Saturday, June 30, 2007

Herring Wrapped in a Corn Tortilla

There has been an interesting discussion going on over at Treading Water about a recent find in Norway suggesting some sort of Incan/Viking connection about a thousand years ago.

Color me skeptical. I'm usually riding on the, "hey, ancient and medieval peoples were better travelled than we give them credit for" bandwagon, but this seems to me far more likely a chance genetic abnormality in a medieval Norwegian.

I want HIS job!

WARNING: Non-Medieval Content Ahead

Last night, I watched Stranger than Fiction, a film in which Dustin Hoffman plays a professor of literary theory named "Professor Jules Hilbert." Though I'm sure as I watched the film I was supposed to be struck by the cleverness of using Vladimir Propp-style theory to help the protagonist determine his future by plugging his situation into a few archetypal story arcs, I couldn't concentrate on it because of Prof. Hilbert's office.

This office* was HUGE. Two of the walls were glass, looking out on a nice view. No doubt a single piece of this furniture was of more value than all the furniture in my entire office. The Chancellor's office at my university isn't as nice as this English professor's office was.

Well, maybe he is some kind of celebrity professor, then? At one point in the film, he mentions that he is teaching FIVE courses that semester -- a terribly heavy load even at a community college. He talks about teaching, and he talks about service, but the only research he really talks about is writing un-answered letters to Emma Thompson's character. So, here's a guy on a burdensome teaching load with an office that would rival that of most university presidents.

I own a business on the town square. Every so often, my students will meet my wife there (she runs it) and realize it is mine. They then ask me a question like, "Why do you own a business? I mean, if I got paid as much as a professor, I wouldn't work so hard." I then ask them how much they think I make, and they nearly always give an answer in the six-figure territory.

It's surprising how much people think professors make. Here is a movie about a character in a book who also happens to be a real person, who can hear the narrator speaking in his head, and the most unbelievable part of the film is the professor's office. Though movies like this no doubt feed the image of the wealthy professor, I think it probably reacts more to an image people already have. Somehow, we are perceived as wealthy.

Perhaps it is because we are respected, and people equate respect with wealth. Not many jobs come with a title, and most professors (in America anyway) are entitled to two: Doctor and Professor. Doctors make a lot of money, right? And they aren't even real PhDs -- in most cases, they are merely MDs, right? Therefore, it stands to reason that professors make even more than medical doctors!

Perhaps it is because everyone around us is so poor. I spend most of my day around two types of people: other professors and students. Other professors are paid on a similar pay scale to me, and students are at the poorest they will probably ever be in their lives. By comparison to students, professors are rolling in the dough!

Or perhaps it is because so many professors come out of families with money. Though there are plenty of first-generation-college-graduates among the ranks of professors, graduate school is an expensive proposition, so it helps to have parents with financial resources. Often I'll meet professors with very expensive tastes, and in most cases these were cultivated as they were growing up.

I understand the image of professors as lazy -- most of the work done by professors is done when no one is watching. Not surprisingly, most college graduates think of the job of professors as being teachers, and so when professors spend no more than 12 hours a week in the classroom, it sure seems like we don't do much of anything. Research and service tend to be solitary activities (or at least out of the public eye), so they are naturally not noticed. This I understand. The wealthy professor? That part I don't get at all.

*I couldn't find an image of the office online. Sorry.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

It's Raining Beowulf!

On the same day that a friend calls and offers to send me all her old Beowulf comics, I read in Cinerati that Beowulf: The Board Game is coming later this year. Let's jump on board and offer some more commercial tie-ins to promote medieval literature:
  • Diet Cherry Vanilla Mead
  • Survivor: Heorot Hall
  • Kamelot Kids -- A cartoon set in Camelot when all the characters were in elementary school!
  • Spider-man IV: Sir Gawain and the Green Goblin
  • Andreas Cappelanus hosts The Bachelor
  • "Caedmon's Hymn" ringtones
  • Canterbury Tales collectable glasses at Burger King -- collect all the pilgrims!
  • Boccaccio Band-Aids (WARNING: Not effective against the Plague)
  • Dante's Inferno Heating and Cooling Units: "Be in your own circle of comfort!"
  • People magazine special "Tristan & Isolde" issue
  • Super Saint Squad: Hagiography action figures -- Press the button on the back for Martyrdom Action Power!
  • VH1 Behind the Music: Chanson de Roland
If we plan this right, we can promote medieval literature AND make a bundle!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Is it safe?

I probably shouldn't find this as funny as I do, but the comments responding to this article about me in ACTA Online are focused almost entirely on someone taking offense at the "About Me" section of this blog, "A professor of medieval literature at Troy University, Dr. Nokes enjoys reading, film, and torturing students." At first I thought the objection was that one should not joke about torture (a reasonable position, I think), but instead it appears that the poster is suggesting that outsiders will believe that I literally* torture students.

I invite my students to offer testimonials describing the torments that await one in my classes!

* Er, by "literally," I mean physically torture students, not torture them with literature, because I'm sure some students would claim that I did the latter.

Protestants and the Medieval

Until today, I hadn't realized that when I put Anonymous Medievalist in my reader subscription, I had neglected to include AM on my blogroll (an error I just remedied). Anonymous Medievalist sloughed off one layer of anonymity today by revealing that he/she/it is Mormon, in a very interesting post entitled "Mormon Doctrine on the Apostasy and its effects upon the Mormon conception of the Middle Ages." If I can go off on a bit of a tangent here, I've got a similar gripe about Protestants.

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, most of the Wordhoarders would consider me a Protestant as a member of the Restoration Movement.* The RM is just as guilty of this anti-medievalism, though, so I'm including my folks in this gripe.

Because Protestant denominations so often define themselves against Roman Catholicism, too often the sense of Church history from my Protestant students (here primarily Southern Baptist, Episcopalian, Methodist, and RM Church of Christ) runs something like this:
  1. The world was created.
  2. Adam and Eve had a snack.
  3. Noah built an ark.
  4. Joseph made a fashion statement.
  5. Baby Jesus was born of Mary and Santa Claus.
  6. Some bad people killed Him.
  7. Jesus came back to life and posed for Renaissance portraits.
  8. The apostles did a bunch of boring preachy stuff.
  9. The First Century ended.
  10. Nothing much happened for a millennium and a half.
  11. Henry VIII/Martin Luther/John Calvin/John Wesley/R.C. Sproul was born.
  12. I was born.
  13. The End.
Now, while there is a lot here to be irritated over, the part that's relevant to the medieval is that idea that nothing much happened between the First Century and the Reformation. There is this idea that anything that happened during the Medieval Era was Catholic, and therefore has nothing much to do with Protestants.

OK, now, leaving aside the whole issue of Eastern Christianity, essentially, this is saying that anyone who was born in the Medieval Era isn't just a heretic -- they don't count at all (I find this particularly puzzling among the Episcopalian students, since as I understand it, they accept the idea of Apostolic Succession as descending down to them rather than Rome). We then immediately discount any Christian thinkers that pre-date the Reformation.

Augustine? Ignore him, he's Catholic. Aquinas? Ditto. Tertullian? Origen? Anselm? Catholic, Catholic, and Catholic. C.S. Lewis -- Ah, a Protestant! He's OK!

This isn't to say that there isn't Protestant academic study of medieval Christians ... of course there is, and a lot of good stuff. This is to say that in popular Protestant thought, the Middle Ages were either a time when nothing good happened for the Church, or when everything that happened was Catholic. I get papers saying things like this: "During medieval times the Catholic Church had some crusades against muslims" -- the tone of which implies that the Crusades are part of Catholic history specifically, but somehow not part of Christian history generally. It isn't just unpopular stuff like the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition that get shoved off on the Catholics, either. I find that popular Protestantism gives the Catholics credit for the good stuff too, like monastary libraries.

Maybe it's just my Restoration Movement way of thinking, but that grates on my nerves. The medieval Church is a wonderfully lively creature, full of all sorts of fascinating movements and thinkers ... and we descend from them, Catholic and Protestant alike. When I see the medieval Church, I see the most powerful force for reform in human history. Within itself, the Church was writhing with reform movements, spawning various orders and movements that give rise to the Church today.

I suppose I also see American history much as the same. Thomas Jefferson's famous "wall of separation" seems to me ridiculously superfluous -- like asserting that we need a wall separating the land from the sea. The Church in America has been a reforming force of moral authority against the State just as it was in the Medieval Era. Abolition, Prohibition, the New Deal, Civil Rights, nuclear disarmament, Right to Life -- all of these garnered their support, to some degree, from the Church. Just as in the Medieval Era, the Church is no monolith, with movements sometimes pushing for reform in one direction, and sometimes in another; Garry Wills will push one way, James Dobson another. The State will try to resist both, but will not be able to avoid being transformed.

Of course, there are plenty of Protestants out there who would consider Catholics not just separated brethren, or heretics, but fully-fledged Hell-bound apostates, and aren't likely to accept my Restoration Movement attitudes. In that case, can't we at least say that "Roman Catholic" doesn't really take on its modern meaning until the Reformation? Do we have to condemn ALL medieval Christians to the dustbin of history (and the Cosmos)? Can't we at least claim the Lollards? Or the Celtic Church?** Was the last proto-Protestant Paul?

The gripe is a bit of a chimera: It has a head of Restoration Movement attitudes, a body of protest against general ignorance of the medieval Church, and the tail of irritation with popular Protestant culture. I suppose it says as much about my own academic prejudices as about the Church.

*The reason for the awkward wording there is that I would not call myself Protestant because the RM is all about rejecting denominational barriers -- so while my Catholic brothers would probably call me one of the "separated brethren," I'd just call myself "Christian," and them too. Still, the RM grew out of Protestant denominations, so the worship tends to look rather Protestant. In this case, the RM is afflicted with the same medieval trouble I'm complaining about in Protestantism generally because of those historical origins.
**I mean, the Celtic Church has got really cool art, you know.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Frazier's Dragons

When driving through Louisville, I notice that the Fraizer International History Museum is running an exhibit called "Dragons!" Going to their website, though, I couldn't find information on what kind of dragon-oriented artifacts they are exhibiting in the collection. This press release seems to imply that the exhibit is for children. Any Wordhoarders know first-hand?

Welcome, Heavenfield!

Let's all give a mighty blogospheric welcome to Heavenfield, a new blog about "medieval northern Britain, church history and spirituality, and the continuing commemoration of the early medieval saints and their spirituality today." So far the posts have been mostly about feast days of various medieval saints, filling a niche for a need that was out there. Yesterday, for example, was Æthelthryth's day. Update your blogrolls accordingly.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Some stuff I missed

Here are links to some medieval stuff I missed while I was gone. I'm sure I didn't get everything, but then again I've never caught every fish in a pond, either.

Stán Cynedóm has a translation of Wulf and Eadwacer (very hard to translate, so be generous as you read) and a post on medieval song.

Over at In the Middle, Karl Steel has a post on Cynocephali, and JJ Cohen has one on Lindow Man, druids, and Stonehenge.

News for Medievalists has had a lot of stuff, including a couple of medieval festivals, and a school for knights (which appears to be a way of tricking young boys into taking etiquette classes -- sort of like calling dolls "action figures").

Jeff over at Quid plura? responds to Mathew Gabriele's post comparing Tony Soprano to Charlemagne (sorry your interview isn't on line yet, Jeff ... we're still trying to compress the download to under 10 minutes).

Friday, June 22, 2007

Heroic Viking Turd

Sorry for the unannounced blogging interruption. I was on the road, and didn't even get a chance to check e-mail the last couple of days.

While on the road, though, I ran across a story that demonstrates how tough Vikings were. According to news reports, the Lloyd's Bank turd, a 1200-year-old fossilized Viking excrement, was accidentally broken into three pieces and had to be repaired.

For those of you who are sensible and use English units, let me do a conversion for you. According to these reports, the famous feces is 20 cm. by 5 cm. That's approximately 8 inches by 2 inches. That's AFTER a millennium of shrinkage. The Guardian, demonstrating mindless reporting, contains this idiotic sentence: "The Viking who lay it down probably gave his faeces little thought..."

Um, Mr. Jeffery, let me ask you this -- if you lay down faeces of that size, would you give it little thought? I'm sure the Viking's mind was very, very focused as he accomplished this prodigious task. I wouldn't be surprised to find out that his colleagues had to carry him back to the boat afterwards.

One of the regular Wordhoarders happens to be an expert on human waste management (no, I'm not joking). I wonder if he, or anyone else, could give us a rough estimate of the original size of the Viking trophy in question?

Now that I have completely lost all dignity by discussing this issue here, I would like to call on all Wordhoarders to begin saving and labelling your evacuations for future generations to display in museums. You may either send the artifacts to your favorite museum, or to the York Archaeological Resource Centre, which already has a nice anchor for their collection.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Happy Birthday Wordhoard!

Today is the second birthday of the Unlocked Wordhoard. I need gift ideas ... what do you get for the 2-year-old medieval blog that has everything?

Friday, June 15, 2007

Welcome, Whoever You Are

Welcome to the Anonymous Medievalist, who appears to have started a blog about a week ago. No, I don't know who it is, nor would I out him/her/it even if I did, so please don't write me to ask.

Tony Sopranomagne

Full disclosure: I've never watched a single moment of The Sopranos. Everything I know about the show comes from other sources, so I'm not in any position to say anything informed about it.

Modern Medieval, though, has an interesting post comparing Tony Soprano and Charlemagne. I'm not sure what I think of the argument, since it seems to me that the whole "sleeping emperor" thing is more part of the general archetype of the hero who is lost but whose return is anticipated -- such as King Arthur, Hunapuh and Xblalanque, Gandalf, Odysseus, and (of course) the Big One, Jesus. Still, I'm not familiar with The Sopranos, so I'll have to defer to my more informed colleague.

When you think about it, though, it is possible that the desire for more of The Sopranos is not just an omnivorous hunger for more, more, more, but is maybe also the expectation of eternal narrative cycles. Maybe Eliade's The Myth of the Eternal Return can explain why every dang movie this summer is a sequel. Or maybe it's just because sequels are guaranteed money-makers, no matter how bad they are.

While I'd like to think the former ... it's probably the latter.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Consoled by Shoes

The honest truth is that I thought the whole thing was a hoax. Manolo the Shoeblogger had, supposedly, written a book called The Consolation of Shoes, an obvious parody (homage?) to Boethius's Consolation of Philosophy. It even had an introduction by the deliciously over-the-top character Herr Professor Doktor Boethius von Korncrake.

Then Manolo sent me a *.pdf copy of his book, and I'll be darned if it isn't a real thing: a book-length version of Boethius's Consolation, except with shoes. For those of you unfamiliar with Boethius and his Consolation of Philosophy, let me explain.

Boethius was a government official in what remained of the Roman Empire in the early 6th century. He was then accused of treason (an accusation that is probably false) against the Ostrogothic King Theodoric the Great. After spending many months in prison, he was executed as a traitor.

During his time in prison, Boethius wrote the Consolation. In it, Lady Philosophy comes to console him in prison. She argues that all of the things that men think make them happy do not, and that the only things that can bring happiness are internal. Probably the most famous line in the book is when Lady Philosophy says, “Why, then, O mortal men, do you seek that happiness outside, which lies within yourselves?” Though it is little known today, the Consolation was extremely influential in the medieval era, probably moreso than even Plato (who had influenced Boethius).

So here's the way The Consolation of Shoes works: Substitute the word "shoes" for philosophy. That most famous Boethian quote is transformed into "Why, then, oh mortal men, do you seek happiness outside that which lies within your shoes?" The impoverished Manolo is visited by Lady Fashion, who shows him a heavenly pair of shoes and cryptically tells him, "We shall always have the shoes." Manolo embarks on a spiritual quest to find these perfect shoes, only to realize at the end that the shoes Lady Fashioned showed him were not a single pair of perfect shoes, but rather the sum of all shoes combined. Every shoe, then, is part of these shoes, and their heavenly perfection is reflected in lowly earthly shoes.

For a Boethius geek like me (I come to it through King Alfred the Great's translation), Manolo's Consolation is both very funny and a little disturbing, and both for the same reasons. Manolo's work is so ironic that the irony turns back upon itself. A two or three page treatment might have been different, but by making it book length, Manolo creates a nihilistic work, where things internal and eternal are of no more value than shoes. This attitude is reflected in one of my favorite quotes from The Simpsons, in an episode entitled "Homerpalooza":

Disaffected youth #1: Here comes that cannonball guy. He's cool.
Disaffected youth #2: Are you being sarcastic, dude?
Disaffected youth #1: I don't even know anymore.

Very often the elevation of kitsch and irony can be a barrier between us and Truth; if we can keep our focus on things that take themselves too seriously (broadway musicals, celebrity gossip, fashion), we can avoid taking ourselves too seriously. Now, this can be a good thing taken in moderation, but too much of it can be a way of avoiding confrontation with nasty truths about ourselves. If life is not serious, then there is no Truth, and I cannot be held accountable.

In form, Manolo's work is of this spiritually deadening type. Unlike Boethius, who fell from high earthly position and only found true liberation from his prison in philosophy, Manolo begins as poor but, as the introduction by Herr Professor Doktor Boethius von Korncrake* makes clear, Manolo has risen to high social position. Only the surface is important, and things like fashion, fame, and wealth can satisfy (sounds like a more educated version of "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" now that I describe it).

But I think the modern relative obscurity of Boethius prevents The Consolation of Shoes from being dangerous in its nihilism, and keeps it good fun. After all, the only people who would know Boethius well enough to get the joke are, well, people who know Boethius. If you have already read Boethius, then you have been confronted intellectually with the question of what is important in life, so Manolo isn't presenting you with any ideas that you weren't already familiar with.

OK, ok, so this review has been a lot more serious than perhaps a light-hearted piece like Manolo the Shoeblogger's The Consolation of Shoes calls for. If you know your Boethius, it is very funny, with several laugh-out-loud moments. I would highly recommend it for anyone toiling away at serious Boethius scholarship. Go ahead, give your mind a break, and let it dangle its toes in the sparkling stream that is The Consolation of Shoes.

*Man, I love typing that whole thing out. It makes me laugh every time.

UPDATE, June 15th:
I received a very kind e-mail from Manolo the Shoeblogger, who made some important clarifications, writing, in part:
[W]hat the Manolo meant to convey in his work was that the eternal might well be
found in the most unlikely and humble of objects. Is it not possible to see God in the handiwork of the craftsman, in his devotion to his craft, and in the product of that devotion? Why should the handiwork of the scholar and philosopher be preferred over the handiwork of the cobbler? Both are capable of glorifying God in their own way.

This strikes me as a reasonable (and quite beautiful) way to read The Consolation of Shoes. I suppose it is to Manolo's credit that I received far more mail over the last week concerning this post than I have for my other posts!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Medieval X-Files

Over the last couple of days all sorts of bizarre creatures have been sighted in the medieval blogosphere.

JJ Cohen at In the Middle saw "diminutive household spirits, beautiful ladies dancing by night in woodland halls, and other fleeting and uncanny creatures," Horace Jeffrey Hodges the Gypsy Scholar wrote a poem about his* seduction by a medieval succubus, and Gail the Scribal Terror tells us all about barnacle geese and the fearsome burning-dung-expelling bonnacon.

Not to be left out, I saw a bicorne in my yard yesterday. It looked hungry, but totally left me alone.

*Oh, he denies that it was him, winkwinknudgenudge.

Monday, June 11, 2007

A Sign of the State of the Field

Though I'm still fine-tuning* it, I just finished a column-style article on the state of Anglo-Saxon studies for The Heroic Age. Larry Swain has invited several insiders and outsiders of Anglo-Saxon studies to write these pieces, after which time we'll be responding to one another -- kind of like writing really long blog posts and commenting on one another's work. It's an interesting project, and one that I'm glad he invited me to do.

Part of my argument revolves around the lack of Old English in typical undergraduate curricula (and, indeed, grad school curricula), and lo, here comes an article on Shakespeare to make my argument newsworthy. The Gainsville Sun, in an article entitled "Abandoning the Bard" finds that "of the [University of Florida's English] department's 2006 graduates, about 70 percent had taken courses in pre-1800 literature, and most of those had taken a course in Shakespeare." From the medieval perspective, then that means that at least 30% of graduates from the UF English Department have no medieval literature at all. I'd be willing to bet a bottle of mead that most of the remaining 70% have nothing but Shakespeare.

The article quotes R. Allen Shoaf (a well-respected Chaucerian for those not familiar with academic culture) as saying: "Students regularly come to my office lamenting the fact that they cannot take courses in poetry and early literature."** From the Old English perspective, I'd also like to point out that the only two medievalists I noticed on the UF department webpage were Shoaf and James Paxon, making the department far more focused on Middle English. Of course, if they aren't even really offering the classes in Middle English either, I suppose it is irrelevant what sort of resources they have for classes they aren't going to teach anyway.

The American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) has been one of the groups keeping the Shakespeare issue in the spotlight, and I can only hope that their recognition that the problem only starts with Shakespeare will lead them to shine the light on medieval studies as well. It would be nice if some groups on the Left took up the cause, too.

Interestingly, the first comment on the ACTA blog seems to be trying to defend the situation, but unintentionally makes the point that UF not only offers an abundance of classes in non-medieval fields, but has entire programs within the Department dedicated to these other subfields.

In any case, I'd be willing to bet that the situation for medieval literature at University of Florida is common; it certainly mirrors the situation at every school with which I've associated.

*By "fine-tuning," I mean I'm cutting out all my long-windedness and unnecessary use of high-falutin' language and theory. What, ME, long-winded and given to use of big words? The devil you say!
**The article also quotes Shoaf in what seems to be an ironic mixing of metaphors in which he talks about mammels feathering their nests, showing once again that you have to be careful about getting too fancy when talking to reporters looking for soundbytes.

Which Came First, The Treatise or the Astrolabe?

Here's an interesting article about astrolabes that were supposedly owned by Chaucer, and the argument that astrolabes of that design were probably based on Chaucer's Treatise on the Astrolabe, rather than the other way around.

By the way, I am typing this on the computer used by Bill Gates to design Windows. I know this fact because my Windows operating system works much like the way Gates described it.

h/t Roving Medievalist

Quid Plura?

Jeff Sypeck, formerly of Quid Nomen Ilius?, has launched his new blog, Quid Plura? Adjust your readers/blogrolls accordingly.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Links o' the Day

Since I've got several things I have to do today, let me offer a set of links today:

Stan Cynedom has a delightful little Middle English poem, along with a discussion of translating a pun in it.

Scribal Terror has some etiquette tips from the 13th Century, including the all-important "Do not attack your enemy while he is squatting to defecate." I'm not sure if that tip is about being civilized, or keeping your enemy's poo off you.

Tiruncula has an image of what appears to be a creepy woodcarving of Grendel -- with some kind of walking stick or magic wand in his hand.

Peter Konieczny over at News for Medievalists lists eleven new articles on He also has two articles arguing that fleas on rats did not spread the Black Death -- though I doubt it will do much to raise the popularity of fleas on rats. He also has an article on a $7 million upgrade to a Medieval Times attraction, as well as an article entitled "Cho's Violent Crusade Ripped from the Middle Ages" both of which I may blog about later. He's had a lot of interesting things of late.

I may have another update later in the day, since I'm tardy with my review of Manolo the Shoeblogger's The Consolation of Shoes and I'm supposed to talk to a reporter today about things medievalist. Still, I have to finish an article I promised The Heroic Age, finish one I promised Coyote Wild, and fix my sprinklers, so we'll see.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Main Man

According to this post, I am Mungowitz's main man. I am also the "good Nokes," not to be confused with my evil twin.

Over at Pros and Cons, the point is made that it is lamentable that there are not more professors like me, which echoes the official position regarding me.

According to In the Middle, I'm dapper, humorous, and collegial.

Perhaps all this will inspire a Wikipedia entry on me:

Nokes, Richard Scott. Assistant professor at Troy University. Known for being good, dapper, humorous, and collegial. Many have lamented that there are not more professors like him. See also: Mungowitz, main man.

Review of La Chanson de Roland

Jacob of the New Donestre Social Club posted a review of Gerald Brault's student edition of La Chanson de Roland. I had intended to write an intelligent post about his review, but haven't quite worked one up, so I'll just include the link here.

By the way, if you are an English major trying to write a paper on The Song of Roland, the questions he offers at the bottom of the post would be some really, really interesting topics.

Medieval Brawl

No, contrary to the rumors, I was not one of the men involved in a "medieval brawl" in Huntsville. If you see the axe in the video, you'll see it is small and decorative-looking. Really, now, if I had attacked this man, I'd not have used such a girly axe, nor would he have such superficial cuts.

Interestingly enough, the first weapon to be used in the fight was a golf club, but the news reports did not refer to it as a "PGA brawl" -- demonstrating once again that Ted Turner and Rupert Murdoch have a secret alliance against us.