Not Dead But Laughing

This morning I made an executive decision that going for a walk and spending time with my husband was more important than getting this blog up on time.  We had to do it in the morning, because we were expecting rain around noon.  But of course, then there were errands and we ended up at home around one.  At which time, like a good blog hostess I sat down to do Dark Fate for you (yes, later) but decided to first refresh my memory on the king’s of Portugal and their potential monster hunter interests.

Which is when I came across this.

I have no idea who created this, and it can’t possible be reputable, but it had me laughing so hard I couldn’t just write.  No, I had to expose you to this wonderful piece of… of piece.


Area Inhabited:

 Early Portugal was found around the 1000s by Paleolithic’s.

This was important, since well into the middle ages, and after the Roman empire, the poor Paleolithics had no place to go anymore.  People in Portugal, at the time of its independence were a little surprised at the arrival of time-travelers, but since they lacked a good SFnal tradition, they lacked the vocabulary to express it.

The Paleolithic people were from a prehistoric era about 2.6 million years ago.

So, we presume there was a bit of acculturation.  Like, for instance, the fact they were not really human.

These people were sailors that were exploring land when a person in there group, now known as King Afonso Henriques, spotted Portugal.

For which purpose he used a round brush and some blue paint.

As for the person being known as King Afonso Henriques, that could have been on account of having been born in Guimaraes, then the capital of the Count’s Domain that would eventually become Portugal, and baptized by that name in the local church.  Oh, wait, not king, of course, because at the time he was merely the heir to the count.

King Henriques became the king in 1128 because he had killed his mother which made the whole country cherish him and his rules.

As killing one’s mother does, as a matter of course.   Or it could have been that he put his mother in a convent because, while fighting for independence of Castile, he found his mother was conspiring to return it to the Castilian domain.  Which makes perfect sense, since she was the daughter of the king of Castile.  But do carry on.  Your version is way funnier.

He then thought of the name Portus Cale meaning port of cale.

Portus Calem meaning warm harbor, the original name of the city of Porto, but also the name of the count’s domains that included it.  But again, dude, your version is way funnier.  What were you smoking?

It was then changed to Portucale. In between 1580-1640 Portugal became close with Spain. They were known as neighboring countries.

For which purpose REALLY big hooks and staples were used.  Again, dude, what?  1580 to 1640 Portugal and Spain were ONE COUNTRY due to one of those pesky inheritance things monarchies suffer from.  Eventually the Portuguese kicked the Spaniards out and became independent again.  they continued to be neighboring countries because geography is a stone cold bitch.

The Pre-Celts and Celts were the first people to settle there. Years later the Moors, Gallaeci, Lusitanians, Celtici, and Cynetes settled there. Portugal then became independent in 1139.

This sentence seems to be out of order. Or maybe not, since you believe the Portuguese king was “Paleolithic” and arrived in a boat.  I’m a little confused about how Portugal had a king before being independent, but never mind.  Carry on.  I’m sure (and I’m terrified) you’ll explain.

The Moors were before 1139, you completely forgot the Romans, you don’t have the Germanic tribes and btw, I have no idea who or what the Cynetes were.  It’s possible they existed and accidentally got snagged in your demented narrative, but they sound like a really cool pastry, or perhaps baby swans.

Everyday Life:

 Portuguese people enjoyed a lot about their country but the most important to them was music, art, drama, and dance.

Having been a Portuguese people, I beg to differ, mostly what Portuguese people enjoyed about their country when I lived there was wine and food with a side of beaches.  But don’t let me stop your rousing narrative.

 You could enjoy these hobbies by going to the mall where they had cinemas, hypermarkets, and restaurants.

I am so confused, was this before or after the Paleolithics?  Because when I lived there we were well into the bronze age, and there were no malls.   But yeah, people routinely enjoy music, dancing and theater in hypermarkets and restaurants, not to mention malls.  Because that’s the way they roll.

The food in Portugal differed by the region.

Hell, it sometimes differed by house.  You couldn’t pay me to eat my aunt’s food and she lived next door.  She washed her chicken.  With soap.

Some foods that were common to all regions were fish, meats, cod, and seafood. Cozido a Portuguesa was a famous stew that they ate in every region.

My head hurts again.  Cod is fish which by definition is seafood.  As for every region, by the time fish got to tras-os-montes it would be Garum.  But fine, go on.  As for Cozido, no, you ignorant moron, it wasn’t and isn’t a stew.  Cozido means boiled.  It’s usually a selection of boiled meats and vegetables inflicted on the unsuspecting for Sunday dinner.  (Sorry mom.)

One genre of music was known as Fado, this was popular and sung about sea, life of the poor, and other.


 Each region showed there appreciation in different ways, like in Lisbon you clapped after the song but in Coinbra one would cough as if they were clearing there throut.

You know, I don’t even know where you picked this up, or if you’re PFA with one of those hooks used to bring Portugal and Spain together, but since you can neither spell Coimbra nor throat I’m going to assume it’s a fit of insanity.

When I lived there, we clapped, as people do.

Sports were not particularly played often

Which would be a remarkable shock to every Portuguese person I know, since every group of boys plays soccer.

but they had the same sports one would find in other countries, football being the most popular. People had few jobs to choose from, but everyone would hunt, gather, fish, or be a house mother.

Being a house mother was particularly difficult in the Paleolithic since colleges hadn’t been invented.

Also let me assure my readers that while we did NOT have malls, people were not hunter gatherers.

Hunters hunted for bones of oxen, deer, sheep, horses, and pigs.

This was way more expedient than hunting for the animals themselves, as bones put up way less fight.

Clothing was different in the rural and city areas but not important to the Portuguese.

REALLY not important, which is why the most important industry in the North when I lived there was textiles and specifically ready-to-wear.

Men and women in the city wore western pattern clothing, but in the rural areas the men wore stocking caps, berets, trousers, and baggy shirts. The women in the rural areas wore black shawls and long dresses.

First — again, what ARE you smoking? — Portugal is the Western-most country in Europe.  Just wanted to get that out there.  Second, I don’t remember ANYONE but folkloric dance groups wearing black shawls, long dresses, caps, berets or baggy shirts (well, some hippies in the sixties/seventies.)  Mind you most men DID wear trousers.  They still do.  It’s well thought of.  And unlike you, dear sir, they wear them on their bottom half.

Government and Political Organization:

 In Portugal, the government started as a monarchy and that lasted until the twentieth century.

I am in utter shock that you managed to write an ENTIRELY correct (if not particularly in depth) sentence.

 After the monarchy came the democracy in 1974, which is still the present government of Portugal.

You were going on so prosperously, and then had to step in it.  I begin to understand you got the history of Portugal from government pamphlets.

The monarchy was overthrown in 1908 and after some fafsing with the prince who survived the assassination declaring himself king, the Portuguese REPUBLIC was declared.

They experimented with several forms of organization eventually falling for the then-hotness of national socialism.  When that ended in the revolution in 74 Portugal became a “democracy on the way to socialism” (it said so in my 11th grade history book and their constitution.)  International socialism one assumes, otherwise there was no point to the revolution. This was removed from their constitution recently, but since the current government is a concatenation of communists, socialists and various leftier than you micro-parties, and since at any rate they’re part of the EU and therefore little more than a subordinate state, you could say the present government are leftists in search of relevancy.

 Today the democracy includes the president, the assembly, and the legal courts of law.

And their little dog too.

Now let’s go back in time and see how the government used to work.

I can hardly wait!

Afonso Henriques was the first king of Portugal. All kings had royal counsels. The counsels consisted of a chancellor, a scribe, majordomo, and a notary. The scribe wrote documents and things for the king, the notary helped the king make important decisions; the majordomo was the bodyguard for the king, and the chancellor was the highest owner of land.

My head hurts.  The king’s council consisted of prominent noblemen.  I’m sure there was a scribe and possibly a notary (but probably not that early on.) The Majordomo ran the royal household (if he existed.  Portugal often did things on the cheap.  And as for the chancellor a) I got nothing. b) owner of land?  Again I must ask what you are smoking.

Another important part of ancient government of Portugal was the Cortes. The Cortes was another royal counsel that the king would often go to with any help he seeked. It was made up of men from all of the social classes. The job of the Cortes was to help the king with decision making when needed, but the Cortes could not do anything unless the king needed them.

Or, in English, the cortes were a parliament made up of the three estates: church, nobles and commons.  They were summoned by the king and dismissed at will.

The Cortes was abolished in 1697 because of the monarchy of Portugal.

 Because before that Portugal was governed by space aliens.  Your Portugal, since of course, in the real world it had been a monarchy all along and several kings dismissed the Cortes when they didn’t like what they heard.

Also, Portugal was divided into different estates or terras as they were called. Every terra had a governor who was a citizen of the terra. The governor made small laws and help together the terra, but the king still had all of the power.

I don’t even.  Terra= earth and is colloquially used to refer to a locale, like “this is my terra” i.e. the place I come from.  However Portugal was divided in provinces.  Yes, local noblemen had some power, and yes, in theory were vassals to the king, but how much they listened to him depended on time and place and most of all the king.

HOWEVER I want to note they helped together the terra with the same old grappling hooks and that they only made small laws, no more than three paragraphs.  In your world, at least.

The political organization has changed a lot from what it used to be like.

Not so much as you’d expect.  Sure, the names change, but scratch a socialist and you’ll find a feudalist.

Social Organization:

Heaven’s mercy.  You’re not done.

In ancient Portugal,

Look, old Portugal maybe.  In ancient times there was no Portugal.  Greece, Rome, Phoenicia, but no Portugal.  It was a horrible oversight, since the poor Paleolithics (with or without misplaced apostrophe) had nowhere to go.

there were 3 different social classes; clergy, nobility, and commoners.

 Well done.  Mostly correct.

The first and highest social class below the king was clergy. There were 2 parts of clergy. Upper clergy was the higher bishops and abbots

And, as Ronnie of Blessed Memory put it, there you go again.  Look, this isn’t hard.  It was the same everywhere at one time.  First, no, below the king it wasn’t the clergy but the nobles.  Clergymen had remarkably small armies at the time.  Second, I think you mean cardinals and bishops.  The abbots were just heads of houses of monks.

Lower clergy was the lower group consisting of monks and priests. Both groups of clergy were treated very well and had a lot of rights.

And some lefts as well.  Yes, I’m sure those Parish Priests were just overflowing with rights, whatever you mean.

The next social class was called nobility. Nobility had 3 groups within it. Highest nobility consisted of wealthy men of Portugal who had large estates and had their own private armies. Lesser nobility was made up of fairly wealthy people who owned smaller estates, no private armies, but freedom and rights.

Mostly the right to be drafted into the army of the next big nobleman.  Also, I want you to go to your corner and write down precisely what “freedom and rights” mean.

Villein knights were high commoners but considered in the nobility social class.

Hot ice and wondrous warm snow.  WHAT IN HOLY HELL ACTUALLY, out? Villeins were somewhere between slaves and tenant farmers.  And as for commoners who were considered nobility, look…  I… What?

They rode horses and used weapons, planned attacks on Muslims,

As one does, when there is no good movie at the cinema in the mall and one is a Paleolithic.  Look, bub, for the time the Moors were still in the peninsula the attack and counter-attack and taking of slaves on both sides was continuous.

Also and for the record, dear sir, I used to be Portuguese.  Planning and Portuguese are even weirder than villein knights.

and served the king. The next and lowest social class was commoners. Commoners farmed, raised stock, and did village crafts.

If they were in the city, they were forbidden from doing crafts.  “To the village with you,” they were told.

They were at the very bottom of the pyramid.

Which is why they were so sharp.

Outside of the social pyramid were slaves. They had no rights, no privileges.

Except those granted to them by their masters, which now I think about it was the same for every step of the pyramid.  Um…

Also by outside you mean “on the bottom.”

 The social pyramid of ancient Portugal may not have been fair but it grouped the people successfully

And by successfully you mean “look how purty it all looks on paper.”

After this he GOES ON to desecrate religion, music and culture, but I don’t think I have the heart to continue.  Also, I have Grant to torture.  Let it be noted that after the state and church split (kind of.  Portugal is still, by organization, a Catholic country and religion is taught in public schools) “they became two large landowners.”  According to that page.  I think though after that it reaches the level of wrong where “it’s not even funny.”  So, I’m going to go play with Grant.  Meanwhile, have fun with a glimpse into this amazing parallel world.*

*By amazing the management means REALLY stupid.  I mean, apparently the Portuguese university first founded in Coimbra (I graduated from the branch of same institution in Porto) was the oldest university in… Latin America.  Boy, that commute was killer.

236 thoughts on “Not Dead But Laughing

      1. Well, best I can determine being demonspawn and paleolithic are not mutually exclusive.

        1. Who else would have gone around spawning all those prehuman races with the extra eyes and houses built for people with wing tentacles?

          1. Forgot the important bit. WordPress delenda est, and I really need to get that all in one language someday.

  1. BTW – it is important to walk the husband occasionally lest he forget how to heel.

    1. Make no mistake, there was almost certainly some kanoodling going on this morning, and in public no less.

    1. I’ll point out that later on it informs us that the the university is “Stadium general” (no, the stadium is like here a sports thing) and also that it’s the oldest university in Latin AMERICA.

    1. No. No. Mrs. Hoyt so rarely decides to give us humor and she’s SO good at it.

      My daughter and I laughed ourselves sick over this. I can’t wait to share it with my mom tonight.

  2. I’m glad that you can laugh at that nonsense. 😉

  3. As my daughter would say, snottily – “Obviously that was produced by a graduate of one of our finer public schools.”

      1. Sounds about like a ten year old whose dog ate his homework – well, in practice it may have been a game, but I’m sure there was at least one dog there somewhere – and who then had to muddle something together in about 15 minutes or less with the help of Wikipedia and some inexpert googling. 😀

      2. I doubt it. For this level of unreality, graduate or even post-graduate schooling is needed. As incredible as the pre-schools are, they just don’t have enough TIME with the kids to make them this delusional.

    1. Nope. It’s a private school. At the top of the page I was informed that I was not a member of that wiki. This caused the Devil in me to consider adding a link to our hostess’ fisking to the article, but something warned me to see just who was running such a wiki before I meddled. So I went to the root domain, and at I found:

      “MICDS, a leader in independent education, is a college-prep, coed school for grades JK-12. Recently completed McDonnell Hall and Brauer Hall offer unparalleled teaching facilities and catapult MICDS to a position of prominence in science and math education in the U.S. Our mission is to help students discover their unique talents and calling, preparing them for higher education and a life of purpose and service as an engaged citizen in our ever-changing world. Changing Lives. Changing the World.”

      There is a picture with kids standing in front of a sign that says “Loius Country Day School.” Since it’s located in Saint Louis, Missouri, I would infer that the word “Saint” is hidden by a kid.

        1. A private or charter school? Sr. Jeanne Marie of St. Francis Academy would NEVER have approved something like this bit of educational fail.
          Seriously, our plan for me home-educating any of my daughter’s theoretical offspring looks better and better…

      1. I have a feeling that the various history papers are written by students. If you click on the various teachers they all have different papers.

        1. Smelled that way to me as well, so I checked the site root, and sure enough, it’s a school. Probably using the wiki as a motivational thing for history students. Not a bad idea, tho a little more research supervision may be in order…

      2. Is “Loius” a typo by you, or by the maker of the banner?

        I ask because judging by the graduates of said school it is likely it could go either way.

      3. “… grades JK-12.” And there’s your problem, right there. *JK* Yup.

        Now the scary thing is that, based on my observations generally but also when I was regularly tutoring, this is also about the level of understanding our own average young-folk citizens have about our own nation’s history, organization, government, and culture. And they vote.

        Which explains a lot, just generally.

        1. JK stands for Junior Kindergarten… because preschool is politically incorrect these days.

          Okay, I just made that up, but it sounds good! 😛

      4. This is all we need to know about the school in question:

        “Our mission is to help students discover their unique talents and calling”

        Nothing about educating the little darlings, cause that might interfere with those unique talents.

      5. II sincerely hope their science and math curricula produce better results than their history does.

  4. Ye gads. And NO citations. If this is what the listed teachers are using to teach World Geography or history, I want to take a Nerf-bat to whoever approved or provided this. If it was written by their students, well, it still needs citations.

    And I thought some of the small-town museum “Anglish” translations I’ve seen over the years were badly done history…

    1. Ohhh, you know what? You just discovered the World History version of the “Eye of Argon!” *trots off to print it out for next faculty party*

      1. I’d hate to think what they’d write about Canadian history.

        1. I wonder. Decades ago my family was in a Canadian (well, Windsor) bookshop (Hmmm … the fingers actually typed “booksop” before I corrected them; maybe the fingers are wise) and looked for Canadian History without success. A helpful polite clerk advised us that Canadians do not read nor write nor publish Canadian History, so the shop had none in stock.

          We eventually, years later, found a series of graphic novels about Louis Riel, but those were published in America. Also, if you did not know who Louis Riel was you would not have known those books as Canadian History before reading them.

          1. I would like to think everyone knows who Louis Riel was, unfortunately I am positive many have never heard the name.

            More importantly, if you didn’t know who he was prior to “reading” (is looking at primarily picture books properly termed reading?) these books, would one be aware they were Canadian History after reading them?

            1. … would one be aware they were Canadian History after reading them?

              Alas, I am no longer sure of what one might be aware after reading anything, so many people having proven impermeable to knowledge. The “essay” above demonstrates the cause for my concern.

              There was abundant text in those graphic works, so in their case I feel confident one would have to have practiced reading, not simply looking at pictures.

            2. I hate to admit that I am one of those people.

              Hangs head in shame…

              Having now corrected that deficiency (somewhat) – I am amazed that he is not a central figure in SJW history.

            3. Not a clue, not ashamed. But I know who Nathan Hale, Ethan Allan, and why Mr. Bancroft is remembered. You all SHOULD know who George Bancroft is, right?

              Nah. Not knowing your own history is an embarrassment. Not knowing other folks’ is just an opportunity.

              1. Nathan Hale commanded that small Pacific island Navy facility during WW2.
                Ethan Allen invented furniture.
                And George Bancroft is the dad of that actress. Right?

        1. Y’know, I gotta say; I read the Eye of Argon, and it was a juvenile first attempt at writing, but it was a straightforward story with the basic building blocks of a story.

          As I was inflicted Clamps’ attempts at using the English language before reading EoA, and as badly written as it was, EoA was by orders of magnitude more coherent and readable than Clampsy’s plagarisms of plot-ish concepts, dialogue and ‘character’ being shoehorned into what pretended to be a story. Eye of Argon should be replaced as an example of exceedingly bad writing. The author of Eye of Argon didn’t think he was a much better writer than actual published makes-their-living-from-writing bestselling authors as well.

          1. I suspect that is WHY it has survived as well as it has. The details maybe insane, but the outline is recognizable. You know what was being aimed for, even if the targeting is askew.

        1. No, I plan to bring Slave, first book of the star cat chronicles to have a cozy read-around at Liberty con, with a bottle of Port. All welcome to join me.

              1. Seems improbable that such as those could be deemed private. Couldn’t even call those “danglies, could one?

                The females of the species must find relationships fulfilling.

          1. Hrmm.. not sure if should look forward to story and Port.. or if should be worr… a bit concerned about such.

            * Ponders flask, and what might best be contained therein. Just in case, mind.

            1. We’ll have a round Robin reading. NO ONE could read that for more than a couple of pages. Robert has forbidden dramatic readings from that book while driving “because no one can laugh that much without crashing.”

              1. So, I guess the big question is then if the story is actually meant as satire, or if the writer was totally serious and thought she (?) was writing something titillating/exciting/romantic/whatever it was supposed to be.

                I do have a hard time imagining anybody would find a male whose, well, that part (I do want to write something not ladylike but just in case there might be underage readers I guess I’ll play the maiden aunt here) is that long in any way erotic (unless you are a snail). Funny, yes, icky, possible, pitiable, very yes considering it should by all rights turn them into cripples for how could you do anything even remotely athletic with that kind of handicap? But people can be admittedly weird.

      2. I was actually wondering if this had been written by Clamps. It’s on par with his level of misunderstanding of how everything works.

        But, since reading the comments, if this is meant for pre-college schooling (I don’t know what year 12 is there), I wouldn’t be surprised if the teacher weren’t allowed to teach, but to simply cheer on the students, because feelings and shitz.

        1. I toodled around the site and read some other posts by (I believe) other students. Some were more painful than that, but none I saw were as detailed, which generally meant that at least they got less wrong, because there was less written.

          The one on the Incas was interesting. That author could state the glaringly obvious in terms that made you think you should be seeing it in all caps and followed by a row of exclamation marks. Like he was imparting a shocking secret.

            1. No – the command of English and standards of fealty to factual accuracy exceed those of the Grauniad.

        2. FYI we had a comment by Clamps which forced me to block his latest ip — boston area, of course — he did two over the course of two months, and one at Nicki’s blog.
          Name Turner Ashenden. Usual, rude, one liner apropos nothing.

          1. I gathered that, from your reply over at Nicki’s. I reckon he’ll show up again, because he was mentioned. Sorry about that.

            He hasn’t tried commenting at my blog, which is… interesting, but I’m glad. I’m busy enough lately as it is! (RL stuff. Giving myself a break to poke head into the blogs.)

            1. *checks Shadow’s blog* ‘Four Legendary Kingdoms?’ *Research*


    2. It looks like it was produced for a High School class, by high school students, but even so…Amen on the invocation of egads. I’d flunk the teacher for letting this be seen in public without corrections for…well, just about everything.

      1. OK, so maybe not high school. 7th grade? It’s still an impressive piece of fail.

        1. I was hoping bottom of the class 5th grader, whose first language is not English and whose non-English reading parent helped waaaay too much or a second grader who cut and pasted poorly?

    3. Citations are not at the level they were when my wife and I were in junior high and high school. That’s grated my nerves considerably. I have not heard the first ibid or loc. cit. with the kids. They have not had to do term papers like we did – and we had manual typewriters. Oh, my, how that made footnotes and bibliographies “fun.” I usually checked to see if I could do end notes.

      A history professor in college must have run into the same problem, because he promised he would file plagiarism charges (perhaps to campus authorities?) against any student who did not cite sources, and that was decades ago.

    4. It appears to be a Wiki, there were 7 revisions of it, you can look through the history of it by clicking the clock in the upper right. Given the timing of the revisions, I’m thinking that this might be a group essay project, Sept 21st “pwoessner” created a simple outline of an essay, then nothing at all happened until October 11th and October 12th where “aniemann” and “druwitch” dashed out the rest of the changes in a rather hurried fashion, they probably waited until the very last minute to finish the assignment.

      pwoessner might be a teacher, has 3800 edits on the wiki, while the other two have only a couple dozen edits each. It looks like the Wiki was only used for one school year before being abandoned. It might be a 7th grade class-specific wiki?

      Looking at the edit history, in particular, apparently druwitch’s nickname is “Dotsy”

  5. What the actual what? Please say this was a elementary student writing this. Please….. (my head hurts, even with your explanations)

    1. Actually apparently middle school. Somehow this is part American History 7.
      Look, these kids are out of elementary. They should know a little more than this.

      1. Whew! For a while I was thinking “Western Civilization 304.”

        It’s no battier than some collegiate twaddle I’ve seen…

      2. Well you have to cut them SOME slack, after all their teacher had them write a history report on Portugal in paleolithic times… in an AMERICAN HISTORY CLASS!

      3. Hmmm. Trying to remember middle school history classes way back in the early ’70s. I’m actually drawing a blank – I hated history in school. So I have no idea whether I would have known more about Portugal even back then (maybe that there was some character called Vaco, Vasto, something like that…).

        Fortunately, Mom had purchased a series of books (dang it, don’t know now who published them) on history for probably around the ten year old range. Fairly thin, maybe around fifteen volumes, but with tons of beautiful maps and battle drawings.

        I remember that the two volumes covering Greece and Rome were just about worn out by the time I entered first grade. I was probably the only kid in that class that was having a very hard time mastering diphthongs, but could spell Thermopylae, no problem.

        1. It would have depended on school and the class. Usually they started with the Age of Discovery and went forward, though a college class pushed it back to the crusades. Ours concentrated on the explorers and gave scant mention to the countries that sent them.

      4. Ah. See, I was hoping this was some 3rd grader with bad handwriting. From the yard-ape’s own efforts back in the day:

        “The flag of Namibia represents thee peaple of Namibia. The blue stands for the contery’s water, and the nasheril resores, green for agriculture, white for peace.”

        Animals of Namibia
        “There are giraffes, there are wild horses. There is a big population of cheetahs, (3000), lions, black rhinus, leopards, impalas, elephants, and antilope. In the Namib desert zebras and lions. Mostly in the Namib desert. There are lizards and beetles. The beetles are interesting.”

        “Sandbording is very popular. They also play soccer but they call it football.”

        I mean, those re-sores. Ugh. (I have no idea why the beetles are interesting. Kid likes arthropods.)

        And yes, I still have her report. My husband and I laughed quite a bit over it when we got it back, but the kid still knows how to find Namibia on a map, so it’s not a total waste of time.

        1. Older son had some kind of a brain glitch in one of his history tests in 6th grade, and wrote an alternate history of the civil war in which George Washington came out of retirement to fight against Lee (heaven knows why) and Betty Crocker was chief of army nurses. His teacher kept it because it was so funny.

          1. I dunno…that sounds like the sort of thing Washington might have done, had someone performed the unholy necromantic ritual necessary to bring him back…hang it, now I have an idea for an AH in which the Confederacy receives a mild lesson in “Do not call up what you cannot put down…”

          2. I’ve had tests where I was so tired from an all-nighter that I’m not sure what I wrote down. I had one where I (for lack of a better term) woke up at the end and read an entirely nonsensical and irrelevant answer I had written to a question – a math sort of question, to which I had given a poli-sci answer. That test did not grade well.

      5. Let’s see, I had 7th Grade history in 1957-8. I remember my teacher’s name (Pete Till — EVERYBODY knew Mr. Till), but what we studied? Not a clue! I was twelve, and started collecting stamps two years before. I had discovered Vasco de Gama, Prince Henry the Navigator, and a few other notable Portuguese who were on the stamps of that country, but other than that, I didn’t have much of a clue. Timmy starts junior high next year, so I’ll see what he’s supposed to learn.

        1. 7th grade was Ohio History and Latin-American History. I did an awesome report on the glories of Uruguay, but was unable to discover their contemporary political system after the ineviteble coup. Uruguay is not adequately covered in American news magazines or books, you see.

          OTOH, my Indian tomb diorama was awesome. I had a rubber skeleton figure from Halloween, so all I had to do was pose him and dress him up in accessories made of play doh. I wish I had known about the Cahokian portrait figures, though. I would have been able to style his hair and give him clothes, too.

        2. 7th Grade at my school is US history, World history is 8th-9th, then US 10-11, with Govt and Econ in 12th. 6th is world geography and TX history. The public schools follow a similar path, although some offer a World History option in 11-12 for AP World.

    2. If I wasn’t in the process of preparing to flee the city, er, go on vacation, I’d track down the school, find out who their accreditation board is, and suggest to the Head of School that they’d better improve things or [insert accreditation board here] might not be very happy.

    1. Dang! I just noticed that. The italics must have have formed a cabal to organize a coup and out-getossen ze Paleolithic’s. Or it could be…the REVENGE of HILLARY! I’m posolutely sure that The Donald wouldna touch this with a thousand-meter pole.

      1. The italics have outlawed the end-italic html code, since it was oppressing them, and racism, and stuff.

        This is obviously the fault of the paleolithic oppressor class. Or the American History class. Either one. Or both.

  6. It has been edited 7 times ……

    My mind is boggling and won’t stop. I need to go off and do some class work stuff involving revenue cycles, computers, and flow charts to get it settled down before I try to read more of that.

      1. We wish. Though that’s a rather disturbing thought too.

        If you run your cursor over the number 7 in the box in the upper right, it says “View 7 revisions”.

        When I started reading that page I initially thought it was a very poor attemt to imitate something like 1066 and All That or It All Started With Columbus. But after a few paragraphs I realized whoever put this up was serious.

        My family is giggling hysterically right now.

        1. I realized whoever put this up was serious.

          I think the proper term would be “somber.” I d not believe this can qualify as serious nor do I think the perpetrators of such twaddle are capable of being serious.

        2. To be fair, 1066 AND ALL THAT was a “best of” compilation of excerpts from papers just like this. The difference is, back then the papers would not have been published on the Net for EVERYONE to see, FOREVER.

            1. Pharaoh forced the Hebrew slaves to make bread without straw. Moses led them to the Red Sea, where they made unleavened bread, which is bread made without any ingredients. Afterwards, Moses went up on Mount Cyanide to get the Ten Commandments. David was a Hebrew king skilled at playing the liar. He fought with the Philatelists, a race of people who lived in Biblical times. Solomon, one of David’s sons, had 500 wives and 500 porcupines.

              Without the Greeks we wouldn’t have history. The Greeks invented three kinds of columns—Corinthian, Doric, and Ironic. They also had myths. A myth is a female moth. One myth says that the mother of Achilles dipped him in the River Stynx until he became intollerable. Achilles appears in The Iliad, by Homer. Homer also wrote The Oddity, in which Penelope was the last hardship that Ulysses endured on his journey. Actually, Homer was not written by Homer but by another man of that name.

              Socrates was a famous Greek teacher who went around giving people advice. They killed him. Socrates died from an overdose of wedlock.

              can’t breathe oh god I can’t stop laughing

              1. Ran across that–or something well-nigh identical–back in my college days. They really have done that badly for a l-o-o-n-g timem

            2. I first ran into that in Richard Lederer’s Anguished English book just before my first semester of finals in college. Very stressful time. Found the book and started reading it as I crossed campus. Was laughing out loud before I’d left the library. Gave it as a gift for years. Got another copy so I could introduce my kids to it.

  7. I can see why you are so late with this: it’s the laughing and snorting and rolling on the floor, and then getting all that to stop, and then it sets in again and off you go until you get hold of yourself…for a moment and then it starts in again, and again, and again.
    Now, those Lusitanians worry me; I thought most of them went down with the ship, and the rest were rescued, though, unfortunately, only temporarily, by the Titanic.

  8. Then again, my mother got another bad news letter from the IRS and I’m pretty sure it’s my fault (sigh) so maybe I should be tending to my own knitting as they say in Kannopolis (really, I read it in the paper).

      1. the things is- i expected us to find out it was written by someone in college. That’s how horrible most of the papers i saw from other students in my film school was.

        1. I have graded better papers by university level ESL students whose command of the language could politely be described as “inadequate”

          1. and I’ve seen worse papers written by college students at a film school whose ostensible major is screenwriting.

  9. I read the linked article assuming it was intended as a joke. It worries me that other people here seem to think it might be actually serious.

    Please tell me you are all just having me on.

    1. It is a joke. It’s a joke that the writer of the paper thinks that’s history. 😉

    2. I have to believe it’s a joke, and someone who might believe this needs professional help.

    3. It appears to be written by students to teach students. And click around on that wiki. You’ll really find it different.

      1. Pity because it would make a great start to an updated world history version of 1066 and all that.

        Perhaps it should be one anyway. Lemme set up a wiki and copypasta

    4. One of the oddities of the Net is that, given that both ends of the bell curve have equal representation, it can be hard to tell if something is supposed to be a joke.

      I once received some email from a corporate director with random capitalization, no punctuation, and “creative” spelling. Given that he had to ignore the spell checker highlighting practically the entire message, I thought it was a joke and replied in kind.

      Funny, it seemed that while sending incomprehensible drivel was fine, he was offended when some came his way…

  10. Now I’m thinking of time-travelers from the paleolithic, who wind up in the Middle Ages courtesy of banging the wrong rocks together. Seems that there were transuranic superheavies around then that have decayed by our time. Their remains are discovered in our time, along with some artifacts that came along for the ride. Someone, as a joke, suggests time travel. But that’s preposterous, of course.

    Then there’s a flurry of news stories from all across Europe as tribes of neanderthals materialize everywhere. Seems some of them observed the original incident, one said “Hold my mead,” figured out how to make time travel work, and they all decided to immigrate. Someone comments “At least we know what happened to them.”

    1. Transuranic elements may not be used where there is life. Medium atomic weights are available . . .

      1. Explanation, please. I know the larger the atom, the more unstable, and it undergoes fission and breaks down into elements of less atomic weight. Assuming transuranic superheavies exist, I’m not sure if that automatically means they’re highly radioactive, or if some funky configuration we don’t know about could give it a longer half-life. Was thinking about that uranium isotope involved in the natural atomic reactor and how the natural versions have decayed by now, and though isotopes aren’t quite the same thing, was thinking of handwaving a transuranic superheavy that lasted just long enough to be rare in the paleolithic age, but wouldn’t make it to our century. Thus handwavium would be more radioactive than uranium but less than plutonium.

        Since as far as we know handwavium doesn’t actually exist, this is more of a break the suspension of disbelief plausibility test, and not an argument.

        1. Whoah, whoah, whoah…. If handwavium doesn’t exist, then what’s holding all those SF novels together over all these years?
          [blinding flash annihilates universe]

      2. “Transuranic elements may not be used where there is life.” Is that Transphobia? 🙂

        Of is that what you pee after they give you an x-ray tracer?

        1. Speaking of which, it’s danged interesting when you notice the injection is shielded with lead glass to protect medical personnel when it’s going into you.

          1. It’s a case of “the dose makes the poison.” You’re getting exposed once while they may be getting exposed multiple times a day.

        2. The answer is above. It seems I made a reference too obscure even for this bunch.

          1. Huh. I don’t recall that show at all, and considering some of the..stuff.. I do recall… and this lasted three or four seasons?!

  11. “Also, I have Grant to torture.”

    Lock him in a cell with this being read 100 times. Monster Hunters will tremble at his fate for a thousand years.

    1. Better yet, read this to the Portuguese Hunters and tell them Grant is the one who wrote it.

  12. Dang. See what happens when you go walking with your husband!

    The author of that treatise (1) has failed to grasp any sense of history (2) has never been taught how to research a subject (3) has never been taught how to organize a report and (4) has no grasp of world history.

    It was hysterically funny, and now I’m going to go away and cry for the poor child.

  13. Well, we were wondering where the Democrats were getting them, now we know…

    No doubt this young authority has a bright future in our State Department, although I must admit that the level of knowledge and erudition concerning Portugal will likely preclude their assignment there–They are obviously too well versed in that region’s history and background, so of course, they must be assigned elsewhere, so that they may bring their blank slate to the table and learn of our foreign mentors untrammeled by the strictures of too much prejudicial foreknowledge. Better that they be assigned to an area of the world where they know nothing, nothing at all…

    You might think me a cynic, casting darkly humorous aspersions on our diplomatic cadre, but I’m sadly here to tell you that at least a few of our bright lights assigned to the Balkans displayed similar wit and wisdom, albeit without quite as much literary skill displayed here.

    1. I know that you are not casting false aspersions upon our beloved Department of State. Because I know some of the things Marie Harf has said.

    2. Yeah, not going to Lisbon, but I think they’re perfect for that Angola posting…

  14. What the moo?!?

    Ox not able to finish reading that.
    It make ox head hurt.

    Also, the phrase “unencumbered by the thought process” comes to mind.

    1. Plagerism used to be the way books were written. Prior to the formalization of the rules about copyright and plagerism if you liked someone’s turn of. Phrase you plopped their words in the middle of what you said. ::shrug::

      1. ‘Tis fixed now. Pity – while I was erranding, I was beginning to develop a story line based on those nasty Italics invading Castle Hoyt with their ravening war elephants… (Or is that “oliphaunts?”)

            1. African Bush Elephant -> Were Elephant -> George Bush -> African Bush Wars

              We are all gonna die!

  15. I want to point out that my coffee got cold while reading this… because I didn’t dare take a drink for fear of it coming out my nose.

  16. “The first and highest social class below the king was clergy. There were 2 parts of clergy. Upper clergy was the higher”

    The clergy used to be the highest social class, until you stole their stash. After that the nobility got higher than the clergy.

    I do appreciate you pointing out that upper clergy was higher than lower clergy, however. I have often wondered whether upper or lower is higher, thanks for clearing up that mystery for me.

  17. “King Henriques became the king in 1128”

    Paleolithics were extremely long lived, as King Henriques demonstrates by being crowned King a mere century after he found Portugal. His longevity is often credited to being the great-grandson of Methesula.

    1. “A reason that the church was important was because King Afonso Henriques made the church the countries largest land owner in the 13th to 14th century. ”

      Again, Paleolithics, and King Henriques in particular, were remarkably long lived compared to modern humans.

  18. “In between 1580-1640 Portugal became close with Spain. They were known as neighboring countries.
    For which purpose REALLY big hooks and staples were used. Again, dude, what? 1580 to 1640 Portugal and Spain were ONE COUNTRY due to one of those pesky inheritance things monarchies suffer from.”

    Possibly he was euphemistically referring to them as close, similar to the way that when man and woman become one, they remain two separate beings while simultaneously being joined together?

    1. Continental drift. Portugal was actually named thus as before being found, it was portable. Note that the becoming close to Spain thing happened afterwards, no doubt with a mighty crash.

  19. Okay, gonna take another shot at closing the italics tag, let’s see if this works:

    Did that finish off the italics?

  20. “The Pre-Celts and Celts were the first people to settle there.”

    I’m confused. Didn’t King Afonso discover Portugal? Perhaps he was a Celtic Paleolithic (or is that Paleolithic Celt?)

    I’m now picturing a short, swarthy, redhead garbed in furs, standing at the bow of a longboat. With one foot braced on a dragon’s head ram at the prow, while looking through a brass telescope at a distant shoreline.
    Possibly with the shoreline being overgrown with cale?

  21. The new Pirates of the Caribbean movie was apparently written by a graduate of this class. I’m told there’s a running gag that the British characters keep mistaking an educated woman for a witch.

  22. “Cozido a Portuguesa”

    … was a comely lass.

    “but in Coinbra one would cough as if they were clearing there throut.”

    I always thought a Coinbra was where you kept spare cash hidden in case you were mugged.

    “Clothing was different in the rural and city areas but not important to the Portuguese.”

    Which is why you seldom see pictures of prehistoric Portuguese, in addition to the complete lack of cameras in prehistoric times, in more modern times most prehistoric pictures of Portuguese have been censored or outright banned as pornography. One of the few sources for such pictures are back issues of National Geographic from prehistoric times.

    “Another important part of ancient government of Portugal was the Cortes.”

    … who were the first to find the Americas.

    “Outside of the social pyramid were slaves.”

    Every so often they would band together and revolt in an attempt to gain entrance to the pyramid. They were seldom successful however. When a slave did gain access to the social pyramid he was often referred to as a “villien knight.”

  23. I’m sure our composite history of the American Revolution would have been more coherent that this “history” of Portugal. At least that name wasn’t derived from Port Kale. Would have left a bad taste in the mouth.

    1. Most of the bad taste had disappeared by the time the name had gone through the permutations of Portus Cale, Portus Calem, then Portucale, and finally Portugal.

        1. Ah yes, and then there was my friend Kieron, 15th generation descendant of James the 1st, and every one of the bastards in between them was illegitimately conceived; which was a tragedy as Kieron was more noble of character than the entire royal family combined. Of course by 2020, at least half of America was distantly related to royalty in some fashion; even if only to a Cherokee princess.

  24. Random:

    WP Delenda Est. Miss ONE closing tag, and the rest of your site is in permanent italics…

    Excellent executive decision maker are you.

    Have to read the rest of this later; I don’t look good going to the hardware store with snorted coffee all over my front. Two paragraphs is all it took to put me into the danger zone…

    1. Have to read the rest of this later; I don’t look good going to the hardware store with snorted coffee all over my front. Two paragraphs is all it took to put me into the danger zone…

      Good move. I had, fortunately, finished my first coffee before I started reading. Otherwise I’m fairly sure the screen would now have a brownish tint

  25. “97% of the people were Roman Catholic which was the highest percent in Western Europe. Every person who practiced this religion, was baptized, married at some point or another, and they received there last rights.”

    Remarkable, there were absolutely no Catholic bachelors.

    And possibly Foxfier or Suburbanbanshee could answer this, but as a Roman Catholic… what are your last rights?

  26. I had never heard the word “hypermarket” before and I am somewhat surprised to find out (having Googled it) that it’s a real word.

  27. I went straight to the link and read (part of) the story before clicking back and reading the original commentary in full and comments. I was taken aback- because I assumed I was reading some poorly worded fiction, and that was the joke. That it was intended as real history, well, well…. I don’t know how to follow that up.

  28. *wanders in the next morning, a little bleary-eyed, pulling caffeine-in-a-cup* Hey! Where’d the italics go? *wanders over to caffeine-drinking-place*

    1. The text started reading itself, see, and went all italics from it all. It’s had some time to recover and the italics wore off. Be gentle on the letters, they might be rather hung over from that… experience.

    2. I wish she had left the italics. So many of our jokes depended on them.

  29. The italics came after the Celtics but before the Romans, who were never really there in the first place, but they’re gone now,

  30. In the near future, all the anthropological studies will lose their professors and papers– this will be the only thing found. –I am having the screaming laughing fits just seeing this become the only historical document on Portugal–

    1. Somebody set up an RPG where future Hollywood types did an early-21st Century adventure series with the same attention to detail as certain modern looks at ancient Greece.


      and its spinoff,


    2. Consider that some of our own views of the past may be very similar…

      The ancients did not always distinguish between fact and fiction. At least, as we’d think of them nowadays.

      In the modern world we make specific distinctions… but they’re often indirect. Five hundred or a thousand years from now, it might not be so obvious that Sherlock Holmes or the Duchy of Grand Fenwick were imaginary.

  31. Read this to my family (partly). There consensus is:
    – It was the space aliens. You know, time travel, totally different cultural norms, general wierdness.
    – The spaceships were the malls.
    – The aliens only wanted bronze. That is why they left after the Bronze Age, and took the malls with them.

    Reading this, I laughed so long, I’m still smiling. Do this anytime.

  32. On the bright side, the Cynetes or Conii were a real tribe in Roman times. Lived in the Algarve and Estremadura areas. I am sure you will be shocked to learn that they have a Wikipedia page. (No info about whether they were proto-Welsh relatives, or what.)

    My Spanish history class in college (language track, not history), just called all the tribes living on the Iberian Peninsula when the Romans came “Celtiberians,” and left it at that. Not super-accurate (and a bit dismissive of the Basques), but easy to remember.

      1. Probably some old Greek source was spelling it Cynetes.

        Come to think of it, either cyn- or con- would probably make them something like “the dog tribe” or “hound tribe,” which would be a flattering name for Celtic warriors. If they were Celts.

        (Assuming I am remembering roots correctly.)

  33. I presume that this was exactly the same sort of thing that Richard Lederer once did with the history of the world — that is, write the history of the world by stringing together actual sentences taken from the “history” papers of junior high and high school students. That is EXACTLY what this reads like. In other words, the complier knows it is nonsense but the students who wrote the sentences were genuinely clueless.

    From Lederer’s history of the world as taken from students’ papers, my favorite bits were:

    “Elizabeth was known as the Virgin Queen. As a queen, she was a great success.”

    “Lincoln freed the slaves with the Emasculation Proclamation.”

    “Sir Francis Drake circumcised the world with a 150-foot clipper.”

  34. The writer may be correct about the order of social classes. In France, the clergy were the First Estate, the nobles were the Second Estate, and the commons were the Third Estate. Thus the clergy had ceremonial precedence over the nobility.

    1. I have reason to believe this is a revisionist way of classing the groupings. (Though it’s possible they were referred to that way because of piety and virtue signaling.)
      The truth is in clashes between nobility and church, nobility won most of the time.

      1. The times that the clergy won were when they had other nobles/kings on their side.

        1. God fights on the side with the best artillery.
          Napoleon Bonaparte

          God is not on the side of the big battalions, but on the side of those who shoot best.

          How many divisions does the Pope have?
          Joseph Stalin

          (Though sometimes human genius can turn the tables)

          When it comes to war, a great general once said that God sides with “whichever side has the biggest battalions”.

          While greater numbers and quantity of material do not always a successful campaign make, history demonstrates that military victory tends to go to the side with more: more men, more supplies, more weaponry, etc. Against this purely physical equation must be factored the morale and quality of the soldiers involved, the ability of their commanders, terrain, objectives, comparative technology of the combatants, and other less tangible factors that impact on the final outcome.

          That said, numbers matter. As Lenin famously expressed it, “Quantity has a quality all its own”. In a punching contest, the biggest kid usually wins the fight. In a boxing match, the larger heavyweight fighter might be a tad slower than the feisty banter-weight, and in the first rounds the quicker fighter can often land many more shots on the slower heavyweight. But those blows will not have the power of the bigger man’s.

          If his lighter blows don’t achieve a knock-out, if the big guy can take a punch, then time is against the lightweight. In a slug-fest, the longer it goes on the more likely it is that the big man will land a heavy shot and beat the little guy down.

          Throughout history we have seen examples of smaller but better trained and/or led armies winning victories over larger, less tactically adroit opponents. However, if initial tactical successes cannot be parlayed into a quick and victorious conclusion to hostilities, time tends to favor the “big battalions”.


          In military terminology, a “force multiplier” is any factor or set of circumstances (or combinations of either) which make a given fighting force more effective than it would otherwise be. As example, due to the increased firepower and lethality of modern weapons and weapon’s systems, a platoon of infantry today can often accomplish a mission it might have taken an entire company to achieve in WWII. In this example, weapon’s technology is a powerful force multiplier.

          Force multipliers can have a dramatic, even decisive result on the outcome of any given conflict.

          Some common force multipliers are:
          [END EXCERPT]

          1. There are always complications, as the Pope’s battalions are soldiering on, even if inspiring thoughts of how you can tell the Catholic Church is of divine origin* and the USSR is one with the snows of yesteryear.

            *It’s lasted two millennia in spite of the Catholics’ very best efforts

        2. Or when they could legitimately be referred to as the Church Militant.

          I’ll also say that that definition of the Estates came about as the actual temporal power of the Church declined. I suppose it made them feel better.

          1. IIRC the Military Church Orders were only formed during the Crusades period and most were disbanded (as military units) after the Crusades were over.

            I also believe that when they didn’t operate in the Middle East, as military units, they operated on the “edges” of Christendom.

            So they usually weren’t available for clergy to use them in a dispute with the local king/noble. 😉

            1. The Eastern church went militant long before the Western one did. Byzantium was wealthy enough to hire mercenaries to spread the Word, which they commonly did by “convert now or die horribly.”

              Far too many of the history books I’ve read conflate the Catholic Church with the Greek Orthodox Church. Once I read a bit about Byzantium a lot of things made a lot more sense.

      2. Reality often has little impact on classification. For instance, in theory, merchants were the lowest class in Japan, below even peasants. In reality. . ..

        1. Or it describes reality very well when it was first said…. and then no one looked at reality again.

  35. The most notable thing about the blood of our dead is that is was (the lies told by the apostles of Zinn aside) shed to, as first sung over 150 years ago,

    As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free

    May it always be thus.

    1. Oh Good Grief!!!! This was supposed to post on the post titled The Blood Of Our Dead, not here.

      RES is a posner, at times.

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