Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
So while the boy was still living with us, we had a little bit of a “Whoah!” moment when he was in his room and we were watching Season 1 Disc 1…in which young King Henry was receiving a Lewinsky from Mary Boleyn. The scene was very graphic and we decided from then on whether the rug rat was in his room or not, this was best viewed after bedtime. Except we’re starting to value a responsible bedtime for ourselves as well, so it was informally understood we’d start carving our way through this after the boy went to live with his Mother.
Well, The Squeeze forgot all about it. She was very clear this was something not-for-her…you know what not-for-her means in the land of Woemen and Netflix. It’s kind of like a motorcycle. Yes you’re allowed to buy it, and no it won’t lead to a fight…but it’s all yours. Once that’s done you aren’t required to do your lady a special favor, per se…just, if you ever get a hankering to do something like that, just keep in mind you haven’t done it lately because this doesn’t count.
You know the drill, guys.
Funny thing was — she fairly leaped to the Netflix queue to order Disc 3. Oh and here we are, we just got done watching about as much of Disc 3 as we could, which was about half of it. That “Report Disc Problem” thing had to get done right now, toot-sweet. As if the house was on fire. No, she’s not willing to admit I brought in a “win.” But it’s pretty obvious by now I’ve created a monster.
Well I’m the guy who wanted to watch it in the first place. Now I’m getting a little bit irritated.
Item #12 on my List Of Things I Don’t Ever Want To See In Movies Ever Again plainly states:
If two guys are going to be screwing the same woman, or simply getting into a fight over her, I don’t want them to have the same haircut, body build or skull shape. There’s no reason for it. If one’s clean cut, the other one can look like a gorilla. If one’s 6′2″, the other one can be 5′8″. If one’s got a runner’s body physique, the other can look like the Michelin Man. I can’t follow the story if I can’t tell these guys apart.
Charles Branden is played by the guy who played the little pipsqueak in the Count of Monte Cristo remake. He could be Henry VIII’s twin. Someone’s got it in their li’l casting-and-grooming head that the men’s fashion du joir is all shaved down on top, nearly bald, mid twenties, 5′ 10″ or so, kinda scowly kinda pouty.
Have you seen a portrait of King Henry? Three hundred pounds or so, big ol’ body, great big fleshy round head. Yes I know he’s younger in this. There are portraits of a younger Henry too. Looks like a stocky, muscular football player dude. With a big ol’ fleshy round egg-head.
Charles Branden — big ol’ massive square head. Hair like Chewabacca.
It even got her confused. Charles Branden’s screwing Princess Mary, which is his point of historical significance here…and they got it all steamy, suitable for a Showtime unrated miniseries, bare breasts and buttocks galore. My Lady protests “So he’s not supposed to be screwing Ann Boleyn while he’s still married, who’s he doing here??” Woops, wrong dude. Can’t tell the dudes apart. Nice to see it happening to someone else.
Another beef I have: Nothing is happening. Oh there’s lots of jockeying for power, lots of stuffy Middle English talking going on, lots of speculation about who’s lost their virginity and when. I get it. Middle-aged white churchmen are getting all bossy about fornicating, what positions are to be used, when, where, what pieces of paper are supposed to be dispensed that says it’s all okay…and it’s all an exercise in futility because everyone’s fucking like crazed ferrets. The bee in my bonnet is that by the time I’m into episode 8 of something, I want to see at an absolute minimum 7 things to have happened. I think this is only reasonable.
The King is concerned about having an heir. His wife hasn’t given him one. So he meets Anne Boleyn and starts proceedings to have his marriage annulled. That’s one thing.
His sister has started to sleep with Charles Branden and that pisses him off. That’s another thing.
The Pope has been driven from Rome by the Holy Roman Emperor, and His Holiness is less than receptive to King Henry’s request. That’s two-and-a-half things.
Oh yeah, and Henry Fitzroy has died. That’s a fourth thing. But I’m wading my way through a lot of dialogue, not terribly well-written at that, for not very much. I find myself mentally calculating how many minutes would be needed to tell the story properly. I’m thinking at a decent pace of storytelling it could all be wrapped up inside of three hours.
It irritates me to see this story retold and retold for consumption of females. I know exactly what they want to get out of it: Women were oh so oppressed during that time, bought & sold like packs of meat to expand some dynasties, and whittle down others. And that is true. And so Henry VIII whittled his way through six wives, chopping off anybody who didn’t give him a son — which is only partly true.
Historians wrote so much about what took place here because of what came afterward. This is where the great divide between Catholics and Protestants came from…and this whole “King’s Great Matter” was just a piece of it, the primer cap for the bullet. The fact that he only chopped off the heads of two of the six, essentially destroys what these ladies are trying to find in the story. Well not really. The guy’s still scum. But the whole conveyor-belt revolving-door meme just isn’t sustained here.
You want to see girls treated like sacks of meat? Pretentious patriarchal snobs passing bills of attainder, tut-tutting folks of a more fertile age about who could bury the bone with who? Sick, loveless marriages created solely for the purpose of preserving dynasties and starting new ones? Check out Henry’s immediate ancestors.
Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville. Richard, Duke of York, and Cecilly Neville. Henry V and K(C)atherine de Valois. King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain. Peter The Great of Russa. Louis XIV of France. William The Conqueror and Mathilda of Flanders. Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine. Charlemagne and his bazillion-and-one wives.
Following the death of Henry V, Parliament passed a bill that made it illegal for the widowed queen to ever marry again. Can’t get stuffier than that, now can you? The Queen’s response was far more satisfying than a “that’s not fair” or “fuck you” or “I quit” or “back to France I go.” She beat all of those with a two-word nugget of deliciousness: “Too late.” She already had a spouse picked out, and as icing on the cake, it was her stable-boy. Their issue would germinate a family tree that looked like a plate of spaghetti when it was done, and in another half century would take over the entire kingdom.
Tell me the female Showtime audience wouldn’t lap that one up with a spoon.
But always, it’s all about the six wives of the fat guy. It certainly does become tiresome. And not very educational. But I know for education I should be turning to The History Channel, or better still, to books like the ones from which I learned this stuff in the first place…
I just don’t see why the good stuff has to remain confined there.
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