Apr 23, 2015
commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: A Medievalist Schools Dan on Medieval Attitudes Toward Sex
@48 "Of course, we have no medieval society to look back on, because the US did not exist then, and the societies from which it formed were varied. "
Many (though certainly not all) Medievalists would counter that the beginnings of colonial America were the trailing ends of the Medieval, and of feudalism specifically; that our society is a religious What If? to Britain's secularism. The Medieval (though they didn't think of themselves as Medieval) certainly wasn't as far from them in time or culture as we might think. The founding of Jamestown (1607) is closer to the deaths of Martin Luther (1546) and Henry VIII (1547) than we are (2015) to the end of WWII (1945), and only an election cycle farther away from the end of the Hundred Years' War (1453) than we are to the American Civil War (1865).
As much as we might like to think that we're a melting pot of people and culture, our institutions are incredibly English. Try comparing our courts or our schools or taxes or legislatures with those on the European continent, let alone those beyond it.
@48 "Was medieval Roman society the same sexually as rural English society? One thing were pretty sure about is that they all were violently opposed to same-sex relationships."
I believe this is part of the point the OP is trying to make -- that the common perception of what is and what is not 'Medieval' or what is 'true' about the Medieval is actually more from the 17th - 18th century, the Victorians specifically, than from the 900s - 1400s.
Sexuality simply wasn't a significant part of individual identity in the Middle Ages, insomuch as individuals had identity beyond their familial or social associations. Religious Freedom wasn't even a thought really until Luther and Henry VIII (and/or Elizabeth I) and wasn't a Thing until the Enlightenment of the 1650s.
In sum, opposition to sexual expression wasn't nearly as vitriolic or 'violent' has we might think, and what care there was was mostly focused by the Church on the clergy, and not too much farther.
Also, as a quibble, there is no "Medieval Roman" culture if you mean the Roman Republic; axiomatically the "Middle Age" that is the Medieval is between the fall of Rome and the Italian Renaissance, during which time the people in the area did little more than get conquered and invent art and finance. Similarly "English" identity is a Victorian construct, or at least from the 17th century when Nationalism became a Thing.
Apr 23, 2015
commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: A Medievalist Schools Dan On Medieval Attitudes Toward Sex
@15 "Medieval societies didn't tolerate *any* sort of deviant behavior..."
Check out the Lateran IV Cannons (1213) and Jack Cade's Rebellion (1450-something) as bookends against that assertion. Much of the high Middle Ages *was* about what was and what was not 'deviant,' but to the OP's point it was centralization and the growth of the modern state (see Strayer, JR) that turned regional idiosyncrasies and local permissiveness into heresy and treason.
Nov 18, 2014
commented on Death to Self-Checkout Machines
I also view the self-checkout lane as a super-express lane. If it's open and I only have one or two items and particularly if I don't need a bag then it's a better use of everyone's time to speed through and run my card. Otherwise yes, I get in the teller lane and wait my turn there.
Oct 29, 2014
commented on Vote "Maintained" (Or Whatever the Hell You Want) on Tim Eyman's Waste-of-Space Advisory Votes
Grammar junkies -- what is "for government spending" referring to here? I've been trying to figure this out since I first saw it but I swear it's just dangling there:
"The legislature eliminated, without a vote of the people, agricultural excise tax preferences for various aspects of the marijuana industry, costing an estimated 24.9m in the first ten years, for government spending."
Taking out the assumed parenthetical clauses it would read:
"The legislature eliminated agricultural excise tax preferences for various aspects of the marijuana industry for government spending."