How to Survive a War Movie

Image

While trying to survive a murder mystery comes with it’s own share a difficulties, trying to survive a war movie presents a different set of challenges that make surviving a murder mystery look like a piece of cake. In war movies, death and destruction are everywhere and serve as the norm and no matter what side, what role you play in the story, or how well you follow these tips, your survival is no guarantee. Luckily, many war movies are set in history and chances are you may be someone who actually existed which may help in he long run. Still, here are some guideline on how to survive a war movie. I’ll use the model you’ll find in most Hollywood World War II movies since they make plenty of them but I won’t focus on ships or aviation though.

1. Make sure you’re on the right side. (In Hollywood movies, the formula goes as follows: If you’re in a film set during WWII, the American Revolution, and most American wars in general before 1950, you probably want to be on whatever side the US is on. Exceptions are the US Civil War and World War I since one was fought amongst Americans and the other is usually made to portray the horrors of war in general. If you’re in a film set during the British Empire, the Elizabethan Era, or the Napoleonic Wars, you’d want to side with the Brits. If you’re in a war movie based on a Shakespearean play, stick with the English. Other wars, it mostly depends on the history or point of view.)

2. Make sure you’re based on a real person instead of a fictional creation. (Of course, this may help you or hurt you, depending on whether that person survived the incident or the war. Still, odds are pretty good if your character actually existed.)

3. Be played by a famous actor. (If your character is played by a big movie star like Tom Hanks, you will probably last a very long time.)

4. Be among the main characters. (Odds are good you’ll last a long time, especially if you’re the protagonist.)

5. If you’re the main character, make sure the narrator is either yourself or your child. (Odds are good you won’t die, especially if the narrator is either you or someone who depends on you to exist. Age of child is also a factor.)

6. Don’t show a picture of your girlfriend back home to your soldier buddies no matter how much you love her, how much you want to marry her, or how lovely or attractive she is. (Guys who show a picture of their girlfriends back home will be among the first ones to get shot even if she’s his fiancee. Death happens less often to guys showing a picture of his wife, kids, friends, or other family members.)

7. Don’t tell anyone that your tour of duty or enlistment will be up within less than a month’s time or discuss your future plans after the war. (Chances are you’re a dead man.)

8. Don’t be a spy or a traitor. (You’ll be found out and shot dead.)

9. If you’re a member of a band of brothers unit in a platoon or company, unless you’re the main character, don’t be (can be of any enlisted rank but you know the generalities):

a. Private New-Recruit-Who-Enlisted-Just-Out-Of-High-School or Private Guy-Who-Lied-About-His-Age-To-Join.

b. Private Relative-Or-Friend-Of-Major-Character

c. Private Wanting-To-See-Real-Action or Private Enthusiastically-Idealistically-Patriotic

d. Private Guy-Who-Owes-Something-To-Old-Schoolfriend

e. Private Jolly-Fat-Guy

f. Private Only-Likeable-Guy-In-Group

g. Corporal Cool-Guy-With-Ambiguities

h. Corporal Shell-Shocked-Veteran

i. Corporal Guy-With-Homosexual-Longings

j. Corporal Token-Insert-Nationality-Here (unless American or played by David Niven) or Corporal Token-Insert-Ethnicity-Here

k. Corporal Guy-With-Social-Background-Issues

l. Corporal Smartest-Guy-Here or Corporal Warrior-Poet

m. Corporal Resident-Clown

n. Corporal Nickname

o. Corporal Guy-With-Endearing-Quirk-Or-Skill

p. Corporal Pacifist-Conscript (Unless you’re the titular Sergeant York but he was real.)

q. Sergeant Oldest-Guy-In-His-Unit

r. Sergeant Best-Damn-Soldier-In-Unit

10. As for the NCO or officer to serve under make sure it’s not (can be of any NCO or officer rank):

a. Sergeant Nutso

b. Lieutenant I-Got-This-Promotion-Because-Of-Politics

c. Captain Upper-Class-Twit

d. Major Zero-Respect-For-His-Men

e. Lieutenant Colonel Incapable-Of-Fear

f. Colonel Arrogant-Prick

11. Try to avoid getting a serious injury unless it gets you sent home and doesn’t entail you to experience the medical horrors of the time period. (Survival odds from real serious injuries depend on the setting so while having a limb amputated in a WWII film will get you home, it will result in death in a US Civil War film. As in any movie involving a wooden war ship, if you survive amputation, chances are you will not get an automatic discharge. Those with less serious wounds will be patched up, given leave, and will eventually have to return to the front unless on a wooden war ship.)

12. Only accept souvenirs and tokens from beautiful young women and children you saved which will be helpful. And don’t loot anything off a slain enemy, especially if he’s already dead when you found him no matter how useful his stash is. (You will live to regret it.)

13. If you’re a prisoner of war, remain in capture of your enemies until you’re either liberated or the war is over no matter how bad the enemy’s treating you. No matter how desperate you are, make no effort to escape. (Since escaping from a POW facility will get you either killed, sent back, or commanded to return but on a dangerous mission under blackmail which will get you fragged by a former fellow inmate trying to stop you.)

14. While you’re a POW and an officer, make sure your morale boosting projects aren’t helping the enemy. (Anyone who’s seen The Bridge on the River Kwai knows why Colonel Nicholson couldn’t survive the film.)

15. If you’re serving in a non-combat unit, no matter how intolerable your commanding officer is or how bored you are, don’t ever request a transfer to combat duty. (Mr. Roberts should’ve stayed a merchant marine and be grateful for his role in the war effort.)

16. For officers, veterans, or NCOs: Don’t be a mentor to some new recruit or become some kind of father figure to your men. Also, don’t strive to be a benevolent and competent authority figure who wouldn’t risk putting his men in senseless danger. (Only a messy and disturbing death will befall you near the end. Best be a complete and incompetent jerk but not to the degree that you endanger the men for no reason.)

17. If you’re on leave or have deserted your post, don’t spend an extended time contemplating with increase resolve to return to the front. (You will be shot in the climatic battle like Montgomery Clift in From Here to Eternity.)

18. Enlisted men: Whenever your sergeant says, “I’m not making you go; anyone who wants to can bow out of this with no consequences.” Bow out. (Or else, you and everyone else in your unit will be dead by the end but your respect for your sergeant may cloud your judgement.)

19. While on leave, don’t fall in love or get married even if she’s the girl of your dreams, pregnant with your kid, or has a poor family in need. (You won’t have a future wit her even if the film’s a musical. Of course, if you knocked her up, you might want to marry her so she and your baby can benefit from your life insurance policy if you have one. One exception is if you’re a British soldier who falls for an American servicewoman while your plane crashed. In this case, love will help immensely, especially when you’re fighting for your chance to live in a celestial court.)

20. Don’t name your gun or get too attached with your weapon. (Ole’ Bess won’t save you.)

21. If you should have a pet, make sure it’s a dog or mouse and keep it with you at all times. Don’t set it free or let a friend take care of it for you under any circumstances. (You won’t see it again unless it’s a horse your family lent to the war effort who will reunite with you after a few years of being subject to different owners while you lay temporarily blind by your bed side, even if it has to get caught up in barbed wire.)

22. If you’re an officer, be a sympathetic military maverick who can get away with anything and knowing that soldiers win war for making the other poor dumb bastards die for their country. (Like Patton.)

23. Don’t retreat from battle unless everyone else does or if you plan to return with reinforcements at the last minute.

24. Avoid heartwarming and touching cultural exchanges with an enemy on the other side unless he’s about to die or if your trapped with him behind the lines and dies anyway.

25. Don’t underestimate the practical applications in the latest weapons technology even if your commanding officers do. Be sure to have all the ammunition you need for a battle and add plenty of extra magazines you can cram in your pockets for safe measure. Also, make sure your weapon is maintained so it doesn’t jam. (Well, if you can. Still, you’ll need all the ammo you can get.)

26. Don’t share a foxhole or trench with anyone braver, louder, crazier, or stupider than you.

27. Disregard any advice that goes against good common sense or your training.

28. If taken prisoner, don’t be a smart ass in front of your interrogators who may already be angry with you.

29. Don’t turn your back on anyone you’ve just shot, stabbed, or thrown from a moving vehicle. (Chances are they’re just faking and waiting to stab you in the back.)

30. Never grab a flag or standard and charge headlong at the enemy screaming no matter how inspiring or memorable it is. (You’ll be shot and dead within five minutes.)

31. If you’re in a place that sees no action, don’t talk about your good fortune. And tell your loved ones back home to refrain from such talk as well. (Remember your luck can easily change and you don’t want that to happen.)

32. Avoid love triangles at all times, especially involving your best friend or brother. (Happens in a lot of war movies. If you’re in a war movie love triangles your chances of surviving are 33-50% depending if the object of your affections is back home or a civilian you met on your tour of duty {and this usually involves two guys vying over a girl not two girls vying over a guy}. Still, at least one person in a love triangle has to die while the other remaining may not get the girl anyway and will feel bad about it.)

33. Only write letters if they can also serve as voice over narration and don’t write a letter to your mother, wife, girlfriend, or brother and put it in your top left shirt pocket. (You won’t finish it or send it, especially if your name is Sullivan Ballou during Bull Run and the recipient is your wife Sarah.)

34. Constantly openly fret about your survival and say why war is hell.

35. Don’t participate in any general’s plan to end the war by Christmas. (It’s a suicide mission and will not end the war by Christmas.)

36. Don’t reach for anything just over the trench.

37. If you witness your fellow soldiers committing a war crime, don’t say anything even if you’re morally opposed to such atrocities until you’re back at the base and with evidence. If your superior officer orders you to commit a war crime, simply pull a gun right in front of him and tell him this is unlawful before relieving him of command by force. If it’s likely the chain of command will be unsympathetic if you tell the whole truth in debriefing, frag him. (Else you’ll get killed and so will the village. Happens in a lot of movies about Vietnam.)

38. Pay attention to all safety briefings, language classes, and any area familiarity before any mission.

39. Don’t swear, make scatological or sexual references, use racially insensitive terms, or make any reference to drug use. Also, force others to do likewise especially if it’s a family movie. (Like PG-13.)

40. Refuse all good luck charms. (They won’t work.)

41. Be nice to local civilians regardless of their loyalties. (You will get killed if you don’t try to earn their respect.)

42. When given the chance to shoot a newly captured unarmed or wounded enemy, just do it until he’s dead. (It will assure you that he won’t pose a danger to you or your friends. Any guilt over this, you can tell your grandchildren or spouse in a tearful fashion years later.)

43. If you’re fighting in the desert to the last man against a force drastically outnumbering you, make sure you seek a fortress near a vast untapped water reservoir so when that’s shot off the enemy will surrender. (This is a plot to Sahara.)

44. If you’re on a wooden war ship, make sure you’re not assigned as the mast lookout or near the cannons. (They always get killed in these kind of films.)

45. If you’re American, join the navy. (Many films that feature the US Navy hardly have anyone getting killed {since they’re usually more drama or comedy oriented than action packed} but this doesn’t mean your survival is an absolute guarantee. It just means you have better odds than an army soldier or a pilot since you’re on a ship. Remember what happened in Mr. Roberts when he got transferred to a combat ship during WWII, especially in the Pacific Ocean.)

46. If you’re in the service, be a woman. (Servicewomen are less likely to get killed than servicemen in the same scenario. Compare how the American nurse and the American radio guy find love in the musical South Pacific. Guess who gets the happy ending.)

47. If you find yourself alone, don’t break into any civilian households on enemy soil. (Scarlett shoots a Union soldier doing this in Gone with the Wind. Mrs. Miniver almost does this to a German soldier but turns him to the local cops instead.)

48. If you’re a fighter pilot, make sure your nickname doesn’t sound girly or is the name of a cartoon character. Choose something cool and manly.

49. Know lots of amusing sound off songs. (Makes everyone’s survival more likely.)

50. If you’re a sniper in a sniper duel, make sure the sun isn’t in front of you. (Or you’ll be shot in the eye.)

Advertisements

How to Survive a Murder Mystery

Image

I’ve watched a lot of cop shows and murder mysteries on TV. Of course, for this list, I’ll be using the model you see from British murder mysteries like Poirot or Miss Marple. Still, whenever I’ve seen a murder mystery, there is a pattern of things that always happen in them as well as that the same kind of people usually end up dead or arrested. So if you find yourself in a fictional murder mystery, remember to follow these important rules in order to make it out alive and with no criminal record.

1. Don’t kill anyone. (Obviously since this is a murder mystery.)

2. If you’re in a series, it helps being either the detective or part of the main or recurring cast. (Main cast members are rarely suspected of murder and recurring characters have good odds as well.)

3. Stay where you are until the murder investigation is over and don’t make any plans to flee the murder scene’s jurisdiction. If you already have any plans to travel in the near future, cancel them immediately. If you’re just visiting or on vacation, prepare for an extended stay. (Attempting to go through with your traveling plans will result in either death or handcuffs by the end).

4. Don’t have very checkered past. (Or else, you’ll either have a personal secret worth killing for or everyone else will have a reason for killing you.)

5. If you’re head over heels for someone who’s unavailable, make sure he or she reciprocates and things will work out in a fashion that you two will live happily ever after by the end. (Happens all the time in Poirot and Miss Marple detective stories. Still, if you like someone who doesn’t care for you at all despite your willingness to do anything they say for a chance with them, well, let’s just say chances are good you’ll surely get it or arrested.)

6. If you’re a woman don’t get pregnant out of wedlock. (Women who get pregnant out of wedlock have an especially good chance of getting whacked, especially after just finding out within the first or second trimester {it happens}. Yet, women who’ve been pregnant for more than 4-5 months usually have lower odds of dying whether their pregnancy resulted from marital sex or not. Mothers of illegitimate children have low odds as well since it’s the kid’s father who usually dies.)

7. If you’re a man, don’t father an illegitimate child. (Guys, no matter how much time has passed, whether you know of the kid’s existence or not, whether your love child is alive, or whether being someone’s baby daddy may have something to do with the case, your odds of surviving as a free man are very slim, indeed.)

8. If you’re a woman, don’t work in the oldest profession. (Hookers are frequent murder victims on American cop shows, especially when there’s a serial killer lurking around.)

9. If you’re in Great Britain, don’t be clergyman. (With the exception of the Father Brown or Brother Cadfael stories or anywhere else the clergyman is a main character, being a clergyman is almost a death wish since many clergymen in British murder mysteries end up being killed, exposed as a murderer, or both. Midsomer Murders especially. Oh, and while most doomed British clergymen work for the Church of England {as far as I know}, they can be from any religious denomination.)

10. If you’re in a period piece, it helps if you’re under 18. (Kids rarely get killed or arrested in old-timey murder mysteries and if they do, then it’s especially serious business.)

11. If you think you’re in danger for having important information to the investigation, call the detective and tell him or her over the phone but not in a phone booth. Afterwards, make sure you’re not the only one who knows and tell at least two other people. If you possess certain evidence, give it to the detective immediately. (Otherwise, you’ll certainly be the next victim.)

12. Be the most obvious suspect. Helps if you get arrested right away after the murder. (In most murder mysteries, the most obvious suspect will almost never be the murderer. However, while being the most obvious suspect may ensure your innocence most of the time, it doesn’t prevent you from being killed.)

13. Don’t blackmail anybody. (You will probably get whacked.)

14. If you’re a suspect, you might want to suppress your natural indignation as best you can and remain courteous and helpful as well as confess your serious sins to the police. Also, it helps if you tell the investigator why he or she may have reason to suspect you of murder. (Those whose sins and motives are known first, will be found innocent. Yet, this doesn’t guarantee that they’ll be alive by the end.)

15. Don’t sleep with the detective. (Sleeping with the detective can either result in your death or later being found out to be the murderer. Best to go with the detective’s assistant instead.)

16. It helps if you’re a complete jerk who engages in suspicious behavior such as:

a. Having an affair.

b. Having problems with drugs or alcohol.

c. Losing all your money suddenly and trying to hide it from others, especially your significant other.

d. Being involved with someone who’d cause your parents to disown you if they found out.

e. Working undercover in another law enforcement entity or in intelligence.

f. Being a doctor whose personal habits or past mistakes could result in loss of practice should they ever become public.

17. It helps if you claim to be someone you’re not in order to divert the legal route of inheritance just as long as the person who gets it is nicer than whoever loses out. (Otherwise, I see bad things in your future.)

18. It helps if you make fun of the detective’s methods during the investigation, especially if you express constant doubts and ridicule his or her eccentricities or obnoxious ways. (That way you’ll be found innocent and alive as well as get your ultimate comeuppance in the end when the detective reveals who did it.)

19. It helps if you and your spouse have serious marital problems in the beginning as long as they don’t pertain to spousal abuse. (Those who physically abuse their spouses and families will ultimately get whacked. It’s those in seemingly happy marriages who get found out as the murderer.)

20. For men: if the victim is a woman, make sure it’s someone you’ve slept with. (Though most female murder victims are killed by their significant others most of the time, this is almost  nonexistent in British murder mysteries, especially if her husband was a real dickhead to begin with. The only exceptions may be if the dead woman and her significant other had a seemingly happy relationship. Murdered women in American crime dramas or murder mysteries are a different story, especially if she’s either single and having an affair with a married man or has a husband cheating on her {Monk had plenty of cases involving women that turn out like this}.)

21. Still, don’t be too much of complete asshole that people will certainly not miss if anything happened to you. (Or else, one person will get so pissed off with you that you’ll be a corpse the next morning. Assholes get killed a lot in murder mysteries since they’re much harder to solve and carry a more interesting investigation. We can’t have all murder victims be of innocent people to feel bad for. In Midsomer Murders, this happens 75% of the time.)

22. For men: if you’re the town Casanova, make your line of work doesn’t require house calls. (While the horny little pizza delivery boy may score in a porno flick, he ends up a corpse in a murder mystery.)

23. Then again, best that your line of work doesn’t require house calls. (They tend to witness everything that goes around town and sometimes may get whacked for seeing something he or she may not be supposed to see.)

24. If you find yourself being chased by a killer, don’t run into unfamiliar alleyways. (It will usually be a dead end or the killer will be waiting at the other end.)

25. You might want to think twice before hiring Hercule Poirot to solve the case. (Hiring Poirot to solve your case does not excuse you from innocence. Many times those who hired Poirot are later found to have actually committed the crime. Still, if you hire Poirot to investigate chances are he will find out who did it, whether you like it or not. And that murderer will be brought to justice unless he or she was a fellow passenger on the Orient Express and only out of compassion.)

26. Be present in the same place as the detective when the second murder occurs. (Obviously, you will not only have an air tight alibi for the second murder but be exonerated as a suspect from the first.)

27. While attending the summation gathering circle, make sure you’re not the last person the detective talks about. (The last person the detective talks about is the murderer.)

28. During interrogation, it’s best if you don’t ask to invoke your Miranda Rights. (Either you’ll be dead or found as the murderer, especially in American cop shows.)

29. If you’re the victim’s doctor, make sure there’s nothing in their medical files is crucial to the plot. (Or else, you could be dead, too. Yet, unlike most normal people, doctors can’t really rely on investigators if they have information important to the case, though many eventually will despite their vow of medical confidentiality.)

30. If you’re in a murder mystery that has any connection with Colin Dexter’s Inspector Morse, it helps if you have nothing to do with Oxford University. (Because many people who get killed in a series inspired by the Colin Dexter series can be a student, teacher, staff member, or someone just visiting even.)

31. You might want to be cautious around company when the detective shows up for anything other than for solving a murder, especially if no one has been killed yet. (When the detective is on vacation or solving a non-murder case, it only takes a matter of time before someone is killed and he or she is asked to help out with the investigation. Happens with Poirot and Monk all the time as well as Nick and Nora.)

32. If you’re a suspect, it helps if you’re the biggest and most blatant jerk of the group. (The biggest jerk suspect is usually innocent but he or she sometimes gets killed though.)

33. When traveling as a pedestrian, always walk with a buddy even at a short distance. (In murder mysteries, most people get killed while traveling on foot by themselves.)

34. Never underestimate little old ladies. (Especially Miss Marple or Jessica Fletcher.)

35. If you find yourself invited to attend a special function in a British country manor during the 1920s or 1930s, you might want to politely decline. (Chances are it will not go well.)

36. If the murder victim was an asshole, just don’t try to be the nicest person in the suspect pool. (Else, you may later be found out as the murderer.)

37. When the detective asks you whether you killed the first victim, simply say, “I was planning to kill (insert victim’s name here) but someone beat me to it before I can get to it” or “Yes, I intended to kill so-and-so but not like that.” (You will be exonerated from all suspicion.)

38. If you’re in America, you might want to avoid convenient stores, jewelry stores, or pawn shops. (A lot of people get killed at these places.)

39. If you’re in America, make sure your job doesn’t pertain to being a security guard or night watchman. (Chances of you being a victim are very likely.)

40. If you’re having an affair and don’t want to leave your spouse, make sure it’s with a person who’s mentally stable and isn’t looking for a serious relationship. (Else, you may end up dead.)

Classic Old Hollywood Bad Boys Deconstructed

Image

For years, it’s been said that girls are attracted to bad boys.  However, there are times when some of these “bad” boys are only bad in name only while others live up to the name. Sometimes a guy is only seen as a “bad boy” just because he’s attractive and has an undesirable flaw. Here I have a list of some of the best defined bad boys of the Old Hollywood years (before 1970) and try to determine on a criteria on whether they are really as bad as people make them out to be. With each known “bad boy” I’ll ask questions whether he’s criminally inclined, gets along with his family or friends, mentally stable, potentially abusive and/or physically violent, whether he has trouble keeping a legal job, whether he’s sufficiently bad as the rest of the cast, if he respects women, and whether he’s actually interested or uses people. Of course, some factors matter more than others. So here is a list of Old Hollywood bad boys and whether they are really “bad” or just a good looking guy with an undesirable flaw. (I’ll only show those who are likeable around women since they are the hot point of debate. Also, I’ll only list the iconic ones from classic films, history, or literature.)

1. Jim Stark

From: Rebel Without a Cause, played by James Dean

Is he criminally inclined? Well, he skipped home, was caught for underage drinking, and participated in street racing but only under peer pressure and really felt bad about it. Still, his criminal behavior doesn’t deviate from what one would expect from a teenager.

Does he get along with family or friends? Though he doesn’t make friends easily he does get along with those nice to him. And though he may have trouble getting along with his parents, he nevertheless loves them.

Is he mentally stable? Well, he has issues but compared to his friend Plato (Sal Mineo) he is.

Is he potentially abusive or physically violent? He has a bad temper but is only physically violent when he gets really angry or upset. Also, he’s no where near as abusive as some of the characters.

Does he have trouble keeping a legal job? This isn’t relevant in the movie.

Is he worse than most of the cast? No, for there are plenty of worse people in the cast like Plato and the gang of school bullies.

Does he respect women? Actually treats Judy (Natalie Wood) better than her old man and one of her boyfriends. He certainly doesn’t physically hurt any women.

Does he care about his love interest? Well, let’s just say he takes more of an emotional interest in Judy than a physical one and probably wouldn’t want anything to do with him if she was mean to him. Whether he loves her, I can’t really say.

Verdict: Though Jim may have serious issues and is nowhere near perfect, he’s actually not much worse than what you’d expect from most teenagers. And compared to most of the teenage boys in the cast, he’s actually one least self-destructive and nicest guys around.

2. Cal Trask

From: East of Eden, played by James Dean

Is he criminally inclined? Not really.

Does he get along with family or friends? Well, though he seems to act perfectly fine with characters outside his family, his relationship with his family is dysfunctional. For one, his mother deserted and neglected her family when him and his brother were very young and had nothing to with them until the start of the film. Though Cal adores his deeply religious father, his dad doesn’t really think much about him and makes it no secret that he favors his brother Aron. And with Aron, Cal is basically jealous of him but later drives him insane and steals his girlfriend. Let’s just say it’s complicated.

Is he mentally stable? Sure he has serious issues but he’s pretty much grounded in reality.

Is he abusive or physically violent? Only with his brother and only when mad.

Does he have trouble keeping a legal job? Not only does he have no trouble keeping a job, he’s also a very successful as an entrepreneurial farmer and businessman. His bean growing experiment earned him a considerable profit.

Is he worse than most of the cast? Well, with the exception of Abra (Julie Harris), the sheriff (Burl Ives), and a few others, you might think that. He’s definitely a better person than his mother.

Does he respect women? Well, he doesn’t physically hurt them. Still, it depends on whether some women are nice to him.

Does he care about his love interest? Let’s just say he wouldn’t steal Abra away from Aron if he wasn’t emotionally drawn to her since she’s one of the few characters who’s nice to him.

Verdict: Cal may do some bad things but he is not a bad boy at all. He has some issues and is certainly labeled that, but most evidence points to the contrary. He just doesn’t get along with his family.

3. Lewton McCanles

gregory peck 1945 - by madison lacy

From: Duel in the Sun, played by Gregory Peck

Is he criminally inclined? Yes, commits rape and murder multiple times, shoots his own brother unarmed, and derails a train.

Does he get along with family or friends? He may get along with his father and some of the ranch hands but he doesn’t have a good relationship with his mother or brother who both aren’t happy being related to him.

Is he mentally stable? He’s very prone to self-destructive behavior, especially towards the end.

Is he abusive or physically violent? Oh, yes, very much so. He’s controlling and has an explosive temper. He rapes Jennifer Jones and shoots Joseph Cotten and Charles Bickford. Oh, he and Jennifer Jones both die in a shoot out.

Does he have trouble keeping a legal job? Not really but he works on his family ranch.

Is he worse than most of the cast? When it comes to inflicting violence, absolutely. When it comes to attitudes of the day, not really.

Does he respect women? Not at all. He and his mother don’t get along and he treats Pearl (Jennifer Jones) like shit and does whatever he wants with her without considering her feelings. Not to mention, he’s also very possessive and controlling of her.

Does he care about his love interest? Though it’s hard to say whether he loves Pearl, he certainly doesn’t care enough for her to consider her feelings or obtain her consent when it comes to sex. To him she just exists to sexually fulfill him until he’s done with her, or so it appears.

Verdict: For those who think that he can’t be that terrible because he’s played by Gregory Peck, I believe you are sorely mistaken. Lewton McCanles is  perhaps a “bad boy” in the truest sense. Avoid men like him at all costs.

4. Stanley Kowalski

Annex - Brando, Marlon (A Streetcar Named Desire)_02

From: A Streetcar Named Desire, played by Marlon Brando

Is he criminally inclined? Well, he’s a rapist and one of the most famous domestic abusers of all time.

Does he get along with family or friends? He can be a bully to Mitch (Karl Malden) and perhaps some of his other friends. As far as the play is concerned, he has a happy enough marriage with Stella (Kim Hunter). However, he doesn’t much care for her sister Blanche DuBois (Vivien Leigh) at all.

Is he mentally stable? Well, he does make a point about Blanche and is capable of rational thought, but he has an explosive temper. And he’s crying like a baby when Stella tries to leave him. Still, don’t call him a “polack.”

Is he abusive or physically violent? Not only is he verbally abusive to just about everyone, but he also beats his pregnant wife and rapes his sister-in-law. Not to mention, he’s very selfish and controlling.

Does he have trouble keeping a legal job? Not at all.

Is he worse than most of the cast? Absolutely, though Blanche does come close since she moonlighted as a prostitute and got fired from her teaching job for having sex with a seventeen-year-old boy.

Does he respect women? Well, he certainly doesn’t respect Blanche and doesn’t treat Stella much better. Then again, he’s probably not a misogynist because he treats everyone like shit.

Does he care about his love interest? Let’s just say he didn’t marry Stella just because she was from a more affluent background and no matter how bad he treats her, he can’t live without her.

Verdict: Stanley is an abusive and violent man who no one should dare associate with. He’s as bad as everyone makes him out to be.

5. Terry Malloy

From: On the Waterfront, played by Marlon Brando

Is he criminally inclined? His brother is a gangster so probably, though the worst thing he does is help the local crime syndicate knock off his friend Jimmy Doyle.

Does he get along with family or friends? Though he loves his brother Charley (Rod Steiger) his relationship with him is strained. Of course with everyone else, it depends on whether he’s a priest, a stevedore, or a gangster as well as the point in the film. Still, he’s great with kids and pigeons though.

Is he mentally stable? He’s unhappy at himself for his failed boxing career as well as guilty of betraying his friend. He does get better though.

Is he abusive or physically violent? Not really, but if you ever are violent toward him, he will beat you up. Also, used to be a boxer.

Does he have trouble keeping a legal job? He may not have a boxing career but he does work as a stevedore so, no.

Is he worse than most of the cast? No, Johnny Friendly (Lee J. Cobb) and his associates are much worse including Charley.

Does he respect women? Hard to say since Eva Marie Saint is the only girl in the cast but he’s not a bad guy towards her though and does testify against the people responsible for killing her brother.

Does he care about his love interest? Yes, he certainly does since she was his friend’s little sister and does give her the awful truth.

Verdict: Though Terry may seem bad at first, it’s actually pretty complicated to say since he’s pretty conflicted between his brother and doing what’s right. After Charley is killed, however, he’s certainly not. Still, he doesn’t think well of himself.

6. Heathcliff

Laurence Olivier Wuthering Heights

From: Wuthering Heights, played by Sir Laurence Olivier

Is he criminally inclined? How he made his fortune is legally questionable so we really can’t say. But he tries to ruin Hindley’s life through legal means.

Does he get along with family or friends? Well, he’s fine with people who are nice to him and/or don’t betray him. Yet, even that is no guarantee since the Lintons are nice and he treats them horribly, ditto Catherine Earnshaw (Merle Oberon) when she dumps him. Still, with his surrogate family, he’s nice to Catherine’s father but terrible to her brother Hindley.

Is he mentally stable? He has a terrible temper and a vicious streak to make everyone who’s ever wronged him pay. Also, he’s very much prone to self-destruction and has a tendency to drag others with him.

Is he abusive or physically violent? He’s controlling, vengeful, and has a short fuse, especially when she decides to date Linton (David Niven). He’s also terrible to everyone else. As for physically violent, no.

Does he have trouble keeping a legal job? We can’t really be sure since we don’t know how he made his fortune.

Is he worse than most of the cast? It soon becomes that way since Linton, Hindley, and Catherine made him the monster he became.

Does he respect women? No, since he’s willing to marry one girl he has no feelings for just to get back at her sister-in-law. And he treats his wife like shit. Not to mention, he’s controlling and possessive of Catherine and the two don’t have the healthiest relationship.

Does he care about his love interest? Has been in love with Catherine since they were kids and continues to love her even though they marry other people and have a very destructive relationship. As for his wife, Isabella (Geraldine Fitzgerald) not at all.

Verdict: Heathcliff may not be violent but he is certainly a bad boy since he makes it his mission to ruin people’s lives who wronged him, including Catherine. Definitely not a guy to bring home.

7. Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy

Laurence_Olivier_Pride_and_prejudice

From: Pride and Prejudice, played by Sir Laurence Olivier

Is he criminally inclined? No.

Does he get along with family or friends? From what we know of, he tries to be nice to aunt and is very protective of his sister. Also, though he does make his friend Bingley break up with Jane, it wasn’t out of malicious intent.

Is he mentally stable? Most of the time unless you mention George Wickam.

Is he abusive or physically violent? He’s not violent or abusive at all. He doesn’t have a pleasant personality and isn’t the most tactful, however.

Does he have trouble keeping a legal job? For God’s sake he’s already stinking rich to begin with, probably doesn’t need one.

Is he worse than most of the cast? Well, in regards with social skills probably. Still, other than George Wickam, most of the cast consists of reasonably nice people.

Does he respect women? Absolutely, he knows a bad guy like George Wickam when he sees one even though he may not be the most socially inclined. Not to mention, he’s nice to Elizabeth Bennett (Greer Garson) and her family as well as everyone else.

Does he care about his love interest? Well, he does fall in love with Elizabeth Bennett and they do get married. Besides, he bailed out of an arranged marriage for her and doesn’t need to marry for money so a match with Elizabeth Bennett isn’t going to help him much. So yeah, he certainly cares about her.

Verdict: Though Mr. Darcy has an issue with rubbing people the wrong way, his biggest flaws are poor social skills and having an unpleasant personality. He isn’t a bad boy in the slightest and once you get to know him, you see that he’s a perfectly okay guy. So, ladies, it’s perfectly fine to swoon over him.

8. Hamlet

6a00d834515b2069e2010534c1b496970b-800wi

From: Hamlet, played by Sir Laurence Olivier

Is he criminally inclined? Well, when it comes against his uncle, he may be. Oh, yeah, he does kill Polonius and Laertes.

Does he get along with family or friends? Only Horatio and maybe his servants and a few others. He doesn’t seem to get along with everyone else. Relations with his mom and uncle have been strained since his father died, his uncle took the throne and married his mother. As with Polonius, Laertes, and Ophelia, probably not.

Is he mentally stable? On a few things as it turns out, but he may just be pretending to be nuts most of the time.

Is he abusive or physically violent? Yes, he certainly is since he doesn’t say nice things to Gertrude or Ophelia and he does kill three people including a guy through a curtain. Also, he’s living in the Middle Ages.

Does he have trouble keeping a legal job? He’s a prince so he’s already born with one and keeping it isn’t really on his mind.

Is he worse than most of the cast? In regards to most of the cast, he’s facing pretty stiff competition.

Does he respect women? When he told Ophelia to “get thee to a nunnery” he may not have necessarily told her to go to a convent. Also, he says a lot of terrible things to his mom which probably goes to say he doesn’t really respect women much.

Does he care about his love interest? Remember he told Ophelia to “get thee to a nunnery.” Besides, I don’t think Laertes and Polonius believe so he probably doesn’t.

Verdict: Sure Hamlet may have issues with his family, but though he may not be the worst guy on the list, he’s still not boyfriend material.

9. Rhett Butler

66281-004-32B7AE59

From: Gone With the Wind, played by Clark Gable

Is he criminally inclined? Well, he obviously gets rich in legally dubious ways. But he’s not inclined to do anything violent. Oh, wait.

Does he get along with family or friends? Well, he gets along well with his friends but not so much with his family. Spoils his daughter Bonnie like rotten though he tries to be a good dad. Also, him and Scarlett O’Hara (Vivien Leigh) have a tempestuous relationship but pretty much deserve each other. Still, when it comes to certain relationships, he tends to have the wrong ideas and can’t seem to handle Scarlett’s immaturity.

Is he mentally stable? Most of the time except when his daughter dies and when it comes to Scarlett’s association with Ashley Wilkes (Leslie Howard). He tends be a very jealous guy.

Is he abusive or physically violent? Well, he served in the war. Not to mention, he’s very prone to explode at times and may have raped Scarlett after Ashley’s birthday party and later pushed her down the stairs, which he felt bad about later.

Does he have trouble keeping a legal job? Well, he did serve in the Confederate army but joined up at the last minute. In the civilian world, I’m not sure if he ever tried.

Is he worse than most of the cast? In regards to race and the Old South, definitely not. Still, he’s pretty decent compared to some unsavory characters.

Does he respect women? In regards to women in general, he’s certainly very polite and courteous. Sure he may have his moments with Scarlett but he tries to be good to her.

Does he care about his love interest? Oh, my God, Scarlett is the love of his life and would do anything for her though he does eventually leave her. He’ll probably be back once she grows up a little.

Verdict: Rhett is an interesting case. Sure he may have his moments but he’s pretty repentant about them most of the time and  is mostly a decent guy but may not have much understanding about relationships. Still, the way he earns his money makes him a borderline criminal, is very prone to jealousy, and can have the tendency to explode. As far as I’m concerned he’s a toss up.

10. James Bond

From: The James Bond Franchise, mostly played by Sean Connery

Is he criminally inclined? Oh, yes, since he does many things in his job that would put many people in jail.

Does he get along with family or friends? We know nothing about his family but he does cooperate with his co-workers and secretary. Just as long as you don’t try to kill him.

Is he mentally stable? He doesn’t have the healthy lifestyle and may be pretty prone to self-destructive behavior. Then again, self-destructive tendencies make him perfectly suited for his job.

Is he abusive or physically violent? Only toward villains who try to do any harm to him most of the time. Kind of goes with his job.

Does he have trouble keeping a legal job? Well, as long as the job is a way to make good use of his criminal and self-destructive tendencies, which benefit society as a whole.

Is he worse than most of the cast? No, since he’s around people who are much worse than he is. As with the good guys, I’m not sure.

Does he respect women? Well, he’s nice to his female coworkers and most of his flings in the series are usually consensual. Furthermore he’s willing to save them from the bad guys. And will only take them on when he has a legitimate reason to. Sure he may be a playboy who goes for attractive women doesn’t mean he doesn’t respect them. Besides, many of his women are in his line of work so it’s not like they’re looking for a husband or anything so they probably know what to expect.

Does he care about his love interest? He certainly doesn’t just see them as mere gorgeous sex objects like the movies make them out to be. I mean he kind of does see them as human beings and doesn’t really care about their sexual pasts as well as rarely exhibits any abusive behavior. Not to mention, his love interests seem to know that their sexual relationship with Bond will be casual and short-lived and don’t seem to mind. Still, hookup culture may be an accepted norm in the intelligence community in Bond’s setting.

Verdict: Bond may not be someone you’d want in a committed relationship nor a great role model, but though he may be bad at least he admits it and most of the women he’s involved with know what they’re getting into. Still, if you’re looking for a one night stand, you can do plenty worse than 007. He may be a playboy but he’s certainly a gentleman, just don’t expect much from him relationship wise.

11. Johnny Strabler

images3

From: The Wild One, played by Marlon Brando

Is he criminally inclined? Yeah, but his crimes mostly range in stealing, vandalism, street harassment, and causing a public nuisance. He’s certainly a social deviant.

Does he get along with family or friends? Well, he’s good to his fellow gang members but there’s something about his rebelliousness that suggests he had a troubled childhood.

Is he mentally stable? Judging by the fact he rides a motorcycle without a helmet, you can say he does have a tendency for self-destructive behavior, which does come back to bite him. Also, his anger doesn’t help him much.

Is he abusive or physically violent? Well, he certainly doesn’t play well with others but he’s more violent to objects and rival gang members than regular townspeople.

Does he have trouble keeping a legal job? If he keeps up with his lifestyle he certainly will.

Is he worse than most of the cast? To some extent, yes, when it comes to the police blotter. But let’s just say members of the rival motorcycle gang in the film is far worse than him.

Does he respect women? Well, he really doesn’t have much respect for anyone. Still, he’s nice to Kathie and her dad’s a cop and rescues her.

Does he care about his love interest? Yes, he does care about Kathie and though he’s attracted to her, he know she’s better off without him and refuses to take her with him. But he does give her a stolen trophy to express his gratitude for all she’s done.

Verdict: Johnny may be a social deviant as well as fairly immature, but he’s mostly harmless other than that. Still, you wouldn’t let this guy date your daughter though. He’s probably a toss up.

12. Mr. Edward Rochester

From: Jane Eyre, played by Orson Welles

Is he criminally inclined? No, except in bigamy and possible domestic abuse but he lives in the 1800s.

Does he get along with family or friends? Well, he’s willing acknowledge paternal responsibility for a girl who may not be his. Of course, he keeps his wife in an attic. He seems all right with his servants and others and takes a special shine to Jane Eyre (Joan Fontaine).

Is he mentally stable? He might but he keeps his wife in his attic, which may spark considerable doubt on his sanity.

Is he abusive or physically violent? I’m not sure if keeping your wife in an attic qualifies as spousal abuse in the 1800s but it certainly does to me.

Does he have trouble keeping a legal job? He’s pretty rich so I don’t think he needs one.

Is he worse than most of the cast? Jane’s relatives and teachers were far worse to her than he was.

Does he respect women? Let’s just say he dated a girl just to make Jane jealous or throw off suspicion of his attraction to his governess. Not to mention, he tried to marry Jane even though he already had a wife she didn’t know about. Then there’s the keeping of his wife in the attic thing.

Does he care about his love interest? Let’s just say he probably loves Jane but I’m not sure if he cared about her happiness when he tried to marry her. He certainly didn’t tell her he was already married and kept his wife in the attic. Yet, she still goes back to him.

Verdict: Mr. Rochester may no be the worst guy around but he does have his share of selfishness and the whole keeping his wife in the attic thing. Not to mention, Jane could do better. I’ll just put him at toss up.

13. Clyde Barrow

From: Bonnie and Clyde, played by Warren Beatty

Is he criminally inclined? Yes, and a very notorious one at that who’s even done prison time. The real Clyde Barrow was very much this as well. Said to be a careless and remorseless killer in pursuit of small stakes.

Does he get along with family or friends? Oh, he certainly does get along with his brother and sister-in-law. And he seems pretty decent to Bonnie Parker (Faye Dunaway) as well as fellow criminals and others. In real life, he also had close relationships with his mother and sister. Yet, he wasn’t sympathetic to the dispossessed though and hated cops.

Is he mentally stable? Well, let’s just say he’s very prone to inciting violence and has self-destructive tendencies. Not to mention, he was known for speeding Ford V-8s (even writing to Henry Ford about his appreciation for them).

Is he abusive or physically violent? Well, he’s certainly violent all right.

Does he have trouble keeping a legal job? If he had one, he certainly would.

Is he worse than most of the cast? Well, he’s a violent criminal who robs banks so I’d say so even if he is portrayed sympathetically. Him and Bonnie weren’t saints.

Does he respect women? When it comes to “his women” he might as in real life. Yet,  outside his circle doesn’t seem to respect anyone else. In real life, Clyde mostly called the shots and Bonnie went along.

Does he care about his love interest? Both in the film and in real life it’s hard to say whether him and Bonnie were really in love or that Bonnie was willing to tag along because she might have had a mental disorder that made her attracted to serious violent men remains questionable. As for Clyde’s sexual orientation, there’s considerable evidence he was reasonably straight.

Verdict: No matter what you make of it. Both in real life and in cinema, Clyde was certainly a guy you didn’t want to be around at all.

14. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

936full-butch-cassidy-and-the-sundance-kid-screenshot

From: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, played by Paul Newman and Robert Redford

Are they criminally inclined? Oh, yes, both rob trains and banks as well as kill people. Butch engages in prostitution. But they usually try to avoid killing as much as they could.

Do they get along with family or friends? As long as those people aren’t cops. Yet, they pretty much get along with their friends and Sundance’s girlfriend Etta Place.

Are they mentally stable? Well, let’s just say their sanity is questionable since they tend to expose themselves to danger a lot. And they do eventually get killed. In real life, we’re not so sure.

Are they abusive or physically violent? Well, they shoot people and blow up trains so they’re certainly violent.

Do they have trouble keeping a legal job? They tried to do legitimate work once, it didn’t take.

Are they worse than most of the cast? It’s hard to say since the film is so subjective.

Do they respect women? As far as we know they do since they’re pretty nice to Etta and respect whatever decision she makes.

Do they care about their love interests? Well, they care enough about Etta to respect her decisions even if it doesn’t work in their favor. Still, though she is Sundance’s girl (or wife in real life), Butch may have the hots for her.

Verdict: Sure there could be worse guys than Butch and Sundance, but understand that these guys were criminals and had a gang called “The Wild Bunch” or “Hole In the Wall Gang” and they rob and shoot people.

15. The Jets and the Sharks

From: West Side Story, played by too many guys I can’t list

Are they criminally inclined? Oh, yes, they’re classified delinquents and get in knife fights to kill.

Do they get along with family or friends? I’m not sure about family but they do get along with each other and their girlfriends. Tony from the Jets takes a special shine to Maria, the Sharks gang leader’s little sister.

Are they mentally stable? Well, they’re prone to self-destruction, but it’s hard to say.

Are they abusive or physically violent? Well, they have knife fights with each other that result in deaths so yeah, they’re pretty violent.

Do they have trouble keeping a legal job? Only Tony is ever seen doing any legitimate work but he may have trouble keeping it. Most are supported by their girlfriends, at least among the Sharks.

Are they worse than most of the cast? They are most of the cast.

Do they respect women? It’s hard to say since we never see any of the Jets with their girlfriends besides Tony. Sharks may seem pretty jarring to theirs and I’m not sure if Bernardo knows Maria is seeing Tony. Not to mention, Tony eventually kills him. It’s complicated.

Do they care about their love interests? Tony and Bernardo seem to but once again, it’s complicated.

Verdict: These guys are probably bad news since they get into fights with each other and into knife fights. Best be avoided at all times.

16. Colin Smith

images4

From: The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, played by Tom Courtenay (This isn’t a Hollywood movie but it’s a very famous one in Britain so it counts.)

Is he criminally inclined? To an extent but mostly when he’s desperate for money. He does land in juvee though.

Does he get along with family or friends? Gets along with friends and siblings but his relationship with his mother has been going downhill ever since his father died.

Is he mentally stable? As mentally stable as most normal teenagers. He just wants to be a kid.

Is he abusive or physically violent? Not really violent and abusive only when he’s angry.

Does he have trouble keeping a legal job? His mother puts him under a lot of pressure to get one but he lacks motivation. Yet, he may have no trouble being a professional runner but he doesn’t want that.

Is he worse than most of the cast? Since many of his peers are juvenile delinquents like him, it’s very complicated to say.

Does he respect women? To an extent, I suppose. Doesn’t have much respect for authority though.

Does he care about his love interest? Well, he does have a girlfriend and spends time with her. We don’t know much of the extent of that relationship though.

Verdict: Colin just wants to be a normal teenager and do what he wants with his life. Though he may be a juvenile delinquent, he’s not much of a social deviant as what you’d expect from most teens living in the inner cities. He stole money because his mother wouldn’t let him in the house if he didn’t get any. In short, he kind of makes Charlie Brown look pretty fortunate.

The Cinematic Guide to War

Image

War is a very frequent occurrence in movies and present in many genres including action, science fiction, history,  fantasy, westerns, adventure, and others. I may not be a military genius, but since I studied history in college, I can say I have a better idea of battle strategy than perhaps the average person. Yet, whether I may have a better understanding than people who play video games is another matter. Still, I know a dumb mistake in war when I see one but there are plenty of people in Hollywood who portray otherwise careless tacticians into tactical masterminds (yet, given they may be considered thus in the context of their times). Also, real wars don’t happen like they do in the movies. Still, you have plenty of moments in war movies in which one side wins the battle on tactics and strategy that would otherwise slaughter them or cause a retreat and plenty of things you either see or don’t see in war that don’t conform to facts. So here is a list of battle strategies and tactics you find a lot in movies which may let the hero succeed but will get a lot of real life soldiers killed or aren’t consistent with real war at all.

1. A great move against your enemy is hiding in a giant wooden wheeled animal that you present to your foe as a token of your surrender before launching a surprise attack behind enemy lines when nobody’s looking. (To be fair, this is how the Greeks won the Trojan War in The Iliad but still, I don’t think the Trojan Horse strategy could really work in real life. I mean if my enemy presented me with a giant wooden horse, I think I’d be very suspicious and so would anyone else with any sense of rationality, especially if you’ve heard Homer’s story.)

2. A tense battle can be won with the light cavalry charging in the middle of enemy lines. (Charge of the Light Brigade, anyone? Still, if you want to charge with cavalry, you’re better off using a heavy cavalry since their attacks have the power, reach, or sheer momentum to penetrate enemy that those of light cavalry lack. Besides, light cavalry are only used for flanking. The disastrous loss of life is what makes the Charge of the Light Brigade so memorable {that and the poem by Tennyson} and why people may not even know anything about the Charge of the Heavy Brigade was successful in the Battle of Balaklava.)

3. The side with the better weapons technology usually wins. (Weapons technology isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be, though it does help considerably. However, just because your side may have the latest in military technology, doesn’t mean victory in battle. For instance, you may have guns but if your side is significantly outnumbered, your guns won’t help you. Look at Custer at little Bighorn. Besides, Europeans may have had more technologically advanced weaponry than the Indians, but they probably wouldn’t have been able to colonize so easily if it weren’t for the European diseases they brought with them. For God’s sake, Europeans used muskets while many Indian tribes used bows and arrows.)

4. Friendly fire hardly ever happens during combat. (Friendly fire happens all the time during combat, especially in battles you can’t distinguish those on your side or your enemies as well as involving gunpowder. Sure it’s dumb mistake but it happens all the time regardless of historical period. Of course, you also got “fragging” which is known as friendly fire done on purpose and yes, it can be distinguishable from plain friendly fire.)

5. The side with superior numbers wins. (Usually, yes, but numbers aren’t always everything especially when you consider tactics and strategy involved. Guerrilla warfare can be especially handy strategy when faced with superior numbers as long as your side is on defense. Still, wars have been won by sides with smaller troop counts.)

6. Fighting out of formation and dueling soldiers unsupported aren’t dumb battle mistakes if you’re not using weapons with repeating ammunition. (You see this happen all the time in movies. Look, unless your civilization is in the Bronze Age or fights with weapons with repeating ammo, fighting out of formation and dueling soldiers unsupported is usually not a good idea or serves as a sign that something has gone totally wrong. Any ancient Greek or Roman would tell you this. Not to mention, the Spartans were adamant about their soldiers having their shields with them at all times, even in death so they would certainly have fought in formation. But you wouldn’t know that from 300.)

7. Medieval wars were usually fought with flaming arrows. (Well, using flaming arrows isn’t really a bad idea but they weren’t as often used as medieval movies claim it to be. I mean before you can set the arrows on fire, you had to wrap them in a flaming material first which may make them heavier, reduce their range, and inhibit its ability to penetrate the enemy’s skin. Also, may pose as a fire hazard. So flaming arrows wouldn’t be a handy way to kill someone and medieval soldiers didn’t use them to do so. Yet, whenever they did use flaming arrows, it was usually to frighten the enemy, letting archers know how to adjust their shots, and setting targets on fire.)

8. If you’re playing offense in a medieval battle, always assault the castle first. (Not a good idea. In the medieval world of warcraft, storming a castle was usually done as a last resort, and even then, it usually resulted in a bloodbath to the invaders and would probably not be successful. Not to mention, storming the castle through the front door spelled instant slaughter for invaders {if they did enter the castle, it would usually be through the toilets which wouldn’t be safe either}. Most medieval armies just surrounded the castle and put it under siege cutting it from all avenues of reinforcement until the residents surrender. And even in the most successful of circumstances, these could take years.You could easily see why many royals and nobles built these things.)

9. Castles are usually easy pickings whenever the resident adult males are away. (If you think you could easily take castles in which the resident nobles occupying it are women and children, think again. Women of noble or royal birth in the Middle Ages had sufficient knowledge of warfare and combat training for defending their turf while their men were away. Also, many tradesmen of the era had their wives helping them in their craft so women armorer is possible. So the medieval notion of damsel in distress was probably a myth unless she’s trapped in a castle and being besieged by a force significantly outnumbering her. In that case, you might want to bring reinforcements.)

10. Open field, Napoleonic-style infantry battles will always work even with advanced weapons technology. (Part of the reason why the North had tremendous success later in the American Civil War with generals like Grant, Sherman, and Sheridan is that they deliberately ignored them while many Confederate generals didn’t. Still, regardless of battle tactics, the American Civil War is still the bloodiest one fought on American soil. And this was when Napoleonic-style open field infantry battles were the prevailing military strategy of the day. Also, this was tried at the beginning of World War I. Didn’t work. Sorry, Napoleon, but your military strategy formulas are now obsolete.)

11. Modern warfare can be fought with soldiers only carrying small arms. (No right thinking general wouldn’t even think of sending his or her army into battle without aerial or artillery support. No one would wage a war with just small arms unless they simply have nothing else).

12. Firing as much ammo as possible in the face of anti-armor or anti-air attacks is the best option, especially when firing against a single, agile target. (In the twenty-first century, a simple guided missile will do and so will any time period since its invention. In any setting with gun-wielding soldiers before the invention of the Colt pistol or repeating rifles, this is a waste of ammo.)

13. Don’t fire unless you see the whites of their eyes, even if your guns can shoot beyond visual range. (If you have a weapon that can shoot beyond visual range in a combat zone, use it. Also, if your country has weapons that aren’t beyond visual range, simply don’t fight unless at defense.)

14. It should be seen as common courtesy for the henchmen take on the hero one by one for no clearly explained reason or let the main villain take care of him or her. (Henchmen would achieve much more success if they would just gang up and attack the hero all at once, except if he or she is a wizard.)

15. Only cowardly officers retreat their forces and only cowardly soldiers run away from battle. (On many occasions, leaving a combat zone tends to make perfect sense, especially if everyone around you is getting killed. Also, when it comes to retreats, they usually mean that the officer usually cares about the lives of his or her soldiers than about the outcome of the battle especially if it’s a no-win situation. And they call that cowardice?)

16. Air and space battles are conducted like a Battleship game. (Actually are conducted in three dimensional settings with airplanes willing to hit each other at odd angles. Two dimensional air and space battles are usually portray because they are much easier to show.)

17. When making an attack, it’s always best to wait until the last minute to make a maneuver. (If you’re facing the enemy or an opponent and this isn’t a turn based strategy game, attack now because the enemy certainly will.)

18. Always put your general at your front lines. (As long as him or her fighting is a major part of your strategy or how war in your culture is waged.)

19. Best trained soldiers are those who have been through programs that actively kill, injure, or psychologically destabilize recruits. This is especially helpful if you have a sadistic drill sergeant and a scientist with a drug or technology to keep them alive. (Sorry, but though soldier training programs may be harsh by most civilian standards, they are specifically designed to break down recruits and turn them into competent disciplined soldiers. Hurling them with unnecessary abuse to the point of death, injury, or insanity does not make effective soldiers and is usually avoided. Else, cue to the Monty Python Kamikaze Scotsman sketch where practically every recruit kills himself to complete training. Also, Sparta trained their soldiers this way and their methods eventually came back to bite the Greek city-state in the end.)

20. Always count two to three seconds before throwing a grenade after pulling the needle. (Since grenade fuse could never be precise after you pull the grenade just throw it somewhere where it is least likely to cause injury or else, you may get your hand blown off if you count to two or three seconds. Better yet, make you know where you want to throw a grenade before you pull the needle.)

21. Specialized soldiers are always the best soldiers. (It’s better that you have soldiers who can use almost any weapon or operate any vehicle within the branch.)

22. Collateral damage is nothing you should be concerned about. (Oh, yes, it should be an issue because if you’re fighting in another country, any collateral damage from attacks won’t make the locals happy with you. Also, might even hurt people in your own force.)

23. Strafing is often a simple procedure with hitting ground targets. (Sorry, but it depends on the target, aircraft type, the pilot’s experience, defenses, and other targets. That’s why using military drones is controversial practice.)

24. Battles are fought with no attempt to flank or distract the enemy with covering fire. (Sorry, but real wars just don’t work that way.)

25. Sub-to-sub warfare usually ends when one submarine sinks the other while submerged. (In the long history of submarines, this has only happened once and during World War II when a British sub sunk an German U-Boat. Of course, this only a confirmed case. Most sub-to-sub warfare sinkings usually happened during surface attacks. Submerged submarines have been more likely been taken to a watery grave by either the Bermuda Triangle or sea monsters than by another submerged submarine.)

26. A skilled sniper, gunman, ragtag force, or smaller military force can wipe out a much larger one. (Yes, but to a point but eventually the smaller force will usually end up slaughtered or fighting to the last man. As for those not in a military garrison, best use guerrilla warfare and assault rifles like in Third World nations.)

27. Most war veterans don’t have hearing problems. (Hearing problems are more prevalent among war veterans than any other demographic since many of them were among very loud noises all the time mostly from gunfire.)

28. At a time of war, being a soldier in the Elite and Special Forces usually have the more glamorous jobs. (Glamorous, yes, but let me tell you, if you’re in the military on active duty and care about your life, you’re better off being an average soldier. Face it, being a military Elite has a price, especially at a time of war.)

29. In battle, it’s common for both sides to start in formation and rush at each other at the same time upon collision where any semblance of formation or military discipline vanishes with warriors engaging each other individually. (Formation and military discipline exists to prevent such scenario from happening. If it does, it’s usually a symptom of a force that’s poorly led or disciplined in the first place. Otherwise, such scene results in mass killing and more frequent friendly fire.)

30. If you can’t be seen, you can’t get shot. (In combat professions, concealment and cover are two different things. Concealment doesn’t necessarily mean you’re immune to bullets, it just means your much difficult to hit because you’re less likely to be seen. Also, cover doesn’t make you invisible.)

31. A smaller force with less armor can take a force much larger armored than itself. (Sorry, Zack Snyder, but 300 guys in speedos can’t possibly be willing to kill a force well over twice its size and would’ve been practically obliterated much, much earlier, even if they were totally ripped. Besides, even Spartans knew this and came into battle with full armor.)

32. When it seems that the good guys may not survive, a friendly military force will magically show up. (Sometimes this may happen and sometimes not depending on who you see as the good guy.)

33. Arrow wounds don’t cause serious injuries and are relatively easy to remove. (Actually it depends on what kind of armor you’re wearing whether it be metal or a long silk cape. Still, we have to consider the fact that bows and arrows were the primary range weapons for most civilizations until as late as the 17th century. So yes, an arrow wound can certainly kill you. And if you barely have any armor on you, then being shot by one may make it difficult for you to do anything. This might be because of agonizing pain or your body going into shock. Nevertheless, most of the time removing the arrow is much harder than it looks but simply pulling the shaft out may just leave the arrowhead inside the wound {since shafts and arrowheads weren’t as firmly attached as Hollywood makes them out to be}. Archers would just simply snap the shaft {which is harder than movies make it look since arrow shafts were made from the hardest woods available}, widen the wound either with the knife or wiggling it around. Also, arrow wounds had a strong tendency to be badly infected. Thus, an arrow wound was almost never just a flesh wound.)

On Christmas Cakes

Image

Of course, you can have cakes for any occasion and Christmas is no exception. However, not everyone either makes a cake for Christmas or buys one at the store perhaps specially made. Yet, while some may seem like works of art as shown above others, well, though may taste good, shouldn’t be presented at any Christmas family gathering. Now I can’t do home made cakes because they never come out the way you intended. Besides, with store bought cakes, you tend to have higher expectations even at your neighborhood Wal Mart or supermarket. So without further adieu here is a list of some store bought Christmas cakes gone bad.

1. Why so sad, Santa?

Not looking very jolly are you, Santa?

Not looking very jolly are you, Santa?

2. Is that supposed to be a stocking or a chimney?

Guess it's hard to make a cake stocking.

Guess it’s hard to make a cake stocking.

3. The five limb gingerbread man.

Seriously, gingerbread men shouldn't have tails.

Seriously, gingerbread men shouldn’t have tails.

4. The candy cane boomerang.

More appropriate for Australia than anywhere else.

More appropriate for Australia than anywhere else.

5. Night of the living igloo.

Or perhaps this is the dwelling of the abominable snowman.

Or perhaps this is the dwelling of the abominable snowman.

6. Evil snowman rising out of the cupcakes.

Be afraid, be very afraid for the snowman cometh.

Be afraid, be very afraid for the snowman cometh.

7. Penguin must be having a blue Christmas.

Looks like Christmas isn't a great time of year for the South Pole.

Looks like Christmas isn’t a great time of year for the South Pole.

8. For God’s sake, this is Christmas, not a bachelorette party!

Of course, this may be accidental but still you wouldn't want it around children. You wouldn't believe how many cake designs contain these kinds of naughty bits.

Of course, this may be accidental but still you wouldn’t want it around children. You wouldn’t believe how many cake designs contain these kinds of naughty bits.

9. For God’s sake, you take me for a bell boy!

When we sing

When we sing “Silver Bells” we don’t mean those silver bells.

10. Even Rudolph has his bad days.

For God's sake, where's the North Pole vet when you need him?

For God’s sake, where’s the North Pole vet when you need him?

11. Yellow snowman?

Looks like Frosty must be the dog's favorite bathroom.

Looks like Frosty must be the dog’s favorite bathroom.

12. Gingerbread man gone bad.

The punk gingerbread man of your nightmares.

The punk gingerbread man of your nightmares.

13. Be good for Santa Bear.

Or else you die! Seriously, don't mess with Santa Bear.

Or else you die! Seriously, don’t mess with Santa Bear.

14. Now I see why some people are afraid of Santa.

Take it away, please! I'm begging you.

Take it away, please! I’m begging you.

15. Frosty the Snowman after a car accident.

Resulting in a serious decapitation. Still, there may be a way to get him together if the snow doesn't melt.

Resulting in a serious decapitation. Still, there may be a way to get him together if the snow doesn’t melt.

16. Something is not right with this one.

Snowman Santa isn't in a good mood this year as far as I can tell.

Snowman Santa isn’t in a good mood this year as far as I can tell.

17. I know Santa is the spokesman for Coca-Cola but this is ridiculous.

Especially with having Santa pose naked.

Especially with having Santa pose naked.

18. Googly eyes snowman head.

What happened to two eyes made out of coal? This is terrifying!

What happened to two eyes made out of coal? This is terrifying!

19. Santa must be in shock.

I mean he's lying flat on his back! Someone get a doctor!

I mean he’s lying flat on his back! Someone get a doctor!

20.Santa is not looking forward to Christmas this year.

Or else is wanting to know who gives him a Christmas present.

Or else is wanting to know who gives him a Christmas present. Also, he’s pretty tired after a long night.

21. What do rubber ducks have to do with Christmas?

Seriously, why have rubber ducks on there? It's crazy!

Seriously, why have rubber ducks on there? It’s crazy!

22. This is a Christmas tree?

More like a living Christmas bush if you ask me. Kind of creepy with the eyes.

More like a living Christmas bush if you ask me. Kind of creepy with the eyes.

23. I wonder about the creepy penguin chorus.

Perhaps made to spread awareness on climate change.

Perhaps made to spread awareness on climate change.

24. Santa in Crappyland.

The neighborhood has seen better days. Still, it's all gone downhill.

The neighborhood has seen better days. Still, it’s all gone downhill.

25. Santa on the holly.

Or Santa on the seaweed as it looks to me.

Or Santa on the seaweed as it looks to me.

26. Santa takes care of passed out Rudolph.

I don't like the look of this one. Also, keep out of reach of children since it borders on bestiality and/or date rape.

I don’t like the look of this one. Also, keep out of reach of children since it borders on bestiality and/or date rape.

27. Frosty the Snow Hulk.

And you don't want to make him angry.

And you don’t want to make him angry.

28. Oh, great, a Santa roast.

This is disturbing. Honestly.

This is disturbing. Honestly.

29. Say hello to the Holiday House of Horrors.

Or if Mario and Luigi's home had a Santa's head on a spike as decoration.

Or if Mario and Luigi’s home had a Santa’s head on a spike as decoration.

30. Christmas wouldn’t be complete without homicidal ghost penguins.

This is pretty messed up, please say they're covered in snow. Please.

This is pretty messed up, please say they’re covered in snow. Please.

For More:

Cakewrecks.com: http://www.cakewrecks.com/

We Wish You a Merry Christmas, on Vintage Christmas Cards

Image

Of course, we have vintage Christmas cards all that seem to appear as works of art and hearken to more simpler times. I mean who just can’t resist a card from the olden days before all those crazy Christmas cards with the awkward families and fart jokes. Christmas had a sweet innocence then. Yeah right, because as history major, you eventually learn that nostalgia is overrated. Many either seem to bring sentimental and fond memories of an earlier to your grandparents or perhaps nightmares to your kids. Not to mention, some may also bring great offense to your racial minority friends. And with some you may wonder whether the 1960s drug culture actually began in the 1960s. Still, I can go all I want with the lovely artistry, the cute little kids, and whatever but I know beauty is subjective while it is easy to tell which vintage cards are not ones you’d want to send to your relatives. Now without further adieu, I present to you some of the strangest, tackiest, and creepiest vintage Christmas cards around.

1. Nothing says “Merry Christmas” than Santa lending a hand to a woman who’s wasted.

And there's a dog getting a niff of the stuff.

And there’s a dog getting a niff of the stuff.

2. Of course, some people don’t believe in Christmas but that doesn’t mean they belong in these categories.

Seriously, I think some of these guys do celebrate Christmas.

Seriously, I think some of these guys do celebrate Christmas. Besides, just because you don’t believe in Christmas doesn’t mean you’re a bad person.

3. How is it possible to be all right after being in a snowman?

And with that face, I might be questioning that woman's sexual preferences.

And with that face, I might be questioning that woman’s sexual preferences.

4. Haunted by devils or just hungover?

This guy is going to need therapy during the new year. Also, the skeleton ghost is pretty creepy, too.

This guy is going to need therapy during the new year. Also, the skeleton ghost is pretty creepy, too.

5. Rolling an old guy into a large snowball, just nice.

As if harassing the elderly isn't bad enough.

As if harassing the elderly isn’t bad enough.

6. What’s with baking children in pies?

Seriously, can't anyone see some hint of cannibalism here?

Seriously, can’t anyone see some hint of cannibalism here?

7. These little angels will possess your soul.

Seriously, these are angels? More like creepy little demons to me of every race, creed, and color, no less. Jesus, this is terrifying.

Seriously, these are angels? More like creepy little demons to me of every race, creed, and color, no less. Jesus, this is terrifying.

8. These frightful pigs bring tidings of good cheer.

And then kill you in your sleep in retaliation for eating their relatives.

And then kill you in your sleep in retaliation for eating their relatives.

9. Let’s just say, I don’t want to see Santa do ballet.

This is especially terrifying. The kids in this are especially creepy.

This is especially terrifying. The kids in this are especially creepy. Also, is that a French flag at the top?

10. Of course, Santa just listens on the party line to know who’s naughty or nice.

And he's reveling in hearing your conversations like the NSA would.

And he’s reveling in hearing your conversations like the NSA would.

11. No, you don’t want to be a little teapot.

Nor would you want to be in one either.

Nor would you want to be in one either.

12. Of course, I tend to wonder whether Santa was the inspiration for Finding Bigfoot.

And Sasquatch hunters have been lost in the woods ever since.

13. I guess this boy didn’t want an emu for Christmas.

At least she didn’t get a hippopotamus for Christmas.

14. Don’t like the look of the yeti in this picture.

Mountain climber….mmm…..scrumptious.

15. Guess those kids really want those presents from Santa.

You better know they’ve been good this year, Santa, or else.

16. I have a bad feeling about this.

I can seriously hear Santa say,

I can seriously hear Santa say, “I have plans for you, Goldilocks.”

17. I know it’s racist but I had to show this one.

Sorry, NAACP, but my collection of bad vintage Christmas cards wouldn't be complete without a racist one. Still, at least I didn't use all of them and I know there are a lot of them out there.

Sorry, NAACP, but my collection of bad vintage Christmas cards wouldn’t be complete without a racist one. Still, at least I didn’t use all of them and I know there are a lot of them out there. This one of the least offensive which would’ve been perfectly fine without the racist depiction of a black lady.

18. This cat looks like it’s up to no good.

Cat looks like he's high on something and I don't think it's catnip.

Cat looks like he’s high on something and I don’t think it’s catnip.

19. Aw, the jester served Christmas dinner to an unfortunate soul.

Unfortunately, he won't be able to eat it. And when he can, it will be covered with rotten fruit and vegetables or else be rotten in itself.

Unfortunately, he won’t be able to eat it. And when he can, it will be covered with rotten fruit and vegetables or else be rotten in itself.

20. So you mean Santa now has his headquarters on the moon?

Merry Christmas, from space. Seriously, if you have an engine, do you really need reindeer in spacesuits? Also, space igloo?

Merry Christmas, from space. Seriously, if you have an engine, do you really need reindeer in spacesuits? Also, space igloo?

21. So Santa’s sleigh is pulled by turkeys?

Someone must be getting his or her holidays mixed up.

Someone must be getting his or her holidays mixed up.

22. Dog with gun, what can possibly go wrong with that?

Wasn't there an incident with a dog shooting its owner in Bowling for Columbine?

Wasn’t there an incident with a dog shooting its owner in Bowling for Columbine?

23. Sure we hung the carolers but they’re still singing.

Ornaments and candle flame must be pissed.

Ornaments and candle flame must be pissed.

24. Santa brings home the bacon.

Well, he stole a couple of pigs from the elves. Naughty Santa. Seriously, who thought of this?

Well, he stole a couple of pigs from the elves. Naughty Santa. Seriously, who thought of this?

25. Nothing says “Merry Christmas” than an armed frog killing for money.

Just when does amphibious armed robbery and murder have to do with Christmas? This is sick. Guess the dead frog will end up in someone's biology class.

Just when does amphibious armed robbery and murder have to do with Christmas? This is sick. Guess the dead frog will end up in someone’s biology class.

26. Watch for the spiderweb, cupid.

Else you'd end up as spider dinner, you naked ass angel.

Else you’d end up as spider dinner, you naked ass angel.

27. For God’s sake what does a jellyfish have anything to do with Christmas?

I mean seriously this picture doesn't make any sense to me.

I mean seriously this picture doesn’t make any sense to me.

28. Nothing like receiving “Seasons Greetings” by a disembodied dog head.

Kind of freaking me out.

Kind of freaking me out.

29. Or so says the fox.

Saying is pretty good but it's held by someone who could be from Fantastic Mr. Fox. Still, something doesn't seem right having a fox hold up a sign.

Saying is pretty good but it’s held by someone who could be from Fantastic Mr. Fox. Still, something doesn’t seem right having a fox hold up a sign.

30. “Peace, Joy, Health, and Happiness” from a mouse on a lobster.

What kind of designer came up with this disgusting idea? This isn't cute. Maybe for adolescent boys or biology majors, but not for anyone else.

What kind of designer came up with this disgusting idea? This isn’t cute. Maybe for adolescent boys or biology majors, but not for anyone else.

31. Guess reindeer didn’t fly efficiently.

So Santa had to use satellite engines, solar powered.

So Santa had to use satellite engines, solar powered.

32. Santa with binoculars, don’t want to know.

I don't want to know if he's looking for me.

I don’t want to know if he’s looking for me.

33. Don’t think this is appropriate for babies.

The lion is especially terrifying. Also, Noah's ark, really?

The lion is especially terrifying. Also, Noah’s ark, really?

34. Seems Santa’s legs are going up in smoke.

Also, why are kids sleeping near the fire. Must be under a carbon monoxide trip upon seeing a vision of Santa. Probably will kill them.

Also, why are kids sleeping near the fire. Must be under a carbon monoxide trip upon seeing a vision of Santa. Probably will kill them.

35. Little Santas must be high on eggnog or is it just the designers.

This just defies all explanation. Seriously, little Santas with holly hoops? That's just freaky, man.

This just defies all explanation. Seriously, little Santas with holly hoops? That’s just freaky, man.

36. Merry Christmas courtesy of the Krampus.

As you might know, the Krampus is a creature known to punish bad children on Christmas. And it seems he's got a whole legion of brats. He's not supposed to be nice.

As you might know, the Krampus is a creature known to punish bad children on Christmas. And it seems he’s got a whole legion of brats. He’s not supposed to be nice.

37. Santa always has a bunch of goodies in his sack for all the good girls and boys. Let’s see what he has here.

From Mashable: "Now then, children, let's see what old Santa's got for you. How about a Yoko Ono shield and spear set? Or a Punch mannequin? Or a spade? Or a gun?"

From Mashable: “Now then, children, let’s see what old Santa’s got for you. How about a Yoko Ono shield and spear set? Or a Punch mannequin? Or a spade? Or a gun?”

38. Be good for Santa Claus, or else!

Okay, okay, big guy. Put the gun down. No need to use any violence in the situation. Yeah, Santa has gone homicidal.

Okay, okay, big guy. Put the gun down. No need to use any violence in the situation. Yeah, Santa has gone homicidal.

39. He sees you when you’re sleeping and knows when your awake.

I'm having a really bad feeling about what Santa's doing here. Yeah, I know the job is stressful but he doesn't seem his jolly old self to me.

I’m having a really bad feeling about what Santa’s doing here. Yeah, I know the job is stressful but he doesn’t seem his jolly old self to me.

40. Merry Christmas, and remember not to piss off Santa this year.

From Mashable: "You know, people often ask me, 'Santa, what do you do with the children who've been bad?' Here's the answer: I pretend I'm dead and beat them with a bunch of sticks tied up with a ribbon. Happy Christmas."

From Mashable: “You know, people often ask me, ‘Santa, what do you do with the children who’ve been bad?’ Here’s the answer: I pretend I’m dead and beat them with a bunch of sticks tied up with a ribbon. Happy Christmas.”

41. Santa might have a big sack of toys but so little room for demands.

Yeah, I'm sure Santa Claus is thinking about getting some more sacks next year so he won't have to stuff any toys in his boots. That can't be comfortable.

Yeah, I’m sure Santa Claus is thinking about getting some more sacks next year so he won’t have to stuff any toys in his boots. That can’t be comfortable.

42. Seems like Frosty the Snowman has a new girlfriend and a new holly mustache.

Not sure if I buy into Frosty's new look. Doesn't seem to have the same charm.

Not sure if I buy into Frosty’s new look. Doesn’t seem to have the same charm.

43. Sorry, kids, Santa has wrecked his sleigh so he might be a little late getting presents to you this year.

What baffles me is that he's using a jalopy but it has nothing but trees in the bed. Seriously, shouldn't toys be in there.

What baffles me is that he’s using a jalopy but it has nothing but trees in the bed. Seriously, shouldn’t toys be in there.

44. Seems like this kid can’t wait to open his presents.

My friends, that is a face of a future psychopath. Will probably grow up to be either a psycho killer or an executive on Wall Street.

My friends, that is a face of a future psychopath. Will probably grow up to be either a psycho killer or an executive on Wall Street.

45. Merry Christmas from the depressed snowman and the coated angel.

Okay, why are there shamrocks here? That's for Saint Patrick's Day. The designers really seem to have their holidays mixed up this year.

Okay, why are there shamrocks here? That’s for Saint Patrick’s Day. The designers really seem to have their holidays mixed up this year.

46. Season’s greetings from the walking robin family.

Wait a minute, robins usually don't stay on during the winter, if my knowledge of birds is correct. They're usually down south. Yeah, this is fucked up.

Wait a minute, robins usually don’t stay on during the winter, if my knowledge of birds is correct. They’re usually down south. Yeah, this is fucked up.

47. Merry Christmas from, wait, what the hell does a butterfly have to do with Christmas?

I really don't get this. I mean this looks more appropriate Easter card, not Christmas. Don't ask me.

I really don’t get this. I mean this looks more appropriate Easter card, not Christmas. Don’t ask me.

48. Merry Christmas from your darling spider girl.

Yes, she's cute. But come on, Halloween's over already. Seriously, what the hell do spiders have to to with Christmas?

Yes, she’s cute. But come on, Halloween’s over already. Seriously, what the hell do spiders have to to with Christmas?

49. Hop along on Santa’s new ride, a shiny red flying bus.

Of course, the reindeer tagged along just in case the bus broke down or ran out of fuel. Unfortunately, this happened very often.

Of course, the reindeer tagged along just in case the bus broke down or ran out of fuel. Unfortunately, this happened very often.

50. Seems like Santa has instilled child labor. So disappointed.

I'm sure Santa tends to put people on the naughty list for such horrible labor practices. Yet, uses kid labor himself. What a hypocrite.

I’m sure Santa tends to put people on the naughty list for such horrible labor practices. Yet, uses kid labor himself. What a hypocrite.

More Historical Villans Who May Not Have Been That Bad

Image

Of course, this is a continuation of my last post on how some historical figures tend to get some bad reputation for being misunderstood or not being fairly represented in mainstream history while some are too overrated for their own good. Some of them may have been bad by our standards like the Spanish Inquisition but by the standards of their time may have been just as terrible as other authorities, if not more humane. Others may have terrible reputations for being on the opposite side or for being a convenient scapegoat like Lucrezia Borgia or they were simply very unlucky rulers who got unceremoniously deposed like Richard III, thus with successors needing to justify their actions. Still, here is a list of historical villains who are probably not as bad as portrayed.

1. The Persians (especially Xerxes I)

You know them as: The bad guys from 300. Not to mention, they are the adversaries of the Greeks in any American class on the history of western civilization.

Why they might not have been that bad: If the Iranian outrage over 300 should tell you anything,  it’s that Persians have been victims of unfair historical depictions for generations and they need not be. Sure they were itching to take over Greece and help start the Persian Wars, but in those days so was everyone. Of course, the Persians just happened to amass one of the largest empires in the ancient world and somehow got their asses kicked by the Greeks and Alexander. Yes, they were warlike, but so was any power entity with an empire. However, what we can say is that they were a rather sophisticated and progressive civilization with one of the oldest religions still in existence (albeit Zoroastrianism, though with much fewer followers as well as the faith of Freddie Mercury) and a empire with a government policy of tolerance toward other cultures and religions. If you read the Old Testament, they are seen as the only group of conquerors who the Jews seemed to get along with. Even Xerxes gets better press in Esther who may start out as a dick but does get better. His dad is a nice guy in Daniel who takes the prophet in after sacking Babylon. Of course, the Persians let the Jewish people return to their homeland, ending the Babylonian captivity. Yet, Xerxes wasn’t as nearly debauched as portrayed on 300 and certainly didn’t look like a reject from Cirque d’ Soleil. Also, he was never in Greece during the whole thing. In Iran, he’s seen as a hero  and is very beloved that he’s known as “the Great.” Sure the Persians should probably have never fought the Greeks but, c’mon, they weren’t a terrible civilization.

2. King Richard II

220px-Richard_II_King_of_England

You know him as: The cruel, vindictive, and irresponsible king in Shakespeare’s Richard II. Said to have suffered from mental illness and rule as a tyrannical absolute monarch but an incompetent one and a failure.

Why he may not have been that bad: Richard II is perhaps one of the most misunderstood and unlucky monarchs in history who gets his reputation because he was overthrown and possibly by people who didn’t like him. Also, his fall from power began the Wars of the Roses which put England in chaos for much of the 1400s. Though he may have seen as poster boy for medieval tyranny over several centuries after his death, modern historians have now reexamined the English monarch who probably was not as tyrannical or incompetent as previously depicted. And he may not have been mentally ill, though he did ascend the throne at the age of ten and was a rather religious man. Contemporary accounts and forensic science have said he was a smart, tall, and good looking guy and his portrait is one of the most accurate portrayals of a monarch to date. He was said to be a great patron of culture and the arts (he was great supporter of Geoffrey Chaucer). Not to mention, he tried to be a good king in the traditional medieval sense and really tried to do what was best for his country. He tried to avoid war with France so he won’t have to raise taxes on the peasantry (and the fact that a peasant’s revolt and the Hundred Years’ War was going on in his childhood, these policies seem to make perfect sense). However, what did him in was that his policies pissed off the wrong people (i.e. nobles and relatives) who wanted a war with France and though Richard knew they were a threat to his power, he didn’t do the necessary thing to stop them like a tyrant would (i. e. have them executed). Also, disinheriting and exiling his cousin Henry Bolingbroke was probably not a good idea even after his dad John of Gaunt died (who basically helped keep peace between the two). So while Henry was exiled he gathered a following of prominent nobles also fed up with him and together they overthrew Richard who later died in the Tower of London under mysterious circumstances. And he’s suffered a bad reputation ever since. So while Richard II may not have been a crazy megalomaniac he’s depicted as but his story is a good example of a decent leader pissing off the wrong people led to his terrible portrayal in the history books, especially when his successors had to go to great lengths to justify getting rid of him.

3. Ulysses S. Grant

You know him as: “The Butcher” who only won the Civil War for the Union because he had plenty of men to spare and was more willing to send his troops to their deaths, later to become a shitty president over a corrupt administration. Said to have also been a drunk.

Why he may not have been that bad: While Grant did send a lot of his soldiers to their deaths during the Civil War and wasn’t one of our better US presidents, he was a well loved figure while for much of his life since then and even after his death. Even his funeral and his tomb dedication had a great attendance turnout and for a long time was put in the same league with Washington and Lincoln. However, what does his historical reputation in is the rise of the “Lost Cause” school of history consisting of Pro-South historians who try to rationalize why a pure and civilized culture of theirs (in their eyes) succumbed to a great fall. In their minds, since Grant was largely responsible for winning the Civil War for the North, he’s the bad guy. However, while Grant’s relationship with alcohol has been debated, he certainly not a “butcher,” a terrible general, or as shitty of a president as he’s been depicted for a long time. Sure Grant may have graduated in the middle of his class at West Point and had a bad stint as as civilian before the Civil War, he was said to be a fairly good soldier and military officer who was calm under fire and a general who may have been ahead of his time. Sure he was willing to put his men in dangerous situations and knew he could replace the ones he lost, but he was good to his soldiers and they loved him. Not to mention, General Sherman was two years older than him and had spent his entire career in the military was happy to have him as his commanding officer, which is saying something. He won battles but he won them with the kind of tactics and strategy one would see from 20th century generals, which earned him a nickname of “The Butcher” but he was also known as “Unconditional Surrender” Grant for his willingness to accept Confederate surrender without exposing them to humiliation, earning respect from allies and enemies alike. Off the battlefield, he wasn’t a violent man but one who was devoted to his family and had a rather sane mind as well as a good man holding many modern views. As president Grant was elected for two terms and tried to do things like protect African American citizenship, eliminate vestiges of Confederate nationalism and slavery, and defeat the KKK. He also tried to promote America’s image overseas and basically left office with a country more united than he was sworn in at a time when many US presidencies resulted in the opposite. Besides, most of the problems Grant faced as president had more to do with the context of his times and the political culture than anything to do with him personally. And after his presidency, he and his wife traveled the world to promote America’s image abroad and wrote his memoirs which mostly dealt with his time in the Civil War more than anything. Grant may have not have been a great president but he wasn’t the kind of general or man “Lost Cause” historians make him out to be.

4. William Tecumseh Sherman

You know him as: The general who burned down Atlanta and torched Georgia, thanks to Gone with the Wind. And just as an uncaring monster as Grant but more bloodthirsty and crazy.

Why he may not have been that bad: Sure Sherman was one of the most ruthless, vicious, and terrifying Union generals on the battlefield, but he did have a tendency to show mercy once the smoke cleared and was willing to let his defeated enemies go home without further molestation. Of course, he did torch Atlanta and brought the Civil War to Southern civilians but he believed that in order the North to win, then it was the Union’s job to make the war so terrible for the South that the Confederates would be less willing to fight and his strategy ultimately worked. Also, in the beginning of the war, Sherman was one of the few generals who guessed correctly it would last more than 90 days. Historians have said he was one of the most pragmatic Civil War generals ever and avoided many tactical mistakes and didn’t do anything unusually stupid. Not to mention, Sherman was willing to fight for his country despite suffering an earlier incident of PTSD. And like Grant, he was a seen as a father to his men. Now maybe Sherman didn’t fight like a 19th century gentleman, but he had his reasons.

5. Benedict Arnold

lossy-page1-488px-Benedict_Arnold._Copy_of_engraving_by_H._B._Hall_after_John_Trumbull,_published_1879.,_1931_-_1932_-_NARA_-_532921.tif

You know him as: If you’re American, his name is synonymous with vile and cowardly traitor who tried selling the fort at West Point to the British.

Why he may not have been that bad: Well, as an American, I’m very much biased about him since I’ve been taught to see the guy in the same league as Judas. So, yes, I do consider him a villain. However, before he betrayed his country, Arnold started out as a capable commander for the colonists’ side during the Revolutionary War and was largely responsible for winning Saratoga since his commanding officer General Horatio Gates mostly kept himself in a tent (this guy was useless). Still, perhaps one of the reasons why he betrayed his country was that he made many powerful enemies among the upper brass and congress that he wouldn’t be eligible for promotion or additional wages for his military service he deserved (though it was due to lack of money that the government could spare). To make things worse, other officers were receiving credit for his accomplishments. Of course, it didn’t help that Arnold married a daughter of a British sympathizer. Still, he only tried to sell out West Point when Washington wouldn’t let him resign in order to evade the dishonorable consequences. Sure Arnold was a traitor, but he should’ve gotten the credit he deserved which he didn’t, which might have led to him trying to sell West Point. In other words, Arnold turned traitor because he got screwed.

6. The Vikings

You know them as: The Norse and Germanic tribesmen from Scandinavia who are brutish and bloodthirsty raiders, plunderers, and killers. Also wore horned helmets.

Why they may not be that bad: While the term “viking” may refer to a Norse pirate, the Vikings were no more savage or prone to violence than any other people at the time and had a very sophisticated culture (as were all the other Germanic tribes). Also, they were explorers, traders, and fine craftsmen in their own right. Not to mention, they bathed frequently and treated their wives better (Viking women had more rights than many of their counterparts). As for the horned helmets, they only wore them for ceremonial occasions since wearing them during raiding and battle would be highly impractical (though they did wear their weapons all the time). However, the Vikings get their bad press since many of their targets tended to be monasteries (for obvious reasons) as well as other areas where at least one person could read or write (which the Vikings didn’t really do that much but they did have a system). And it doesn’t help their case that they considered themselves a race of warriors with a warrior religion and Valhalla. To consider these people as brutish and bloodthirsty killers would be like a compliment to them because such would get them into their Viking heaven. Sure the Vikings were bloodthirsty warriors but they were so much more than that and just as violent as everyone else.

7. The Waffen-SS

You know them as: The black uniformed clad Nazi soldiers in WWII films who are part of the elite, special forces organization of the German military where the soldiers would serve the front lines. Not to mention, they helped orchestrate the Holocaust.

Why they may not have been that bad: Sure they weren’t the Gestapo but even with the snazzy black outfits, the SS wasn’t really as feared elite, special forces organization as many WWII media make it out to be. In short, they were no more a threat to the Allies than non-SS divisions in the German Army. Some SS did distinguish themselves in combat but the only extra training an SS unit would receive that regular army units didn’t as ideological. In fact, it’s said that some SS units had worse combat training and equipment than non-SS units. Besides, they weren’t used as front line combat units until 1943 and before that their role consisted as bodyguards and internal security with their military role barely mentioned and thought of as a little more than thugs (in their own country). Though many of them certainly were Nazis and served in battle as well as were Hitler’s troops that helped exterminate millions of innocent people (they were under the command of Himmler after all and were deservedly banned in Germany after the war in 1945), they weren’t the kind of evil elite special forces organization of combat units you’d see in WWII films that have nothing to do with the Holocaust. Evil, yes, but they were just as defeatable soldiers as anyone else. Not to mention, the SS and the Gestapo weren’t the same thing.

8. Commodous

You know him as: The bad Roman Emperor in Gladiator who kills his dad, has a thing for his sister, kills Russell Crowe’s family and puts him in slavery, and fought in the gladiatorial games before his death in the arena.

Why he may not have been that bad: Sure Commodous did fight in the arena but that’s one of the only accurate things about him from that movie. Of course, he may not have been a great Roman Emperor like his dad Marcus Aurelius but he didn’t have a thing for his sister (actually had her killed for conspiring against him), didn’t kill his dad (who died from natural causes), and didn’t die in the arena (he was strangled while bathing). In fact, Commodous and Marcus Aurelius most likely got along splendidly since they certainly have had to. For one, there was no official line of succession since many Roman Emperors either didn’t have any surviving sons or didn’t live long enough to have any. Before Marcus Aurelius most Emperors would usually choose and adopt their successors outside their biological families. Commodous’s succession was unusual since he was the first Emperor “born to the purple” and broke tradition by succeeding his father. Not to mention, Commodous ruled jointly with his father for four years before the old man’s death. In short, there is overwhelming evidence that Marcus Aurelius chose his son to succeed him. Still, his dad is known as the last of the “Five Good Emperors” for a reason since Commodous was actually considered a bad emperor for believing himself to be Hercules and renaming everything in the Empire including Rome after himself, which wouldn’t go well with Romans. Oh, and he did order one his slaves to be burned for making his bath too cold. Still, he only became the tyrannical dictator in history after several attempts were made on his life and before then basically did whatever he fancied and had a grand old time. Even so, none of this makes him as bad as most rulers in history even in Rome where it wasn’t unusual for Roman Emperors to have people in their lives trying to kill them (even by people charged with protecting them like the Praetorian guard or members of their own family). Still, he was more or less power mad and ignorant of responsibilities than anything though he did bring an end to the Pax Romana, devalued Roman coinage while simultaneously raising taxes which created a wave of poverty unseen since the Old Republic.  Of course, that all may be senatorial bullshit but there’s a reason why he’s not considered a good ruler. Terrible ruler, yes, but not the Commodous depicted in Gladiator.

9. Ivan the Terrible

250px-Ivan-Groznyi-Parsuna

You know him as: The crazy Russian Czar who massacred the city of Novorgod and killed his own son in a violent rage. Also had a habit of torturing people in lots of brutal and deadly ways.

Why he may not have been that bad: Well, he’s certainly a villain and certainly wasn’t a pleasant ruler to reckon with but he was no more brutal or worse than most rulers of his time or even by Russian standards (though Russia was still a pretty shitty place). Still, what gives Ivan a bad rap is that he was a deeply religious man who acknowledged his treacherous deeds as a way of doing penance. Besides, he’s mostly remembered for transforming Russia into a multiethnic and multiconfessional state (meaning he probably didn’t kill anyone for being of a different culture or different religion once he’d already conquered them, which is saying something compared to many 16th century rulers in Europe like Cathy de Medici). Not to mention, he was a fairly competent Czar (as well as the first) who transformed Russia from a medieval state to a regional and emerging power (though it wouldn’t be modernized to some extent until years later and mostly took Siberia because nobody wanted it). He was even popular among the common people as well as a patron of the arts and founder of Russia’s first Print Yard. In short, he’s largely responsible for what Russia is today. Plus, he most likely died from natural causes at 54 (an old man by 16th century Russian standards). Brutal, crazy, unpredictable, and cruel, yes, but he wasn’t a ruler out of the ordinary. Also, the Russian war for “terrible” can also translate as “awesome.”

10. J. Bruce Ismay

You know him as: The guy whose company was responsible for building and commissioning the Titanic as well as a bullying prick who pressures Captain Smith to run the ship at full speed into an ice field and cowardly jumping into a lifeboat to save himself while there were still hundreds of women and children aboard the ship.

Why he may not have been that bad: Ismay didn’t really pressure Captain Smith to take the ship full speed (more or less was the Captain’s decision) though he wasn’t totally blameless. Titanic was an ill-equipped ship that didn’t have enough lifeboats for the passengers (and while it was sinking many of them weren’t filled to full capacity), had no searchlight, had a crew who wasn’t trained to handle emergency situations, and didn’t have anyone to keep watch equipped with binoculars. To make things worse, Captain Smith cancelled a lifeboat drill and the ship had received radio warnings of icebergs in the area that were ignored. Nevertheless, when Titanic did hit an iceberg, Ismay was diligent in helping load and lower the lifeboats and only took his seat after making sure there were no women or children there to take it instead. However, we know now that there were hundreds of women and children who went down with the ship who were mostly in steerage and some couldn’t get out anyway. Ismay probably had no idea of this and maybe was in a state of panic. Yet, many rich guys who survived the Titanic also suffered in their reputation for exactly that as well just because they should’ve been willing to go down with the ship instead unless all the women and children were on the lifeboats. However, since Ismay practically owned Titanic, his reputation took a deeper dive. Ismay may have bore some responsibility for the Titanic disaster since it came from his line but he wasn’t really a bullying prick nor a dirty coward as depicted.

11. King Edward I Longshanks

553px-EdwardI-Cassell

You know him as: The evil king in Braveheart who wanted to take over Scotland, threw his son’s lover out the window, ruled as a oppressive tyrant, and was a “cruel pagan.”

Why he may not have been that bad: Of course, Edward was a brutal conqueror abroad as well as an anti-Semite but you’d expect these things from almost any medieval king. Still, he didn’t throw his son’s lover out the window, was a pagan, nor ruled like a tyrant. In fact, he was a Christian no more or less devout than your average medieval king and certainly didn’t oppress his English subjects (foreign ones are a whole different matter). Furthermore, he was considered a social radical by medieval European standards since he set up Parliament as a permanent institution, set up a working system of taxation, and helped draft complex legislation which would help revolutionize England forever. Not only that but he initially went to Scotland to mediate a matter which almost caused a civil war. Of course, he did break his word anyway but any medieval king would do the same thing. Thus, sure Edward may have been a land grabber but he was a pretty decent king by medieval standards and no brutal than your average ruler at the time.

12. Genghis Khan

khan2

You know him as: The bloodthirsty Mongol conqueror who founded one of the largest empires of all time stretching from Hungary, India, and China. Known for riding with his barbarian Mongol forces and putting whole cities to waste while making a hell on earth for men, women, and children.

Why he may not have been that bad: Well, Genghis and his Mongol hordes were certainly not a group you’d want to mess with and of course, they would very much like to be known for that so your city could easily surrender. Still, much of what’s written by them were authored by their conquered subjects who kind of exaggerated their bloodlust. However, Genghis Khan wasn’t just a bloodthirsty conqueror. He also managed to unite the Mongol tribes who’ve been fighting against themselves for thousands of years, which at the time was almost unthinkable and all in the span of a couple of decades through skillful political maneuvers like attracting allegiance of other tribes and defeated enemies, giving those he defeated a share in the spoils of war, and basing promotions on merit than politics. Not to mention, his idea of conquering everything in sight was a primarily a team building exercise to keep the tribes from fighting each other with such conquest continuing after his death making the Mongols not only a powerful foe but also very rich and powerful in the process. Sure Genghis Khan and his Mongols weren’t the nicest guys, but at least he had rather unselfish reason to conquer mainland Asia.

13. The Spanish Conquistadors

You know them as: The cruel and barbaric mercenaries who mercilessly toppled two major Indian empires to satisfy their greed, enslaved a race of people, forced them to convert to Christianity, and committed some of the worst human rights abuses in the age of Exploration.

Why they may not have been that bad: Of course, as cruel and merciless as the conquistadors were they weren’t as evil as they’re seen in many depictions. As bad as they treated the Indians, they were more interested in using them as a labor force and assimilating them into their culture (well, as much as they could) than actually killing them. Furthermore, many Spanish Conquistadors took native wives and treated their mixed race kids as members of their families. Not to mention, they weren’t nearly as racist as their English colonial counterparts who discouraged Indian intermarriage and just saw them as an obstacle that kept them from taking their land (it’s not wonder that many Indian children by English settlers joined the Indian tribes). Of course, the conquistadors did wipe out 95% of the American indigenous population but it mostly through germs and in places where no Spaniard had stepped foot. Also, Cortes could not have brought down the Aztec Empire if he didn’t have help from the local Indian tribes who were already fed up with them despite that he probably did betray them in the end (unsurprisingly). Not to mention, the conquistadors conquered civilizations that were cruel conquerors in their own right who also treated their defeated subjects like shit. So many Indians really didn’t have it much worse than before but last least the Mesoamerican Indians didn’t have to worry about being captured in battle in order to have their heart ripped open from their chests. Seriously, both Spanish and Indians had their moments of savagery especially in Meso and South America. Sure the Spanish conquistadors were cruel, ruthless, and greedy, but they weren’t the only guys out for gold and were no more worse conquerors than those of other European nationalities or their indigenous foes. Besides, the English colonists stabbed the Indians in the back in much worse ways.

14. George Armstrong Custer

479px-Custer_Bvt_MG_Geo_A_1865_LC-BH831-365-crop

You know him as: The flamboyant, cowardly, and idiotic bigot who spent more time looking good for the camera than fighting. Sometimes seen as the lucky idiot at the right place at the right time or someone who gleefully orchestrated Indian massacres and got exactly what he deserved at Little Bighorn.

Why he may not have been that bad: Sure Custer wasn’t the Indians’ friend nor a model soldier who wasn’t above using women and children as human shields. And he was certainly flamboyant but many portrayals of him usually tend to exaggerate his shortcomings (even in movies like They Died with Their Boots On which portrays Custer in a more favorable light). Still, many of them tend to ignore the fact that despite graduating at the bottom of his class at West Point, Custer was a capable soldier and cavalry commander who actually fought bravely in battle and could even be considered a war hero (for his actions in Gettysburg during the Civil War when he held off the Confederate cavalry). And though he attained the brevet rank of general, his promotion was certainly not a mistake. Not to mention, despite his penchant for recklessness that incurred high casualties, Custer did manage to earn the respect and loyalty of his men. What did Custer in at Little Bighorn had more to do with his ego overriding his judgment in attacking a force that vastly outnumbered his (never a good idea). As for his attitude toward the Indians, Custer was no more racist or bigoted against them than anyone else at the time and he certainly didn’t kill Indians out of sadistic glee (he mainly killed Indians because it was part of his job). Sure Custer wasn’t a perfect  soldier and was no friend to the Indians but he wasn’t an incompetent idiot, a sadistic bigot, or a dirty coward either.

15. Queen Anne Boleyn

220px-Anneboleyn2

You know her as: The scheming and manipulative woman who led Henry VIII astray from his wife Catherine as well as compelled him to break away from the Catholic Church. Also was said to be a major slut, have deformities, and stole Henry away from her sister, Mary. Not to mention, she was Queen Elizabeth I’s mother and got her head chopped off for being a major slut.

Why she may not have been that bad: Sure Anne may have had some ambition to some degree and was a highly intelligent beauty with a strong personality and independent streak as well as been partly the reason for Henry VIII’s break with the Catholic Church after the Pope wouldn’t annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon (for understandable reasons that he was being held captive by Catherine’s nephew Charles V who certainly didn’t want his aunt cast aside) but she was more of a victim of circumstance than anything else. And she didn’t have a sixth finger or a third breast or else she would have never been presented to court in the first place. Yet, she certainly was in her mid to late twenties when she got involved with Henry VIII as well as in her thirties when she had Queen Elizabeth. Still, how much she had to do with Henry’s defiance of papal power is up for debate but she did have some reformist attitudes (so did Erasmus and Thomas More but they didn’t break away). Yet, Anne Boleyn wasn’t Henry’s only reason for wanting to an annulment from the Pope since he only broke  away from the Catholic Church after he knocked her up but he also wanted to disinherit his daughter Mary, too (a simple divorce wouldn’t have done that). However, many historians agree that there is no evidence that she had sex with anyone other than Henry VIII and most of the charges against her leading to her beheading were mostly trumped up (her real crime being she had miscarried two boys). Her sister Mary on the other hand, had a reputation for being a major slut and already had a husband by the time she and Henry VIII were having their dalliance possibly resulting in two children Henry never acknowledged (though he wasn’t an entirely faithful husband to Catherine either). Besides, Mary had been recalled from the French court for her sexual exploits. Not only was Anne was a virgin until she was over thirty (which is unusual by 16th century standards), she had refused to sleep with Henry for years and had some regard for her chastity. And many historians think that Henry was more or less stalking her though she did go along with his attentions and eventually gave in (but not just because of love, ambition and pressure from her family could’ve been factors. After all, it wouldn’t be right to say no to a king). Nevertheless, Anne would pay her price as well as make plenty of enemies at court but led to her execution was something she just couldn’t control. An interesting woman in her own right, yes, but Anne wasn’t a scheming whore who might have suffered the penalty for doing what might’ve been expected of her. More of a convenient scapegoat than anything else.

16. Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen

You know him as: The guy who killed his wife, chopped up and disposed her body in his basement, and ran off with his mistress on a ship only to be captured through wireless communication and convicted on forensic evidence (a first for the latter two). He was eventually hanged.

Why he may not have been that bad: Well, let’s just say the Crippen case may not be as open and shut case as it once appeared to be 100 years ago and there are plenty of gaping holes. Recent forensic scientists have examined the preserved remains with 21st century technology and have come up with findings that raise significant doubts whether Crippen killed his wife. Through DNA testing, they not only found that the remains found in Crippen’s basement weren’t Cora’s, but also that they belonged to a man. And they did plenty of test to make sure of that one. Then there’s the question of whether the remains found in Crippen’s basement was actually planted by the police as evidence who were under tremendous pressure to nab a suspect for such heinous crime (they didn’t want another Jack the Ripper case). Besides, if Crippen was so keen on getting away with killing his wife, why would he successfully dispose of her limbs and head while burying her torso in his cellar under his dining room? Surely anyone would know that this is a very stupid way to dispose a body, especially in the early 1900s. Then there’s the fact that the case didn’t become public until after the remains were found. Clearly something suspicious was going on in the investigation. Still, it’s growing ever more likely that if Dr. Crippen was responsible for killing anyone, it would’ve been due to his work in homeopathic drugs than anything. So as far as Cora’s murder, there’s a good chance he may be innocent after all.