Oct. 7th, 2007

highlyeccentric: XKCD - citation needed (citation needed)
Or possibly Awesome, like Serenity.

Yes, it's the unfinished tale you've all been lamenting... the sequel you've been waiting for...

The Amourous Adventures of Abelard the Arrogant Academic are making a comeback! The team was devastated by internal betrayals- Uncle Fulbert simply walked off the set one day, bringing the whole series down around our ears. But, like Dr Who, we are back. New Doctor Uncle, same awesome genius.

We left off with Peter Abelard gloating over his seduction of Heloise, and over Fulbert's dimwitted obliviousness. This week, Uncle Fulbert describes his rude awakening:

Didn't I suspect anything? How can a man be expected to suspect such things? I hope you don't think the girl's lapse was my fault. Oh no.

I raised her well, gave her the best of everything. What is a cleric supposed to do, suddenly saddled with a girl-child? I sent her to Argentueil. She reminded me of her mother, you know. Always such a smart child. Although where she got that stubborn streak I cannot say. Argentueil is the best school around for girls, I wouldn't have given her less. But she was never satisfied. Their library wasn't big enough. Their teachers never good enough. I would visit her, take her books from the cathedral here, and whatever I could borrow from other places. But she was headstrong, never happy with her lot. The nuns there found her impossible to teach. In the end, I had no choice but to bring her here with me.
A foolish choice. I can see you thinking it. A foolish choice. Why should a woman-child be given her way? Why should a woman be in the house of the cathedral in the first place? Perhaps you're right. I could think of no other course, however.

She was biddable enough at first. Her days were spent in the library of the cathedral. I would not allow her to go out to hear the teachers, I was not that foolish. The university is no place for a young lady. What was to become of her, I couldn't say. She had not the temperament for the convent life, though with her education she could have risen to high rank. I tried taking her to the sorts of parties where she might meet young people of her age and rank. She was sarcastic to the young men of court, but doted on the minstrels. Any man of education she cornered, regardless of propriety, and harangued him for hours.
What was I to do with her? She would make no one a wife, but she would not submit to the convent discipline. What is a man to do?

This Abelard fellow seemed a godsend. A tutor, the best of the young academics in Paris. She was satisfied to learn from him, and I thought he might instill in her some wisdom, some more womanly behaviours.
How should I have seen it coming? You cannot accuse me of laxity there. I should have left her in Argentueil, yes. But once here, who better to teach her than Peter Abelard? He had a reputation for stubbornness, yes. Perhaps even arrogance- never content to learn, he rushed on to teach as soon as he might. But such a man would command my wayward niece well. These academics, they all prize chastity and austerity as appropriate for philosophy.

Of course the town gossiped. The town will gossip. I thought better of my neice, and I thought better of Peter Abelard.
So he wrote songs for her. That's not unremarkable for a teacher and student. You've read the letters of Baudri. He wrote panegrics left write and centre- to Adela of Blois, to the Duke of Normandy, to the bishop and to the little boys in the choir stall. Have you never heard of a rhetorical device?
Of course she had a crush on him. Young girls will. Her stubborn will had met its match, I was hardly surprised to see that. He ought not to have taken advantage. It is a shame on his name, as a man and a philosopher.
Inevitably, I came in upon them. I packed him off, of course. Perhaps I should have been more fierce. I am a bachelor. The clergy are not trained to raise young girls! Besides... By now, I had little hope of her making a good marriage. If separation from her inflamed his passion still more, Abelard might be compelled to marry her.

He took lodging nearby and we heard little of him. After some weeks, however, the maid who took care of the girl came to me in quite a rage. Abelard had approached her and offered her coin, if she might arrange for him to see Heloise. A tight watch we kept upon her after that- the maid slept at her window, that he might not approach her therefrom.
It was not enough. One morning she was gone, the devious she-wolf. Gone!

What will happen next? Tune into HighlyTV to find out!
highlyeccentric: Me, in a costume viking helmet - captioned Not A Viking Helmet (not a viking)

my translation sucks.
in the one paragraph i seem to have:

*someone refusing to take any booty
*a man excommunicated with all his clothes
*lesbian nun sex
*the fact that you can't be a maiden again after having lesbian nun sex
*nor will you get a hundredfold increase (of what????)
*so therefore  you should follow Judith's example and hold to Christ in purity.

wtf? WTF?

i think i have something very wrong. i seem to have jumped from narrative (the person not taking the booty was presumably Judith) to moralising, with no causal relationship between.
also, i doubt that i've got the lesbian nun sex right. that would be too cool.


Oct. 7th, 2007 09:54 pm
highlyeccentric: Sign on Little Queen St - One Way both directions (purple)
this is a story which I've heard in more or less the same form many, many times over the years. One of those I heard in from was Bishop Purity Malinga, of the Methodist Church of South Africa, so I assume some degree of accuracy to it. It's also a favourite of Peter Hobson, who is uniformly awesome. (Bron, if you've internalised any more details by virtue of working with him, please do share)

In the period immediately following the end of Apartheid in South Africa, so many crimes against black South Africans came to light that the state had neither the legislation nor the infrastructure to process them.
Instead, special community courts were set up, designed so that those who had committed the offences would be brought face to face with the individuals, families and communities they had injured, and would have to face their judgement.
A certain white police officer was brought to this court by a black woman. He had murdered her husband and sons, in her sight, dishonoured their bodies, and taken them away, refusing to tell her where he had disposed of them. She had been left alone, with no way to give her family a funeral or proper burial.
She brought him to this court, where his crimes were detailed and he admitted that he had done so. Then she was given the opportunity to stand before him in the courtroom and decide what sort of recompense he would pay.
This woman stood up, and she looked across the courtroom at the man who had murdered her family.
And she said to him:
I want three things from you. You have taken everything from me, and I want you to give me three things.
The first is that you tell me what you did with the bodies of my husband and sons, so that I can give them a proper burial and can grieve.
You have left me alone, to grow old without my husband or sons to take care of my house and to keep me company. I have no one of my own to take care of.
You cannot replace my husband and sons. But the second thing I ask is that you keep me company in my old age. Visit me. Mow my lawn and fix my roof. Eat Sunday lunch with me. Give an old lady someone to care for.
The third thing I ask of you is that you stand up, here in this courtroom, and let me give you a hug.

This lady began to cross the courtroom. And this man fainted dead away, before the whole court.


highlyeccentric: Sign on Little Queen St - One Way both directions (Default)

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