Medieval Memes

Medieval Memes #7: Covid-19 Special Edition

Online Teaching

With the spread of the covid-19 pandemic, many schools around the world shut their doors. Everybody was invited to stay at home in order to save lives. However, teachers didn’t give up on teaching. They did it online at the best of their capabilities. It didn’t help to assuage the great divide between priviledged and disenfranchized children but it was certainly better than nothing.

Dating Advice

Online working and online schooling becoming the norm during the great covid-19 pandemic, fathers were faced with the stupidity of their children and couldn’t avoid their idiotic question anymore.

Universal Healthcare

Universal healthcare seems like a given in somes countries. You get sick, you go to the doctor or to the hospital and you don’t have to pay much money for it. However, several countries still uphold healthcare as a private economic sector. Medical bills rise up to insane amounts in such regions of the world. It only led to further unrest and overall stress for the people being ordered to stay at home.

Human Capital Stock

Politicians haven’t always been smart in the way they communicated to the public during the covid-19 pandemic. One of them said that the “human capital stock” (sic) was ready to go back to work. It proved that electors were only numbers for such politicians, not actual human beings.

Making this meme made me very uncomfortable.

I realized a few days later that the bubble at the top right gloomingly foreshadowed George Floyd’s death. I literally created this meme on May 25th, 3 hours before M. Floyd died under the knee of a police officer in Minneapolis, yelling “I can’t breathe” as he was murdered.

The bubble originally served as a reference to the many royal pardons French soldiers obtained during the 15th century for the murders and various crimes they committed.

However, this time, the police officer who murdered George Floyd was arrested and charged with second-degree murder.

History shows that mankind sure is slow to get rid of bad habits!

A dozen days after George Floyd died and many people were made aware of police brutality around the world, the case of women in custody being raped by police officers also reached the 24h news cycle. It seems such events take place in Nigeria or in the United States on a regular basis. I bet many other countries are concerned with that very problem too.

Again, I was only referencing 15th century war crimes at the time I was coming up with the meme. I was only shocked by the “human capital stock” colloquial and what it involved in regards to human rights and how it infringes on human dignity.

A Snowflake, By Any Other Name…

Black communities in Western countries were among the most severely hit by the covid-19 pandemic. Their deathtoll was proportionnally catastrophic compared to the white majority. It obviously shows how the “system” works in a racist fashion. Whilst white people stormed the Michigan statehouse with assault rifles to put an end to the lockdown and litteraly to get back the right to get a haircut, black people were dying by the thousands.

Black Lives Matter

Although institutionalised racism seems to be an exclusive American problem from an European perspective–because Europeans are usually too skittish to talk about this issue–, the many protests around the world that followed the death of George Floyd clearly shed the light on the fact that institutionalised racism was a universal problem.

Global Insecurity

Demonstrations and protests following the death of George Floyd quickly spread around the Western world. However, we didn’t witness any major demonstration in Belgium while the good people of Paris and Amsterdam were boiling with anger. A few statues of Leopold II, former king of the Belgians, though, were rightfully vandalised.

Social Isolation

As for myself I confess that I will not take the streets to protest against institutionalised racism and police brutality. I will stay at home. Mostly because my significant other may be down with the covid-19 for a second time.

Therefore I will keep doing what I do best, I will fight racism on a daily basis whenever it pops up in front of me.

What I can do to fight racism, as a teacher, is to severely condemn black teenagers when they indulge into self-deprecating humor. Internalised racism is a bitch.

What I can dot to fight racism, as a white person, is to protest against the holding and the persecution of my black friends by the police. My best friend could have died in a police cell from diabetes if I didn’t show up to claim him at the station. They only moved him to the hospital once I arrived.

What I can do to fight racism, as a family member, is to warn my relatives against the pernicious side effects of colourblind racism. Sure thing, colored and white people are all human beings, however we need to acknowledge that colored people are being targeted, everyday, by racist behaviors. Therefore we are all truly alike but we don’t experience the world the same way and we can’t fight racism if we don’t begin to address that reality.

In the meantime, remain cautious, take care of yourself and stay safe. We’re not out of the woods yet when it comes to this ugly covid-19 pandemic.



Medieval Memes

Medieval Memes #5

Go Home! You’re Drunk!

Medieval Meme. Drunk Angel
Lausane, University Library, U. 964, f. 10v.

Anxiety? What Anxiety?

Medieval Meme. Facing Unemployment
Paris, BnF, fr. 12399, f. 24r.

A Regular Day for a Historian

Medieval Meme. Dismantling Fake News
[Right] Paris, Arsenal, MS 5060, f. 242r [Left] Paris, BnF, fr. 2608, f. 381r

Awkwardness Can Be Cute, Right?

Medieval Meme. An Awkward Introduction
Paris, BnF, fr. 1303, f. 49v.

Posh Meme

Medieval Meme. Logical Contradictions
Los Angeles, Getty Museum, MS 46, f. 61v.

Feminism 101

Medieval Meme. Feminism
Paris, BnF, lat. 9473, f. 190r.

The True Origin of the Bagpipe

Medieval Meme. The Origin of the Bagpipe
Paris, BnF, lat. 9473, f. 165v

Battling Rape Like a Saint

Medieval Meme. Battling Rape
Paris, BnF, lat. 9473, f. 165v.

When I Can’t Browse Manuscripts…

Medieval Meme. Martyrdom
Paris, BnF, lat. 9474, f. 179v.

Never Give Me A Compliment

Medieval Meme. Compliments
London, British Library, Add. 18850, f. 22r.