I would like to pillage a Viking hoard; I think I would look very well in it.


Ebola, salvific blood, Dolly Parton






This is the worst thing ever.

The best of the Adulthood pieces so far, variations here and here


I cannot wait to see this.


Aside from everything else, it will be great to see such a different animation style than that of the usual Studio Ghibli favorites; also happy to see resistance to trend of one-word titles for animated films. See Tangled, Brave, Frozen.





In Which Bloody Mary is Vindicated by Wikipedia

It always started with a dare, and ended with a shrieking dash from the room. Goaded by each other, my friend, sister and I would lock ourselves in my grandmother’s walk in closet, sitting in total darkness except for the shapes gleaming off the full length mirror in front of us. Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary, we’d start to chant.

If we said her name a hundred times, the story went, Bloody Mary would appear in the mirror. What would happen next varied from legend to legend, but we never stayed to find out. Having little desire to be physically dragged to Hell, we’d run out, screaming, by the seventieth incantation.

The legend, we understood, was linked somehow to a queen made infamous by a reign of bloodshed and brutality, a queen so wicked her demonic majesty haunts and murders children to this day.

The queen was Mary the First, and, according to Wikipedia, she is the best English monarch since Boudica.

Her childhood:

 Mary was a precocious child.[11] In July 1520, when scarcely four and a half years old, she entertained a visiting French delegation with a performance on the virginals (a type of harpsichord).[12] A great part of her early education came from her mother, who consulted the Spanish humanistJuan Luis Vives for advice and commissioned him to write De Institutione Feminae Christianae, a treatise on the education of girls.[13] By the age of nine, Mary could read and write Latin.[14] She studied French, Spanish, music, dance, and perhaps Greek.[15] Henry VIII doted on his daughter and boasted to the Venetian ambassador Sebastian Giustiniani, “This girl never cries”.


Damn straight she never cries, you wife-killing wart.


“Despite his affection for Mary, Henry was deeply disappointed that his marriage had produced no sons.”


You do not deserve her, and neither does your rancid arrangement of male-preference cognatic primogeniture.


“Mary determinedly refused to acknowledge that Anne was the queen or that Elizabeth was a princess, further enraging King Henry.”


Sticks up for mother, enrages murderous father.

Although both she and her mother were ill, Mary was refused permission to visit Catherine.[39] When Catherine died in 1536, Mary was “inconsolable”.[40] Catherine was interred in Peterborough Cathedralwhile Mary grieved in semi-seclusion at Hunsdon in Hertfordshire.[41]

And suffers for it.


Later, after she is bullied into acknowledging Henry as head of the Church and reinstated in court:

Her expenses included fine clothes and gambling at cards, one of her favorite pastimes.



On 10 July 1553, Lady Jane was proclaimed queen by Dudley and his supporters, and on the same day Mary’s letter to the council arrived in London. By 12 July, Mary and her supporters had assembled a military force at Framlingham Castle, Suffolk.[74] Dudley’s support collapsed, and Mary’s grew.[75] Jane was deposed on 19 July.[76] She and Dudley were imprisoned in the Tower of London. Mary rode triumphantly into London on 3 August 1553 on a wave of popular support.


Dudley eats it, Mary is triumphant and beloved, all is right with the England’s scepter’d isle.


“One of Mary’s first actions as queen was to order the release of the Roman Catholic Duke of Norfolk and Stephen Gardiner from imprisonment in the Tower of London, as well as her kinsman Edward Courtenay.[78]


Mary takes care of her own, is Bruce Springsteen.


“Mary understood that the young Lady Jane was essentially a pawn in Dudley’s scheme, and Dudley was the only conspirator of rank executed forhigh treason in the immediate aftermath of the coup. Lady Jane and her husband, Lord Guildford Dudley, though found guilty, were kept under guard in the Tower rather than immediately executed, while Lady Jane’s father, Henry Grey, 1st Duke of Suffolk, was released.[79]


Executes men, is lenient to young women; is a much better proto-feminist icon than Elizabeth “I have the body of a week feeble woman but the heart and stomach of a king” Tudor, the Virgin “oh what we crushed a pregnant lady to death under rocks in my persecutions?” Queen.

And let’s talk about her marriage. The marriage in which Phillip’s titles, honors, and participation in co-rule depend on his relationship with his wife.

Under the terms of the Act for the Marriage of Queen Mary to Philip of Spain, Philip was to enjoy Mary I’s titles and honours for as long as their marriage should last. All official documents, including Acts of Parliament, were to be dated with both their names, and Parliament was to be called under the joint authority of the couple. Coins were also to show the heads of both Mary and Philip. The marriage treaty also provided that England would not be obliged to provide military support to Philip’s father in any war. The Privy Council instructed that Philip and Mary should be joint signatories of royal documents, and this was enacted by an Act of Parliament, which gave him the title of king and stated that he “shall aid her Highness … in the happy administration of her Grace’s realms and dominions.”[19] In other words, Philip was to co-reign with his wife.[20]


Phillip has his own country, so, while he did not deserve an iota of Mary’s excellence, he is not quite on the same level as George Clooney and Mr. Galadriel  Celeborn. It’s a marriage of co-titans.



Nice work if you can get it.

There are false pregnancies and deep griefs that should win the sympathies the of anyone who is not a complete garbage monster (which largely explains why the English seem to have so thoroughly disavowed her.) There are Marian persecutions enough to warm the blackest illiberal heart.

There is Ireland, of course, but after all, she was English. She was Catholic, and that must be enough.

And her jewels! La Peregrina.


Seriously, get out of my way.


The brooch that reads “Emperor.”

You may stare.

Yes, I am.



She deserves the tributes of a million spooked children and a million hungover morning drinkers.

So next time you sip the reviving brew, pour a little out on the floor, and whisper, “To Queen Mary.”



Comments containing Bloody Mary recipes are encouraged. Criticism of Mary or Elizabeth-apologia will be summarily deleted, in the spirit of Her Gracious Majesty.

Previously in Royalty

Time for Links

Who has seen this?

Earths! Everywhere!

Austerity in Kentucky


More reasons to move to Iceland, etc

This confirms all my suspicions

As does this

Emotional labor

Aw swell

5 billion in food stamp cuts over the next year. This is atrocious and terrifying, and it’s not just on Republicans, either. On the off chance you live in the Philadelphia area, Philabundance does great work and always needs help meeting demand for food.

Pregnant workers. Pregnant working women are contributing in two ways–the one the labor market rewards, and the bearing and birthing of workers on whom the economy depends. Something to keep in mind when we talk about “accommodations,” rather than “not punishing women for doing what keeps life, civilization, and your workforce moving along, at great personal cost.”

Hey Philly, let’s not screw this one up, ok?

I give the sexual revolution five more years. Childbirth also sounds increasingly terrifying.

Dinosaur sex. The evangelicals have purity bear–maybe we could have an NFP stegosaurus?


Nancy Wake, via The Toast, who,  by the way, whatever else you may say about them, pay their writers.

New Inquiry is all about the witches right now.

And finally

“Perhaps it is no wonder that the women were first at the Cradle and last at the Cross. They had never known a man like this Man — there never has been such another. A prophet and teacher who never nagged at them, never flattered or coaxed or patronised; who never made arch jokes about them, never treated them either as “The women, God help us!” or “The ladies, God bless them!”; who rebuked without querulousness and praised without condescension; who took their questions and arguments seriously; who never mapped out their sphere for them, never urged them to be feminine or jeered at them for being female; who had no axe to grind and no uneasy male dignity to defend; who took them as he found them and was completely unself-conscious.

There is no act, no sermon, no parable in the whole Gospel that borrows its pungency from female perversity; nobody could possibly guess from the words of Jesus that there was anything ‘funny’ about woman’s nature.

But we might easily deduce it from His contemporaries, and from His prophets before Him, and from His Church to this day.”

— Dorothy Sayers, Are Women Human?

You really should read the whole book.



Weird that I escaped the 90s with no exposure to The Cosby Show or an American Girl Doll?

Also, I am pretty sure I have actually seen this conversation go down in my house.

I promise there will be text as well as videos on this blog sometime soon.  For the literati among us.

If you want to speed up the process, anyone is welcome to send me some tips on crafts for children who may or may not have real trouble holding a pencil.


You Can Lead a Horticulture,

but you can’t make her think.

It’s Dorothy Parker’s birthday! 

A friend likes to tell me that if I stick around long enough, I show great promise of becoming every bit as bitter an old broad. I’m sure you do too.

So have a martini, on us, and a poem, on Dorothy.

In youth, it was a way I had
To do my best to please,
And change, with every passing lad,
To suit his theories.

But now I know the things I know,
And do the things I do;
And if you do not like me so,
To hell, my love, with you!

–D. Parker

NB this is also the motto of my love life. Explains a bit, no?

Morning Linkage

Interesting thoughts on the culture war.

One brave lady.

Have I ever mentioned my thesis adviser defended her dissertation hours before giving birth?

I’m so glad they brought this to court.

Read this.

Lest we pat ourselves on the back for not having this, let’s remember that we have plenty of this. And this.

I feel like when the Times says “Complex Emotions” they mean “We really tried to find someone to say they hated her, but couldn’t.”

Or maybe I am just a ball of paranoiac snark. In any case, it would be cool to do a road trip pilgrimage one summer to the shrines of all the North American saints. We could write a book about it and call it On the Rosary.

A friend of mine wrote this, and it’s awesome.


Update: some good news for once. 

This lady sounds, in a weird way, kind of awesome.

Lal Bibi is a hero

“If the people in government fail to bring these people to justice I am going to burn myself,” she said. “I don’t want to live with this stigma on my forehead. People will mock me if these men go unpunished, so I want every single one of them to be punished.”

Read the rest here


Scattershot Recs


I don’t know how I haven’t gotten around to mentioning this, but if you can, go see The Kid With a Bike. It’s a beautiful film, full of undemonstrative ache and unsentimental faith in goodness. The threads of Christianity laced through it have people making Bresson comparisons, and it’s true–but in particular, this seems to me an overwhelmingly Marian film, both in narrative and imagery.

“Full of grace–” that title might be the only one that wholly captures the Mother of God, and I keep coming back to it with Cyril’s foster mother. A fullness and completeness that does not draw attention to itself, that resists attempts to parcel or categorize, that pours out without being depleted and accepts piercing without being rent, that is simply itself, and good.

Anyway, see it if you can. It might still be playing in limited release.

In other and unrelated news, alt-country, folk, and rockabilly  seems to be making a revival, or bringing forth new pastiche genres.



This can only be good.

Also, why isn’t my name Tamar Korn?

All Hail St. Hildy!


All Hail St. Hildy!

Hildegard von Bingen, earliest known composer of sacred music, prophet, visionary, scientist, theologian, preacher, prioress, and who knows what else, was canonized today as a saint of the Roman Catholic church.

She was ferociously and radically united to the Church–a “hammerer of heretics,” as one friend of mine calls her. She was also ferociously and radically committed to the right and the just, and, by all accounts, cowed by absolutely nothing and no one. She was a model of both Christian obedience and proto-feminist courage, and if I hadn’t already been confirmed nine years ago and taken Margaret of Clitherow  (who you should also definitely read up on) as my name-saint, I would be on that like buttercream on a cupcake.

As it is, I nominate her as patroness of this blog. Any objections?