History That’s Not Taught in School
Charles E. Robinson
Attica, NY 114.011
I’ve heard tell that the song is quite accurate, and that Hitler really did only have one ball. Obviously it was enough to keep Eve satisfied through many loyal years, which all goes to snow; when you meditate as I do so rarely, on the fact that the great men and women of history, despite their obvious excellence in some field or another, were sometimes worse off then the rest of us; It might make you feel more amenable to your personal rut. I mean, we may not all achieve fame, but then most of us live out our lives without some of the hang-ups and inadequacies of many famous men and women.
I generally, end my rare meditations on the vagaries of fame, feeling more satisfied with my little lot. Obviously it isn’t mine to choose, but if this impossible choice was mine, I guess I’d settle for mediocrity and no sexual misfortunes, than fame and hang-ups. I am not being entirely logical because nobody offered Hitler the choice: Adolf, my boy, you can either be a nobody and sexually fulfilled, or you can be the Fuhrer and only have one ball.
It has occurred to my manic mind to wonder, however, what he would have chosen, if able to do so. I’m not saying that to be famous means that automatically you must have some sexual hang-ups, but I feel that it must be more difficult to be well known with a sexual complication, if only because it becomes more difficult to hide. I mean who’d take notice of the fact that I wasn’t equipped with both testicles or whether I committed incest or dug little girls or even pretty boys? But if I was famous, I’d probably feel that there was more at stake in being found out. Not that being a nobody with a sexual quirk, I wasn’t necessarily be found out, but who in the hell is going to remember a year later that I was connected with whatever peccadillo, I was discovered perpetrating?
Take my friend Keith; Probably, at the most, fifty people know that he reaches orgasms by throwing oranges at naked asses of prostitutes. I should imagine that none of those fifty people, care one way or another; Keith’s problem is Keith’s problem. Even if we are moved to pity or amusement, his hangup is essentially private, because Keith isn’t anybody the rest of the country, let alone the rest of the world, let alone posterity, is going to remember for anything.
My friend Henry, laughed like a drain when the libel case of the bottom-spanking Colonel came to court. Henry has been spanking bottoms and obtaining sexual release from doing so, for the past fifteen years; ever since he discovered that it turned him on. He’ll go on doing so, as long as hitting a female bottom makes his prick hard, and who, beyond his circle of friends, is going to be able to point an accusing finger at him? Of course I suppose it doesn’t matter after you are dead, at least matter to you, I mean. But I’d hate to be living some sort of afterlife knowing that my hangup had lasted longer than my fame. I guess I feel that when it comes to sin, I’d rather be anonymous, and it’s probably fortunate that I feel as I do, because I’m not likely to have it any other way.
Mind you, the sexual quirks of the famous aren’t something they teach in school. If they did, the study of history would certainly take on other dimensions. They told me, for instance, that Nero initiated the burning of Rome and that he didn’t play the fiddle while it burned (adding that the fiddle was probably a lyre which he didn’t play just then either).What they didn’t tell me, was that he fucked his mother, had a pretty lad called Sporur castrated and then married him, dowry, bridal, veil and all; And then had Sporus, to go about in the fine clothes normally worn by an Empress. They didn’t tell me that Nero was once severely beaten by a senator whose wife, he had molested or that he raped a Vestal Virgin, or that whenever he floated down the Tiber to Ostia, he had a row of temporary brothels erected along the shore, where a number of noblewomen were required to pretend to be prostitutes and solict his custom.
When I did discover that history was more than just a list of names and dates, battles, treaties, victories and defeats, but was concerned with peoples and their lives, sexual and otherwise; I found that I had become a collector of non-information on and now I am the possessor of a list of non-facts about the famous, if you consider the relevance of thier sex lives to be non-fact.
Caesar, for instance, became more interesting to me when I learned that besides conquering Gaul, crossing the Rubicon and refusing a crown, he also divorced his wife, only on a suspicion that she might have committed adultery; because Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion. He also is rumuoured to have been the queen of Bithnyia, when in exile there, and having been fucked by the king of Bithynia. Brutus was suspected of being Caesar’s son, and certainly Cleopatra had his son, whom she brought to Rome, with her a short while before Caesar was assassinated. I like the story about Tiberius, Caesar’s best friend; It conjures up mind boggling images. Tiberious, as the scandal has it, had a rare imagination for sexual kicks. He is reputed to have trained little boys, to chase him when he went swimming, and after being caught, he would have them to kneel between his legs, to lick and nibble at his prick. I guess, that could reasonably considered, as being far out.
The kings of England, had their little ways, too. William Rufus, was probably their first homosexual king. There is no definite documentation on this issue, but he is condemned by contemporary historians by what he didn’t do, when everybody else was doing it; Rather than what they knew him to have done. Rufus was a member of a very profligate family, his brother Henry the first, had at least six known mistresses; Henry the second, lived in open polygamy, and yet Rufus had neither mistresses, nor bastards. The theory goes, that if he wasn’t doing women, was he doing men? Then he was murdered, in the New Forest, in 1100, he was buried in Winchester Old Minster, without religious rites, because he was regarded as a sodomite.
Their most famous king, was Edward the second. His father, Edward the first, is reputed to have fallen back dead, in his bed, after a blazing row over Edward’s homosexual behaviour, with Piers Gavestion. Mind you, Edward married, and managed to produce the son, who became Eward the third; So he did, do his bit for old England, which is more than most of us can say. But then, most of us are not asked. We are expected to fight for President, King or country, but not required to fuck for them. Speaking Personally, I can’t say, I would relish having to bash away, at someone who didn’t turn me on, for the sake of stable government. Edward, received precious little thanks, for his selfless devotion to duty, however; His own wife, led the gang who did him in, and thus unseated him. Two of her fellow conspirators (lovers?) held the poor chump down and rammed a red hot poker up his ass. It is said, that they waited until he was asleep, be fore performing the dreadful deed; But I doubt,he felt any gratitude towards them for it…”
John of Gaunt, son of Edward the third, uncle of Richard the second; died of a putrefaction of the genitales, due to carnal copulation. “Syphilis,in the royal family?” Henry the eight is thought to have died of syphilis and certainly his wife, Catherine Parr tented the huge and possibly, syphilitic ulcer on his leg, as part of her wifely duties. And while we are gossiping about the royal family, have you heard the theory about Jack the Ripper? Some people believe that the identity of Jack, was never revealed because investigation, led to a Royal Personage: Queen Victoria’s grandson, an elder brother of George The V, the Duke of Clarence, who died prematurely, possibly of syphilis. Leaving England, but still touring royalty; There’s old Catherine The Great, of Russia, as close to a nymphomaniac as makes no matter, whether she actually did it with stallions, isn’t the point; But she certainly fucked whoever she fancied,and she was a pretty fancy Lady. Or that long line of Egyptain Pharaohs, who married their sisters, more often half-sisters, admittedly; but blood relation none the less; And talking about half sisters, there is always George Gordon, better known by his title, Lord Byron, whose relationship with his half sister, Augusta, provived a great deal of gossip, and speculation among the crowd of his day. Whether it was started as a rumour to spice up the mad, bad, Byron image or whether Augusta, really was the only woman, Byron ever truly loved, the story once circulated and believed contributed to the reasons for Byron’ s departure from England to live in Italy. Apropos of nothing, I’ve always had a great affection for Lot, that estimable citizen of Sodom. It must have been difficult enough being good in a city of sin; But by all accounts, Lot was a genuinely generous, and good natured dude. He harboured his two guests tenaciously.
How was he to know, they was angels? He took them for travellers, and he knew that once they’d accepted his hospiality, he owed them protection. So when the citizens of Sodom, came along demanding the strangers for a little bit of buggery, Lot refused, and he offered his two virgin daughters, instead. (Poor girls, but that’s another story.) The girls incidentally were betrothed, and Lot went and warned his intended sons-in-lawslaws, that the town would be destroyed, and said, they should leave with him, his wife and daughters. The prospective sons-in-laws, didn’t take Lot seriously and remained behind. Lot and family, pushed off to safety, and en route, Lot’s wife looked back and became a pillar of salt. Instant widower; And then comes the interesting bit. Lot and his two daughters, are living in a cave after the disaster, and the elder daughter suggests, to the younger, that as there are no one left to marry, they should get their father drunk and then fuck him, thus carry on the family name through our father; And there’s this chump, too drunk to recognize that the dishy bird in his bed, is his daughter, but not too drunk to get it up, and two nights on the go at that; Because the girls took him in turns, to get him to lay them, and not only does he get it up, when sodden drunk) which you must admit, is an admirable talent but he gets both of them pregnant, first go. The elder girl, gives birth to a son, who became the ancestor of the Moabites, and the younger girl’s, son founded the Ammonites. I think, about it sometimes, when the mind is willing, but the flesh remains flaccid, and I have to put the blame on alcohol. If Lot, wasn’t too drunk to do it, then it seems, he wasn’t too drunk to recognize that he was indulging in a tidy bit of incest; and he also wasn’t too drunk to blow the whole thing, by letting on that he knew what he knew. Old Lot, is one of my favorite famous men; It would be nice to feel I he actually did exist once, smelly old nomad, that he must have been.
When bedouins cone to mind, there’s always the rumour about Lawrence of Arabia’s penchant for pretty Arab boys, and when pretty boys come to mnind, there’s all those famous Greeks, who saw no harm in a little bit of sodomy. Socrates, was put to death, for corrupting the youth of Athens. Maybe, it wasn’t only his ideas that were deemed to be a bad influence. And there’s Sappho, whose island home of lesbos, gives us the word lesbian; Sappho’s love affairs, were as physical as her love poetry is lyrical. I’m not sure, of the story about queen Victora, and her exclusion of lesbian activity, in the bill that made homosexuality a crime, but I read somewhere, that lesbianism was not included, because either Queen Victoria, had heard about lesbianism, but couldn’t be made to believe, that women actually do physical things to one another, or she didn’t know that lesbianism is a fact of life, and none of her ministers was going to take it upon himself to tell her about it. Whatever the reason, lesbian activity was excluded from the bill, which dealt with the age of consent, and homo-sexuality. I have a theory about queen Victoria, If you, take one look at the profligancy of her family, the way her uncles, carried on, and, on and on, I guess it would be safe to assume that queen Victoria, had a streak of hot, blooded passion in her; And I suspect, that it was beloved Albert, who was the cold fish. Maybe, she made too many demands on his sexuality and he couldn’t keep it up, but I don’t think Victoria was a natural prude. I suspect Albert, moulded her that way; Maybe, the time came, when he simply had to have a bit of Peace, in the royal bed.
When famous men are artists, it seems only to be enacted that they’d not be your general, run of-the mill-middleclass gent. Van Gogh’s father, a thoroughly respectable minister of the church, must have been a bit put out, however, when it came to his ears, that his son was living with a prostitute, who was pregnant, by who knows who, that Vincent was contemplating marriage. Gaugin’s wife, was probably none too pleased, with her estranged husband’s action, in Tahiti. Painting is one thing living with a fourteen year old, Polynesian girl is another. Toulouse Lautrec’s aristocratic family, seemed to accent the fact that he was so at home in some brothels, that a room was permanently set aside, for him there.
Rodin lived, for almost a life time, with a loyal faithful woman, whom he did not consider worthy of marrying. Holman Hunt, one of the original Pre-Raphaelites, took a girl from a tenement and set about, having her educated so she’d pass in society. She was illiterate when he discovered her; he paid for her to learn, to become a lady. Long after he discovered that she had been sleeping around, and in fact, she had been the mistress of a minor aristocrate, he continued to pay her rent, and settle her debts. She wouldn’t do for a wife, and it took him years to free himself from her; Which could lead us to philosophize on class attitudes, in Victorian England, but it isn’t worth the effort. The attitude that some women are good enough not to fuck, but good enough to marry, is certainly not extinct today; It’s just that nobody is going to gather this unworthy material into a biography, when we behave in this callous way; But then, we’ve already decided that not being famous, has its advantages. Louis Carroll, had an interesting side to his many sided personality. Some biographers, insist that his interest in little girls, was entirely innocent. But his photographs of little pre-pubescent nymhets, provide ammunition to those biographers, who prefer to read sexuality into his kindness, towards his friends children. Then, of course, there is that embarrasing little snippet from South African History. Paving such a short past, they are pretty proud of it. History begins in 1630, sometime, when the Dutch set up a settlement.
The early Governors, were an interesting lot, and they have one, who causes a little concern. It wasn’t so much his sex life, that was awkward, but that of his father. Simon Van Per Stel, was a wise and popular governor, and happened to he born in Mauritius, then also dutch. Trouhle is, his mother probably was not, quite white. With the present accent on White is Right, it has been necessary to forget that one of the great founding fathers, wouldn’t look too cool, if he turned up today.
Josephine, also hailed from that neck of the woods, or thereabouts. She came to France, because that was where it was at, in those days for French citizens of the colonies, and she was at it for quite some years, before one honoured Napoleon with her hand in marriage.
From all accounts, Napoleon had noth1ng against a woman smelling like a woman all over. There’s a letter in existence, which he wrote to Josephine, in the first hectic flish of their marriage, in which he informs her that he is coming home, and tells her not to wash. Tell, that one to the makers (and users)of vanginal deodorants!.
There’s the theory, that D.H. Lawrence, only went on and on about the necessity for true sexuality, because he himself, didn’t get it up very well, or very often. Much to the same theory exists about Hemingway, despite the assortment of wives and mistresses; almost as though Hemingway had to convince himself, that he was a man; But the more, he beat his hairy chest, the more he hunted, fished and fucked, the larger the suspicion grew, that if only he would settle down to being a man, he’d probably find the happiness that evaded him as a heterosexual.
What, so nice about history, my way, is that, it brings famous people down to size, and makes us nobodies their equals, if not their superoirs. If you, have a magpie mind like mine, you can ramble forever down the pathways of history, ferreting out little known, but comparatively, interesting bits and bobs about famous men and women. It makes me smile wryly, to acknowledge that while I shall never be famous as Churchill, I shall never have to live down the fact, that my father died of syphilis, and to have that fact made public knowledge.
I shall never write like Oscar Wilde, but then, I shall never have to endure public shame, on account of private activities. There’s the repeated assertion that public men and women, are entitled to private lives; but it doesn’t seem to work out that way, in practice. I guess, famous men and women, have to accept the rough with the smooth; The public adulation and private smiles of those of us, who know the difference between famous men and women, and the rest of us, is less than they would like us to think. It’s when, we know an intellectual giant like Samuel Johnson: besides, compiling the first dictionary, in english, he got sexual kicks from being flogged, which makes him seem more, and not less human.
I like, my famous men and women, to be standing on their pedestals, on feet of clay. It may be difficult for them, but it’s certanily far, far, more comfortable for me. Through this brief, if not in depth, look into the history—of some of our famous men and women; I have tried to give the reader, a profundity into the history, that are not taught in school.
So, until next time, remember, that all sex can beautiful, if the mind is willing, and the body is able.