Tag Archives: Mary

January 10th

On this day in 236 a bloke called Fabian became the Pope.

Does this seem a little dull? I’m sorry about that, but all the stuff I could find for this day more or less bored the arse off me, so in the end I just went with Fabian because it was that or write about four paragraphs about how bloody boring January 10th is. Which I might still end up doing anyway, but meanwhile, back to Fabian.

Jesus the Dove flies into JPII face. The message being "why did you make this idiot pope?!"

There is one interesting thing about him becoming pope. You see, it is said that he wasn’t a bishop or a priest, or anything like that. He was a a simple layman who just happened to be in Rome when all the bishops had got together to elect a new pope (Anterus, the previous pope had died about a week before after being pope for only one month and ten days. It’s almost certain that he was murdered for being more trouble than he was worth. Cf. Pope John Paul I who might turn up here one of these days). They were all up for electing a Bishop, as was the usual way of things, but as they all stood around nattering about who’d make the best pope and comparing frocks and jewellery and stuff like that, a dove came along and sort of fluttered about over Fabian’s head.

Well, being religious sorts who knew their bible and all the stories it contained they all went “Bloody Nora! That dove is totally like Jesus innit! He’s telling us to elect Fabian! Er, do we have to do that? Really?”

The dove did not move while they were all prevaricating, so they decided

Fabian's deadly poo. Bishops look on and are heard to say "that turd will kill him!"

they’d better do what Jesus was telling them to through a bird, the big thickos. To be honest, it wasn’t that difficult for them to decide to go along with the dove, because even though being pope was a top job with well nice frocks and the best jewels in Christendom, given that Anterus had probably been murdered and they reckoned that the next pope would probably be done in as well, none of the bishops were that keen on being pope as they preferred being alive.

As it happened, Fabian turned out to be quite a good pope, sending people to places like France to tell them how nice it was to be a Catholic and doing some nice building and stuff around Rome. Oh and he also did something with Chrism, which wasn’t as rude as it sounds. So, he wasn’t murdered and got to be pope for fourteen years. He wasn’t murdered to death, he died of bursting a vein in his head when struggling to have a poo, just like Elvis.

And that is the story of Pope Fabian. Oh he got to be a saint as well, which given what we read about yesterday, doesn’t mean much of anything at all.

Still, nice as it was to talk about bishops in pretty frocks, doves and getting to be pope in olden times, I bloody hope there’s something more interesting to rabbit on about tomorrow. Let’s hope there’s a semi-interesting birthday for today. Fingers crossed, I’m off to have a look now.

Today is the birthday of Roderick Stewart. I mention this not because I give a flying fornication about Rod the Mod, but because until today I had no idea that his given name was Roderick and it amuses me no end.

Imagine having that face looming over you?

I’m not totally anti-Rod. The man’s done some good songs and stuff, but anyone who can sing “do you think I’m sexy” whilst wearing the most hideous leopard print tight trousers in the world is a bit of a joke. That and the fact that he keeps marrying the same blonde woman, just changing her for a slightly younger model every few years or so, which is just too icky for words.

But, blah, it’s Rod’s birthday. He will probably put on a kilt and a tartan hat and go on about how Scottish he is, despite being from North London and being a plastic Jock. Or joke, whichever you prefer.

It was also the birthday of Mary Ingalls, the older sister of Laura Ingalls

The real Mary Ingalls.

Wilder who wrote all the “Little House” books. Unlike the pretty crazily blue-eyed girl in the tv series of Little House on the Prairie, Mary never married, although she did go blind and did go to the blind school that the TV Mary went to. But there was not crazily blue-eyed teacher for her to fall in love with and get married to and so her non-existent husband did not fall over and get concussion and magically get his eyesight back and take her to NYC where he could finally be a lawyer and not a crappy old teacher. Her life was slightly less dramatic than that.

When she finished school, she went back home to live with Ma and Pa, made fly nets for horses and when her parents died went to live with her sister Grace and then with Carrie, before dying herself. I note that she did not live with Laura, who was probably to high and mighty to let her blind sister live with her by then.

Despite her dull life, it’s fair to say that Mary was probably more worthy of inclusion in this little blog than Roderick the Mod, because while she never accomplished much, she also never put her flabby arse into stupid trousers and pretended to be a bit half gay when she thought it was trendy. All in all, Mary the bland trumps Rod the twat.

Happy birthday to them both! Sort of.

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April 18th

On this day in 1930 nothing happened at all. Not a thing. Nothing. Nada. Niente. Nichts. Rien. But surely, you cry, there must have been something. Not a thing. At 6.30pm a BBC newsreader read the news out to the nation. He said “There is  no news.” and the rest of the bulletin was taken up with piano music.

This conjures up a few images.

Hello, Britain, there is no news today.

The staff at the BBC always dressed formally for their “appearances” on the radio. This chap will have booted and suited himself, put oil in his hair, ensured that his tie was just so, maybe gargled  a little so that his voice was just right for the job ahead. And then, after all that all he has to say are four words. The words said, the recorded piano music plays. He arises from his chair, loosens his tie. His job is done for the evening, but he feels strangely unsatisfied. He likes telling the people of Britain what has been happening and he feels he has failed them tonight. An extra Scotch or two at the bar should quell that odd feeling.

Everyone at home would have been settled around their wireless waiting for the news. It was a Good Friday, meaning that many would have spent the day kneeling and praying and being all contemplative as they thought about the significance of Jesus dying for their sins and the resurrection that was due on Sunday. Papa would be lighting his pipe, little Johnny playing with some Meccano at daddy’s feet, little Mary being a good little housewife and helping mama by laying the table. Papa calls for a hush as he waits to hear what the BBC has to tell them that evening. Four words, then piano. “Well strike me!” says papa, “Language!” says mama, “Not in front of the children, Father.”

There was news. Aside from the fact that Mrs Brown might be looking for Percy her missing moggy and Mrs Jones was sure that Mr

Father: "Off to bed now Johnny and Mary, mother and I wish to listen to the porn hour."

Blenkinsop was almost certainly paying more attention to that Miss Peabody than he should be, we know that the evening before Good Friday, the government was desperate to deny a newspaper account of an interview with the home secretary, John Robert Clynes. Unfortunately, and despite my best efforts, I haven’t been able to uncover what the interview was about, but Clyne’s main areas of interest in his early months in office were prison reform and the cotton mills, so it might have been something like that. Whatever he’d said or not said, despite the government’s attempts to get the BBC to issue a denial on the 6.30pm news on Good Friday 18th April – knowing that the newspapers were all asleep until the following week – the BBC decided it was not news, or not news they were going to be pressurised into transmitting. There was news, but there was no news.

Our world is now overflowing with news. Nothing is so unimportant that it can’t be reported in tedious and unending detail, no event can be allowed to unfold without tens of outside broadcast teams reporting back to the studio that something is happening, they’re not sure what but they’ll have more (of the same) in five minutes. This sort of reporting veers between the morbid, informative overkill, slightly distasteful rubbernecking, tedium and occasionally bizarre surreality. Last year the OBs were out in force as the police tried to get Raoul Moat to give himself up and then the footballer Paul Gascoigne turned up with chicken and chips and an offer of a bit of fishing for Moaty. The Day Today had come to pass (US readers, this was a spoof news show, find it if you can!). How delicious would it be to turn on the TV one evening, to hear A.N. Other newsreader announce that there was no news and to get half an hour of nice soothing music instead. If I ever get to be the head of the BBC, it is so happening. Until then, we can but dream.

Today was the birthday of one of the most infamous women in history: Lucrezia Borgia.Borgia is pretty much  by-word for murder, corruption, incest and lashings of depravity and Lucrezia has been portrayed as a murderous, incestuous bitch throughout most of history. Thing is, she almost certainly wasn’t.

Thought to be a portrait of Lucrezia. You wouldn't mess with her!

By the age of thirteen she’d been betrothed twice, but both engagements came to nothing when the men in question were no longer politically important enough to her father Rodrigo Borgia (later Pope Alexander VI). Her first actual marriage was to Giovanni Sforza when she was still a young teenager. His expediency soon waned and he was convinced to allow the marriage to be annulled on the basis of his impotency. The marriage had not been consummated, but between their separation and the actual divorce, Lucrezia probably got pregnant. Rumours are that it was her brother Cesare’s child, but it is more likely that she was having an affair with her father’s messenger Perotto. The pregnancy was concealed and next up the still young Lucrezia was married to Alfonso of Aragon.

It appears that Alfonso and Lucrezia were happy, which did not go down well with Cesare who liked being the centre of his sister’s attention (whether that’s because he was diddling her is anybody’s guess), so, to cut a long story short, he murdered Alfonso. (This sort of leads one to believe that he was a bit of a psycho nutter who at the very least wanted to diddle his sister). Lucrezia had one final marriage to Alfonso D’Este. This was a happy marriage, though both spouses had lovers, there were quite a few children and Lucrezia was still his wife when she died in childbirth.

According to history, or one should say, according to the history promulgated by enemies of the Borgias (and there were a lot of them, who frankly had good reason to hate the family), Lucrezia was involved in the murdering that went around the family, that she was doing it with her brother and her dad, that she was a wanton harlot and that she used her lady garden to tempt men into sin and eventual death. Or, you know, maybe she was a pawn in her family’s machinations, with enough sense to keep herself a few steps ahead of the game, in her family’s favour and very much alive. She was certainly described as beautiful (thick, long blonde hair, hazel eyes, good skin, nice rack, etc), elegant and charming.  Maybe she did off a man or two, but my guess is that if she did they deserved it. That’s right, I’m on Lucrezia’s side. She was a strong beautiful woman, so of course she’s going to be dissed, the world would turn upside down if history – in the past at least – ever dared to treat a sexually active and confident woman fairly.

So, you beautiful hellion, happy birthday from me. I’m not so much for the killing and shit, but I sure do admire your style, you fine woman!

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