Archive for the ‘A History of Everything’ Category

Well hey guys, and welcome back to Thoughts We Might Have Had, a special election day edition in which I will talk about literally every election I can possibly think of EXCEPT the one that’s happening today. Also: go vote. But I already did go vote, and now I’m done. I don’t want to know. Even if the person I voted for wins… I won’t feel good about it. So I’m just gonna ignore it now and move on to…

The Massachusetts Gubernatorial election of 1839! An election that was one by Marcus Morton (no association with the little salt girl… I think.) Mr. Morton ran for Governor every year from 1825-1840 and in 1839 he finally won… by one vote. Yup. 1. Granted in 1839 Massachusetts there were only about… 80 residents. 10 whom were cattle. 20 of whom were woman who couldn’t vote because ummm… Their skirts wouldn’t fit in voting booths? So that really only leaves us with 50 people, and thirty were children. But when those 20 men voted, 11 of them voted for Morton’s salt!! (and they let Morton have it because, frankly, it’s not like the Governor of Massachusetts actually did anything back then anyway.)

In 1967 the people of Picoaza, Ecuador elected a foot powder to be their mayor. Yup. A foot powder. The powder was called Pulvapies and at the time were running a cute little tie in slogan that went “Vote for any candidate, but if you want well-being and hygiene, vote for Pulvapies.” And that slogan worked way, WAAAY too well.

pulvapies

The Mayoral family.

 

In 1992 the movie Dave was released and in this movie Kevin Kline played a president who died of a stroke and was replaced, not by his vice president like every constitution America has ever had says, but by his look alike stand in: Dave. Cause um… that seemed like a realistic premise right? You’ll buy that people of 1992 right? What else were you doing in 1992 anyway?? Watching Home Alone 2??? Oh yeah, those people would believe anything.

In 1800 the election actually ended in a tie! Back then the vice president was just “the guy who finished second” so political parties had sort of a wink/nudge agreement where some would vote for the 1 guy and some would vote for the other one. But somehow Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr both ended up with 73 Electoral votes. A VERY awkward seven days followed in which Jefferson and Burr (according to some important historians) did a lot of rapping. (Yes, that was a Hamilton joke. You’re welcome 1 person who got that.)

hamilton

Hamilton: The Greatest Musical, You Will Never See.

 

In 1928 John Quincy Adams campaigned so hard against Andrew Jackson that he even turned his attention to Jacksons wife calling her a “convicted adulteress” because umm… reasons. Complicated, legal, not at all funny reasons. Midway through the election process Jackson’s wife passed and Jackson himself always blamed Adams’s smear campaign against his wife. Admittedly: that is a VERY not funny story but hey at least it’s a reminder that politics have always been a bit of a crazy mess even in a time before the invention of many, horrifying modern Political venues such as Facebook, Twitter, and Saturday Night Live.

Talkeetna, Alaska ran under the mayorship of the most honorable: Stubbs the Kitten for 15 years. The whole thing started as a joke write in campaign because the candidates at the time were unsuitable. It has turned in to a horrible display of Catmunism.

eldar-zakirov-cats-830x1087

Even I thought that joke was a reach.

 

In 1872 Ulysses S Grant’s second run for president was made dramatically easier by the fact that the person he ran against was (very literally) dead. Like he died. Granted (see what I did there) Grant had already VERY much won the election, but still, the only way to REALLY win an election when you’re Ulysses Grant, is to defeat the evil zombie version of Horace Greeley… which is a terrible Zombie name.

In 2004 Napoleon Dynamite came out and popularized the very stupid slogan: Vote for Pedro. Why is that stupid you ask?? Because Napoleon Dynamite is a garbage movie. That’s right: I said it!! Garbage. On fire garbage. You thought it was good when you watched it in high school??? It wasn’t. Go watch it again, and be VERY ashamed of your decisions. Re-think your life Bobby. You’ve made all the mistakes. All of them.

regret

It’s okay buddy, we’ve all made mistakes.

 

All the President’s Men came out in 1976 and… Okay no that was actually a great movie. Some people Robert Redford craggy face action in this one! Check this out, it was well before Robert Redford’s face lost all perspective and symmetry and turned into the insane landscape of peaks and valleys that it is today.

So there you go guys, a lot of elections that (more than anything else) weren’t this election. Thanks for reading and I will see you all Thursday when I blissfully review Dr. Strange and leave all my troubles behind!

Well hello there Internet, and welcome to a very special pre-Holiday addition of Thoughts We Might Have Had. Yes, Saint Patrick’s day isn’t until Tuesday of next week and yes I will be posting on Tuesday but the odds of anyone being coherent enough to actually read anything on Saint Patrick’s day is pretty low so I figured it would probably be better to go ahead and post about it today in the hopes of people actually retaining something of what I am spending so much time and 5 minutes researching.

The Life of Saint Patrick

Saint Patrick was born in 4th century Britain. His father was a deacon, his grandfather was a priest, and his mother smelled of Elderberries (rimshot.)

Yes I know it's the Father who smelled of Elderburries. It's my blog. Go away.

Yes I know it’s the Father who smelled of Elderburries. It’s my blog. Go away.

When young Patty Patrick was 16 he was kidnapped (or perhaps we must say Patnapped) by some Irish slavers… which is a concept that’s pretty hard to wrap your head around. I mean I love the Irish as much as anyone but you’d think it would be hard to take them serious as slavers. “Ay laddy you just come along with us now and we’ll sell ya into slavery” it just doesn’t work… Irish accents should be used for good, and partying, and talking to Ents about destroying Saruman… not slavery.

But anyway, Pat gets all Patnapped and he spends three years Shepherding various sheeps and sheps and Seth’s until one day (after some vigorous prayer, and light ukulele playing) Patrick heard a voice telling him to go to the sea and that there’s a ship waiting for him, and that if you jumble up the words in Ticonderoga you can spell Go Toned Acri… some parts of it were less relevant then others. So Patrick ran off and went back home to his mom and dad and lived in their basement and played video games and collected Star Wars figurines… no wait that’s my cousin Griff. Sorry Griff.

Patrick just went home. And then Patrick had a dream where someone came to him and said (and this is a direct quote) “We appeal to you, holy servant boy, to come and walk among us.”

Pretty sure DC just announced that they are adding a hero called Holy Servant Boy to next summers “Batman vs. Superman vs. Wonderwoman vs. Aquaman vs. Our Desperate Attempt to Catch Up With Marvel.”

Thank you google images... thank you so much.

Thank you google images… thank you so much.

After that, Patrick went back to Ireland, where he preached, baptized, and worked against the Druids a group of people who primarily worshipped bushes, trees, and various soft pastries. And there dwelt Saint Patrick until he moved to America and founded Notre Dame university.

BUT WAIT there’s more. Because as with any good saint, Saint Patrick has a goon number of awesome/semi-awesome/entirely incomprehensible miracles attached to him. Starting with:

Banishing all the snakes from Ireland. It seems that at one point in his Saintliness old Pat was on a forty day fast when he was attacked by some snakes and so he banished ALL of the snakes from Ireland. There’s throwing the baby out with the bathwater and then there’s throwing the entire nursery out with a glass of water. What about poor Phyllis the snake, living a quite life in an Irish stone wall with her children Barry, and Carey, and Dairy?? What of her old Saint Patperson???? What of her.

And then of course there’s the story of the time that Saint Patrick was preaching and stuck his walking stick in the ground and he spoke for SO long that by the time he was done the stick had taken root. That’s right, it physically altered it’s DNA and had time to grow just in the time it took Saint Patrick to finish preaching. I mean I’ve been in some long sermons before but that seems a little ridiculous.

In his defense he's been here for three days.

In his defense he’s been here for three days.

And all this of course leads through the course of many years and sermons so long whole forests stood up and walked away, to a holiday in which everyone where’s a lot of green and get so drunk the rivers turn green, the streets turn green, and the movie the Green Mile starts to look a lot like the Green Lantern… starring Eva Green.

The reason for those traditions is that Saint Patrick was often seen stumbling around Ireland alarmingly drunk and covered in green paint… I think.

Or maybe those two things are unrelated and we just like drinking… One of those two things.

Internet! Hello, and welcome to what could really only accurately be described as a desperate, last ditch attempt to get back on the nice list. Recently I’ve written a blog lambasting a beloved (if misinterpreted) Christmas movie (Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer) AND wrote a long sarcastic post about Christmas Trees. (Though I did record a youtube video in which I angrily defended the rights of Christmas songs everywhere by attempting to banish Let It Go and A Few of My Favorite Things from Christmas CD’s everywhere.

While that was no doubt a heroic effort for Christmas’s everywhere I still do feel like I’m behind 2/1 in the old Grinch vs. Cindy-Lou rankings so here is what basically boils down to a long essay on Santa in the hopes of getting something for Christmas.

"He wrote what about Rudolph?"

“He wrote what about Rudolph?”

Micah’s History of Everything: Santa

Santa or “Old Santy Ta Ta” as his friends called him, was originally born to two Greek parents back in Greek Times when everyone ate Greek Salads, Greek Yogurt, and the finest of cured Greek Sushis. His parents whose names were (and I’m not making this up) Epiphanius and Johanna, named young Santa “Saint Nicolas” because they thought it was all cool and hipster but didn’t know that everyone back then was naming their child “Saint” kind of like naming your child “Khaleesi” or “Katniss” today, except less lame. Anyway, a bunch of stuff happened to Santa but it was probably a crap ton less exciting then some of the made up stories that people have (according to some very important historians) made up entirely out of thin air.

Like this one!!!

So, it seems that once upon a time some orphans came to a butchers house asking for “some more” and that butcher (being a butcher) butchered the more-asking orphans  and then put them in barrels so he could sell them as ham. (because that’s what Butchers do!!!) Then jolly old Saint Nic came along, instantly recognized the opportunity to make a Sweeney Todd spinoff, and resurrected those little more-asking orphans. Though for the rest of their lives those orphans smelled of ham and could never shake a pathological desire to climb in barrels and be in Tim Burton films.

In other Santa news, there’s the story of that one time that a father had three daughters but couldn’t afford for them to marry because he didn’t have any dowry. A dowry (of course) is basically paying a man to marry your daughter because (At the time) women had roughly the same social rights as a musky kitten. Nowadays if anyone pays a dowry it should be men. Sure we still have jobs and things but these days women can vote, have jobs, have kids, and don’t spend hours watching football and consuming alcohol. Think about it ladies, this is your time.

So anyway, Old Nic heard about this fathers’ problem and decided to lend a hand. There are a few different versions of how he did this, I’ve decided to go with this one because (to be entirely honest) it was the funniest. Santa came to the house at night and threw a bag of gold into the house the night before the mans first daughter came of age. Santa did the same thing the next year for the man’s younger daughter, but when he came to deliver the gold for the third daughter he saw that the favor was watching to see who this mysterious gold throwing man was, and to determine if he could start a story about a goose and some golden eggs or something. So Saint Nic (not wanting to risk his Sainthood by under forming) climbed onto the mans roof and threw himself down the chimney— Wait wait… oh, threw the GOLD down the chimney… that makes more sense. Unbeknownst to Santa the farmers daughter had placed her stockings by the fireplace to dry and when Santa threw the gold down the chimney, it melted in the raging fire and was lost forever— I mean landed in the stocking. Yeah… that one.

And then Saint Nicolas died and (you’ll never believe this) they made him a saint.

But wait, cause that’s not all. Really that’s only half of the whole Santa gig, because while Saint Nic was great if you needed someone to piece the bodies of orphans together like the worst puzzle in the world, he looked (and I’m putting this delicately) like a dried up prune moments after it’s hit with a mac truck.

"So... don'y take this the wrong way, but we've decided to go a different direction facially."

“So… don’t take this the wrong way, but we’ve decided to go a different direction facially.”

What Christmas needed was a face, and not that face. It needed an adorable old man face because that somehow makes a stranger breaking into your house and eating your cookies okay. And the marketing geniuses who came up with the Easter Bunny, a rodent who has nothing to do with Easter, found their face in the warm comfortable wrinkles of a guy named Sinterklaas.

Believe it or not Sinterklaas is not the name of a Russian Missile manufacturing company, it is the name of this guy.

Every year Sinterklaas roles into various European town throwing candy at children and generally screwing with traffic, while young European children sing (and I’m not making this up) traditional Sinterklaas songs. Songs with words like:

Sinterklaas, good holy man!
Put on the Tabard, best you can,
Go, therewith, to Amsterdam,
From Amsterdam to Spain,
Where apples bright of Orange,
And likewise those granate surnam’d,
Roll through the streets, all free unclaim’d

Yeah, you weren’t ready for that were you?? Let’s take a look at this song and really learn to fully appreciate Sinterklaas a man of whom it must be said: has the worst theme song ever.

The first question we must ask ourselves is what the heck is a Tabard? The answer (according to Webster’s Ye Olde Dictionarye) is “a sleeveless jerkin consisting only of front and back pieces with a hole for the head.” So basically the second line of this song is “Hey put on your shirt!!! But don’t stress to much about it, just do the best you can. As long as you get at least one arm through a hole and your eyes aren’t covered, you’ll be fine.” Cause nothing says Christmas like telling an old person not to worry about how they’re shirt looks.

The next to lines are basically directions. And not even super specific directions, basically just “Go to Amsterdam, then Spain you creepy old person.” Apparently we really don’t trust old Sinter to handle himself very well.

"So, this is great and all but... what continent am I on?"

“So, this is great and all but… what continent am I on?”

The next couple lines makes zero sense.  “Where apples bright of Orange and likewise those granate surnam’d.” What??? I’m pretty sure that one line literally tries to compare apples with oranges.  And I don’t even think granate is a word. The only way I can justify those two lines is that maybe the Sinterklaas sings them in sort of the “crazy old person” part of the song that makes no sense at all.

No idea on that last line either. Something is rolling through the streets, if I had to place a guess it would be that it’s Sinterklaas.

So umm… that didn’t turn out as Christmas positive as I had suspected. Saint Nicolas was pretty a’ight which I guess is why we took his story and gave it to Sinterklaas who (let’s be honest) probably doesn’t remember much about his life anyway. So thanks for reading Internet, Merry Christmas, and we’ll see you next week.

Well hi Internet and welcome to another sterling episode of my history of everything. A section that has thus far covered everything from the middle-ages all the way up to Canadian thanksgiving. But now we must investigate an even less popular holiday, a holiday that is only celebrated by crazy people, Italians, and (for some reason) banks.

So we all know that Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492 but what did he get up to before then? What stupid rhymes can we make out of the rest of his life? Let’s find out together shall we?

In fourteen hundred fifty one, Chris Columbus escaped his mum.

Yup, he was born. Chris was born to Domenico Columbo who was both a delicious dish to have with extra spaghetti sauce AND a brilliant solver of murders who wore a trench coat. Christopher was born in Genoa and early on got a job working at his father’s cheese stand where Christopher diligently labored discovering all sorts of cheese that had already been discovered hundreds of years earlier by Vikings… oh wait that comes later.

Which leads us to our next big transition in Columbus’s life.

In fourteen hundred seventy three, Columbus gave up sellin’ cheese.

And then he became an apprentice for a businessman. He actually worked for this same guy for a long time and most historians are sketchy on where he went. Iceland, England, Naples, Columbus bounced around like the Frozen sing-a-long ball in a majestic sing along bouncy ball musical. He also then got married to someone named Chicken O’ Fettucciny. Ha ha- no. I’m kidding. Her name was Filipa Moniz Perestrelo which (if anything) sounds even more like something I would get at Olive Garden… dang it. Now I want Olive Garden.

In fourteen hundred and eighty, Columbus has a baby.

A bouncing baby boy named Diego Columbus which, frankly, sounds way to much like the star of a soap opera. Can’t you just see that, in the opening credits? Some renaissance era hot-man with tiny shorts and a big hat? We could call it “Seas of Love” and it would star Diego Columbus and Sultry Stromboli featuring legendary villain Brick Hardabs. Man… I would watch that show.  What were we talking about??

Columbus may not have been great at directions, but at least his hat game is on point.

Columbus may not have been great at directions, but at least his hat game is on point.

For years and years that were so long, Christopher’s math was super wrong.

For a few years Chris and his brother Bertoli… or something… sat around and did some math. Some really, really really bad math. It’s super impressive how much you can do a ton of math and still be crazy entirely wrong. I mean if you added up all the math problems that I got wrong in high school and compared them to all the wrong answers the Columbus’s got wrong… I would still have way more. But they would at least be a little close, which should give you an idea of the level of wrong we’re talking about here.

In fourteen hundred and eighty five Columbus needed a ship to drive.

My favorite part of Columbus’ proposal to the King of Portugal wasn’t that Columbus wanted some ships to sail (that makes sense) my favorite part was that Columbus requested to be made “Great Admiral of the Ocean.” Yep. He not only wanted three ships for a theoretical voyage that would probably get him stuck in Davy Jones’ dreaded sock drawer (or something) but he also wanted to be named “Great Admiral” of the OCEAN!!! So (unsurprisingly, he got turned down for that mess, but he did manage to get Spain to invest in his ship plan, though they turned down his request to be named “Grand Admiral of Space, Time and the Twilight Series.”

And everyone together now: in fourteen hundred and ninety two Columbus sailed the ocean blue.

He did that. And Christopher heroically discovered A WHOLE NEW WORLD!!! On which a lot of people lived… But he was THE FIRST EUROPEAN… except for the Vikings. But he was THE FIRST GREAT DISCOVERER… except that he didn’t really realized what it was he had discovered and thought he was in Asia despite the mountains of evidence against that AND the fact that other people were practically lining up outside his door to tell him that he had discovered a new continent.

The best part of this whole picture are the natives looking super confused at the guy standing there "discovering" the place they already live.

The best part of this whole picture are the natives looking super confused at the guy standing there “discovering” the place they already live.

“No!” Columbus would shout loudly. “I did not discover a new continent and change the course of human history. I discovered an old continent and made trade marginally easier. Now stop ringing my bell you scientist. And also call me by my proper title “King of the Oceans and Grand Vizier of all Puppies!!”

In fifteen hundred-zero two Columbus came home to sit and stew.

Columbus made four total journeys to the new world and each one went progressively worse then the ones before it. This was largely because of Columbus’s being kind of a jerk and really mean to the natives. Though he does get some points for at one point saving his life (and the lives of his crew) by accurately predicting an eclipse and getting the natives to think he had superpowers. But he also loses a lot of points for being thrown in jail and (multiple times) being accused of tyranny.   In 1502 though he returned to Spain and for the most part sat around writing letters to the King of Spain demanding no less then 10% of the total trade done between Spain and the New World. Needless to say the King of Spain did not do this.

And finally: On the 20th of May in 1506 Christopher Columbus hit the bricks. 

He dead. A lot of people think he dies for some sort of crazy arthritis thing probably contracted as a result of severe food poisoning but that (to be frank) is nasty.

Sure Columbus went downhill in later years and died a mostly gizzly death but I repeat: hat game.

Sure Columbus went downhill in later years and died a mostly gizzly death but I repeat: hat game.

And there you have it folks, the life of a man who will go down in history as a guy who sold some cheesed, discovered a place that had already been discovered, ignored various scientific minds, and was kind of a jerk to the people who worked for him. You’re welcome bank tellers.

Well hey everyone and welcome to a very special World Cup edition of Thoughts We Might Have Had. For the most part this site talks about movies, but also for the most part this site wanders around and doesn’t really talk about anything at all, so why not talk about something that will soon affect us all whether it be through the engaging, tense, climactic matches we love or through the endless commercials that the rest of you will have to suffer through. And so herein’ is a brief history of the World Cup, soccer, and long annoying commercials that use the phrase “Once in a lifetime” way too much.

Football, or soccer as various lame people call it, is a sport wherein two sides of 11 run up and down a huge field and hope to (at one point or another) get Dennis to PASS THE BALL!!! All across the world people of all ages play the game of football as long as your definition of “play” expands to young children sitting in the dirt and building mountains out of saliva and soil. But anyway, a lot of people believe that the first true game of soccer was played in China during the Han dynasty a dynasty widely famed for the invention of putting vague sentences that had nothing to do with the actual future in fortune cookies.

This has nothing to do with fortunes, Cookie. Nothing.

This has nothing to do with fortunes, Cookie. Nothing.

The Cambridge Rules (released from Cambridge University in 1848) standardized the rules for the game and went a long way towards stopping people from inventing rules; such as the famed “Piccadilly Chicken” rule wherein players would throw actual live chickens at the opposing team. But now that the good gents from Cambridge were involved, rules were standardized and this helped us have the first world cup!! But before we get to that let’s have a brief summary of…

The Rules of Football

At its simplest football features two teams of 11 each trying to get a tiny round ball into rectangular nets placed on either side of the field (or “pitch” as awesome people call it.) The trick being that they can’t use their hands at all to touch the ball (unless the ref is not looking)or if you are the one guy who can touch the ball with his hands as long as he stays inside a special “Hold the ball with your hands” box. This one person who can touch the ball with his hands (as long as he is in the box) is often called “the goalie,” “the keeper, or “the person everyone will invariably blame for anything that goes wrong” and it is his job to defend the rectangular goal from the other ten people and the small bouncy ball… thing.

The ten people (who can’t use their hands even if they are standing in the “hold the ball with your hands” box) are divided into various positions such as striker, sweeper, wing, left back, rear front, and receptionist. At the highest level  of the sport players shift and flex their positions to better accommodate the teams overall game plan. At the lowest level of the sport players shift and flex their positions to better accommodate the fact that no one wants to play defense.

And then of course there is one of football’s most misunderstood rules: offsides. Offsides is perhaps best explained by the following chart.

Clear enough?

Clear enough?

Ha ha! I kid. Seriously though: Offsides is when there is no defensive player between an offensive player and the goal… except for the goalie who does not count. Or if it’s a Tuesday. Or if the offensive player sounds like “A” as in neighbor and way.

So now that we have a real comprehensive understanding of the rules of football let’s take a moment to talk about the history of perhaps the greatest celebration of soccer: the World Cup.

The History of the World Cup

England and Scotland played the first ever international Soccer game and it (in an incredibly exhilarating turn) ended in a 0-0 tie.  When the world cup finally took on the form we know it as today (it floundered for a few years pre-world war 2) it was about 1950 and was (like this year’s cup) held in Brazil. Brazil (in other world cup facts) is also the country that has won the most world Cup titles (5) with Italy (4) and Germany (3) coming in behind them… or it… or whatever other plural word that should be.

Happy 2014 everyone!! Enjoy the show!

Happy 2014 everyone!! Enjoy the show!

And now we stand on the brink of yet another tournament, the football world echoes with names like Namar, Ronaldo, and Messi which are either some of the world’s top soccer playersor the names of some powerful cleaning products and with that question burning in your mind like tiny football balls of fire I bid you adieu and Merry World cup to all!!

Oh America, as I stand here this night and look out upon the vast rolling fields of my darkened bedroom; as my eyes fall upon the rolling mountains and deep valleys of my pajama pants, I am moved to compose heretofore and ne’er to wit, a blog post for you. Specifically a blog post about how we came to be here, what we came to do, and how we started various made up holidays so we could lounge about on you for mostly no reason.

The Founding of America

As many people know America was discovered many many years ago by a Viking who was probably named Leif Ericson… which is not a very viking sounding name is it? We need some history revision here… and we shall now call him… Punch- Face the Hornhatted. That’s much more authentic. So, Punchface the Hornhatted the Second discovered America!!! Well… technically he discovered Canada… so really who cares. No one. Not even other Vikings really, Punch-face returned to his Viking cohorts filled with stories of Canada’s natural beauty, and beavers, and how they pronounced things all funny and the Vikings cared not a feather nor a fig for any of it. And they didn’t even know what figs were!!

Vikings were mostly disappointed in Canada's lack of British houses to light on fire.

Vikings were mostly disappointed in Canada’s lack of British housing to light on fire.

Years later, Christopher Columbus discovered America!!! Well… he actually discovered the Virgin islands… and thought he was in India… for reasons. So basically Columbus was just a super confused Portugesan person who happened to crash into some islands and name them something inaccurate.

All of that aside though: somebody discovered America, and when they discovered America they also discovered some other people who were already living there and had (in fact) discovered it before they did… by a few thousand years. But we call it discovered anyway and once we had discovered it we sent some people over there to live on it! Those people bravely spent months in ships, traveling over rough seas, with no dinner options, and nothing on TV but Gilmore Girls re-runs and when they arrived in America they were so very grateful to find a new land, a new home, and a new opportunity that they promptly threw up all over it. But America didn’t mind, America understood that ships of that era were about as smooth and relaxing as the mental state of Miley Cyrus and thus allowed the colonists to live upon it anyway, and (in a great show of forgiveness) only froze most of them to death in the winter.

Once they were done freezing to death the surviving colonists (both of them) discovered the local and previously misnamed inhabitants, the Indians. The Indians were a large and diverse group who alternatively helped the colonists grow valuable crops that ensured their survival (kind of) or murdered them and lit them on fire. The colonists meanwhile fluctuated between thanking the Indians profusely for their help, and taking their land in small increments until finally just trading in the whole thing for some land in Utah and a few professional mascots.

“No really,” the colonists would say as they signed lavish land deals. “Everyone will love the Cleveland Indians, you can’t miss out on this opportunity!! If you don’t go for it teams will have just pick random colors to name themselves after, like (for instance) brown or something.”

The Pilgrims also tried to sell the Indians something called a "Johnny Manziel" but the Indians thought he was probably over-hyped.

The Pilgrims also tried to sell the Indians something called a “Johnny Manziel” but the Indians thought he was probably over-hyped.

But life in the colonies wasn’t all fun, games and making fun of Cleveland sports franchises. No no no, life was hard for colonists. They had to contend with harsh winters, meager food rations, and utterly ridiculous headwear for many years before finally being able to settle down, put their feet up in front of a roaring fire, and realize their house was being burnt by disgruntles Indians fans… or Indians, depending on where they lived. But eventually they founded this great country and then (in a daring middle of the night heist) stole it from the British who were not paying attention at the time due to a lengthy nil-nil soccer match (quite possibly still going on to this day), but that is another chapter in history for another day in history… that is not today in history.

The only really notable thing that happened today in history is that Henry the 8th beheaded his wife but really that happened pretty much all the time. The most notable days in history are days when Henry the 8th DIDN’T behead his wife (or various lightweight wife substitutes.) I hold an annual party every year called “Henry the 8th didn’t callously behead someone today” parties and everyone dresses up as people with heads and it’s just a grand old time at the grand old opery.

But we seem to have been sidetracked. Somehow.

And I shall now just hop off the track and carry on home. Hail America, and farewell.

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.

Well hey Internet!! Happy day after the day after Doctor Who came back!! And oh what a Doctor Who it was! Anyway, I’m sure some of you people came here for something besides me talking about Doctor Who (though… I’m sure not most of you) Some of you came here because it says something about Thanksgiving in the headline of this article and you thought I would be following that up with some sort of actual article about Thanksgiving.

Obviously you don’t come to this site a lot.

Seriously though, I am gonna talk about Thanksgiving today and try to keep my nerdy Doctor Who references to a minimum. But seriously: that thing was awesome!

Micah’s History of Everything: American Thanksgiving

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What? What do you mean this has nothing to do with Thanksgiving. I’m thankful.

So after alienating an entire country on Thursday by making fun of Canada and the potential future NOT-Canadian city Quebec, I figured I would bring the pain all the way back around and talk about our very own Thanksgiving a few days before actual Thanksgiving because let’s be honest: I’m not posting that day.

The History:

American Thanksgiving all started long ago in a galaxy far far away when Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker landed in Jamestown. Seriously though, about a hundred pilgrims (ancient forefathers of John Wayne) piled into a boat roughly the size of a Ford Pinto and spent several months on a horrifying ship ride to America. But it wasn’t all bad, ancient pilgrims played many ancient ship style games including such classic as: Scurvy catching, Tie the yellow ribbon ‘round your parents so they don’t drown, and starving to death.

Fortunately things got much better for the Pilgrims when they landed in America and they became involved in such activities as: failing to farm, freezing their tiny pilgrim bonnets off, and (cause why fix what ain’t broken) starving to death. The next winter they met Tanto, an Indian who lived nearby and was to be portrayed many years later by Johnny Depp. Tanto was—hang on—oh Squanto. I see…

When the Pilgrims met Squanto he taught them many valuable lessons such as: how to plant corn with a dead fish so that it would grow better!! (no seriously… that was a thing. Though it does sound like a hilarious Indian prank doesn’t it? Can’t you just see Squanto going back to his indian tribe saying “Hey guys you’ll never guess what I got the Pilgrims to do today…” And then his Indian tribe telling him that he probably will never be portrayed by Johnny Depp??)  

Anyway the pilgrims were very grateful for their corn (even though some pilgrims reported a “fishy aftertaste”) and decided to get together with the Indians and celebrated a brand new holiday! A holiday that they decided to call “Not Starving To Death!!” and much happiness ensued.

Many years later we decided to change the name of the Holiday to Thanksgiving because it was much easier for the people at Hallmark to spell. Thanksgiving was of course officially made a Holiday in 1863 by Abraham Lincoln who was quoted as saying “I’m just thankful that this will be what I’m primarily remember for by History!”  Rather than set a solid date for the Holiday though Lincoln decided to have Thanksgiving be celebrated on the last Thursday of thanksgiving which is the plot for the upcoming movie “Lincoln 2: Thanksgiving Thursday” starring Daniel Day Lewis and a lot of other famous people who won’t actually do much in the movie.

In 1942 after a frankly sad amount of controversy Congress officially fixed Thanksgiving as the fourth holiday in November because (as Congress has believed for many many years) if something is already slightly confusing why not make it SUPER confusing just to mess with people! So thanks Congress! Happy fourth or last Thursday in November to you too…

Holiday traditions:

One of the things that happens every year on Thanksgiving for some reason is that a president will take some time off of ruling the free world or trying to build a functioning website and pardon a turkey that has a maximum total lifespan of two years. That turkey will then go off to a farm somewhere or something where it will die of natural causes in a matter of months and then probably be buried with a twenty one gun salute in the National Turkey Cemetery by Daniel Day Lewis’s house.  Don’t get me wrong I think having the President spare a turkey once a year is fine but is “pardon” the word we really want to uses here? I mean did the Turkey do something to merit being eaten? Is this some sort of criminal turkey smoking large cigars and ordering whack jobs on other less well off birds? If so, that is an awesome Turkey and we should definitely pardon it… this calls for more research!! (anxious key tapping)

I forgot I don’t research anything… what were we doing? Oh yeah… traditions.

Traditionally on Thanksgiving women labor intensively to cook large elaborate meals while their husbands talk about politics and the football games that aren’t on yet. Afterword’s families gather around a table and eat tons of food while (hopefully) remembering to be thankful for it. (consequently I recently learned how “homemade cream corn” is made and my life has been changed forever.) Regardless of that though after the meal the men traditionally watch roughly five minutes of football before dropping into a deep coma that they will emerge from just in time to panically Christmas shop.

Another fun thanksgiving tradition is to inflate giant balloons of beloved child-hood characters and float them down streets in New York in the hopes of really freaking out any sleeping children in the buildings around the parade site.

And that’s actually pretty much it! Thanks for reading guys, you folks are the best and I know I went off on Thanksgiving in the past couple paragraphs but let me just say that I am so thankful for all of you readers and all the incredible gifts and blessings the Lord has blessed me with! Have a happy Thanksgiving everyone, hold your families close, your Turkey’s closer, and be on the lookout for a giant floating Snoopy. That guy is messed up man. Messed. Up.

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Snoopy sees you. He always sees you.

(Editor’s Note: It’s well worth noting that when I originally asked Micah to write this article he tackled it seriously like a true professional… Yeah, I have no idea why, I think he was on a lot of Robitussin or something. Anyway, Micah turned in an absolutely beautiful article honoring the proud people of Canada. He talked about their glorious forests, the mystical beauty of a Alberta winters night, and the proud heritage of our neighbors to the north. He wrote a poem to the Mounties that brought a tear to my eye and laid the grounds for a whole new level of understanding between us and our fair Canadian friends. I was about to publish it with a tear in my eye and a song in my heart when something occurred to me: since when did this website care about factual journalism or world peace? This is a website that openly mocks people just because they happen to be less talented then their peers and make more money than Micah will in his whole life! So rather than writing a heartfelt ode to our loving neighbors above us why not instead use this article to reinforce various largely untrue stereotypes and offend people for no reason? Yeah, that’s what I thought.)

Micah’s History of Everything: Canadian Thanksgiving

The origins of the Holiday:

So once upon a time deep in the frozen bowels of Canada… ew… oh… man. That was a rough sentence to start with. (Editor’s note: totally not a sentence. See? This is what we’re used to, like the bottom of a mug of hot chocolate we here at Thoughts We Might Have Had pride ourselves on consistently ruining your grammatical taste buds.)  So anyway, some guy named Martin Frobisher was looking for the Northwest Passage when he accidentally bumped into the early beginnings of the Canadian border patrol. At this point the border patrol consisted only of a crazed Frenchman and his pet beaver Stan, which is different from today’s Canadian border patrol cause we’ve long since gotten rid of the person.

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“Hello there, I’ll need to see your passport and any exotic twigs you may have.”

Frobisher found a bunch of stuff he thought was gold, loaded his ships down with it and then sailed back to England where he learned it was all pretty much worthless. Needless to say this upset Frobisher significantly and (through a complex dance ritual under a spreading full moon) he cursed the land of Canada to always have to pay more for retail books.

But anyway, before Frobisher left Canada (still thinking he was going to be rich) he held a big church service or something thanking God for the eventual economic ruin that was waiting for him just around the River Bend (which is of course from an American movie.)

Years later Samuel De Champlain formed something called the “Order of Good Cheer” and put them in charge of making a TV show about  a bar in Boston. Wow—yeah that was a Cheers reference. Sheeshk, good thing I’m appealing to my audience here. Hang on “twerk” “ty (cause obviously spelling out “thank you” would be just WAY too much gratitude) “selfie” (now officially a word in Webster’s dictionary. Poor Webster.) There, we’re good.     

For a few years it seems Canada celebrated two different Thanksgiving days as the country was divided between former French colonists and former British colonists until the two halves were united and they decided to have Thanksgiving on April 5, 1872… cause that seemed like a good idea. After that the Canadians decided they wanted to switch which day they celebrated Thanksgiving, like the people of Quebec switch whether they want to be a part of Canada or not (Oh Canadian Burn!!! Did I do that right Canadians? Is the term “Canadian Burn” a thing yet? Cause I totally think it should be. I mean if an “Indian Burn” is twisting the skin on someone’s arm a “Canadian burn” is probably like… rubbing some soothing salve on someone’s arm and then apologizing right? I don’t know… I’ll get back to you on that.)

What was I saying? Oh yeah the date thing,  in 1879 Thanksgiving was declared a national holiday and they celebrated it from that moment forward on a certain Thursday in November. Then in 1957 it was officially changed to the second Monday in October because hey you’d rather have Monday off wouldn’t you? I mean… You’d rather have Monday off eh?  (how do you spell a Canadian accent? Is it “eh” or “A” or “ah” I need some Canadian help!! Captain Canada??? Can you hear me? Corporal Canada? Anyone??? Man.)

Canadian Thanksgiving traditions:

Traditionally Canadians celebrate their free healthcare by hurling themselves in front of stampeding moose and then having major surgery without having to pay for it!!

Seriously though: Canadians apparently watch something called the “Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest” parade which by my best guess is a celebration of Napoleon’s defeat at the battle of Waterloo using primarily spatulas, cutlery, and other kitchen related items? Maybe?? Oh wait wait… turns out Kitchener and Waterloo are the names of two cities in Canada and there’s some kind of week-long festival featuring official Keg tappings, free pancake breakfasts, traditional beaver dances, a keg-rolling barrel race, and the traditional Canadian Moose shaving competition. You wanna know something really crazy? I only made TWO of those things up.

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The festival is apparently presided over by “Canadian Man with Hat,” some German woman, Orange Mario, and famed mascot “Yellow and Green Cup Person.”

Another big Canadian tradition is watching the Canadian Football League play Canadian football which is a lot like American football except with meters instead of yards, Zeds instead of Z’s, and very little actual football playing. You know who played in last year’s Thanksgiving double-header? That would be the Blue Bombers vs. the Alouettes and the Argonauts vs. the Tiger-cats (cause apparently we were   concerned there would be confusion with the famed Canadian Tiger-Bear.)  Also when I typed in “Alouettes” Microsoft words little misspelled thing popped up and told me to go back to Canada. Silly Microsoft, Canada is for Mounties!!

So there you have it America, all of your questions about Canadian Thanksgiving answered! Your welcome! It’s worth noting that I had two Canadian roommates in college and I treated them with nothing but respect and admiration.

Ha ha no really. I made fun of them all the time. From the minute one of them asked me to “sit on the chesterfield and go through the alphabet from A to Zed, eh?” to the moment I waved goodbye to their pet beaver Mildred. So thanks Canadians, happy late Thanksgiving, Merry Canadamiss, and a happy New Winter!

Okay so… this post was all set up to go yesterday and then… it did not. No clue what happened there. Now I could go through and update this and change some of the paragraphs to reflect my new feelins and emotions and the face that the Red Sox won another game last night, but the Red Sox won a game last night! Which means that I have continued my streak of not sleeping so… sentences are gonna be an issue. At least this way your just getting me on mild sleep depravation so… enjoy the following blog.

Ah fellow Octoberians! It’s a good day. The Red Sox came back and won a crazy game last night and while I can honestly this world series is wreaking havoc on anything vaguely regarding my ability to sleep it is well worth the sacrifice to watch/listen to the beard brothers doing that thing they do! Of course the series is just tied now and we’ve got one more game in St. Louis but all of the ladies reading this have officially mentally checked out and are now staring at their computer screens with an odd distant expression like what happens when people try and explain “why” something is funny. Just a tip: if you have to explain why something is funny, it wasn’t.

So instead of talking about how Kojii Uehara is my new hero let’s talk about something we can all relate to: Halloween!

In the interest of full disclosure (or Sue Disclosure… one of those Disclosure people is interested) WordPress is still being really weird about pictuers so rather than try and do another costume blog without being able to show costumes I decided to just skip to the History post I was going to put up on Thursday. Regardless: here you go.

The word Halloween is actually of Scottish descent. Formerly known as All Hollows Eve (or E’en) and thus through a hilarious game of “telephone” played by ancient Scottish people transformed into Halloween. See parents? See how educational that sentence was? I mean who needs Sesame Street when you’ve got me! Not only will I instill in your children the value of The Dark Knight in modern society, but I’ll also educate them in the ways of word history AND blatantly lie to them about how smart they are!! Party. On. I mean ummmm educate. On. Or something.

Anyway, some early stuff that led to Halloween as we know it were parties celebrating various days of the dead. People who would sit around and say to themselves “man don’t you miss Aunt Harriet? Let’s light a candle and then a bonfire and then a person and see if that helps here at all!”

Another early start to Halloween is a holiday in ancient Scotland where some guy would dress up and lead around some little kids who then recited verses of ancient gaelic ancienthood and then as long as ancient galiec people gave them ancient gaelic food (for instance: dirt) they would have “good luck” in the year to come. Assumingly the good luck would cover the cost of paying some lunatic and his raggedy band of raggedy Anne’s for reciting some verses some other Gaelic person wrote down many years before.

Moving on to more recent Romany typed times, it seems the Pope decided in his popely wisdom to create something called Hallowmas a three day Holiday that includes All Hallows Eve, All Saints Day, and All Souls Day. A three day period in which people remembered the dead, rang bells for the dead, and (presumably) died (though not all of them.) It was also a common belief during these times that those recently deceased would come back to life to seek revenge on those who had wronged them. Thus, the wearing of costumes started up so that those who had wronged the dead could hide from said dead, before they themselves were made dead and had to hunt down those dead people for which (I assume) there would be a whole separate holiday and THAT would just get confusing.

Most ancient Halloweens also seem to have involved a lot of setting things on fire for various reasons. Reasons such as: Divining the future, scaring off evil spirits, holy ashes (no seriously), and smores.

Also, a lot of people left out food for dead people. For instance in Spain women would bake something called “bones of the holy” and leave them in graveyards and French people would leave dishes full of milk next to the graves of their relatives which is why you see so many fat French cats. Seriously though you know what that sounds a lot like in a horribly creepy weird way? Leaving cookies and milk out for Santa. Yeah… I’m just as weirded out as you I promise. Both with the insinuation that Santa may be a dead zombie and that he might somehow be French. Tee-hee… French Santa.

Jack-o-Lanters are another delightfully weird Halloween thing that we do and it actually comes from a Scottish/Irish tradition wherein they hallow out Turnips and put lanterns in them. Americans adapted the idea to pumpkins because pumpkins are larger and softer and because you can’t make Turnip Spice Latte’s. (trust me.)

Supposedly the story originates with a young Irish Ragamuffin (the best sort of muffin) named Jack who one night is trapped by the Devil  in a tree… for some reason. And he carves a cross into the bark of the tree and then for some reason makes a deal with the Devil so the Devil can’t claim his soul. But then he proceeds to live a terrible life so when he dies and tries to get into Heaven he gets denied like Miley Cyrus at the entrance to the “Totally Sane People” convention. So he gets sent to Hell but the Devil already promised he wouldn’t take Jack to hell so then (and this is where things take a downward turn storywise) the Devil throws a coal at him and Jack hollows out a gourd and puts the coal in it so that he won’t get cold… cause that’s a thing for dead people… I guess. And now he wonders around Scotland looking for a place to rest.

You ever noticed that Ghosts never wander to cool places? Like if I was a ghost I wouldn’t hang out in a field with a hallowed out gourd! I’d be seeing the sights, hangin’ with various dead peeps, and figuring out how James Cameron thinks he’s going to make three more Avatar movies when he basically just copy and pasted the plot from Pocahontas and then spilled blue paint all over it.

So anyway, that’s Halloween… I think. Mostly. And that’s the blog for today! Check back Thursday when I preview the movies of November and give out some awesome Halloween costume ideas.