Showing posts with label history. Show all posts
Showing posts with label history. Show all posts

Sunday 17 March 2024

Nerd Church - Should We Judge Older Books By Modern Standards?

 


Warning: this post discusses racism, ableism, and general prejudice, including reference to dehumanising language and slurs


Title: Should We Judge Older Books By Modern Standards?



I've been re-reading* The Princess Diaries for a while now.

For those not aware: this was a massively popular YA series by Meg Cabot from the early 00s where a New York teenager named Mia Thermopolis finds out she's actually the Princess of Genovia. (As you do.)

There also 2 films starring Anne Hathaway, which are fun, but don't really match the tone of the books.


*Well, re-reading the first couple and reading the rest for the first time 😅


Sunday 23 April 2023

Nerd Church - It's Bannau Brycheiniog, Deal With It



In the spirit of friendship with our English neighbours, before we start I would like to wish you all a Happy St. George's Day! (Which is today - 23rd April)



You wouldn't think that a Welsh location having a Welsh place name would be controversial, but here we are...



Title: It's Bannau Brycheiniog, Deal With It



Wales is full of mountains.

Like, there's so many mountains that most of the time we don't even notice they're mountains, let alone know what they're called. Most of them contain the scars of human industry and/or habitation.

But there are a few mountain ranges - a few national parks, in fact - that aren't untouched by humans, or even untouched by industry, but have kept enough of their own character, and enough tether to the natural world, to be classified as 'wild.'

Like Y Bannau Brycheiniog.

Sunday 26 February 2023

Nerd Church - The Roald Dahl Edits Are Capitalism, Actually


Warning: this post discusses general bigotry, as well as more detailed anti-Semitism and racism, and other related topics. 

Links may include distressing content.




I'm Welsh, bookish, and a rebel - of course I'm going to talk about the Roald Dahl edits. 😅



Title: The Roald Dahl Edits Are Capitalism, Actually

Sunday 12 February 2023

Nerd Church - Versions of History


Warning: this post discusses various historical shenanigans, which means it ends up covering topics including but not limited to: racism, Homophobia, colonisation, and war.



Versions of History



The phrase 'revisionist history' is one I've seen crop up from time to time, usually from someone right-wing and ill-informed, when people are discussing diversity in history.

Since it's LGBT+ History Month here in the UK, and Black History Month in the USA (the UK's is in October,) - I've seen it more than once, in my online travellings, since the start of February.

And it's irritating.

So...


For all those who assume that European history, in particular, looks a certain way, a few snapshots in time, from across the continent:


Sunday 8 May 2022

Nerd Church - Rich Vamps: Dracula and The Blood of the Poor

 Warning: this is probably obvious, but we're gonna talk blood, death, and murder



'Rich Vamps: Dracula and The Blood of the Poor' with a background of a fancy hand - with a ring and everything - reaching for a wine glass


You ever notice that vampires are filthy stinking rich?

I was talking about this topic with Em @ The Paperback Princess a while back (...I can't find the conversation, but it exists, I'm sure! 😅):


You rarely see fiction or media with vampires who struggle to pay the bills

 - which does mean that they're in line to combine with a dozen or so other tropes to make romance novels titled 'The Alpha Bad-Boy Motorbike CEO Billionaire Daddy Vampire's Baby Surprise.' 

Apologies if that's the title of your novel - because I feel like this thing exists somewhere.

And if it didn't before, it does now 😅

But moving away from romance novels and things that would even make fanfiction writers wonder if you may have overdone the tropes...

Sunday 10 April 2022

Nerd Church - Even Franz-Freaking-Kafka...

 

Ever heard of a writer called Kafka?

If it was up to him, you probably wouldn't have. 

But millions of people know his name - and have heard the term 'Kafkaesque,' which is a fancy and more succinct way of saying 'reminds me of the stuff that that Kafka feller wrote.'



Even Franz-Freaking-Kafka...


Sunday 30 January 2022

Nerd Church - Of Monsters, Mice, and Men

 

'Monsters exist, but they are too few in number to be truly dangerous. More dangerous are the common men, the functionaries ready to believe and to act without asking questions.'

- Holocaust survivor Primo Levi



Of Monsters, Mice, and Men


Sunday 28 November 2021

Nerd Church - Dunkirk Spirit

 

'Dunkirk Spirit' with an artsy ocean-waves background


I don't know whether this counts as creative non-fiction, or a short story, or what - but it was something that I kind of needed to write, y'know? Anyhow, here it is:

Sunday 14 November 2021

Nerd Church - War Is Failure

 

(Warning: this post discusses war, violence, and the Holocaust)


'War Is Failure' with poppies against a white background



Since it's Remembrance Sunday here in the UK, I think it's time we all admitted something: war is failure.

Yes, even the conflicts we 'win.'

Yes, even the conflicts that people had to get involved in.

Yes, even World War 2.

Sunday 26 September 2021

Nerd Church - Of Tigers And Men: 'A Killing In Tiger Bay' and The Cardiff Five


Warning: this post discusses a murder case, and related themes such as blood and violence. 

It also discusses racism, institutional racism, miscarriages of justice, wrongful conviction, borderline torture, and police corruption. 

There are brief references to sex work and drugs.






The name Lynette White is one that’s known all over Wales.

Because of what happened to her, and what happened to five innocent men after her death.

Sadly her life is often brushed over, eclipsed by the crimes of the police officers who were supposed to investigate her murder – police officers who couldn’t even manage to spell ‘Lynette’ correctly when they told the press her name.





'Of Tigers And Men: 'A Killing In Tiger Bay' and The Cardiff Five' against a grey stone background







Lynette White, a 20 year old White woman who had been working as a sex worker in the docklands area of Cardiff, was found dead on 14th February 1988.

She had been brutally and viciously murdered.

An eye-witness had seen a White man, covered in blood, leaving the flat where Lynette’s body was found on the night she was killed.

She thought he was injured, so had asked if he was alright or if he needed help. He told her he was fine, had just hurt his hand, and said someone was coming to pick him up, so she left it there.

After Lynette was found, the eye-witness told the police what she’d seen, and described the man.




This was almost certainly Jeffrey Gafoor – Lynette’s murderer.

Modern DNA evidence proves that his blood was present at the murder scene, it was through a partial match on the DNA database that police eventually tracked him down.

Jeffrey Gafoor plead guilty to the murder of Lynette White in 2003.




...But the police arrested five men for the murder of Lynette White in November 1988, with the trial starting in 1989.

The Cardiff Five were put on trial for the murder of Lynette White, and the Cardiff Three were wrongfully convicted of her murder.

It was one of the biggest miscarriages of justice the UK has ever seen.


Sunday 5 September 2021

Nerd Church - The Long Reach of History, 20 Years After 9/11


Warning: this post contains discussions of terrorism, war, murder, and related themes.


The Long Reach of History,  20 Years After 9/11


dividing line

Note:

I have done my best with this post to be respectful to all lives lost and affected. Please do the same in any replies/comments you may leave, either here or on social media.

I've also spoken about historical events and truths that we in the West would rather not hear about - but it's important that we do. History does not stop being true simply because we refuse to look at it.


(Related Post: Nerd Church - I Watched Jojo Rabbit: Part 2, Facing History)


I've tried not to speak out of turn, and instead have stuck to the information I feel I have correctly understood. 

Much of these events are points of historical debate, and these are my interpretations based on the evidence available to me at time of writing.

If any information is incorrect, I welcome corrections from unbiased sources.

dividing line

Next Saturday is September the 11th, 2021.

20 years ago, on September the 11th, 2001, two planes crashed into the World Trade Center in New York. Another crashed into the Pentagon. A fourth plane came down in a field in Pennsylvania.

I was a kid, and I watched the pictures coming from the US on TV - both understanding and not understanding what I was watching.

Friday 18 June 2021

Friday Fics Fix - Pride Fics Fest: Jack the Lass


Welcome back to Pride Fics Fest! That period in June where I stop pretending straight and fanfiction have anything to say to each other 😉


'Fics Fix!' with purple background and white lightning bolt shape



This post contains SPOILERS for Gentleman Jack, series 1

SPOILERS!!!! OK? SPOILERS


Gentleman Jack is a truly amazing BBC historical drama, based on the life and diaries of 18th/19th Century English Lesbian, landowner, and businesswoman, Anne Lister.

Anne left extensive, coded, diaries - many of which were fairly sexually explicit.

I love this series - a well-written, well-acted, period drama about Lesbians who are complex, flawed, genuine, people. It's so good!


Sunday 13 June 2021

Sunday 6 June 2021

Nerd Church - I Watched Jojo Rabbit: Part 2 - Facing History


'I Watched Jojo Rabbit: Part 2 - Facing History'



Welcome to the next instalment of I Watched Jojo Rabbit, aka 'Cee rabbits on about Jojo Rabbit!*'

(And no, I could not resist the pun.)

While you don't need to have read Part 1 of this mini-post-series in order to understand this part, I do recommend reading it (which I would do, because I wrote it,) to get a more generalised view of Jojo Rabbit as a film.

You can read part one here.

Jojo Rabbit is a funny and heart-warming film, with a dark and deeply uncomfortable edge.

And this post? This post looks at that darker part of Jojo Rabbit - from the controversial premise to the dark nature of this darkest period of history.

We're gonna get uncomfortable, dearest nerdlets, fair warning.



* = commission link

Sunday 30 May 2021

Nerd Church - I Watched Jojo Rabbit: Part 1 - The Survival of Humanity

(Warning: due to the subject matter of the film Jojo Rabbit, this post discusses: war, Nazis, Hitler, the Holocaust, bigotry, indoctrination)


I watched Jojo Rabbit...



'I Watched Jojo Rabbit: Part 1 - The Survival of Humanity'



Jojo Rabbit* is a 2019 film written, directed, and starring the legendary Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi.

(It's inspired by, rather than based on, the book Caging Skies by Christine Leunens.)

It is a comedy about Nazis.

And yes, you read that right.

It is a comedy about Nazis.


* = commission link

Sunday 16 May 2021

Nerd Church - 'I Shall, This Night, Be Engaged In A Struggle For Freedom': The Fight For The Vote in the UK

(Warning: this post discusses political struggle, including murder by the military. It also refers to historical capital punishment and torture.)


On the night of 4th of November, 1839, somewhere between 1000 and 5000 men from the South Wales valleys marched to the Westgate Hotel in Newport.

By morning, at least 22 of them would be dead.

They were killed by the British army on British soil.

This was the Newport Rising.



''I Shall, This Night, Be Engaged In A Struggle For Freedom': The Fight For The Vote in the UK'



This is the story of the right to vote in the UK - not just for women, but for the majority of the men in this country, too.

And it's long, and it's bloody, and it's rarely taught in schools. 

But it's our history - not the history of the rich, who had long had the right to vote and the ability to stand for parliament - but the history of the working people of this country.

Friday 21 August 2020

Review Time! - Queer As A Five-Dollar Bill by Lee Wind

(Warning: this post discusses Homophobia and bigotry, including physical violence)

 ***All Amazon.com links in this post are commission links. This means I earn commission from purchases made in the US*** 

Please do not use my links to make UK purchases.



'Queer As A Five Dollar Bill' written in mismatched letters over a background of a five dollar bill, ft. Abraham Lincoln





Title: Queer As A Five-Dollar Bill

'Queer As A Five-Dollar Bill' book cover with $5 poking out of the back of a boy's jeans
Author: Lee Wind

Genre: YA, Contemporary, LGBTQ+ (Gay & M/M)



Sunday 7 June 2020

Nerd Church - Paul Robeson and His Beloved Wales



1920s London. An unlikely meeting that would forge an unbreakable bond.

I figured, given the ongoing racial injustices and prejudice against Black people, that now was a good time to talk about and highlight a Black hero of the (mainly White) Welsh miners: Paul Robeson.

Some of the details are a little disputed - it's become its own mythology over the years - but I've tried to go with the consensus, and there're resources at the end of the post if you're interested to learn more!

(And yes, she's talking about Wales again!)



'Paul Robeson and His Beloved Wales' next to a photo of Paul Robeson onstage at the National Eisteddfod in 1958

Image of Paul Robeson: Geoff Charles (1909-2002)/Wikimedia Commons




Paul Robeson was a Black American actor, singer, athlete, and political activist - including Civil Rights and Socialist activism. 

He is also a national hero here in Wales, especially among the older generations.

Tuesday 25 February 2020

Book Review! - Talk Softly And Carry Your Big Stick With Pride by Ariel Jean Bailey


OMG she still reviews! 😅😎


'Talk Softly and Carry Your Big Stick With Pride' against a Trans flag background (horizontal stripes: blue/pink/white/pink/blue)


 ***All Amazon.com links in this post are commission links. This means I earn commission from purchases made in the US*** 

Please do not use my links to make UK purchases.






Title: Talk Softly And Carry Your Big Stick With Pride:
Talk Softly And Carry Your Big Stick With Pride by Ariel Jean Bailey book cover
The Biology, Sociology, and History of the Gender Spectrum
Author: Ariel Jean Bailey

Genre: Non-Fiction, LGBTQ+ (Trans+/NB+, some Genderqueer+, some Intersex+)


Amazon: USA


Sunday 26 January 2020

Nerd Church - Auschwitz: 75 Years Later

 ***All Amazon.com links in this post are commission links. This means I earn commission from purchases made in the US*** 

Please do not use my links to make UK purchases.




(Warning: this post discusses the Holocaust and genocide throughout. Links may include details and/or images of the Holocaust and genocide.)


75 years ago tomorrow (27th January) Auschwitz concentration camp was liberated by Soviet forces.





A single candle in the darkness