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Into the Woods! The Werewolf of Dole *

Several children have gone missing in the woods. Some are found dead... chewed to pieces. One little girl is attacked by a wolf and escapes with her life. The townspeople are convinced there is a were-wolf in the woods so they get a court order to search the woods and kill the beast. It reads in part...

"... the Court, desiring to prevent any greater danger, has permitted, and does permit, [...] to assemble with pikes, halberts, arquebuses, and sticks, to chase and to pursue the said were-wolf in every place where they may find or seize him; to tie and to kill him, without incurring any pains or penalties." -- September 13, 1573.

Two months later they catch a hermit, Giles Garnier (in his human form) and his wife, Apolline. Giles confesses to murdering several children and eating a few of them. His wife apparently ate some of the children too so they are both burned at the stake. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Was Giles really a werewolf? There is a congenital condition that causes hair to grow across the entire face but Giles didn't have that. In reading the report, it is possible that he was a serial murderer similar to Jeffrey Dahmer who ate his victims. The bottom line is that these werewolf hunters were government-sanctioned mobs. Government officials must use care when attempting to accommodate the public. We like plain-speaking politicians, but in their official capacity they are constrained by their duties (and common sense) to avoid "rabble-rousing." [6] [7]
"... while we try to make sure that they were protected from the cars and other things that were going on, we also gave those who wished to destroy, space to do that as well." -- The Mayor of Baltimore at an official press conference on the 2015 riots. [8] [9]

Why is Reverent Art so Irrelevant? Inquiring Minds Want to Know

After a fire in the Basilica of San Zanipolo in Venice, an artist is commissioned to produce a painting of the Last Supper to grace the back wall of the refectory (which is the dining room for the monks and priests). What they get is "The Feast in the House of Levi." At 18 feet high and 42 feet long it is probably the largest painting of the 16th century. Paolo of Venice is called before the Inquisition to explain why a picture of the Last Supper should include... "parrots, dwarfs, Germans, buffoons," and other irrelevancies. Paolo replies, "It was big, and with room for many figures.... Whenever an empty space in a picture needs filling up, I put in figures as the fancy takes me." Paolo's fancy is a colorful fantasy life. The painting now hangs in a Venice museum. [10] [11] [12] [13]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
This is all a consequence of the Council of Trent. With so much turmoil caused from the controversy over religious images, the Catholic Church is trying to be careful and reviewing every painting that introduces something beyond the approved religious theme. It is rather humorous that they asked for a large painting and hired an artist famous for painting epic vistas filled with top-heavy blondes, beautiful princesses and dogs everywhere. You'd think the Church would have realized that they might get something very different. Certainly the "The Feast in the House of Levi" is that.

A General's Duty to Duck

The Takeda clan of Japan have the Noda Castle under siege and they are winning. They have been pushing through the province in an attempt to reach the Japanese capital of Kyoto. As the castle resistance collapses, a sniper's arrow hits General Shingen, the war lord leading this entire push into the province. The battle continues, but Shingen succumbs from his wound. The battle falters and his men pull back. His son takes over but the son is not the father. He will do his best in this war, but it won't be good enough. He will commit ritual suicide along with his wife, his son and various servants in 1582 after an especially humiliating loss. [14]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Japanese history seems a little too heroic to be taken at face value but the stories are passed down from generation to generation and become models for behavior. Ritual suicide is one of these traditions. During World War 2, as the American forces were taking Saipan, three Japanese officers decided to commit ritual suicide by disemboweling themselves, but since it takes some time to die this way, they had volunteers shoot them in the head shortly thereafter. The Japanese psychology of that time is difficult for me to fathom. Japanese veterans were shunned by their fellow Japanese after the atrocities and plain crazy stories were revealed so I'm not alone. [15]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1573, Wikipedia.

See Also


* The asterisk in the section header indicates that it was read on the podcast.
  1. The Book of Were-Wolves: Being an Account of a Terrible Superstition. London: Smith, Elder, 74-75. 
  2. Gilles Garnier - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 11 May 2015. “Being unaccustomed to feeding more than just himself he found it difficult to provide for his wife causing discontent between them. During this period several children went missing or were found dead and the authorities of the Franche-Comté province issued an edict encouraging and allowing the people to apprehend and kill the werewolf responsible.”
  3. Gilles Garnier. BloodyLexicon.com (2015). Retrieved on 11 May 2015. “Gilles Garnier was described as an old hermit that lived in the forest near Amanges, France with his wife, Apolline. He was described as having a long beard, pale face, walked with a hunch, and had a pale complexion. The town only saw him around, he rarely spoke to any of the townspeople and wasn't a suspect until later in the werewolf attacks that occurred in the area.”
  4. (2001) "Gilles Garnier", Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. The Gale Group, Inc.. Retrieved on 11 May 2015. “Following an epidemic of attacks on young children in 1573, Garnier and his wife were arrested and tried as werewolves. Garnier confessed that he had killed a 12-year-old boy and was about to eat his flesh but was interrupted by villagers. Garnier and the villagers testified that Garnier appeared in human form, although in other instances it was claimed that he appeared as a wolf.” 
  5. Hello, Little Girl. 'Into the Woods' Original Movie clip (2015). Retrieved on 11 May 2015.
  6. Jeffrey Dahmer - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 11 May 2015. “Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer (May 21, 1960 - November 28, 1994), also known as the Milwaukee Cannibal, was an American serial killer and sex offender, who committed the rape, murder and dismemberment of seventeen men and boys between 1978 and 1991, with many of his later murders also involving necrophilia, cannibalism, and the permanent preservation of body parts—typically all or part of the skeletal structure.”
  7. How Werewolves Work. How Stuff Works (30 October 2007). Retrieved on 11 May 2015. “Fajardo Aceves Jesus Manuel, from Mexico, has congenital hypertrichosis.”
  8. 2015 Baltimore protests - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 11 May 2015. “It's a very delicate balancing act. Because while we try to make sure that they were protected from the cars and other things that were going on, we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well.”
  9. Baltimore Mayor: 'Gave Those Who Wished to Destroy Space to Do That'. CBS Baltimore (April 25, 2015). Retrieved on 11 May 2015. “we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well.”
  10. A History of Civilization in Italy from 1304-1576 A.D., The Story Of Civilization. Simon and Schuster, 755-756. ISBN 9781567310160. “All the art world knows the story how the officers of the Inquisition — pursuant to a decree of the Council of Trent that all erroneous teaching must be avoided in art — summoned Veronese before them (1573), and demanded to know why he had introduced so many irreverent irrelevancies into The Feast in the House of Levi” 
  11. Paolo Veronese - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 12 May 2015. “In 1573 Veronese completed the painting which is now known as The Feast in the House of Levi for the rear wall of the refectory of the Basilica di Santi Giovanni e Paolo. The painting originally was intended as a depiction of the Last Supper. It was designed to replace a canvas by Titian that had been lost in a fire. It measured more than five metres high and more than twelve metres wide, depicted another Venetian celebration, and was a culmination of his banquet scenes, which this time included not only the Last Supper, but also German soldiers, comic dwarves, and a variety of animals: in short, the exotica which were standard to his narratives.”
  12. Santi Giovanni e Paolo, Venice - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 12 May 2015. “The Basilica di San Giovanni e Paolo, known in the Venetian dialect as San Zanipolo, is a church in the Castello sestiere of Venice, Italy.”
  13. The Feast in the House of Levi - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 12 May 2015. “The Feast in the House of Levi or Christ in the House of Levi is a 1573 painting by Italian painter Paolo Veronese and one of the largest canvases of the 16th century, measuring 555 x 1280 cm (18 x 42 feet). It is now in the Gallerie dell'Accademia in Venice.”
  14. Siege of Noda Castle - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 12 May 2015. “Following the surrender of Noda Castle, Tokugawa forces were in retreat throughout Mikawa, [...] However, Takeda Shingen died in March 1573 (whether from illness or from the wound sustained at the Battle of Noda Castle), and his forces were unable to maintain their momentum under his successor, Takeda Katsuyori.”
  15. John Toland. The Rising Sun: The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire 1936-1945 Volume 2. Random House, 638-642. 

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