John Tesh – Misogyny is Fun!

November 11, 2012 Leave a comment

I borrowed a vehicle the other day and the station was tuned to one of those lousy easy listening dung-heaps of a station, the kind that play the John Tesh Show. If you haven’t heard of it, count yourself lucky. Its tagline is, “Intelligence for your life.” This guy goes on the internet and finds random facts or half-baked studies and spouts them off between elevator music tracks with a smug tone that sounds like that annoying kid in class who always had to raise both his hands when the teacher asked a question. I hated that kid.

I’m too much of a gentleman to change stations while borrowing someone else’s vehicle, so I grudgingly obliged and listened to John Tesh, enraptured in the exciting facts I would undoubtedly learn.

So this douchebag comes on after a song and says something to the effect of,

“Ladies, a recent study has shown that if you want to be taken seriously by your employer, wear lipstick. Studies have shown that those women who don’t wear make-up are not taken as seriously by their employer and are more likely to be passed over when it comes to raises and promotions. So ladies, make sure you’re wearing short skirts and tall leather fuck-me boots whenever you’re around your horny bosses because if you don’t look like you’re ready to get on your knees and polish his knob, he won’t take you seriously.” – John Tesh

Ok, that last part was a bit of hyperbole, but he totally said the thing about the lipstick in the workplace and how women should doll themselves up if they want to be taken seriously. He recommended that women should wear lipstick and go along with it, as if it’s an expected part of advancement in the workplace.

Dude, if you’ve got a platform where a lot of people look to you for information – however misguided they may be – and you just tell the world to conform to misogynistic stereotypes, you are part of the problem. If there actually was a study that showed dressing like a hooker is better for a lady’s career, the right response is, “What the fuck?!? We need to change this!” You answered with, “Don’t fight it ladies! Your merit is based on your fuckability.” You, my good sir, are an asshole.

Categories: fatherhood, pondering, soapbox

I Read Fifty Shades of Grey So You Don’t Have To

November 1, 2012 2 comments

I took a break from my normal porn this week to indulge myself with a little bit of today’s most popular porn, a book by the name of Fifty Shades of Grey. It’s a purportedly wild fuckfest involving a rich guy and a naive narrator. What more do you need? Obviously not a story-line. Genital fondling will have to do.

I normally would give you a spoiler alert, but in order to spoil a story, you must first have a plot. I searched for a plot in vain but instead found chapters filled only with grunts, thrusting, spankings, and shoddy dialog. I guess I spoiled it for you already. The plot is sex, sometimes involving a lot of foreplay, but always resulting in a speedy finish.

If you’re still with me, here’s the jizz of the – I’m sorry, gist of the book. Clueless and overly ambiguous virgin (the narrator), Anastasia, hooks up with Rich Uncle Pennybags (aka The Monopoly Guy), who is into bondage. His name is actually Christian Grey but to be honest, I can’t stomach having to look at the word Grey any more.

Every color and metaphor in this book is conveniently located somewhere on the color wheel between black and white. Everything. Get it? No, do you fucking get it? The author sledgehammered it into my brain, so you get it too. It’s gray. All of it. Every stitch of clothing, every wall, every floor, every analogy; it is all that damnable grey. THERE IS NO TIME FOR SUBTLETY. The name of the story is Fifty Shades of Grey. You’d think the author would try to be a bit less obtuse, but no. Mr. SexyTime’s name is Grey. His corporation is named Grey. His building, his office, his furniture, his tie, all his suits, his eyes, his sex toys, her dress, probably even his semen. It’s all gray. I’m sick of the color. Henceforth, I will refer to Mr. I’m-not-even-typing-it-again as, The Monopoly Guy. Because, you know, he’s rich.


So the Monopoly Man has a lot of money and he’s into kinky sex. In his words, “I don’t make love. I fuck … hard.” Ana is about to graduate college when she helps her friend – a friend who for some reason must always be accompanied by her last name every goddamn time she’s mentioned, Kate Kavanagh – by interviewing Moneybags for the school paper. This is where they meet and they are both instantly horny. Dicky McHardon then stalks her and tries to seduce her in the hardware store where she works by buying ropes and plastic ties while shifting his eyebrows and winking. Yes, goddammit, she works at a hardware store, perfect for all your sexy torture needs.

They eventually go out and he flies her in his helicopter to his mansion in the sky so he can show her a room full of medieval torture instruments.

BUT THERE’S A TWIST. Before the Monopoly Man can ejaculate into someone new, he forces little Miss Innocent to sign an NDA so no one finds out how high he ranks on the weird-shit-o-meter. She signs without reading because of her raging lady-boner and, after he shows her the torture room, he admits that the only thing he wants out of the relationship is a warm fuck toy he can torture. In order to do this, we see our first major plot point: even more documentation in need of a signature. She has to sign some legal agreement that stipulates her place as a Submissive and his place as a Dominant, and it has checkboxes for things she is or isn’t ok with; things like swallowing semen, genital clamps, and ANAL FISTING. This documentation becomes the secondary focus of many other fucking chapters.

Ana is a bit disturbed and admits her life-long lack of man-meat. Mr. E. Rection is so taken aback by the fact that our narrator has never had a dong inside her that he does something he’s never done before. He makes love to her. He calls it vanilla sex because it doesn’t involve whips or a crucifix. She, of course, climaxes with nearly every thrust, as virgins often do.

Yada, yada, yada, sex and money, regrets and rejuvenation, your mom getting hot and bothered as she reads this book in the family living room right in front of you.

At some point, the author seemed to realize there needed to be a point to the story other than coitus. The attempt at making this book palatable was for the narrator to try and find out why Moneybags was the way he was. In shocking revelations, we find out he was adopted after having been born to a crack whore and he has some burns on his chest. That’s it. You’ll have to read the other books to find out everything else. I sure as hell am not going to do it.

An Education in Painful Sexy-times

When our little grey man gets tired of humping something without causing it pain, he instructs Ana that she should look up BDSM on her brand new computer, the one he gave her in payment for sex. In all the dark corners of the internet where one could learn about the seedy underworld of torture-sex, she goes straight to Wikipedia.

So I did too! I searched for Submissive but ended up learning about politics and sociology. NOT SEXY.

So then I typed in BDSM and got what I was looking for. Now this is more like it. I am so turned on right now.

Yes, this really is straight from the Wikipedia BDSM page

I didn’t even have to paste on Monopoly Man’s head

Your Very Own Best-Seller Generator

Richie Dick pilots helicopters and drives fast cars and he’s got a room in his palace with all sorts of BDSM gear. She’s an innocent, never been laid sort of girl who longs after him for his money and the fact that he treats her more like a FleshLight than a human being. It’s a match made in heaven. The rest of the book includes variations on the following themes. Put these in a bag and shake them up, then rearrange them several times and you’ve got yourself a best-seller.

  • Oh he’s so sexy. Look at the way his eyes are grey, and the way his grey flannel PJs hang off his hips, and how his grey tie leaves marks on my wrists when I’m tied to the bedpost.
  • Ana: I want to be more than a FleshLight. Monopoly Man: I only want to fuck. Ana: Let’s talk about it. Monopoly Man: Let’s fuck. Ana: Ok. SPERM EVERYWHERE.
  • Ana: But I want to touch you. Monopoly Man: I don’t want to be touched. Ana: Why? Oh, what could have happened to you, you poor soul? Monopoly Man: Bend over. You’ve been naughty and I’m going to fuck you. Ana: Ok. SYNCHRONIZED ORGASMING.
  • Ana: [bites lip]. Monopoly Man: I’m going to fuck you because biting lips turns me on and I should be the one biting. NIPPLE ORGASMS.
  • Ana: [rolls eyes]. Monopoly Man: I’m going to spank you and then fuck you because you disobey. OUCH THAT KIND OF HURTGASM.
  • Monopoly Man: Here, have a new dress/underwear/phone/computer/car/first class plane ticket. Ana: I can’t possibly take this. It would be like I’m being paid for sex. Monopoly Mans: Nuh-uh. Ana: Ok. Monopoly Man: Fuck-time. Grab your ankles. MENSTRUATIONGASM.
  • Monopoly Man: You need to eat something. Stop talking back. Call me Sir. Go sit in the corner until I say you can move. No play time until you do your homework. Ana: I’m so turned on right now. ELECTRA COMPLEX ORGASM.

This book is heavily redundant.

My Inner Goddess is Gagging

Let me just take a break, because you’re obviously turned on by all of this, and we need to bring it down a notch. I’d like to point out a recurring theme, which if you have already read the book, you probably never want to hear about again. Her sexual encounters and fantasies always include her “inner goddess.” This “inner goddess” is always dancing or high jumping or cheer-leading or <insert your own lame metaphor here and it will probably be better than the author’s half-assed attempt at creativity>.

My particular favorite is the time she’s giving Daddy Warbucks a blow-job in the bathtub and her inner dialogue proclaims, “My inner goddess is doing the merengue with some salsa moves.” Give that a second to sink in. This is on the best-sellers list and it deserves your full attention: “My inner goddess is doing the merengue with some salsa moves.” I wasn’t familiar with this particularly strained metaphor so I looked it up. Here’s the merengue with salsa moves.

This is how giving a rich guy a blowie feels.

“My inner goddess is doing the merengue with some salsa moves.”

Aside from the pain brought on by all the Inner Goddess talk, we are treated to loads and loads of awkward conversations. Every time someone opened their mouth and didn’t shove a throbbing erection in it, I was jolted awake as my inner goddess screamed, “PEOPLE DON’T TALK LIKE THAT.” There wasn’t a sentence in this book longer than three words that I could ever imagine a sane human being saying to another person in everyday conversation.


In Conclusion

This book is bad. It’s really bad. There is no plot. But come on, when is the last time you watched porn for a plot, or read a Playboy because of the articles? Nobody rents Backdoor Sluts 9 for the story-line, and you probably don’t need to see the first eight to enjoy the continuation of some epic story arc.

So when someone tries to tell you they’re reading this book for the plot, you can comfortably laugh in their face and liken it to your fondness of Logjammin’ because you’re interested in the field of cable repair.

And above all, remember the semblance of a plot when you come across your own mother, sitting in the family living room, engrossed in reading Fifty Shades of Grey. Remember the specifics. Before your mother looks up at you from the page, remind yourself of the conversation in the book where the Monopoly Man is explaining to Ana just how wondrous the world of ANAL FISTING can be, and that if he could just warm her up with varying degrees of BUTTPLUGS, she would be sure to enjoy it. Remember that scene, as your own mother, from whose womb you came, looks up at you from Fifty Shades of Grey, with gradually reddening cheeks and a hasty dismissal of the book.

Go over and hug your mom and tell her, it’s ok, a lot of people are into ANAL FISTING. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.

Categories: books

I Went to a Church to See Ron Jeremy

October 21, 2012 Leave a comment

This morning I walked over to Daybreak Church of Marketing and Graphic Design in Hudsonville, Michigan, because they invited porn star Ron Jeremy to endure scrutiny and judgmental looks from parishioners.

I really went because I wanted to get my picture with him, but he was busy doing a press conference for the local stations after the first service. I ran into a couple other people who also came only for an autograph or picture, and we were told by a church employee that we should wait for him up at the front left of the church where he’d be happy to oblige his fans. We waited and waited as the second service started with the same music and the same lame jokes, only this time, these other sinners and myself were eagerly awaiting him but instead were told by a guy with a badge and a flashlight that Mr. Jeremy would be happy to take fans after the second service. Saddened by this revelation, but more disgusted by the prospect of having to sit through another grovelling Daybreak service, I opted to leave. Sadly, I didn’t get a picture with Ron Jeremy, so instead, here’s a picture of him dressed up like Super Mario.

I can see how it would be hard to resist those come hither eyes

Unfortunately, he didn’t dress up like Mario for the church service, but his clothes stayed on the entire time, so I guess that’s a plus. He also played the piano, and quite nicely; Fur Elise and a few other things, quite marvelous, actually, for someone with short and stubby, and probably stinky, fingers.

After making it through some debasing Grovelling and Ass-Kissing music, Ron came out on stage with the much sexier Craig Gross, a man who thinks you should feel bad for the sake of feeling bad, and you should feel bad about that too. This is the guy behind the whole Triple-X Church thing last decade, and he would absolutely love it if you visited his website to feel bad about other things you didn’t even know you should be feeling bad about. Once you’re feeling bad enough, you’ll believe anything, especially about Jewish zombies, or at least that’s his intention.

Ron seemed much more educated and logical than either of the goody-goodies on stage with him. He’s actually Jewish, a fact you could probably discern by watching his videos – go ahead, I’ll wait – and he seemed to be very well educated in the Torah/Old Testament. The pastor of the church even admitted Ron was probably more knowledgeable about the Bible than his own Bible-thumping self, which sounds like a little attempt at a joke and/or humility, but it’s one I wouldn’t doubt. Churches like this count ignorance as a virtue.

Ron seems very well versed in his Jewiousity and it seems like he’s very knowledgeable about other religions, a courtesy the Evangelicals don’t offer in return. To them, nothing matters but their version of Jesus, and nothing else makes sense. Jeremy seems to have a penchant for Evangelicals because he tours around the country with Sexy Craig, doing debates about just how bad you should feel for watching porn. I honestly don’t know how he can stomach being at these things, but somebody’s got to fight the good fight, and The Hedgehog seems to be a good candidate to take up the torch. His general mantra: there is nothing wrong with consenting adults having sexytimes in front of the camera for other responsible adults to enjoy.

Ron Jeremy seems to pander to the religious folks because he still believes in some kind of god because of a couple miracles that happened to him personally, which nothing else could possibly explain. Two of the most powerful miracles he experienced were surviving a car accident with Sam Kinison and having his stuffed turtle fall off a counter, presumably pushed by angels or by Yahweh himself. The audience sat smiling, nodding in approval because they probably all had their own, miraculous and life changing stuffed-animal-vs-gravity conversion moment but frankly, I’m not convinced.

While he was explaining his life changing crash with Sam Kinison and the magic stuffed turtle episode, I thought that surely, he’s being ironic, but no, I think he really does attribute these things to the same god who purportedly made the Higgs Boson and capped the speed of light at 299,792,458 meters per second. What a fall in power. One week, you’re creating the entire universe and everything in it. The next, you’re pushing a stuffed turtle off a counter on a windy day to prove your own existence to a man who makes a living by putting his penis in things for money.

Categories: religion

Say Hello to the Family Fetus

October 2, 2012 Leave a comment

The next big adventure in our lives is well underway! My wife is now six months pregnant with our first child! Life has lately been revolving around nothing but preparations for our little bundle of joy. We’ve been painting, researching, registering, quizzing other parents, and eagerly awaiting early January when we our pending daughter makes the transition from physical parasite to financial parasite.

A few weeks ago we got the ultrasound, and everything seems to be quite normal; boring, as the doctor put it. He said that a boring pregnancy is a good thing. We’ll go with that. They gave us a few pictures from the ultrasound, but my favorite is this one. Say hello to our future daughter!

Our Totally Cute, Not at All Creepy Gilbert to Be

As a rule, ultrasound pictures seem to be rather creepy, but I think this one takes the cake. She may be pure evil, but she’s our little ball of concentrated evil, and I’m ok with that. In fact, I’d be quite proud to father the Antichrist. At least I would know she’d succeed in life.

So that’s the first picture we have of our cute little girl. I was hoping for more pictures – in my mind I had a whole book and video planned – but the ultrasound tech gave us only three snapshots; one other that looked similar to the above but less demonic, and another which showed her downstairs for gender verification. Aside from the scant amount of take-home pictures they gave us, watching the ultrasound first-hand was one of the most thrilling afternoons of my life.

Up until that day, we had, at most, only heard a rapid little heartbeat over a scratchy speaker. Watching the ultrasound in real life, seeing that other being inside my wife, slice by slice, was amazing. It’s one thing seeing it happen anonymously on youtube. It’s another thing seeing it first-hand, peering inside my partner, watching our own flesh and blood wriggle and twist around.

She seemed like she was enjoying herself in the womb. As the wand moved over different parts of the baby, we noticed that, as it settled on her upper body, you could see her little arms pumping back and forth as if she were running, or as I like to imagine it, as if she were hitting a punching bag. She sure was moving. As we zoomed to her face we saw her mouth open up in a yawn. Awesome.

That was all weeks ago. We just took our sweet time in announcing it to anyone. Pregnancies are a tricky and delicate thing. Jen has years of working in the NICU under her belt, so we’d love for all our anxiety to be for naught because if anyone knows what can go wrong in a premature birth, it’s her. So far, so good. She’s been amazingly fastidious, down to the minutest detail about what to do and what not to do during pregnancy. I don’t think I’d have the willpower to lead the kind of life she’s been living for the last six months. I sure hope our baby appreciates that someday.

With that, I wonder where this blog will go. I think I’ll enjoy writing about being a dad. I’m more excited about fatherhood than anything I’ve ever undertaken, apart from my life with my lovely wife, of course. This is going to be amazing and terrifying at the same time. I can’t wait. Er, wait – yea, I can wait. Let’s plan on early January.

Categories: family

Batman Should Have Died

August 16, 2012 2 comments

Spoiler Alert! Don’t read the title unless you’ve seen The Dark Knight Rises. I figure that the movie has been out long enough that I would be safe getting a few things off my chest.

Batman should have died. At the end of The Dark Night Rises, he flies his handy little bat hovercraft over the previously unmentioned giant ocean that sits on one side of Gotham. He does this so that a weapons grade fusion device built by his company, originally meant to power everyone’s refrigerator, doesn’t blow up in the now defunct city and kill all its inhabitants. We get the usual spiel about how it’s the only way to save the city and we all admire Batman for his sacrifice.

Everyone is mourning Batman’s death and revering him for it. Albert’s reaction is more heart-wrenching than I would have anticipated for a film based on a comic book. It should have ended there. The sacrifice makes the hero. Instead, we instead get a crap-lousy, “yay! autopilot!” explanation for the HoverBatMobile and we find that Bruce Wayne is happily trotting around the world with his new friend Cat Woman instead of being vaporized in his devotion to saving the lives of the innocent. And then we find out that the cop who was helping Batman is really named Robin, and he finds the secret bat cave and by all means jizzes his pants right on the spot.

Goddammit, Hollywood. Fuck you. Why did you have to leave it open? You’re just going to use this to build a few shitty sequels that will get everyone excited until they realize you’ve screwed them over once again. This Dark Knight trilogy is the best thing that’s happened to the Batman empire in years, and now you’ve managed to shit on the entire story-line in the last few minutes of the movie in the hopes that you can spew out a few straight-to-DVD sequels. For fuck’s sake, why don’t you just bring back George Fucking Clooney as the Batman? Remember that? Remember how low you sank? George Clooney was the Mother-Fucking Batman. You are dangerously close to this level of putrescence.

Robin was an auxiliary character who never should have made it into this trilogy. The story-line was far enough removed from the traditional characters that they only vaguely resembled the comic books. The reinventing of the characters made them much more believable. Heath Ledger nailed the Joker and, though he existed only in the second film, he made the series. You killed off Two-Face before the week’s end. You could have killed off Batman at the end and sealed the entire series.

Heroes die. That’s one of the things that makes them heroes. When they magically come back to life or don’t die, it’s only done in order to set the stage for more shitty sequels. Tony Stark should have died in the nearly-identical save the world by blowing yourself up ending of The Avengers. Jesus should have stayed dead and saved the world from the worst kinds of sequels, Christianity. In the original Song of Fire and Ice books by George RR Martin, he had the right idea: He killed off main characters left and right with an impunity that only aroused interest; until, eventually, he too forgot how to end a story.

Maybe I’m just morbid. My wife certainly thinks so. She seems to think that I won’t enjoy a movie unless it’s depressing and the main character dies. Not if it serves the story-line. If it’s a story about sacrifice for a greater cause, and the sacrifice is feigned, I just want to knock my popcorn on the floor and storm out like a spoiled little brat.

When you bend the ending of a story enough that it’s blatantly obvious you’re setting yourself up for a sequel, you kill the story. Batman may not be dead, but he is dead to me. Enjoy your time with that harlot, Robin, you back-stabbing son of a bitch. I’m sure you two will have all sorts of fun running around in with your latex outfits and stuffed codpieces, rubbing your rubber nipples together. You are dead to me.

Categories: movies

How to Win the Grand Rapids Urban Adventure Race

July 14, 2012 1 comment

I have no freaking clue how to win it, but my friend Josh and I did just that. More precisely, we took first place in the Men’s division and third place overall. It was an accident, I swear. We were only trying to have fun and would have been happy if we were the next-to-last group. I was only hoping that my bike didn’t break down out of disuse and that I wouldn’t be attacked by a sudden and inconvenient need for a bowel movement. It was a long race.

We navigated around the Grand Rapids area for four hours, from start to finish. This race started and ended at Fifth Third Ball Park. Every race is different; ours hugged the Grand River and downtown after a brief visit to Belmont.

Before the race started, everyone got two large pieces of paper with topographical maps printed on the front and back, along with another sheet of paper with hints about each checkpoint. The checkpoints were scattered throughout the maps. Most of them were slightly hidden checkpoints where you would stamp your race sheet, and some of them were challenges similar to what you’d see on The Amazing Race.

Without going into too much detail, some of the challenges involved searching a library for a book with a phrase we had to write down, memorizing a paragraph that we would tell our partner and have them write down, a street number and business name cipher, having your partner describe to you a pre-assembled Lego structure behind a screen so that you could build a duplicate, counting a certain pattern of seat numbers in the entire Fifth Third Ball Park stadium, and probably a few others.

There was a part of the course that involved navigating a canoe down the Grand River, stopping at a few checkpoints, then landing and running two miles back to the canoe starting point. We didn’t do this challenge. And somehow we won? My only thought is that there were a few teams who were pushed for time but tried the canoe section near the end and didn’t quite make it back before four hours. That’s really the only way I can fathom we pulled this thing off. We rode our bikes through Riverside Park and saw a lot of people running from the canoe drop-off area, but by the time we saw them, we had around 45 minutes left in the race and there was no way we would be able to do that whole section.

Plus, it was freaking hot out. What an awful way to spend a hot day. Running around and looking for clues, basking in the ever-increasing sun. I felt like a busy little worker ant, scurrying to and fro with no apparent reason, all the while being baked by a demented child with a magnifying glass.

There were a number of checkpoints in the woods off of bike trails. Josh and I went to a clinic the prior week put on by the friendly race staff, and we got reacquainted with the proper use of a topographical map and a compass. I didn’t actually use the compass at all today but the clinic saved us in a few spots because we gained a few helpful hints on how to read a topo map. The biggest hint of all, which I failed at a few times, was not to follow other groups. Had I trusted my instincts in a few places, we would have gained a few precious minutes.

Our running wasn’t great. I kept holding up the team because I was getting too exhausted in sections of the city. It was hard to keep a pace because you’re constantly starting and stopping and checking your map, sometimes running faster and sometimes slower. That, paired with the evil sun and my lack of preparation, caused me to halt our running from time to time under the guise of “checking the map.” And my partner, Josh, rode the whole thing on a single-speed mountain bike, either because his normal bike was in disrepair or because he’s a cyborg.

Now that we’re hotshots and we’ve set the bar too high for ourselves, we’re going to have to participate in next year’s race. As winners, it’s free! Before the next race, I plan on training a little better by mixing running and biking. We were constantly on and off the bike, and some sections were all bike while others were all running. The transitions killed me. I’d plan on riding my bike a few miles, running a half mile, and so on in order to get used to the transitions. That, and get a little more familiar with reading a topo map.

My dad used to chide me that I had problems following and reading a map. I think this originated in high school when our church led week-long junior high bike trips, and I was a group leader and, a few times, I got lost. Well, dad, who’s lost now? In the age of GPSes and smartphones, I won a city-wide race using only a freaking map and I didn’t even have use a compass. Have I made you proud now, dad? HAVE I?!?

After the race: That’s me on the right, Josh is on his back with a leg cramp #winning

Team Blunderbuss

Categories: races

A Muddled Ancestry

June 18, 2012 Leave a comment

My mom recently burrowed into a cedar chest she obtained from my grandmother to find loads of random ephemera: Queries into our family tree, various letters, wills, coats of arms, and newspaper clippings.

Some of it confirmed stories vaguely hinted at some time ago, like the time one of our great great etc. grandfathers saved the life of Theodore Roosevelt from a rogue and crazy horse. It was during a parade in which the president was sitting idly in his carriage, when a runaway horse came bolting straight at him through the crowded street. Our hero valiantly jumped the line and grabbed the horse’s bridle, wrestling him to a stop and getting half trampled for his efforts. He received a bad-ass thanks from the president for saving his life.

It reads,

My dear Mr. Bird:

I am glad to know that you received no permanent injury in the performance of your gallant feat of stopping the runaway.

Trusting you will soon be entirely well, believe me,

Sincerely yours,

Theodore Roosevelt

One branch of our tree was traced back to 1569, when the Trotti family in Prussia and a member of the Teutonic Knights. They were on the losing side of some war [citation needed] and the tree ended up bouncing around Europe, hanging around Italy for a while, then settling in the American south.

That’s where things get a little less-then-admirable for me. In this set of documents, we came across several wills from ancestors who owned plantations and a number of slaves. Within the wills, they identify slaves, their “Negroes,” by name as they divvy them up between their children.

A clip from one of our slave-owning ancestor’s will

In this section, he divides up several people that he owns and gives them to his children. *shudder*

I just want to reach out through time and smack this son of a bitch and all the other asshole slave owners, being the internet tough guy that I am. He’s dealing out people in this letter like he’s dealing out cards in a game of poker. He names them each, as they fall in the document between cattle and pots and pans. James, Ross, Pleasant, Pollepas, Grace, Hannaca, Pryas, Rose, and Hiziah, I have no idea what happened to your branches, but I’d love to know.

And that’s only one confirmed will. We’ve got another questionable branch of ancestry which includes a hard copy of a will that divvies up more slaves than that. However, records on that side are virtually non-existent; the reason seems to be that this particular branch comes from a mixed black and white relationship, possibly slave and slave owner. In some ways, it’s a little reassuring that I, your average all-white cracker, could have the blood of former slaves running through my veins, and not just a bunch of douchebag plantation owners, but if I dwell on that topic too long, I realize that any such relationship probably wasn’t altogether consenting.

Bottom line is this: I’ve got some assholes in a few branches of my family tree. Perhaps they seem over-represented because they were rich enough to afford legal wills that were retained in the county courthouse. Maybe the lot of them weren’t that bad. One of the other things I found out was that my grandparents on that side eventually left the south largely because of the blatant racism and backwoods thinking. They seemed to have gone as far north as possible, to the extreme north of the Upper Peninsula, where they were both professors; my grandmother being the first woman to get tenured, playing a large part of breaking the glass ceiling.

All in all, it’s fascinating to find all these old documents and see what kind of blood is running through my veins. It’s not all pretty, but I’m glad we have these records.

Categories: family