montagnarde1793: (sans-culottes)

I'd just like to say that I'm glad this group exists. If only as a counterbalance to those groups where people dress up as aristos and have balls and dinner parties.

And I totally want those costumes, OMSB. /shallow
montagnarde1793: (sans-culottes)
So as I was trying to explain the Revolution to this girl in my Statistics class (the kind who says things like, "OMG, are you actually *defending* the Reign of Terror!!1 :O") I thought up this (pretty lame) allegory. On the off-chance you might find it amusing, I've decided to share it.

Say you're in a city with a lot of competing burger corporations. They're all pretty much the same: they use contaminated meat, treat their employees horribly and pay them sub-standard wages... Everything you would expect from a burger corporation. Now, some people manage to "overthrow" one of them; let's say they indict the owners for fraud. The owners are convicted, the company folds. In its place, opens a neighborhood cheese-sandwich shop. Let's call it Tricolor Sandwiches. Just because. 

...Let's skip a bit ahead, and say, for the sake of argument, that Tricolor Sandwiches has now been around for a few years. It is now run by committee. (I'm sure you can see where this is going.) As a small shop, Tricolor Sandwiches is having a hard time staying afloat amidst the Coalition of Burger Corporations, led by British Burger. Now, remember, of course, that these burger corporations are feeding people contaminated meat that makes them sick and participating in all sorts of other abuses. As the moment they're mounting a vicious advertising campaign to try to drive Tricolor Sandwiches under. The committee in charge of Tricolor Sandwiches is on the offensive as far as this goes, but obviously its budget is much smaller.

Then come the real problems. Some of the employees have decided that the solution to this is to go out and (violently) force people to eat cheese sandwiches. This is beginning to turn off even some of the regular customers, who see these tactics as somewhat extreme. Some members of the committee running Tricolor Sandwiches are in favor of these measures, seeing them as the only way they can compete with the Burger Coalition. Others are... less so, feeling that force-feeding people sandwiches is not what Tricolor Sandwiches is about.

Some employees in this group have come out with a deceptively attractive message: they point out that people have the right not to eat cheese sandwiches. Not content with this (technically true) observation, they begin to extol the qualities of burgers and of British Burger in particular. Now, this all well and good, except for, number one, the fact that they work for Tricolor Sandwiches and they're helping the competition with their advertising and, number two, perhaps more important, the competition is not just selling a different kind of sandwich, but one which is making people sick (along with all their other vices).

What's a sandwich-shop committee to do? Well, after much deliberation, it decides, collectively, that it has no choice but to fire the instigators of these ultra- and citra-sandwich movements, which are undermining the aims of Tricolor Sandwiches and everything it stands for. This makes their friends angry, and they convince each other and the still undecided employees that a small number of the committee members are to blame and that they only had those other employees fired because they were greedy and trying to emulate the corporations of the Burger Coalition. Few of them actually believe this, but they are jealous of these committee members' popularity with customers, which they want to believe is part of a plot to do what the friends of the sandwich ultras and citras say they're going to do (and as everyone knows, people believe what they want to believe the vast majority of the time), so they all conspire to have those committee members fired.

After those committee members are fired, Tricolor Sandwiches begins to look more and more like the Burger Coalition, and eventually even starts selling (contaminated, of course) burgers itself. Both the new Tricolor Sandwiches (which will eventually become Tricolor Burger, and then Fleur-de-Lys Burger) and the Burger Coalition, though it takes some years for them to resume friendly relations, have an interest in blackening the old Tricolor Sandwiches through the persons of those fired committee members, which they do. So successfully in fact, that today, even those whose ambition it is to start little cheese-sandwich shops of their own, curse the names of those committee members as the cheese sandwich equivalent of the burger CEOs. 

The end. >.>

I do apologize for the lame/capitalistic undertones of that explanation. It was the only one I could think of, because I am lame and unimaginative like that. But even if I did make the Republic into a business-something which I have the sneaking suspicion is absolutely unforgiveable, by my own standards--at least I made it a small one, such as could be found in a virtuous republic. I think it's probably best just to view this as crack though. Because it pretty much is. *facepalm*
montagnarde1793: (fraternite)
I'm  presently vastly amused. I don't know if any of you are familiar with Le Sueur's drawing of Capet's execution, but if you're not, you're fortunately about to become familiar with it, because here it is:

I know it's not a very good scan, but do observe that there are indeed two men kissing in the foreground, which I have circled in red so that you might more easily be able to locate them.

I found a mention of the drawing in this book, which on page 74 provides some interesting elaboration on the subject and its portrayal.

That's unfortunately all for the present, but I hope you found it sufficiently enlightening. ;D

Rant!

Wednesday, 12 December 2007 17:43
montagnarde1793: (wtfno)
I'm currently rather pissed off and depressed: after months of painstaking work, translating and putting together an alternate reenactment for use in place of that travesty that is the one I described two years ago, it seems they're going ahead with the old version. Admittedly, I don't even know if the guy running it got the reenactment and the letter I wrote to go with it--which by the way mentioned that this was the culmination of nearly two years of work--but still. I suppose I could have not been a coward and gave it to him directly instead of putting it in his box, but don't they have an obligation to read their mail from time to time? 

But this is really what pisses me off about the reenactments, apart from their gross distortions of history: the whole thing is so damn secretive. Only the guy running it's favorite students and their friends know anything about it. It's not a class project, to clarify, it more on the order of a play. But the school play posts audition and performance dates (the auditions being open to all students and the performances being open to anyone who buys a ticket). The reenactments? There are no auditions--the actors are chosen by the guy running them--and performances aren't even announced. One finds out when they're taking place by word of mouth--rumor, essentially. 

And now they're ignoring the new script that I put so much effort into entirely. Did I mention that if I complain it will look like I'm one of the new principal's cronies, because she apparently had a hugely controversial argument with Reenactment Guy (TM) about issues with the Black Death reenactment (which I haven't seen, so I can't really comment) which she claims were about safety issues and he claims were about content (ie, forcing his religious and political beliefs on students)? Which just really makes me angry, because I had been working on this long before their little tiff, and since I happened to finish it only now, *this* is what I have to deal with. *fumes*

...However: this isn't just about me. This is a whole new generation of students being brainwashed we're talking about. If it wasn't, I wouldn't give a damn--you all know that, I'm sure. But why does everyone seem to think I'm crazy for caring in the first place irl? No, it's worse than that: they would think I was crazy if I cared about anything else historical to this degree; but they, remember, are convinced that I'm crazy not merely for caring about history, but for siding with the "bloodthirsty dictators."

I am so unbelievably, immeasurably sick of dealing with this petty, pathetic, childish crap! A historical interpretation is not correct just because a textbook and a fucking secondary school teacher say so. For that matter, it doesn't matter if the world's most eminent professor says something if it's wrong. When are they going to get it into their heads that they don't have a monopoly on truth? They refuse to even listen to what I have to say because "ew, aren't those the guys who chopped off a lot of people's heads?" is the immovable object. They refuse to move beyond that to have open historical discourse. And I am so fucking tired of it. It's just disgusting.
montagnarde1793: (rousseau)

Though I really should be practicing for my singing contest, I thought, just to prove once again, belatedly, that I am still not dead, that I should post as concerns random items of varying levels of interest. (Please ignore the fact that the preceding sentence makes very little sense.)

I find this amusing--pity it seems to be so true though:

You may write a novel about the French Revolution. You may do it on your head, as the jolly habitual criminals say. The essential principles of this sort of novel are: (1) That the populace of Paris from 1790 to 1794 never had any meals, nor even sat down in a café. They stood about in the street all night and all day, sufficiently sustained by the sight of Blood, especially Blue Blood. (2) All power during the Terror was in the hands of the public executioner and of Robespierre; and these persons were subject to abrupt changes of mind, and frequently redeemed their habit of killing people for no apparent reason by letting them off at the last moment, for no apparent reason either. (3) Aristocrats are of two kinds--the very wicked and the entirely blameless; and both are invariably good-looking. Both also appear rather to prefer being guillotined. (4) Such things as the invasion of France, the idea of a Republic, the influence of Rousseau, the nearness of national bankruptcy, the work of Carnot with the armies, the policy of Pitt, the policy of Austria, the ineradicable habit of protecting one's property against foreigners, and the presence of persons carrying guns at the Battle of Valmy--all these things had nothing to do with the French Revolution, and should be omitted. 

G. K. Chesterton, The Uses of Diversity: A Book of Essays

Question: Why are Americans such idiots about the Revolution? Case in point: http://dialogus2.org/ROB/lescheveuxdemarieantoinette.html *shudders* I wonder whether this is a case of insanity or just the usual drivel people spew at times...

And a note, regarding the American History and Literature course I am forced to take: I hate Wilson. I hate Hoover. I hate Nathaniel fucking Hawthorne. This is, in case you hadn't guessed, because of their stances on the Revolution. Okay, so I would have hated Hoover and most probably Wilson in any case, but it certainly doesn't help, for example, that Wilson's favorite author was Burke. >:(

One last thing: does the following remind you of anything? (Well, aside from reactionary Britons.) "Robespierre, the Democrat leader, as was well known, hated England above all other countries, for her loyalty and her freedom..."

Okay, so I lied. Here's the last thing: don't read the introduction to Rousseau's Discours sur l'origine et les fondements de l'inégalité parmi les hommes. It will mess with your mind.

....I'll stop babbling now, I promise. >__>

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