The Brand of Folly

Throughout time, an alarming amount of fools have—somehow—managed to write a page in history for themselves that detail their follies. It has become my reluctant duty to present to you—dear reader—what follies were committed on this day throughout history and by what fools.

However, while the inspection of others’ follies can be beneficial (for those who learn from mistakes), it is somewhat depressing in nature. Therefore, some happy instances shall be covered as well—sometimes.

May 23rd:

1430: Joan of Arc was captured and sold to the British. Here begins a nasty affair that, unfortunately, ends in Joan’s death. Should this receive the brand of folly? It is a good question. Joan was successful in her military campaigns—which was quite impressive. However, the ending to her story is somewhat pathetic. Therefore, I believe I shall leave this instance quite alone.

1618: Now, here is a folly hands down. On this date, the 2nd Defenestration of Prague took place. ‘Defenestration’ is a morbid word that refers to throwing someone from a window and to their death. I suppose the game must have been rather popular since this was its sequel. On this day, the Protestants practiced Defenestration on their Catholic enemies. But the desired results were not realized. This time around, the victims survived a 70ft fall. The Catholics maintained that the victims were saved by angels; the Protestants, that they were saved by a pile of dung. Personally, I think a pile of dung must have made a nice addition to the game. BRANDED FOLLY.

 

Captain William Kidd, privateer turned pirate,...

Captain William Kidd, privateer turned pirate, whom all colonial governors were directed to seize if found (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

1701: Captain William Kidd is hanged. Originally, Kidd was sent out to capture pirates; but he proved rather horrible at the task, not taking any opportunities that presented themselves. Eventually, though, Kidd took a French ship, which he was authorized to do. However, one little complication arose. The captain of the ship turned out to be English! A complication indeed, since Kidd was working for England. Of course, Kidd was mortified, but his crew convinced him to keep his treasure. It appears that throughout Kidd’s career he couldn’t decide whether he wanted to be a pirate or not. But he got hanged for it nonetheless. A smart man would have been a pirate, had the fun, and then paid for it. He definitely would not have done it the way Kidd did: Been neither a pirate nor officer, had no fun, and then paid for it. BRANDED FOLLY.

1939: Hitler declares his intentions to move into Poland. I wonder when he decided against moving there in favor of invading. Eventually, this decision turned out badly for him. BRANDED FOLLY.

1958: The ‘Great Leap Forward’ movement in China begins. It was the mastermind of the CPC (Communist Party of China). As usual, the communists got it all dead wrong, and instead of the ‘Great Leap Forward’, they got the ‘Great Chinese Famine.’ BRANDED FOLLY.

 

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