F*cking History: 111 Lessons You Should Have Learned in School

F*cking History: 111 Lessons You Should Have Learned in School

by The Captain

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Overview

History that doesn't suck: Smart, crude, and hilariously relevant to modern life.

Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it. Too bad it's usually boring as sh*t. Enter The Captain, the ultimate storyteller who brings history to life (and to your life) in this hilarious, intelligent, brutally honest, and crude compendium to events that happened before any of us were born.

The entries in this compulsively readable book bridge past and present with topics like getting ghosted, handling haters, and why dog owners rule (sorry, cat people). Along the way you'll get a glimpse of Edith Wharton's sex life, dating rituals in Ancient Greece, catfishing in 500 BC, medieval flirting techniques, and squad goals from Catherine the Great.

You'll learn why losing yourself in a relationship will make you crazy—like Joanna of Castile, who went from accomplished badass to Joanna the Mad after obsessing over a guy known as Philip the Handsome. You'll discover how Resting Bitch Face has been embraced throughout history (so wear it proudly). And you'll see why it's never a good idea to f*ck with powerful women—from pirate queens to diehard suffragettes to Cleo-f*cking-patra.

People in the past were just like us—so learn from life's losers and emulate the badasses. The Captain shows you how.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780593189412
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/11/2020
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 38,475
Product dimensions: 7.50(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

The Captain is a writer, creator, and instigator.

Read an Excerpt

GETTIN' GHOSTED

Few things in life will make you feel as dumb as getting ghosted. But you know what? Getting ghosted is a f*cking blessing. Because anybody who won't give you the courtesy of giving it to you straight is somebody you don't need in your life anyway. So if you get ghosted, keep doing your thing and make sure the person who ghosted you lives to absolutely f*cking regret it. Be like Edith Wharton.

By the year 1905, Edith had already made quite a name for herself as an author and a wordsmith. Sadly, her literary success did not carry into her marriage. (Apparently, her husband was kind of an angry sh*thead.) And like unhappily married people have been known to do, she had an affair. It began in 1907 with a kindred spirit and fellow writer by the name of William Morton Fullerton. Edith was head over heels for this guy and thought for sure he was the soul mate most people only dream of meeting. Unfortunately, the affair was short-lived, as Fullerton disappeared on her sometime in 1908. Yep, he straight up ghosted her ass.

Over the years, she did what she could to find him and make contact by writing hundreds of letter–yes, hundreds–in an attempt to get some closure, but F*ckboy Fullerton never bothered to even give her a response. Realizing all her worrying was dumb, Edith gave up and got on with her life. In 1913 she divorced her husband and moved to France. There, she continued to write, and in 1916 she received the French Legion of Honor award for her work during the war. In 1921 she became THE FIRST WOMAN EVER to win a Pulitzer Prize, for her novel The Age of Innocence.

As a saucy, scholarly boss, she never remarried and spent the rest of her life writing in the French Riviera, with her dogs, her garden, and her close friends. She even went on to receive three Nobel Prize nominations before her death in 1937. And what did Fullerton do with his life? Not much. His claim to fame was dating Edith, and a selection of the letters she wrote to him were eventually published in a book. Yeah, although he didn't respond, he received and saved every single one–all four hundred of 'em. (Huh, suddenly sending five texts in a row doesn't seem so bad.)

You see, getting ghosted is not the end of the world. If someone ghosts you, haunt their ass with your success. Or just get, like, super f*cking attractive. Either way, you win, they lose.

***

TILL DEATH DO YOU PART (OR NOT)

You're a f*cking catch. And anyone you date should f*cking act like it. Don't waste your time with someone who only wants to hang out at home, doesn't invite you out with their friends, and is an all-around keep-you-to-themselves kind of asshole. Find someone who is proud to be with you and wants to show you off. Like King Pedro (a.k.a. Peter I of Portugal) did with his second wife, Ines de Castro.

Here's his story: After the death of his first wife in 1345 (an arranged marriage), Pedro married Ines against his father's wishes, causing an absolute sh*tstorm in the royal kingdom. Why? Well, Ines was not of royal blood; thus, their union offered no political advantages. So in 1355, Pedro's father, King Afonso IV, hired three men to kidnap Ines and, well, cut off her f*cking head. (And you thought your dad overreacted when you brought your first boyfriend home in high school.)

Upon learning about this, Pedro swore revenge, but he was just a lil' prince without much power. Fortunately for him, he didn't have to wait too long to inherit the power necessary to enact his plan. In 1357, Dad died and Pedro became the new king. And what was King Pedro's first order of business? Simple: He was going to make good on his vengeful promise. He tracked down the three men who'd killed Ines and had their hearts ripped out while they were still alive. Because, as he claimed, they had done the same to him when they killed Ines. (Pretty emo move if you ask me, but I can respect it.)

Then Pedro had Ines's body exhumed, dressed in royal cloth, and seated next to him on a throne as the rightful queen. Yeah, that's how proud Pedro was of her. Dead, without makeup, and with no f*cking eyebrows (but probably with some kick-ass skeleton contouring), Pedro still wanted to show her off. So much so that he forced the entire kingdom to form a line, bow, and kiss her dead, bony-ass hands. Now THAT'S a dude who was proud of his relationship and truly didn't give a f*ck about what others had to say about it.

(It's worth noting that Pedro went on to become a complete psychopath of a king, known for his affinity for torture, brutality, and living heart removal. But let's not focus on that–let's focus on how proud he was to be married to Ines and how little he cared about the opinions of others.)

***

HATERS GONNA HATE

Don't you just hate it when someone asks you to "prove" something? I mean, not only are they calling you a liar; they're also questioning your ability to represent yourself. Essentially, they are insulting you twice. The good news: This kind of scrutiny generally means you're really good at something. And no matter what it is–writing, performing, sports, looking hot-jealous people will always question anything that seems too good to be true. Ever heard of Niccolo Paganini? No? Well, that's too bad. You should probably stop watching reality-TV shows and get some f*cking culture in your life, because Niccolo was perhaps the greatest violinist of all time.

Born in northern Italy in 1782, Niccolo developed his musical prowess at a young age, and by 1813 he was regarded by many as the best violinist in European history. He amassed a cult-like following of fans. (I believe these are called "groupies.") He was the first real rock star, both on and, especially, off the stage. But what Paganini did with his private parts is really none of our business, so let's get back to his music and not his manhood.

Niccolo was such a talented musician that a vast majority of folks were convinced he wasn't human; thus, a rumor began to spread that he was actually the son of the devil and his violin contained the soul of a woman he had killed and imprisoned inside. Yeah, pretty f*cking ridiculous, but these rumors became so intense and widely believed that in order to continue traveling and performing, Niccolo was forced to prove his humanity by publishing letters and birth documentation from his mother. After proving he wasn't the son of Satan, he was allowed to continue jammin' out-but the belief that he was associated with the devil never really went away, and communal fear continued to affect his career.

Honestly, so what if Niccolo's dad were the devil, as long as Niccolo put on a good show-right? I mean, c'mon, nearly every successful name in music has dabbled in the dark arts at least once in their life. Hell, I've had songs I don't even like stuck in my head for years at time. That's some goddamn witchcraft, if you ask me.

Anyway, the moral of the story: If people doubt you, hate on you, and constantly seem to be out to get you, it usually means you're doing something right-so keep that sh*t up.

***

TIMELESS BEAUTY

"Resting b*tch face." This term has been floating around a lot the past few years, making its way into a slew of selfies, memes, and pop-culture articles. But it's nothing new. The art of looking like a handsome b*tch, d*ck, or asshole has been around since the beginning of time. Why? Because there's a certain level of respect, mystery, and intrigue that comes from appearing seductive yet absolutely terrifying. For centuries, women have used RBF to lure kings from their thrones, and those kings, in turn, have used RBF to intimidate and conquer rival lands; the history of RBF is firmly rooted in honor, attraction, and self-respect.

And throughout history, self-respect has always been closely related to smiling (or the lack thereof). Aside from the obscenely long exposure times required for old photography to work properly, you don't often see people smiling in old photos or paintings, as it was considered foolish to pose with a smile on your face. Because, well, it was probably fake. To smile for a portrait was not an accurate depiction of emotion. You were smiling just to smile, not because you were genuinely happy. You know, like when you fake a smile for your boss to conceal your complete mental breakdown.

In fact, it was Mark Twain (you know the name) who said, "A photograph is a most important document, and there is nothing more damning to go down to posterity than a silly, foolish smile caught and fixed forever." In my opinion, no truer words have ever been spoken.

Except maybe the infamous TLC line, "Don't go chasing waterfalls." Which, oddly enough, is also a statement concerning self-respect. Huh, weird.

Now, the next time someone asks you why you don't smile in photos, you have some history to school them and validation to support your decision. Tell them you're doing it for your posterity.

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