Micah’s History of Everything: Joan of Arc

Posted: March 4, 2014 by Micah in A History of Everything
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Internet!! Hail and farewell and welcome to a very special Tuesday posting here on Thoughts We Might Have Had! What brings me out of my comfy bed and from the Grammar for Beginners books that I fall asleep reading each night? The answer is simply this: Joan of Arc.

Recently I was asked by my friend and visionary director Johnathon Schofield if I would like to participate in his adaptation of Joan of Arc. Now, I have all the free time for Drama of an incredibly socially engaged eggplant, but when a “visionary director” asks if he can direct you visionarily you don’t turn the guy down. So I said sure (because I am physically incapable of turning people down for things). Then, said Visionary went and asked my wife to play my wife in the play which made things doubly awesome because as much fun as acting is, acting with my wife is roughly a bajillion times more fun. The director did this because my wife is hilariously more talented than I am and because she (unlike me) is aware of the intricate complexities of things like “showing up to rehearsals” and “actually memorizing things.”  But anyway, this post is not a love letter to my wife, this post is a love letter to Joan of Arc!!!… which will probably get me in trouble with my wife… dang it.

Micah’s History of Everything: Joan of Arc

"Okay guys this is not what I meant when I said battle dress..."

“Okay guys this is not what I meant when I said battle dress…”

Joan of Arc was born into a tepid time in Tipperary… or France. Probably that second one. Anyway, so Joan is French and at the time the French were in a war with Britain.  Then again France was ALWAYS in a war with Britain. France and Britain fought like my cats and the upholstery on my sofa (which is to say constantly) pretty much all through History, unless, that is, they were taking a brief break to fight with the Germans.  At the time of Joan’s early Joan-ing the French were (as many important French historians would say) “Le getting-our-butts-kicked.”

Fortunately for them, (according to her) the Lord came to Joan in a vision (or possibly a baguette inspired fever-dream) and told her to go out and fight the British!!! This worked out super great for Joan cause that’s exactly what she (and every French person ever) wanted to do. So Joan went to see the guy in charge of the French whose name was Charles… which doesn’t really sound super French so I’m going to change it. To… something French sounding like… Pierre. So Joan went to Charles Pierre and asked if she could go fight the British. Bear in mind that at this time women had roughly the same political standing as a French pickle but  mostly just cause nothing else was working Pierre thought to himself “well it’s not like she can make things worse!!” And gave Joan an army. Which just goes to show you that if you really believe in yourself, pursue your dreams, and never give up; some French person will give you an army.

Joan led her army bravely to battle and wouldn’t you know the French won a battle!! In fact they won several battles all the while being led by Joan and her massive woman moxy. Joan used unorthodox tactics to win her battles like: carrying on long conversations about the other army’s emotional state, or seeing if they were ready to commit to a long term relationship, or (her most sacred weapon) forcing them to listen to the Mama Mia soundtrack over and over again.

Ha ha. I am, of course, kidding. Joan murdered them with sticks. Because if we’ve learned anything in the years of cultural progression since Joan’s time, it’s that women are just as capable of murdering people with pointy things as anyone else.

As proof of this: Milla Jovovich. Seriously though: never watch this  movie. It'll kill your brain.

As proof of this: Milla Jovovich. Seriously though: never watch this movie. It’ll kill your brain.

Anyway, Joan continued her long campaign of stick-murdering the British until one fateful day when the British won a battle against her and Joan was captured! Now I don’t want to give away the ending of the story of Joan of Arc, but I will tell you that while it’s not a completely sad ending, it is an ending where the main character gets lit on fire.

Which I guess is pretty sad.

And also gives away the ending.

But hey at least the Catholic Church made her a Saint later!! Though to be fair, it was them who lit her on fire in the first place so this is a bit like stealing someone’s lunch, eating it and then coming back later with a signed note saying what a great lunch it was and giving them back the toothpick that held the sandwich together. “Sorry we lit you on fire and ended your life Joan! Tell you what, we’ll go ahead and put you in our list of awesome people we really liked!” It’s a nice try I suppose, but you feel like given the choice between Sainthood and “non burny-death” Joan probably would have chosen the latter. Of course, it’s not like Joan could tell the Catholic church any of this because then they would have said she wasn’t good enough to be a saint; so all Joan could really do was begrudgingly accept her membership card and make a face at the Church as they walked away.

"No, I don't see burning her leading to some super awkward backtracking later at all. Why do you ask?"

“No, I don’t see burning her leading to some super awkward backtracking later at all. Why do you ask?”

And that’s pretty much the story of Joan of Arc. Now, if you’d like to see that story beautifully told using iambic pentameter, old English, an awesome cast of incredibly talented actors and actual historical facts; head to the plays website (Joanofarcplay.com) and get yourself some tickets!! Sure you may know how the story ends now (though hopefully you already did know that) but you knew how the Titanic ended and all of you alls sat through THREE HOURS of inane babble and baby Leonardo Dicaprio just to watch that ship sink into the Atlantic. This is two hours of sweet acting and battle scenes and then someone gets lit on fire!! That’s right folks “Joan of Arc the Play, it’s better than Titanic!!” (editor’s note: Joan of Arc probably does not feature anyone being lit on fire. Micah’s grip on theatrical reality is looser then the sweatpants of a fat man on a six month old.) So come on out and see Joan of Arc! It’s a great play, with an awesome director, a great cast, and it tells an incredibly inspring story, incredibly well! Until then I’ll see you Thursdy for your regularly scheduled Movie blog.

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