Louis did not give up and took every effort to sabotage John’s rule, including squandering the money raised for the relief of Calais, then occupied by the English. After this episode, John and Louis broke into open threats and only the intervention of their uncle avoided a civil war. On 20 November 1407 a solemn reconciliation was vowed in front of the court of France, but only three days later, Louis was brutally assassinated in the streets of Paris, when armed men under the orders of John the Fearless attacked him while he was mounting his horse and amputated his arms, leaving him defenceless.
There’s just got to be an easier way to kill a guy.
As the king and his escort were travelling through a forest on a hot August morning, a barefoot leper dressed in rags rushed up to the King’s horse and grabbed his bridle. “Ride no further, noble King!” he yelled. “Turn back! You are betrayed!” The king’s escorts beat the man back but did not arrest him, and he followed the procession for a half-hour, repeating his cries.
The company emerged from the forest at noon. A page who was drowsy from the sun dropped the king’s lance, which clanged loudly against a steel helmet carried by another page. Charles shuddered, drew his sword and yelled “Forward against the traitors! They wish to deliver me to the enemy!” The king spurred his horse and began swinging his sword at his companions, fighting until one of his chamberlains and a group of soldiers were able to grab him from his mount and lay him on the ground. He lay still and did not react, falling into a coma. The king killed a knight named the bastard of Polignac and several other men (the exact number of victims differs in the chronicles from the time).
The king continued to suffer from periods of mental illness throughout his life… During an episode of 1395-1396, he claimed that his name was George and that his coat of arms was a lion with a sword thrust through it. At this time, he recognized all the officers of his household but did not know his wife or his children. Sometimes he ran wildly through the corridors of his Parisian residence, the Hôtel Saint-Pol, and to keep him inside, the entrances were walled up. In 1405, he refused to bathe or change his clothes for five months… Pope Pius II, who was born in the middle of the reign of Charles VI, wrote in his Commentaries that there were times when Charles thought that he was made of glass, and this caused him to protect himself in various ways so that he would not break. This condition has come to be known as glass delusion.
It gets better.
On 29 January 1392, at the behest of the king, a grand party was organized to celebrate the wedding of one of the queen’s ladies-in-waiting at the Hotel de Saint Pol. At the suggestion of a Norman Squire, Huguet de Guisay, the King and four other lords, dressed up as wild men and danced about chained to one another. They were “in costumes of linen cloth sewn onto their bodies and soaked in resinous wax or pitch to hold a covering of frazzled hemp, so that they appeared shaggy & hairy from head to foot”. At the suggestion of one of the “Wild men” Yvain de Foix, the king commanded - in view of the obvious danger of fire - that the torch-bearers were to stand at the side of the room. Nonetheless, the King’s brother, Louis of Valois, Duke of Orléans, who had arrived late, approached with a lighted torch in order to discover the identity of the masqueraders, and he accidentally set one of them on fire. Alternatively, it was a plot to kill the mentally deficient king. In any case, there was panic as the fire spread. The Duchess of Berry, to save a dancer who had come near her to intrigue and tease her, threw the train of her gown over him, and it was soon revealed to her that the life she had saved was the king’s. Several Knights who tried to put out the flames were severely burned on their hands. Four of the wild men perished… Another, Jean son of the Lord de Nantouillet, saved himself by jumping into a dishwater tub. This incident became known as the Bal des Ardents (the “Ball of the Burning Men”).
“Atreus then learned of Thyestes’ and Aerope’s adultery and plotted revenge. He killed Thyestes’ sons and cooked them, save their hands and heads. He served Thyestes his own sons and then taunted him with their hands and heads. This is the source of modern phrase “Thyestean Feast,” or one at which human flesh is served.”—Wikipedia article on the myth of Thyestes. I don’t know about you, but I had never heard the phrase “Thyestean feast” before… but I’m definitely going to find a context to use it in now.
Unemployment in the double-digits. Job market in the tank. People without jobs pouncing on openings well below their qualifications, and people with jobs clinging to slashed paychecks and dwindling benefits.
In these times, it’s important to take stock and be thankful for the (hopefully) small percentage of your professional life you spend in direct contact with human feces:
The Groom of the Stool was a male servant in the household of an English monarch who, among other duties, “preside[d] over the office of royal excretion,” that is, he had the task of cleaning the monarch’s anus after defecation.
…The position was an especially prized one, as it allowed one unobstructed access to the King’s attention. David Starkey writes: “The Groom of the Stool had (to our eyes) the most menial tasks; his standing, though, was the highest … Clearly then, the royal body service must have been seen as entirely honorable, without a trace of the demeaning or the humiliating.”Further, “the mere word of the Gentleman of the Privy Chamber was sufficient evidence in itself of the king’s will,” and the Groom of the Stool bore “the indefinable charisma of the monarchy.”
Bonus: the article includes a list of “Grooms of the stool under [ha!] Henry VIII.”
A Gong Farmer (also known as a gongfermor or gongfermour), was the term used in Tudor England for someone who removed human excrement from privies and cesspits - the word “gong” was used for both a privy and its contents. Gong farmers were only allowed to work at night, and the waste they collected, known as night soil, had to be taken outside the city or town boundary.
…”Gong” is derived from the Old English gang, which means “to go”.
…Despite their ability to earn good money, the rules governing when gong farmers could work and where they could live – together with the conditions associated with the job – caused historians on the The Worst Jobs in History television series to consider the profession as one of the worst. Gong farmers were only allowed to work between 9 pm and 5 am, were permitted to live only in certain areas, and because of the noxious fumes produced by human excrement, were sometimes killed by asphyxiation.
Suffocated to death by shit. Put that one on your tombstone.
“People are taking the piss out of you everyday. They butt into your life, take a cheap shot at you and then disappear. They leer at you from tall buildings and make you feel small. They make flippant comments from buses that imply you’re not sexy enough and that all the fun is happening somewhere else. They are on TV making your girlfriend feel inadequate. They have access to the most sophisticated technology the world has ever seen and they bully you with it. They are The Advertisers and they are laughing at you.
You, however, are forbidden to touch them. Trademarks, intellectual property rights and copyright law mean advertisers can say what they like wherever they like with total impunity.
Fuck that. Any advert in a public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours. It’s yours to take, re-arrange and re-use. You can do whatever you like with it. Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head.
You owe the companies nothing. Less than nothing, you especially don’t owe them any courtesy. They owe you. They have re-arranged the world to put themselves in front of you. They never asked for your permission, don’t even start asking for theirs.”—Banksy
The pictures on the Rentboy.com profile show a shirtless young man with delicate features, guileless eyes, and sun-kissed, hairless skin. The profile touts his “smooth, sweet, tight ass” and “perfectly built 8 inch cock (uncut)” and explains he is “sensual,” “wild,” and “up for anything” — as long you ask first. And as long as you pay.
"I had surgery," Rekers said, "and I can’t lift luggage. That’s why I hired him." (Though medical problems didn’t stop him from pushing the tottering baggage cart through MIA.)
The Christian Right has taken more loads than a laundry machine.
At midnight, on 5 March 2000 — after 12 hours of continual pain and little advancement in labour, Ramírez sat down on a bench, drank from either a bottle of rubbing alcohol or “3 small glasses of hard liquor” (accounts vary), and assumed the traditional Zapotec birthing position, sitting up and leaning forward. She then used a large kitchen knife to cut open her abdomen in a total of three attempts. Ramírez cut through her skin in a 17 cm vertical line several centimeters to the right of her navel, starting near the bottom of the ribs and ending near the pubic area. (For comparison: a typical C-section incision is 10 cm long, horizontal and well below the navel, the so-called “bikini-line incision”.) After operating on herself for an hour, she reached inside her uterus and pulled out her baby boy, who breathed and cried immediately. She then severed the umbilical cord with a pair of scissors and became unconscious. When she regained consciousness, she wrapped clothes around her bleeding abdomen and asked her 6-year-old son, Benito, to run for help.
…Ramírez was eventually taken to the local clinic, two and a half miles away, and then to the nearest hospital, eight hours away by car… She was released from the hospital on the tenth day post-surgery, and went on to make a complete recovery.