Drunk on Chaucer

I’m reading a great book by a guy named Chaucer.  He gets credit for writing a lot of stories first because he was the first.  His biggest work came out about the time he died around 1400, called Canterbury Tales.

I had to read it for some class back in the dim times.  Now I’m taking my own sweet time and enjoying the stories for what they are.  Some of them are way too naughty for teaching to high school students.  So why didn’t I get to read them back then?

No crying now, only laughing.  This is some funny stuff.  Here’s a wide smile that also pertains to behavior that I found buried way in the back.  It’s a note from Professor Coghill about drinking, on page 524.

In the middle ages the learned recognized four states or stages of drunkenness, which corresponded to the four “humours” or dispositions of man: lion-drunk, or choleric; ape-drunk, or sanguine; mutton-drunk or phlegmatic; swine-drunk, or melancholy.

I think it’s great that way back then, when most of us think our society is way more sophisticated than the middle ages, they had FOUR different states of drunk.  From lion, ape, to lamb and swine.  What does it all mean?

Page, Butler, Confidant, Bureaucrat, Poet

It doesn’t matter any more.  It’s way more fun than simply saying someone is buzzed, high, blitzed or whatever the terms are nowadays.  Personally, I think we should start a movement to bring back some great terms for scrambling our brains.

Are you with me?  Shall we drink on it?

 

Bibi Djan: Conclusion

Average age back in the day before child labor laws, about twelve.

Bibi Djan, The Rug Weaver

Introduction   Grandma Helen (Heghineh) Davidian spent early mornings at her writing desk.  She didn’t sleep as much as the rest of her family, and the extra time was invested in telling stories about the lives of young Persian women in the early 1900s.

 

Part 16   He felt the light touch of a hand on his shoulder and he opened his eyes. The room was dark. He heard a whisper in his ear.

“Get up, Habib.  God has given you a fine little boy.  And He has saved Bibi Djan’s life, too. Come and see them.”

Habib rubbed his eyes and sprang to his feet, and saw the Armenian nurse standing at his side in the dark waiting room, holding in her hand a small kerosene lamp, her face beaming in its flickering light.

THE END

 

Postscript:  It’s very likely that the Armenian nurse mentioned here was Helen Davidian’s sister.  It’s also likely that this story was based on events many women experienced, and may still experience even today.  Finally, consider the fine oriental rug you may enjoy, especially those made some time ago.  Consider the small hands that tied those knots, and what may have happened to them over the years.  Thank you for reading.

The entire story will be posted on 25 December of this year.

 

 

 

Sex and Romance Education

Last post suggested a crazy idea.

Put women in charge of all sex and health education.

The biggest advantage to this would be that male teachers would no longer be able to pass on their own misconceptions about what women really want.

This also presents us with another great opportunity.

A lot of women appreciate romance.  They appreciate respect.  The deserve tenderness, physically, emotionally.

Those things aren’t being taught in class.

Why not?

It’s the perfect time.  Want to spend time with a new friend of the OPPOSITE sex?  Class giggles.

Here’s how you do it.  Be polite.  Act with courtesy both ways.  Don’t touch unless you’re invited.  No means no, always.  Even when you’re married for 40 years.

No money?  This is what you do.  Lots of money?  Then do these other things.

Is the class advanced enough?  Then go ahead and teach them “advanced” techniques.  After all, that’s what school is for.  And if they don’t learn it in a safe classroom where they can get it right, what’s left?

There’s always that street corner, or that back seat late at night.  And the internet, all by themselves.

 

Sex and Health Education

Inventing can be a messy process.  Once crazy idea can lead to another, and that eventually leads to something that makes sense.  Here’s a recent example.

For instance, there was a story about a young woman who jettisoned her fiance.  Why?

She secretly inspected his phone and found lots of pornography.

I’m going to skip a lot of the more obvious questions this raises, but go to a deeper issue.  Pornography does hurt so many people indirectly.  However, it hurts many women very directly, consuming young women and changing them for their lifetimes.  What can we do?

Perhaps society can legalize and regulate pornography?  Why not?  Many countries have successfully done the same thing with dangerous substances, like cigarettes.

Once it’s been legalized, is there anything else we can do?

Yes.  We can restrict all ownership, all management, and all employment opportunities to nothing but WOMEN.

Imagine that.  An entire industry that is nothing but women.  Well, there would be some men.  But those would only be part-time positions paid on an hourly basis.

That was the first crazy idea.  And that led me to think about how sex and health education are taught in our country.  Poorly, overall.

What if it was also taught entirely by women?

The material itself might not change, but the misleading stereotypes about women would probably stop.  After all, it’s men talking to boys that keeps a lot of those stereotypes going.

Would classes be segregated?  Probably yes, it’s still for the best.  Young people don’t know how to handle the other gender so well at that age.

As I said at the start, one crazy idea often leads to another, and another, and sometimes, perhaps a good idea.

What do you think?

 

 

Bibi Djan: Part 15

Average age back in the day before child labor laws, about twelve.

Bibi Djan, The Rug Weaver

Introduction   Grandma Helen (Heghineh) Davidian spent early mornings at her writing desk.  She didn’t sleep as much as the rest of her family, and the extra time was invested in telling stories about the lives of young Persian women in the early 1900s.

 

Part 15   His head dropped and the tears rolled down his cheeks into his beard, while the nurse stood silently watching the tragedy of the little man, and waiting for an answer.
Then he lifted his head heavily and said in a quivering whisper, “Save my child!”

His knees sagged and he slumped on the bench.  After a few moments he made a great effort to rise, but he could not.  He wanted to run after the nurse and tell her that he had made a terrible mistake, that he had not meant what he said.  But the woman in white seemed to be running across a desert, and running after her a long distance, he came to Bibi Djan.

She wore a green velvet coat and her head was covered with a pink chadour.  It was her wedding dress.  He remembered her on their wedding day, sitting beside him in front of a large mirror and she had smiled.  Now, too, she was staring at him, but she was not smiling.

She seemed to say: “Go away Habib, I am disgusted with you.  You must have smoked too much opium today.”

And he replied, “I will smoke no more. I vow it by your life, and by my own life.  I will break my pipe to bits.  You must believe me, Bibi Djan.  Now let us go home.  We have a long way to walk.  Why don’t you answer me. . . Don’t run away.  Wait, dearest to my soul. . .wait!” cried Habib, and was startled to hear his own voice.

 

(Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion … next Monday)