Brother-Marquis

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Simon Rex aka Dirt Nasty & Jack Splash have created the group “Chain Swangaz”. This is their debut music video (just released today) “Steak & Mashed Potatoes” featuring the one and only maniac, Charlie Sheen and Brother Marquis of 2 Live Crew. Check it out!!

(Directed by Nicholaus Goossen, best known for directing Grandma’s Boy)

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Mierda, viendo entrevistas de Nardwuar me enteré que el hook de “99 Problems” es originalmente de Ice T y Brother Marquis de 2 Live Crew. Que bolas. Igual me gusta más la versión de Jay Z, pero que bolas.

10 myths about the French Revolution, debunked

Myth #1: The French Revolution was started by the poor.

By studying history, we learn that most revolutions are top-down movements, meaning that the power first falls into the hands of the upper classes and later those of lower status.  This applies to the French Revolution.  At its beginning, the Revolution revolved around several nobles, such as Mirabeau, one of its leading spokesmen, the Lameth brothers, and the marquis de Lafayette.  Lafayette himself presided over the Festival of Federation in 1790.  Later on, as divisions would occur between the ruling elite, lower classes - meaning not ex-nobles - would begin to take control of the Revolution.

Myth #2: The Third Estate was comprised of the poorest citizens in France.

The Third Estate is often mistaken to represent the poorest and most abject, but this is actually not true.  Most of its representatives made up the well-to-do middle class, mostly lawyers, doctors, and other men of letters who were fully literate (often in multiple languages) and educated in the Oratorian school - some historians would classify them as ‘the bourgeois’.  So what class did the poorest of France represent?  This is not entirely clear, as wealth, occupation, and literacy varied within this very diverse group of people.  Some historians have referred to it as ‘the proletariat’; some have referred to it as the ‘Fourth Estate.’  Its classification is unclear, but it generally implies those who were not major spokesmen in the revolutionary government - not to be confused with the Third Estate.

Myth #3: The monarchy fell after the storming of the Bastille.

No.  The storming of the Bastille only contributed to a) the destruction of a prison, b) arming citizens of France, c) demonstrating the people’s desire for change, and d) numerous casualties and mob violence, namely the brutal murder of DeLaunay, the governor of the prison.  The Constitution of 1791 actually allowed the king to retain most of his powers with the addition of the suspensive veto.  Therefore, France operated under a constitutional monarchy and the royal family’s power decreased bit by bit, particularly after the family was transferred to the Tuileries and the attempted flight to Varennes. The fall of the monarchy was a continuous process, not one earth-shattering event.

Myth #4: The storming of the Bastille was significant because it destroyed a prison that was symbolic of the people’s oppression.

I’m looking at you, Charles Dickens.  Sorry, but A Tale of Two Cities got it wrong - the Bastille was not stormed for those reasons.  On July 12, 1789, Camille Desmoulins allegedly warned Parisian citizens to take up arms, and the Bastille happened to be a well-known center of arms storage that could equip the people with what they needed.  Although Dickens, through his characterization of Dr. Manette, makes the Bastille appear to have been a terribly oppressive place to live, only 7 prisoners were kept there at the time of the storming, and lived under relatively decent conditions with access to foods they preferred, paper, and writing utensils.

Myth #5: Marie Antoinette said ‘let them eat cake’ or *insert pastry of choice here*.  

This is a myth, in case you were wondering - the most myth-y of French Revolution myths.  Marie Antoinette did not say this, but was in fact careless toward the living conditions of the poor and was a massive spender of money.  However, she was not implicated in all the affairs she is rumored to have had; only her affair with Swedish count Axel Fersen remains true.  Nor was she unintelligent - in fact, she despised the Revolution and sought to restore the monarchy, slipping the battle plans of the French army to the Austrians in 1792, and was perhaps one of the most involved in the foreign plots circulating beneath the Revolution with her connections to Austria, her country of birth, and her various relatives in positions of power throughout Europe.

Myth #6: The guillotine was used to kill everyone.

Most people forget that a war was going on during this time, war with foreign powers and also outbreaks of civil war, particularly the royalist insurrections in the Vendee which totaled approximately 250,000 deaths, far surpassing the number of deaths by guillotine.  The September prison massacres of 1792 must be taken into account as well, as suspects were interred and summarily executed.  The overcrowding of prisons during that period of time also faced the outbreak of diseases in close quarters, such as cholera and typhus, another cause of death.  Representatives-on-mission to the provinces also carried out highly abusive repressive measures, such as the drownings (noyades) in Nantes and summary executions by guillotine, grapeshot, and a variety of other methods in Lyons and Angers.  We cannot forget Lafayette’s troops firing on innocent civilians on the Champ de Mars either, or the brutalities that occurred during the storming of the Bastille and with generalized mob violence, as well as the work of the chouans.  Yes, the guillotine was one method and became connected with the strengthening of the powers of revolutionary government in 1793-1794, but it was not the sole cause of death.  Suicide was also on the rise, a common way to avoid the guillotine but also considered honorable in a culture that admired the self-sacrifice in stories of antiquity; this notion of suicide or self-sacrifice for one’s country was reinforced in Revolutionary artwork and the martyrdom of individuals such as Marat and Lepelletier, as well as opera, especially famous for recycling themes of antiquity.

Myth #7: Robespierre orchestrated the Terror and led to the Revolution’s downfall/led France into anarchy.

The Reign of Terror was a collaborative movement.  Everyone who participated in the Revolutionary government also contributed to the Terror. Note that I say everyone, not Robespierre.  Robespierre was one man out of the entire National Convention, one man out of the Montagnard faction, one man of twelve members of the Committee of Public Safety.  Robespierre only held power for a year - 1793-1794 - but even that is a misconception, as several other deputies shared in this power, namely the Committee, whose powers were in fact strengthened during this time.  The bottom line is that it was a collaborative effort.  Robespierre was actually absent from public life for several weeks before his final speech to the Convention on 8 Thermidor, and a lot had gone on without his assistance that he had no control over.  Besides, Robespierre had seen the Terror as a measure of national emergency, as France was involved in a war and a lot of distrust circulated among political life as former friends and deputies who claimed allegiance to the Revolution turned out to be involved in counterrevolutionary or foreign plots.  Sticking to strictly political measures, Robespierre acted accordingly, but was never a dictator, and certainly did not create, establish, or force the Terror on France.  We must also keep in mind that the notion of political terror existed long before the French Revolution, and this idea was not new.

Second of all, by definition anarchy is a state of disorder due to the absence or nonrecognition of authority.  Firstly, authority was not absent in 1793.  The Committee, the revolutionary tribunals, the Committee of General Security, the prefecture of police, the various clubs and political factions, the Paris Commune and other provinicial communes, and the National Convention all shared in this authority, and it was certainly recognized, evident in the passing of legislation and adherence to it, albeit brief.  The Revolution came to standstill because Robespierre and the Montagnard faction were obliterated from the Convention by a coup; the loss of popular support and a number of other factors contributed to the fall of the Revolution.  The Montagnards had been guiding it and guiding it with elaborate and carefully laid-out plans in mind and the deaths of figures such as Robespierre, Couthon, and Saint-Just never allowed those plans to come to fruition.

Myth #8: Everyone suspect of counterrevolutionary activities was executed.

Actually, this is far from true.  Many suspects were tried before revolutionary tribunals and could be acquitted if not found guilty; not everyone was sentenced to death and many were imprisoned.  Yes, some of the reasons for which people were held in prison seem ridiculous in our 21st century eyes, but we must note that the Revolution was plagued by an atmosphere of distrust, distrust of friends, rumors of foreign plots and assassination threats.  The Law of Suspects, otherwise known as the Law of 22 Prairial, was designed to prevent an excess of people crowding the prisons and to prevent innocent citizens from being executed.

Myth #9: The French Revolution destroyed France.

Unfortunately, a lot of people tend to focus on the bloodshed of the Terror to see any good that came out of the Revolution. For one, the Revolution eradicated monarchy from France - not completely, as the Bourbon Restoration reveals in the 19th century - but monarchy would never be revered as it had been prior to the last decades of the 18th century.  The Revolution also:

-contributed to the secularization of the state (meaning no tyranny of any religion)

-advocated religious tolerance and freedom of worship

-produced a lot of new artwork - written, musical, and visual - and provided artists with work and paid them!

-offered all citizens the opportunity to participate in government, regardless of socioeconomic status

-paid needy citizens for attending meetings of national representative bodies for some time

-made efforts to abolish slavery in the French colonies

-made efforts to increase workers’ wages

-made efforts to lessen France’s debt and mend the economy

-built up a strong citizen army

-encouraged political awareness

-concerned itself with social welfare and the betterment of society

-employed a lot of people in the service of the state

-created France’s national anthem

-made efforts to offer public education and make it mandatory

-contributed to the founding of the Conservatoire de Paris, a combination of the former Ecole royale de chant and the 1792 Institut designed to train military musicians to reform and publicize music education in France.

-and many more things!

Myth #10: The Revolution and the Terror ended with the fall of Robespierre.  

No.  Terror continued for some time after 10 Thermidor, reversed to be used on those with Jacobin or royalist sympathies.  France faced a difficult transition period between 1794 and 1799 before the rise of Bonaparte, and the Revolution never came to a definitive “end” - the Conspiracy of Equals, the revolutions of 1830, 1848, and 1871, as well as other uprisings make this evident.  Victor Hugo argues himself that the revolution of 1830 completed the work of 1793 - and I can’t help but admit that he makes an awfully good point.  

Group of my favorite people on Bryn (with a few missing like @demigoldheart ). Took this picture while we were all taking a break from running through all the coils together!

From left to right:
@thancredtsukino , Thancred’s wife (Irl) Neko, My (adoptive ingame) brother Marquis, my husband (bf irl)Von, and me.

Needless to say these knuckleheads are funny to listen to on TS during T7. We all kept petrifying each other and laughing. There were other turns that we were laughing so hard we kept messing up. This is why I play this game with these guys every single day.
I love this group. c: