Monday, February 1, 2010

New England Was Weird

Boy, howdy, let me tell you. More quotes from "American Colonies" by Prof. Alan Taylor

"In contrast to their counterparts in England and the Chesapeake, where authorities rarely intervened in domestic disputes, New England magistrates and church congregations routinely protected women from insult and abuse. (Sometimes they had to protect husbands.)" That just made me laugh. I know, domestic violence is never cool, but sometimes it's funny.

"As her pains increased, the guests assisted the midwife in conducting the birth, supporting the squatting mother in their arms." Now THAT is one powerful motherfucking image. So much so that I had to clear the air by swearing.

"In New England, as in old England, fishing employed hard-drinking and hard-swearing men with scant property and little reputation to lose." This also made me laugh. I think it was the term "hard-swearing". As opposed to soft-swearing, like "Jinkies!" or "Well, cracker jacks!"

"The fisherman scandalized a 1664 official investigation that concluded, 'Some here are of the opinion that as many men may share a woman as they do a boat, and some have done so.'" Scandalous indeed. Sounds like a really shitty party.

"Moreover, as God's stronghold, Puritan New England invited relentless attack from Satan, who meant to destroy the Bible Commonwealth. Embroiled in the cosmic struggle between God's will and Satan's wiles, New England was a pivotal battleground for the eternal fate of all mankind." His matter-of-fact tone is positively.... matter-of-fact.

"In 1642 the New Haven authorities suspected George Spencer of bestiality when a sow bore a piglet that carried his resemblance. He confessed and they hanged but Spencer and the unfortunate sow." First of all, what the fuck. Second of all, this Spencer guy had to by one ugly motherfucker to be plausibly likened to a pig. Third of all, calling the sow "unfortunate" is really a slap in the face after the poor thing was nailed by a horny farmer and then strung up because it gave some sicko a boner.

"All dissenters were given, in the words of one Massachusetts Puritan, 'free Liberty to keep away from us.'" Like when the Model-T Ford first came out. You could get it in whatever color you liked, as long as it was black.

"Whenever cattle and children sickened and died, the New English suspected that some in their midst practiced satanic magic." Really, guys? Sometimes people just get sick. It happens. Deal.

"Communities and authorities disproportionately detected witchcraft in women who seemed angry and abrasive, violating the cultural norm celebrating female modesty." Damn, I would have been fucked. Along with most of the ladies I hang out with. ;P

"Puritanism kept New England behind the times in supernatural belief." Womp. Just... womp.

That's all for now. History is fun! And weird! And stupid! Yay!

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