Another great free post from Stone Age Herbalist, this time about the curious phenomenon of going berserk. Like a lot of Fortean phenomena, since this does not neatly fit into our mental categories it is easy not to think about too much. However, this sort of thing is widespread in human history, and this post does a good job of putting everything together into some kind of coherent order.
I happened to already know something about the Moro juramentados, as their frenzied attacks famously spurred the adoption of the .45 ACP cartridge by the United States Military, as the pistol calibers of the day were insufficient to stop juramentado attacks.
There is a curious paragraph in Dracula that seems incredible but turns out to be more reliably source than you might think:
Do you know all the mystery of life and death? Do you know the altogether of comparative anatomy and can say wherefore the qualities of brutes are in some men, and not in others? Can you tell me why, when other spiders die small and soon, that one great spider lived for centuries in the tower of the old Spanish church and grew and grew, till, on descending, he could drink the oil of all the church lamps?“
Devin Coldewey turns up a reference to a spider that drank lamp oil that was observed by a scientist of the day. The drawing made was sent to Vienna, but is now lost. At first I was more skeptical, but then I remembered that lamp oil in the eighteenth century was rendered animal fat, for example whale blubber, which would actually be something that could be consumed.
Isegoria: Dracula Links
Friend of the blog Isegoria has quite a collection of posts on Dracula.
Prudent China watchers assume that all data coming out of China has been manipulated, but COVID-19 may have given us an unexpected opportunity to cross-check population estimates with mandatory vaccination targets.
You can wax philosophic about the concept of the common good. Here, Patrick Deneen focuses in on the need for the common good to benefit the common people.
The death of Sissi’s son sticks in my mind because of a movie adaption I saw that featured the burial ritual at the Kapuzinerkirche for Habsburgs:
A traditional ceremony during the funeral is when the procession of mourners arrives at the gates of the Capuchin Church, under which the Imperial Crypt lies, and the Herald knocks on the door. A Capuchin then asks "who demands entry?" The Herald responds with the name and title of the deceased. The Capuchin then responds "we don't know him/her." The same procedure is repeated once. Only on the third attempt, when the Herald responds with "a sinful, mortal human being", are the gates opened and the dead Habsburg admitted into the Crypt.
Razib Khan throws cold water on populist movements in American politics.
Joel Kotkin looks at the demographic and economic trends currently bolstering the long derided and ignored American Heartland.
Stone Age Herbalist talks about the practice of violence, and how it interacts with our psyches in the Frenzied like a Wolf post.
In John Protevi’s work ‘The Phenomenology of Blackout Rage’, he distinguishes between three types of aggressive behaviour:
- Reactive Aggression - the instinctive behaviour of an organism to defend itself and to override the tendency to freeze with fear when under attack. This can be an appropriate response, or it can be disproportionate, a hyperbolic response.
- Proactive Aggression - the controlled response to a threat, but combined with an emotional reaction, typically anger, in order to motivate oneself to use violence.
- Instrumental Aggression - the cold blooded and totally controlled use of violence for a specific end, not always self defence. Requires a long process of training to overcome the emotional responses to using aggression. Typical of psychopaths and professional hitmen/assassins/special forces.
John “Doc” Spears’ contribution to the Galaxy’s Edge universe is a how-to manual of instrumental aggression.
Mark Bowden’s account of the Battle of Mogadishu is an essential bit of history to understand the point of view of the men who perpetuate instrumental aggression on our behalf.