Sic Semper Semanis

Saturday, November 22, 2014

King Philip’s War: When People Stop Being Thankful, and Start Being Real

Well, it’s come around again, whether you like it or not. This is the time of year where we all have to pretend to be grateful for our lives while we spend time with the parts of our family that we don’t usually hang out with. The good news is, there’s probably a turkey dinner in it for you, assuming that you’re an American, which I am (assuming). Whether your plan for Thanksgiving is “unconventional,” “regular,” or “miserable,” there are always things to be thankful for, no matter who you are. Think of all the miracles in the world, like …continue reading

Cesare Borgia and How He Didn’t Take Over Italy

If you’ve heard of the Renaissance, you’ve probably heard of the Borgias. They were sort of like that one real weird family from Twilight, except they weren’t vampires. They were just from Spain. If the Borgias had lived in Spain this would not have mattered, because in Spain almost everybody is from Spain, and that was even more true at the end of the fifteenth century than it is now. Unfortunately for them, the Borgias lived in Rome, where being Spanish was unusual and frowned upon. When I say “the Borgias,” I am referring specifically to Rodrigo Borgia and his …continue reading

Blackbeard the Pirate: The Pirate Blackbeard

The scariest and most famous pirate ever was called Blackbeard, but that wasn’t his real name. He got his real name when he was born, and only a crazy or very stupid person would name a baby “Blackbeard,” because babies don’t have beards and so that wouldn’t make any sense. Blackbeard’s real name was Edward Teach or Edward Thatch or Edward Drummond or something else, and he was probably born in Bristol (England) if he wasn’t born in another place. The truth is that it is impossible to know much about Blackbeard’s early life, because he was born in a …continue reading

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Weekly Dictator

Halloween is here! Tricks or treats, and fear! Going out, all slutted up, And drinking lots of beer. (The previous should be sung to that Christmastime song from the beginning of A Charlie Brown Christmas.) That’s right, everyone. Summer is over and school is well started. The leaves are turning, if you live in a place where there are leaves that turn, and everybody is relieved that the weather is getting cool again, and preparing for the impending onset of Seasonal Affective Disorder. That means it’s time for a holiday. And in America, a holiday means a Charlie Brown Special. …continue reading

Vlad the Impaler: The Real Fake Made Up Count Dracula

So. Vampires, everybody. Vampires. We’re all on the same page as to what vampires are, right? Pale folk, sharp teeth, drink blood? We can all agree on that? Because past those facts, there seems to be some confusion about things like how mean are they really and should a person want to have sex with them or not. I feel that the answers to those questions are personal and can only be answered by each individual for him or her self. What I aim to do in this essay is give you a little background on the dude behind the …continue reading

Fashion for Fascists: A Primer

As I was preparing material for our last podcast, I came across this  little gem: a style guide for women who want to achieve world domination. I was thrilled. Finally, someone out there was writing something for me. My heart sank quickly as I read. The young lady who compiled these “fashion tips,” while no doubt truly devoted to style, clearly has little grasp of realpolitik. Her tips are sassy and fun, and she’s probably a really nice person – none of which are qualities conducive to crushing one’s enemies beneath the iron heel of oppression and making them cry …continue reading

Anton Szandor LaVey: Or, Could It Be… SATAN?

The famous black house in San Francisco probably isn’t there anymore. I don’t actually know, and I’m not going to check. But the resident of that house died in 1997, or at least he stopped living in the way that we understand it. At any rate, he didn’t need the house anymore. His name was Anton Szandor LaVey, and he was the founder of the Church of Satan, which was inspired by Jack Parsons’ Temple of Thelema, which found its own inspiration in Aleister Crowley’s Ordo Templi Orientis, which sprang from the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, which was …continue reading

Frankenstein: The Doctor, the Monster, and the Monster Doctor

Since time immemorial, people have looked around themselves and asked questions about their very existence.   Does mankind have a soul?   Is there an organizing force controlling the universe?   What would happen if you stitched a bunch of pieces together from various dead bodies and then brought them to life by zapping them with electricity?   It is this last question that Mary Shelley first attempted to answer when, as a mere girl of eighteen, she wrote the novel Frankenstein, which is a parable about meddling with powers that should belong only to God. The conclusion she reached …continue reading

The Salem Witch Trials: Well You Know, It’s Something To Do

The Puritans are the only people in history who fled their homeland because they weren’t oppressed enough. A virtuous but abstemious group, at the beginning of the seventeenth century they found themselves beset all about by religious tolerance and jolly song singing, until the merry cheer of those around them was almost too grievous to be borne. Fortunately, God provided for them (as He will with His chosen peoples), and they found new hope in a land far across the sea, free from happiness, good weather, architecture, or any other dangerous comforts to the soul. These goodly Puritans buckled up …continue reading

King Tutankhamen: Still Dead, After All These Years

  It is a well-known fact that any English person can trick any American person into doing whatever they want, because they have such nice accents. English people just sound smarter than us. And Australians sound like they have more fun, but that’s probably only because they do.     Anyway.   Nowadays, if a person can resist the sound of those pear-shaped tones, they probably understand that just because a person sounds like they know how to read books doesn’t mean that they ever have. But for most of the nineteenth century into the twentieth, the children of Mother …continue reading