Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Disappearing for a few days...

Dear faithful Frodologists,

Unfortunately, Frodo will be going silent for several days. As we all know, when a theist loses his uplink to his deity, he loses his ability to act morally and function in society. Sadly, there's nothing you can do to control it. You'll likely start going mad after a few hours, acting to all appearances exactly like a zombie. A zombie with bad manners. And a penchant for petty crime.

I give you my condolences ahead of time. I just thought you should know.

Apologetically yours,


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

History Lessons: Ancient Sparta (Part II)

If you haven't already, make sure to check out the first part to this lesson on Ancient Sparta.

Work ethic

The Spartan appetite for hard work was legendary and ferocious. They were universally tireless slave owners, a breed apart from the gin-sipping, porch-sitting slaver of the American colonies, a stereotype sadly responsible for giving slavery a bad name. Their workers were a race known as the helots, although the term “race” is misleading. The helots were Caucasian, as city elders determined it uneconomical to first discover and then trek all the way to Sub-Saharan Africa to capture some blacks.

In an interesting case of foreshadowing, the helots staged their own civil rights movement in the form of a violent rebellion, but were unsuccessful due to the lack of underground railroads, airplanes, or buses on which to stage protests.

Take note: if you’re planning a civil rights movement, center it around a mass transit system

The complete lack of moral philosophy in Spartan culture may also have played a role.



While Sparta might not be remembered as the great democracy that Athens was, it was undeniably egalitarian. Equality was ensured through a complex system of taxation, stringent rules on property ownership, and a rigorous policy of infanticide to weed out the weak and crippled.

This policy was enforced on the battlefield with the expectation that every soldier would profit from a campaign in equal proportion to the others, or as happened more frequently, suffer an equally brutal death.

Sparta was however notoriously backwards as regards education, in that their girls received some. Unfortunately, the decision to educate women predated the cliché that “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.” The influential role of women in Spartan society and their limited vocabulary of “fight,” “war,” and “stabby-stabby” are thought to have been largely responsible for much of Sparta’s constant campaigning.

Whoever educated Condoleezza Rice has a lot to answer for

Whoever named her, even more so



The policy of Fight, War, Stabby-Stabby was put into effect in the Spartans’ infamous stand at Thermopylae in 480 BC. Several months prior, Emperor Xerxes (Sexrex, really?) of Persia had crossed into Europe with an army some say was a million strong,  though fully a fifth of these were nubile young nymphs used for servicing the Emperor’s prodigious, sexy appetite. And some of these were female.

Three hundred Spartans, their helot attendants, and several thousand Peloponnesians met the Persians at Thermopylae, a narrow mountain pass overlooking the sea which trapped the advancing Persian army in a bottleneck. Several days of vicious fighting ensued, resulting in the eventual destruction of the valiant Greeks. The heavy cost in men and great delay taught Xerxes a valuable lesson: candlelight and oiled skin really help to take the edge off morally ambiguous child sex. Ok, well Xerxes wasn’t paying attention. But everyone else learned this: a rocky cliff is a dangerous place to have a battle.

Following the Persian victory at Thermopylae, the Greeks staged their last ditch defense at Plataea. Its unremarkable, gradual, downhill slope was calculated to recall in the Persians their fear of geographic features. With an army now staffed almost entirely by short-legged child prostitutes, the shallow incline was precisely the minor setback the Persians could have done without. While Plataea was a decisive victory for the Greeks, it wasn’t until legislation raised the age of sexual consent to sixteen, effectively outlawing the only thing the Persians were good at, that they finally decided to head home in defeat.


If you like the idea of more history lessons, please, do let me know, and if you have any suggestions of particular events, epochs, or civilizations, I’d love to hear them. 

Saturday, May 2, 2009

100th post!

My last article on Ancient Sparta checked off yet another arbitrary blogging milestone - the legendary 100th post. She was a wily beast to slay, and the ephemeral joy of her capture was fleeting. Nevetheless, I fully intend to feast on the glory and bask in your envious adulation.

Of course, promiscuous dynamos like PersonalFailure and UNRR scratched their hundredth tally into the bedpost yonks ago, and are probably thinking "so, what? I did it, and I'll do it again." But like the mercenary caress of your first hooker, you never forget the giddy joys of your first century. Oh, sure, they might tell you they're happy. But as they soar ever closer to the seedy millennium, it's the perverse happiness of yesterday's makeup and unemployed clowns.

To those of you still furiously blogging away, beating at your keyboard and tugging at your hair with frustration, desperately trying to score that hundred, I will say only this: Frodo is watching.

Of course if we'd been designed by Frodo with eight fingers instead of ten, then this article would've been my 144th, and my history of Man - the last 303,240 years would have been my 100th. And if we had eleven fingers, we'd have to start using letters in our numbering, which is a whole new kind of crazy. The message is clear: numbers are evil.

I will be accepting gifts now.

New reader favorites?

Since by now you're no doubt in a sycophantic, fawning mood, I would like to ask you for your suggestions as to which articles to add to my reader favorites list.

If you're of the opinion that nothing you've read here has so far been any good, but you're confident that I'll come up with something worth reading in my second hundred, because seriously, it's like the freakin' law of probability or something, then you're guilty of the Blogger's Fallacy and you can shut yer hole.