History of the World-The Unkindest Cut of All

NOTE:  I'll continue to post this disclaimer.  The past several posts and who-knows-how-many-posts-to-come are merely what I can remember from Our Lady of Barnum Avenue and History Class at Stratford High School while growing up older in Connecticut.  I will research some specifics, mostly dates and the most obscure of names, and I'll try to place historical events in their proper historical context.  Meaning, I won't have the Aztecs land on the moon.  Or...did they?  Trust me, some of this is true; however, don't use any of this nonsense to prepare for the History Advanced Placement Examination.  If you do, the only college you'll get into is Klown Kollege and you'll probably be confused for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.  Or Joe Biden.  Especially if you sniff their hair.


More Hebrews


Copy of a older map.  
Maybe it will be useful this week. 
Maybe not. 
 Shut up. 
Not like you're paying for this crap, is it?

Last week, I skipped ahead a little bit and described the events of Moses and the Exodus.  I figured, with it being Passover and all, it'd be timely to describe that seminal (not a dirty word-I think) event in Jewish history.  So, for the two of you who read this and may be confused, my apologies.  


When last we met in our trip through history....

    After his kids woke him up and made him drink a pot of coffee, Noah (that drunk bastard) threw some clothes on.  Then, he took them off again because he remembered that God had instructed him to repopulate the Earth after the Deluge.
       
"Sure beats the hell out of that 'build an ark
and sail around for forty days with a boat fulla monkey poop' instruction.  Probably won't need this hammer, though.  Unless the ladies need a little persuading."

"The management would like to remind our readers that Noah is apparently still drunk.  We here at Stuff and Nonsense do not endorse domestic violence.  Unless she deserves it.."



     Eventually, after a long time (and by 'long time,' I mean 'I didn't feel like checking'), the world was full once again (would've been quicker if Barry White had been invented).  After generations of "Shems," "Hams," "Ernies," and "Nahors" (which means "breathing hard"-must've taken that repopulating thing seriously), we arrive at Abram.
    
    Abram, who became known as "Abraham" (lotta name-changing going on in the ancient world…must have been wicked confusing for the greeting card industry), lived in the land known as "Canaan," which today is somewhere near Israel, Syria, and various crazy people.
    
    Abraham, considered the patriarch of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and the Shriners (a busy man),
"How 'bout a secret handshake? 
Wouldn't a secret handshake work just as well?"
entered into a covenant with God.  He was assured that his people would be known for all time as the Chosen Ones if they consented to be circumcised.  You gotta admire the devotion of grown men consenting to that particular little nip n' tuck.
    

 
Hagar wasn't much to look at it
and could get wicked cranky
But she was a wildcat when the sun went down.
  

Abram was married to a woman called Sarah (who was spared that whole "circumcision" thing).  Since she was wicked old (75?) she despaired of providing her husband with a son, so she asked her handmaiden, Hagar, to do the task.  

Abram, being a dude, probably jumped at the chance.

"My man."
    
    The child born to Hagar was named Ishmael.  Abram doted on the boy, who was unfortunately sent away with his mother after Sarah announced she was pregnant (that tricksy, elderly bitch) with who (or is that 'whom'?) would become Isaac.  Don't feel too badly for ole Ish, though.  He would go on to become one of the founding fathers of Islam.
  
And be a character in Moby Dick.

"Hee, hee, hee...he said 'dick.'"


 
   Abraham was pretty psyched
"Oh, come on! 
Wasn't that foreskin thing enough?"
when given the news about a new baby.
  However, not so much when he was told by God that he needed to sacrifice his boy to prove he was worthy.  So, even though he was still sore and walked funny, he consented to the dirty deed.
    
    Then, God said "psyche!" and called the whole thing off.
    

    Isaac would be known as the second of the three patriarchs of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity (sounds like Ishmael got screwed-again).  The first, of course, was Abraham.  The second was Jacob.
    
Wrong Isaac


    Jacob was born to Isaac's wife, Rachel (Rachel already having left Ross), along with his slightly older twin, Esau (hey, I don't know how a frikkin' twin could be older, but that's what the book said).  However, Esau (like Ishmael) was screwed by his younger brother.   Isaac, growing more decrepit (kinda like an ancient Joe Biden...but I repeat myself), figured that, since he didn't have much longer to live, should bless Esau.

"After all, somebody has to pay for my room
at the Villages of Heshobon."
  
    However, Jacob got all dressed up in animal furs or some such
Esau was understandably upset.
He thought, as the older brother, he deserved respect.
(apparently, Esau was some hairy beast) and passed himself off as Esau to his dad, who having the visual acuity of Mr. Magoo, figured Esau had just forgotten to shave his back that day.  Thus blessed, Jacob changed his name (naturally) to "Israel" and blew raspberries at his peeved brother.
    
"Cut off my what?  GTFO!"
    Israel is known as the progenitor of the "Israelites" (makes sense, amirite?), who lived in the region just north of "Judah" (See?  The map is important) called "Israel" (geez-a-lou, once they liked a name...).  The peoples who lived in this region would go on to found a great civilization.
    
    Until they became enslaved in Egypt, were captured by the Babylonians, invaded by the Assyrians, ruled by the Macedonians, colonized by the Romans, overrun by the Muslims, "saved" by the Crusaders, sacked by ticked-off Saracens, exploited by Indiana Jones and the Nazis, scorned by the United Nations, and swamped by tourists in hot pants and "I Heart Disney" tee shirts.

Next:  I'm not sure.  Let me think about it.  Maybe David?

   Oh, wait.  Last time I promised I'd talk about a guy who was swallowed by a fish.  Please hold...

  Okay, there was this dude called Jonah who lived in Israel (after the events in this story...maybe not...let's just roll with it) and was called by God to preach to the folks in Nineveh (Iraq? Iran? Assyria?  Mesopotamia?  I'd look it up but American Idol is on) but the crazies who lived there were enemies of Israel so Jonah said "Screw that" and peaced out to  a ship headed in the opposite direction (Persian Gulf?  Red Sea?  Sea of Galilee?  Dead Sea?  Judah EPCOT?  Who knows?  Who cares?) but a storm came up and the crew tossed his butt off causing the storm to abate; however, a fish (whale?  NOT a fish, I know, smart ass) came up and swallowed him which really freaked Jonah out so he prayed for three days until the fish/whale spit him out in-you guessed it-Nineveh so Jonah figured he may as well do what God wanted him to do but he ended up getting ticked off because the Ninevehians weren't destroyed, indicating that Jonah didn't really know what the exact meaning of "preach" was, so he left in a huff (coulda used a camel) and ended up....well, that's all the time we have for Bible stories.  Tune in next week for David (oops, I already said that). 
Okay, this is Geppetto, but you get the idea.

 

Pass the Matzah

 Or is that "matza?"  Whatever, I'm Catholic.  I've got my own guilt to deal with, ya know.

"That you do, boyo, that you do.  Now, knuckles if ye please."

     The following could be considered wildly irreverent.  Could be?  Please accept my apologies in advance.  I just hope that Hell has visiting hours so you can come see me.

       As a test of how much I learned in school, I’m not going to consult Google, the entrails of an owl, or Mr. Fineman from across the street. 

     I’m also too lazy to open a book.

     A good lot of you are celebrating Easter, which is observed...let me see if I have this straight...the first Sunday after the full moon which occurs after the spring equinox (or whenever the calendar says).

     Recognized by Christians worldwide as the most sacred day in their calendar, Easter is a time to reflect on the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, a carpenter's son from Nazareth.

     NOTE:  Not all Christians mind you.  The Eastern Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, or Romanian Orthodox Episcopate know-it-alls use the Julian Calendar (don't get me started) so, by their reckoning, Easter is a week later.  I think.

"Father, why is it that we celebrate Easter a week later than other Christians?"
"That's simple, my child.  We use the Julian, not Gregorian, calendar.  Therefore the dates are different."
"I see."
"Plus, Easter candy is on sale."

     Gathered together as one (augmented by "twice a year" Christians checking off the first of their churchly obligations-the other being Christmas), they ponder the awesome mysteries of their faith.  Like,  how a bunny could lay eggs?

   

"Yeah, how is that exactly?"
"Remember that one night we found Farmer Smith's moonshine stash and paid a visit to the chicken coop?"
"Ohhhhhhhhhhh.............."

      But did you know (okay most do), that Jesus was a rabbi?  That He, along with his followers, was in Jerusalem to celebrate Passover, one of the most sacred days of the Jewish calendar?  No, he wasn't Catholic, despite what Sister Mary Gregory of the Titanium Yardstick tried to beat into you.

     In fact, what is known to many Christians as the "Last Supper" was, in reality, a Passover "Seder."

     Despite what Cecil B. De Mille would have you believe, The Ten Commandments, which used to be played annually on ABC every Easter night (God knows-no pun intended-when it's on now) is not an Easter movie.

Now, I think it's Ru Paul's Drag Race.
This may be blasphemous.

     King of Kings?  Yeah.  The Robe?  Okay.  Ben-Hur?  Sure.  Ben Gay?  Now you're being silly.

     But, The Ten Commandments?  Oy.     

     Passover is a Jewish (I think we've already covered that) celebration which commemorates the exodus (so THAT explains the book) of the Hebrews from Egypt, way back when Keith Richards was a teenager.

     They were led by Charlton Heston, who if he’d only kept his trap shut, could have eventually become Pharaoh (or at least Vice-Pharaoh) and freed the slaves.  Along the way, he could also have bagged the hot Nefertiri.  Unfortunately (for the Big Mo), Ramses (aka Yul Brynner), inventor of the prophylactic, wouldn’t have donned the royal loincloth and bedded Anne Baxter.

Who, let's face it, was pretty damn hot.
NOTE:  Nipples not photoshopped out.  C'mon, I know it's Easter, but you looked.
  And possibly zoomed in.

     But, noooooo, Moses just had to schlep out into the desert, raise some sheep, marry Lily Munster, open the Midian chapter of the NRA, and meet God (who did not look like George Burns).

Don't get me wrong, she was easy on the eyes, too. 
But, she was no Nefertiri.
Plus, no nipples.
     Moses, heeding a divine call, decided to go back to Egypt to free the slaves.  Imagine Ramses’ chagrin when the “Big Mo” barged into meetings of the Pyramid Planning Commission, waved his stick around (double entendre intended), and ordered his BFF, Aaron, to turn goats into chickens.  Or grass stains into dazzling whites.

     Moses warned (well, after God sent him a text) that a series of plagues would be visited on Egypt: frogs, locusts, boils (eww), bloody water, the Pelosi Pox, irritable bowel syndrome (double eww), etc.  Each were meant to convince Yul Pharaoh to “let the people go.” 

"Great Pharaoh, it's a subscription to the Jelly of the Month Club!"
     They were actually starting to work, too, until Ramses looked at the latest Gallup poll numbers.  Figuring he had to satisfy his “pro-slavery” base, his heart was hardened and he called the whole deal off.

"Quite frankly, who could blame him? The fear mongers of the fake papyrus news were making his life a living hell, a lot like when CNN continues to badger me, which is horrible, horrible mind you.  If I were pharaoh, and I would have been the greatest pharaoh who ever lived, you understand, none of this would have happened.  I would have built the most excellent wall-and Persia would have paid for it, trust me-around Trump Giza and at least have provided the greatest army in the history of the world up to that point with at least the finest swimwear in the world when they left for the Red Sea, which, as seas goes, quite frankly, isn't the greatest of seas, you understand.  You know, like the Mediterranean Sea.  Or Long Island Sound."

     Well, Moses eventually had enough of this crap.  He told Ramses that the first-born of Egypt would be slain in punishment for enslaving his people.  This included (cue dramatic music) the Pharaoh’s own son!

     NOTE:  I think this was true, at least according to the movie.  The film industry was pretty truthful seventy years ago.  Even though I didn't think monkeys could fly, Hollywood wouldn't lie to me.  Is it any wonder I have trust issues?

     The Hebrews, feeling pretty damned cocky, painted goat (or sheep?) blood over their doors.  They felt quite safe that death would “pass” them “over.”  (Get it now?).  Mostly because Death got wicked skeeved at the sight of blood.

"Blood?  Blood?? Now how am I supposed to be
getting blood off the door, Mr. Big Shot?"
"Who cares?  We're getting TF out of here, remember?"

     So, they hung out while the “Destroyer” (depicted by a red cloud.  Special effects were kinda cheesy back then.  After all, "Industrial Light and Magic" hadn't been invented yet) went from door to door seeking out Egyptians who won a lottery they hadn't reckoned on.  

"That red cloud thing looks dangerous, Brother Joe."
"Oh, I dunno.  Worth a shot, don'tcha think?"

     The Hebrews sang songs, prayed prayers, played “Old Testament Yahtzee”, and ate unleavened bread called "matzah" (because Dominos stopped delivering at 10).

     When the day dawned and Ramses saw the mess (“Now, we’ll never get that blood out!”), he ordered Moses to pack up his shit and get the hell out.

     NOTE:  Ramses may not have said ‘shit.’

     So, Moses jumped for Joy (his sister-in-law because he left Lily Munster back home) and convinced everybody to pack their toothbrushes and a change of underwear.  He wasn’t exactly sure where they'd be going, though.  Unfortunately, Aaron had turned his map into an origami whooping crane.

     Bottom line, the Hebrews finally left Egypt.  Along the way, the Egyptian Army  went for a one-way dip in the Red Sea, Edward G. Robinson talked a lot of smack, Aaron was forced to make some seriously effed-up looking calf, they all got jiggy with their bad selves at the base of Mount Sinai, Moses saw a wicked cool light show on the mountain, and bread fell out of the sky for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (“So we couldn’t maybe get a nice brisket instead?”).

 

"Myeah, see?  Moses led you into the desert, see?  And I can be totally miscast, see?"

     They were finally allowed to enter the Promised Land after 40 years (the prior tenants had a wicked long-term lease).

     Since I’m sure I've put you to sleep by now, let me finish by saying that Moses wasn’t even allowed to enter with the rest of his people (he didn’t get his wrist stamped). 

"What the f...I got screwed
Tell you what.  I shoulda married Anne Baxter, that's what I should have done."

"Wow, you can be pretty harsh."
"Son, you ain't seen nothin' yet."
Okay, this is definitely blasphemous.

     He had to watch while Joshua (played in the movie by John Derek.  Before he got fat, married Bo, and died) led his people into...Canaan?  At any rate, someplace the Iranians would get all hacked off about eventually.

     I think it had something to do with smacking a rock to get water.  Which was a mistake.    

     Because, as we all know, paper, not water, covers rock.




So Would It Kill You Not To Kill Us?-Part II

NOTE:  I'll continue to post this disclaimer.  The past several posts and who-knows-how-many-to-come are what I can remember from the Penguin Academy of Our Lady of Barnum Avenue and History Class in high school while growing up older in Stratford, Connecticut.  I will research some specifics, mostly dates and the most obscure of names, and I'll try to place historical events in their proper historical context.  Meaning, I won't have the Aztecs land on the moon.  Or...did they?  Trust me, some of this is true; however, don't use any of this nonsense to prepare for the History Advanced Placement Examination.  If you do, the only college you'll get into is Klown Kollege and you'll probably be confused for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.  Or Joe Biden.  Especially if you sniff their hair.

The Hebrews

In our last episode….

It's warm this time of year, though, but it's a dry heat.
So, there's that.

    I mentioned I lacked a reliable reference book from which to draw a scholarly discussion of God's Chosen People. Unfortunately, the book which I purchased to draft these (decidedly-unscholarly) series of posts left out a lot of Jewish history. Therefore, I fell back on what I learned at the Penguin Academy, knowing full well there'd be inaccuracies.  To say nothing of snarky little bits which will probably insult some folks.

"Oy'll be keepin' a close eye on you, ye cheeky little scamp."

    Then, I looked at the time, gasped, and ended before I really got started.  Pretty close to what I'm doing now.

    So, without further adieu, I'd like to present...the Hebrews.

    In the beginning (or so the story goes), there was darkness.  Then, after banging his shin on his desk, God (who, from all accounts, looked remarkably like George Burns) turned on the lights and got to work.  

    After creating the Universe, all life, Keith Richards, and the world's first nudist colony, He declared that Adam and Eve were in violation of their lease for eating an apple (or pomegranate. Or Sumo Orange.  Whatever the frik).  He ordered them to put on some clothes and get the Hell (see what I did there?) out of the Garden of Eden.

"And take that damn snake with you!"

    They didn't have to go to New Jersey, though.  After all, He's a just, not a cruel, God.  We'll leave that kind of bidness to the 7th century.

    No, I won't name who in the 7th Century.  After all, I'm a smartass, not a dumbass.

"Good move.  Infidel."

    All human life descended from these two people meaning that Adam and Eve were constantly at it (hey, they didn't have cable).  It's a wonder that the first female's uterus didn't fall out on the jungle floor.  
They were white people.
Naturally.

    Plus, they were sure to have had more than just the two sons, one of whom was knocked on the noggin and killed by his brother.  I mean, after all, if all they had was boys, that would pretty much have been that.  Especially if Eve's uterus fell out.
"You do know she's your sister, right?"


    So....there was probably a whole lotta family monkey business (and not necessarily with the monkeys) going on.  Think about it.  Do I have to draw you a picture?




And...did Adam and Eve have belly buttons?
If so, why?

    Needless to say, some of their progeny got fed up with fighting over the remote and moved to other regions of the Middle East (must have been the Middle East.  I don't know or can't remember.  Whatever).  These people became the Sumerians, Babylonians, Chaldeans, Assyrians, Avengers, Egyptians, Hittites...

And Shriners
    We've already discussed some of the goings-on in their world, like war, peace, fertile crescent rolls, and sister-marrying.

 
"Seriously, would it have killed
you to just say 'big-ass boat'?"
   The ones who stuck around with Mom and Dad became known as the Hebrews.  They certainly were a fractious lot.  They carried on in such a way with each other through murder, rape, robbery, ripping tags off pillows, jaywalking, and other licentious behaviors that God decided he'd had enough.  He then ordered one of those who He deemed most religious (or because he had one kickass beard), Noah, to build an ark.

Or looked like Russell Crowe.
Sources are unclear.
    He furthered ordered Noah to bring his family and two of each kind of animal into the ark because he would send a great flood to…uh…flood the world, thus rendering it clean.

NOTE:  Paying close attention to his instructions, Noah brought two unicorns onboard.  Unfortunately, one was a male unicorn and the other was a transgender unicorn.  Bye, bye, unicorns.  Stupid unicorns.

"You're a what?  Son of a b..."

NOTE Part 2:  Did you ever wonder where in TF Noah found penguins?  You ever think of that?  I know I did.  Which is probably one of the reasons Sister Mary of the Bloody Knuckles made me stand in the corner and recite twenty rosaries.  In Latin.

"Ohhhhhh, boy, is it gonna stink in he...hey, what're those unicorns trying to do?"

    True to His word, God indeed flooded the world.  The result was that all of the evil (including thousands of seriously hacked-off unicorns) were wiped from the face of the Earth.  Some people think the Flood is the reason that Atlantis  disappeared.  We call these people loonies.  Truth is, the truth remains unknown.
 
    Still...

    After 40 days (and 40 nights-do the math), a second dove
"What?  You couldn't bring a pizza?"
brought an olive leaf to the ark (after the first one died of a heart attack trying to bring a whole tree).  To Noah, this meant he either had a stupid bird on his hands or that the waters were receding.

    He figured it was the latter when the Ark grounded out on the top of Mount Ararat (which is in Turkey, I think…?).  After thanking God for delivering them from His great destruction and freeing them from what must have been one funky smelling boat, Noah and his posse walked down the side of the mountain (chair lifts hadn't been invented) and began setting up shop.  After drying everything out.

    Then, after consulting with the Ankara AAA, they decided to hoof it on back home after taking a vote.  Turns out nobody wanted to be that close to the Persians.

    Remember the Persians became Iranians?  You're welcome.

HOLY CRAP, it IS in Turkey! 
Talk about your long walk.


A shame really. 
A good rinsing would do
wonders for San Francisco's sidewalks.
God, for His part, must've felt the guilts, I suppose, and promised He would never destroy the Earth by flood again. 

    

    
    
The last bit I remember about Noah is that he got drunk one
"Wait.  Isn't this the kind of shit
that caused the Flood in the first place?"
day and his kids found him passed out naked.  Hey, I keep my pants on when drinking, but who am I to judge?  They (after puking their guts out.  Can you blame them?) then threw a blanket, clothes, or goat on him to cover his shame.

    Noah:  Heroic Ark Builder to Intrepid Sea Captain to Passed Out Naked Drunk Guy.  A story as old as time.

"Tell me about it! 
I used to be Trump's Press Secretary."

    Speaking of time…good grief, I've done it again.  I've barely scratched the surface of the History of the Early Jewish People and I've run out of time.  Meaning we'll have to pick up our story next time with…

Abraham,  Isaac,  Jacob, A Dude in a Fish, Joseph, and Charlton Heston starring as Moses…

Until then, say a prayer for me.



  



Happy Independence Day!

     Or "Fourth of July" to the rest of the world.     Yes, yes, sigh, I know.  Many other countries, other than the United State...