Monday, February 25, 2008

The Whipster of Woodstreet, 1690






















I think mine would be "albatross." Or "Xanadu." Coleridge would definitely be alluded to in some fashion, because he always makes me think of weird sexual exploits (see: Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy, and their creepy friendship/obsession with each other and Coleridge). Actually, upon further consideration, maybe I'd go Foucauldian and pick "panopticon," because I think Foucault was actually into this kind of stuff. Oh, it's such a difficult decision!

Anyway, this ballad is about these women who beat their servant Mary Cox to death. While that's pretty grim, I'm most unsettled by the little boy casually juggling in the doorway. And I'm still not sure what all is lying on the ground. I can see the basket and the dress, but what is that thing in between them? A frozen turkey? That Mary Cox was into some kinky stuff.

7 comments:

danielle said...

Let's see. Safe word. I can't think of anything good other than something like "tunafish" or "bananas." But maybe with a certain crowd, that would produce something else. I'm bad at this. I think it best I stay out of any situation that calls for a safe word.

danielle said...

Oh and another thought I had when I first saw the image (which was immediately pushed out of my mind when I started thinking of hypothetical safe words) was: "I should print this one out for the cubicle too."

Although, this one might ellicit more questions than would be comfortable to answer.

Sarah Redmond said...

You know, I think safe words should kill the mood...something like "patriarchy" or "misogynist" might do the trick.

And definitely don't put BDSM references up in your cubicle. You'll attract the wrong element.

Doug said...

The only problem with referencing Foucault in your safe word is, as Sarah pointed out, that he was into that kind of thing. I was considering "carceral" as my safe word, but I thought that might actually lead to even more BDSM.

Did you know that Kafka made numerous references to BDSM in "The Metamorphosis"? Maybe my safe word should be "cockroach."

On second thought...maybe not.

A ridiculously picky historian said...

That was hysterical. And in general, I have to say your blog is pretty fabulous. But...a tiny point: technically speaking, most of your LOLs (at least the ones I've seen) are printed materials, not manuscripts. Shouldn't it be LOL Print Culture?

Either way, fabulous job. A couple of these literally made me laugh out loud.

Sarah Redmond said...

I started by looking at manuscript illustrations (i.e., the Blake entry, some medieval stuff, etc.), but ballads and pamphlets usually have better pictures, so I use those exclusively now. Plus, the word "manuscripts" is much more highfalutin and Renaissance-y than "ballads" or "prints." Also, you have to name your blog before you can put shit on it.

Anonymous said...

OH God, After the day ive had this made me laugh sooooooooooooo hard..
gods that was funny
lol