Behind the Bastards

There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.

Part Two: Keep the Yuletide Gay: Saturnalia & the Puritan War on Christmas

Part Two: Keep the Yuletide Gay: Saturnalia & the Puritan War on Christmas

Wed, 21 Dec 2022 05:01

In part two of this week's episode, Margaret continues her conversation with Garrison Davis about how the Church tried, and largely failed, to stop the wild revelry of the winter solstice.

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Complete your feast with Wisconsin White Cheddar Cheese bites and ride a wave of multi-goodness. Order ahead at Long John Silver's dot com. Fishy air! Hello and welcome to Cool People Who Did Full Stuff. It's a podcast. The guest is Garrison, the producer is Sophie. Garrison, how are you doing? I'm doing very well. Excellent. Sophie, how are you doing? I'm doing very well. Everyone's doing so well. I'm feeling so festive and cheery. I'm festively jovial. Let's do this. All right. Very saturnalia chaos-pilled. Yeah. Yeah. And our audio is done by Ian. Our music is done by own woman. In part one, we learned all about the pagan shit Christmas borrowed from. Today we're talking about my favorite Christmas, which is medieval Christmas. Medieval Christians had not forgotten their pagan roots. They were, again, this is purely from my point of view. Basically, just pagan to like cross themselves and went to church sometimes. Because otherwise, people were just talking to them at Latin. And they just kept being doing whatever they wanted to do. That is my totally historical, I'm an anthropologist. Anyway, Christmas in medieval England was a lot of fun. For starters, there's 12 days of it, like the song. On Christmas Day, there are church services. Then there was drinking, feasting, and games for about two weeks. The 12th day of Christmas was called a piphany, or sometimes just 12th day. And it's more important than Christmas Day in medieval Christmas. It represents when the three wizards we talked about last time, who totally belonged. It's like, if you're reading a story where there's only one wizard, and then all of a sudden there's a reference to three other wizards and they're just never talked about again. Because in Christianity, no one can do magic, but God, right? But then there's just some fucking wizards. Yeah, I mean, there is a few other people who do magic in the Old Testament. But it's like, oh yeah, that's true. If you do it, you're basically working with demons or Satan. You can't do it, it's just evil. Yeah. And then of course, like, in the Christianity, everyone can do magic because everyone is Jesus. All right. What's that meme I would like to know more about your religion? And please give me a pamphlet. There's a meme where people, like someone says something that I think is cool. And it's not like a meme, like an image meme. It's like a thing people say on the internet. Maybe I'm gonna have to do this as it. Where someone says something, you're like, ah, I would like to know more about your religion. Please give me a pamphlet. Anyway, epiphany represents when the three wizards showed up and were like, damn, this kid is important. I think his dad is God. And a couple hundred years from now, there's gonna be a big fuss about whether that means it literally or not. Because spoiler, early Christianity, it's been a lot of time, getting into very heated debates with some death involved about whether or not Jesus was the son of God or God literally or whatever any of that should means. And unfortunately, the Catholics won that debate and the Nostics didn't. Boo, boo. Although, would we be sitting here like right now, seven to ten years later, if the Nostics had won, the Nostics would have come into power. And they would have been just as shitting. But they would have been just as shitting. I don't know. Because the Nostics are way less hierarchical than the Catholics. Yeah, Catholic maybe. Catholic Catholicism is so built on hierarchy. They build a hierarchy of angels. They build a hierarchy of hell, of church, of reality. Whereas the Nostics are like everyone can be their own savior. And we should all fight the Demi-erge. We need to fight God and become our own savior. Generally way more decentralized. Right, but the Protestant revolution was also the decentralization of religious authority. And it did not. It was at best a lateral move in terms of actual liberation for the world. Because it made everyone cops instead of one cop far away that you can ignore. Yeah. I mean, pros- I'm not trying to come for the Nostics. I'm just like, I just think it'd be really funny and interested if the Nostics had won that fight. And then the Catholics have been like a cool underground one that like people were like. Totally possible. That is definitely completely possible that the world would have been just as shitty. But there is no one to know. It would have been interesting. Because it's such a different theology. Yeah. Anyway. Thanks for coming down that with me. So Midnight Mass has been part of Christmas and it's basically forever starting around 400 AD. Because Christ, who's totally not the Sun, was born at exactly the darkest time of the darkest night of the year. Just when the Sun starts returning, totally unrelatedly. It's just a weird coincidence of when his mom got knocked up by an angel. Funny how that worked out. Yeah. St. Nicholas got attached to Christmas when the Protestants who were trying to phase out all the pagan holidays and fun in general. They, especially the Puritans, they crammed him into Christmas instead of his traditional day, December 6th, which was the day that everyone used to give people presents. People gave each other presents a lot during a lot of these times. But giving kids presents was like a St. Nicholas day thing. And in some places, I think it still is. And then they were like, no, it needs to be like the presents need to somehow be like God presents, not Saint presents. So it got moved to Christmas. So we could put the Christ in Christmas. And St. Nick himself was kind of interested in his own right. His whole thing was he gave shit away to people, just like, all right. It seemed like he was kind to sex workers, which is nice, I guess. It's the main way to judge someone, honestly. Yeah. Anyway, medieval peasants, they remembered some of those pagan roots. And because of that, there was a ritual transvestism as part of Christmas, continuing to be extremely based. And there was feasting and mariment, et cetera. And the church didn't like this. They just couldn't do anything about it. They tried. They tried two different things. It's the same two things that everyone uses to try and stop the power of Christmas. First, you try repression. And then when that doesn't work, you try co-option. If you can't beat him, the joint of... Yeah, basically. That is what happened. Is the Catholic church didn't steal Christmas? The Catholic church acquiesced and joined Christmas. Is how... Is my reading on this? Yeah. In the year 742, a bishop wrote to complain about the quote, singing and dancing in the streets in pagan style, heathen acclimations in sacrilegious songs, banquets by day and night, the wearing and selling by women of factories and ligatures, which I think means like sex charms and love charms. Okay. Okay. They did better with co-option, and they really worked on the sanitization of Christmas. And that's the real war against Christmas is the sanitization of it. Gift-giving got replaced as you pointed out by gifts of the Magi, and the whole thing was treated as if it was about Christ or whatever. But the cool shit continued to filter through. Take Christmas carols. The medieval versions of Christmas carols were based on a pre-Christian style of singing, where a leader sang a verse, and then a crew of dancers sang and danced to the chorus together. And this got lured, and I am so annoyed that I could not find more information in history besides it got lured. Okay. Okay. I would love to see. Yeah, what... The two things in all of the history should I read. The two things that are written out of it is fucking sex work and drugs. Like any hedonism and sex. Yeah, because all the broadlaid is sex work. All the people that write this stuff down are old nerds. No, and they're wrong kind of nerds. That doesn't actually do the cool stuff. They're all like, they're... Yeah. They're like, t-he-he. It got lured. I'm like, does that mean they showed their ankles or were their orgy's in the streets? Yeah. Because I think it's totally possible. I know. People did weird shit. People still do weird shit. Right now, in any given town, you could go to a club where people are like, t-he-he, I can see that person's ankle. Or you can go join a weird public orgy. Yeah. It still happens. So then there's the feast of the innocence, which is a feast day. It gets assigned to a bunch of different days in different traditions and calendars and shit. It's usually December 28th and the current, whatever. But I'm going to call it December 28th. And the feast of the innocence is weird. It's about when King Herod of Syria killed all the boys under two years old, like tens of thousands of kids. This is probably folklore. It probably didn't happen. I don't know. Like the Bible, I guess. And these kids are seen as the first martyrs of Christianity. And I've read two versions of what happens on the feast day of the feast of innocence in the medieval tradition. They are very different takes on what happens on this day. One is sick. It's a role reversal for kids and adults. You go, there's like just, it's just a chaos day. Yeah. Kids run around. The kids like run the Catholic Mass. They tell everyone what to do. The parents have to listen to the kids. And there's another version of the feast of the innocence, which is like this shitty game of hide and seek where all the kids hide. And then the parents try to find them. And if they find the children, they beat them. What the fuck? Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Those are so different. They're so different. What is going on? I don't know. The subtext of the beat, the kids one is a little bit like the parents might not have tried to find the kids. It might have been like, get out of our hair or we'll hit you. Okay. We want to have like, yeah, yeah. Mommy adult time or whatever. I don't know. I can't. I'm so annoyed. Sometimes I sometimes with these episodes I wish I had like months per episode. Yeah, because that is that was, I mean, is it like Lee that just like both happened at different places? Honestly, that's my best guess. Yeah. Because we're talking about like medieval England. I'm talking about like 500 to 1500 in the entire continent of Europe. Sure. Like one of those is much more similar to like the Saturnalia role reversal thing. Yeah. And the other one is just child abuse. Yeah. Totally. And there's more role reversal. That's a hard. That's the saddest. That's the saddest. That's the saddest. That's the saddest. That's the saddest. Yeah. Yeah. And medieval England. And again, medieval, actually, well, this one I can give you a specific country, England. A random peasant would. You draw lots again, and instead of being the king of Saturnalia, you are the Lord of Misrule. Okay. Which still sounds pretty cool. It is the single best title that one could possibly have, I believe, is the Lord of Misrule. And they were in charge. And their job is to make sure the revelry was fucking chaos. Eat dinner at the altar of the church. Fucking drink. People would complain because random strangers. I think like random richer folks coming down, but I don't know. Maybe that's like me trying to be like, oh, it was like based, but who knows? Might have sucked. Who fucking knows? It was chaos. Random rich strangers coming to the town might get spanked and robbed. And everyone is, and people are of course, cross-dressing all over the fucking place. There is a chance that at the end of his reign, the Lord of Misrule was sacrificed, just like might have happened on Saturnalia. And it's an interesting image and it's presented by like a bona fide folklorist and anthropologist who should know what he's talking about. A lot of people are real skeptical. I'm skeptical. I'm more skeptical about medieval England, human sacrificing the Lord of Misrule at the end of their week. But, or at the end of the 12 days of Christmas, that'd be a funny one on the 12th day of Christmas. I gave you just literally your dead now. Just fucking killing you. A lot of the like neat stories about weird wacky ways that people killed themselves and each other from like, ye oldy times, turned out to be just stories. Like the thing, the like Scandinavian thing or like the Swedish thing about like old people have to throw themselves off of cliffs in order to die in order to like not take up resources from the community or whatever. I can't, but it's used in that movie mid-summer spoiler, I guess. That's not real as far as anyone can tell. That's like a, that's a story. It's a story, yeah. Whereas on the other hand, most of the stories that hint about fucking and drugs seem to actually usually be true and are never going to be in a lot of detail. More people fucking to drugs. Yeah. It's more sustainable than murder. Yeah, you can fucking do drugs more than once during your lifetime. Yeah. You can really die one time. Yeah. Typically, unless you are again, Jesus Christ, the son of God, the, yeah. Or that guy, the first zombie, who do you summon back from the dead? Oh, Lazarus. Yeah, that's it. And then also one of the reasons I sort of doubt this is that for all of the, I really don't want to be like for good things that Christianity culturally exported. But overall Christianity cut down on human sacrifice, a good solid amount whenever it was around. And then they found their way to do killing in other ways. Oh, yeah. No, absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. God, maybe that's just all made the crusaders pent up whatever. Anyway. So the Lord of misrule ties into, but is distinct from the feast of fools, which started probably in central Europe. And all of these names are so good. I know. And they're all fucking cool things. It started in central Europe. It's January 1st, Collins, which is still part of Christmas, if you're doing the 12 days. And it was a day of the feast of fools was wildness and folly and role reversal and ludeness. And like everything is permitted. Very like, actually kind of like Marty Grau is the sort of modern thing that people had sort of tied us into. And it's all happening like in the name of God, but the priest says the interview like fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck. And I was like, in the name of God, and they're like doing everything that Christianity normally says not to do. Is there have a transgender orgy? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And it took a couple hundred years for the church to successfully stop out the feast of fools. Unfortunate, unfortunate. I know. It's like, to me, it seems like maybe how like a person who lives in England is ostensibly ruled by the English king and a Catholic is ostensibly ruled by the Catholic Church. But really people are just people and doing their own thing. And these authoritarian structures are just trying to claim authority that they only somewhat have. And that's how I feel about the like folk Catholicism of this time. Catholicism is this type of Catholicism is at odds with the church rather than being in like obedience to the church. And this seems to be the Catholicism that was actually practiced by a lot of Catholics instead of what people claimed they should be practicing. So was sailing. So was sailing is when you demand stuff from people. And do you know who else is demanding stuff from us? From you, the listener. Me. So if you like German. So if you like German is demanding that in order to continue to eat food on a regular basis. Yeah. Yeah. That we should shift over to hearing different voices. A diversity of opinions. I have these opinions about cool people. Did cool stuff. Whereas you might be about to hear an opinion that says that you should. Become a cop. Hopefully those ads are gone now. Yeah, I mean, we really don't have control over most of the ads. Yeah. So we don't endorse the. Yeah. Here's some non-he don't stop it. They do make it so we can do our shows and pay people and eat food and have homes. Yay. Here's the ads. At Best Friends Animal Society, we believe. We believe every cat and every dog deserve a chance. We believe that humans can be an animal's best hope for a bright future. And we believe that no matter who you are, you can help make it happen. You can ensure that every pet knows love, companionship, and a safe place to call home. Join Best Friends and help create a bright, safe future for dogs and cats around the country. For more information, check out This holiday ad will be over in 27 seconds. Unlike the new Dyracel battery with power boost ingredients that can last 19,976 seconds in your kids RC motorcycle or 6,801 seconds on your beard trimmer for this year's family photo or 15,172 seconds on your electric frother for some holiday eggnog. And many more seconds to get more out of your holiday season. Dyracel, unlike this ad, engineered for more. Holiday festivities are upon us. But this time of year is about more than the big celebrations. In between the shindigs and the socializing, it's important to pause and make time for the little moments too. Take a second to chill this holiday season with Chor's Light, the beer that's made to chill. Chor's Light is cold-lockered, cold filtered, and cold packaged. It's literally made to chill. Exactly what you need for a break from the holiday hustle. It's as crisp and refreshing as the Colorado Rockies, perfect to help you unwind after a hectic day of shopping and decorating. The mountains on the bottles and cans even turn blue when your beer is cold. So you always know when it's the perfect temperature for mountain cold refreshment. Make time to chill during a little moments this holiday season and reach for the beer that's made to chill. Get Chor's Light delivered straight to your door with Drizzly or Instacart by going to Chor's slash cheer. That's Chor's slash cheer. Celebrate responsibly Chor's Brewing Company Golden, Colorado. We are back with Sailing traditionally done on the 12th night. With Sailing probably gets its name from the Norse. It basically means like Hale as in like Hale and Well Matt or like, hey, what's up? Yeah. It means it means be in good health. And it's what predates modern caroling. It basically means go around and make the rich people give you nice shit by singing songs. It gets referred to as recipient initiated charity, which is my favorite youth in the world. That's great. Because I would like to present a spectrum of ways of engaging in power. You have top down charity in which the rich give to the poor usually in ways that maintain the power structure. You know, not based. Make them feel good about themselves. Then there's Mutual Aid, which is people giving freely amongst equals. And then there's Recipient Initiated Charity, AKA Give Me Your Shit. Unfortunately, I mean, there's a kind of a way of seeing all of this like revelry, this sort of negative interpretation of all of this stuff that I really like. I don't subscribe to this belief, but it is the danger of all this revelry is that it lets out pent up aggression. If you get to be in charge, if you're an ancient Rome and you're enslaved and you get to be fed by your master for a week a year, you're less likely to revolt. Yeah, this is the same type of thing we see a lot of the time in like a, it's the recuperation of like anti-capitalist resistance and selling it back to you in a way that is palpable. But by doing that exchange, you feel like you are living in a world where there actually is actual resistance, but a lot of it is paid for. Yeah, it's the, one of the few good jokes from Rick and Morty is the simple Rick's Wafers and how they start selling the simple Rick's Freedom Wafers Selects. How you can buy this wafer and it gives you a taste of what it's like to be actually truly free. And it's like, it's, and it's, and this wafer flavor was, was designed by like studying the brain of someone who just laid like a revolt against a factory. And it's like getting this getting this taste into into into the wafer and this person worked at the wafer factory. So it's this company that is like using this revolt to make more of their products. And you can, you can engage with it and it gives you a taste, but that it's actually, it's, it's just going to prolong the amount of time that you're living under this because now you have this little bit of the taste. And what I would argue is that when the government or the forces that be or whatever the fuck do this kind of stuff to us, it's dangerous for them. It's not as completely under control as they would like to claim. You know, like sometimes these things, these things that to them are like controlled burns, get out of control. And I would argue that as they like let the steam out of the pent up, I mean, how many metaphors can I possibly use here? But you know, as they let the steam out or whatever, right, let the pent up energy or whatever. So that the whole thing doesn't explode. It's still sometimes is like actually teaching us like sometimes you get that taste of that wafer in your mouth. And you're like, you know what, what if we had the whole fucking factor? What if we had that all the time? Yeah. No, yeah. That's the same thing. I think I was talking with this with people when the TV show and or finished coming out, we loved how did, how did Disney allow them to make this thing that's showcasing how to do all these various forms of resistance. And there's a part of it that's like they're selling you back this version of right of uprising for us to consume. And maybe if we just consume that, we'll be happy enough that we're that we're able to consume this thing that will forget that you can do this in the real world. But I don't I think that is a not that simple considering. Yeah, but I don't I don't think it's it has the full picture. Yeah, I think what happened there is that you have people who actually it's less that Disney was like, ha ha ha, this is our big evil plan. I mean, like, like what if there was like a single radio conglomerate that controlled like half of podcasting and all the radio stations and then wow. And then people got paid to talk about rebels on their network. Right. Yeah, I would argue that they would be doing these hypothetical people would be doing it to make use of a power structure that exists. Like rather than like for the sake of that power structure and it's a dangerous and complicated game. But the the old cliche is that the. The last capitalist will sell you the rope with which to hang him. Yeah. That doesn't mean he doesn't he's still good to hang yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, which is why I like that saying and people will use that saying like to mean the opposite and I'm like, no, that's fine. The Catholic distilled diet. Yeah. Yeah. And anyway, recipient initiated charity. Big part of what's sailing it's like the role reversal thing so peasants would go to their feudal lords or just like rich people and they would sing and demand good food and booze and sometimes just straight up money. And this looked lots of different ways. Sometimes it's like you show up and you're like give us your figure put in or we won't go away and they're like, here's your figure put in and then you're like, thank you, sir. And everyone feels really good about themselves. Sometimes there's all these like people writing complaining about being like the rich people are afraid to leave their houses because gangs of youth are outside station to rob them. So there's like a whole spectrum. Yeah of with sailing. Sometimes people would curse the rich people, but you know totally not pagan just regular curses good Christian curses. Yes, yes, all of those Christian curses. Yeah, sometimes they would vandalize the place and this is actually the Rick the root of trick or treating as part as I can tell trick or treat. Yeah, that's what it was reminding me of. Yeah, it's give me some candy or I'll egg your fucking house is like the once you're like 12 or 13, you know, that's the level of trick or treating or whatever. Maybe that's just me. A clergyman from the time said quote, men dishonor Christ more in 12 days of Christmas than in all the 12 months besides great people would drink and gamble and feast and probably they fucked. But you know the history books won't say plus they fucked instead they say they engage in licentatious behavior cross dressing big part of it. And all big part of was sailing so every single fucking little bit of tradition has people cross dressing as part of it. There's this book that rules it's called witchcraft in the gay counterculture and it was basically a love letter written to me and you a garrison. Okay, it was by Arthur Evans probably Robert's dad. I'm not can either confirm nor deny. And it talks about how everyone kept dressing up as weird shit quote so common was the practice of animal masquerades in the middle ages that detailed condemnations were issued against them. Theodore a seven century archbishop of canterbury centerberry maybe I wrote that wrong might be canterberry wrote. If anyone in the colens of January goes about as a stag or a bowl that is making himself into a wild animal and dressing in the skin of a herd and putting on the head of beasts. Those who in such wise transforms themselves of the appearance of a wild animal penance for three years because this is devilish. And the same book witchcraft in the gay counterculture says links between witchcraft and transvestism appear regularly in early Christian Europe. In the sixth century the Christian writers is areas of aries denounce the pagan practices of ritual transvestism in the wearing of animal costumes six and seven century sign odds repeatedly condemns trans condemned transvestism during the popular New Year's holiday where men dressed as women quote a masquerade probably originating in a fertility right of some kind. In ninth century a Christian guidebook prescribed penance for men who practice ritual transvestism a 13th century inquisitor in southern France denounced female worshipers of the goddess Diana along with male transvestites. This is all super fascinating because I just I just for the last episode of the tinesias unicorn ranch series. I was writing about there's been these attacks on drag shows by these these Christian far right groups. And particularly this past month there's been multiple attacks on Christmas themed drag shows. It's just fascinating because like these these these Christmas themed drag shows are more like traditionally Christmas yet all of these Christians who are attacking them. But it's also this interesting look a bit on like this exact scenario isn't new. Going on for thousands of years. This is been Christmas it's the same thing they're doing the same thing. We're both following into our traditional roles. Yes. These Christians are attacking these other Christmas. These holiday like drag performances in the same way that these Christians are attacking this ritual transvestism. And I love that the church has multiple times over the years needed to say please stop cross dressing and or dressing up like cows. And people just kept being like no no no we're going to do it can't stop me and I'm doing it in the name of God. And there's also something in the last the last line from that last quote about the inquisitor in France coming after female worshipers of the gas Diana along with male transvestites. And there's a bunch of things there one is that like there were a bunch of women worship in Diana including cis women and trans women is more or less with that saying. But also that like the modern turf so want to like separate cis and trans women like the enemies have been demanding we burn together for a very long time. Yes. Okay more cool shit about Christmas the Welsh tradition have you heard of Mary Lou. I don't think so it's not actually Lou like Lou it's it's LWYD. Okay. Okay so you take a horse skull right. The horse skull on a stick. You make like a hobby horse out of it you know like a little kids toy or the horse yeah yeah. And then you drape a sheet sort of over it like kind of on the neck so that you can hide under the sheet. And so it's just a horse head on a stick with a person underneath it. And that's that's your Christmas was sailing thing that you bring around. And so with sailors would take this horrific awesome horse skull around them with them as they were fucking up the rich and getting drunk. And historians have no idea whether this well tradition the the Mary Lou is the grey mayor I believe is what it translates to they have no idea if it's pre-Christian or not or rather lots of people of ideas about whether it's pre-Christian or not but no one can like prove it. The records of it go back to about 1800 but they talk about it being a thing from before them. Another thing that predates Mary Lou is the concept of advertisement. So true. So true. Yeah. We can all make it through it together. They're our best friends and confidants. They're our exercise buddies. Our movie night pals. Our reason for smiling. They're our pets. Each unique and wonderful. Each deserving of a loving home. And right now best friends animal society is helping dogs and cats to find families to call their own. Best friends is working in communities nationwide to give homeless pets second chances. They're finding homes for them giving them healing, saving their lives. And you can help donate at slash donate and together let's save them all. This holiday ad will be over in 27 seconds. Unlike the new DuraSel battery with power boost ingredients that can last 19,976 seconds in your kids RC motorcycle or 6,801 seconds on your beard trimmer for this year's family photo or 15,172 seconds on your electric frother for some holiday eggnog. And many more seconds to get more out of your holiday season DuraSel. Unlike this ad, engineered for more. Holiday festivities are upon us. But this time of year is about more than the big celebrations. In between the shindigs and the socializing, it's important to pause and make time for the little moments too. Take a second to chill this holiday season with Cours Light, the beer that's made to chill. Cours Light is cold-lockered, cold filtered and cold packaged. It's literally made to chill. Exactly what you need for a break from the holiday hustle. It's as crisp and refreshing as the Colorado Rockies. Perfect to help you unwind after a hectic day of shopping and decorating. The mountains on the bottles and cans even turn blue when your beer is cold. So you always know when it's the perfect temperature for mountain cold refreshment. Make time to chill during a little moments this holiday season and reach for the beer that's made to chill. Get Cours Light delivered straight to your door with Drizzly or Instacart by going to Cours slash cheer. That's Cours slash cheer. Celebrate Responsibly Cours Brung Company Golden, Colorado. We are back. You could also with sale and orchard. In case you were ever wondering, you were like, could I with sale and orchard? Well the answer, Garrison Davis, is that you could, if you would choose. What type of things would be at the orchard at the end of December? So I think this is with sailing now taken out of Christmas time. I can't tell. It still might have been because you're not like going and getting the apples at this point. You're blessing the orchard for better harvest in the year to come. Yeah. Yeah. And so it actually still could have been midwinter. I really kind of like, I don't know. I spent a while trying to figure out exactly when they were with sailing orchards. Okay. So yeah, you can with sale orchards, which even up into the 17th century was really fucking pagan. I mean folkloric or superstitious. People would march from orchard to orchard led by the wasale king and queen to the orchard and drink to the health of the trees and scare away evil spirits in order to bring about a good harvest. They would lift the wasale queen up into the boughs to place booze soaked bread in the branches. Yeah. Totally Christian. Yeah, this is this doesn't sound like folk paganism at all. No, no, just a Christian thing. Other was sailing traditions included drinking mold cider and various types of booze from a wasale bowl, which is a big communal bowl that everyone drank from. And the drink was called wasale. Because they're really original namers. Nice. And it's been a bunch of different drinks at different times. For a while it was mead with crab apples later it was cider like what people drink Christmas now. Other times it was like ale with baked apples in it. Basically it's like some combination of like apples of some variety and alcohol. I mean, and stuff like this has has continued on today. Yeah, this this style of tradition. Yeah. Yeah, and I really like it. This is like one of the things that I'm not talking about that in the script that I still genuinely like like the real at my heart the reason that I never actually likes didn't like Christmas even when I was like a baby anarchist and spent all of my time rallying against consumerism and shit like that. And I still believe the same shit I believed. But I know that I know that fan of consumerism. Yeah. But like the idea of gathering together with your family in the darkest day of the year and like at the darkest time like and it's not just that the light is returning but it's that the cold is setting in and how hope returns even as things get worse. And I think about this a lot with the current rise of fascism right even when we turn the tide on fascism things will continue to get worse for a while. But we can't lose hope we know that as the light returns eventually delayed so will the warmth. I really care about both solstice and Christmas and I like I really I'm very blessed and then I come from a wonderful family and enjoy gathering them. So I feel like I need to like shout out that like another important part about Christmas is something that does get held on to throw all of it which is fucking to family togetherness and tradition and all that shit anyway. That's my my little earnest moment for the week. Medieval Christmas. I'm all for it. Medieval Christmas is the best of all Christmases. A lot of people weren't for it. The real war on Christmas is the war to sanitize it. It's a war that's been mostly one. The middle class in the US in the 1800s is a big part of the war against Christmas for some reason they didn't like drunken poor people showing up at their house. The man in shit and vandalizing their houses. Overall the US started by fucking Puritans kind of missed out on spicy Christmas. Yeah, which is a shame. The traditional Christmas of as we've discussed the gay do crime cross dress be a furry worship the old gods will pretending like you obey the church and the Christian God of your Roman conquerors. And now I want to talk about the first real. I mean I've been talking about the war on Christmas being the 1700 year long thing I want to talk about the first time that. Christians almost got rid of Christmas the war on Christmas of the 1640s. In the 1640s England they had this whole fuck off civil war thing. It should have been cool but it actually sucked it should have been cool because it was a commonwealth resting power away from a monarch. But it was also they were Puritans and they deposed a slightly more religiously tolerant king and then they turned around and genocide at the shit out of Ireland. I have some bias against cromwell that will work its way through anything I talk about history. When the Puritans took over England in the 1640s they didn't like fun that was kind of their whole thing not not fun enjoyers. And so Christmas became a culture war issue during the lead up to the civil war. The middle class parliamentarians opened their shops on Christmas to say fuck you to the holiday. Christmas was clearly a holdover from Catholicism and therefore holdover from paganism and Puritans don't like paganism or Catholicism plus revelry and gender bending. No fucking good am I right. So true. Yeah. For the most part commoners wanted nothing to do with either side of this war. They were like the king or the rich people. I'm good. Oh I forget the name of it in my civil English civil war episode I think I talked about them. There was this whole group that was basically the band of brothers from Game of Thrones. There was this whole group of people who were like we're just going to defend our fucking towns from both armies because both armies are fucks. Yeah. The commoners they didn't want anything to do with the pissing match between the royalists and the parliamentarians and they didn't want to lose Christmas. So in 1643 a bunch of apprentices rioted and smashed up the shops that were open on Christmas because they were trying to deny society. It's a week of feasting and merry making based you have to fight for your right to party which is the only beastie boys reference I will ever make in the entire run of this podcast. I do love a riot to ensure the continuation of Christmas. Yeah. So the Puritans came out ahead in the civil war and they had King Charles the first in jail in 1647. They banned Christmas in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. No mince pies like literally they banned not just Christmas but they banned mince pies plum pudding no hanging holly no excessive drinking or parties and you're required to keep your shops open. No fucking free commerce here you have to keep your shops open on Christmas. This didn't go well. No, this doesn't sound like people would respond to this very nicely. No, there were demonstrations and riots all over England and probably Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Well, Wales and Ireland was busy some other shit around this point in London armed soldiers had to break up an unruly crowd to stop the crowd from hanging holly in Norwich 40 people were killed when the city's ammunition stockpile cut fire in the riot in my gosh in ip switch which is totally the name of a town and not whatever supposedly a protester named Christmas was killed which then got turned into propaganda which they history book I read was like and then this happened I don't believe it I straight up don't believe it I know the propaganda was made about it. But I don't know that are actually some protest or Christmas was murdered I'm at the very least skeptical yeah people in canterbury which is actually a city in England and not just the name of a book I was supposed to read in high school. They rioted these are called the plum pudding riots the mayor went through the market and forced everyone to open their stalls for fear like he would throw you in the stocks if you wouldn't open your stalls at the market. So an angry mob followed behind trash in every shop that opened so these shopkeepers they're just fucked if they open their shop it'll get trashed if they don't they get thrown the stocks. The crowd caught up with the mayor and threw him down into the mud but he got up and he managed to order the crowd to back off and then in a move that sounds like someone making fun of England. The crowd produced some footballs and started this massive game of football across the whole city with no rules that dragged everyone into the game or to hide in their houses which was basically a Christmas tradition was Calvin ball. Okay Puritans who tried to stop them were pelted with mud and the pro Christmas rioters took their city back from authorities for the day later some instigators were rounded up at the grand jury refused to indict them so the Christmas rioters got off scot free. Again all for traditional Christmas sees your city party for 12 days cross-dress drink other people's wine play sports that don't have a rules. The main fallout for the canceling of Christmas was pretty much the end of the religious component of Christmas people were like alright we just won't go to church on Christmas we'll do all of the other stuff but we won't go to church. They also canceled Easter not the protesters but the Puritans and I really care much much about Easter. Cancel culture strikes again I know eventually you got the reformation and people got a king again which was once again a lateral move should have been a make things worse but fucking lateral move and they also got Christmas back. It wasn't as cool as any more though the Lord of Miss rule was gone and forgotten Lord of Miss rule was a. I'm not going to die in the Puritan war on Christmas. What a what a loss I know it's funny to me because it's the exact same sorts of people in the 17th century England banning Christmas that are so adamantly defending it today right but they're but the thing that they're not defending Christmas they're just Christophaches trying to yeah like defend Christian hegemony yeah they're trying to set up a Christian demon in this state like that's yeah that's what they're actually doing yeah totally anyway. Later in 1659 the Puritans and Massachusetts Bay they banned Christmas to quote whoever shall be found observing any such day as Christmas or the like either by for bearing of labor feasting or any other way had to pay a five shilling fine which was about three days wages for the average skilled laborer so it's like I don't know what like 300 bucks today I don't know how to school yeah a few yeah $100 Christmas was functionally banned in Massachusetts until the 1800s when I when I was a kid learning US history I always heard about the Puritans is this like poor oppressed minority that fled England presumably fearing for their lives or some shit they never taught us how Puritans in England soon took control of England or the fact that one of the sticking points had been the reason they felt oppressed is that they didn't tolerate other religions and literally one of their problems with the king is he was fairly religiously tolerant he was even married to a Catholic the religious freedom that the Puritans were fighting for. It was the religious freedom to not allow religious freedom which I don't know my might sound familiar to the modern yeah listen yeah. All right one more group that tried to got rid of Christmas Stalin really I didn't know this in 1929 the USSR banned Christmas. They banned it in the same way that the Catholics banned senator Nelia and you'll and tried to ban Christmas which is that they tried to ban it and that didn't work because people just kept celebrating Christmas so then they co-opted it the ban last from 1929 to 1935 when they realized what everyone has always realized people need a fucking holiday in the middle of the goddamn darkest time of the fucking year especially in Russia I know. Those those four Russians so the Christmas trees got rebranded New Year's fur trees gift giving was moved to New Year's to and in that totally materialist absolutely rational figure grandfather frost was the one to bring them. People feasted people dressed up in costumes totally secular fun times for all the non religious people in the non religious country it was probably a little bit bland a little bit sanitized like the US version of the holiday and I I totally get why revolutionaries came for institutions of power which include the church. Yeah and I get why people want to destroy the vestiges of religion but people want midwinter celebrations and frankly it's going to feel religious whatever fucking religion people don't care it could be so Invictus it could be the horned god it could be Odin it could be Yahweh it could be marks who fucking ever give us our figgy putting or break your fucking windows and that garrison Davis is the true meaning of Christmas give us our figgy putting or will break your fucking windows. I've never had a figgy putting but I'll take your word for it yeah I don't know if you put in as I assume it's putting me out of figs. That actually sounds good now that you mentioned that the problem that that doesn't make sense I I looked up a thousand things for this episode because I didn't grow up in a very religious household. I didn't look up the key putting I looked up what was in was sale. It's a putting in the sense of like a British putting so like it's like a dessert it's like a it's like a more congealed breadie type thing all right yeah you know I would say it probably tastes good but I've had some British food. Yeah I'm gonna it doesn't look great okay everyone Google this on your own it looks like meatloaf that is nicer than what I thought it looked like it's kind of fruit cake S. Yeah yeah exactly that thing that no one is essentially it is a fruit cake but with like there's a fruit and like there's some a lot of times there's a lot of people are saying this to me. A lot of times they put like brandy in it okay sometimes there's other dried fruits and stuff but you know biggie putting that's cool. And on that note that is the Christmas cool people who did cool stuff in which we talked about Christmas which is the cool the cool people are the people who party no matter what whatever they get told to do or not do. Yeah the people who are going to be throwing hard and bigy putting through windows yeah if they if they don't get allowed to take their tree up three flights of stairs and shove it in their apartment. Yeah because if it's cold they're cold bring the tree spirits inside. Which is like a very like a Miyazaki type type vibes here and if you want to save money on candles you can also just sacrifice people and leave the bodies in the window. I'm not sure if that's going to catch any more I don't know we're past that ship sailed we're having we're having to fight for for like drag queen Christmas. I'm not sure if we're ready to fight for the dead bodies in the windows okay we're ready to fight for a thousand year old Christmas but not ready we are going to defend our traditional values. All right all right go out there everyone and defend your traditional values of people's this part's not sarcastic people should be allowed to fucking drag shows Jesus fucking Christ what the fuck is wrong with people yeah that's what I got. And if your plugs anyone or fuck it all fuck it all lord of misrule declare yourself the lord of misrule but survive the week. That is your duty each and every one of you. Bye everyone see you next year. Cool people who did cool stuff is a production of cool zone media for more podcast and cool zone media visit our website or check us out on the iHeart Radio app Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. This is john Thomas with top five text docs dot com 2023 will bring the AI revolution five tech companies are booming thanks to a novice advancements in robot it over 150,000 jobs will be replaced by artificial intelligence and wise investors are cashing in right now go to top five text docs dot com and download my free report inflation to innovation be a front runner in the AI revolution go to top five text docs dot com. Now they're our best friends and confidence their hour exercise buddies our movie night pals our reason for smiling their our pets each unique and wonderful each deserving of a loving home and right now best friends animal society is helping dogs and cats to find families to call their own best friends is working in communities nationwide to give homeless pet second chances they're finding homes for them giving them healing saving their lives and you can help donate at best friends dot org slash don't know what you're doing. 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