Weekend Music, A Day Early! (This will get stuck in your head.)

Video

Reina del Cid and Toni Lindgren with a Nickle Creek (not the same as Nickleback, people!) song about a preacher who predicted the end of the world several times. I almost posted it last weekend. It got stuck in my head while I was making the decision. I have been humming it all week. Enjoy!

Three things:

  1. Jeremy will be back next week.
  2. I am revealing my #1000Speak topic this weekend.
  3. The Feminist Friday is at Victim to Charm this week.

That is quite enough for a Thursday, I think ūüôā

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Join us for a Feminist Friday discussion of healthcare.

Video

We’re having an open discussion in four hours at Part Time Monster. We’re talking about how contraceptives are not just for preventing pregnancy and how they benefit women in tons of other ways. And how they are a medical treatment¬†that your employer should not be allowed to deny you.

If you’re just going to bed, or just waking up and have a busy work day ahead of you, no worries. Chime in when you have time, and we’ll answer.

We’ve been doing Feminist Friday discussions since March. We do them because we want people to talk to us about their experiences with sexism. We care about it. Given the fact that our constitutional court just placed contraception in a legal category by itself and made it subject to the whims of religious belief; and that a goodly portion of corporate America is poised to take advantage of the loophole, we are feeling a little beleaguered.

Talk to us about this. We need all the wisdom we can muster.

Lawyers, Guns and Money, is what I am saying. Equal parts honest desperation and  pointing out the ridiculousness of it all. We are just people. We have privileges but no real power. Our legal code is the only thing that prevents us from being ground to a pulp, and the highest court in the land has turned against us.

Talk to us. We’ll talk back.

Weekly preview, with Music

Kris Kristofferson at Austin City Limits in 2009:

Preview:

  • We’ll have posts from Diana (True Blood), Jeremy (Batman), and CompGeekDavid (Music) here and the usual features at Just Gene’O.
  • We’re a go for a Feminist Friday discussion at Part Time Monster this week; we’re still working on the topic.
  • I’m not sure about the Tolkien post for this week or the Follow Friday on the blog yet. I’ll explain briefly¬†why I am not sure below.

WARNING: Politics after the jump.

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Historical Campfire Stories: The Second Defenestration of Prague

The Second Defenestration of Prague is the coolest name for a historical event ever. It suggests someone tossed an entire city out a window,¬†and not for the first time. It’s giggle-inducing, but don’t let that fool you. This is one of those events you should know about if you’re puzzled as to¬†how the world got to be the way it is today.

In 1555, a treaty was signed at Augsburg which granted the princes of the Holy Roman Empire the right to establish religions in their own territories as they saw fit. This agreement made the legal division of Christendom into Catholic and Protestant states a permanent thing. Bohemia, now a part of the Czech Republic, was a kingdom of the Holy Roman Empire. It was a domain of the Catholic Habsburgs, but had a large Protestant population which included many nobles. You can probably see where this is going.

For 60 years after the Peace of Augsburg, two successive kings of Bohemia enforced a policy of toleration. Protestants were allowed to worship protestantly. Nobles and self-governing towns who chose Protestantism were allowed to endow religious institutions. There was even a proclamation granting Protestants the right to exercise their religion freely, and people were allowed to build churches on royal lands. Things were as copacetic as they could be in pre-modern Central Europe. Until 1618.

In 1617, the king, who was aging and had no children, named his cousin heir and had him elected king.  The cousin was a hard-line Catholic and a true believer in the counter-reformation. The next year, the new king persuaded the emperor to call a halt to the construction of some churches on royal land. The Protestant lords assembled to protest. The king had the emperor dissolve the assembly and relieve Count Thurn, an influential and outspoken Protestant, of his position as Castellan of Karlstadt.

The situation came to a head on May 23, 1618, in a meeting at the Bohemian Chancellory between members of the dissolved assembly (led by Count Thurn) and four Catholic Lords-Regent. The issue was a nasty letter from the emperor which had accompanied the dissolution of the Protestant assembly. The letter declared the lives and property of all the lords of the assembly forfeit, and they were afraid the Catholics were preparing to make good on that threat. They wanted to know, specifically, whether the four regents had anything to do with the letter or with convincing the king to take the hard line against Protestants.

After a bit of interrogation, the lords decided that two of the regents were too honorable and pious to use such a ploy and sent them from the room. Then they raked the other two over the coals for awhile. The two regents tried to stall for time by saying they needed to confer with a superior, who was not present, but could have the answer in a week or so. Things degenerated from there, and soon after, the lords threw the two regents and their secretary out this window:

The Castle of Prague

The Castle of Prague

Somehow, all three¬†survived the 70-foot fall, though they were injured. I’ve heard three explanations for their survival.

  1. They were saved by divine intervention, probably by¬†the Virgin Mary. (The Catholic pamphleteers’ version.)
  2. The were very fortunate that there happened to be a large dungheap just under the window. They fell into that, and they sure were¬†lucky to get off with just being made to look ridiculous. (The Protestant pamphleteers’ version.)
  3. The style of clothing of the day provided lots of padding, and the wall slopes outward at the bottom, which greatly slowed their descent. (What some historians think.)

As if this weren’t hilarious enough already, one of the regents was later ennobled by the emporer and given the title Baron von Hohenfall (Baron of Highfall).

Once they’d thrown the regents out the window, there was really nothing the lords could do except arm for war and try to stir up a general uprising. That’s exactly what they did. The next year, the king of Bohemia was elected Holy Roman Emporer. The Bohemians deposed him as king and replaced him with a Calvinist. All this led to a battle in November, 1620 at Bila Hora (“White Mountain,” ¬†in the vicinity of Prague at the time, now¬†a part of the city). The battle in involved nearly 60,000 soldiers, the Catholics won, and Prague was sacked in the aftermath. This was one of the early battles of the 30 Years’ War. ¬†Some people call it the first battle, because it marks the point at which the war expanded beyond Bohemia and Moravia.

The 30 Years’ War eventually engulfed all of Europe, and was the most cataclysmic armed conflict in European history up to that time. Until I read an article recently that said George R.R. Martin took his inspiration from the 100 Years’ War, I assumed he took it from this one. The series of treaties that ended it are known as the Peace of Wesphalia, and they established the legal definition of the modern state. Since I’ve recently had a few readers express an interest in some International Law pieces, I’ll have a post on the definition of statehood soon; that’s a good place to start with IL.

This is based on a real historical event, but written mostly from memory and intended to be entertaining, so check the facts for yourself. And really, shouldn’t you be doing that anyway? ūüėČ

Image via Wikipedia