In the past, during times difficult for the world and for myself, I have turned to medieval history. Well, I have thought, if humanity, or a given society, or an individual, survived X—say, the Plague—then humanity, the United States, my family, or I can certainly survive Y—say, Covid, the upheaval of 9/11, the passing of a beloved patriarch, the death of a darling feline.
But today I do not feel like being fiercely, optimistically medievalist. It’s raining terribly outside, and I’ve had to turn away from global news sources for a few hours at least. Perhaps for the rest of the day.
It’s good to see that others have been waxing medievalist, though. Such as the US Embassy in Kyiv, who posted the following on Tuesday:
I’m not a Russianist, so I can’t speak to the accuracy of everything in the meme, but it’s brilliant trolling nonetheless. Because there’s nothing an autocrat like Putin, who blatantly revises history to his own ends, hates more than when someone laughs in his face.
And speaking of laughter, here’s a pic of someone who has given me great joy over the years. Rest in Peace, Contessa Marie Curtis-Whitaker (Jan. 14, 2007-Feb. 24, 2022). Your fierce, fiery, yet cute and joyful spirit will always be with us.
What, by the way, from our medieval past holds you up in times of trouble? Let us know in your comments.
Thank you for this, Cord. These are heavy times. I've been thinking a lot about solidarity, resistance to authoritarianism, and the importance of having honest and critical forms of reckoning with the past. My condolences to your family; losing a pet is a difficult and poignant kind of grief.
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