On martyrdom and nationalism

This week, at the behest of the good Dr Öberg Strådal, I have been thinking about martyrdom, as one does. As someone with a documented interest in saints it could be that this particular sideline thought is just a result of, you know, being a dork-ass medievalist who should get out more but can’t because there is a pandemic on. Instead, however, I am forced to admit that this pondering has been spurred by a tweet from none other than Trump’s lawyer (a thing I defo knew and did not have to google), Jenna Ellis.

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On Odious Debt

This week, one of you, my very dear readers, tipped me off to an excellent article. (Thanks George!) In said article my colleague at LSE, David Graeber, has an extensive and extremely interesting discussion with Disenz, “On harmful jobs, odious debt, and facists who believe in global warming”, which is very much worth your time. 

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My fav [not] Saints: St Guinefort

Given the general state of the world, I thought today would be a good day to consider the best saint to ever have the title stripped of them, and what that means about personal religious devotion versus Church ideals in the medieval period. Yes there are some very high minded reasons why we can discuss St Guinefort, but my interest has nothing to do with that, as will soon become clear.

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On individual blame for global crises

Permit me, if you will, a slightly rambling introduction: we are all, still, in the midst of a pandemic, and coping as best we can in whatever ways we can. Here in the UK our “government” has us on a sort of partial social distancing thing. So, if you can work from home, you are supposed to, and there are no restaurants open, and we have to line up to get groceries. One of the bright spots (other than booze – shout out to my legendary friend!) that we have in the slurry of same same days is that we are allowed out of the house for exercise. This makes a lot of sense! It is in the interest of public health generally, and in maintaining a stretched to breaking point and under assault from our ruling party. Tra la la.

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No bestiality was never OK, you absolute rabid weirdo

Dear reader, there I was, minding my own business when it popped up on my Twitter timeline – the worst tweet. The most incredibly cursed take.

I tell you this now so you can look away if necessary. Please gird your loins or whatever.

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That’s not what sodomy is, but OK

[CW mention of a count of historical sexual violence – nothing graphic, but it is there. Be safe!]

My friends, I hate to be the one to tell you this, but sodomy is not just butt stuff. It is also – and this is crucial – not just gay stuff either. (OK. I love to tell you this.)

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On QAnon and Systems of Knowledge

Today at Going Medieval HQ we are excited to have a guest blog by kick-ass art historian working on medieval medical visual culture, and the other half of Medieval Dick Twitter, Dr Sara Öberg Strådal. Follow her on Twitter for excellent meme action, updates about growing your own medieval pigment garden, and generally correct opinions.

If you’re blessed enough to not have heard about QAnon. Congratulations. You should leave this post right now and go and do something nice for yourself.

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On the Objectification of Sex

I had the pleasure of sitting down with Justin on the Meg John and Justin podcast to have a chat about my current work on the concept of the objectification of sex. Highlights include chat about incels, sodomy, and what Thomas Aquinas’s deal is. Have a listen!

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On Dildos and Penance

Last week on twitter I had a little chat about the presence of dildos in the penitential of Burchard of Worms, which raised some questions.

For those who have managed to escape the morass that is the twitter hellscape, a brief recap before we get on to making a historical point™. Burchard of Worms was the Bishop of Worms, which was an extremely influential Holy Roman Imperial city, and which we generally think of now in relation to the Diet of Worms, where Martin Luther (who is just a second-rate Jan Hus, but whatever), was tried. Burchard, however, was working five blissful centuries before Luther came on the scene, i.e. at the end of the tenth and beginning of the eleventh centuries, and he was massively influential in making canon, or Church, law. He is also very well known for making his own penitential.

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On No Nut November

My loves, I am very sorry, but we have to talk about No Nut November. Why, you may ask, would I say something like that to you? And you would be right to do so. Why would I ask you to contemplate a month-long abstinence exercise for men propagated on reddit? The answer to that, sadly, is because the whole misguided, misogynist, pseudo-science binfire has all the hallmarks of medieval medical and theological thought on sex, and that is my job. I take no pleasure in saying this, because as you know, I think it is very important to be careful when using the word “medieval” to describe something. Yet, here we are.

For the up-until-this-point blissfully ignorant out there, No Nut November, (or NNN), was brought to us by the genius minds of Reddit, and the stated goal of these gentlemen is not to “nut” AKA orgasm for the month of November. (Yeah I’m not going to link this for you. It;s too weird.) Initially this idea spawned when some bright spark got a hold of one (1) study that showed a period of abstinence from masturbation in ten healthy men lead to a spike of testosterone production in the subjects. (Don’t even get me started on the sample size here.) This apparently is seen as a definitive good, and some dudes decided that they would refrain from jacking it for a month in order to get this extra hormone rush for some reason. (IDK. YKINMKATOK, I guess.)

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