watching Burke and hare again because i have a bit of a crush on Andy Serkis and it’s a damn fine film. HOWEVER. being me, i’ve gone and done a bit more research because when i cannot sleep at 4am because i’m puking everywhere (seriously. i’ve started carrying that little trash can around from pillar to post as it were) i need something that can distract me and research Wiki freefall specifically often fits the bill. now mind you i read analogue books as fast as most of you would read a wiki article. no i’m not being insulting. it’s fucking FACT. YOU can fucking run and dance and things of that nature. i can’t. you don’t see me berating you for bragging for that, now do you? and considering most of you fucks are so gods damned lazy you have a to take a car to a shop a block away, i’d have EVERY right to do so. i can chunk down about 5-6 books (and we’re taking NOVELS of 3-5 hundred pages PER BOOK. 1 once bet someone i could read the entire library. i was going through on average 30-40 books a week for the 1st ear of my illness. i don’t gamble unless i KNOW i’ll win. they had to open the fucking ARCHIVES for me cause i ran through 3 fucking branches in the 1st 4 months. i was allowed access to books hundreds of years old. some of the most treasured reads included a really obscure variation of the ORIGINAL short story collection by the man who later wen on to write peter pan up o and including hand coloured plates (yes i’m sighing in bliss recalling the smell, the feel of the pages) and the best part? i was it’s 1st fucking reader. the philstines didn’t know what they fucking HAD. i put aside the paperknife for THAT 1 and broke out a scalpel i use for fine work for sculpting (something i rarely do anymore) and very carefully opened the book properly, then sent a note to the head lib when i returned it telling her she MIGHT want to offer tht 1 up to the antiquarian section of ebay and would be able to finance her whole budget for the next year or more. later that week, i found out they had the full set of the ORIGINAL monster manuals AND most of the game modules for AD&D in the KIDS SECTION where they sat gathering dust for years in a lower corner because no one new what the hell they were. because let’s face it, until recently our sort didn’t often breed openly and the kin of folks that were having piles of kids were all mundanes more preoccupied with what bloody gourmet prechool the kids are going to be in to bother with anything like free form imaginative play. never heard what happened with the Barrie, but the D&D stuff went for a good chunk of change on ebay and some collector was so happy to get a nigh on complete set that he didn’t mind the battered covers and crayon marks on the inside covers.
but as usual i digress. i read like a fiend. i’m so fast i freak out professional readers (IE librarians LOL i’m allowed to make the joke. used to be one.) so when i’m sick or hurt, it’s grab something to read if i can currently hold something or something on the monitor if i can’t (like this morning. i can barely lift the damn trash can)
so. this morning i decided to reread upon the real Burke and Hare. now it’s been YEARS since i last read up ion that topic and the place i 1st did so will be a little unexpected. reading 200 year old issues of the Lancet in hardbound form (a british medical magazine still in publication if i’m not mistaken and generally the surgeons answer to What Bike 😉 ) which had a VERY flourid piece on the west end murders in Edinborough. and since it was the final installation into the coverage of the trial it had a tintype (old OLD style photographic process) of the desk Mask of Burke and what was claimed to be a ‘pocketbook’ made of skin taken from his back! euuuuuw (she says with a fascinated sparkle in her eyes…. i’m a bit like the little girl from boxtrolls. ‘i was PROMISED RIVERS OF BLOOD! AND WHERE IS MY MOUNTAIN OF SKULLS!!!’) so i kinda filed that away in the steel trap that pretends to be my mind (photographic memory a blessing?!! man are YOU fucking delusional! just 1 example? sitting in class in a test. i KNEW the last answer and it was 1 of those worth a massive chucnk of the grade for the exam in essay form of COURSE. i maintain that i learned how to write because i sucked at it till i was about 12 and met the man that changed my life. a gay male creative writing teacher! he told me ‘it doesn’t matter WHAT you journal only that you do. daily. if somethings meant to come out of it, we’ll know by the end of this semester. he told me? to keep writing and mortified a few others by reading the idiocy and gossip they were spewing. those of us that had gotten praise had written mundane little bits and bobs. describing the feathers on my parrot’s tail for example. 1 girl moved us to near tears describing the way a morning after a storm felt as she was terrified of storms. great stuff. good luck, chickieboom. i hope you got the fashion career you wanted instead of actually DOING something with that gift! huh? oh an old 70’s song. the chorus was chickieboom chickieboom don’tcha just love it’ and over the years it’s come to imply lost chances so if i ever call someone that? i’m basically doing the modernistic northern answer to ‘oh bless her heart!’ which is southern for ‘well you just fucked THAT chance up with no lube now didn’t you?’ ah song is daddy do drop that IS the name of the song and it came out in 71 and was from a cartoon called groovy ghoulies which i only ever saw on reruns when crapalodeon 1st started running older cartoons for the kids getting home from school who’d be bored by the FILL cosby and picture pages or the other toddler pap they ran all day) well, i failed the exam because when i was trying to recall the wording for the answer i needed, someone was whispering behind me, there were people yelling outside and all i could think about was reciting the periodic table in the back of my my head which would have been VERY useful had it been a chemistry test, but was in fact social studies so i was screwed. and then FURTHER embarrassed when my ‘wonderful family’ decided i must be ‘slow’ or ‘retarded’ the politically correct police not having landed in s. ohio yet in 1982 (hell this is 2015 and the other day i smacked someone with my calendar-then he yelled at me for hitting him and i pointed out i have 2 foot wide 3 inch thick hardbound graphic novels sitting within arm’s reach and he’s lucky it wasn’t THAT for using the word Gay like it was an insult ‘that’s really fuckin gay sis.’ so? so am last time i checked or had you forgotten i offered you the right to call me sister because i trust you SO fucking little that i swore i would NEVER call or refer to you as friend. and now ya don’t even got that. ‘well, then isn’t that okay then?’ not when you meant it as an insult. ‘but i thought you sort liked to be thought of as creative.’ slow burn of a look and THAT was why i hit him. sweeping judgements based on someone’s orientation!? that like suddenly deciding you despise people that have freckles or buck teeth. you know, shit they have NO control over because it’s part of your genetic makeup?! jackass. anyway. i recalled the answer on the way home and spent the rest of the walk berating myself. then they dragged me off to have my mental capabilities evaluated. (sigh) much to their chagrin when the guy told them ‘she’s not dumb, she’s bored. she’s probably the smartest person in this room and i’m including myself in the list and BOTH of you combined.’ and while most people would be delighted to learn this kind of thing? that’s when the beatings became hospital worthy. of course NOW, i love being who and what i am. but at the time, it meant ostracism and for a preteen girl that’s some pretty extreme shit. you get tough fast or you die.
so i did a little research this morning and found out there had been a LIFE cast made of William Hare as well about the same time. and wiki freefall sent me to the photos of the masks. that’s when i realized they’d made a massive cock-up in casting. don’t take MY word for it (though i assure you, you CAN. search terms were Burke and Hare West End murders. enjoy) in the film they have Hare as the instigator (and oh my dear Gods, but Serkis chews the scenery! he’s wonderful!) BUT it was BURKE who was the vicious one. the line in the film about how they needed to come up with a new term for what they were doing and dubs the smothering Burking? very true. most of the female characters were completely farcical. Hare married the widow of the lodging house owner and took it over and her name sadly was Margaret, not Lucky. (you might be CALLED Lucky, but I’m the lucky one.) though as in the film she took an active hand in the killings of the 17 people. and she also had a baby with Hare and brought it too the trial KNOWING it was fussy with whooping cough and she could use it to avoid questioning. ‘i’m all my wee babe HAS your grace. i have to tend to him. can we come back to this when he’s feeling better?’ type of deal which to ME says, she was probably the most dangerous of the 3 as is so often the case. it’s the female of any species that is the more dangerous. Burke had to flee Ireland abandoning his wife and 2 children (and from the sound of things, the woman and kids were lucky to get away from him!) when in a fit of drunken fury he shot his boss’ cart horse! ooh yeah. foreshadowing much?! according to the writings about them, Burke was the instigator and the brains behind the murder spree. he and his misstress (sorry Isla Fisher, you were truly adorable as the talentless whore turned confidence woman turned actress, but she didn’t exist!) were the ones that suggested the scam after someone died at the boarding house and they realized the anatomists (all the rivalry between Munro and Knox? completely true and even more backstabbing vicious to one another than they are portrayed. Tim Curry what were you THINKING!!!! no one does pasteboard cutout 2 dimensional freakshow villain than YOU do! you really could have torn that up. missed chance, luvvie.)
Hare was described as hapless and a little stupid and cruel, but BURKE? he was described by his contemporaries as being evil in human form. a complete sot and violent when he drank and he was ALWAYS ALWAYS drunk.
and then there’s the MASKS!!!! the mask for Hare? looks DEAD on (pun entirely intended) like Simon Pegg. and i mean DEAD ON. Burke? well, not quite the exacting copy hat Hare was to Pegg, bu t considering how much fact and accuracy actually made it into the film (surprisingly a LOT) and they missed a chance. instead of zooming in on Burke’s skeleton at the end just as the credits start rolling for real (as opposed to what i call the curtain call credits made up of outakes which are always fun. Christopher Lee refuses to break character and he’s just glaring at the others’ antics while he’s trying to work!) they COULD have shown the other ds[plays that are right off to the side of the skeleton. the fucking masks 1 of which looks exactly like 1 of the leads! all they had to do was cast the fucking thing correctly.