Ask the grumpies: Which historical figure would you meet?

Leah asks:

If you could meet any historical figure, who and why?

#1:  I wonder if there are any famous deceased pastry chefs…  I think I would probably go with some food-related person who made something that we don’t know how to make anymore.  (What was ambrosia prior to the marshmallow concoction we use now?)  I would also probably need a translator with me!

A lot of the historical people I once thought I would want to meet now I have no desire to meet because I’m female and it turns out they were sexually harassing @#$23holes.  Far better off dead.

#2:  Eleanor of Aquitaine, except we don’t speak the same language

#1:  Why? Is it because you share a proud taste for scarlet and miniver? [Note:  no ermine or squirrel were harmed in the making of this blogpost]

#2:  I dunno, she’s rad as hell, and I couldn’t come up with anyone else.   I read lots and lots about her when I was in high school and younger.  She seemed… wily.

18 Responses to “Ask the grumpies: Which historical figure would you meet?”

  1. Bardiac Says:

    Marie de France! Chaucer (though problematic), the Erkenwald poet…

  2. nicoleandmaggie Says:

    CALL CALL CALL CALL about the tax bill today. They haven’t finished writing it yet, but they plan to vote on it today! It is currently full of horrifically bad 1929-style economics that could push our country into another politically-created deep recession right around when democrats have more people in the house and senate (so they’ll get blamed but won’t have the majorities needed to fix things, much less recover from the huge addition to the debt that the tax cuts and destroying of the ACA mandate will cause). And it still has all the things that will destroy investment in our future like taxing tuition waivers, destroying natural resources, hurting the ability for gov’t workers to save for retirement, etc. etc. etc. has many suggested scripts, as does indivisible, but here’s a specific one for today from me:
    I’m calling from [town, zipcode]. I’m calling to request that no vote take place on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act until there has been time to read and thoroughly vet it. Right now it has several provisions in it that will destroy our economy both in the short-term and long-term future. I am against this act, and if it does come up for a vote, I am requesting that Senator [X] vote NO on it. Thank you, and again, I’m calling from [town, zipcode].

    If you can’t get through (like I can’t) because other people are calling and your one senator has decided not to empty his vm until *later*, remember that you can fax for free: So FAX FAX FAX FAX! (I am about to send a fax.)

    We defeated this exact ACA destruction before. Let’s do it again. And when we do it this time,we may also be able to save people’s lives in other ways.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      And I will note that at that point we didn’t know yet we weren’t on the wrong side of the Laffer curve (in other words, we didn’t yet know for sure that trickle down economics didn’t work). Plus the top marginal tax rate was way higher. Now we know 100% for sure that we are on the correct side of the Laffer curve and top marginal tax rates are not too high!

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        BTW, they’re arguing about “triggers” right now. Basically they’re saying, “if we don’t end up generating the money that we say we’re going to generate even though every single economic study that has been done says this will dramatically increase the deficit, then we want to cut Medicare/Medicaid (or, less likely, raise taxes)– both of which are terrible ideas in a recession! It’s like Hoover level bad!”

        Here’s my proposal for a trigger. I call it the, “Put your money where your mouth is” trigger. Everyone who voted FOR this bill ends up having a huge income/wealth tax triggered when the trigger is hit. (Bonus points if the oligarchs actually funding this bill also get hit with a huge said tax.)

      • Debbie M Says:

        What do you think about the reduction of the corporate tax rate? Is it mostly bad because it raises the deficit and then destroys the safety net? Conservatives are saying that it will lead to more and higher paying jobs. (For example, here: And it will lead to increased GDP, and thus more tax revenue. But does your discussion of the Laffer curve apply to corporate tax rates as well as income tax rates, and so this is all just blatant lies?

      • Debbie M Says:

        Nevermind, I got it. Corporations will use that money for stock buy-backs and to increase dividends. (Except I doubt they’ll even increase dividends, because too many regular people can actually afford stocks these days.)

    • SP Says:

      I read some article comparing this to 1929, and yes, this is pretty scary. I worry it will be hard to undo, even if the economy can survive until there is political power to actually consider undo.

      The latest news I saw is that the triggers were declared against the rules (to pass with a simple majority) and the republicans are claiming they now have the votes. And, Trump tweeted some ridiculousness about it, essentially saying Dems are blocking it because they are jealous they won’t get credit for something so good. I feel like I’m in a dystopian novel when I read his tweets!

    • Lisa Says:

      I called yesterday using the 5calls script about taxing tuition wavers, which would be a HUGE burden for my grad students (more likely, for my grant budgets). But today I am a bit caught in despair, thinking that ruining higher education might actually be either part of the plan or just a nice side effect. Help! I will reach out again about the vote but pessimism/despair is setting in…

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Keep calling! They’re desperately trying to ram this through before Dec 12, and before the Mueller investigation and so on. They know if we delay it we’ll be able to organize and have marches and so on like with the ACA. (This is the ACA mandate again!)

        If they don’t care about us we will have to VOTE THEM OUT. If we show them we have power they’ll believe we can do that. Keep calling. If we show we don’t care, they’ll try even worse stuff.

  3. J Liedl Says:

    As a historian, I have a long list of such names that I cycle through for various occasions. Eleanor of Aquitaine is up there for me, too. I’d also love to hear from Elizabeth Tudor, Marguerite of Anjou and, especially, Margaret Beaufort – the mother of Henry VII who saw her son crowned instead of herself. I’ve always wondered why she felt she had to do that.

  4. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life Says:

    My bio-paternal grandmother. I could ask about a famous person but odds are good they won’t give two hoots about me or my questions.

  5. nicoleandmaggie Says:

  6. nicoleandmaggie Says:

  7. chacha1 Says:

    Actually a chef-to-the-rich-and-famous would be fun to talk to. We have to assume, in these speculations, that communication issues are waived. :-) Careme would probably be the guy.

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