direct quote — “I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.” Not to praise him. How they get the exact opposite out of that, I don’t know. But that’s the media for you.

The Last Supper

I love Jesus, I do. But the guy can be long-winded. “Blessed are these people, Blessed are those people.” Basically, everybody’s blessed, but he’s gotta read through the whole Roman census before you find that out.

Like this one night, Jesus and his crew are one table away from me. And I’m hearing him go on and on about something. Won’t stop talking about it.

I can’t take it anymore. So I lean over. I say, “Jesus, you make a nice speech and all. Kind of belabor the point; Peter’s falling asleep over here. So let me cut to the chase: Someone’s gonna betray you tonight, and it’s Judas.”

Jesus gives me this look, like I’m the one who’s betrayed him.

I say, “C’mon, Jesus, it’s the worst kept secret in Jerusalem. Guy owes everybody in town money. Suddenly, he’s flashing 30 pieces of silver.” I love Jesus, but he’s probably still trying to figure out who killed Abel.

Problem is, Jesus never had a sense for business. Never did. Here’s a guy who can turn water into wine — and I know wine. Bought a vineyard, doing terrible business, I buy it, now it’s making a profit. Yuge, yuge profit. But here’s a guy who can turn water into wine; still pays for it when he goes out.

I’m like, “Jesus, just order water!” Or at least make Judas pay.

I mean, seriously, who finds a mole in his operation, invites the guy out to dinner?

Jesus, that’s who.

The Third Crusade

So, I tell the Knights Templar, “Richard the Lionheart? Please. Should be called Richard the Lazy Bastard. Seriously. He had one thing to do. One thing. Capture Jerusalem. What’s he do? Makes peace with Saladin.”

I ask Saladin about that, too. Sal’s a friend. I say, “Sal, what the hell happened?” He says, “Your guy’s no good. Can’t negotiate. Awful negotiator.”

Never would have happened if I led the Third Crusade. I know negotiators. If they ever invent the printing press, I plan on writing a book on it.

Hell, I know this one guy — awful guy, terrible human being — but he knows how to negotiate. Genghis Khan. Horrible human being. Great negotiator. I bring him in; Jerusalem is taken in two days. Tops.

The American Revolution

I would have people come up to me all the time and say, “Mr. Trump, Mr. Trump, you should lead our troops. You should have lead.” And I should have, because I would have ended the war, Day One.

I would have gone up to King George III, whom I know. I would have said, “Georgie, we’re leaving.”

He’d cry, he’d beg, he’d try to convince us to stay. I’d say, “No, no, no. Here’s the way it works: We leave, you get nothing, that’s the deal” And then I’d turn to the French, and I’d say, “And you … Thanks for the help. Now give us a statue. A woman. But not an ugly one.”

Papers would be signed the next morning.

 

Read the Rest


Mathematically Speaking, Even the Historical Conspiracy Theories Are Reality Somewhere


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