Flowers You Wouldn’t Want in Your Garden (Other than Weeds)

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Spring and summer are great times for flowers since they’re seen as pretty and sweet smelling so it’s no wonder we put them in vases, use them as decoration for special occasions, and bestow on people as gifts saying, “I love you,” “Congratulations,” or “Get well soon.” Flower gardens are at their ultimate splendor during this time of year. Of course, many people do have pollen allergies but we don’t talk about that except on commercials for allergy medicine. Then you have flowers like dandelions, clover, and other wildflowers that are pleasing out on the road but many would consider weeds in a conventional flower garden, especially an English flower garden to be exact. Still, we have to accept the fact that not all flowers are the beautiful sweet smellers we all know and love. Let’s say there are several varieties of flowers and while most are of the conventional variety, there are some that smell bad, are ugly and/or creepy, are poisonous to humans and animals,  cause a lot of ecological destruction as an invasive species, and just don’t make good additions to a beautiful flower garden for some reason. And it’s not because they’re weeds for despite their tendency to meet the Roundup Grim Reaper or the lawn mower, many of these wild flowers can still be seen as beautiful or allergenic. So without further ado, here are the flowers you don’t want in your garden and it’s not that they take other nutrients away from your perennials.

1. Titan Arum

titan_arum_sized

Scientific Name: Amorphophallus titanium.

Native to: The rainforests of Sumatra in Indonesia

Desirable Features: Well, it’s a big flower with a massive bloom sometimes purple in color (since my favorite color is purple, this is a great thing).

Why wouldn’t you want it: This is known as one of the worst smelling flowers in the world that it’s one of two species nicknamed “the corpse flower” because it smells like a rotting, stinking corpse. While such an aroma would be considered heavenly by its principal pollinators consisting of flies and beetles (which lay their eggs on dead things), a flower smelling of rotting meat isn’t going to allow a man get laid on Valentines Day unless his date’s a botanist. Thankfully it blooms once every 4 to 6 years on average and its bloom only lasts a day or two.

 

2. Eastern Skunk Cabbage

Symplocarpus_foetidus_in_Mount_Nōgōhaku_2

Scientific Name: Symplocarpus foetidus.

Native to: The wetlands of Eastern North America from as North of Nova Scotia, to as west as Minnesota and as south as North Carolina and Tennessee.

Desirable Features: It has desirable foliage, a purple bloom, as well as medicinal properties which have been used to treat asthma, epilepsy, coughs, and rheumatism. So if you’re stuck in the woods away from civilization in Eastern North America, this would be a great flower to have at your disposal.

Why you wouldn’t want it: What gives this flower’s designation as “Eastern Skunk Cabbage” is that it gives away a bloom akin to a roadkill skunk. Such odor is desirable for potential pollinating flies but not for anyone else. It also doesn’t help that this flower is capable of thermogenesis (keeping itself warm), which not only lets it to bloom when there’s snow on the ground but also attract its pollinators by mimicking the heat generated by a fresh corpse. So unless you’re an asthmatic stuck near a wetland away from civilization in Eastern North America (or a botanist, naturally), you don’t want this.

 

3.The Rafflesia

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Scientific Name: Rafflesia arnoldii. Genus has 27 other species.

Native to: The rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra in Indonesia. It’s one of Indonesia’s natural flowers where it’s a protected species.

Desirable Features: Has an impressive and beautiful bloom and produces the largest individual flower on earth.

Why you wouldn’t want it: Like Titan Arum, it’s also nicknamed, “the corpse flower” because it smells like a rotting corpse designed to attract flies to pollinate it (its red color also helps attract fly pollinators as well, since no one likes the repulsive smell of decaying flesh like a fly). Also, it’s considered a parasitic plant that lacks roots, stems, and leaves as well as doesn’t produce chlorophyll or photosynthesize. Rather it receives nutrients from a host plant (something that gardeners don’t want). Fortunately this flower dies after flowering for 5 days yet it’s seen as a rare species since a successful pollination for these flowers is a rare event in itself.

 

4. Hydnora Africana

Scientific Name: Same as regular name.

hydnoraafricana_sized

Native to: Southern Africa particularly the semi-arid regions.

Desirable Features: Heard their seeds and fruit are delicious as well as used for tanning leather and preserving fishing nets. Also used to treat diarrhea, dysentery, kidney and bladder complaints, and acne.

Why you wouldn’t want it: Due to it being a parasitic plant that only grows underground until flower, it’s no wonder it resembles a creature you’d see from the movie Tremors (that or female genitalia). Also, since the dung beetle is its choice pollinator, it gives an odor that smells like shit.

 

5. Bulbophyllum Phalaenopsis

bulbophyllum_sized

Scientific Name: Same as regular name. Also part of a large genus of orchid.

Native to: New Guinea.

Desirable Features: Well, it’s an orchid and has a pretty color.

Why you wouldn’t want it: It’s a carrion flower known to smell like dead mice to attract flies. And there are many in its genus that smell like rotting flesh as well. So unless you’re an avid orchid collector or botanist, you probably wouldn’t want this in your flower garden.

 

6.Dead Horse Arum

Dracunculus_muscivorus

Scientific Name: Helicodiceros muscivorus.

Native to: Corsica, Sardinia, and the Baleric Islands.

Desirable Features: Well, it’s considered an ornamental plant and has a nice bloom.

Why you wouldn’t want it: Let’s just say it’s called a “Dead Horse Arum” because it’s said to smell like a dead horse to attract flies as pollinators. Doesn’t help that these flowers bloom on bright sunny days so the aroma can spread everywhere like a field freshly spread with manure. This basically ruins the enjoyment of any flower garden in such atmosphere. Also, exhibits thermogenesis.

 

7. Stapelia Gigantean

stapelia_gigantea_sized

Scientific Name: Same as regular name.

Native to: South Eastern Africa.

Desirable Features: Has a mesmerizing, fuzzy bloom which has enjoyed its share of cultivators.

Why you wouldn’t want it: Despite its beauty, it smells like rotting flesh to lure in flies. Culivators are generally advised to keep this plant outdoors so the fresh air could dilute the odor. So fellas, unless your girlfriend cultivates these plants or is a botanist, don’t give her this for Valentines Day.

 

8. The Voodoo Lily

dracunculus_vulgaris_sized

Scientific Name: Dracunculus vulgaris.

Native to: Greece, the Balkans, the Aegean Islands, and the southwest Turkey.

Desirable Features: It’s widely distributed and cultivated because of its stunning beauty. Not to mention, it can withstand drought.

Why you wouldn’t want it: It’s a carrion flower that smells like rotting flesh to attract flies. Fortunately its stench lasts for about a day. Also, all parts of the plant are considered poisonous so and touching the plant could trigger skin irritation or an allergic reaction.

 

9. Birthwort

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Scientific Name: Aristolochia gigantean. It’s genus has varieties of 500 species in diverse climates.

Native to: Brazil.

Desirable Features: Well, it’s purple and has a spectacular bloom. As an ornamental plant it’s notable as being hardy. Said to help heal wounds but little else and it’s not worth taking.

Why you wouldn’t want it: For one, it gives a foul odor of rotting flesh to attract flies. Second, many of the flowers in this genus are seen as rather ugly. Third, while it’s been seen as an herbal medicine for centuries (especially in China), it’s a very poisonous plant linked to severe renal and kidney disease as well as cancer. Unfortunately, it continues to be used as an herbal remedy.

 

10. The Opium Poppy

Opium Poppy

Scientific Name: Papaver somniferum.

Native to: Asia and the Middle East.

Desirable Features: Well, it’s a medicinal plant as well as used for painkillers and is known for its ornamental beauty. Also, produces seeds which could be used as a condiment for many baked goods like buns and bagels.

Why you wouldn’t want it: Despite its beauty, this flower has a controversial reputation. It has an ambiguous legal status in the United States in which you can’t raise it for cultivation at a large agricultural scale without a license and only for medicinal purposes. Of course, reasons are obvious since these plants are a known source of heroin and other opiates. Still, this beauty managed to cause all sorts of problems throughout history and there’s no stopping it. I mean Great Britain managed to get Chinese people hooked on recreational opium during its empire days, which resulted in two wars. Ditto the War on Drugs in the US. As to why inner city drug lords don’t get into opium poppy cultivation, I don’t have the slightest idea.

 

11. Western Skunk Cabbage

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Scientific Name: Lysichiton americanus.

Native to: Wetlands in the Pacific Northwest.

Desirable Features: It’s a beautiful yellow flower with great foliage. Can be used as a laxative as well as for sores and swellings but only in small quantities and its waxy leaves could be used for food preparation and storage.

Why you wouldn’t want it: While it doesn’t smell of rotting flesh, there’s a reason why it’s called the “Western Skunk Cabbage.” Since it attracts beetles and flies, it’s odor is akin to skunk spray even in old dried specimens. So if you came home from a hiking trip smelling like a skunk despite not seeing one, perhaps this flower may be a reason. Also, using too much of this plant as medicine can result in death.

 

12.Castor Oil Plant

RICINUS COMMUNIS RED GIANT

Scientific Name: Ricinus communis.

Native to: The Southeastern Mediterranean Basin, Eastern Africa, and India.

Desirable Features: Has long been used as a medicinal plant as castor oil which has other uses (yet don’t consume it in its natural state). Also has lovely leaves and pink flowers.

Why you wouldn’t want it: It’s been listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most poisonous plant and produce ricin. On milligram of its poison could kill a human adult. Its pink pom-pom flowers are especially dangerous to children. Also, the KGB used this plant’s poison to silence opposition permanently.

 

13. Nepenthes Truncata

Nepenthes truncata on exhibit 2

Scientific Name: Same as regular name though it is a pitcher plant.

Native to: The Philippines.

Desirable Features: Well, if you have problems with insects and vermin, I’m sure this carnivorous plant could come in handy.

Why you wouldn’t want it: For one, it’s ugly and probably smells of rotten meat to attract its prey. Second, the fact its known to eat small mammals is rather unsettling, especially since its process to dissolve such animals in digestive enzymes has been seen.

 

14. Belladonna

Atropa_belladonna_003.3

Scientific Name: Atropa belladonna.

Native to: Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.

Desirable Features: It produces pretty purple flowers.

Why you wouldn’t want it: This flower is highly poisonous and has been used in one of the worst beauty trends in history in which women used the berries to dilate their pupils. Symptoms include, sensitivity to light, blurred vision, slow or fast pulse, loss of balance, staggering, headache, rash, flushing, dry mouth, slurred speech, urinary retention, constipation, confusion, as well as convulsions and death. Though it has been long used as an herbal medicine and homeopathic drug, there’s insufficient scientific evidence to recommend its use. Also known to kill a lot of Roman Emperors.

 

15. White Snakeroot

snakeroot

Scientific Name: Ageratina altissima.

Native to: The US Appalachian Mountains.

Desirable Features: Has lovely white flowers and has roots that can be used for medicinal purposes.

Why you wouldn’t want it: It’s a highly poisonous plant known to contain tremetol which led to the highly fatal milk sickness known to kill thousands of American settlers in the early 19th century, possibly including the mother of a US president.

 

16. Water Hemlock

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Scientific Name: Cicuta bulbifera. There are 3 other species for this genus though.

Native to: North America.

Desirable Features: It’s flowers look very similar to Queen Anne’s Lace but bigger.

Why you wouldn’t want it: According to the USDA, it’s considered as the most toxic plant in North America with its stalks containing full of the a sap containing cicutoxin. Ingesting a small amount of this could affect the central nervous system and cause seizures as well as bring death within 15 minutes. It’s also deadly to the touch even when dried. Most poisonings occurred due to confusion between these plants and other edible look-alikes, particularly from the Parsley family.  Those who survive may develop long term health conditions like amnesia.

 

17. Elephant Foot Yam

amorphophallus

Scientific Name: Amorphophallus paeoniifolius.

Native to: Southeast Asia.

Desirable Features: It has big purple leaves and is used as a cash crop in Southeast Asian countries. Elephant foot yams are used in cuisine as well as in medicine. Can be grown in areas that may seem unsuitable for crops.

Why you wouldn’t want it: It’s nickname is “the stink lily” because it smells like a corpse to attract flies. Also, it’s kind of ugly as well.

 

18. Black Bat Flower

BlackBatFlower

Scientific Name: Tacca chantrieri.

Native to: Southeast Asia and Southern China.

Desirable Features: Well, it’s not poisonous or smells bad. Also, it’s considered a collector’s item since it’s extremely rare.

Why you wouldn’t want it: This is one of the creepiest flowers ever in existence and is sure to inspire nightmares. So unless you love Halloween, are related to the Munsters or the Addams Family, or live in a dark castle on a hill or some other spooky residence, then this flower isn’t for you. Also, it’s a bitch to cultivate since it needs a lot of water and prefers high humidity so it would maybe work in my area but I’m not sure about the Munsters (since they live in California).

 

19. Dracula Orchid

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Scientific Name: Dracula sergioi. Has 118 species in its genus.

Native to: Central and South America.

Desirable Features: Well, it’s an orchid and it’s rare in the US. Also, it’s harmless.

Why you wouldn’t want it: Well, if there’s a flower named after Dracula, chances are it’s either very dangerous or very scary looking. This one resembles some sci-fi alien monster with a piranha like mouth. So if you aren’t into scary movies, then you probably don’t want this in your garden.

 

20. Monk’s Hood

Aconitum_carmichaelii_'arendsii'_1

Scientific Name: Aconitum carmichaelii. Genus has over 250 species.

Native to: East Asia.

Desirable Features: Well, a lot of these flowers are in a beautiful shade of purple and yellow.

Why you wouldn’t want it: It contains large quantities of pseudocontitine  or actonite which is a deadly poison. It’s no wonder that many cultures used this plant to poison their arrows, so they’d be much more lethal. Consuming this flower can lead to nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea followed by burning, tingling, numbness of face, mouth, and abdomen. When consumed in large quantities, leads to instant death. Still, you probably remember this plant from Harry Potter as an ingredient in the Wolfsbane potion; you know what Snape made for Lupin during that special time of the month. Of course, it’s no wonder he got sick from it. Also, used as Hannah McKay’s killing method of choice on Dexter.

 

21. Oleander

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Scientific Name: Nerium oleander.

Native to: The Mediterranean region, most likely.

Desirable Features: It smells sweet and has beautiful pink flowers with petals being crimson, magenta, or creamy white. Also, a rather hardy plant that could withstand drought.

Why you wouldn’t want it: It’s one of the most toxic plants in the world and every part of this flower is incredibly poisonous if ingested. In fact, even inhaling one burning is seen as a health threat and even honey derived from its nectar could kill you. A single leaf could kill a child. Most of its human victims are campers who used this flower’s branches to roast marshmallows and hotdogs (well, according to urban legend). Symptoms of poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, excess salivation, abdominal pain, irregular heart rate, drowsiness, tremors, siezures, and coma.

 

22. Henbane

henbane-stinking-nightshade

Scientific Name: Hyoscyamus niger.

Native to: Eurasia.

Desirable Features: Well, it’s a nice looking flower.

Why you wouldn’t want it: For one it has a foul odor which is the reason it’s known as “stinking nightshade.” Second, all parts of this plant are considered highly poisonous in low doses. Symptoms ingesting it include visual hallucinations, dilated pupils, restlessness, flushed skin, vomiting, slow and fast pulse, hyperpyrexia and ataxia.

 

23. Poison Hemlock

plants_toxic-2

Scientific Name: Conium maculatum. There’s another species in this genus from Southern Africa. Also, don’t confuse it with the tree which is a different species entirely.

Native to: Europe and the Mediterranean.

Desirable Features: Resembles a bit like Queen Anne’s Lace.

Why you wouldn’t want it: This flower is extremely poisonous and ingesting small doses could cause respiratory collapse, muscular paralysis, and death. Retains poisonous properties when dried and is deadly to the touch. The famous Greek philosopher Socrates was condemned to death by drinking this. Second, because it’s poisonous, it could infest large pastures and open waste areas earning its invasive status.

 

24. Hemlock Water Dropwort

Oenanthe-Crocata-10-most-poisonous-flowers

Scientific Name: Oenanthe Crocata. Genus has another species.

Native to: Europe and the Mediterranean.

Desirable Features: Resembles a bit like Queen Anne’s Lace. Leaves pose no danger.

Why you wouldn’t want it: Despite its beauty, this is an extremely toxic plant (considered the most toxic plant in the UK), especially the stem and roots. A single root from this could kill a cow and human fatalities are known. It’s considered especially dangerous due to its resemblance to Chinese celery, Japanese wild celery, and it doesn’t help it shares the same genus.

 

25. Yellow Jasmine

Yellow-Jasmine

Scientific Name: Gelsemium sempervirens.

Native to: Southeastern US, Mexico, and Central America. State flower of South Carolina.

Desirable Features: Pretty yellow flowers and is sometimes used as an herbal medicine (when used right).

Why you wouldn’t want it: All parts of this plant contain the toxic strychnine alkaloids gelsemine and gelseminine, which is fatal to honeybees (and even more reason you wouldn’t want it in your garden, especially since there have reports of colony collapse disorder. Let’s just say any flower that’s fatally toxic to honeybees should never be used in a flower garden ever). Children have been poisoned sucking its nectar after mistaking it for honeysuckle and it can cause skin irritation in sensitive individuals.

 

26. Crown Vetch

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Scientific Name: Securigera varia.

Native to: Africa, Asia, and Europe.

Desirable Features: Well, it has pretty pink flowers and is used in the US and Canada as erosion control, roadside planting, and soil rehabilitation. I see this flower all the time when I’m on walks. Grows in most environments and provides good forage for deer and elk during the winter as well as good nesting grounds for birds. Rabbits use this plant for food and cover.

Why you wouldn’t want it: Of course, this is coming from an American perspective but in many US states they’re considered an invasive species or noxious weeds. In fact, many Americans consider this a weed. It’s a tough and aggressive spreading plant that will crowd out its neighbors in a show garden and is very hard to eradicate once established. So if you live in the US, don’t plant this unless you’re legally obligated to do so. Not to mention, it’s also poisonous to horses.

 

27. Latana Camara

Lantana_camara_flowers_2

Scientific Name: Same as regular name.

Native to: Central and South America.

Desirable Features: Pretty flowers and can survive in a variety of environments. Can go long without water. Indian scientists discovered that the leaves have anti-microbial, fungicidal, and insecticidal properties which is good for many gardeners. It’s been seen as effective for treating ulcers and respiratory infections.

Why you wouldn’t want it: Since this plant has spread to 50 different countries, it’s been considered an invasive species which will often out compete more desirable species which will lead to a reduction in biodiversity. It’s also known to be toxic to livestock like cattle, sheep, horses, dogs, and goats.

 

28. Rhododendron Ponticum

Rhododendron_ponticum

Scientific Name: Same as regular name. Its genus has over 1,000 species and includes azaelas.

Native to: Southern Europe and Southwest Asia. National flower of Nepal and state flower of West Virginia and Washington.

Desirable Features: This is a highly desirable evergreen shrub with big flowers and lovely green foliage. These flowers make a trip to my local cemetery almost a dream come Memorial Day and I always take pictures of them with my camera.

Why you wouldn’t want it: For one, this plant is considered a highly invasive species in New Zealand, the British Isles, and Western Europe. Second, it’s highly toxic especially to horses that are said to die within hours of ingesting it. Symptoms include nausea, diarrhea, hallucinations, paralysis, severe pains, and even death and its effects have been known since ancient times. Even its honey is poisonous to humans which can cause hypotension and bradycardia if consumed in sufficient quantities. Also, these plants are very prone to a whole range of pests and diseases (Wikipedia has a whole list of ills for this shrub). So it’s a great flower to look at but not a good one to have.

 

29. Tansy

tansy_flower_by_hitana87-d3q8jnu

Scientific Name: Tanacetum vulgare.

Native to: Europe and Asia.

Desirable Features: Pretty yellow flowers and seen as a natural insecticide as well as good companion plant.

Why you wouldn’t want it: In many areas of the world particularly North America, this is seen as an invasive species known to spread prolifically. Also, it’s a toxic plant in all parts, especially to livestock.

 

30. Cultivated Tobacco

Nicotiana_tabacum_004

Scientific Name: Nicotiana tabacum. Genus has 67 species.

Native to: The Caribbean. Introduced to Europe by Christopher Columbus himself, if not then possible hybrid.

Desirable Features: Pretty pink flowers. Can also be used as an insecticide.

Why you wouldn’t want it: This plant doesn’t have a good reputation since it’s responsible for a lot of deaths from all kinds of diseases per year, particularly cancer (that and the 599 other additives in tobacco products). Those who work on tobacco farms and plantations are constantly exposed to nicotine poisoning as well as to a large amount of pesticides and other chemicals. Not to mention, this plant could be prone to a whole host of diseases and pests. Also, cultivating this plant in developing countries has led to significant deforestation and environmental damage.

 

31. Purple Loosestrife

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Scientific Name: Lythrum salicaria.

Native to: Europe, Asia, northwest Africa, and southeastern Australia.

Desirable Features: Pretty purple flowers and seen as a medicinal herb for bowel problems. Well suited for most environments.

Why you wouldn’t want it: It’s a highly invasive plant in New Zealand and North America. Its infestations result in dramatic disruption of water flow in rivers and streams as well as a sharp decline in biodiversity, especially in wetlands. Known for crowding out other native plant species like cattails. So if you live near a swamp, don’t plant this.

 

32. Common Foxglove

digitalis-purpurea-candy-mountain

Scientific Name: Digitalis purpurea. Genus contains 20 species.

Native to: Europe.

Desirable Features: Pretty purple flowers.

Why you wouldn’t want it: Toxic in all parts including the water any cut stalks sit in. Even in its dried state, it can kill. Poisoning is most commonly found in livestock, pets, and children. Sometimes mistaken for the edible comfrey plant and brewed as tea in which the results could be fatal. Symptoms include Stomach pain, nausea, violent vomiting, vertigo, muscular stiffness, fatigue, headache, pulse at first rapid and violent but soon weak and irregular, dilated pupils, dimness of vision, delirium.

 

33. Ox-Eye Daisy

oxeye

Scientific Name: Leucanthemum vulgare.

Native to: Europe and Asia.

Desirable Features: Well, it’s a daisy and appears conventional as such.

Why you wouldn’t want it: It’s a highly invasive species in North America, Australia, and New Zealand known for displacing native plants and modifying existing communities. It’s particularly troublesome in agricultural areas where cows won’t eat it which will enable it to spread and it’s host to several viral diseases that affect crops. In the US it’s prohibited in Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Washington, Wyoming, and West Virginia.

 

34. Creeping Buttercup

CreepingButtercup_GrobyPool_10May08

Scientific Name: Ranunculus repens. Genus has 600 species including spearworts, crowfoots, and celandine.

Native to: Europe, Asia, and northwestern Africa.

Desirable Features: Pretty yellow flowers.

Why you wouldn’t want it: Though initially seen as an ornamental plant, it’s an invasive species in many parts of the world and is usually spread through transporting hay. Not to mention, it’s toxic in all parts to humans and animals (except when dried in hay) with symptoms including bloody diarrhea, excessive salivation, colic, and severe blistering that affect the mucous membranes and gastrointestinal tract. Yet, while grazing animals know to avoid this plant, they will sometimes eat it out of desperation.

 

35. Blessed Milk Thistle

armurariul

Scientific Name: Silybum marianum.

Native to: Southern Europe and Asia.

Desirable Features: Pretty purple flowers and is widely cultivated in Europe, Asia, and South America for several different uses.

Why you wouldn’t want it: For one, it has sharp spikes all over its foliage, which you wouldn’t want to touch on the roadside. Second, it contains the toxin potassium nitrate which is toxic humans and animals, particularly cattle and sheep. Symptoms include oxygen deprivation, which is a terrible way to die. Third, it’s considered an invasive species in Iran, North America, Australia, and New Zealand. Fourth, its appearance gives an impression that it more likely belongs in some mad scientist’s garden than yours, considering its freakish display. That or seems like an appropriate corsage for a Klingon wedding.

 

36. Common Water Hyacinth

Eichhornia_crassipes_B

Scientific Name: Eichhornia crassipes.

Native to: The Amazon Basin.

Desirable Features: One of the few Amazon flowers that could survive outside the rainforest (it’s been recently spotted in New York). Could be used for bioenergy and waste water treatment. Also, a very pretty purple flower with a petal resembling a peacock feather.

Why you wouldn’t want it: Since its introduction to the US in 1884, this little beauty has been responsible for all kinds of environmental damage such as choking up rivers, killing fish, and stopping shipping in Louisiana as well as clogging Florida’s waterways. Not only that but it nearly wrecked Florida’s environment and economy. There were many eradication attempts, including one by the US War Department pouring oil over it, yet none prevailed. The US government was so desperate to get rid of this plant that Congress almost passed a bill that would’ve authorized the importation of hippos for this very purpose in 1910. Yes, hippos, but this method wouldn’t have worked either because it’s also considered an invasive species in Africa, particularly Lake Victoria.

 

37. Lily of the Valley

Spring-Flowers-Lily-of-the-Valley

Scientific Name: Convallaria majalis.

Native to: Asia and Europe.

Desirable Features: Pretty white flowers which explains why it’s used a lot in bridal bouquets.

Why you wouldn’t want it: Unless you’re familiar with the later seasons of Breaking Bad (sorry to spoil it), you probably don’t know that this beauty can be very deadly. It’s highly poisonous in all parts including the berries and contains 38 different cardiac glycosides. If ingested even in small amounts, it could cause abdominal pain, vomiting, and a reduced heart rate. For the prospective brides hoping to become black widows someday, this is the perfect flower for you.

 

38. American Pokeweed

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Scientific Name: Phytolacca Americana.

Native to: Eastern North America.

Desirable Features: Well, pretty white flowers and nice dark berries. It’s a good source for songbirds like the Gray Catbird, Northern Cardinal, Brown Thrasher, and Northern Mockingbird. Young leaves (those that don’t have red in them) and berries can be eaten but only when properly cooked.

Why you wouldn’t want it: These plants are poisonous though the ripe dark berries are the least toxic; it’s when they’re green you really have to worry about them and whether they’re consumed raw in large quantities. Infants and small children should avoid consuming them at all times. As for the rest of the plant, well, those parts get more poisonous as it matures. And adults have been poisoned (sometimes fatally) by eating improperly prepared leaves and shoots, particularly if the root is harvested with the shoots, and by mistaking the root for an edible tuber. So if you’re served any pokeweed dish at a dinner party, you might not want to eat it. Symptoms upon ingesting may include anemia, altered heart rate and respiration, convulsions and death from respiratory failure. Could also possibly cause mutations (perhaps leading to cancer) and birth defects. Yet, animals would only consume them in desperation or if it’s in contaminated hay. Still, while it shouldn’t be touched with bare hands, the juice is less hazardous than the sap (which can cause dermatitis). Also, they are particularly invasive and a pain to get rid of (burning it won’t help, believe me).

 

39. Scotch Broom

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Scientific Name: Cytisus scoparius.

Native to: Western and central Europe.

Desirable Features: Pretty flowers. Can grow almost anywhere.

Why you wouldn’t want it: Contains a toxin that causes heart palpitations and affects the central nervous system, which is harmful to both humans and livestock. In the American West as well as in New Zealand, Australia, and India, this is a particularly invasive plant known to inhibit reforestation efforts after timber harvests.

 

40. Giant Hogweed

Rbk_dolde

Scientific Name: Heracleum mantegazzianum.

Native to: The Caucasus Region in Central Asia.

Desirable Features: Resembles a giant version of Queen Anne’s Lace like it’s on steroids or some radioactive plant food.

Why you wouldn’t want it: For one, it’s an invasive species spreading like wildfire and drowning the native flora and destroying ecosystems in its wake, especially in wetland areas. Second, it’s a phototoxic plant and public health hazard. Skin contact with its watery sap could produce painful burning blisters that could leave purple and black scars. If in contact with eyes, then blindness. Because of it being up to 8-20ft tall and dangerously poisonous to the touch, don’t think you can get rid of it with your weed whacker or mower. In fact, you can’t so it’s best to call professionals or local authorities who can properly destroy the plant and seeds.

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The Wonderful World of Lawn Ornaments

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Of course, lawn ornaments have always been a tacky mainstay in many gardens. Whether it be gnomes, flamingos, Virgin Mary grottoes, and what not, you’ve seen them on a roadside once in a while. Some of you may have a few yourself which you like to show off to the neighbors or onlookers. Sure many of us can have the urge to decorate our lawns and gardens with certain statues and artworks which sometimes don’t go well with the landscape. I could talk about all the kitschy lawn ornaments I’ve seen over the internet but you probably would’ve found it boring and wouldn’t have much interest in this post. In fact, there are people who have lawn ornaments that even defy the conventional pink flamingo ornaments you see in the leading picture. And since I was tied up with doing movie history posts back in the spring, now’s the best time as any. So without further adieu, here are some of the tackiest lawn ornaments ever to grace any garden or lawn.

 

1. For the beachfront garden, here’s a wooden pictures of two kids in swimsuits.

Yet, I'm not sure if these kids in swimsuits would be appropriate in a more inland setting with trees. After all, they seem a bit too happy by a realistic standpoint.

Yet, I’m not sure if these kids in swimsuits would be appropriate in a more inland setting with trees. After all, they seem a bit too happy by a realistic standpoint.

 

2. Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce to you, Zombie Gnome.

Of course, with the popularity of The Walking Dead, we have to have zombie versions of everything. Of course, this gnome won't be a danger to your brains due to its size but to other gnomes, well, God help them.

Of course, with the popularity of The Walking Dead, we have to have zombie versions of everything. Of course, this gnome won’t be a danger to your brains due to its size but to other gnomes, well, God help them.

 

3. How about a whale fountain that spurts out water from its mouth?

This whale seems rather happy for being way outside its natural environment for some reason. Of course, it's made from metal but still.

This whale seems rather happy for being way outside its natural environment for some reason. Of course, it’s made from metal but still.

 

4. Of course, for those who have a thing for the Old South, here’s a black boy ornament sitting on a ledge.

I have an uncle who has an ornament similar to this. Of course, it was more racist looking than this, but it still made me cringe. Still, you wouldn't want this figure in a predominantly black neighborhood. Sorry, NAACP.

I have an uncle who has an ornament similar to this. Of course, it was more racist looking than this, but it still made me cringe. Still, you wouldn’t want this figure in a predominantly black neighborhood. Sorry, NAACP.

 

5. If you’re into frogs, here some in sexually suggestive poses.

Of course, the only thing saving these animals from being inappropriate is the fact that frogs don't have mammary glands. Yet, you can tell that whoever designed these figures probably kept a secret Playboy stash during his high school years.

Of course, the only thing saving these animals from being inappropriate is the fact that frogs don’t have mammary glands. Yet, you can tell that whoever designed these figures probably kept a secret Playboy stash during his high school years.

 

6. For those who like frogs, here’s a glow in the dark one to light your garden.

Now if I saw a real frog glowing in the dark in my yard, I'd freak out like you wouldn't believe. Seriously frogs don't glow in the dark.

Now if I saw a real frog glowing in the dark in my yard, I’d freak out like you wouldn’t believe. Seriously frogs don’t glow in the dark.

 

7. Nothing makes a great lawn sculpture than a tiger on a chain.

I just hope that whoever owns this doesn't have neighbors in PETA, ASPCA or the Humane Society. In fact, let's hope that this person isn't living anywhere near anyone active in animal rights because a tiger chained at the neck has some rather unfortunate implications.

I just hope that whoever owns this doesn’t have neighbors in PETA, ASPCA or the Humane Society. In fact, let’s hope that this person isn’t living anywhere near anyone active in animal rights because a tiger chained at the neck has some rather unfortunate implications.

 

8. For cow lovers, here’s a red one in a dress.

As to why anyone would want a red cow with a dress on is beyond me. I mean real cows don’t wear dresses and aren’t that bright red. Still, doesn’t emanate a great artistic taste of the owner who probably spent a lot of money on it.

 

9. For gnome lovers, here’s one with a blowtorch.

I'm sure Garden gnome Sherman has endured enough strain from being viewed as a conventional tacky lawn ornament and is now proceeding to burn the garden down in a blaze of glory.

I’m sure Garden gnome Sherman has endured enough strain from being viewed as a conventional tacky lawn ornament and is now proceeding to burn the garden down in a blaze of glory.

 

10. Of course, if you’re into torture porn here’s a lawn ornament with two guys squeezing a happy naked woman skinny.

Seriously, why put this in your lawn? Whoever sees this as an appropriate garden decoration ought to have his head examined. This isn't funny but rather very disturbing indeed.

Seriously, why put this in your lawn? Whoever sees this as an appropriate garden decoration ought to have his head examined. This isn’t funny but rather very disturbing indeed with human rights abuses on top of that. Also, is she bleeding?

 

11. Well, this seems cute. A boy helping a girl get a drink at a little fountain.

Well, at least I hope it is because there seems to be an inappropriate connotation here which is rather unsettling.

Well, at least I hope it is because there seems to be an inappropriate connotation here which is rather unsettling. I don’t want to be wring here but the boy seems to enjoy himself a little too much while helping a girl with a drink.

 

12. Of course, for rabbit lovers, here’s a cute little statue for your garden.

Actually if you have kids, don't even think about getting this because it's rather inappropriate. After all, remember the expression, "breeding like rabbits" means.

Actually if you have kids, don’t even think about getting this because it’s rather inappropriate. After all, remember the expression, “breeding like rabbits” mean. You probably could see plenty of this in your back yard so there’s no reason to get such statue.

 

13. For the person sick of having to clean up after the neighborhood pooches, here’s the perfect sign.

I'm sure a No Dumping! sign with a dog pooping is going to deter the neighborhood dogs from doing their business in your flower garden. Actually it's not going to do a damn thing since dogs will go anywhere they damn well please.

I’m sure a No Dumping! sign with a dog pooping is going to deter the neighborhood dogs from doing their business in your flower garden. Actually it’s not going to do a damn thing since dogs will go anywhere they damn well please. In fact, this sign may backfire as far as the animals are concerned.

 

14. If you’re British and want to show your love for Queen and country, here’s a couple of large stone heads of Her Majesty and Prince Consort.

Now nothing depicts Great Britain as a nation of gardening fanatics than having Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip being depicted as a couple of giant Chia heads created by people who probably have too much time on their hands. Seriously, this is just so over the top if you know what I mean yet the Queen does have a lot of nice flowers in her hair.

Now nothing depicts Great Britain as a nation of gardening fanatics than having Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip being depicted as a couple of giant Chia heads created by people who probably have too much time on their hands. Seriously, this is just so over the top if you know what I mean yet the Queen does have a lot of nice flowers in her hair.

 

15. Nothing says a great birth announcement, than a lawn sign bringing the neighbors close to the scene.

Now I don't know about you, but this is just a pretty tasteless sign. Perhaps it's best to announce to the neighbors with conventional signs reading "It's a boy!" or It's a girl!" Guess this proud new dad seemed to have too much time on his hands.

Now I don’t know about you, but this is just a pretty tasteless sign. Perhaps it’s best to announce to the neighbors with conventional signs reading “It’s a boy!” or It’s a girl!” Guess this proud new dad seemed to have too much time on his hands.

 

16. What better gnome to have in your yard than one that glows in the dark.

Now this doesn't seem to look like a glow in the dark gnome than it does, well, let's say a glow in a dark something else. Let's say that Sigmund Freud may have a field day with whoever designed this.

Now this doesn’t seem to look like a glow in the dark gnome than it does, well, let’s say a glow in a dark something else. Let’s say that Sigmund Freud may have a field day with whoever designed this.

 

17. Nothing makes a great garden decoration than a bronze statue of Bigfoot

Of course, if your statue of Sasquatch proves a draw on Discovery Channel's Finding Bigfoot, don't be surprised. Of course, there's probably enough evidence that Bigfoot probably doesn't exist in the first place.

Of course, if your statue of Sasquatch proves a draw on Discovery Channel’s Finding Bigfoot, don’t be surprised. Of course, there’s probably enough evidence that Bigfoot probably doesn’t exist in the first place.

 

18. Of course, nothing brings the spirit of summer than a black statue eating watermelon.

Blackface depiction of black people is considered racist in the United States. And seeing them with watermelon just adds further insult to injury that would make the NAACP shriek in horror. Once again, sorry NAACP, but I can’t see how anyone not racist would want to buy this.

 

19. Of course, here’s a Mexican figure with his burro.

The fact this statue is placed near a metal linked fence is rather suggestive of another negative stereotype on Mexicans, especially in this day in age. Sometimes placement is everything.

The fact this statue is placed near a metal linked fence is rather suggestive of another negative stereotype on Mexicans, especially in this day in age. Sometimes placement is everything.

 

20. For those who don’t know what to do with their old toilet, how about retrofit it into a new planter in your garden.

Excuse me, but we need to admit that toilets make aesthetically tacky planters for your garden. Seriously, even this owner knows this and even adds on to it.

Excuse me, but we need to admit that toilets make aesthetically tacky planters for your garden. Seriously, even this owner knows this and even adds on to it.

 

21. Nothing brings in the baseball season like a Mexican guy with a baseball.

And how do I know he's Mexican? Well, he has a sombrero and a bandanna around his neck. Then again, baseball is a popular sport among the Latino and Latin American community. However, the most negative stereotypical thing about this is that it makes the mistaken assumption is that all Hispanics in the US are Mexicans.

And how do I know he’s Mexican? Well, he has a sombrero and a bandanna around his neck. Then again, baseball is a popular sport among the Latino and Latin American community. However, the most negative stereotypical thing about this is that it makes the mistaken assumption is that all Hispanics in the US are Mexicans.

 

22. Here’s a gnome showing the world where the sun don’t shine.

Of course, this lawn ornament makes an addition to the long series of Gnomes behaving badly. Also, if I saw any guy with a white beard, there's no way in hell I'd want to see what his backside looks like and gnomes are no exception.

Of course, this lawn ornament makes an addition to the long series of Gnomes behaving badly. Also, if I saw any guy with a white beard, there’s no way in hell I’d want to see what his backside looks like and gnomes are no exception.

 

23. Nothing makes a more idyllic lawn ornament than a free standing deer.

Now I have neighbors who have free standing deer like this but they aren't really used for decoration. In fact, they're used for target practice for hunting season. Also, if there are deer around during mating season, there's a chance they may mistake this ornament for the real thing.

Now I have neighbors who have free standing deer like this but they aren’t really used for decoration. In fact, they’re used for target practice for hunting season. Also, if there are deer around during mating season, there’s a chance they may mistake this ornament for the real thing.

 

24. Now here’s a great garden statue that shows the spirit of togetherness.

Is it just me or does this statue seem to depict something very, very dirty? If so, then I suggest you don't get this if you live in a neighborhood with children. Else their parents would get very angry with you.

Is it just me or does this statue seem to depict something very, very dirty? If so, then I suggest you don’t get this if you live in a neighborhood with children. Else their parents would get very angry with you.

 

25. Who could think that a stature with a head and legs could be this so adorable?

Actually I think this lawn sculpture is kind of terrifying, especially with the smirky smile on its face. Please, kill it! Kill it with fire for God's sake!

Actually I think this lawn sculpture is kind of terrifying, especially with the smirky smile on its face. Please, kill it! Kill it with fire for God’s sake!

 

26. For the art lovers, here is a statue of the Venus de Milo in funky colors.

I know the Ancient Greeks and Romans used to paint their statues but somehow this Venus de Milo rendition seems rather tacky to me. Perhaps I'm not familiar with her being painted like she's fresh from some makeover gone bad at the beauty salon. That is, assuming the salon is accommodating to people with no arms and takes people who don't have a shirt on.

I know the Ancient Greeks and Romans used to paint their statues but somehow this Venus de Milo rendition seems rather tacky to me. Perhaps I’m not familiar with her being painted like she’s fresh from some makeover gone bad at the beauty salon. That is, assuming the salon is accommodating to people with no arms and takes people who don’t have a shirt on.

 

27. If you want to keep those pesky kids off your lawn, here’s a giant metal dragon to scare them.

Yet, let it be known that this lawn statue isn't going to help you get along with the neighbors or receive an invitation to the neighborhood cookout. In fact, this may make your neighbors afraid of you.

Yet, let it be known that this lawn statue isn’t going to help you get along with the neighbors or receive an invitation to the neighborhood cookout. In fact, this may make your neighbors afraid of you.

 

28. Of course, even gnomes sometimes have to relieve themselves.

Of course, gnomes don't use toilets so it's not unlike them to squat down, take their pants down, and answer the call of nature right on the spot.

Of course, gnomes don’t use toilets so it’s not unlike them to squat down, take their pants down, and answer the call of nature right on the spot.

 

29. Now sometimes there are gnomes who may resort to certain ways of deviance.

So we shouldn't be upset when we see gnomes flashing their erect penises, trying to take down people with machine guns, and pole dancing.

So we shouldn’t be upset when we see gnomes flashing their erect penises, trying to take down people with machine guns, and pole dancing.

 

30. Wow your neighbors with this handy little UFO display in front of your house.

Yet, understand that having such displays in your front lawn, may draw a lot of UFO conspiracy theorists in your neighborhood. And let me say, you may see them as weirdos.

Yet, understand that having such displays in your front lawn, may draw a lot of UFO conspiracy theorists in your neighborhood. And let me say, you may see them as weirdos.

 

31. Nothing enhances the quality of your lawn like a creature peeping from a manhole.

Actually that's pretty creepy, especially for those who fix pipes underground. Also, kind of insulting to utility workers for some reason.

Actually that’s pretty creepy, especially for those who fix pipes underground. Also, kind of insulting to utility workers for some reason.

 

32. Oh, look a talking rock.

Now if I saw a rock with teeth like that, I would be more than slightly disturbed. This is a rather terrifying lawn ornament if you know what I mean.

Now if I saw a rock with teeth like that, I would be more than slightly disturbed. This is a rather terrifying lawn ornament if you know what I mean.

 

33. Of course, who could forget the traditional lawn jockey?

When it comes to racist lawn ornaments, none comes in greater notoriety than the infamous lawn jockey ornament. Again, sorry NAACP, but in a post of utterly tacky lawn ornaments, there's no way I couldn't avoid posting this.

When it comes to racist lawn ornaments, none comes in greater notoriety than the infamous lawn jockey ornament. Again, sorry NAACP, but in a post of utterly tacky lawn ornaments, there’s no way I couldn’t avoid posting this.

 

34. Of course, with a statue like this, you’ll always have a full moon.

Of course, I'm sure the neighbors would sure view you as an upstanding role model for displaying a statue showing utter disrespect. Note how my prose reflects utter sarcasm in reference to this.

Of course, I’m sure the neighbors would sure view you as an upstanding role model for displaying a statue showing utter disrespect. Note how my prose reflects utter sarcasm in reference to this.

 

35. Now introducing the one, the only, his majesty the King, Elvis frog.

Yes, you heard me, Elvis Frog. He's the one who brought you hits like, "That's All Ribbit," "Heartbreak Swamp," "Hound Fly," "Bossa Nova Tadpole," and "Jailswamp Rock."

Yes, you heard me, Elvis Frog. He’s the one who brought you hits like, “That’s All Ribbit,” “Heartbreak Swamp,” “Hound Fly,” “Bossa Nova Tadpole,” and “Jailswamp Rock.”

 

36. I don’t what I if you don’t decorate with some moai.

Of course, this may seem like a fun decoration at first. But take note that erecting the original Easter Island Statues would soon lead to all the island's trees being cut down and mass starvation and decline of a Polynesian people. Kind of depressing isn't it?

Of course, this may seem like a fun decoration at first. But take note that erecting the original Easter Island Statues would soon lead to all the island’s trees being cut down and mass starvation and decline of a Polynesian people. Kind of depressing isn’t it?

 

37. Of course, who wouldn’t want a garden ornament of a dog doing his business?

Hey, at least unlike the real thing, it doesn't leave a special present behind so you don't have to clean up after it. Kind of says a lot compared to having a real dog except that it would be incapable of showing any affection whatsoever.

Hey, at least unlike the real thing, it doesn’t leave a special present behind so you don’t have to clean up after it. Kind of says a lot compared to having a real dog except that it would be incapable of showing any affection whatsoever.

 

38. Just a naked statue minding its own business.

Of course, why such a statue would want to frolick around while exposing itself, I don't have the slightest idea. Also I don't understand why people would want to put naked statues in their gardens in the first place. Then again, there may be a few I can't name.

Of course, why such a statue would want to frolick around while exposing itself, I don’t have the slightest idea. Also I don’t understand why people would want to put naked statues in their gardens in the first place. Then again, there may be a few I can’t name.

 

39. What better way to improve your lawn than to have it resemble a scene from a car accident.

Seriously, why would anyone think that having a lawn ornament like this would be a good idea? Seems more like someone would call 911 over a scene like this it weren’t for the lack of fire, smoke, and people in serious need for medical attention or reduced to dead mutilated corpses. Honestly, car accidents aren’t funny things at all.

 

40. No lawn ornament like this says that the family who gets boob jobs together stays together.

Seriously, what's with these little girls having such big boobs? This is highly disturbing because normally little girls don't have breasts. And if they do, there's something seriously wrong with them.

Seriously, what’s with these little girls having such big boobs? This is highly disturbing because normally little girls don’t have breasts. And if they do, there’s something seriously wrong with them.

 

41. What better way to have a bonfire than in a fire pit with forest decorations.

Of course, anyone with a fire pit like this isn't going to make friends with Smokey the Bear, Bambi, or anyone living in an area notorious for wildfires. Seriously, forest fires aren't nice things.

Of course, anyone with a fire pit like this isn’t going to make friends with Smokey the Bear, Bambi, or anyone living in an area notorious for wildfires. Seriously, forest fires aren’t nice things.

 

42. Nothing like a bath in dirt and chains.

Seriously, who thought that such design would make a good lawn ornament? I mean it's something you'd more likely read about in 50 Shades of Grey than something you'd want to see in your garden.

Seriously, who thought that such design would make a good lawn ornament? I mean it’s something you’d more likely read about in 50 Shades of Grey than something you’d want to see in your garden.

 

43. Of course, to those who like to see attractive women mowing your lawn.

I guess she wasn't hired for her mowing efficiency judging by her choice with using a push mower. Of course, if Hugh Hefner worked in Cub Cadet's marketing department, such ads would look like this.

I guess she wasn’t hired for her mowing efficiency judging by her choice with using a push mower. Of course, if Hugh Hefner worked in Cub Cadet’s marketing department, such ads would look like this.

 

44. See the world burn with this globe outdoor fire pit.

Whoever designed this doesn't seem to have a great outlook on life. I mean who wants to see our planet in a hell fire blaze. It's disturbing.

Whoever designed this doesn’t seem to have a great outlook on life. I mean who wants to see our planet in a hell fire blaze. It’s disturbing.

 

45. No flamingo could shimmer in the sun like one decked in rhinestones.

Now flamingo lawn decorations are tacky enough but a rhinestone flamingo? Well, that takes tackiness to a whole new level.

Now flamingo lawn decorations are tacky enough but a rhinestone flamingo? Well, that takes tackiness to a whole new level.

 

46. Nothing graces a lawn better than a statue of a scantily clad woman draping with flowers.

Who in their right mind would erect such a tacky lawn ornament like this? I mean this will either distract onlooking drivers or neighbors, or lead to some questioning your taste in decorating decency.

Who in their right mind would erect such a tacky lawn ornament like this? I mean this will either distract onlooking drivers or neighbors, or lead to some questioning your taste in decorating decency. Some would just be disappointed she isn’t real.

 

47. Grace your lawn and garden with a one of a kind Lady Gaga statue.

Sure this statue may give neighbors an idea that you're a big fan of hers. But, honestly, I don't think Lady Gaga herself would have this in her own garden. Seriously, a Lady Gaga lawn ornament?

Sure this statue may give neighbors an idea that you’re a big fan of hers. But, honestly, I don’t think Lady Gaga herself would have this in her own garden. Seriously, a Lady Gaga lawn ornament?

 

48. Of course, you can’t do without an outhouse.

Now using an outhouse as a lawn decoration isn't going to make your lawn more aesthetically pleasing. Especially if it has a moon on the door.

Now using an outhouse as a lawn decoration isn’t going to make your lawn more aesthetically pleasing. Especially if it has a moon on the door.

 

49. What better way to show your patriotism than to have a lawn statue of a giant big cat with an American flag.

Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to introduce the Pink Panther's (from the cartoon not the movie) little known American cousin. Of course, you wouldn't know him since he's considered an embarrassment.

Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to introduce the Pink Panther’s (from the cartoon not the movie) little known American cousin. Of course, you wouldn’t know him since he’s considered an embarrassment.

 

50. Nothing secures your lawn better than a tank lawn ornament.

Warning: despite supposed coolness and potential for frightening the neighbors, it doesn't actually work. If it did, it would've been considered an illegal weapon.

Warning: despite supposed coolness and potential for frightening the neighbors, it doesn’t actually work. If it did, it would’ve been considered an illegal weapon.

 

51. What better lawn ornament to have than one with a woman’s feet sticking out of the ground.

I'm sure that no one is going to think that some serial killer is on the loose in your area with that in your yard. Yet, this doesn't mean I'm exactly positive.

I’m sure that no one is going to think that some serial killer is on the loose in your area with that in your yard. Yet, this doesn’t mean I’m exactly positive.

 

52. Shark! From the ground!

Now a shark in the ocean could scare the bejesus out of a crowd of people at the beach. Lawn sharks, well, no one is safe from them.

Now a shark in the ocean could scare the bejesus out of a crowd of people at the beach. Lawn sharks, well, no one is safe from them.

 

53. Behold, a lawn ornament of a Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Not recommended for those who got quesy during Jurassic Park or for any neighbors who may have had upset stomachs for viewing that movie.

Not recommended for those who got queasy during Jurassic Park or for any neighbors who may have had upset stomachs for viewing that movie.

 

54. Oh, my God, it’s a giant praying mantis!

Now let's just say that any lawn ornament resembling a giant insect is going to scare people and a praying mantis is no exception. I mean while some people may be afraid of insects at their regular size, no one wants to run into a bug that's as big as them.

Now let’s just say that any lawn ornament resembling a giant insect is going to scare people and a praying mantis is no exception. I mean while some people may be afraid of insects at their regular size, no one wants to run into a bug that’s as big as them.

 

55. Scare the gnomes away with a Super Mario Piranha Plant lawn ornament.

I'm sure the carrot is looking none too pleased at the moment. Yet, this should scare some bugs away for awhile anyway.

I’m sure the carrot is looking none too pleased at the moment. Yet, this should scare some bugs away for awhile anyway.

 

56. Behold, the flower pot man on his tricycle.

Seriously, this is kind of terrifying for gardeners if you know what I mean. I mean there's no way a flower pot person is harmless in some capacity.

Seriously, this is kind of terrifying for gardeners if you know what I mean. I mean there’s no way a flower pot person is harmless in some capacity.

 

57. Of course, what tacky garden wouldn’t be without the cutouts of people bending over.

Can't do a post on tacky lawn ornaments without leading such lawn decorations out. I mean why would anyone want these.

Can’t do a post on tacky lawn ornaments without leading such lawn decorations out. I mean why would anyone want these? I mean they seem to be in poor aesthetic taste and crude humor.

 

58. Bring in the spirit of Mother Goose with this Humpty Dumpty lawn decoration.

Due to the fact Humpty Dumpty makes a creepy lawn ornament, there's a reason why many children wouldn't feel bad about him taking his great fall in the nursery rhyme.

Due to the fact Humpty Dumpty makes a creepy lawn ornament, there’s a reason why many children wouldn’t feel bad about him taking his great fall in the nursery rhyme.

 

59. Grace your lawn with this zombie lawn ornament you’d find in any mail order catalog.

For a zombie garden sculpture, this looks astonishingly lifelike that it's kind of creepy. In a kitcshy sort of way that is.

For a zombie garden sculpture, this looks astonishingly lifelike that it’s kind of creepy. In a kitcshy sort of way that is. Still, would make a great Halloween decoration to freak out the neighbors.

 

60. Unfortunately zombie gnomes aren’t so friendly to lawn flamingos.

Granted, since the gnomes seem to find this animal particularly delicious for some reason. Still, pretty funny if you know what I mean.

Granted, since the gnomes seem to find this animal particularly delicious for some reason. Still, pretty funny if you know what I mean.

Celtic Mythology Reexamined: Figures from Arthurian Legend

Camelot_Avalon_Empowerment

Sorry, but the figures you won’t find in this post are Sir Robin, the fighting obsessed Black Knight, the women of Castle Anthrax, the Knights of Ni, Brother Maynard, Prince Herbert, Tim the Enchanter, the Killer Rabbit and the Monster of Aaaargh. King Arthur: “On second thought, let’s not go to Camelot. It’s a silly place.”

While Celtic mythology is rather influential in itself though you may not realize it with many popular legends and figures. Unfortunately, it’s very hard to sort out since Celts were largely spread out in Western Europe, had no writing system, and a lot were conquered and assimilated rather early (like before Jesus) so much of their legends didn’t survive save maybe those coming from Ireland or the British Isles. Not to mention, the fact that most of what we know in Celtic mythology was written down during the Middle Ages when most of Europe was Christian, which can muddle a few things as well as lots of characters with names hard to pronounce. Don’t get me wrong but there’s a reason why I’m doing a post on Celtic gods or goddesses. Nevertheless, one of the more popular stories revolves around a man named King Arthur with his Knights of the Round Table in Camelot, the renown wizard Merlin, his wife Guinevere, and so many others. Though we’re not sure whether Arthur was a real historical figure (if so then a Romano-British general of some outpost who fought against the Saxons) or a mythological king, these legends (though Christianized) enjoyed a lot of popularity in Medieval Europe (as well as up to today in fact) particularly in England where he’s been seen as a national figure (though the earliest stories came from Wales and Cornwall in the 5th century. Also, these stories have been very popular in France.). Nevertheless, these legends aren’t known for their consistency. So without further adieu, here are an assortment of figures from the Arthurian Legends.

1. King Arthur

King Arthur receiving Excalibur from the Lady of the Lake after the Sword in the Stone is broken. Known for glowing brightly as well as having an insanely sharp edge. Scabbard is said to stop the wearer from bleeding. It's said that who wielded Excalibur could never be defeated in battle, though this isn't set in stone.

King Arthur receiving Excalibur from the Lady of the Lake after the Sword in the Stone is broken. Known for glowing brightly as well as having an insanely sharp edge. Scabbard is said to stop the wearer from bleeding. It’s said that who wielded Excalibur could never be defeated in battle, though this isn’t set in stone.

You know him as: The perfect warrior king who ruled Great Britain during a Golden Age with Merlin at his side but fell to treachery and now sleeps, waiting for his land’s hour of need (or else has succumbed to his wounds after the Battle of Camlann). He’s a legendary and somewhat tragic figure who tries to overcome the land’s chaos and the notion of “might makes right” through noble chivalry but is ultimately undone. Son of Uther Pendragon and Igraine who was married to Duke Gorlois of Cornwall at the time her famous son was conceived through a rape by deception (assisted by Merlin no less, though Uther and Igraine got married before he was born but poor Gorlois {who got killed}, according to Geoffrey of Monmouth). Raised by Merlin (or Sir Ector depending on the version). Became king when he pulled the Sword in the Stone (which may not have been Excalibur depending on version. If not, then he received it as a gift from the Lady of the Lake after the Sword in the Stone breaks). United Britain, set up a Round Table with his Knights, drives off the Saxons, and reigns as a beloved king in an age of chivalry. Should’ve paid more attention to Guinevere if you know what I mean.

What you don’t know about him: Though always a warrior hero, he wasn’t always the clean-cut king we all know and love. In earlier traditions he was quite lustful, jealous, prideful, and greedy. He could be seen quarreling with churchmen, trying to steal Tristan’s pigs, killing a rival over a woman, and fathering several sons, none of them by Guinevere. Oh, and in the earlier legends, he was more of a warrior than king doing his own grunt work half the time as well as becomes king only because he’s the only guy to stall the Saxon invasion. Oh, and when he has Guinevere burned at the stake, he’s not conflicted about it at all in the original rendition. Yet, at least the early legends didn’t have him trying drown all the Mayday babies after finding out he knocked up his sister.

Earliest Mention: First surviving reference from Welsh and Breton sources at around 600 A. D. In the earlier stories, he’s only an allied commander and war hero and commander of lower birth who won a lot of battles against the Saxons in the 7th century Historia Brittonum (which has the first description of Arthur’s career.) He’s also said to have a dog named Cabal and kill his own son Amr.

2. Merlin

Merlin is perhaps the inspiration of the old wizard archetype that has taken the form of Albus Dumbledore and Gandalf the Gray. Yet, this doesn't mean that Merlin is wholly good since his portrayal is rather dependent on the writer who could cast him as a hero, anti-hero, or villain.

Merlin is perhaps the inspiration of the old wizard archetype that has taken the form of Albus Dumbledore and Gandalf the Gray. Yet, this doesn’t mean that Merlin is wholly good since his portrayal is rather dependent on the writer who could cast him as a hero, anti-hero, or villain.

You know him as: King Arthur’s wizard mentor who may have raised him (except in the stories in which Sir Ector does then Merlin is just the honorary uncle who leaves him at Sir Ector’s doorstep). In most versions, he’s the son of mortal nun raped by a demon explaining why he has magic powers he could only use for good and was said to be one of the last shape-changers during his childhood. Through magic and intrigue he’s responsible for King Arthur’s existence and rise to glory as well as many other events in Arthurian legend. Had a tendency to teach magic to younger women and his relationship with Nimue led to her betraying him and binding him to a tree, rock, or cave (depending on version).

What you don’t know about him: Though his mom is almost always a mortal woman, his dad’s identity varies through legend. Sometimes he’s a demon and in others he could be a fairy, deity, Satan, or nobody. Still, his actions could be highly questionable such as helping Uther to disguise himself as Gorlois so he could father Arthur with Igraine, snatching Arthur away and having someone else raise him, as well arranging the Sword in the Stone test so events would happen as prophesied. Not telling Arthur who his parents were caused many rebellions during the latter’s early reign, as well as Arthur knocking up his sister, and the May Day massacre.

Earliest Mention: Merlin as we know him appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia Regum Britannae written around 1136 and was based on an amalgamation of previous historical and mythical figures. Geoffrey originally based his version on eccentric mystic Myrddin Wyllt and Romano-British war leader, Ambrosius Aurelianus. Referred as Merlin Ambrosius  by Geoffrey of Monmouth for this reason.

3. Queen Guinevere

Guinevere has been portrayed as everything from a weak and opportunistic traitor to a fatally flawed but noble and virtuous gentlewoman. She could be praised for her friendliness, intelligence, and gentility or depicted as a vindictive adultress disliked by well-bred knights. Sometimes she's portrayed inauspiciously or hardly at all.

Guinevere has been portrayed as everything from a weak and opportunistic traitor to a fatally flawed but noble and virtuous gentlewoman. She could be praised for her friendliness, intelligence, and gentility or depicted as a vindictive adultress disliked by well-bred knights. Sometimes she’s portrayed inauspiciously or hardly at all.

You know her as: King Arthur’s wife and consort as well as best known for dooming her husband’s kingdom by having an affair with Sir Lancelot (well, the later legends anyway). Daughter of King Leodegrance (in the non-Welsh medieval romance), she was known for her great beauty and intelligence. After her affair with Sir Lancelot was exposed, Arthur condemned her to burn at the stake though Lancelot eventually rescued her anyway which sent Arthur into a rage and pressure the king to confront the knight. While Arthur is in France, Mordred prepares to take over and marry her himself. Her fate after this depends according to version (either she assented, ran away to hide in the Tower of London, or spent the rest of her life in a convent.) After Camlann, she meets Lancelot one last time before returning to the convent to spend the rest of her life. She also had famous abduction story where she’s kidnapped by the king of the “Summer Country” and King Arthur had to spend a year to find her and are finally reunited by Saint Gildas (in one of the earlier renditions. In a later rendition, she’s rescued by Lancelot and their affair begins from here.)

What you don’t know about her: In the earlier Welsh legends, King Arthur is married to three Guineveres (or she just has 3 different dads) and her family composition varies by version. In early Welsh variants, she has a sister Gwenhwyfach and it’s their contention that led to the Battle of Camlann. In the stories where she’s the daughter of King Leodegrance, she has an evil identical half-sister with the same name who tries to get rid of her and ruin her life but was stopped thanks to the Pope. Though childless in most stories, one has her bearing two sons to Mordred and she sometimes takes up with him, too in some variants as well.  In Geoffrey of Monmouth’s account, she’s a beautiful educated Romano-British noblewoman in stories prior to the 13th century, she’s badass warrior and magic-user.

Earliest Mention: Earliest mention of her as King Arthur’s queen is in the Welsh tale Culhwch ac Olwen written in the early 1100s, but little more is said about her. Also, her name has a lot of spelling variations.

4. Sir Lancelot

Sir Lancelot may have been a latecomer in the Arthurian mythos but he quickly became very popular afterwards. In the later romances he's a main focus.

Sir Lancelot may have been a latecomer in the Arthurian mythos but he quickly became very popular afterwards. In the later romances he’s a main focus. Also, Guinevere isn’t the only woman he’s linked with in the legends.

You know him as: He’s probably the Knight of the Round Table you’re most familiar with and is seen as King Arthur’s greatest champion whose affair with Queen Guinevere brings Camelot’s downfall. Seen as the bravest knight, sometimes uniquely perfect in every way save his relationships with women as well as buddies with almost all the knights. Son of King Ban and Queen Elaine by was raised by the Lady of the Lake. Father of Sir Galahad with Elaine of Corbenic who had him sleep with her by tricking him into thinking she was Guinevere (though it’s said they were married for ten years after that.) Went on the Holy Grail quest to atone for his sins but he forgot everything about purity and all that as well as resumes his affair with Guinevere. When found out, he escaped before King Arthur could confront him but he rescues Guinevere from the stake. They meet one last time after Arthur’s death before he spends the rest of his life as a priest by her death.

What you don’t know about him: While known to go on a homicidal rampage in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, it’s worth remembering that he was mentally unstable prone to slaughtering innocents at no provocation, only to collapse in abject apologies afterward in the Sir Thomas Malory rendition (this is exactly how Monty Python depicted him though they depict him as rather sexually ambiguous.) Also had the habit of wandering into the other knights’ pavilions and making himself at home. Not to mention, he’s actually a relative latecomer as a Knight of the Round Table he joins long after it’s assembled.

Earliest Mention: Introduced in the 12th century by French writer Chretien de Troyes in Erec and Enide. First appearance as a main character was in Le Chevelier de la Charette (or “Lancelot, Knight of the Cart”). His patron was one of Queen Eleanor of Acquitaine’s daughters who may have ordered de Troyes to add Lancelot’s infamous affair with Guinevere. Thus, it’s possible the entire crux of a huge portion of the Arthurian Romances was the result of a lady wanting to turn an adventure story into a medieval equivalent of a Harlequin Romance novel.

5. Sir Gawain

Sir Gawain was King Arthur's nephew and original champion. He's known for his unparallelled courteousness and his way with women. His symbol is a gold pentangle on a red background (at least from the Green Knight legend).

Sir Gawain was King Arthur’s nephew and original champion. He’s known for his unparallelled courteousness and his way with women. His symbol is a gold pentangle on a red background (at least from the Green Knight legend).

You know him as: Knight of the Round Table and King Arthur’s nephew. Son of Morgause and King Lot of Lothain and Orkney, he is the best known of the Orkney brothers (depending on whether you accept Mordred as one of them.) Before Sir Lancelot, he was King Arthur’s greatest champion. He’s often seen as formidable, courteous, and compassionate warrior who’s loyal to his king and family. He’s a friend to young knights, defender of the poor, and defender of women as “The Maiden’s Knight.” Some legends have the sun as his source of strength and is said to be a great healer through his knowledge of herbs. Best known stories of him are his struggles with the Green Knight and his wedding to Dame Ragnell (an early prot0-feminist tale. Yet, he’s been romantically linked to other women in legends particularly Lady Bertilak from the Green Knight legend. He’s also credited with fathering at least 3 kids.)  Accompanied King Arthur on the quest for the Holy Grail yet, is buddies with Sir Percival, and  feuded with Sir Lancelot after the latter killed a few of his brothers (save Mordred.) Dies in an attempt to prevent Mordred’s usurpation.

What you don’t know about him: In the earlier legends, it’s implied that he’s King Arthur’s second-in-command as well as the true and rightful heir to his uncle’s throne. Of course, he was later struck down by Mordred’s forces. The French legends about him weren’t as glowing about him and depict him as a proud and worldly knight demonstrating through his failures the danger of neglecting the spirit for futile gifts of the material world. On the Post-Vulgate Grail Quest, he always has the purest intentions but can’t see God’s grace to notice the error in his ways.

Earliest Mention: He’s been mentioned in some of the earliest Welsh Arthurian sources under the name Gwalchmei who was seen as a traditional Welsh hero.

6. Sir Percival

There are many versions of Sir Percival's birth and family. His father may be Alain de Gros, King Pellinore, or another worthy knight. If Pellinore, then his brothers are Sir Agovale, Sir Lamorak, Sir Dornar, and Sir Tor. Guess there's a reason why his mom didn't want him to be a knight.

There are many versions of Sir Percival’s birth and family. His father may be Alain de Gros, King Pellinore, or another worthy knight. If Pellinore, then his brothers are Sir Agovale, Sir Lamorak, Sir Dornar, and Sir Tor. Guess there’s a reason why his mom didn’t want him to be a knight.

You know him as: Knight of the Round Table and known as “the Best Knight of the World.” Said to be the youngest of King Arthur’s knights as well as rather naive with few social skills since his mom raised him in the Welsh forests ignorant of the ways of men until he was 15 (then he went to join the Round Table through beating Sir Kay.) Still, in a lot of stories, he’s either a virgin or has very little experience with women, which is okay since he’s a teenager. Yet, don’t attack anyone unarmed in front of him or he will beat you up as Sir Kay learned the hard way. In some stories he has a sword that could cut through anything and would never break except in the toughest battle of his life. Best known for his involvement in the Holy Grail quest in which he meets the Fisher King but fails to answer a question to heal him, resists a beautiful enchantress, and was one of the two knights who accompanied Sir Galahad at the Grail castle.

What you don’t know about him: In earlier Grail narratives, he’s the hero while Galahad takes over in the later legends. Also, while he has a girlfriend in the earlier works, he’s certainly sexually inexperienced in the later versions and almost certainly stays that way since he becomes a monk. In some tales, he’s best friends with Sir Gawain (who’s sometimes his cousin) and in one legend even chooses to share a curse Gawain brought upon himself. His willingness to save his friend’s life by splitting the curse in half though they each get wounded badly.

Earliest Mention: He’s a difficult case. While he first appears under his regular name during the 1100s in Chrietien de Troyes’ le Conte du Graal (“Perceval, the Story of the Grail”), there is a similar character named Peredur in the Welsh legends but to what extent de Troyes adapted such stories into his work is a matter of debate.

7. Sir Galahad

Sir Galahad is one of the more familiar Knights of the Round Table but he's one of the most recent and least interesting. Rather he's seen as "the world's greatest knight." Then again, his character may have been inspired by the practices of the Cistercian Order founded by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux.

Sir Galahad is one of the more familiar Knights of the Round Table but he’s one of the most recent and least interesting. Rather he’s seen as “the world’s greatest knight.” Then again, his character may have been inspired by the practices of the Cistercian Order founded by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux.

You know him as: Knight of the Round Table and hero of the Holy Grail legend. Though an illegitimate son (conceived through rape of deception) of Sir Lancelot and Elaine of Corbenic, he is known for his gallantry and purity. Upon reaching adulthood, he’s knighted by his dad and joins the Round Table after being the only person to survive the Siege Perilous and pulling a sword out of a rock. During the Grail Quest, he smites his enemies, saves Sir Percival from 20 knights, rescues damsels in distress, and what not. After receiving the Grail, he is taken up to Heaven and never to be seen again.

What you don’t know about him: He was actually named after his dad Sir Lancelot (who’s name was originally Galahad before changing it). Also, despite being one of the best known Knights of the Round Table, he doesn’t really do much except go on a quest for the Holy Grail which was what he was pretty much chosen for.

Earliest Mention: He’s a latecomer in Arthurian legend with his first appearance being in the 13th century French Lancelot-Grail cycle. Most of what he does in the Holy Grail quest, Sir Percival does in earlier versions.

8. Sir Kay

Though known for his bad mouth as well as bullying and boorish behavior, Sir Kay appeared in some of the earliest Arthurian legends as one of King Arthur's premier knights. Later legends have him as a jerk to get the crap beat out of him.

Though known for his bad mouth as well as bullying and boorish behavior, Sir Kay appeared in some of the earliest Arthurian legends as one of King Arthur’s premier knights. Later legends have him as a jerk to get the crap beat out of him.

You know him as: As son of Sir Ector, he’s King Arthur’s foster brother, seneschal, as well as one of the first Knights of the Round Table. Though a loyal and capable knight, he tends to manipulate the king to get his way and prior to the Sword of the Stone story (the story he’s best known in), Arthur was his squire at a tournament who only pulled the sword out because he couldn’t get the new knight’s sword due to being locked out of the house. Sure he tries to claim he pulled the sword but later relents it was Arthur. He’s also kind of a hothead with a fiery temper and sometimes could be bit of a bully who mainly serves either as a foil or to get the crap beat out of him by the new knight.

What you don’t know about him: While he’s not seen in a great light in the best known Arthurian legends, the Welsh legends have him as a really badass knight capable of magical powers like growing giant size, generating so much body heat he could keep dry in the rain, holding his breath underwater for 9 days as well as going without sleep the same amount of time. Also, it’s said that if no wounds could be healed from his sword.

Earliest Mention: He’s one of the earliest characters in Arthurian legend from the original Welsh tales.

9. Sir Bedivere

Sir Bedivere returning Excalibur to the Lady of the Lake. Though a prominent figure in the early Arthurian Mythos, this is what he's most remembered for. Well, that and trying women for witchcraft by weighing them against ducks.

Sir Bedivere returning Excalibur to the Lady of the Lake. Though a prominent figure in the early Arthurian Mythos, this is what he’s most remembered for. Well, that and trying women for witchcraft by weighing them against ducks.

You know him as: Early Knight of the Round Table and King Arthur’s marshal (or cup-bearer in later versions.) In the Arthurian mythos, he’s best known for being the only Round Table Knight to survive the Battle of Camlann and throws Excalibur back to the Lady of the Lake at the mortally wounded King Arthur’s request.  In pop culture, he’s best known for condemning a woman to death for witchcraft by weighing her against against a duck since he believes she’s made out of wood in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

What you don’t know about him: In older Welsh legends, he’s the handsome one handed knight with a four pronged spear and was known for using dark magic against his foes with great skill and aggression to the townspeople’s chagrin. He’s also said to be the best looking knight in Britain.

Earliest Mention: He’s one of the oldest characters in Arthurian legend from the original Welsh tales.

10. Sir Mordred

Sir Mordred once a capable knight only to become traitor when discovering he was a product of incest. In the Welsh sources, he's only King Arthur's nephew and in the earliest sources, they're not related at all.

Sir Mordred who was once a capable knight only to become traitor when discovering he was a product of incest. In the Welsh sources, he’s only King Arthur’s nephew and in the earliest sources, they’re not related at all.

You know him as: Knight of the Round Table and notorious traitor who fought King Arthur at the Battle of Camlann where that claimed both their lives (or at least his if you accept the King Arthur in sleep narrative). He’s popularly seen as King Arthur’s illegitimate son by his half-sister Morgause (if not, then Morgan Le Fay). At first, he’s a loyal and competent knight until he finds out about his real father. Let’s just say it’s goes downhill from there. Though two of his half-brothers expose Guinevere’s affair with Sir Lancelot, he nevertheless exploits it when King Arthur leaves him in charge of the kingdom so he could fight the guy who slept with his wife. Once his uncle dad is gone, he officially has himself declared king. Camlann is fought when King Arthur returns.

What you don’t know about him: In the Welsh legends, he’s only King Arthur’s nephew (if related at all) and foster son as well as was legitimately conceived between Morgause and her husband. In stories where he takes over the kingdom while King Arthur is away, he marries (or at least tries to marry) Guinevere though she didn’t have much choice in the matter. In stories he doesn’t, he’s married to Queen Guinevere’s sister Gwenhwyfach (making him King Arthur’s brother-in-law) and his inevitable confrontation with King Arthur at Camlann was due to a spat between their wives.

Earliest Mention: The first surviving mention of him is in the 10th century Annales Cambriae where he’s listed as Merdaut. All it says is that him and Arthur died at Camlann but it’s never certain whether they killed each other or were on opposite sides. He first plays role of traitor on Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia Regum Britannae.

11. Sir Palomides

Sir Palomides may be the most famous Non-European Knight of the Round Table, but he has such rotten luck. Not only did he fall in love with a girl who had the hots for his best friend, but in some stories, he's killed after the Grail Quest for killing that woman's husband.

Sir Palomides may be the most famous Non-European Knight of the Round Table, but he has such rotten luck. Not only did he fall in love with a girl who had the hots for his best friend, but in some stories, he’s killed after the Grail Quest for killing that woman’s husband.

You know him as: Knight of the Round Table from the Middle East along with his brothers Segwarides and Safir. Originally a pagan prince of Esclabor before converting to Christianity (in some versions during the Grail Quest). While best friends with Sir Tristan, he sort of resents him when they both fall in love with Iseult the Fair, though he doesn’t want that to t ruin their relationship (also, because he lost a joust with Sir Tristan that determined which one called dibs). Best known for taking over King Pellinore’s hunt for the Questing Beast which proved to be just as fruitless as the hope of having a relationship with Iseult the Fair (though Sir Thomas Malory has him finally slay the beast after his conversion to Christianity which releases him from worldly entanglements).

What you don’t know about him: His fate differs according to version. In Sir Thomas Malory’s tale, he sides with Sir Lancelot after the latter’s affair with Queen Guinevere is exposed and is made a Duke of Provence. In the Post-Vulgate version, Sir Gawain kills him after the Holy Grail Quest since he killed King Mark of Cornwall for slaying Sir Tristan.

Earliest Mention: First appears in the 13th century Prose Tristan an expansion of the Tristan and Isolde story.

12. Sir Ywain

Sure Sir Ywain may have killed a supernatural fountain guardian who beat up his cousin and later married the guy's widow. But he at least has a cool lion despite that he's the Round Table Knight you probably never heard of.

Sure Sir Ywain may have killed a supernatural fountain guardian who beat up his cousin and later married the guy’s widow. But he at least has a cool lion despite that he’s the Round Table Knight you probably never heard of.

You know him as: Knight of the Round Table and son of King Urien (sometimes with Morgan Le Fay, which makes him King Arthur’s nephew). Best known for rescuing a lion from a serpent who proves to be a loyal companion and symbol of knightly virtue. As for him, not so much since he ended up killing a guardian of a supernatural storm-causing fountain because the guy beat up his cousin. Not to mention, he also marries the guy’s widow Laudine who later dumps him after Sir Gawain tempts him into another adventure (they make up thanks to the lion helping him to shape up after he’s basically devastated by the whole thing).

What you don’t know about him: He was a very popular character in the Arthurian legends during the Middle Ages though he’s not a well known knight nowadays though he’s more or less seen as “the one with the lion” if he is. Also, there’s a Welsh legend of him playing chess with King Arthur as the Saxons prepare to fight the Battle of Badon.

Earliest Mention: He’s one of the earliest characters associated with King Arthur from the Welsh legends. Also, he’s based on the historical figure Owain mab Urien, King of Reghed in Great Britain.

13. Sir Tristan

I don't know about Sir Tristan here, but I'm sure that sharing a love potion with your uncle's fiancee is never a good idea. Really not a good idea, on a positive note, he's not in the Harry Potter universe where love potions are date rape drugs.

I don’t know about Sir Tristan here, but I’m sure that sharing a love potion with your uncle’s fiancee is never a good idea. Really not a good idea, on a positive note, he’s not in the Harry Potter universe where love potions are date rape drugs.

You know him as: Knight of the Roundtable who was sent by his Uncle King Mark of Cornwall to fetch the Irish princess Iseult the Fair for the Cornish king’s wedding. Yet, on the way, they accidentally consume a love potion and fall helplessly in love. Though she marries King Mark as promised, the pair undergo a lot of trials and tribulations that test their secret affair. Of course, this goes on until their tragic deaths by despair (his by poison out of thinking she abandoned him) but they’re buried side by side as two star crossed lovers should be with a honeysuckle springing from her grave around a hazel tree growing from his (that or a briar twirling around a rose or just pain dead).

What you don’t know about him: Since he couldn’t marry his beloved Iseult the Fair, he married another woman named Iseult of the White Handsand is only attracted to her because she shared his beloved’s name. It goes as worse as you’d expect since this Iseult ended up indirectly killing him by saying his beloved was never coming back just as the girl arrives to cure him.

Earliest Mention: He makes his early appearance in the early 12th century in Celtic mythology and/or folklore though his affair with Iseult the Fair is incorporated into the Arthurian Mythos later.

14. Morgause

Though Queen of Lothain and Orkney and mother of five sons and a number of daughters, Morgause still has a heft sexual appetite. Yet, this is what did her in at the end when her son Gaheris lopped her head off.

Though Queen of Lothain and Orkney and mother of five sons and a number of daughters, Morgause still has a heft sexual appetite. Yet, this is what did her in at the end when her son Gaheris lopped her head off.

You know her as: King Arthur’s half-sister, wife of King Lot of Lothain and Orkney, and mother of the Orkney brothers: Sir Gawain, Sir Agavain, Sir Gareth, Sir Gaheris, and Sir Mordred. May have conceived Mordred with King Arthur in an act of inadvertent incest, but they’re estranged upon realization for good reason. Yet, despite five boys and a number of daughters, she manages to be some sort of cougar being very friendly with younger men (King Arthur included). After King Lot’s death, she has an affair with Sir Lamorak (son of the guy who killed her husband), which leads to her son Sir Gaheris beheading her in bed though tries to frame her lover leading Agavain, Gawain, and Mordred to get rid of him.

What you don’t know about her: In her earlier stories, she does nothing but be the mother of the Orkney brothers. She doesn’t become a fully formed character until Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur. Also tends to be combined with Morgan Le Fay and some scholars think she was created due to a translation error.

Earliest Mention: She’s a later addition appearing in Chretien de Troyes Perceval as Orcades. Yet, she did have a few earlier counterparts before then.

15. Morgan Le Fay

Morgan Le Fay is perhaps one of the best known characters in Arthurian legend as well as one of the most popular. Somehow there's something hard to resist with such a complex scheming witch who feels that Queen Guinevere's a hypocrite for banishing her lover and taking up with Sir Lancelot. Of course, she also had the hots for him as well.

Morgan Le Fay is perhaps one of the best known characters in Arthurian legend as well as one of the most popular. Somehow there’s something hard to resist with such a complex scheming witch who feels that Queen Guinevere’s a hypocrite for banishing her lover and taking up with Sir Lancelot. Of course, she also had the hots for him as well.

You know her as: King Arthur’s half-sister, a powerful sorceress, and in later traditions, wife of King Uriens and mother of Sir Ywain. Though some modern renditions make her Mordred’s mother, she is not but like her sister Morgause, she has a string of lovers nevertheless (though Uriens doesn’t seem to mind when she’s married to him). Yet, while she sometimes has a adversarial relationship with King Arthur (to the point when she tries to arrange his downfall but fails), she’s more of a an arch-enemy toward Guinevere (who exposed her having an affair with her cousin). Also, part of her hatred for Guinevere stems from the fact she herself wanted to sleep with Sir Lancelot. She devotes a lot of her time in the legend to exposing Guinevere’s affair with Sir Lancelot though King Arthur didn’t believe her no matter how hard she tried to convince him. Yet, somehow she mellows, she and Arthur reconcile, and soon takes him up to Avalon after Camlann.

What you don’t know about her: She may have started out in Arthurian legend as a supernatural being possibly a goddess. Also, she didn’t start out as King Arthur’s half-sister and actually had nine in her early appearances. Not only that, but her early appearances have her as a benevolent sorceress who might’ve saved King Arthur’s life. She also plays a role assisting Sir Ywain in one story, too as a healer but the story doesn’t imply that they are mother and son. Oh, and she appears in stories that are unconnected with the Arthurian Mythos as well.

Earliest Mention: It’s hard to say whether she started out as a French character or as a Welsh one. She’s first mentioned by name in Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Vita Merlini while the later French tales feature her with all her familiar traits.

16. Nyneve

She may not have given King Arthur Excalibur but Nyneve's a magical being who's closely identified as being the Lady of the Lake. Also, has many names like Nimue, Niniane, and Vivian.

She may not have given King Arthur Excalibur but Nyneve’s a magical being who’s closely identified as being the Lady of the Lake. Also, has many names like Nimue, Niniane, and Vivian.

You know her as: She’s best known as the Lady of the Lake (though she’s not the one who gave King Arthur Excalibur, though she was a servant of hers in some versions who’s later beheaded in the Sir Thomas Malory stories).  Learned magic from Merlin who fell for her yet she ends up betraying him and using her powers to lock him in a tree, (rock, or cave). Afterwards, she replaces Merlin as King Arthur’s adviser. Still, her love is Sir Pelleas who she used her magic to hate a girl who was thoroughly uninterested in him (yet, she ended up dying in despair). Nevertheless, the guy lived mostly because of her. Associated with Avalon and may have raised Sir Lancelot.

What you don’t know about her: Though one of the more familiar characters in Arthurian legend, there’s not a lot of stories about her and her character.

Earliest Mention: Either in the works by Chretian de Troyes or the Lancelot Grail cycle. About as early as the 1100s maybe even before that.

17. Iseult the Fair

Iseult's affair with Sir Tristan is one of the more enduring medieval love stories that has stood the test of time. Yet, this was originally a separate story before being part of the Arthur Mythos.

Iseult’s affair with Sir Tristan is one of the more enduring medieval love stories that has stood the test of time. Yet, this was originally a separate story before being part of the Arthur Mythos.

You know her as: An Irish princess who heals Sir Tristan and is arranged to marry his Uncle King Mark of Cornwall. Yet, when she and Tristan accidentally drink a love potion en route, they fall hopelessly in love. Once she’s married, they embark on a tragic love affair consisting of secret meetings until King Mark banishes Tristan from Cornwall. They meet again when Tristan is poisoned (or stabbed in the back by King Mark once he catches him playing a harp from a tree).

What you don’t know about her: In verse tradition, she and Tristan don’t meet again after he’s banished until he’s on his deathbed. Some versions have their affair go much longer and in some stories they even have kids. Also, she has a lot of guys attracted to her mostly so they could have a conflict with Tristan.

Earliest Mention: Like Sir Tristan, she makes her first appearance in the 12th century in Celtic mythology and/or folklore, though her affair was treated as a separate story and incorporated in the the King Arthur Mythos later.

18. King Pellinore

King Pellinore on the endless hunt of the legendary Questing Beast whose appearance can't be articulated in this post. Still, this guy probably should've been making less war and spend more time with his family or families.

King Pellinore on the endless hunt of the legendary Questing Beast whose appearance can’t be articulated in this post. Still, this guy probably should’ve been making less war and spend more time with his family or families.

You know him as: Best known for his endless hunt of the Questing Beast and beating King Arthur in three jousts which breaks the Sword in the Stone, which leads to the latter to fetch Excalibur from the Lady of the Lake (if the sword is Excalibur, Merlin just enchants Arthur to save his life. Both become friends afterwards and he’s invited to join the Round Table afterwards. Also, he’s known to have a lot of kids to different women and at least has three sons join the Round Table, too (though he’s sometimes referred to as Sir Percival’s father). Not to mention, he helps King Arthur put down a lot of rebellions of other kings including his brother-in-law Lot of Lothian. Kills King Lot of Orkney during a battle that results in a blood feud with the Orkney brothers and many other deaths including his own son Lamorak.

What you don’t know about him: When trying to rescue Nyneve, he refused to provide aid to a wounded knight and his ailing lady. Lady later killed herself with her dead lover’s sword before he would eventually find out she was his own daughter.

Earliest Mention: He’s at least in Arthurian legend as early as the Post-Vulgate cycle.

Our Father Who Art in Heaven, Hallowed Be Thy Religious Art

The-Last-Supper

As a lifelong practicing Catholic, art aficionado, and history buff, I always have a great appreciation for religious art, architecture, music, and movies. Well, just as long as I find them to be of great artistic quality and not something that looks like you can put it on somebody’s T-Shirt. Quality religious art has always been greatly influential in our modern culture whether it’s the great Madonna and Child paintings from the Renaissance, large intricate Gothic cathedrals from the Middle Ages, sacred hymns, and a lot of religious films of the 1950s. I mean Ben Hur might’ve starred Charlton Heston but you have to enjoy the chariot race scene. I can go on and on about the great religious masterworks but that would be a very long post since it would involve scores and scores of paintings and sculptures you’re already familiar with. Instead, I’ll focus on some of the great blunders that would make everyone wonder why God hadn’t unleashed His wrath on the artist in the first place. Yet, since this is about bad religious artworks, here are a few points to follow.

1. This isn’t a post that shows anti-religious artwork or anything that’s intentionally depicted as sacrilegious. In fact, much of the works were done by religious artists themselves but they just didn’t seem to depict the true spirit of the religious subjects that they’re either tacky or unintentionally funny. Examples include, crapsaccharine mentality, bad artistic representation, or images that in some way don’t make any sense.

2. This isn’t an anti-religious post, just a post of bad religious expression in art. Rather, as a Catholic, I don’t see anything wrong with making fun of religion as long as it’s not offensive. Since religious art plays a critical role in our culture, I see nothing wrong with mocking the tacky pieces.

3. This isn’t a post depicting religious artwork used for an amusing purpose or has the equivalent of Jesus being depicted in a Batman suit, a celebrity in an iconographic image or a dog version of The Last Supper. I know these exist but they were supposed to be funny on purpose. These works shown in this post were initially intended to be taken seriously as well as catered to an audience.

4. These aren’t artworks with religious motifs or symbolism in otherwise secular works.

5. These are mostly done by contemporary artists since I can’t bring myself to criticize the great masterpieces of religious art during the Renaissance and Baroque Era unless it’s Abraham trying to sacrifice Isaac with a blunderbuss to his head. Yet, I haven’t found this one yet.

6. Yes, most of these works derive from Christianity yet that’s because many Christian artworks tend to be the worst offenders. Basically if Christians are willing to depict Jesus in a business suit, I’ll practically run with it. I’m also willing to post Jesus with a gun.

7. Some of these would have quotes as to what the artist intended for this work to mean, which aren’t in my own words.

8. This doesn’t include bad restoration work so the lady who made Jesus look like a monkey is off the hook.

So without further adieu, here is an assortment of kitschy religious artwork.

1. Leaping Jesus on the cross talking to the women of Jerusalem.

I suppose this is for a children's Bible but even in kids' Bibles, this isn't depicted as a very happy occasion. I mean Jesus is supposed to be suffering in deathly agony carrying a huge cross. This doesn't cut it.

I suppose this is for a children’s Bible but even in kids’ Bibles, this isn’t depicted as a very happy occasion. I mean Jesus is supposed to be suffering in deathly agony carrying a huge cross. This doesn’t cut it.

2. Jesus rising out of his tomb body and spirit.

I think this moment is meant to be left to the imagination. Also, when the women approached the tomb, Jesus' body wasn't there at all. Not to mention, why does Jesus look like he's just out of a gym.

I think this moment is meant to be left to the imagination. Also, when the women approached the tomb, Jesus’ body wasn’t there at all. Not to mention, why does Jesus look like he’s just out of a gym?

3. “It seems obvious that if Jesus were to shock the status quo in the 21st century with a tattoo that it would say ‘Father.'”

Except this could easily be some 1990s rock musician who could easily look like Jesus. Also, he probably wouldn't be looking at us with such intensity of a male stripper into his job. He's probably using his "Father" tattoo as an excuse to show off those biceps to some Christian ladies.

Except this could easily be some 1990s rock musician who could easily look like Jesus. Also, he probably wouldn’t be looking at us with such intensity of a male stripper into his job. He’s probably using his “Father” tattoo as an excuse to show off those biceps to some Christian ladies.

4. “The anguish that God experiences while His children are abused is the cumulative experience of all the abused children since the beginning of time compressed into one eternal moment.”

While the broken dolls may represent God’s children having to put up with worldly abuse, Jesus’s facial expression doesn’t seem overcome by anguish over innocent souls suffering. Rather Jesus appears in this painting like he’s doing a promo for some “Head and Shoulders” shampoo commercial. Let’s just say if a Christian artist doesn’t know the difference between the facial expressions of “upset” or “happiness during shampoo massage,” he shouldn’t be doing religious paintings.

5. Jesus during story time at school.

Seriously, I kind find this picture of Jesus sitting with the little ones during story time a bit unnerving for some reason. Just find seeing a 1st century man in his thirties at a modern day elementary school just out of place.

Seriously, I kind find this picture of Jesus sitting with the little ones during story time a bit unnerving for some reason. Just find seeing a 1st century man in his thirties at a modern day elementary school just out of place.

6. Jesus at the United Nations.

"Uh, fellas, can you please let me? I can't get through the door here. It's too tiny. Seriously, I need a bigger entrance."

“Uh, fellas, can you please let me? I can’t get through the door here. It’s too tiny. Seriously, I need a bigger entrance.”

7. Just a still life of Christian imagery.

So we have cross, Holy Spirit Dove, divine light, Roman soldier, lyre, Bible, two greatest commandments, and a coffee cup? Seriously, I don’t think there were any coffee drinkers in 1st century Palestine.

8. Jesus at the Liberty Bell.

I don't know about you but Jesus seems a little frustrated over being in a painting with lots of Americana. I mean he doesn't seem to be happy as a figure of American patriotism.

I don’t know about you but Jesus seems a little frustrated over being in a painting with lots of Americana. I mean he doesn’t seem to be happy as a figure of American patriotism.

9. Jesus is always the senior business partner. “Christ’s presence is an integral part of daily life, no matter one’s profession or calling.”

I don't know about you but while I think Jesus' presence should be encouraged in business meetings, it doesn't mean everyone's going to listen to him. Also, remember that time when he's yelling and overturning tables at the temple. Man, you don't want to see him like that.

I don’t know about you but while I think Jesus’ presence should be encouraged in business meetings, it doesn’t mean everyone’s going to listen to him. Also, remember that time when he’s yelling and overturning tables at the temple. Man, you don’t want to see him like that.

10. Jesus takes up the soul of Michael Jackson wearing the King of Pop’s glittery glove.

Seriously, why have Michael Jackson in a religious painting? I mean what the hell did this ever get produced? Guess it’s someone’s fan work I guess. A Michael Jackson zombie portrait would’ve been much more appropriate.

11. A suffering Jesus with a chalice and a tiger?

Seriously what does a white tiger have to do with Jesus' suffering other than the fact the artist thought it was too awesome to leave out?

Seriously what does a white tiger have to do with Jesus’ suffering other than the fact the artist thought it was too awesome to leave out?

12. If only Jesus had taken anabolic steroids, he probably wouldn’t have suffered on the cross.

Sorry, I can’t take this painting seriously for some reason. Maybe it’s seeing Jesus with a body like Arnold Schwarzeneggar. Also, Jesus seems to have a determined expression on his face and for breaking off the wood on the cross.

13. A modern rendition of the Annunciation.

I know the girl in blue is supposed to be the Virgin Mother dressed as her favorite Disney princess but she looks like such a kid in this it's not even funny. In fact, it's kind of creepy. The Angel Gabriel praying kind of irks me, too. I think the Annunciation should be depicted in its own time or with an older Mary for God's sake.

I know the girl in blue is supposed to be the Virgin Mother dressed as her favorite Disney princess but she looks like such a kid in this it’s not even funny. In fact, it’s kind of creepy. The Angel Gabriel praying kind of irks me, too. I think the Annunciation should be depicted in its own time or with an older Mary for God’s sake.

14. Jesus reaches for the sky.

Heard that God hated this statue of his beloved son so much that he sent a lightning bolt down to destroy it. Guess there's a limit to the level of tackiness the Almighty can tolerate.

Heard that God hated this statue of his beloved son so much that he sent a lightning bolt down to destroy it. Guess there’s a limit to the level of tackiness the Almighty can tolerate.

15. “Only God will share in the fullness of your sufferings and never forsake you.”

Also, if you shoot up heroin, Jesus also gets high so it balances out. I mean I guess assuming that Jesus and the addict share the same tattooed arm. Still, perhaps Jesus shouldn't materialize behind unsuspecting people anymore since it has lead to a lot of misunderstandings.

Also, if you shoot up heroin, Jesus also gets high so it balances out. I mean I guess assuming that Jesus and the addict share the same tattooed arm. Still, perhaps Jesus shouldn’t materialize behind unsuspecting people anymore since it has lead to a lot of misunderstandings.

16. The Most Holy Trinity.

I get the whole “Jesus is God” thing with Christianity but he’s “the Son” of the Holy Trinity, not “the Father” and “the Holy Spirit.” Let’s just say if you depict Jesus as all three persons of the Trinity, you have a problem. Also, the little angels don’t seem too happy with the Jesuses stomping on their heads.

17. Jesus riding on a dinosaur, need I say more.

Yes, this picture is as ridiculous as it sounds since Jesus is depicted in a prehistoric setting, let alone before the New Testament.

Yes, this picture is as ridiculous as it sounds since Jesus is depicted in a prehistoric setting, let alone before the New Testament.

18. Jesus Christ is the savior of truckers.

Now I don't want to insult any truckers since they perform a valuable purpose that we can't deny and I know that many of them need Jesus' protection as well. Yet, somehow I find this so tacky that I'd expect it to be seen in some rundown trailer for some reason. And the fact it's velvet.

Now I don’t want to insult any truckers since they perform a valuable purpose that we can’t deny and I know that many of them need Jesus’ protection as well. Yet, somehow I find this so tacky that I’d expect it to be seen in some rundown trailer for some reason. And the fact it’s velvet.

19. Jesus moping on the cross.

For some reason, I can't help looking at this and  not expect Jesus about to break into some Flashdance routine after he says his prayers. Also, where are his "stigmata" marks for his hands and feet seem totally bare.

For some reason, I can’t help looking at this and not expect Jesus about to break into some Flashdance routine after he says his prayers. Also, where are his “stigmata” marks for his hands and feet seem totally bare.

20. And yet another picture with Jesus and the dinosaur.

Now Jesus with a dinosaur is ridiculous enough. Jesus with a dinosaur, rainbow, and a young blond girl just takes tackiness to a whole other level. Looks like Jesus is so excited to finally see a dino after working on his new time machine or something.

Now Jesus with a dinosaur is ridiculous enough. Jesus with a dinosaur, rainbow, and a young blond girl just takes tackiness to a whole other level. Looks like Jesus is so excited to finally see a dino after working on his new time machine or something.

21. See Jesus hang out with his buddy Lord Krishna.

Of course, Jesus and Krishna are both said to be human incarnations of God or a god. Yet, outside India (where Krishna is a major icon in Hinduism), this picture would kind of border on blasphemy because of the whole one god rule in Christianity.

Of course, Jesus and Krishna are both said to be human incarnations of God or a god. Yet, outside India (where Krishna is a major icon in Hinduism), this picture would kind of border on blasphemy because of the whole one god rule in Christianity.

22. The King of Rock and Roll meets the King of Kings.

For some reason Elvis Presley doesn't seem thrilled meeting Jesus despite that he was a staunch Christian all his life and didn't like people calling him "King" to his face for this reason. Probably is due to the fact Elvis was disappointed about the buffet up in Heaven.

For some reason Elvis Presley doesn’t seem thrilled meeting Jesus despite that he was a staunch Christian all his life and didn’t like people calling him “King” to his face for this reason. Probably is due to the fact Elvis was disappointed about the buffet up in Heaven.

23, Here’s the Mormonism Founder Joseph Smith as a Spinx.

For a moment, I almost thought it was a tacky monument to Buster Keaton at some Los Angeles country club. My apologies to the late great silent screen star.

For a moment, I almost thought it was a tacky monument to Buster Keaton at some Los Angeles country club. My apologies to the late great silent screen star.

24. Of course, this art work depicts Jesus’ little known Sermon of Stepford.

This was actually done by a Mormon artist and it was alleged that this was supposed to be a picture of Jesus with his polygamous wives. Despite that many Mormons (particularly early ones) believe Jesus  had at least two wives, the artist denies this. Still, such Mormon concept makes Dan Brown's idea of Jesus and Mary Magdalene as a couple seem pretty tame.

This was actually done by a Mormon artist and it was alleged that this was supposed to be a picture of Jesus with his polygamous wives. Despite that many Mormons (particularly early ones) believe Jesus had at least two wives, the artist denies this. Still, such Mormon concept makes Dan Brown’s idea of Jesus and Mary Magdalene as a couple seem pretty tame.

25. Lucifer snared on the power lines.

So, remember kids, the main reason we have power lines is because they're the best defense against Satan. The fact they provide electricity to your house is purely coincidental.

So, remember kids, the main reason we have power lines is because they’re the best defense against Satan. The fact they provide electricity to your house is purely coincidental.

26. See Jesus walking in the woods with a huge bear.

"As my Father in Heaven proclaimed, only you can prevent forest fires." And then the bear made out with Jesus's food sack.

“As my Father in Heaven proclaimed, only you can prevent forest fires.” And then the bear made out with Jesus’s food sack.

27. C’mon, kids, let’s go to Heaven to join Jesus in the Rapture.

Man, despite all the carnage wreaking havoc during the apocalypse, these people don't seem to worry about losing everything in eternal hellfire. All that matters to them is gleefully going up to Jesus in 1950s fashions.

Man, despite all the carnage wreaking havoc during the apocalypse, these people don’t seem to worry about losing everything in eternal hellfire. All that matters to them is gleefully going up to Jesus in 1950s fashions.

28. Jesus taking all souls to Heaven while destruction wreaks havoc on earth.

Come to think about it, this picture makes a compelling case why Michael Bay should do a film on the Rapture. Think of his depiction as the Christian version of the Transformers series. Also, why are all the figures wearing white gowns in this?

Come to think about it, this picture makes a compelling case why Michael Bay should do a film on the Rapture. Think of his depiction as the Christian version of the Transformers series. Also, why are all the figures wearing white gowns in this?

29. Welcome to the Rapture, please let the angel guide you to your appropriate destination before being taken up to Heaven.

Also, why the 1950s fashions? I mean the Rapture didn't happen then. And if it were to occur sometime in the future, people would certainly not be dressed like they're from the 1950s.

Also, why the 1950s fashions? I mean the Rapture didn’t happen then. And if it were to occur sometime in the future, people would certainly not be dressed like they’re from the 1950s.

30. Jesus will help you through the raging waters of the storm.

"See that stretch of land, going there, steer thataway full speed ahead." Also, what the hell is that boat pilot wearing? Because that doesn't resemble a life jacket to me.

“See that stretch of land, going there, steer thataway full speed ahead.” Also, what the hell is that boat pilot wearing? Because that doesn’t resemble a life jacket to me.

31. Nothing brings a true expression of Christianity than a sculpture of two disembodied hands in a praying position.

This freakish statue stands in front of Oral Roberts University. Nevertheless, despite it being a religious artwork, Christian piety didn't seem to be what I had in mind upon seeing this.

This freakish statue stands in front of Oral Roberts University. Nevertheless, despite it being a religious artwork, Christian piety didn’t seem to be what I had in mind upon seeing this.

32. See the Dark Lord Satan tempting-I mean lending his evil- I mean giving wise words of wisdom to these two kids standing near him.

This is a Satanic monument for the Oklahoma State Capitol. Now I know that real Satanist are nothing like how they're depicted in Hollywood. Yet, I don't think presenting Lucifer with a goat head and seated like a mall Santa is helping their case.

This is a Satanic monument for the Oklahoma State Capitol. Now I know that real Satanist are nothing like how they’re depicted in Hollywood. Yet, I don’t think presenting Lucifer with a goat head and seated like a mall Santa is helping their case.

33. See Jesus bestowing his words of wisdom to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. According to the artist: “The Introduction is a stunning portrayal of that first moment of man’s special blessing from God. A brand new world sparkles and vibrates with color and movement as Adam and Eve gaze with a wonder and tenderness to set the standard for all time.”

I don't know about you but I know that just because Christianity says, "Jesus is God" doesn't mean that Jesus should be in this  because he's "the Son" and that incarnation of the Holy Trinity doesn't show up until the New Testament. Adam and Eve are in Genesis and thus, in the Old Testament. Portraying God as the old man in the sky would've been more appropriate. Also, I'm sure that Adam and Eve aren't just gazing at each other in wonder and tenderness.

I don’t know about you but I know that just because Christianity says, “Jesus is God” doesn’t mean that Jesus should be in this because he’s “the Son” and that incarnation of the Holy Trinity doesn’t show up until the New Testament. Adam and Eve are in Genesis and thus, in the Old Testament. Portraying God as the old man in the sky would’ve been more appropriate. Also, I’m sure that Adam and Eve aren’t just gazing at each other in wonder and tenderness.

34. To suit your Holy Communion needs, here’s a wine dispenser of Jesus’ hand.

I don’t know about you but I kind of find the idea of blood spurting into the chalice from Jesus’s giant stigmatic hand kind of creepy. Kind of has the all too literal “Body and Blood of Christ” connotation to it.

35. What better Christian velvet painting to have than three Jesuses looking towards the moon.

Somehow I look at this picture and the words come to mind are, "I'm just a poor boy nobody loves me./ He's just a poor boy from a poor family./ Spare him his life from this monstrosity." Also, three Jesuses is way too many and kind of creepy.

Somehow I look at this picture and the words come to mind are, “I’m just a poor boy nobody loves me./ He’s just a poor boy from a poor family./ Spare him his life from this monstrosity.” Also, three Jesuses is way too many and kind of creepy.

36. Here’s Jesus greeting the doves from the sky after his baptism.

I don't know about you but I'm not sure this artist knows how to draw sun rays because his tend to resemble scorching flames. Hope those doves didn't get burned.

I don’t know about you but I’m not sure this artist knows how to draw sun rays because his tend to resemble scorching flames. Hope those doves didn’t get burned.

37. Don’t worry, Jesus is here to stop the storm at sea.

Think of this painting as a Christian themed version of Lost since everyone on that boat seems to be racially diverse and wearing modern day clothes. Also, why is there a wooden sailboat here? We don't use those kinds of boats anymore.

Think of this painting as a Christian themed version of Lost since everyone on that boat seems to be racially diverse and wearing modern day clothes. Also, why is there a wooden sailboat here? We don’t use those kinds of boats anymore.

38. Jesus is always online with your concerns.

However, despite the image, those who wish to chat with Jesus on the internet would be sorely disappointed because Jesus didn't mean "online" at a digital standpoint. Still, despite his hairstyle not conforming to office regulations, he sure knows how to dress for work.

However, despite the image, those who wish to chat with Jesus on the internet would be sorely disappointed because Jesus didn’t mean “online” at a digital standpoint. Still, despite his hairstyle not conforming to office regulations, he sure knows how to dress for work.

39. Jesus in Heaven with his celestial horses.

Yes, you hear me, Jesus with his stable of celestial cloud horses. Seriously, don’t tell me that even Christian artists could be on acid? Because this is messed up, man. Also, there’s a giant cloud dove in this, too.

40. Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd as well as a sexy beefcake.

Who made our Lord and Savior into a figure on a Harlequin Romance novel? Seriously, why make Jesus sexy when most Christian denominations don’t consider him to have any sexual activity? Of course, if this was for a cover of some Jesus-Mary Magdalene shipping fanfic, I’d totally understand, Dan Brown.

41. Goku kneels down for Jesus.

I’m sure Goku from Dragon Ball Z wasn’t at the crucifixion nor would he have been the beloved disciple. Seriously, this is pretty tacky fanart or something.

42. You don’t want to see naked crucified Jesus when he’s angry.

"Where's my clothes?" Man, Jesus may be crucified, but he can sure grow into the Incredible Hulk when he wants to. Also, exposed genitalia might be offensive to many Christians just a little FYI.

“Where’s my clothes?” Man, Jesus may be crucified, but he can sure grow into the Incredible Hulk when he wants to. Also, exposed genitalia might be offensive to many Christians just a little FYI.

43. “The man in the middle represents the modern Christian … a man who must decide whether or not he will stand up for his Christian beliefs. Many are shouting out to tell him what to do. He raises his hand to say, ‘Be silent, for I know that Jesus is the Christ!'”

Christians may be persecuted in some parts in the world but usually in countries like North Korea. However, I’m sure the white male in a business suit is surely not oppressed in Christendom not in the least. Yet, you can tell where this artist’s politics stand in this painting with making the white male suit a symbol of the modern Christian.

44. Jesus was the inspiration for the constitution.

Maybe Jesus was but he has to share credit with the Enlightenment figures like John Locke and Rousseau. Nevertheless, Lincoln, John Adams, and Alexander are trying to start a barbershop quartet while Washington doesn’t seem too interested. Still, this is a more blatant painting commemorating the artist’s conservative politics than it is about Jesus.

45. Here’s a painting of the biblical heroine Judith of Bethulia who beheaded a guy named Holofernes in of the extra canonical books of the Bible.

Of course, this painting seems to resemble something that would be hung on some college guy's dorm room. Yeah, a badass biblical heroine is reduced to some scantily clad chick you see in certain action movies. Pretty much a shame.

Of course, this painting seems to resemble something that would be hung on some college guy’s dorm room. Yeah, a badass biblical heroine is reduced to some scantily clad chick you see in certain action movies. Pretty much a shame.

46. See Jesus and Beelzebub box each other in the ring.

Jesus and Satan boxing with oven mitts while God serves as announcer. Now I've seen everything. Still, all the angels and demons feel so excited about the match.

Jesus and Satan boxing with oven mitts while God serves as announcer. Now I’ve seen everything. Still, all the angels and demons feel so excited about the match.

47. Jesus gets mauled by a bear and trying to confront it.

Uh, Jesus, you might want to run away because it has cubs in the background. Trying to make peace with a mama bear is never a good idea, honest to God I'm not kidding.

Uh, Jesus, you might want to run away because it has cubs in the background. Trying to make peace with a mama bear is never a good idea, honest to God I’m not kidding.

48. Accept NASCAR Jesus as your Lord and savior.

Honestly, this is one of the most redneck Jesus artworks I’ve ever seen. Hey, I didn’t know Jesus had Budweiser as a sponsor. Of course, he’s just at the track to protect racers from wrecking into each other or dying while wrecking into each other, since wrecking is basically the only interesting thing that happens during NASCAR races.

49. My, Jesus, what green eyes you have.

Kenny Loggins doesn't seem to have aged well in recent years. Nor does he seem to have grown out of that 1980s haircut of his.

Kenny Loggins doesn’t seem to have aged well in recent years. Nor does he seem to have grown out of that 1980s haircut of his.

50. Aww, what a sweet painting of Jesus watching a child sleep.

For some reason, I find this rather creepy, especially reading Jesus' expression and his trying to touch the child's head.

For some reason, I find this rather creepy, especially reading Jesus’ expression and his trying to touch the child’s head.

Movie Couples that Won’t Last

We’ve seen the kinds of movies in which love conquers all and that the leads involved will live happily ever after. However, we need to know is that it takes more than that to keep a relationship together and there are couples who you see in the movies that don’t seem to have much of a future together after the credits roll. There are some Hollywood movies that have realistic ideas about relationships and others that would make anyone ask questions wondering why these people just don’t split up already. Here is a list of couples who I believe won’t make it after the film is over. These include couples whose relationships have already ended by the movie’s conclusion or is destined to end when one of them dies. Rather these are couples who are together by the end but who won’t seem to have much of a future any time soon.

 

1. Johnnie Asgarth and Lina McLaidlaw

Suspicion Cary Grant Joan Fontaine Hitchcock pic 1

From: Suspicion

Problem: Money issues and lack of trust

If there is any movie relationship I think would least likely last after the credits, I would put my money on this one despite being made in the 1940s. Despite being played by Cary Grant, Johnnie Asgarth is a selfish and irresponsible turd who probably wouldn’t have proposed to Lina if she didn’t grow up rich. And he wouldn’t have spent vast amounts of money on Lina As the relationship progresses, it’s very clear that Johnnie’s gambling, dishonesty, and selfishness become glaring liabilities that he eventually loses Lina’s trust to the point she considers leaving him only to decide staying due to her low self-esteem as well as her fear of remaining single for the rest of her life. The relationship eventually gets to the point that Lina starts suspecting that Johnnie is planning to kill her, which may make her seem a bit crazy at first. Yet, take into account that Johnnie’s tendency to lie is well-known even among his friends, Lina’s cousin firing him for embezzlement and she didn’t know for weeks, him selling his wife’s priceless antique chairs (which were family heirlooms and a wedding gift from her father) to pay off a gambling death without her knowledge and consent, his friend was found dead under mysterious circumstances after Johnnie convinced him to finance a hugely speculative land development scheme, and his disturbing enthusiasm for murder mysteries. Of course, we find out in the end that Johnnie intended to do no such thing but that doesn’t dismiss him from being a terrible husband and that he was secretly trying to borrow from his wife’s life insurance policy to repay someone doesn’t necessarily make things better either, assuming that Johnnie was telling the truth. Sure they may have made up by the end but their marital problems may never be resolved. Johnnie may have promised to face his responsibilities but he’s probably not going to stick to it and he would soon be back to his old irresponsible ways. The only future I see in this relationship is one of rampant distrust and financial ruin, both of which lead to the inevitable of divorce. And it’s only a matter of time when Lina realizes that she doesn’t have to put up with Johnnie’s crap and has the courage to leave him for good.

 

2. Benjamin Braddock and Elaine Robinson

graduate

From: The Graduate

Problem: Mutual interest is more based on unavailability and desire to rebel against parents than actual love. Also, he banged her mom.

While Elaine Robinson would’ve made a mistake to quit college and marry a medical student (even at her mom’s wishes), being in a relationship with Benjamin Braddock is hardly a suitable alternative. I mean he’s a guy with no job, no ambitions, and no prospects as well as had a torrid affair with her mother, which would make any future family get togethers seem a bit unsettling. Also, keep in mind that they only went on one date after which Mrs. Robinson forbade them from seeing each other again. But Ben becomes increasingly obsessed with her that he ends up stalking her at Berkeley despite that she’s not really into him and is seeing another guy. Oh, and he wrecked her wedding but that is more forgivable since she probably didn’t want to marry the blonde guy in the first place and didn’t know much about him either. Yet, the fact she was willing to run off with Benjamin over it more or less seem like a desperate girl’s attempt to escape from her parents’ control (and I couldn’t blame her for this) than actual love. This isn’t a good basis for a relationship and even the end scene makes it clear that they may not actually love each other and perhaps would end up exactly like their parents. Then again, it’s possible that they’re finally starting to think about the implications of their actions.

 

3. Artie Green and Betty Schaefer

From: Sunset Boulevard

Problem: While he was away, she had a romantic entanglement with his best friend who later got killed over it.

Their relationship isn’t a main focus in this movie but you have to remember that Betty was engaged to another man by the time she took up with screenwriter Joe Gillis. Of course, Artie was away at the time but even before his departure, you sense that Joe and Betty have an attraction toward one another which will play a key role to the plot once they start working on a screenplay together and falling in love in the process. Now anyone familiar with this move knows that Joe Gillis has spent considerable time living with a rich older woman named Norma Desmond who’s to put it mildly emotionally unstable. Now Norma’s discovery of Gillis’ and Betty’s at least emotional tryst would eventually lead her shooting him dead. Despite that Joe’s murder isn’t her fault, Betty is going to feel some degree of responsibility for it possibly for the rest of her life. And this may be a source of emotional strain in her relationship with Artie since she’s probably not going to be willing to talk about it with him. Then again, with the publicity surrounding Gillis murder by a once famous movie star, Artie might find out anyway and may have some questions to ask Betty when he gets back that she may not even want to answer. And Betty should at least be lucky that we didn’t have shows like Dateline and Nancy Grace during the 1950s since she would’ve certainly be hounded by such sensationalistic press. Also, it seems very likely that Betty is willing to marry Artie just because he has much less baggage even if she may not be wildly in love with him.

 

4. Han Solo and Princess Leia

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From: Star Wars

Problem: Han’s looming unemployment and deteriorating self-worth. Also, the bit about Princess Leia’s sense of royal entitlement and their relationship revolving around the galactic rebellion.

So here’s the couple united by the cause of the galactic rebellion in which they overcame things like checkered pasts, socioeconomic differences, experimentation in incest, carbonite freezing, and a general distaste for one another. Sure Han and Leia are certainly entertaining to watch but their happiness after the victory party isn’t expected to last long. After all, Leia is certainly going to be busy with helping her brother restore the Force and reestablish the galactic senate. Han is obviously unemployed and really can’t go back to his smuggling days before the war since the legal equivalent is just a trucker which wouldn’t make him seem like a badass. And it doesn’t help that he owes money to every planet in the galaxy and always shoots first in a fight, which doesn’t make him good material for a diplomat. Not to mention, him and Leia didn’t meet before the war and practically every single activity and conversation they shared revolved around it. Not only that but they don’t really know each other outside of that context which is one reason why marriages rushed into wartime usually don’t last as evidence by divorce statistics rising after almost every single major war in recent times. It’s very likely that Han will grow passive aggressive and spiteful toward Leia’s royal sense of entitlement leading to possible 4 am fights, alcoholism, and murder suicide to follow. Then again, Han may decide to settle down as a house husband but I don’t really see that going down well.

 

5. Prince Eric and Ariel

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From: The Little Mermaid

Problem: Unrealistic compromise and that this relationship is based on terrible decision making and rushed escalation.

Sure a lot of little girls may have liked The Little Mermaid, but we have to face the facts that Ariel is a terrible role model as a Disney princess. Ariel basically gave up her life, voice, and lower body to be with a guy who she just met while Eric is conflicted between choosing her and another girl he just met (who turns out to be Ursula in disguise). Also give into account that Ariel is a teenage girl prone to making the same stupid impulsive decisions as any teenager would. I also don’t think Eric is too far off either since he basically decided to marry a girl he knew for less than a day (granted he was under Ursula’s spell at the time but still rushing to marry someone you knew for less than 24 hours is never a good thing). Still, even though Ariel and Eric marry as humans and seem happy in the end, their future doesn’t seem very good. For one, the two of them hardly knew each other and their attraction to each other seems rather shallow and based on physical attributes and Florence Nightingale syndrome. Second, soon Ariel will grow up to realize what she’s done and her relationship with Eric is doomed to end with her either feeling homesick or resentful and homesick or perhaps physically sick when she discovers that human sex isn’t the same as mermaid sex.

 

6. Spock and Uhura

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From: J. J. Abrams’ Star Trek

Problem: Emotional unavailability, different expectations, and needs.

I don’t know about you but I’m personally stumped why J. J. Abrams would decide to make Spock and Uhura a couple. If there was any woman in the Star Trek universe I’d match Spock with it would have to be Nurse Chapel since she had the hots for him during the original TV series (that or the girl Spock was supposed to marry back home). Sure there are certainly successful Vulcan-human pairings in the Star Trek universe and Spock is living proof of that since his parents were still together in the original series as far as we know (though we don’t see them “together in the movies”). And it’s possible that Vulcans and humans can be attracted and have a relationship with each other. Yet, let’s face it, Vulcans aren’t known for their emotional intimacy since they pride themselves suppressing any emotional displays in favor of cold, calculating logic. We know from J. J. Abrams’ Star Trek that Uhura has certain emotional needs, which Spock unsurprisingly tries to ignore. And it’s no surprise that emotional unavailability leads to disengagement from the relationship in which Uhura could only put up with Spock’s emotional distance for so long before walking out. And if they have a child, then it could expect a frustrated mother and a distant father, which doesn’t translate to a happy childhood. As for their sex life, I’m sure it’s not one of Spock’s favorite activities since he’s part of a species known to get horny every seven years. Yet, he’s probably not the one who’s initiating it. Then there’s Pon Farr, and you don’t want to see Spock during that time.

 

7. Pat Solitano Jr. and Tiffany Maxwell

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From: The Silver Linings Playbook

Problem: Mental illness, unemployment, and her sex addiction.

Sure Pat and Tiffany may love each other and life happily ever after, but remember that neither of them have been cured or even adequately treated. Also, note that if they are to have a life together, remember that they both were fired from their jobs for serious misbehavior whether it’s nearly beating up a co-worker for banging his (soon to be ex) wife or sleeping with everyone at the office after her husband’s untimely death. These aren’t ways you’d want to be remembered from work and they will both have a hard time getting a job, especially since Pat did time in a mental institution for eight months. Not only that, take note that Pat is a teacher by trade so he probably doesn’t have much chance of finding a job in the educational field again. Then there’s the fact that Tiffany asked Pat to have sex with her an hour after they first meet as well as her explaining, “I was a slut. There will always be a part of me that is dirty and sloppy, but I like that!” Hmm, I love this movie but I’m not sure if a union between a mentally ill man whose explosive outburst of assault toward a man having sex with his ex-wife and a clinical nymphomaniac is going to amount to anything good. I hope that Tiffany doesn’t like that dirty part about herself too much because one relapse can make this relationship become less than a romantic comedy and more of a Nancy Grace obsession. Still, at least they’re a couple who knows exactly what they’re getting into unlike some couples on the list.

 

8. T. R. Deviln and Alicia Huberman

notorious2

From: Notorious

Problem: Workplace romantic entanglements, alcoholism, emotional unavailability, and overall dickishness.

Look, I don’t know about you but I don’t think Devlin and Alicia’s relationship has much of a chance after the movie even if they are played by Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman. Sure they fall in love during the course of the film but what they really have is almost nothing more than a working relationship and despite his feelings, Devlin has no qualms about putting the job before anything else, even Alicia during an espionage mission that basically amounts to government-sponsored prostitution. Also, speaking about her, the only reason why Devlin ever tried to pursue her was because he was sent to recruit her for an espionage mission involving her father’s friend in Rio de Janeiro since her dad was convicted as a Nazi spy and she’s an admitted American patriot. Yet, Alicia is also an alcoholic with a reputation for promiscuity, and Devlin doesn’t let Alicia hear the end of it. Still, Devlin uses Alicia’s love for him and low self-esteem to help carry the mission and yet, has the propensity of acting like a total dick to her that you seem to have more sympathy for Alex Sebastian despite that he’s a Nazi, is storing uranium in his wine cellar, and eventually tries to kill Alicia towards the end. Then there’s the fact that Alicia was poisoned toward the end and the chance she may not make it to the hospital. If she does, the chances of them staying together don’t seem good since Devlin is still a spy as far as we know and Alicia will probably emerge from the situation perhaps even more messed up than she was before. And I don’t see Devlin as a supportive love interest when it comes to Alicia’s problems, because he certainly wasn’t during the job though maybe it was his way of acting “professional.”

 

9. Godfrey Parke and Irene Bullock

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From: My Man Godfrey

Problem: Immaturity, personality differences, different focuses, and that attraction seems rather one sided.

Sure Godfrey must’ve felt some romantic affection for Irene and was certainly grateful for all what she did for him, but I don’t really see him being as crazy about her as she is about him. Nor do I see them as perfectly suited for each other either since she just acts like an infatuated teenage girl who seems to have a spoiled rich girl entitlement complex while he is much more concerned about getting his life back together after losing everything through an ugly divorce and I doubt he wants to get into a new relationship anytime soon. Besides, Irene is just so immature and I think she kind of forced Godfrey into marrying her and she didn’t really seem concerned with his needs too much though she is really nice about it. I kind of imagine them eventually getting sick of each other with Godfrey getting annoyed at Irene’s crazy superficial antics and Irene basically getting bored with him as her infatuation dies down. Either they’d end up like Irene’s parents or headed for divorce court. Godfrey probably should’ve married the maid.

 

10. Hercules and Megara

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From: Hercules

Problem: Basically it’s doomed by canon.

Let’s face it. I know Hercules would go to the Underworld to save Megara in the Disney movie but the original myth doesn’t have a happy ending to these two. Rather their relationship ends with Hera (who’s not his mom) driving Hercules insane and killing Megara and their children. Either that or he just killed their children and Megara simply went back to her dad who had her married to someone else. Oh, and did you know that Megara’s said to be the daughter of the Theban King Creon who’s Oedipus’ uncle and brother-in-law? That would make her Oedipus’ cousin and niece by marriage. Still, whether out of guilt by this or not, Hercules would have to go on performing Twelve Labors after this. Nevertheless, if it’s Greek mythology, then the tragic end of Hercules’ relationship with Megara can’t be avoided. Hey, at least it won’t end as ugly as Jason and Medea’s, now these two make even the nastiest breakups seem pretty tame.

 

11. The Little Tramp and Most of His Love Interests

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From: Most of Charlie Chaplin’s films up to Modern Times

The Problem: Doomed by canon, homelessness, unemployment, possible criminal record, and others.

We may love Charlie Chaplin’s Little Tramp character who has won over so many hearts and fans during the 1920s. Too bad he doesn’t have much luck with women and we always know that practically every relationship he has (even if they’re still together at the credits) will end in some sort of breakup before the next Little Tramp film comes around, despite that he tends to do practically a lot for the girls he likes. Perhaps it has to do with that he’s a homeless man who probably drifts from one town to the next while his love interests want to settle down. Not to mention, the Tramp has a tendency to get arrested a lot since he’s, well, a hobo. So while he could be a sweet as can be, his relationships with women would all end in some sort of breakup before the next one comes around.

 

12. Lieutenant Jack Dunbar and Stands With a Fist

dances-with-wolves1

From: Dances With Wolves

Problem: Mutual Stockholm Syndrome.

Hmm an army officer abandoned by his military at some faraway outpost and later forced into interacting with Native Americans hooks up with a white woman orphaned during an Indian raid on her family’s settlement and then forced into similar dependency on the tribe. They met as consenting captives of the Sioux and fell in love while exploring the their captors’ virtues together. Sure they may seem to be in a stable compatible relationship and don’t seem to have much problem at first. But what these two white people have is known to psychologists as Stockholm syndrome which pertains to the a captive’s misinterpretation of a lack of abuse as kindness as if they were abused dogs with new owners. According to the experts, a love predicated on a psychological disorder is doomed to fail, especially when the cause of the disorder is removed. At the end the couple leave the tribe and set off on their own on the open plains. The only way Dunbar and Stands With a Fist could keep the spark alive is that they act as perpetrator against the other. And you thought this was a happy love story.

 

13. Jason and Medea

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From: Jason and the Argonauts

Problem: Doomed by canon, unrealistic compromise, dickishness, and craziness.

Let’s just say while Medea may have helped Jason and his fellow Argonauts obtain the Golden Fleece, but once they land in Corinth, let’s just say it’s going to get ugly. Medea is a powerful and genius sorceress who ends up betraying her father and brother (who she’d later kill) for a guy she just met by the name of Jason. She supported Jason through their adventures, quests, and battles as well as suffered horribly for her love for him and bore him two boys. Jason was impressed by Medea’s devotion to him and swore to stay by her forever. And guess what Jason does for all that she’s done for him? Well, he dumps her for a princess since he has no more use for Medea. Medea retaliates by killing his new bride, father-in-law, and their two kids. Jason should’ve known what he was getting into and should have never royally piss her off in the first place.

 

14. John Bender and Claire Standish

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From: The Breakfast Club

Problem: Relationship based on his Post-Traumatic Embitterment Disorder and her desire to get back at daddy.

I haven’t seen this movie but this pairing seems far uglier than those “good girl and bad boy” couples. At least Han and Leia were adults who knew what they were getting into. Claire is just a naive girl who mistakes antisocial tendencies for awesome attractive qualities. Bender is simply an angry, bitter, and aggressive teenage boy with a rap sheet and history of self-destruction. Basically he’s a guy who’s future consists of a prison cell in his lifetime. He’s antisocial, offensive, and generally kind of a dick who torments Claire on a regular basis. Sure he may have had a traumatizing childhood filled with shitty Christmas gifts. Such a combination of helplessness and rage may draw a girl like Clair who may want to help and get back at daddy but she should just go towards the door. According to the experts, Bender will likely shut down around affection and intimacy, and when he’s incapable of expressing his feelings like a normal human being, lash out with violence. If she decides to stay with Bender, Claire has a possible future of unrequited love and excuses about running into a door.

 

15. Nick and Honey

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From: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Problem: Marriage is more or less based on money and a  pregnancy scare than anything as well as emotional unavailability, alcoholism, and possible mental illness.

You would think that George and Martha would be the couple in this movie headed to divorce court because they are simply dysfunctional alcoholics who constantly fight and insult each other. Yet, later on you tend to realize that these two are utterly messed up people who thrive on drama and their torrid relationship is basically built on that and they can’t really live without each other either. With these Nick and Honey, there seems to be no foundation between them other than money and perhaps a pregnancy scare from what I figured. Neither seem to be in love with one another and don’t seem to have much of an emotional connection. There’s obviously something wrong with Honey other than alcoholism. And I wouldn’t be surprised if Nick just left her in a couple years for one of his prettier students.

 

16. George Wickham and Lydia Bennett

From: Pride and Prejudice

Problem: Basically these two married because they were living together unchaperoned for two weeks and that he as bribed by Mr. Darcy. Also, he’s overwhelmingly selfish while she’s just an immature brat.

Sure I know that divorce wasn’t easy to get in the early 1800s but let’s just say Lydia is bound for an unhappy life after marrying Wickham as a teenager and I wouldn’t be surprised if she goes back home to her parents after a few years, carries on an affair, or is forced to fend for herself. Still, she’s selfish, completely self-involved, materialistic, and cares absolutely nothing about those hurt because of her, the trouble she causes for her family, or the consequences of her stupid actions. In fact, she won’t even acknowledge that her actions were stupid or had any damaging effects. However, Lydia is a teenage girl who does stupid teenage things so there’s a chance she’ll regret what she’s done once she grows out of being such a brat. As for Wickham, well, he may seem an okay guy on the surface but once you get to know him, you realize that he’s a manipulative and selfish bastard who spends his time partying, whoring, and running huge gambling debts that he had to desert his militia regiment because he owes so much money to his soldiers. Oh, and he was hoping to marry a rich girl even after he deceived Lydia into thinking he was in love with her so she would elope with him. Not only that, but if it wasn’t for Mr. Darcy and his large disposable income, Wickham probably wouldn’t have married her in the first place. Still, you can make the case for Wickham being a sociopath and probably doesn’t love Lydia. Let’s just say that Jane Austen has them in a loveless marriage and leeching Lydia’s relatives but that doesn’t mean they’re living together.

 

17. Professor Henry Higgins and Eliza Doolittle

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From: My Fair Lady

Problem: Socioeconomics, large age difference, his misogyny, the fact George Bernard Shaw didn’t see them as a couple, and other reasons.

Sure Higgins may have grown to care for Eliza by the end of the movie but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s a misogynist who took advantage of her to win a bet. This isn’t something Eliza is going to easily forgive him for. I mean the guy has two songs about how he doesn’t like women. George Bernard Shaw always hated how his Pygmalion adaptations have Higgins and Doolittle pairing up and he thought that seeing Eliza with a middle aged misogynist as the worst thing he could’ve imagined. If it were up to him, she’d end up with Freddie who’s the creepy stalker but considering his play took place in 1912, there’s an obvious reason why that may not last. It’s very clear that any romance involving Eliza and Higgins would involve the latter wearing the pants in the relationship and it’s very likely that it would be rather similar to what they have when he was trying to teach her how to speak English without a Cockney accent. However, this time, Eliza wouldn’t have much desire to reinvent her life because she already has and would probably leave Higgins for some nicer guy her age. And no, she probably wouldn’t end up with Colonel Pickering because he’s older than Higgins and more like a father figure to her.

 

18. L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries and Lisa Carol Freamont

Rear Window - James Stewart and Grace Kelly

From: Rear Window

Problem: Differing lifestyles, the fact the relationship doesn’t seem to be getting anywhere, and other issues.

This is a hard case since Jeff is clearly not the happiest camper in this movie since he’s recovering from a broken leg while confined to a wheelchair in his little apartment in 90 degree weather with no air conditioner, no TV or internet, and no handicap access. We shouldn’t be surprised that Jeff may come off like a jerk whose new hobby is watching his neighbors, especially a guy who might’ve killed his wife. Now I have respect Lisa for being there for Jeff at this difficult time in his life but he doesn’t really seem to appreciate her and has doubts on whether their relationship would last. Of course, it’s given that Jeff is a professional photographer who travels a lot and Lisa’s a socialite who probably has a much more luxurious lifestyle than what he’s used to given what his apartment looks like while she’s wearing designer clothes. Not only that but I’m sure that many of Jeff’s neighbors aren’t that well off either. Not to mention, Jeff seems to have bitter attitudes about marriage. I’m not sure that either is willing to compromise for the other. Let’s say I give them until his legs are better.

 

19. Don Birnam and Helen St. James

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From: The Lost Weekend

Problem: Alcoholism and co-dependency issues.

I have never believed in the notion that a good woman helping a guy turn his life around and while this movie seems to hint toward a happy ending, things aren’t so much cut and dried in reality. Don might’ve stopped drinking and decide to write his novel but he’s not necessarily out of the woods yet or whether he’ll stay sober for good (in the original book, he doesn’t). And if he does, it’s not going to be because of Helen. Still, we have to accept that they were together for three years and Helen knew Don was a drunk the whole time. Throughout the film, it’s very apparent that Helen is a co-dependent since she’s constantly babying him, always making excuses for him, and refuses to make demands for him. Furthermore, she foolishly thinks that she has the strength and determination to help Don stop drinking. By three years in, she should know that Don’s alcoholism isn’t her problem and she can’t fix it. But Helen doesn’t seem to acknowledge this at all. Still, I could see this relationship going in a variety of ways. Don may experience continual relapses that will either lead to his death or Helen possibly coming to her senses and dumping him. And if Don stays sober there’s a possibility he may come to see Helen as medicine and demand a fresh start in a new relationship with a more self-assured woman willing to make demands on him.

 

20. Edward and Vivian

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From: Pretty Woman

Problem: Let’s see, she’s a hooker and he’s a callous businessman, the possibilities are endless since screwing other people is not a solid foundation for a relationship.

I haven’t seen this film and I’m not sure if I ever want to since it kind of has unrealistic ideas about love and such, especially in the realm of wealthy businessmen dating hookers. But having a long term relationship with one? Please, I’m not sure if that’s going to work out. Of course, the notion that Edward may not be entirely comfortable with Vivian’s colored past as a prostitute, but it’s very clear in the movie he already knows about her work in the sex industry and that there are certain things about prostitutes you need to expect. After all, as a businessman, he probably has been with quite a few of them. However, while businessmen and prostitutes may screw over people for money this doesn’t mean they’re similar creatures who belong together. Rather, there’s a big difference between your body because you have to and ruining other people’s businesses because you want to. And while Vivian may give up her life as a prostitute, this doesn’t mean Edward would stop screwing other businesses and ruin other people’s lives, including some women who may become prostitutes because of him. I’m not sure that Vivian would feel comfortable pairing up with such a jerk.

Mending the Rift Between Obama and Catholics

Providing workplace flexibility to pregnant women is one of the better ways to support life and family than some other certain policies that shall remain nameless.

TIME

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and President Barack Obama have had a rocky relationship over the past six years, with perhaps no issue more contentious than the Health and Human Services mandate, which has sparked the Bishops’ three “Fortnight for Freedom” campaigns. But President Obama’s recent speech at the White House Summit on Working Families provides a good opportunity for the two sides to turn the corner in the President’s final two years and work together on promoting an agenda that would benefit millions of American families.

If the Bishops hope to follow Pope Francis’ lead, fighting to undo the pressures and hardships that menace American families seems like an obvious next step. Pope Francis has constantly drawn attention to the impact of economic injustice on families, calling for changes that will give them greater economic security and more time for one another.

On both the left and the…

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Original Fairy Tales Part 3

Last time I did Little Red Riding Hood, The Pied Piper of Hamelin, Puss in Boots, Rapunzel, Rumpelstiltskin, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Three Billy Goats Gruff, The Three Little Pigs, The Fisherman and His Wife, The Little Mermaid, and the Girl Without Hands. Of course, these aren’t the only tales we know but I have a few more to go over in this one. Still, many people would say that fairy tales are merely stories for children and are rather G rated. Yet, what most parents don’t realize is that many of them contain a lot of family unfriendly material like sex, violence, and creepy features. So without further adieu, here are even more familiar fairy tales with their original versions.

Pinocchio

Geppetto creating Pinocchio.

Geppetto creating Pinocchio.

How You Know It: Toymaker makes wooden puppet boy who comes to life and would be a real boy if he is good. Unfortunately, Pinocchio is kind of mischievous and gets into all sorts of trouble but his nose grows when lies while he sees bad boys being turned into donkeys and sold to the circus. After saving Geppetto from a fish, he shapes up and becomes a real boy.

The Original Version: Based on the 1883 book “The Adventures of Pinocchio” by Italian Carol Collodi. While Pinocchio was mischievous in the movie, he’s far so in the source material where he runs away as soon as he could walk. He’s found by police who put Geppetto in prison on suspicion on abuse. Oh, and the talking cricket who warns him of the dangers on hedonistic pleasures and obedience, Pinocchio kills him (sorry, Jiminy). When Geppetto is released, he insists Pinocchio go to school but the living puppet sells his schoolbooks for a ticket to a puppet show where he encounters a fox and a cat who steal his money and try to rob him.

The Emperor’s New Clothes

Emperor parades in his new clothes and exposes himself at the same time.

Emperor parades in his new clothes and exposes himself at the same time.

How You Know It: Fashion obsessed Emperor is swindled by two “weavers” (con artists) who offer to make him a set of new clothes with a special material that would only be invisible to complete idiots. Emperor thinks this would help him find out who in his court is unworthy for their position and gives them permission. Nobody makes a fuss regardless of whether they believe those two crooks until the Emperor decides to parade in his new “outfit” in which a child points out that he is naked.

The Original Version: Written by Hans Christian Andersen but while illustrated adaptations usually have the Emperor in his underwear, the original version makes it clear he was probably completely nude. Oh, and he still goes on with the procession even the kid speaks about the Emperor not having any clothes on. Still, this may be based on an old Spanish tale from the Middle Ages yet the king is cheated by “weavers” who claim to make clothes that would be invisible to anyone who’s not a son of the guy’s presumed father.

The Nutcracker and the Mouse King

Girl receives nutcracker for Christmas.

Girl receives nutcracker for Christmas.

How You Know It: Kids receive a toy nutcracker for Christmas by their godfather Drosselmeier. One of the kids breaks but is later repaired with the young girl swearing to be its nurse before going to bed. That night the nutcracker comes alive and thanks to the girl, is able to overcome his foes (such as the mouse royal family) and eventually kills them before transforming into a handsome prince. He then takes her to show his doll kingdom.

The Original Version: It’s an 1816 German tale by author E.T. A. Hoffman and his version is much creepier than the one you’d see at the ballet around Christmas time. In this tale, the girl is named Marie who’s seven and the nutcracker is actually Drosselmeier’s nephew transformed by an evil mouse queen’s curse for 7 years. And he’s at least in his early teens. Also, the sadistic Mouse King has seven heads, visits her three times, eats sugar dolls, and makes Marie surrender all her candy and toys to him or else he’ll destroy the nutcracker. Then there’s the mice biting a princess and turns her into a monster but, too. Oh, and after the tour Marie wakes up in her own bed and tells her parents of the whole thing the next day who don’t believe her and forbid her to speak about it again (even though she has the Mouse Kings 7 crowns to show for it). Yet, Marie goes to the nutcracker and vows that she’d love him if he was real, even if he was ugly which breaks the curse and he asks her to marry him. She accepts and after a year, the nutcracker prince/king takes her to the doll kingdom where she is crowned queen.

The Princess and the Pea

Pea under a bunch of mattresses, girl still can't sleep.

Pea under a bunch of mattresses, girl still can’t sleep.

How You Know It: A prince wants to marry a real princess and tries to find one to no avail. One night, a young woman claiming to be a real princess seeks shelter from a storm. The queen suggest she test her by placing a pea on a bedstead and piling 20 mattresses and feather beds on top of it. There the young woman spends the night. The next morning she tells her hosts she endured a sleepless night being kept awake by something hard on her bed. The prince rejoices since the young woman was found to be a princess. They marry and live happily ever after.

The Original Version: Written by Hans Christen Andersen who claimed to have heard it as a child but it has never been a traditional tale in Denmark. It might’ve been in Sweden but that version used seven peas. Also, in Andersen’s version, the pea was said to have bruised the princess.

Bluebeard

If your new man keeps a torture cellar of his brutally murdered previous wives, that’s a dealbreaker, ladies.

How You Know It: Rich widower asks young woman to marry him. After the wedding, he gives her a set of keys to every room in the mansion with the stipulation that she never ever use to golden key to open a certain room in the house. While her husband is on a business trip, the woman naturally gets bored and increasingly curious about this particular room that she does. And to her shock, she finds the blood spattered bodies of all Bluebeard’s former wives he murdered for money as well as a basin full of blood. She flees in horror but when her husband returns, he finds out one way or the other, and threatens to kill her, too. Woman gets saved at last minute (whether by her family or the authorities).

The Original Version: The most familiar version is from the 17th century author Charles Perrault which is based on an old French folk tale which may have been inspired by a true story relating to a friend of Joan of Arc (yes, that Joan) named Giles de Rais who was also a famous 15th century serial killer (yet he killed children just for the heck of it not wives for money). Still, in the Perrault version, the woman actually escapes and ends marrying a better guy. Though the author tried to make the Bluebeard story about how curiosity is a flaw as well as could ruin a perfectly good marriage if a wife sticks her nose in her husband’s affairs, he kind of failed miserably considering that Bluebeard’s dark secret consisted of brutally murdered wives in a torture cellar.

Bluebeard has major trust issues for good reason.

Bluebeard has major trust issues for good reason.

There’s an English version called “Mr. Fox” that was cited in a play by William Shakespeare. This one has the heroine actually witness the villain murdering his previous bride and confronting him at the pre-wedding breakfast with the severed hand of that unfortunate lady and is saved by her relatives and suitors. There’s also a second Grimm Brothers variant in called “Fitcher’s Bird that says that the heroine was only wrong in that she got caught. Of course, she also finds her sisters’ bodies in a way her husband can’t detect and ultimately comes out on top.

The Tortoise and the Hare

Tortoise and the hare are about to race. Guess who wins.

Tortoise and the hare are about to race. Guess who wins.

How You Know It: Hare ridicules tortoise that he can outrun him in any race chiefly due to obvious biological differences. The tortoise challenges to a race to prove it. The next day, the hare is so confident in his natural ability that he shows off by messing around the entire race. Finds out later that the tortoise ended up ahead of him and wins.

The Original Version: This is one of Aesop’s fables from Ancient Greece, which had the hare actually take a nap halfway through before realizing that the tortoise had beat him. Still, there’s a version by the Grimm Brothers that replaces the tortoise with a hedgehog who has a bet with the hare that whoever wins gets a bottle of brandy and a gold coin. Oh, and the hedgehog cheats by having his wife dress up as him and hide at the finish line only to come up before the hare just crosses it. Being a sore loser, the hare challenges the hedgehog again and they start at the finish line. The hedgehogs pull the same trick. The hare keeps challenging the hedgehog more than 70 times (with the hedgehogs winning through the same trick each time). That is, until the 74th time when a blood vessel bursts in the hare’s throat and he collapses at the middle of the racetrack, gurgling his last confused breaths while drowning in his own blood.

The Red Shoes

Girl can't stop dancing in her red shoes.

Girl can’t stop dancing in her red shoes.

How You Know It: Girl gets a red pair of shoes, can’t stop dancing to take them off, and dies.

The Original Version: Based on a story by Hans Christen Andersen. Still, she’s brought in by a rich lady who gives her a pair of shoes. Yet, being the materialistic brat she is, she remains obsessed with the shoes. Yet, of course when she starts dancing at a party (when her adoptive mom is ill) she just can’t stop as if the shoes have a life of their own. Of course, this really has a negative effect of her life that she can’t attend her adoptive mother’s funeral. Oh, and there’s an angel that condemns her to dance even after she dies as a warning to kids everywhere. The girl begs for mercy but the red shoes take her away before the angel could say anything else. She then has an executioner cut of her feet, yet that doesn’t do the trick for the shoes continue to dance before her. Eventually the angel gives the girl mercy she asked for and her heart bursts so she’s taken up to heaven.

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

Perhaps using magic to help with housework is probably not a good idea.

Perhaps using magic to help with housework is probably not a good idea.

How You Know It: Kid magician apprentices for a sorcerer but he’s stuck with mopping the floor instead using no magic. When his master’s away, the boy enchants a broom to do the work for him (using magic in which he’s not fully trained). The floor is soon covered in water and the apprentice realizes he can’t stop the broom because he doesn’t know how. He splits the broom with an ax but new brooms form from the pieces and each take a pail fetching water at twice the speed. Sorcerer comes back at the last minute to save the day.

The Original Version: Though remembered as a Disney sequence from Fantasia, it’s from an 18th century poem by Goethe, but the sorcerer isn’t as angry in that. Also, there’s an Ancient Roman version to this as well by Lucian from 150 AD. Yet, the master is actually an Egyptian priest called Pancrates and the role in the apprentice is the guy’s friend Eucrates who thinks he could cause some magic after just eavesdropping on his companion. Yet, the implement here is a pestle.

The Snow Queen

The Snow Queen takes the boy to her ice castle.

The Snow Queen takes the boy to her ice castle.

How You Know It: Magical winter queen kidnaps young boy named Kai and takes him to her castle and makes him forget about his home. Girl named Gerda makes long hard journey to save him, with the help of a robber girl and her animal friends, a princess, a couple old ladies, and others.

The Original Version: Written by Hans Christian Andersen. Sure people think Frozen is based on this but it’s a bit of a stretch (it was originally going to be an adaptation but it didn’t work out that way). Still, the Snow Queen in the Hans Christian Andersen tale bears more resemblance to the White Witch in the Chronicles of Narnia series with the exception that she’s not an evil person. Besides, Kai willingly stays with her and she’s willing to let him leave if he once though he has to accomplish an almost impossible task. Also, the story has a prequel with an evil troll (who’s actually Satan) makes a magic mirror of cynicism, it slips from his grasp and shatters into a billion pieces. One of those hits Kai in the heart and eye (before the Snow Queen kidnaps him though even with a frozen heart, he still lives but it takes Gerda’s tears to thaw him). Not to mention, there’s a lot of Christian subtext in this story which many adaptations leave out.