Miscellany

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England after 1688 and bears in the gay community

Rise of the Moneyed

I’m enjoying volume 4 of Peter Ackroyd’s history of England: Revolution: The History of England from the Battle of the Boyne to the Battle of Waterloo.

I wanted to learn a bit more about how the commercial sector used its power after deposing the Catholic James II to fatten their wallets.

The first example came right away: 1694, the establishment of the first central bank: The Bank of England. Subscribers put money into the Bank, the Bank loaned King William money to finance war against France, the King would repay the loan at 8% interest from tax revenues.

And voila, the privileging of the moneyed class was ensconced and the era of Hudge and Gudge (business and government working together to grow each to monstrous proportions) was upon us.


The book starts after James II had fled England. Parliament had to decide how William could be the legitimate king, since it refused to pretend he had actually conquered England (that would’ve been both inaccurate and humiliating). After much discussion, and coming up with a new Bill of Rights that granted most power to Parliament, William and Mary (who had a decent claim to the throne) were declared conjoint sovereigns.

“Declared” by Parliament, leading many English to believe they were installed by Parliament. The result? The divine right of kings was dead. Kingship/queenship came from Parliament, thereby making Parliament supreme.

Daniel Defoe declared later that Parliament had “an Unbounded Unlimited Reach, a kind of Infinite attends their Power.”

The moneyed class was now in power.


I never realized that William was rumored to be homosexual. He apparently had gay friends that he favored. Despite his obvious love for Queen Mary (of “William and Mary”), the gay rumor was strong enough to spawn this jingo by his enemies:

Let’s pray for the good of our State and his soul

That he’s put his Roger in the right hole.

That’s freakin’ hilarious, made even more so by the fact that “Roger” is capitalized.


Related: A co-worker sent me this site of comedic gold: LGBTQIA Resource Center Glossary.

I wish the morning left more time to riff off the nuggets I found there. For now, though I’ll just mention this fun entry:

Bear Community: a part of the queer community composed of queer men similar in looks and interests, most of them big, hairy, friendly and affectionate.  The community aims to provide spaces where one feels wanted, desired, and liked. It nourishes and values an individual’s process of making friends and learning self-care and self-love through the unity and support of the community.  Bears, Cubs, Otters, Wolves, Chasers, Admirers and other wildlife comprise what has come to be known as the Brotherhood of Bears and/or the Bear community. See also: Ursula

Feeling Anxious?

The tips at this article might be helpful: Tone Down Your Anxiety By Recognizing When You Feel OK.

It’s another testament to living in the Present Moment, albeit with a slightly different slant than the one I typically take (I emphasize focusing on the task at hand; this emphasizes focusing on yourself at the moment):

Take a close look at this moment, right now—probably, you are basically all right. No one is attacking you, you are not sick, there is no crisis where you sit.

Things may be far from perfect, but you’re OK.

By “right now,” I mean this moment. When our mind goes into the future, we worry and plan. When our mind goes into the past, we resent and regret. Threads of fear are woven into the mental tapestries of past and future.

Look again at this thin slice of time that is the present. In this moment, are you basically OK? Are you breathing? Is your heart beating? Is your mind working?

In daily life, it’s possible to access this fundamental sense of all-rightness even while you’re getting things done. You’re not ignoring real threats or issues or pretending that everything is perfect—it’s not.

But in the middle of everything, you can usually see that you’re actually all right, right now.