Friday, August 24, 2007


Someone tagged me with a meme, which I hope to craft in E-Prime, a writing discipline Paula described here. I feel some ambivalence regarding it. On the one hand, I may improve my writing style by using the passive voice less frequently. This might make me less passive in deed as well as in thought. On the other hand, this imposition makes writing more difficult, and perhaps more awkward, as I wish not to devolve from the subject of my story to its object.

Back to the meme... You must talk about your middle name and my parents dubbed me Jennifer Anne. Next, they* would insist I post the meme rules. I care very little for rules created by others, so I choose to skip that part -- actually, I choose to skip all of it, except the part where I write about some famous women who bore this name of Anne.

Anne Bonny Ah, piracy!!!

Anne Bonny's father knocked up her mother while paying her -- for maid services, not made services. To avoid scandal, they moved from Ireland to Charleston, South Carolina, not yet USA, a notiorious pirate city in that era.

Anne married James Bonny, moved to present-day Nassau, grew bored with Lame James, put on men's clothing and asked for a position on Calico Jack Rackam's ship. (Calico Jack created the Jolly Roger.) Anne killed a shipmate when he discovered her secret -- although later, she discovered Mary Read's secret -- Jack's ship housed two cross-dressing women!

OR -- Anne grew tired of Lame James and took up with Calico Jack. The two comandeered a ship with a lot of her pirate buddies. Somewhere in the Bahamas, Mary Read joined the crew.

THEN -- One day, the Jamaican government cornered Bonny, Rackham, Read and crew in their sloop. All of the men decided they could never successfully take or fight the ship attacking them and went down into the hold to drink until captured. Mary and Anne alone tried to fight off their attackers.

The Jamaican government found the whole lot of them guilty of piracy and sentenced them to hang. Anne and Mary "plead their bellies". (Suprisingly, dozens of men managed to impregnate the only 2 women on the ship.) Their executions stayed, Anne finagled an escape and disappeared from the historical record. (Mary Read seems to have died of fever in prison.) Some stories say she married another and returned to piracy. Other stories have her returning to South Carolina where she remarried and founded a plantation with her husband. In any case, Anne Bonny's life remains the stuff of legends.

Anne Boleyn: Enter the queen.

Shunted off to France to Louis XII's court when still a very young girl, Anne learned to speak and read French. She also developed a taste for French food, literature and clothing and stayed until about age 19 in the court of Henry's sister Queen Mary before returning to Britian in the court of Queen Catherine -- daughter of Queen Isabella. It seems Anne was contracted to marry a couple of noblemen at a couple of points.

Anne, the more-famous Boleyn (King Henry VIII bedded and begat two children on her sister Mary) ** eventually and with much effort seems to have attracted the eye and favor of the king through intelligence and sex appeal. He put aside his wife Catherine of Aragon (who had provided him with no living heir and grew older, much like Henry) by having their marriage declared invalid via adultery, as his brother had left her a virgin widow before Henry married Catherine.

Henry and Anne married when she informed him of her pregnancy. Not wanting to cast shadows on the birth of a potential heir, Anne's ambitions finally saw fulfillment. Of course, 16th century Europe assumed an heir came with a penis -- kind of a ready-made scepter. Like many women, Elizabeth I entered this world on a tide of blood and disappointment. Of course, she grew and evolved into one of England's most powerful and influential rulers.

After failing to produce a male heir and helping Henry and England to see that a marriage did not equal permanence, rumors and danger increased around Anne Boleyn. Henry accused her of adultery and incest (with her brother). She lost her marriage, crown and head in May of 1536.

St. Anne: The Mother of Our Lady

In a religion that often reviles the sacred role of women, St. Anne's existence in the canon instructs us that:

1. We need mothers and grandmothers. Even the zealous born-again autocrats and the pedophiliac followers of Paul of Tsarsus -- who ruined Christianity (in my opinion).

2. The Catholic Church had to create a shadow of a matriarchy in order to convert those who followed the earth religions.

St. Anne seems created from archetypes -- but so what? The Mother of the Mother and the grandmother of Christ, St. Anne's mystery weaves itself from the sacred feminine.

(This image by DaVinci depicts St. Anne.)

*Someone once told me, "they" are the ones who do not love you. Think about it. Everytime you refer to "they" or "them", they certainly tend to act like haters, rather than lovers.

**{Note to the feminist sisterhood: E-Prime challenges me yet again by making Mary Boleyn the object of procreation, rather than the subject -- a woman's actual role in pregnancy and childbirth. However, in the case of copulating with Henry VIII, I postulate that a woman received the King and prayed to god he tossed her a Y chromosome so she could keep her head and her bed.}


Jane said...

I enjoyed this blog very much.

I wonder, however, why you left off the historical Anne you were named after?

I think she was a remarkable woman, and someone I considered one of my greatest role models.

La Sirena said...

Wasn't she Anna???

Besides, haven't you noticed I try to hold certain cards close to the vest???

twit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
twit said...

My last comment was akin to - me showing up, steaming drunk, at a nice little restaurant, then climbing on the table before dropping my trousers & singing a lewd version of 'The Star-Spangled Banner'.

So, er, sorry.

I'm now going to make some tea & give your post the 'proper read' it deserves.

La Sirena said...

Ah Twit,

I liked your drunken comment, Mr. Raw Soul Somebody Nobody.

(and doesn't everybody like to fart? It's a very human thingie...)

Hope the tea was nice.

But proper??? Puh-leeze.

Pelmo said...

All these players and no score card to keep track of them. I am so confused, but then it doesn't take much.

Damn that word verification.

Anonymous said...

I have this strange meme phobia.

twit said...

What I meant (by 'proper read') was - I didn't really read it before my first comment.

But it was fairly lost on me even when I did, to be honest.

& what's Pelmo gibbering about?


Bloody muppets.

La Sirena said...

Pelmo -- You can take notes.

Popeye -- I understand.

Twit-- I understood, that was very poorly executed tongue-in-cheek after too much wine (on my part).
Pelmo was just saying he didn't understand it either, plus he finds word verification irritating.
I'd better post something else, as everyone is in a pointless dither.