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Thursday, May 18, 2006

Caption Contest #2 Winner

Lots of excellent entries; I laughed out loud several times while reading new comments this week, and so it was quite a difficult choice, especially given the extremely high stakes involved. I chose this one as the grand prize winner because it does so much work at once: it transforms John Ball's classic Renaissance protest slogan into a contemporary attack on Christian fundamentalists, using their early modern counterparts (and their own ridiculous anti-gay slogan) against them. Well played. Also, I thought it was pretty damn funny. Congratulations to muse! And thanks to all our other players. More to come soon.

Incidentally, the woodcut comes from the title page of Thomas Heywood's A true discourse of the two infamous upstart prophets, Richard Farnham weaver of White-Chappell, and John Bull weaver of Saint Butolphs Algate, now prisoners, the one in Newgate, and the other in Bridewell with their examinations and opinions taken from their owne mouthes (1636). Farnham and Bull claimed that they were the two prophets mentioned in Revelations who foretell the end times: "And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth" (11:3). Farnham believed that "he must first be slaine, and after that rise againe, and after that be made King of that very Jerusalem in which King David and King Salomon once reigned" (sig C1r). Rather like King Lear, the two believed "themselves to have such power over the Elements, that at their prayer they can command the clouds to showre downe raine upon the earth, and at their prayers too they can restraine those timely and seasonable drops which refresh it" (sig. C2r). Naturally, they managed to parlay their status as the witnesses of Revelations into some sexual libertinage, as all good self-proclaimed prophets do.

 Scribble some marginalia

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