Author Topic: The Mad King Ludwig  (Read 10299 times)

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Waltraud

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Re: The Mad King Ludwig
« Reply #45 on: November 19, 2010, 03:00:49 AM »
But IMO it's wrong to claim that a historical person was homosexual without tangible proof. And AFAIK, it is very hard to prove in the case of the king. I mean, his diary entries are, IIRC (read about it years ago) about "sinful desires" that must be suppressed at all costs because they did not fit in with his personal ideal of a monarch. He did not exactly write: "I'd love to play scrabble with that beautiful blue-eyed stableboy but since we're in 1852 and I'm king of Bavaria, let's continue playing hetero instead." ;)

I also believe that only a handful of hardcore Ludwig fans would be truly shocked if Ludwig's homosexuality could be proven. The majority of Bavarians could not care less.

Waltraud

Wouldn't it also be equally wrong to speculate about whether some one was straight? Or anything else about them that is unprovable?

Goodness, I seem to have more difficulty than usual finding the right words this time around. I apologize.  Please let me try again: In my personal opinion, it is quite acceptable to speculate about someone's sexual orientation. I just don't think it's really that important in the case of Ludwig. People can enjoy the castles and learn about the house Wittelsbach, the king's visions and plans etc without necessarily having someone stating: "Oh, by the way, the king was also probably homosexual." (If it comes up, it is IMO fine to mention, but again IMO not fascinating enough to discuss at length if yes or no ;))

Again, let me draw the parallel to actor Sir Ian McKellen who once complained that every interview invariably ended up with him being asked about his homosexuality. It is nothing absolutely nothing to be ashamed of or to keep a secret (German, even Bavarian culture is generally incredibly tolerant towards gay people) but sometimes it just does not matter.

BTW, thanks, I love living here!  ;D

Waltraud

Wendy Moira Angela Pan

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Re: The Mad King Ludwig
« Reply #46 on: November 19, 2010, 03:28:57 AM »
Oh, I'm sorry Waltraud. I did misunderstand what you were getting at. But I do think that one can enjoy the castles, but also be interested in his personal life. That's just as much part of his history, right? I always think it's fascinating to learn about the inner workings of great historical figures. It's amazing to see how people's minds fit together, you know?

Sharnita

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Re: The Mad King Ludwig
« Reply #47 on: November 19, 2010, 06:54:08 AM »
I don't think it is necessarily rude to ask but I'm not really sure why people need to know.

If I toured Abraham Lincoln's home and then asked the tour guide if AL was a heterosexual, I would expect him to look at me funny and change the subject. I see no difference between the two, even though I know people equate g*y with scandalous at times. Just like when you read a bio about someone, if the person is g*y, their bio will state that Super Fabulous Celebrity "is openly g*y", yet I never see it written that a celebrity is "openly heterosexual".

Actually, there is speculation on Lincoln because he had a male roommate.  Look up the group called "Log Cabin Republicans"

Fairly weak speculation, based in part on a lack of knowledge of how people lived in the early- to mid-19th century.  It was certainly not unusual for otherwise unrelated people to share a bed.  Of course, even today having a male roommate would be no grounds for speculation: I've had seven -- what would that say about me?

Exactly.  That kind of thing actually ticks me off.  He also had to rent a sleeping space in a loft which he shared with a family's kids at s point in his early adulthood in New Salem.  Is some moron going to write a book specualting that he was a child molestor because of that?  People get a little too eager for a TMZ version of histroy sometimes, even if they have to make it up.

Wendy Moira Angela Pan

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Re: The Mad King Ludwig
« Reply #48 on: November 19, 2010, 03:35:14 PM »
I agree the the fact that Lincoln had a male roommate is very flimsy evidence for him being gay (my husband has had 9!). But there is some firmer evidence out there. I was just reading an article about this very subject, and apparently Lincoln wrote what are pretty much love letters to a male friend of his. I can't link to the article, though, since I lost the link. 

VorFemme

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Re: The Mad King Ludwig
« Reply #49 on: November 19, 2010, 04:18:05 PM »
My personal opinion is that someone else's preference in such activities does not matter unless you want them to find you attractive for such activities and are crestfallen to find that they'd really never noticed YOU because you are not their preferred gender (species? remembering some idjit who "married" his dog). 

Sadly, much of the world seems to find speculating about the PRIVATE lives of everyone else in the world to be fascinating.

I just want to find out what they prefer to read and possibly sneak a peak at their library, thanks!  Well, maybe their kitchen and a recipe file or two............I like to read, cook, sew, and read about cooking & sewing.  I also like to read about cleaning house, but find that more fatiguing when it comes time to do it...............might be related to some of my allergies, though
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artk2002

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Re: The Mad King Ludwig
« Reply #50 on: November 19, 2010, 08:18:55 PM »
I agree the the fact that Lincoln had a male roommate is very flimsy evidence for him being g*a*y (my husband has had 9!). But there is some firmer evidence out there. I was just reading an article about this very subject, and apparently Lincoln wrote what are pretty much love letters to a male friend of his. I can't link to the article, though, since I lost the link. 

Possibly... but are those letters being read in the context of 1840 or in the context of 2010?  Language that you and I would consider over-affectionate between non-romantic men now was much more the norm back then.  It's only in the last  90 or so years that it's become really unacceptable for men to express any kind of affection for each other.

Understand, please, that it makes no difference to me what Lincoln's (or anyone else's) orientation might be.  What bugs me are the retroactive "he's gay" statements based on either a desire to cut down a famous figure of the past, or on applying 21st century criteria to an earlier period.
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TeamBhakta

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Re: The Mad King Ludwig
« Reply #51 on: November 19, 2010, 08:44:48 PM »
I agree the the fact that Lincoln had a male roommate is very flimsy evidence for him being g*a*y (my husband has had 9!). But there is some firmer evidence out there. I was just reading an article about this very subject, and apparently Lincoln wrote what are pretty much love letters to a male friend of his. I can't link to the article, though, since I lost the link. 

Possibly... but are those letters being read in the context of 1840 or in the context of 2010?  Language that you and I would consider over-affectionate between non-romantic men now was much more the norm back then.  It's only in the last  90 or so years that it's become really unacceptable for men to express any kind of affection for each other.

Understand, please, that it makes no difference to me what Lincoln's (or anyone else's) orientation might be.  What bugs me are the retroactive "he's g*a*y" statements based on either a desire to cut down a famous figure of the past, or on applying 21st century criteria to an earlier period.

This exactly. I didn't even know about that rumor until Gwyneth Paltrow was on Glee saying "Mary Todd Lincoln in the house. My husband was probably gay."

Twik

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Re: The Mad King Ludwig
« Reply #52 on: November 19, 2010, 10:47:06 PM »
I agree that while the acceptance of gay relationships has been a good thing over the past century, one thing that I think has been lost is an understanding of what I would call a "passionate friendship". People once had friendships so strong that they would risk much, even die for each other, without any romantic involvement. Then came Freud, and all of a sudden any affection between adults started to be seen as essentially sexual.

I recall on another board how one poster could not, simply could not, accept that the fact that a century ago men swam naked with each other in YMCA pools meant anything other than a wild orgy (as opposed to, say, the lack of suitable fabrics for comfortable bathing suits). They were practically snorting like Beavis and Butthead, "They were NEKKID!!!1!"
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guihong

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Re: The Mad King Ludwig
« Reply #53 on: November 19, 2010, 11:50:48 PM »
If you really want to go back, there's always King David and Jonathan, who was actually supposed to be king.  The whole interpretation of "your love is better than that of women" stuff. 

It's strange how mores change over history.  The later Roman Empire resembled our own time as far as tolerance went, rather than the 1840's.

gui



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Re: The Mad King Ludwig
« Reply #54 on: November 19, 2010, 11:57:37 PM »
You're right: it usually is a very huge part of history.

In college, I majored in both English and history.  If ever we were learning about someone and there was even a small speculation that the person was g*a*y, it was brought up, usually by the professor.  Because it DOES say something about the time.  For example (warning: may be TMI): Edward II was killed by having hot pokers shoved up his backside because they thought he was g*a*y.  Do you know why they thought he was g*a*y?  Because he slept with too many women and being sexually promiscuous was considered a feminine trait.  That said A LOT about the time he lived in.  It DOES matter, as far as history is concerned, and it is not rude to ask that sort of thing for knowledge's sake.

Also, why does the word "g*a*y" have asterisks in it throughout this thread as if it's a bad word?  That bothers me a little.

@guihong: A new book came out called God and Sex: What the Bible Really Says by Michael Coogan that I felt was pretty good. It talks a little about David and Jonathan.  However, you probably shouldn't read it if you don't lean slightly to the liberal side.

evely28

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Re: The Mad King Ludwig
« Reply #55 on: November 20, 2010, 12:29:12 AM »


Also, why does the word "g*a*y" have asterisks in it throughout this thread as if it's a bad word?  That bothers me a little.


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artk2002

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Re: The Mad King Ludwig
« Reply #56 on: November 20, 2010, 10:45:49 AM »
You're right: it usually is a very huge part of history.

In college, I majored in both English and history.  If ever we were learning about someone and there was even a small speculation that the person was g*a*y, it was brought up, usually by the professor.  Because it DOES say something about the time.  For example (warning: may be TMI): Edward II was killed by having hot pokers shoved up his backside because they thought he was g*a*y.  Do you know why they thought he was g*a*y?  Because he slept with too many women and being sexually promiscuous was considered a feminine trait.  That said A LOT about the time he lived in.  It DOES matter, as far as history is concerned, and it is not rude to ask that sort of thing for knowledge's sake.

You may have majored in History, but you're going to have to try harder on Edward.  Edward was deposed and imprisoned by his wife (Isabella) and her lover (Mortimer.)  He had to be killed to preserve the reign of her son (Edward III.)  The account of his death that you cite wasn't written until 25 years after the fact and is uncorroborated by contemporary sources.  The source of the canard was someone with a political ax to grind with regards to Mortimer, so that makes it very suspect.  Contemporary sources do indicate that Edward was abused as a prisoner, but they state that he either died of natural causes or was strangled/suffocated.

Do you have a citation for the reason for Edward's murder that you gave?  I haven't been able to find that stated -- I've seen his relationship with Gaveston given as a reason to believe him gay (and there is some fairly good evidence there), but nothing about his supposed promiscuity being evidence and being used as a reason to murder him.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

Sharnita

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Re: The Mad King Ludwig
« Reply #57 on: November 20, 2010, 11:00:42 AM »
I agree the the fact that Lincoln had a male roommate is very flimsy evidence for him being g*a*y (my husband has had 9!). But there is some firmer evidence out there. I was just reading an article about this very subject, and apparently Lincoln wrote what are pretty much love letters to a male friend of his. I can't link to the article, though, since I lost the link. 

Possibly... but are those letters being read in the context of 1840 or in the context of 2010?  Language that you and I would consider over-affectionate between non-romantic men now was much more the norm back then.  It's only in the last  90 or so years that it's become really unacceptable for men to express any kind of affection for each other.

Understand, please, that it makes no difference to me what Lincoln's (or anyone else's) orientation might be.  What bugs me are the retroactive "he's g*a*y" statements based on either a desire to cut down a famous figure of the past, or on applying 21st century criteria to an earlier period.

Exactly.  There's a documentary on young men who survived genocide in the Sudan and came to the U.S.  One of the things they learned is that men holding hands has romantic implications here while it didn't there.  Time and place can have a lot to do with how people understand and interpret meaning.

DangerMouth

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Re: The Mad King Ludwig
« Reply #58 on: November 20, 2010, 02:18:18 PM »
I agree the the fact that Lincoln had a male roommate is very flimsy evidence for him being g*a*y (my husband has had 9!). But there is some firmer evidence out there. I was just reading an article about this very subject, and apparently Lincoln wrote what are pretty much love letters to a male friend of his. I can't link to the article, though, since I lost the link. 

Possibly... but are those letters being read in the context of 1840 or in the context of 2010?  Language that you and I would consider over-affectionate between non-romantic men now was much more the norm back then.  It's only in the last  90 or so years that it's become really unacceptable for men to express any kind of affection for each other.

Understand, please, that it makes no difference to me what Lincoln's (or anyone else's) orientation might be.  What bugs me are the retroactive "he's g*a*y" statements based on either a desire to cut down a famous figure of the past, or on applying 21st century criteria to an earlier period.

Exactly.  There's a documentary on young men who survived genocide in the Sudan and came to the U.S.  One of the things they learned is that men holding hands has romantic implications here while it didn't there.  Time and place can have a lot to do with how people understand and interpret meaning.

Oh, absolutely. One of my fondest 'slice of travel memories' is being in Vientiane, Laos, and seeing two young soldier boys (about 17) walking down the street holding hands, their AK-47's slung over their shoulders... Not something you'd see in the US :)

MadMadge43

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Re: The Mad King Ludwig
« Reply #59 on: November 20, 2010, 06:30:45 PM »
Quote
What bugs me are the retroactive "he's g*a*y" statements based on either a desire to cut down a famous figure of the past, or on applying 21st century criteria to an earlier period.

See I don't see it as trying to cut down a famous figure, that would assume being gay was a bad thing. But understanding that there were powerful gay people who made a difference in history is something I think is important for many people to understand.