Queens Elizabeth

O’Byrne’s corpse was butchered and for months the head and quarters hung on pike staffs on the wall over Dublin Castle drawbridge. Several months later the pickled head was presented to the council secretary at London by an English adventurer, who was disappointed to find that the head-silver due on O’Byrne* had already been paid in Ireland. The queen was angered that, “the head of such a base Robin Hood was brought solemnly into England“.

(source)

Read enough Irish history and you gain a grudging respect for Queen Elizabeth I.  She’s always delivering withering remarks and savage putdowns to people giving her bad news.

 

In 1603, Elizabeth had seemed a foolish old woman, as men looked expectantly to a Stuart king. By 1630, when Stuart kings had proved rather a disappointment, she had become the paragon of all princely virtues.

At this remove, who can say if Elizabeth was a foolish old woman or one of history’s canniest power players, but I’m team power player.  She managed to survive rebellions, armadas, assassination attempts, plagues, you name it!

Just surviving as a queen is tough.

The (current) Queen did not seem that into the wedding. The Crown may have fooled us into thinking the Queen is more woke than she is.

* was reading about O’Byrne after seeing convo on Tom Ricks’ twitter about the origin of “firebrand”


This guy Jordan Peterson

The first piece of advice in his book

is

stand up straight with your shoulders back, as a lobster does.

(paraphrase)

That’s as far as I think I will get in the book, partly because I seem to have misplaced my copy.

Stand up straight with your shoulders back is good, valuable advice, a reminder we could all use, maybe even worth the price of the book.

(Surely Joan Didion and Jordan Peterson could agree on John Wayne?)

Is it funny that stand up straight with your shoulders back is literally the opposite advice of :

(reminded of course of:

)  Greaney once claimed the secret to life is posture.  He’s rarely 100% wrong.

Is Jordan Peterson just a less chill Joseph Campbell?

If you are a lost young man may I suggest Joe Campbell will let you into a lot of the same insights in a way that may be less likely to prove distasteful to women you are trying to get with?

Joseph Campbell is cool

Very YouTubable and less into being aggro.


Tom Wolfe observation

There are, of course, all sorts of gradations of status, of power, of wealth, influence and comfort, but it is impossible to break America down into classes in the old European sense. “But there is a … dividing line, and above that line are those who have bachelor degrees or better from a four-year college or university. Below that are the people who don’t. That line is becoming a gulf that grows wider and wider. “Like the rest of the West, we live in a highly bureaucratic world and it’s impossible today to advance to the heights of ambition without that bachelor’s degree, without being a part of what Vance Packard used to call ‘the diploma elite.'”

Had to go looking for the source of that one, it was in a 2005 Duke commencement speech.  How about this?:

For the last four years, you have been trained to be the leaders of an extraordinary nation. There has never been anything like it. … It is the only country I know of in which immigrants with a totally different culture, a totally different language, can in one-half of a generation, if they have the numbers and a modicum of organization, take over politically a metropolis as large as, say, Miami.

As a Tom Wolfe (Ph.d) superfan, kind of disappointed by the tributes and obituaries.  Most of them seemed pretty limp.  Maybe because so many journalists were so in awe of him, they seemed to sputter on about the same stuff and barely touch on the vastness of Wolfe’s interests and insights.

Best one imo was Louis Menand.  (Update: lol whoops hadn’t seen Friend of Helytimes’ Graeme Wood’s.)

Felt literary world scoffed at

but how many 74 year olds would take on a seven hundred page book about college, rap, hookup culture, basketball, and attempts to get in the head of (among others) a nineteen year old female virgin?  A little crazy but I thought it was cool!  Also came pretty close to predicting the Duke lacrosse scandal.

If you hunger for Wolfe at full Wolfeness might I recommend his 2006 Jefferson Lecture?:

According to Korean War lore, a Navy fighter pilot began shouting out over the combat radio network, “I’ve got a Mig at zero! A Mig at zero! I’ve got a Mig at zero!” A Mig at zero meant a Soviet supersonic fighter plane was squarely on his tail and could blow him out of the sky at any moment. Another voice, according to legend, broke in and said, “Shut up and die like an aviator.” Such “chatter,” such useless talk on the radio during combat, was forbidden. The term “aviator” was the final, exquisite touch of status sensitivity. Navy pilots always called themselves aviators. Marine and Air Force fliers were merely pilots. The reward for reaching the top of the ziggurat was not money, not power, not even military rank. The reward was status honor, the reputation of being a warrior with ultimate skill and courage–a word, by the way, strictly taboo among the pilots themselves. The same notion of status honor motivates virtually every police and fire fighting force in the world.

Wolfe wrote about what was amusing.  Even in say crime or war he found the amusement.  A serious writer who was also funny.  Not enough of those.

Gotta see if I can find this somewhere:


Weird London landmark

Sounds like he had it coming!

Julius Jacob von Haynau (14 October 1786 – 14 March 1853) was an Austrian general who was prominent in suppressing insurrectionary movements in Italy and Hungary in 1848 and later. While a hugely effective military leader, he also gained renown as an aggressive and ruthless commander. His soldiers called him the “Habsburg Tiger”; those opponents who suffered from his brutality called him the “Hyena of Brescia” and the “Hangman of Arad”.

I hope they mashed him good!  The mashers were from the Anchor brewery.  They should make Courage beer again.


Ominous remark from Charlie Munger

Nick on Wikipedia. Thanks Nick!

Andy Serwer, editor in chief of Yahoo Finance, reports on our favorite former weatherman:

Finally, I asked Munger about Trump and reminded him he had previously said that the president’s behavior exhibited a form of “sickness.”

“I’ve mellowed because I consider it counterproductive to hate as much as both parties now hate, and I have disciplined myself,” Munger said. “I now regard all politicians higher than I used to. I did that as a matter of self-preservation.”  He said that he had re-read “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,” and it made him “feel a lot better about the current political scene. We’re way ahead of the Romans at the end.”

That’s a pretty low bar, I pointed out.

“It’s very helpful — I suggest you try it,” Munger replied. “Politicians are never so bad that you don’t live to want them back. There will come a time when the people who hate Trump will wish that he was back


Summertime

As Long June approaches, gravitating towards songs with Summertime in the title.

Six years after this song came out and I’m ready to be into it!  Love that Lana Del Rey used to perform as Lizzie Grant before reinventing as Lana Del Rey, love that she went to Fordham, love the idea of Summertime Sadness, love “feeling alive” as an idea, love Calvin Harris etc remixes, love it all!

 

 


Mysterious Antiquities of Ireland

Way out there in the Dingle peninsula they’ve got the Gallarus / Gallros / Ghallrois:

What is it?

The oratory was built by early christians who loved their trade.  Life was much simpler then, and men understood God and His ways much better than they do now

The construction is impressive.  

Wikipedia only adds to the mystery:

Dates and uses

Minor trial cuttings carried out at Gallarus in November 1970 yielded no finds or evidence of features or activity which might shed light on the period of construction and use of the oratory.

An early Irish stone church

Antiquarian Charles Smith[7] is the originator of the claim that the building is an early Irish stone church although no historical information is available prior to 1756 regarding its use.

Gotcha.  It more or less “appears” in written history in 1756?  This area, while beautiful, is remote.  People still speak Irish there now, can only imagine what it was like in 1756

A Romanesque Church

In 1970, archaeologist Peter Harbison argued that the oratory might have been built as late as the 12th century for a number of reasons, mainly because the east window has a rounded top made of two carved stones (not a true arch).

Hmm!  Arch evidence.

A private funerary chapel

Harbison also produced some evidence pointing to a later date and a different use: a letter by English traveller Richard Pococke who visited the oratory in 1758, two years after it was discovered by Charles Smith:[10] “Near this building they show a grave with a head at the cross of it and call it the tomb of the Giant; the tradition is that Griffith More was buried there, & as they call’d [it] a chapel, so probably it was built by him or his family at their burial place.”

A tomb for giants? I love this!

A shelter for pilgrims

In 1994 and 1995, Peter Harbison gave up the hypothesis of a 12th-century church and claimed that the placename Gallarus meant “the house or shelter of foreigner(s)” (Gall Aras), the said “foreigner(s)” being pilgrims from outside the peninsula.[12] However, this does not accord with lexicologist Padraig O Siochfhradha’s translation of the name as “rocky headland” (Gall-iorrus).

I remember the word aras in Irish because Bus Aras is where you catch the bus.  The bus house.

Gall:

A steam bath?  The English house?  The walnut place?

Killer location, anyway.