This is Buzzy's Country Store blog designed to keep you apprised of what's going on at the Store. Buzzy's is a general store located in St. Mary's County, Southern Maryland near Pt. Lookout State Park. Buzzy and Jean Ridgell purchased the Store from Jean's father Harry Raley in 1953. Buzzy operated it until his passing in 2009. His son J. Scott Ridgell is the current owner.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Don't Lose Your Head or Name For a Cause

With Halloween only a week away, how about an early walk on the dark side? 

While touring around Paris, I passed by  Dr. Joseph Guillotin's home and office area.  The tour guide mentioned that while it was true that THE guillotine was named after the good Doctor, he himself did not invent it.  Also, the guide noted that Dr. Guillotin was actually opposed to capital punishment and his reasoning for suggesting using the guillotine was hopefully a first step to eliminating its usage. 

By advocating for the height reducer, Dr. Guillotin was also trying to correct a class issue that saw poor people hung while richer, more upper class folks had their heads chopped off with an ax or a sword.  (His reasoning was that the beheading was a quicker and less painful death.  He saw the guillotine as a more humane way of killing folks.  After writing several articles about using the guillotine, his name became linked to it.) 

He then spent the rest of his life trying to undo the connection.  After his death, his family continued to try and have the name of the killing machine changed, but ultimately they gave up and legally changed their name(s.)  (If any of this interests you click here to learn more.)

It all sounds a little convoluted doesn't it?   However, while in France I heard more than once from various tour guides that things in France are very often "How you say in America - complicated."   The whole guillotine thing was a good example of that complicated dynamic.  For Dr. G, the lesson learned is - be careful what you oppose.

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