Tonight's NerdTV

My Tivo's filling up fast so I had to watch some stuff tonight that I'd gotten from the History International channel. [note: Last week, when I had time, I looked at the guide for the next two weeks on this channel; I have approximately 52389762348 hours of stuff on my Tivo's To Do List. Seriously. It's an addiction.]

When I went to London almost two years ago, it was all "William the Conqueror this" and "William the Conqueror that." So I figured maybe I would find out some stuff about this William the Conqueror guy. I will admit that I mostly liked him because he started the construction on the Tower of London, which was one of my most favorite places I visited, and which is also supposed to be the most haunted place on earth. Also, all through school I would hear stuff about 1066 and bleeblahbloo, so I knew it was supposed to be important and maybe I should learn some stuff about that too.

Of course I didn't do any BOOK research; I had to wait for the MOVIE. (not a movie, exactly; it was Ancient Almanac, which is only an hour long).

And guess what I found out: William the Conqueror was a massive jerk. I guess I could have figured that out from his last name. [Hey--MY last name means "conqueror." Maybe I'M a massive jerk!] [Well ... but I will certainly be using that as the reason for my bad behavior from now on.]

Okay, now here is History According to Mei Flower, which is always way better than Actual History.

So W the C was an illegitimate kid, which was not great for him because his uncles tried to keep him from obtaining his birthright from his dad, whose nickname was "Devil," so you know that he kind of had a reputation to live up to. Only his mother--the barmaid--had a pretty tenacious family, and apparently they "persuaded" the uncles to lay off, if you know what I mean.

WC was descended from Vikings, so apparently all the conquering stuff was in his blood (?) or something; I would really like to hear about some Vikings who were Conscientious Objectors, which would be awesome: Amish Vikings! Anyway, he grew up all violent and stuff and then he went around having battles and whatnot and he won a bunch and people were scared of him.

Then he wanted to marry his cousin Matilda, but the Catholic Church said he couldn't. So he built a monastery and a convent and the Church was all, "When's the wedding?" And then years after they were married Matilda decided she wanted to be a nun so she went and lived in the convent that was built so she could get married in the first place. Ha! Your wife left you for Jesus!

So then W the C went on a rampage, and he thought about England, which was across the Channel and already set up with fiefdoms and villages and, most importantly, taxes. And he was all, "I should get in on that!" So he did.

Now at the time WC's brother, Edward the Confessor, was the King of England, but he was all frail and sickly and stuff, so he died. He is now buried in Westminster Abbey, which was actually his idea to build, but he never saw the completed project. I have seen his tomb, but I did not know who he was so I wasn't impressed but I liked his name; it sounded holy.

After E the C died, this other brother, Harold, hurried right along and crowned himSELF king, and W the C was like, "Oh no you di'n't!" and he went and had a battle. It was at Hastings, which always without fail makes me say in my head, "Hasty pudding!" which is weird, because I don't even know what that is.

So during the battle, Harold died either because he caught a spear with his eye or because some Norman soldier dug his guts out. Either way, he lost. Ancient Almanac showed a tapestry of the battle, and I totally turned into a sixth grader, because there was a naked guy on it and I was like, "Tee hee!"

And then WC went to London to have himself a coronation in Westminster Abbey and there was this whole big misunderstanding when something caught fire and his soldiers wound up killing a bunch of folks. And he started building the Tower of London just in case anybody got any ideas about conquering the Conqueror.

So there were some people were not all that happy that this French guy was coming to take over their country (you know the English and the French don't really get along). But W the C endeared himself to them by burning down the entire villages of anybody who said something bad about him, so pretty soon all the peasants were like, "Long live the King!" And to show there were no hard feelings, WC made up this record, which today is called the Domesday Book, and he made a census of everybody in England, down to how many pigs they had, so he could tax the bejeezus out of them.

And to top it all off, W the C didn't really live in England. Like, ever. He went back home to France, even though he was just the Duke of Normandy there, not a king. Maybe he just liked the food.

At any rate, he up and died, but he'd gotten really fat in his old age (from the French food?) and somebody was very stupid and squeezed him into a tiny coffin, and then--and this is gross but a little bit awesome--HIS BODY SPLIT OPEN AND HIS GUTS BURST OUT. Can you imagine what that funeral was like? I'd have had to have left; I'd have been scarred for life probably. And I would totally be suing the funeral director for my mental anguish because ICK! And then people kept robbing his grave, so all that's left now is one (1) thigh bone. And a huge marble stone that says, roughly, "Here lies the thigh bone of William of Normandy. He conquered a lot of stuff. But he was still a big ol' jerk." Only it's in Latin so it looks classier than it sounds.

And that is what I learned today, that this guy that I always thought was pretty heroic was actually just a selfish money-grubber on a power trip. A medieval Donald Trump, you might say. (I think DT has a Tower himself, doesn't he? Also, MASSIVE jerk!)

The end.

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