Thursday, July 21, 2016

Today in joust cause...

*sorry about that. You might think that I'm better than that, the puns I mean, but I'm not. In fact, the truth is I'm much worse.

Funny story, it turns out I
squandered my youth.
Do you ever find yourself pining for the old days? For some people it's old photos or watching old movies. For me it's old video games because I'm some sort of man-child. But whatever our jam is (am I using that correctly?), we're usually met with the disappointing realization that our fondly remembered pursuits are not nearly as enjoyable as adults. I used to rationalize that my decades-long fascination with gaming built hand-eye coordination and problem-solving skills but mostly I was just whiling away the hours with meaningless and sometimes frustrating diversions. Not saying I regret it, just that maybe I should have learned piano or something instead.

Sadly, the IOC already turned
down competitive alcoholism. 
Anyway, the point is that the past isn't always as great as we think it is but that doesn't stop us from longing for it. Where it gets weird though is when we start getting all nostalgic for something we weren't actually around for in the first place. Like, I don't know, say, jousting. Yeah, there's a group in the UK called English Heritage and they'd like to make jousting an Olympic sport. No. for real. They want to party like it's 1599. They've been talking to the Olympic committee and today are launching an online petition.

How come? Are they somehow pining for the days of bubonic plague and the Crusades? Maybe, but I kind of suspect that English Heritage is just trying to get jousting added so the UK will have a guaranteed gold. It'd be like if Scotland was pushing for the caber toss or if the GOP was trying to find a way to make racism an Olympic event. See that? I'm topical.
"Show of hands people who miss the days when men wore hats, women knew
their place and we could say Chinaman...ok, everyone? Great. Vote Trump."

-Donald Trump at the RNC
Short-tempered, festering leg wound,
 murdered two can see why
ladies were lining up to marry him.
Sure, there are jousts held all around the world, but unless you're in the UK, it's usually non-competitive things like Renaissance Festivals and Medieval Times (as in the restaurant, not the years 400-1400 AD,) but I gather that those are a little more like performances. Jousting, like for real jousting went out with doublets and heretic burning. Turns out you can get seriously injured or dead doing it. Henry VIII, England's fattest, murdery-est king was a huge fan, up until his got himself a festering leg wound that would ooze and stink up the palace for the rest of his life, and his pal Henry II of France actually died in a joust.

Sure it's hot and uncomfortable, but it looks
bad-ass and add +8 to you armor roll, so...
So what the hell is a real joust? It actually sounds kind of cool according to the English Heritage website. Competitors on horseback try to break lances on each other's shield at speeds of 30 miles per hour while decked out in 40 pounds of steel armor. Oh yes, there not screwing around. They compete in authentic armor and not like, bullshit modern padding. And what's cool is that women and men are allowed to compete with each other making jousting exactly 100% more progressive than all other sports.

Ok, fine, so the English Heritage site is going to talk it up and maybe make it more interesting than it is, but did I mention the armor and horses? Because holy shit I am all for this being an Olympic sport. And besides this is no more ridiculous or medieval than other Olympic events. Fencing? Archery? I'm looking at you...
Above: competitive archery never fully recovered
from the scandal that rocked the 1190 games when one of the
 competitors was revealed to be a clever and unnervingly sexy fox.

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