Author Topic: The Mad King Ludwig  (Read 10191 times)

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artk2002

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Re: The Mad King Ludwig
« Reply #60 on: November 20, 2010, 07:49:45 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 g*a*y was a bad thing. But understanding that there were powerful g*a*y people who made a difference in history is something I think is important for many people to understand.

I left out the third facet that bugs me.  Trying to classify someone as gay (or of a particular ethinc group) in order to "claim" them.  There was a push a decade or so ago to identify Cleopatra as being "black."  Because, you know, Egypt is in Africa.  But this completely ignored the fact that she wasn't even Egyptian -- she was Greek.  So for me, any kind of scholarship that to retroactively classify someone requires very close scrutiny; knowing the motivations of the person making the claim is important.

You are right, though, that it is important and valuable when the classification is done right.  I just hate seeing the truth subverted for someone's personal or group agenda.
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Sharnita

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Re: The Mad King Ludwig
« Reply #61 on: November 20, 2010, 08:47:15 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 g*a*y was a bad thing. But understanding that there were powerful g*a*y people who made a difference in history is something I think is important for many people to understand.

I left out the third facet that bugs me.  Trying to classify someone as g*a*y (or of a particular ethinc group) in order to "claim" them.  There was a push a decade or so ago to identify Cleopatra as being "black."  Because, you know, Egypt is in Africa.  But this completely ignored the fact that she wasn't even Egyptian -- she was Greek.  So for me, any kind of scholarship that to retroactively classify someone requires very close scrutiny; knowing the motivations of the person making the claim is important.

You are right, though, that it is important and valuable when the classification is done right.  I just hate seeing the truth subverted for someone's personal or group agenda.
lol.  it bugs me because it also seems like it is done to make the individual more interesting or cutting edge.  Like Lincoln needs to be made more interesting.  It was the reason I was so annoyed when the movie Titanic came out.  The had to make up characters and some plot about a necklace or something because the actual people and disaster weren't quite enough for the modern viewer?

TootsNYC

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Re: The Mad King Ludwig
« Reply #62 on: November 20, 2010, 09:24:24 PM »
You know, I noticed something interesting when I visited Neuschwanstein Castle.

It's pretty common knowledge that Ludwig was mad, and elsewhere in Germany it's accepted as fact.  However, in the town of Fussen and the area right around the castle, I noticed that people seemed to hold him in a higher regard, referring to him as a "dreamer" or a "visionary" who "loved the arts".

Maybe part of it is because he was, after all, royalty.  Or maybe it's because the tourist money coming in from that castle hasn't hurt the local economy.


And maybe it's because he was both, and they like to focus on the positive?

kareng57

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Re: The Mad King Ludwig
« Reply #63 on: November 20, 2010, 09:29:04 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 g*a*y was a bad thing. But understanding that there were powerful g*a*y people who made a difference in history is something I think is important for many people to understand.

I left out the third facet that bugs me.  Trying to classify someone as g*a*y (or of a particular ethinc group) in order to "claim" them.  There was a push a decade or so ago to identify Cleopatra as being "black."  Because, you know, Egypt is in Africa.  But this completely ignored the fact that she wasn't even Egyptian -- she was Greek.  So for me, any kind of scholarship that to retroactively classify someone requires very close scrutiny; knowing the motivations of the person making the claim is important.

You are right, though, that it is important and valuable when the classification is done right.  I just hate seeing the truth subverted for someone's personal or group agenda.
lol.  it bugs me because it also seems like it is done to make the individual more interesting or cutting edge.  Like Lincoln needs to be made more interesting.  It was the reason I was so annoyed when the movie Titanic came out.  The had to make up characters and some plot about a necklace or something because the actual people and disaster weren't quite enough for the modern viewer?

However, Titanic was fiction.  It wasn't a documentary.  The movie A Night to Remember from the 1950s was quite faithful as to the details, but many modern viewers would find it pretty dull.  It was based on the story by Walter Lord.  That's just the way it was.

And sometimes, whether or not a historical character was g*ay does make a difference.  Perhaps it should not have, by today's standards, but it might have then.  Decades ago, people who were closeted-g*ay could have been subject to blackmail.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2010, 09:35:29 PM by kareng57 »

Kendo_Bunny

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Re: The Mad King Ludwig
« Reply #64 on: November 22, 2010, 06:58:59 AM »
I once read a book that suggested that the reason that Ludwig never married and built French-style gardens and salons in his palaces was that he had a sort of fixation on Marie Antoinette, despite the fact that she was killed before he was born. At least that it seemed to be a popular belief at the turn of the last century... he was also being described as "gloriously mad", rather than dangerous or subversive.

While it is interesting to speculate, what we would obviously interpret as homosexual or whatever is applying a modern lens to past events. Maybe Ludwig was a prototypical D&D nerd with the money and power to make his fantasies real. Maybe he was on the autistic spectrum, and being around people of the opposite sex made him uncomfortable. Maybe, as another poster suggested, he was asexual - though perhaps his "sinful desires" refer to autosexuality (unattracted to anyone but himself. Last I checked, that was frowned on too in the 1800's). Maybe he was impotent, or maybe he was somewhat agoraphobic. Maybe he was heterosexual, but was gynophobic. Flamboyant design taste is not necessarily the best indicator, or the Sun King was definitely very g*a*y. Not to mention Elvis Presley.

iridaceae

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Re: The Mad King Ludwig
« Reply #65 on: November 22, 2010, 07:21:52 AM »
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 g*a*y was a bad thing. But understanding that there were powerful g*a*y people who made a difference in history is something I think is important for many people to understand.

I left out the third facet that bugs me.  Trying to classify someone as g*a*y (or of a particular ethinc group) in order to "claim" them.  There was a push a decade or so ago to identify Cleopatra as being "black."  Because, you know, Egypt is in Africa.  But this completely ignored the fact that she wasn't even Egyptian -- she was Greek.  So for me, any kind of scholarship that to retroactively classify someone requires very close scrutiny; knowing the motivations of the person making the claim is important.

You are right, though, that it is important and valuable when the classification is done right.  I just hate seeing the truth subverted for someone's personal or group agenda.
lol.  it bugs me because it also seems like it is done to make the individual more interesting or cutting edge.  Like Lincoln needs to be made more interesting.  It was the reason I was so annoyed when the movie Titanic came out.  The had to make up characters and some plot about a necklace or something because the actual people and disaster weren't quite enough for the modern viewer?

Many fictional stories are told about events, wars, etc. because it allows the creator to focus in on what they want to tell.  Uncle Tom's Cabin- fiction- was as important to the abolitionist movement as the lectures escaped slaves would give or the autobiographies they published.

Sharnita

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Re: The Mad King Ludwig
« Reply #66 on: November 22, 2010, 07:40:56 AM »
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 g*a*y was a bad thing. But understanding that there were powerful g*a*y people who made a difference in history is something I think is important for many people to understand.

I left out the third facet that bugs me.  Trying to classify someone as g*a*y (or of a particular ethinc group) in order to "claim" them.  There was a push a decade or so ago to identify Cleopatra as being "black."  Because, you know, Egypt is in Africa.  But this completely ignored the fact that she wasn't even Egyptian -- she was Greek.  So for me, any kind of scholarship that to retroactively classify someone requires very close scrutiny; knowing the motivations of the person making the claim is important.

You are right, though, that it is important and valuable when the classification is done right.  I just hate seeing the truth subverted for someone's personal or group agenda.
lol.  it bugs me because it also seems like it is done to make the individual more interesting or cutting edge.  Like Lincoln needs to be made more interesting.  It was the reason I was so annoyed when the movie Titanic came out.  The had to make up characters and some plot about a necklace or something because the actual people and disaster weren't quite enough for the modern viewer?

Many fictional stories are told about events, wars, etc. because it allows the creator to focus in on what they want to tell.  Uncle Tom's Cabin- fiction- was as important to the abolitionist movement as the lectures escaped slaves would give or the autobiographies they published.

I am aware of that.  That is not what I am referring to however.  There is a trend in adding to/speculating about/fictionalizing significant historical events and individuals simply to make them edgier for today's audiences. 

iridaceae

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Re: The Mad King Ludwig
« Reply #67 on: November 22, 2010, 07:51:17 AM »
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 g*a*y was a bad thing. But understanding that there were powerful g*a*y people who made a difference in history is something I think is important for many people to understand.

I left out the third facet that bugs me.  Trying to classify someone as g*a*y (or of a particular ethinc group) in order to "claim" them.  There was a push a decade or so ago to identify Cleopatra as being "black."  Because, you know, Egypt is in Africa.  But this completely ignored the fact that she wasn't even Egyptian -- she was Greek.  So for me, any kind of scholarship that to retroactively classify someone requires very close scrutiny; knowing the motivations of the person making the claim is important.

You are right, though, that it is important and valuable when the classification is done right.  I just hate seeing the truth subverted for someone's personal or group agenda.
lol.  it bugs me because it also seems like it is done to make the individual more interesting or cutting edge.  Like Lincoln needs to be made more interesting.  It was the reason I was so annoyed when the movie Titanic came out.  The had to make up characters and some plot about a necklace or something because the actual people and disaster weren't quite enough for the modern viewer?

Many fictional stories are told about events, wars, etc. because it allows the creator to focus in on what they want to tell.  Uncle Tom's Cabin- fiction- was as important to the abolitionist movement as the lectures escaped slaves would give or the autobiographies they published.

I am aware of that.  That is not what I am referring to however.  There is a trend in adding to/speculating about/fictionalizing significant historical events and individuals simply to make them edgier for today's audiences. 

Many times it isn't so much speculating or making them edgier but tearing away at the myth of the person.   Henry Ford was anti-Semitic. Saying so is not sensationalizing him but rather admitting what was hidden to make him seem More Of A Hero.  Benjamin Franklin went after just about every young woman he ran across. Should that be whitewashed, too?

Sharnita

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Re: The Mad King Ludwig
« Reply #68 on: November 22, 2010, 08:26:56 AM »
But we have just looked at some examples that aren't proven but can't be absolutely be disproven either and people clamor for those stories. 

iridaceae

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Re: The Mad King Ludwig
« Reply #69 on: November 22, 2010, 08:33:58 AM »
But we have just looked at some examples that aren't proven but can't be absolutely be disproven either and people clamor for those stories. 

People like to speculate. It's very human. It ranges from "Was Mad King Ludwifg mad?" to "I hear that tramp Debbie is pregnant again; do you think it's her husband's?" to "Was Akhenaton really a monotheist?  What did he think about the other Gods?" to "Do you think that Montague John Druitt was really Jack the Ripper?"

DoubleTrouble

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Re: The Mad King Ludwig
« Reply #70 on: November 22, 2010, 07:39:01 PM »
But we have just looked at some examples that aren't proven but can't be absolutely be disproven either and people clamor for those stories. 

People like to speculate. It's very human. It ranges from "Was Mad King Ludwifg mad?" to "I hear that tramp Debbie is pregnant again; do you think it's her husband's?" to "Was Akhenaton really a monotheist?  What did he think about the other Gods?" to "Do you think that Montague John Druitt was really Jack the Ripper?"

pffff. Everyone knows Jack the Ripper was really the Duke of Clarence  ;D

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Re: The Mad King Ludwig
« Reply #71 on: January 05, 2011, 09:48:21 PM »
many people are fascinated by royalty. and by every aspect of their lives, not just their royal decrees. i don't read the tabloids, but even i know about prince william and various aspects of his love life. it's hard to avoid, actually. people speculating about a historical figure's sexuality isn't much different than their wanting to know how the royalty buttered their bread and engaged in their passions (whether it be music or sexual partners). it's fascinating. that's why the period movies and the historical fictions (which i adore, by the way).

ludwig is one of those deliciously fascinating men people want to know everything about. his relationship with wagner is intriguing in and of itself (can you imagine having someone like wagner around? regardless of how distasteful he was reputed to be?). when i lived in austria, i gobbled up everything related to Sissi (ludwig's cousin, kaiserin elisabeth, married to franz josef). it's hard not to get swept up in the unrelatable, surreal life of kings and queens past.

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Re: The Mad King Ludwig
« Reply #72 on: January 06, 2011, 08:47:04 AM »
You know, I noticed something interesting when I visited Neuschwanstein Castle.

It's pretty common knowledge that Ludwig was mad, and elsewhere in Germany it's accepted as fact.  However, in the town of Fussen and the area right around the castle, I noticed that people seemed to hold him in a higher regard, referring to him as a "dreamer" or a "visionary" who "loved the arts".

Maybe part of it is because he was, after all, royalty.  Or maybe it's because the tourist money coming in from that castle hasn't hurt the local economy.


As an opera freak, I definitely have to thank Ludwig for his love of the arts.  All of Wagner's late works (including the Ring Cycle) were written under Ludwig's patronage. Rock on, Ludwig.
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Re: The Mad King Ludwig
« Reply #73 on: January 06, 2011, 09:08:10 AM »
So.... this thread is making me feel really ignorant. It's also making me REALLY want to research Ludwig. I gotta say, he sounds kind of awesome.  ;D
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Twik

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Re: The Mad King Ludwig
« Reply #74 on: January 06, 2011, 09:57:08 AM »
many people are fascinated by royalty. and by every aspect of their lives, not just their royal decrees. i don't read the tabloids, but even i know about prince william and various aspects of his love life. it's hard to avoid, actually. people speculating about a historical figure's sexuality isn't much different than their wanting to know how the royalty buttered their bread and engaged in their passions (whether it be music or sexual partners). it's fascinating. that's why the period movies and the historical fictions (which i adore, by the way).

As fascinating as the topic may be, it is not, in my opinion, appropriate to start discussing these things with a tourguide who is trying to follow a script, and also keep things family-friendly. As they say, there's a time and place for such things, and in the middle of a group tour, one has to basically "go with the flow".
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