Curling’s For Pussies

Last night, something fucking insane happened.

No, I don’t just mean that I decided to write this.

My God, they murdered those skiers! FUCK YES!

I mean, for Christ’s sake, look at all those Russian-y letters. This is a KGB recruitment ad. Don’t lie to me, it obviously is. Putin’s raising an army. Oh, fuck, Putin is going to kill us all with his bare/bear hands.

Wait, what’s a “biathlon”? Bullshit. Bullshit, that’s not a sport. That’s the operation name. We’re all going to die when Vladimir Putin is going to fire himself in a missile at New York City and then his snipers will tear down our ski-based supply routes that we have for some reason.

I suppose that would explain why he’s rationing the soda.

No. This does not fucking exist. You’re a goddamn liar, Wikipedia.

For those of you too lazy to follow a link (it’s right there, you baby); biathlon, it seems, is a real thing. And, no, you don’t snipe the skiers*. The skiers snipe you – assuming that you’re a plastic disk that somehow developed literacy. In other words, if you’re a biathlete – as you’re reading this, it’s safe to assume that you are unfamiliar with the concept of “sport” – you start your silly little (scary fucking) game by chasing James Bond down a ski slope[citation neededwith a goddamn rifle strapped to your back, before stopping at a convenient mat in the snow to gun down some political dissidents of the aforementioned disks before repeating said cycle however many times the Capitol deems necessary.

Bows are for baby-men.

So, how the fuck did I stumble on this? The Biathlon World Championships (see the above video, you stupid shit) in Nové Město na Moravě – which, despite being the most Spanish name I’ve ever read, is in the Czech Republic – was broadcast in America yesterday. Not on some obscure bullshit channel like G4, SpikeTV, or CBS; no, it was on NB-fucking-C.

To be fair, NBC is the first place I think of when I think “shoot something”.

Now, don’t get the wrong idea – the World Championships aren’t the only thrilling biathlon event to enjoy. There are also the Junior World Championships, the World Cup, and the goddamn Olympics. Yes – ski-murder is in the Olympics.

And yes, there’s an American team. There’s one in the World Championships, too. Yes, we’ve actually won medals. Not good ones, God no. Powdered deer horn means shit in biathlons.

Now, surprisingly, this sport does not have its roots in Stalin’s secret group of snow assassins. It originates from the Norwegian sport oh-so-subtly called “military patrol”. Because when I think “military”, I think Norway. Basically, military patrol was biathlon, but more insane. First of all, while biathlon is a solo event, military patrol was for teams. Teams of actual military patrols. And they competed against other teams. Of actual military patrols. Because military patrol was exactly that – training for actual fucking military patrol. So, if you cheated, you could very well have an actual goddamn war on your hands.

Because the Norwegians are Vikings.

Military patrol further demonstrates itself as biathlon’s war veteran grandfather through the inclusion of ski mountaineering, which was dropped by the cowards who run biathlon. In case you’re stupid, ski mountaineering is basically grabbing some supplies, some skies, and making that goddamn mountain your giant, volcanic bitch. In other words, military patrol consisted of a.) climbing a goddamn mountain, b.) skiing down a goddamn mountain, and c.) shooting some targets while hard-ass Eastern European soldiers try to do all of that before you. This sport is not for you or I – this sport is for burly men named “Rolf”, “Ivan”, and “Rip Von Facemurderstab”.

Yes. They did it in Bill Cosby sweaters. Are you going to insult them?

Military patrol was also in the Olympics during the 1924 in Chamonix, France. The Swiss claimed victory – this being the last time the Swiss did anything vaguely bad-ass involving the word “military” – over the Finnish, French, and Czechoslovakians, with the Polish and Italians pussying out at the last minute. This was the only time that military patrol officially appeared in the Olympics; it was demonstrated in 1928, 1936, and 1948, but was not reinstated out of a rules disagreement.

Apparently, this sport had rules.

However, biathlon began to gain popularity in Sweden and the USSR (there’s Stalin!) in the ’50’s, which would certainly explain the Cuban Missile Crisis. 1958 saw the first World Championships and 1960 saw biathlon’s first Olympic appearance in 1960. 1980 was the first year in which the Olympics used mechanical targets for the sport, which leaves some terrifying questions as to Eastern Europe’s orphanage programs. Since biathlon’s rise to popularity, there have been other, somewhat saner spin-offs, such as summer biathlon (a combination of running and shooting, or a shitty Tom Cruise movie) and biathle (running and swimming, with a disappointing lack of guns) – neither of which are in the Olympics, because they aren’t half as Call of Duty-esque.

That’s not to say that Norway does not still have a presence in ski-murder; Emil Hegle Svendsen, also known as Ken from Barbie, won the latest World Championships.

Run, Liam Neeson, it’s SVENDSEN!

This whole thing only leaves one question in my mind – with its Bourne vibe, abundance of snow, and, most importantly, guns, how the fuck is this not popular in the U.S.? We’ll spend half-an-hour waiting for the lights to come back on during the E-Trade Baby Marathon, but we won’t watch large Russian men chase each other down mountains with high-power rifles? Biathlon is America. And only NBC will broadcast it?

Bullshit.

You know what you have to do, America.

*No word on what they do to the loser, but Putin has little mercy.

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Regeneration

Oh, hello! This… is awkward. Yes. Now, I know I’ve been gone a while, and I know I should probably explain that whole “burning down your house” thing, except fuck you, I don’t want to. Just know that I’m back! Yay! For now! Less yay!

I never abandoned my popular history series! Yay! TARDIS!

So, I’m back! I want to be back, anyhow, because you know what? Fuck you, this is fun. Comedy is fun. This blog sucks, but it’s fun, and, again, fuck you, because look at you. Look at your face.

Fuck that face.

Everything about this is fun but your face. And I can’t do it often, given that there’s this thing called high school and another thing call sloth, but still! I want to do this again! What’s a producer without a product, right? And this blog is my product!

I’m utterly shameless about it and that’s the worst part.

So, more updates and stuff. We missed a lot of Doctor Who stuff, which is too bad, because I could have said a lot about Moffat and his evil plan to shoot me in the emotions. Missed the elections, too, which means I never got to insult Romney’s stupid, handsome face. Community‘s been delayed until February, because NBC is allergic to laughter (looking at you, Jay), and Chevy Chase left, too.

The world clearly isn’t ready for his genius anymore. “Genius” is a synonym for “asshole”, right? Because I’ve been called a genius a lot before, often sarcastically.

There’s been some other stuff, too, but I can’t remember any of it. Something about a gay Korean cowboy riding a motorcycle off a cliff, right? I don’t know, I get my news from Conan O’Brien and Stephen Colbert.

An intellectual.

So, despite the fact that most of my stuff sucks and my audience is made up of weirdos from the Southeastern Hemisphere (the worst hemisphere), I want back in the game!

It’s not a sport-y game, obviously. Have you ever looked at a blogger? But still.

Yay for dying of a heart attack at 26!

So, let’s all go to Hell together, huh?

And I know how we’re going to die.

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There are no jokes in this one.

Ladies and gentlemen, let’s get somber here.

I typically hate when bloggers get all preachy, which is why my blog has thus far avoided any kind of political discussion whatsoever and I remain completely unbiased in my assessment of the facts, never once bringing in opinions or insulting such fine gentlemen as Mitt Romney, John Boehner, and the angry walrus we mistakenly call “Speaker Gingrich”. But this just pisses me off way too much to ignore, and it’s not, surprisingly, something the GOP did or LIBOR or anyone else you would expect. But, yeah, those piss me off, too.

But, first a little background, and yes, it involves Batman. No, there’s no picture joke here.

Earlier today, a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado was hosting a midnight showing of the much-anticipated The Dark Knight Rises, which we talked about yesterday in my much less depressing analysis of what I expected from it. About half an hour in, a 24-year-old neuroscience student named James Holmes (his folks were big Sherlock fans, one would assume) broke into one of the theaters via an emergency exit, dressed in riot gear, a bullet proof vest, and a gas mask in a manner that BBC says drew “comparisons with the outfit worn by the villain Bane”.  He tossed a canister of what was presumably tear gas into the crowd and opened fire, wielding a shotgun and two pistols. He shot randomly, running about in the theater, managing to hit 71 people and kill a dozen, including off-duty military members and a four-month old baby. He fled, and was arrested in a nearby parking complex. Police say his home is booby-trapped with trip wired explosives. People near his residence have been evacuated, and the official premiere of the movie in Paris has been cancelled. President Obama has already abandoned his campaign to give a speech at the White House.

A true tragedy, yes, but there are plenty of tragedies worldwide that we don’t talk about here. Genocides and such, and I don’t want you to think that I’m reporting on this solely because it happened in domestic America. No, I would leave this story be, if not for the glorious, truly astounding example of human compassion and understanding that followed. Oh, did I say “compassion and understanding”? I meant, “fucking retarded assholery”. Easy mistake.

The normal reaction to this, is, um, sadness. A sad little nod, maybe a few tears, maybe if you’re a bit more of a fiery person, a call for the Holmes’ blood. I can understand those. Reasonable responses. If you’re religious, you might pray a bit. As an atheist, I don’t do that, but, you know, still a little sad. What you don’t, oh what you definitely do not fucking do, is being a giant flaming fucking cunt. Someone should explain to the esteemed fucking gentleman from Texas, Representative Louie Gohmert. Mr., you know what, no, fuck him, he doesn’t get an honorific. Humantrash Gohmert was on a radio called “Istook Live!”, funded by the infamous Heritage Foundation and hosted by former congressman, Ernest Istook. Mr. Istook questioned Humantrash Gohmert about his opinion, as a former judge, on the Colorado shootings, if he had seen something like this before. Humantrash Gohmert replied with a little piece of absolutely brilliant speech in which he blamed the shootings on, go ahead and guess, “ongoing attacks on the Judeo-Christian beliefs”. A thinly veiled means of blaming individuals such as I, an atheist, and movements to have the Christian bias in the government removed. There is audio in the article so you can experience his words, but the gist of it is that it is our fault for not letting certain batshit Christians utilize their constitutional right to establish a theocracy. He then goes on to say that it is also the deceased’s fault for not carrying a firearm him with them into a fucking movie theater, because this kind of things all the fucking time.

I’ll leave that to simmer with you, as well as the incident itself, which you mustn’t forget is the true tragedy. I’ll say nothing more than this; Humantrash Gohmert, I make fun of conservatives a lot here. Call ’em mean names, relentlessly attack them. But it’s all fun. It’s a joke. I don’t really think they’re idiots, most of them. I’d say quite a lot of America’s conservative politicians are actually quite good people whom I happen to disagree with on many issues. I respect them, and even admire a few.

Humantrash Gohmert, you are not of those people.

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Merry Goddamned Batmas.

Well, folks, if you don’t know (and fuck you if you don’t), The Dark Knight Rises premieres today, and it brings to the end the Christopher Nolan-directed trilogy of Batman films, which I can only describe as holyshitfuckyesawesomexplodeybatmanpunch. Now, Nolan and the marvelous actors, writers, and social message injectors who have worked on this series since 2003, beginning, appropriately, with Batman Begins also known as WHERE IS THE GUY FROM BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN?! And now, 6 years since Begins premiered, Nolan ends his triumphant saga with what is hopefully an inspiring tale of a broken man facing the forces of chaos and spraying them with some kind of convenient plot device shaped like a bat. Deus ex batina.

“Plot resolution? Fuck you, I’m Batman.”

With a history spanning 73 years and at least one or two good years, Batman has kicked so much ass that schizophrenia, psychopathy, and megalomania have been cured with text-based sound effects, like “Bam!” “Zap!” and “Homoerotic Subtext!” Of course, Batman has, over the years, fluctuated from campy goofball who fights relatively harmless bank robberers, to gritty muscle-bound and psychologically shattered hard-ass who beats crazed serial killer-rapist-comedians half to death after they commit crimes that cause Hitler to have nightmares. He has had his friends crippled and murdered, his enemies cry over his grave, and been through the whole thing the kind of crazy bad-ass who faces every situation with mild anguish and plenty of conflict repellant. The quality has gone from shit, to shit, to shit, to eh, to fucking yes, and to THIS IS THE BEST MOVIE I’VE EVER SEEN. And, despite a past of sharing beds with pre-pubescent children and rubber nipples, Batman is, and always will be, the greatest. He’s a stoic spirit of a vengeance who swoops down and channels tragedy into justice, a man who turns the shadows and fear into a weapon much more powerful than a gun. He’s like a good Stalin. And when Batman does use guns, it fucking travels through time to kill his target when he goddamn says so. What he lacks in character development, he makes up for by smashing character development’s face so far into its skull that character development comes out of its own ass. He may not be the most dynamic character, but he’s in a world of wonderfully detailed characters with crippling psychological disorders, terrible monsters and saints, a beautiful tragedy. You don’t come to Batman for the quality writing, you come for the message. In that way, Batman is sort of a religion. You didn’t need me to tell you this, though. You’re on the Internet, you’ve read how literally everyone on the Internet that can type fan-cums all over Batman. But I’ve taken a break from our history series for a different analysis of Batman.

Inn all of his exploits, Batman has always been cartoonish. Even in the live action movies, and in the gritty reboots. It may not have been cheery or goofy, but it was always hyperbolic, because you need a fantasy world for something like Batman to actually work. But not Nolan. Nolan has made a trilogy of serious action movies about an orphan who dresses up like a flying mammal and kicks the monster from It for a living. That may not seem all too realistic to you, and its not. But then, how can Nolan get away with it in his world? In Nolan’s real world, how can he seriously call such a damaged, diseased man, a hero? And that’s what this post is about; Nolan can’t. For, you see, and this is what I’m hoping for from The Dark Knight Rises, there is a dark, painful secret hidden behind the cowl.

Batman is not the hero of the Batman movies.

A force for truth, justice, and the American way. And violent murder.

Let’s start with the classic set-up; young Bruce Wayne and his wealthy philanthropist parents are strolling casually down the alley of an intercity ghetto (I said wealthy, not intelligent) when a random street criminal mugs and murders them before young Bruce’s eyes. A normal man would deal with this through therapy or alcohol or hookers, but Bruce here is no normal man. You see, this is where the story of young Bruce breaks from reality and breaks from the story of your typical man. I want you to re-read that sentence again, replacing “wealthy philanthropist” with “average Gothamite”, keeping in mind that the average Gothamite is neck-deep in poverty and surrounded on all sides by crime. Suddenly, this is an orphan, one who definitely will not be going to the orphanage, because, as we can see based on the number of people who escape from Arkham a year (approximately all of them), Gotham is not so big on public spending. This child is starving, fighting for a means to survive in a city of crime. But why is it so crime-riddled? For the same reason most cities are; poor people who cannot sustain themselves any other way. As I’ve just mentioned, there is zero public spending in Gotham, and in a city whose economy can only be described as “no”, there is no path for the poor to feed and clothe themselves. So, they resort to stealing things, and the only way to steal things on the street is with violence, which leads to assaults and murders, while drug pushers hold massive sway over the neighborhood and themselves are only trying to make a living. Hence the conservative stance of “letting them die”.

Ladies and gentlemen, I have a modest proposal for you all…

But Batman is not like that. Batman is insanely mega-rich, heir to a mighty corporation. Not only can he feed himself, he can also afford to have a butler hang out around the Wayne Mansion for about two decades with no income. Either that, or they locked Alfred in the attic. Hard to say, really. Not just that, but Batman is the son of a very successful businessman, and, while I hate to being all dirty liberal on you, that brings with it certain… necessities.

It is estimated that 10% of office managers are psychopaths, charming sociopaths who use keen abilities of intimidation and manipulation to achieve their goals, a similar number for those in the financial industry and for jobs such as CEO’s. That, by no means, means that 10% of people are psychopaths, with the total number actually being closer to 1%. This means that psychopaths are unusually successful in industries that require… well, uh, manipulation, intimidation, and charm. So, while I’m not saying that Hannibal Lector should run for President, I am saying that the Wayne family is definitely a family of corporate-types. Given that they’ve been in business since the American revolution, I would say that, somewhere in there, there was a ruthless cutthroat who was willing to sacrifice the sanity of his co-workers for power. Statistically speaking, there has to have been, which means that, somewhere in Bruce’s genetics, there is psychopathy. Not just that, but in just about every Batman story ever told, Batman’s father was a great man obsessed with building a better Gotham. Constant charity events, massive sprawling train stations, all sorts of stuff that he spends his fortune on that benefit him in no way. Does this mean he is a psychopath? Quite the opposite, obviously, because he never had to be; he was an heir to the company, too, after all. No, but with all this charity work, and, quite clearly, excellent management of both his personal finances and his company (again, Alfred), he did possibly have another illness; obsession. The tendency to find an idea and hang on to it, working on it constantly and spending all your time fretting it over. And Bruce does fix his life on one point; the murder of his parents, which motivates him through his entire existence. Even the bat motif arises from that; in the movies, they flee an opera house because Bruce was terrified of actors dressed as, you guessed it, marmosets. So, that Batarang and Battoilet? Not cutesy little gimmicks, but symptoms of a serious psychological disorder.

Now then, you have a wealthy obsessive psychopath who just watched the murder of his parents and blames the very concept of crime. What happens now?

Not the Batusi.

Bruce fixes his entire life around that one point, that one scar; he not only seeks vengeance, he becomes vengeance, because he doesn’t have anything anchoring him to the real world. He has no friends, no family. He doesn’t need a job or a paycheck. He doesn’t even have things like empathy and basic ethics stop him. Oh, sure, he may have an insane rule against guns, but he doesn’t feel any qualms about killing; look at what he did to Dent and Ra’s al Ghul. He killed them, when he could have easily incapacitated them, and why? Because Batman doesn’t give a fuck. He is completely free, unfettered, able to do anything he wants. And all he wants is to fight crime. Hell, Nolan even came up and told us this through casting. Who plays Batman, again?

Maybe he’s the good guy?

Now, all of this is meaningless until we can do an in-depth analysis of the first two installments of the trilogy. Again, all of the other adaptations are meaningless, as all of them stayed within the fantasy realm that Batman traditionally kicks ass in. You see, because Nolan decided to set a Batman movie in a non-Batman world, he has made it impossible for Batman to be the heroic figure we know him as. Batman does things that only work in the rules of the Batman world, rules perfectly scrupled so that people like Batman are essential. The real world has very different rules, and, despite a very large dose of Batman, these rules still apply in Nolan’s world. However, Gotham should not be taken as your typical metropolis; it very obviously is not. Rather, let us say for our purposes that Gotham is some kind of special form of Limbo, where all of the faults of man boil into one messed-up place where the rules of the real world exist, but where the beings of a fantasyland bleed in. You see, while all of Batman’s allies (including Catwoman, in this world) are normal people with normal strengths and weaknesses. Batman’s villains, however, are just like him; fantasy beings who should exist in the world of fantasy, people who play dress-up and do extraordinary, amazing things for deeply symbolic reasons. Ra’s ah Ghul fights for some kind of equality, the Joker for chaos, and Bane, seemingly, for change. As such, we can discern that…

All of Batman’s peers are villains.

Now, the villain of the first film was the Scarecrow. You’ll notice that I did not include him in the ranks of Batman’s peers, because he is not; he is more of what we’ll call an enabler than a villain. Scarecrow is motivated by very real things, as opposed to a symbol; he is a sadistic man who went into science only for his own sinister curiosity. We’ve had real people like that, such as the infamous Nazi Angel of Death (whose real name I can’t spell), a terrible doctor who gleaned astounding amounts of information about the human body from, surprise, carving up some living, screaming Jews and testing his horrible crimes against humanity on them. This wasn’t a Batman villain, this was a real man. The Scarecrow could, feasibly, be a real terrorist. The Scarecrow’s main weapon is his “fear gas” (as it is called in the comics), a drug administered in a variety of methods that causes its victims to become hallucinating, panicking, and, ultimately, violent creatures who spend their time under the drugs indulging their paranoia and lashing out against innocents they perceive to be monsters. The Scarecrow’s weapon is not a drug, it is fear itself.

The wheelchair is a lie. He is Batman.

Fear. Fear is the omnipresent in the Batman mythos. That’s part of why it appeals to us more now than ever, why the Batman that succeeds is not a watered-down cheesy version, but the pure thing; fear has governed our world from before humankind. We start wars over fear. We allow unspeakable horrors to be performed before eyes because of fear. We hate and we kill because of fear. We are governed by terror, something was once beneficial to our wild ancestors that has now backfired. Horribly.

Young Bruce Wayne was terrified of bats, as we already established. But, he has mastered that fear and twisted it into Batman, employing not the tactics of murder and battle to destroy crime, but fear. He is a Boogeyman, all the criminals in Gotham, all the people in Gotham fear him. At any moment, he could break from the cover of shadows and beat you to your doom. He doesn’t kill you there, now; Nolan’s series is bound by reality, and the only reality that could result from a Batman beating is spending the rest of your life as a cripple who cannot commit crimes, thereby damning you, a poor beggar who cannot put food on his table through legal means, to slow starvation. Batman is a mean motherfucker, and Gotham knows it. Gotham fears it.

Though, if they saw the way he dresses, that would change.

Ra’s ah Ghul knows the power of fear as well, so he purchases it (the drugs) from Scarecrow and unleashes it on Gotham, because something something JUSTICE! (You’ll notice this is also the justification for Batman’s actions.) Batman manages to stop him (presumably; he just blows ah Ghul up and leaves the ghettos to die in the movie) and cements himself as Gotham’s champion. Or, at least he does to Gordon, who is the only person in Gotham that matters to Batman, apparently.

“Damn it, Bruce, you coward. Tell him how you really feel.”

But the people, they fear Batman. We’ve already established that the average Gothamite is a crook, which means that all of Gotham fears him, and he did it intentionally. At the end of that movie, Batman is basically Gotham’s Satan. Their avenging Satan, yes, but he is avenging them against themselves. That isn’t a hero. That’s a fucking terrorist.

Yes, terrorists. This has come up a few time, and it must be addressed; the Nolan films are definitely about terrorists. Their is simply no denying the fact that the villains and the “hero” all apply terroristic tactics to manipulate the public. The most blatant of all, however, is the Joker.

The Joker is a lot like ah Ghul and Batman, in that he doesn’t fight for wealth (he burns an entire fucking mountain of money) nor some kind of revolution or anything. No, Joker only wants you to understand, like some kind of shit philosophy student. Armed with a bazooka. You see, despite being fucking insane, the Joker is actually the sanest person in the Nolan films. Let that sink in for a while before I move.

The Joker is a new breed of enemy for Batman. He uses fear, but he uses it differently. He is an inverse of the Scarecrow; the Scarecrow used fear for fear’s sake and created chaos, the Joker uses chaos for chaos’s sake and creates fear. Fear is an unintended result of his actions, and it could be said that Joker himself is above it. The Joker fights for ideals, the strangest of ideals; he want to show the world the truth, a truth that, upon analysis, you’ll certainly find is the truth about Batman. The Joker’s modus operandi has never been clowns (in the good stories, at least), but the bestial, serial killer animal buried underneath each and every human. The Joker says that society is a lie, that human beings are not naturally moral or anything resembling it. The Joker argues that if you break away the layers of disguise that man has built around itself, what you get is a chaotic and feral beast. A monster that lashes out randomly against his foes.

Hello, Batman.

The Joker knows that this is Batman. He knows that Batman is but a violent animal. He and Batman are much closer than you would think, and that is part of the reason he is so unsettling. The Joker also claims that the “planners”, i.e. those with an agenda, have destroyed Gotham and attempts to engineer a return to the chaotic state. However, in this attempt, the Joker himself becomes a “planner”, just as Batman, in his attempts to solve crime (and defeat the fear that causes it), becomes the fear.

The Joker demonstrates this chaotic state through Harvey Dent, better known as Two-Face.

Thank You for Symbolizing.

Harvey Dent is a lot like what a grown Bruce Wayne could have been; a mover and shaker of the world, the White Knight to Batman’s Dark. He is an agent of order just as much as the Joker, a true and unchangeable “planner”. But then, the Joker takes from him all he loves (his girlfriend) and leaves him with a sense of guilt over it; Batman saved him (though accidentally, because Batman isn’t, like, gay or anything) instead of the girl. He could have easily been the dead one, the martyr. No, Joker was too smart for that. A situation was engineered so that Dent would be stripped of his whole being, and rendered into this natural chaotic state. And it worked. Joker created something like an evil Batman; the White Knight to his Dark. Dent went on a murder spree, killing those who he blamed for his girlfriend’s death. Unlike Batman, he did not fight crime, he fought the law. Not because it was the law’s fault, but because the Joker convinced him it was. If the Joker were there to convince Bruce that it was the alley’s fault his parents died, Bruce would have destroyed all alleys.

Many assumed that Dent was meant to be some kind of dark parody of Batman, the “could have been” had Bruce not been strong enough to hold onto his morals. But we’ve already proven that that can’t be true, because Batman isn’t like that. No, Dent is very clearly something else… Dent is Batman. Dent proves the hypothesis that Batman is not a good guy. He also proves that any man can fall and become Joker (Batman), meaning that all of us have a Batman inside us, and it’s neither cool nor rape. Based on Dent, we can conclude that…

Batman is a villain.

“But that’s nonsensical!”, you shout at your computers because your parents never explained to you that computers are inanimate objects, “Batman saved Gotham!”

Yes… no. Not really. I mean yes, sort of, Batman did defeat the villains in both movies, but he didn’t save Gotham by doing it.

In Begins, Ra’s ah Ghul’s big plan is to fill Gotham with Scarecrow’s fear drug via a tainted water supply that they will render into gaseous form. Batman doesn’t stop this in time, and ah Ghul floods the Narrows, Gathom’s ghetto (which is likely being the douche-y one on Jersey Shore) with the toxin, causing mass hysteria. The cops absolutely cannot contain it, and everything goes to chaos. Now, Batman swoops into the Narrows, and everyone’s all hopeful that’s he invented Bat-Gas-Repellant. Nope, Batman just saves Rachel Dawes, his love interest. Yeah, ’cause fuck the poor, am I right?

Bruce Wayne 2012, motherfuckers.

He does absolutely nothing to contain the drug. No, Batman jumps onto his father’s prized rail-train system, one he spent millions of dollars on so that the poorer members of Gotham could get to work on time, and fights ah Ghul before he can use the machine on the city itself, where the people who matter are. Naturally, because he’s fucking Batman, Batman takes ah Ghul out by having Sgt. Gordon (his Bat-bitch) crash the Batmobile into the foundation of the train, and brings it crashing to the fucking ground with ah Ghul in it. So, no, Batman doesn’t care if he kills someone or wrecks his father’s pet project. He’s the FUCKING BATMAN and only wants to fight crime. Do a bunch of drugged hobos going all bat-shit (ha) on the town count as criminals? No? Just victims of severe human rights violations?

Fuck those guys, there’s CRIME TO FIGHT!!!

And sure, he takes out the Joker in the second film, but he does it by hacking into every cellphone Gotham, something something sonic, and creates an accurate visual of Joker’s building. You know, just to show how little Batman gives a shit about you, he hacks your phone and probably batsurbates to pictures of you at the beach. So, he swoops in and just starts punching the shit out of Joker’s suspected goons. But then he finds out that Joker’s goons aren’t really his goons, but the hostages he’s holding, and that the hostages tied to the pillars are really Joker’s goons, because the Joker is fucking out there, man. And Batman abandons the hostages, ’cause what the hell does he care? He goes to fight the Joker and, once again, manages to beat him. He spares the Joker this time, probably because they’ve realized their undying love for each other and discovers what Joker has turned Harvey into. Naturally, because FUCKING BATMAN, he arrives just in time to kill Harvey before he hurts Bat-bitch and his family.

Does he help the hostages? Nope. Does he even tell the cops that the “goons” (as in the guys they had been shooting at half-an-hour ago) are really the hostages? No, he just punches the ones that are there into a collective coma, and leave the hostages to die when another batch of SWAT shows up. He doesn’t have time to, and he doesn’t want to, because he isn’t fighting for Gotham. He’s fighting against crime.

“But,” you object, “how is that a bad thing?”

Again, a large portion of Gotham’s underclass are criminals, simply out of necessity, and Batman is beating the shit out of them. You don’t solve crime through violence, because that doesn’t fix the problem; you can’t hit an accountant and expect him to stop accounting. You need to provide him with a preferable alternative to accounting, be it suicide or literally anything else. The “hard on crime” approach has been debunked and smashed to pieces, but Batman exemplifies it. Does drop-kicking One-Eye Joe off a building give him a useful skill he can use to feed his family? No. It makes him No-Eye Joe. Batman is the avatar of a broken system, and he is only making Gotham a worse place with his tactics. Yes, in the fantasy world where he normally lives, Batman is fighting crazy psychopaths and otherworldly powers on a daily basis. Then, he is necessary. But in the real world where your average criminal has real world motives? Your real world fist is breaking his real world jaw and forcing him to pay real world hospital bills with real world money he doesn’t real world have. Batman isn’t a hero, he can’t be. He’s the violent defender of a broken system, a man who bends the fears of the people to keep them in line and keep them dying. He is no better, if not worse, than the Joker.

“Why… so… punchable?”

But that doesn’t mean that Gotham is damned. That wouldn’t adhere to reality; reality is a grim, shitty place, but it always, always is improving itself. What is bad today may be bad tomorrow, but eventually, it will be good. Humanity’s like that; we don’t just stop and let things suck. We fix them. We already saw that this glimmer of hope is consistent in Nolan’s films; in the absolutely beautiful boat scene, two groups of people are attempting to escape Gotham before Joker… Jokers it up. They escape on two boat things, one with a group of civilians and another with the inmates at a local prison. The boats stall midway, and Joker reveals what he has done; each boat contains a bomb that will kill all the passengers, and a detonator. The detonator blows the other boat up. If one group kills the other, they are saved. If neither kill the other, they both die. Arguments quickly break out on both boats, with the prison guards trying to keep the prisoners from killing the civilians while they themselves consider it, and the civilians arguing that the prisoners have lost their privilege to live (most of the prisoners are violent criminals, like murderers). As the deadline draws nearer, a civilian man seizes the detonator, as does a giant and openly violent criminal. They both seem ready to blow it up until… midnight, and the criminal casts away the detonator with the man also refusing to kill the others. The Joker decides to do it for them, but is attacked by Batman. So, in the end, it is revealed that not everyone is a Batman or a Joker; there are people who are pure all the way through. Seemingly, a majority of us, while we have the chaos within us, can fight it off and maintain the moral order of society. The Joker is wrong. That means that there is still hope for Gotham to win the day.

If Batman is the problem, and he is, then what is the solution?

Mecha-Facehuggers?

Ladies and gentlemen, this is Bane. Bane was first introduced to the comics in 1993 during the Knightfall storyline, in which he, a Hispanic bad-ass with access to super-strength serums who was born and raised in a (literal) prison, hunts Batman down and slowly destroys him because it’s fun. He is smart enough to deduce Batsy’s identity, and strong enough to wrestle Batman to the ground, and break his fucking back. This nearly kills him, but, because it’s a comic book, doesn’t quite get the job done. Now, let’s turn to reality, or Nolan’s version of it; this is Bane, a British terrorist with access to powerful anesthesia that makes him unable to feel pain, who leads a social revolution in Gotham, rebelling against the oppressive and destructive status quo and seeking to overthrow the upper class. He’s basically Super-Lenin. He is smart enough to destroy Batman mentally, and strong enough to destroy him physically, breaking Batman’s back, and, because reality, kills him.\

Bane will break Batman.

Many other bloggers have posited this theory, and I have to agree. However, they go on to say that John Blake (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, co-star of one of Nolan’s prior films, Mindfuckydreamawesome), a young cop and new face in the franchise, will become the new Batman. However, that would imply that the current Batman does not want to die and end Batman, which is stupid, because it violates the one rule of all Batman stories…

Batman never loses.

Never. Sure, ah Ghul burns down his mansion in Begins, but doesn’t that make his life easier? “Nope, sorry, can’t host that party, my house fucking burned d0wn.” And then, yes, the Narrows is gased, but Batman doesn’t give a shit. Remember, he doesn’t care about the Narrows; he cares about stopping ah Ghul. Which he does. In the second film, he only wants to take down the Joker; he does. Then Harvey; he does. Batman always gets what he wants, in every media adaptation, every time. Sure, his parents died, but that Bruce Wayne, not Batman. Batman was born that night. He never had parents. So, then, how does Batman win if Bane kills him?

This brings me back to my earlier points; the Scarecrow was never a villain, he was an “enabler”. All of the villains have one; ah Ghul had Scarecrow, the Joker had the crime bosses who hired him to kill Batman, and Dent had the Joker. Even Bane seems to have one in the form of Selina Kyle. These “enablers” are supporting character who supply the villains with the motivation and the materials to do their acts. So, then, if Batman is a villain, who is “enabler”? Batman has three.

Alfred Pennyworth.

Alfred enables Bruce Wayne to become Batman. He could easily argue with Bruce and convince him not to, but he doesn’t. He recognizes that Batman is therapeutic to Bruce, and cares only about that. He loves Bruce as a son, and Bruce loves him as a father.

Lucius Fox.

Lucius enables Batman to exist by virtue of designing all of his weaponry, as well as providing advice, because Morgan Freeman doesn’t act; he just plays Morgan Freeman.

James Gordon.

Gordon enables Batman to avoid conflict with the law enforcement, due to the Gotham PD’s lack of funding, skill, and honest cops, as well as his crush on Batman.

Batman literally could not exist without their help. And these three men have turned on him.

In the end of Dark Knight, Batman agrees to take the blame for Dent’s crimes, because something something people need a hero. This reflects two things; 1.) that Batman is not so entirely absorbed in his Batmanity that he can’t do the right thing, and 2.) that Gordon can no longer help Batman. Rather, he needs to hunt him, and destroy him. Also at the end of the film, when Batman uses the phone-grid-thing to track the Joker, he himself doesn’t use it; Lucius Fox does. And, because Morgan Freeman is better than you, Fox refuses to work for Bruce as long as it exists. Of course, after Fox finishes using it, it explodes, but that already shows that he no longer trusts Wayne’s judgment. Bruce can no longer count on his help. Finally, from what we saw in the trailer, one can deduce that Alfred no longer necessarily approves of Batman either. Bam, all three enablers gone, meaning that there is literally no one left in the world that Batman exists, except for himself. But, wait? Nolan said that it has been 8 years since the last movie? And that Batman has to come out of retirement?

Batman is dead, gone, by the new movie. He’s faltered somehow, ceased to be. He’s saved Gotham from the change it so badly needs, and now he can stop. That is, until Bane comes in, and throws Gotham into chaos. Bane wants change, but he wants it in the wrong way; he wants to destroy Gotham and slaughter the innocent. This is not what needs to be done, rather, this is the chaos the Joker advocated finally coming to a boil. The oppressed are raging against the “planners”, just like Joker predicted they would. And Batman will need to rise again to defend the “planners”, but he’s different this time. He’s no longer Batman, he’s Bruce Wayne. He’s seen life as a civilian, he knows how Gotham fears the Batman. And he, being still a good man (we saw this when he took the blame for Two-Face), will reject the twisted and wicked visage of Batman the only way he can. Batman will dominate Wayne if he allows him to, so Wayne must not allow Batman a means to. Bruce will not want to be the symbol of fear he was, he will not want to hurt Gotham as he has done in the past.

Batman will allow Bane to kill him in order to save Gotham.

And Bane himself will be destroyed in the process. The day will be saved through Batman’s sacrifice, the fantastical creatures that keep Gotham from being a normal city will fall, and reality can seize hold. Gotham will be saved. Now, many say that Gordon-Levitt must be taking the cowl over, because Batman is a symbol and he’s the only name they recognize on the cast list. But Batman is a symbol of fear, of evil, and a new Batman will only make things worse. What, then, will become of Blake? Well, did you ever consider that he could be a normal cop? I mean, the Bat-verse has those.

Also, he looks way too derpy to be Batman.

So, who then is the hero of these movies? If not Batman nor Blake, then who? Well, it is a simple reality in a movie about reality…

There is no hero of the Batman movies, because there are no superheroes in real life.

Sorry to burst your bubble, guys. Also, I swear to god if any of you spoil a single goddamn thing about what really happens in the movies, I will end you.

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I have a Tumblr now.

I don’t want a Tumblr, but one of my readers made me get one. He skulks around in the comment section, and will no doubt leave a sarcastic comment. You can also stalk me through Twitter. I ask that all of you who have access to these sites follow me, so I know which of you to hate.

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An Abridged History of These United States of America, Part 2: Attack of the Spanish

Recently, it was Independence Day for us Americans, better known as the Fourth of July, and even better-er known outside of America as “What?”. It was a day of reflection, of honoring our ancestor, and of shooting things into the sky and making monkey noises while they explode. WWII, basically, but with less innocent Asian people dying.

Unless that’s your thing, I guess.

So, today, we resume our mini-series on American history, and this time we actually get to the American part. Last time we covered the Tudors and the settlement of the New World by the Spanish, and also gave a slight nod to the affairs of the French at the same time. Today, we pick up in 1584, with England under the control of Elizabeth I, dead set on colonizing the ever-loving fuck out of America, and Spain under the power of Phillip II, who had previously been married to Elizabeth’s predecessor, Mary I. You may remember that Mary and Elizabeth’s father, Henry VIII, while being a horny fat-ass, also happened to totally destroy Roman Catholicism in the British Empire (which had annexed Wales towards his death). You may also remember that he did this because he wanted to divorce Mary’s mom and fuck Elizabeth’s mom legally. Naturally, this meant Mary was still a Catholic, and probably a tad resentful of her father.

Haters gonna’ hate.

So, when Mary and her Catholic Spanish husband, son of one Henry’s greatest foes, Charles V, took power, Mary attempted to re-establish Catholicism. When she died 5 years later, Elizabeth, unmarried, took power and ripped the Pope a new asshole (which he promptly covered with a hat twice his size), and made Protestantism the official religion of England. She, much like her father, also took complete control over the Church of England. But that leaves Philip II, booted from his claim as King of England, and his religion shit on by his up-start sister-in-law. I’d be a tad pissed if I were him.

His hat grows with his rage.

Now, imagine both of them are trying to put up cities on the same plot of land, and there are also French people there. It’s like putting francium in a tub of water, folks, and it’s about to blow.

I just made a small particle joke.

Now, Elizabeth is famous for going her entire life without marrying, so famous, in fact, that she would become known as “the Virgin Queen”.

Bull-fucking-shit.

No. Just no. I refuse to do it.

As I’ve made quite clear, the Tudor family was incredibly fucked-up, emphasis on the “fuck”. You may remember that Catherine Parr, final wife of Henry and the one who managed to get Elizabeth in line for the throne, had had a successor in the form of Jane Seymour, the only one of Henry’s other wives that he didn’t kick out/execute. In the short stint between Henry’s death and Mary’s rise to power, Henry’s only surviving son, the pre-teen Edward VI, ruled over England. Problem is, he was 9, and his decrees would have extended Ben 10 for another season or some other stupid bullshit. As such, Jane’s brother, also name Edward, was put in charge of actually running the kingdom (because, while they may have been horny, people back then weren’t dumb-asses), a position known as the “Lord Protector” (which would later take on a whole new meaning, but again, foreshadowing). Lord Protector Edward also had another brother, Thomas. Now, here we get back to Catherine, who, after Henry’s death, married Thomas. Because marrying the brother of your husband’s wife isn’t creepy at all. So, basically, the English were Mormons. Anyways, Elizabeth lived with Parr and Thomas for a couple of years, as she was 14 and 14-year-olds are almost as dumb as 9-year-olds.

Before we continue, I’m going to show you a picture of Thomas, and I want you tell me the first world that comes into your head.

Pedophile!

I hope you didn’t actually scream that at your computer screen. I can’t hear you through the Internet, dumb-ass.

So, yeah, Thomas started flirting, touching, and generally being a total Tudor all up on Elizabeth. Now, rational person (ha!), if your spouse is fondling a teenage girl, what would you do? Join in? Totally join in, right? No, not join in. What the fuck is wrong with you, Catherine Parr? “Catherine Parr, rather than confront her husband over his inappropriate activities, joined in. Twice she accompanied him in tickling Elizabeth, and once held her while he cut her black gown ‘into a thousand pieces.'”

Sort of adds a whole new dimension to the “get Elizabeth in line for the throne” thing, huh? Then, one day, Catherine found Thomas and Elizabeth actually fucking, and apparently that wasn’t OK, so she sent Elizabeth away. Then, she died, giving birth to Thomas’s child. As Thomas was a creepy douche, rather than raise his child, he decided to go after Elizabeth again. Finally, Lord Protector Edward, apparently the only person in the universe with some goddamned sense, killed the bastard, Henry-style. This incident, it can only be assumed, had a heavy impact on Elizabeth, and many scholars agree that he may have been the reason she never married.

But don’t take that to mean she never had sex. Oh no, believe me, she had quite a few, uh, “consultants”. Also, apparently, a thing for pointy beards.

Bow-chicka-wow-wow.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is Sir Walter Raleigh, who earned that “Sir” title the “hard” way. Raleigh was your typical conquistador in the vein of Cortes, or rather, he wanted to be. In 1584, after exerting some “political pressure”, Elizabeth granted Raleigh a charter to colonize the fuck out of some New World in the name of England. The following year, after a previous expedition scouted the place out the year before, Raleigh sent out an expedition hell-bent to colonize to Roanoke Island, just off the coast of modern-day North Carolina. Five ships set out, but a massive storm near Portugal separated the ship containing the fleet’s leader, Sir Richard Grenville, from the rest. Grenville’s ship, the Tiger would meet the others in Puerto Rico, where they also decided to raid some shit and build a fort. This “raiding” was known as privateering, and it was basically state-sanctioned piracy conducted on the Spanish, because fuck those damn dirty immigrants. Oh, wait, those are the Mexicans. Never mind. Anyway, the Elizabeth (because egomania), another ship of the fleet, found the Tiger soon after, and they set off together to build some goddamn colonies. While heading there, the dumbfucks in the Tiger hit a shoal, destroying their food supplies. They managed to fix the ship, and soon met back up with two of the other three ships (the missing ship, the Red Lion, had decided “fuck colonies” and went off to, you guessed it, raid shit up in Canada). Somehow, the four ships ended up in Virginia, where they just stomped around for a while, before accusing the natives of stealing a cup, which was basis for the destruction of their entire village. Silverware is a big fucking deal, you guys.

Their destruction-boners satiated, they found their way to Roanoke, where they built another fort. Grenville got the fuck out of there while they built, off to go replace the supplies they had lost being fucking awful sailors. He promised to return in April of 1586, marking the first anniversary of their goddamn idiotic voyage. He never came. Why, you might ask?

So, the Spanish hardly appreciated being England’s glorified raiding-based sex toy. They were a bit busy, however, fighting off a revolution in the Spanish Netherland, which was the last time anyone cared about the Dutch. Protestants were growing very powerful in the Netherlands, and the English, being themselves Protestants and enemies of the Spanish, naturally backed this cause. Many Europeans secretly suspected that England was a Catholic nation being oppressed by the Protestants, which was hardly wrong, and already reviled them.

In 1568, Sir Francis Drake and Sir John Hawkins, went searching for slaves in Africa, because that kind of shit got you nobility back then. However, the Spanish, taking a break from being raging dickbags in the Americas, intercepted the shit and beat the ever-loving Jesus Christ out of them. They sank and captured many boats, which, by the way, still had the kidnapped African guys on them, so maybe Spain wasn’t the good guy after all. This, naturally, pissed the English off, and both Hawkins and Drake turned to “privateering” to get revenge. Said privateers, in response, captured several Spanish ships bound for the Netherlands, where they were still staving off a rebellion. Meanwhile, Elizabeth supported the Protestants (also called Hugeunots) in the social conflict called the French Wars of Religion, as well as the largely Protestant Dutch Revolt. Philip, in turn, lended his support to the French Catholics and an Irish Catholic rebellion. Seriously, England, Spain, just fuck and get it over with already.

In 1584, Spain and the Catholic-again France signed a treaty to join together against the Protestants, and the Spanish-backed Catholic League presented Elizabeth the option to “protest”. Elizabeth “protested” by spitting in Spain’s metaphorical eye and siding with the Dutch full-on, giving them military aide. Philip, naturally, assumed this as a declaration of war.

In 1585, Drake got his Viking on, and sacked three Spanish cities in Florida. While this was happening, England joined the Eighty Year War on the side of the Dutch (we’ll come back to this once we finally get to the actual United States part). Thus began the Anglo-Spanish War and, quite frankly, the fact that there has only been one is goddamn impressive.

Naturally, this threw a bit of a wrench in the plans for Roanoke, so Sir Francis McFuckspain came to their rescue and they hauled ass back to England. And, because God has a sense of humor that completely disregards human life, Grenville and his relief fleet arrived immediately after. This obvious genius headed home with his head hung low, leaving behind some of his buddies to maintain an English presence in the New World, albeit one limited to an island in North Carolina that apparently lacks the materials for cups, like hands.

The next year, in 1587, Raleigh dispatched on of the previous colonists, John White (note the lack of sir), and 150 others back to the island, because fuck learning lessons. They were pretty much rolling incestuous sex back then, they didn’t have time for this “thinking” bullshit. Once they got there, White (an artist, by the way), was made Governor. Presumably he was really good at painting? Anyways, Governor van Gogh and co. set off to find Grenville’s soldiers, and found only a single skeleton. You see, right about now is when you panic. Now is when you run off and never come back. Even teenagers in horror movies understand that, and the movie is based entirely around their horrific deaths. But, no, not Governor White. He isn’t in the mood for any of your skeleton time-wasting bullshit. He had some goddamn water lilies to paint. Moreover, the fleet’s commander refused to leave the islands until they had a colony right goddamn fuck now. Going back to the horror movie, you just kill this guy and fucking move on. Seriously. He’s obviously the murderer, or at least infected with zombie syphilis or some shit. DO NOT TRUST THE MAN TELLING YOU TO STAY ON THE MURDER-ISLAND WITH THE OMINOUS SKELETONS.

Governor White managed to make friends with the natives, the Croatoans, presumably by either a.) marrying their daughter in some Disney bullshit, b.) painting them a fresco, or c.) not pillaging and raping them over silverware. Revolutionary no matter which. A true progressive. The tribes who had actually been attacked over trivial bullshit refused to engage in peace negotiations, which, yeah, no shit. Around this time, White’s daughter managed to conceive a child, the first English one to be born on American soil; Virginia Dare. Yes, the first proper American was a woman. Scandalous, right?

Meanwhile, some people were still a little miffed about being raided because of a fucking cup, and they took out this frustration by a murdering a random colonist that no one had ever heard of before and never would again, sort of like the Netherlands of people. Needless to say, the colonists were pissing themselves, and White, in one of his more questionable decisions (of which there are many), decided to head home to England and get them to come fix this shit. Presumably, his boat was fueled by his own fear piss.

“She’s so beauti- let’s get the fuck out of here!”

White arrived late that year after a treacherous journey, and his ship was soon seized to go fight the Spanish Armadas. You see, Philip finally decided to unload his spite on Elizabeth, and, with the permission of the (unkidnapped) Pope, Sixtus V, to collect crusade taxes, fathered his troops. He even pulled many out of the Netherlands to help him fight, and they set off to England. Elizabeth’s troops, through some kind of luck, managed to fight them off and send them fleeing by the way of Ireland’s waters. Somehow, likely because of the leprechauns, mighty winds and storms blew the Armada onto the Irish coast, and the weakened and scattered Armada were crushed by the English. The English took this as a sign that God was a Protestant, despite that making no sense at all from a historical perspective. The jet stream, maybe, but God? This lead to a massive turn-out in the terms of conversion, and gave England the balls to try and work with Portugal to drive the Spanish out of their little nation. Needless to say, that failed, because people in Portugal don’t speak English, they speak Brazilese.

White had had the misfortune of landing right during the Spanish invasion, so, when his boat was seized, he was forced to settle for two smaller boats to take him and the supplies back to the colony. However, because Sir Francis McFuckspain was such an inspirational man and not at all a violent asshole, the ships’ captains decided to go pillage the Spanish. They failed, obviously, because they were puny pieces of shit, and White was captured. They managed to escape and fled to England, the Spanish taking their supplies for the war effort.

“I WANT YOU to be an idiotic asshole and get your food seized by our troops!”

It wasn’t until 1590, with the war against the Spanish still raging, that White was able to get a boat to take him back. He landed on what would have been Virginia’s third birthday, and found nothing. No people. No homes, no fort. Not even a corpse or something to warn them. The inconsidereate assholes left behind a simple carving of the letters “CRO” in a tree, and the haunting knowledge that never would we know what happened to them…

…Except the obvious solution. You see, in addition to the “CRO” thing, there was also a more complete carving, pictured here.

“Words? What kind of pussy leaves words? Where the hell are my skeletons?”

Now, I understand several of my readers are not American, and thus this is their first time hearing about a lot of this. But, seriously, read that text. “CROATOAN”. What the hell do you think happened? If your answer is ever, ever “they hopped in a boat and drowned”, then 1.) fuck you and 2.) you should be a historian, because people seriously believe that. Now, obviously, there are two things that could have happened; the starving colonists decided that waiting was bullshit, and moved away, or the Croatoans threw out everything they had done thus far and gave the English the ass-kicking they deserved.

OK, there’s actually only one theory that makes any goddamn sense. You see, White, in a rare moment of not having his head up his own asshole, told the colonists to carve a special symbol called the Maltese cross into a specific tree to tell White that their destruction was not consensual, like a 16th century rape whistle.

Personally, I think screaming “RAPE!” would be more effective and less time consuming, but whatever.

Well, there was no cross. Coupled with the fact that the houses had been dismantled, not destroyed, White assumed they fled to nearby Hatteras Island, which was the home of the Croatoan, and integrated with the native populace. Rather than going to murder them for mixing races, like a good 16th century grandfather (or 21st century grandfather), White went home. Largely because of the storms threatening to destroy their ships, but really, your daughter is on that island, man. Jesus. You’re no Liam Neeson.

And still, the war continued. The Spanish altered their trading lines and built a dozen powerful new galleons known as The Twelve Apostles, because subtlety died on the cross, and both sides continued privateering. Grenville was captured in 1591 by the Spanish, and died shortly after due to wounds received in the battle. The previous year, Spanish infantry managed to kick some Protestant ass in French, which pissed the English off and drove the French-Protestant resistance out of Brittany. Four years after Grenville went kaput, Hawkins and Drake attacked Spain’s colonies in the New World and received a sound ass-kicking, before dying of disease. Whether or not this was an STD they both contracted due to being horrible, horrible murdering rapists is unknown. The year before, another Irish rebellion against the Queen began, Spanish-backed once more. However, in 1596, the English and Dutch did manage to sack the Spanish province of Cadiz, which did little save irk Phillip II, which is all they really needed anyways. Soon, Spain invaded Normandy and tried to use that as a kick-off for an attack on England. Unfortunately for the French, Nazis and wheelchairs hadn’t been invented yet, so there was no D-Day for them. That year and the following, while England was distracted with the Irish, Spain launched two more Armadas, because the third time’s the charm, right? Nope, actually, both failed due to the weather. Again. Seriously, Zeus didn’t take sides, he just liked fucking with them in a sense different from his usual one.

The only man even creepier than Henry VIII.

In 1598, some other guy named Henry IV (for the sake of difference, we’ll call him by the French equivalent, Henri), the French king since 1589, converted to Catholicism, cementing his contested throne. He and Spain signed a peace treaty that same year which ended the aforementioned War of Religions, as well as the Spanish presence in France. In September, the treaty having been signed in May, Philip II died, and his son, Philip III claimed the throne. Now, we don’t have time for a Henry VIII-esque evaluation of Philip II’s creepy sex problems, simply because it isn’t important, but I feel I should mention this. Philip III was birthed by Philip II’s fourth and final wife, Anna of Austria, who happened to be his niece. So, I’m sorry about judging you, Henry, you’re actually a pretty normal guy. For the time. Philip III, also called Philip the Pious, displayed waning interest in murdering the English, largely due to Spain’s faltering economy. Now you know why the Spanish did not establish the United States; when their economy fails, they stop fighting people. Philip sent a final armada to England, this time simply to help the rebels in southern Ireland, but they were quickly destroyed once they arrived due to the incompetence of the locals. The rebellion received no more help from Spain, and were forced to surrender in 1603.

Now, let’s backtrack here for a while, and yes, we’re talking about the Tudors again. You see, back when Mary (Philip II’s wife, as you may recall) died, Elizabeth was not immediately queen. No, there were many contenders to the throne, and the French king had his own candidate. Despite Mel Gibson’s blue-faced attempts to destroy their culture with idiocy, Scotland was still a place back then, and independent of England. It had its own king, James V, and James V was dedicated to remaining independent, despite the attempts of everyone’s favorite adulterating sex maniac. In 1543, long before all of this Spain bullshit, Henry VIII and Scotland signed a peace treaty between the two, in which James promised Henry that his daughter, also named Mary, would marry Henry’s son, Edward. However, a Scottish cardinal who supported the French and the Catholics (being a cardinal), rose to a position of prominence, and the Scottish grew fearful that Henry would do something drastic. Now, we all know that it would be completely out of character for Henry to do something stupid and insane, but they were dumb and Scottish. Mary and her mother were escorted to a castle far away from the border, and Mary was made queen at the age of six months, as her father had died in 1542 of a fever he contracted during battle. Meanwhile, the English attacked Scotland-bound French traders, prompting the Scottish Parliament to reject England’s treaty and basically agree to die. War erupted again, and Edward Seymour (pre-Lord Protector), raided the town near Mary’s castle. Her family fled once more. Followed by another massive defeat in September, 1547, the terrified Scottish turned to the French. Henry II of France proposed a new marriage-based treaty to the Scottish, agreeing to lend the Scottish military support and grant Mary shelter, on the condition she marry his son, Francis II. Mary’s guardians agreed.

So it was that, when Mary of England died, Mary of Scotland, who was the oldest descendant of Henry VIII’s sister, attempted to claim the throne. Despite heavy Catholic support, she never managed to seize it. Soon, Henry II died, and Francis II became King of France. Meanwhile, Mary’s mother, who had stayed behind to rule in Scotland, faced heavy opposition from Scottish lords, who happened to be Protestant. The only way that Mary’s mother, Mary of Guise (Jesus Christ, so many Mary’s), was able to maintain power was through the aide of French troops. Soon, the English were invited to seize Scotland by these lords, and the French troops already in Scotland were crushed. Due to the growing Huguenot (Protestant) uprising in France, Mary Stuart could not help her mother and she soon died. The French could not provide any more troops due to a treaty that forbid them from doing so, and also recognized Elizabeth as Queen of England.

After Francis II died in 1560, Mary Stuart returned to Scotland, having lost her claim as Queen of France. From here, her relations with Elizabeth deteriorated, and she was imprisoned multiple times. Mary planned to have Elizabeth assassinated so that she could take the throne, but this “Bablington Plot” was discovered, and she was executed. Now, I tell you this because Elizabeth, due to her lack of marriage, never had any children before she died in 1603. As such, Parliament went back and recognized that Mary Stuart did have a relation to Henry, and thus Elizabeth, which meant that her son, King James VI of Scotland, was now King James I of England.

The King of England, seen here looking like Mort from Madagascar.

King James was a Protestant, but he believed in the concept of Christendom, the belief that all of Europe should be unified as a single Christian kingdom (I would like to get into the history of this at some later date), and did not wish to make war his brethren. As such, in 1604, he negotiated peace with Philip III, ending the Anglo-Spanish Wars about 20 years too late, asshole.

Two years later, a couple of entrepreneurs decided to try colonies again, and Spain couldn’t do shit about it. The Virginia Company (named for England’s claim in America, which was in turn named for absolutely-not-a-virgin Elizabeth) dispatched three ships to their titular colony, the Susan Constant, the Godspeed, and the Discovery, lead by Captain Christopher Newport. After pussying out four times and going back to Puerto Rico, the cowards finally made their way to Chesapeake Bay. There were no women aboard, because sexism, despite the entire goddamn place being named after a female queen. They dubbed nearby capes Cape Henry and Cape Charles, after the children of King James and gave a little prayer, before actually doing stuff. They chose an island in the James River (named for egomania) to build a fort, under the advice of the Virginia Company, which warned that they should be prepared for attack from the French, Spanish, and ungrateful Dutch bastards. It was also chosen by the Virginian natives, largely members of the hostile Powhatan Confederacy, did not live there.

Soon enough, they all realized they were fucked, and why? Because the Powhatan Confederacy did not live there. Jamestown was a giant swamp, meaning that little-to-no animals ever tried to live there, because, unlike Christopher Newport, they weren’t fucking idiots. Mosquitos were also rampant, and filled with malaria. Just, so much malaria. This infection spread quickly, and killed at least 135 settlers.

They had arrived with 104. Yeah.

Despite landing on an unpopulated shithole, the English were soon attacked by the Paspahegh, probably just because they were drunk off their asses and wanted to fuck with the new guys’ heads. I can tell they were drunk, because they only managed to kill one of the mentally handicapped English and injure a measly eleven more. Not long after, Newport fled… I mean, “left to get supplies”, taking the Susan Constant with him. By the way, the Constant was their only warship, the other two were just dinghies with cannons strapped to them sometimes. Good job, Newport. Good job. Now I understand why he also failed to earn a knighthood. Now, we can’t blame it all on Newport, of course; Jamestown was governed by a nine-man-council, including Newport (as captain of the Constant), Bartholomew Gosnold (as captain of theGodspeed), John Ratcliffe (as captain of the Discovery), as well as a man named John Smith (as a former captain arrested for being a mutinous dick). This Council was appointed by the absolute fucking geniuses at the Virginia Company, so blame them for selecting a bunch of stupid assholes to become some of the most important figures in world history.

But, anyways, Newport bolted the fuck out of there with a ship full of (literal) fool’s gold, leaving the colonists with a dinky-piece-of-shit fort and the Discovery, smallest and most useless of the three. Whatever happened to the Godspeed, I don’t know. It might have stolen a spoon or something. Newport returned a year later, likely after a receiving a bitch-slap from the Virginia Company, to find the colony in a worse condition than he had left it. As they were obviously unprepared and in a shitty location, the wise choice to leave them simmer for a year and just see what happened. Well, death happened. A lot. And cannibalism, because what else was there? He brought with him few supplies, but he did tow in 70 new corpses to eat, but forgot to kill them and brought them breathing. So, what did he do?

Left right away, this time to actually bring supplies. Only problem is, when he came back 10 months later, he brought 70 more people (this time with some women, because they bored with gay orgies), including craftsmen, but guess what? No supplies. Apparently, it was the colonists’ fault for not becoming wizards while Newport was away. What a bunch of muggle assholes. So, anyways, this second supply trip also carried a message to the colonists; they were to immediately pay for their voyage, give the Company a lump of gold, and one of the Roanoke colonists, despite them having disappeared twelve fucking years ago in a completely different part of Virginia. In this time, John Smith had somehow taken charge of the colony, and he replied with the following…

“When you send again I entreat you rather send but thirty Carpenters, husbandmen, gardiners, fishermen, blacksmiths, masons and diggers up of trees, roots, well provided; than a thousand of such awe have: for except wee be able both to lodge them and feed them, the most will consume with want of necessaries before they can be made good for anything.”

This was basically the gentleman’s equivalent of “Go fuck yourself”, and stirred up a bit of controversy, because a.) this was rude somehow and b.) manners still matter when you’re starving to death.

Basically, a drunk hobo.

The Virginia Company replied with what I always do when someone insults me; food and a new warship. This new ship, called the Sea Venture, was captained by Newport, because the Virginia Company was run by a bunch of failed abortions with fetal alcohol syndrome who had been dropped on their heads and kicked around as children like they were fucking soccer balls. The Sea Venture left from Plymouth, England alongside eight other ships, all stocked up to their dicks with goodies.

While Newport had been away with his little supply trips and before he was the leader, Smith spent his time exploring the bay. He managed to organize a few trade agreements with the locals, presumably because they had cups. However, these Nanesmonds were just as dumb as the English, and failed to mention to the other Powhatan that no wait, guys, these pale morons aren’t half as stabby as the others. Because of this, Smith and co. were assaulted by Powhatan soldiers on a trading trip, and his friends were all murdered. This might have had something to do with Smith actually using his Native guide as a human shield. No, seriously, that is a thing that happened. The Powhatan took a time out of their days to actually write down how much of a dick Smith was. He still managed to catch, though, because “dick” does not mean “smart”. He managed to bribe his captor with a compass, because greed, and was able to live.

His kidnapped, Opechancanough, brought Smith before his half-brother, Chief Powhatan. Powhatan was the leader of (obviously) the whole Confederacy, but, for the sake of difference, we’ll call him Wahunsunacock. That his actual, honest-to-God, real name, by the way. You know what? We’ll just call him Sunny. Because really, Wahunsunacock? I’m not typing that over and over. Anyways, Sunny was not so easily (stupidly) swayed, so he decided to have Smith executed. Smith, however, was saved by Sunny’s daughter, Matoka, also known as “Pocahontas” which meant “playful mischief”. One can only assume sparing Smith was just a prank. Matoka was nothing like a Disney princess, and was actually an important figure, but we’ll get back to her later.

‘”Stop shitting on my shoulder.”

James was released, and came home in time for Newport’s first sorry excuse for “supplies”.

In 1609, Smith managed to injure himself by blowing up his own bag of gun powder, making him officially dumber than Plaxico Burress. He got shipped back to England, where he wrote two books on Jamestown (then called “James His Towne” because fuck you, names), A True Relation and The Proceedings of the English Colony of Virginia, which basically amounted to him going “Nuh-uh you guys, I was totally good at my job”. Their historical accuracy is questionable at best, and, in fact, Smith may have made the whole Pocahontas story up.

But that doesn’t mean she wasn’t a real person, quite the opposite. It simply meant she was so awesome, Smith just had to be associated with her. In reality, they very rarely met.

Matoka served as an ambassador-of-sorts between Jamestown and the Powhatan, bring the colonists supplies after they burned down their fort during the winter, because they were fucking idiots. And, like most idiots, they were violent, so they thanked the Powhatan by raiding them. For English weaponry. Which they did not have. Because the colonists were the English. The Powhatan were the Natives. How did they get that confused? Naturally, because she wasn’t an idiot, Matoka tried to resolve this conflict peacefully by talking to Smith. Her fatal mistake was, obviously, talking to Smith. They got nowhere, and relations between the colony and the Confederacy grew ever more strained.

Between 1609 and 1610, a period known as “The Starving Times” began. In a place where everybody was already starving, that is a big fucking deal. You see, originally, Jamestown was not going to grow their own food. Based on what happened in Roanoke, they decided instead to depend on the local Natives, exploiting their child-like trust of everyone and everything. In case the English have forgotten, shooting at things is not nice. Shooting bad. Hugs good. Shooting bad. Hugs good.

“Oops. Egg on my face.”

In 1609, a drought ravaged Jamestown’s already meager supply of crops. Meanwhile, Newport, that genius old cat, decided to drive the Sea Venture right into the eye of a fucking hurricane. Presumably, he thought he could ride and/or shoot it. He was shipwrecked in Bermuda, and the mere fact that he didn’t end up Marvin the Martian’s science-bitch is a miracle. The Sea Venture had been carrying all of the supplies, because the Virginia Company can’t tie their own shoes, and the seven surviving ships carried other colonists, because the Virginia Company can’t add 2 and 2. And, since God was definitely not a Protestant, these ships made it, and exasperated the dying colony even further.

Right about now, I imagine, the Virginia Company was starting to think this was all a very, very stupid idea. Which it was.

This was about when Smith was injured and sent home, which likely saved the colonists from drowning on dry land. Oh, by the way, how the hell do you even get a drought in the middle of a goddamn swamp? That means Mother Nature is going out of her way to screw you. And, because the Natives are very much in tune with Nature’s wishes, Sunny decided to screw the colonies too, and decreased trading with them.

“Hey, assholes, you getting the message yet?”

After surviving a difficult winter, Jamestown received “relief” in the form of the Sea Venture‘s crew, who arrived in two ships they created from scratch. They probably would have come sooner, but Newport was contractually obligated to Gilligan it up and ruin their ventures, likely comically. Or, at least, that’s what I assume. Jamestown was still in hard times, though; less than 100 colonists, most of them ill, were still alive, and the utter visionaries from the Sea Venture brought few supplies from their shipwreck. Honestly, killing them when they arrived was their best option. Finally wising up to how idiotic this whole thing was, the colonists and the crew loaded up on their shitty little shits of shitty shitness and decided to sail home to England. While sailing down the James River, Satan stopped laughing hysterically and threw them a bone, a really massive bone, in the form of Thomas West, Baron De La Warr. West captained three mighty supply ships and convened the fleeing colonists on the River, likely giving them a stern look and kicking their asses until they agreed to go back.

Jamestown’s Jesus. Their fat, fat Jesus.

Thomas West quickly claimed his position as governor of Jamestown, and today is known as “the Lord Delaware”, because, I don’t know about you, but I’m not typing all of those spaces. Delaware brought with him not only supplies, but also more colonists (good idea, ass-fuck), which included, shockingly, a doctor. How the fucking fuck did they not think of that earlier? Oh, yeah; they were completely hopeless idiots. West had been sent by the Virginia Company due to a landfall of new support in England due to, and you’ll never guess it, John fucking Smith, the most violent idiot in the history of mankind. Seemingly, he was a better author than raider. It’s the opposite with me, but moving on from my terrible, terrible crimes in Cardiff, you’ll hear about those in the news soon. Unless you’re Welsh. You’ll hear nothing ever, ever again.

In 1611, while the two makeshift ships (called the Patience and the Deliverance) returned to Bermuda to find supplies, the colonists just kept. Fucking. Dying. That was their pastime. We have baseball nowadays, they had dying. Needless to say, this had a major impact on their economy, and investors were seeking to pull out of the virgin lands. It took intervention from King James and promises of westward expansion to convince enough people to help keep the whole thing running. This may have had something to do with Jamestown’s sole export being glass, which would drive me to suicide, too. A man named John Rolfe changed that. You see, though there was tobacco on the island (Nicotiana rustica), the ever-so-discerning tastes of Britain found them disgusting, ungentlmanly, and God save the King. Rolfe grew tobacco, but not rustica, for Rolfe had arrived in Jamestown with the crew of the Sea Venture, and had found a new species (Nicotiana tabacum) in Bermuda. This new breed, it seemed, was more difficult to grow (Rolfe was the only one who displayed any interest in growing it), but was wildly popular once it was exported. Rolfe became a very wealthy man growing it, and the others soon began cashing in on the business themselves, bringing prosperity at last to Jamestown. Rolfe managed to score with Matoka, and they were married on April 24, 1614. Back in 1611, Rolfe had moved away from the main part of Jamestown and built his own city, where Matoka was held when she was captured and converted, and where the two would meet (because that’s a totally normal first date). This city was called Henricus, after your new favorite historical figure, and it would become a successful settlement in its own right until 1622, when a third of the Virginians were killed by the Natives over two bowls and a fork.

Also in 1611, the social conditions of Jamestown were permanently altered by a man named Sir Thomas Dale, who was basically given a knighthood for being a massive flaming cock. He was sent to serve as the deputy-governor, but ended up usurping West. Dale instantly began renovating Jamestown and instituted a legal system called “Dale’s Code”, which Wikpedia describes as having “pitiless severity”, the closest it can come to calling someone an unrelenting douche. Dale’s Code established martial law in Jamestown, despite their military consisting of whatever starved asshole no longer had the willing to live, placing, of course, Dale, in charge. Dale immediately started executing colonists for the most stupid and random bullshit, because that’s exactly what they needed; more dead people. Dale continued to enforce this fascistic dickery until 1616, when he and the Rolfes were summoned by James’s wife, Anne of Denmark, to England. While there, Queen Anne went out of her way to portray Pocahontas as some kind of rich forest princess, despite it being very likely that Matoka did not want to be there, due to her, you know, being kidnapped and forcibly baptized by her husband before they even knew each other’s names. It was all basically one giant PR trip, and the awful thing was, it worked. New interest was drummed up, and James returned to England. Matoka had died in England, due to a disease probably caused by being constantly surrounded by the douche-radiation emitting from the English’s assholes. Immediately, because he was English, James married a new woman, and focused on his tobacco again. He died 6 years later, and his son, Thomas (who had stayed in England to receive an education), returned to Virginia at age 8. Due to Rolfe’s creation of a new industry, the first African slaves in Virginia were delivered in 1618. Virginia’s House of Burgesses, a group of democratically elected leaders akin to the modern day House of Representatives, were soon founded, and the English began to colonize like bunny rabbits.

All was good, until 1622, when Opechancanough (Compass-Man), now leader of the Powhatan, lead a series of surprise guerrilla attacks on the unsuspecting English on the morning of March 22. 347 English were killed, and places like Henricus were completely destroyed. Jamestown itself survived due to the intervention of an Indian boy and his “guardian” (wink wink), Richard Pace, who had discovered the plan due to the inherent psychic links that all Native Americans share. This lead to a massive retaliation that set the down for Anglo-Native relations for… ever.

Two years later, King James abolished Virginia’s right to self-governance, and took personal control of the colony, because he was still sort-of a Tudor.

in 1698, after the capital Jamestown burned down four fucking times, the Virginians realized that God still wanted to murder them, but continued to govern the colony from Jamestown’s college, William and Mary. Five students there (likely arrogant dicks) proposed that the capital be permanently moved to a town called Middle Plantation where had been temporarily several times before, because, again, four fucking times. They argued that, if they moved, everyone would stop dying from mosquito-malaria, and that Middle Plantation still provided the essential port for docking ships, due to its creek-based connection to both the York and James Rivers. The House of Burgesses reluctantly agreed, and the capital moved in 1699. Middle Plantation was immediately given its more familiar name of Williamsburg, after the current British king, William III, and Jamestown’s saga, the 17th century, and this post, came to a close.

The moral of this story, kids, is that if God hates you enough, you can succeed simply through spite at your creator. So, go ahead and commit a massive genocide, it will all work out in the end. I know it did for me, Wales.

Posted in American History, An Abridged History of..., Fourth of July Mini-Series, Politics, Religion | Tagged | 1 Comment

Damn you, Team Fortress 2, I have a blog!

Sorry about the delay with the next part of the American History series, I’ve been distracted. Its a damn long post, covering the entirety of Elizabeth’s reign and their endeavors in the New World. I’m fairly proud of it.

Unfortunately, due to the time-consuming nature of these posts, we won’t be continuing this series of “An Abridged History of…” past President Washington. However, I have decided that, since the last post seemed successful and I enjoyed doing it, that I would like to do something like this again. I would also like to do normal blog stuff, so it won’t start immediately, but I would like to do more versions of “An Abridged History of…” when this one ends. Sort of like a new season. I would also like to explore other parts of world history, so I won’t limit it to America. If you have any suggestions for this sequel series, let me know in the comments. I was thinking the American Civil War, but that was a very complicated event and I don’t know if I would be able to handle it. I also like ancient history, though I know little about it, and all of this delicious foreshadowing about a certain individual might not get touched by the current series, and that would just be awful.

Finally, if you want to get pissed at someone, blame Valve for making the greatest video game ever and then letting cheap assholes like me download it for free.

I wouldn’t press the issue, though.

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