5 Historic Figures With Drastically Different Descendants
From business to Hollywood to even Godzilla, it's not unusual for children to follow in their parents' footsteps, especially if their parents are massively successful. But every so often, you can get a generation that wants to forge its own path. And sometimes that path leads to an utterly odd destination like ...
Karl Marx's Grandson Lives Off His Parkour YouTube Channel
Karl Marx is one of the most influential thinkers ever. He leapt into the annals of history by developing a magnificent beard (and communism, to a lesser extent). His great-great-grandson, on the other hand, only leaps off buildings.
Joe Marx does not want to destroy private property, nor does he want to secure the means of production for the working class. When he sees industrial smokestacks, he just wants to do spin around on top of them. He makes his living doing "parkour," better well known as "what the stuntman was doing in every movie from 2006."
He lives in Surrey, England, and runs a semi-successful YouTube channel featuring him and his cohort of non-revolutionaries showing off their sick skills. He's actually pretty good, doing some other work as a gymnast, but that's pretty much it. Marx lives off the streets in Surrey, England, and, by all accounts, is homeless by choice.
If you're thinking, "Wow, he must be committed to killing capitalism to a life of poverty," that's not the case. Karl Marx himself wasn't poor, but even if he had been, Joe forgoing a 9-to-5 for his famous relative. Joe just really likes parkour.
Joe started as a teenager and fell in love with it, eventually getting good enough at discount Spider-Man-ing to earn money. It started with doing backflips for cash, and soon he had enough to meet his basic needs -- which apparently do not include a home. He'd rather be running in the streets than sleeping in a bed. But that doesn't make him a communist. When asked about his relationship with his ancestor's teachings, he basically said the same thing as the typical Wall Street bro: "Sounds great, doesn't work."
The Would-Be Emperor Of Austria-Hungry Is A Race Car Driver
Ah, the House of Habsburg, as famous for ruling most of Europe as it is for horrifying genetic abnormalities caused by centuries of inbreeding. Those uniquely-jawed royals held the crowns of Spain, the Netherlands, the Holy Roman Empire, and, finally, Austria-Hungary. They ruled as counts, kings, and emperors for nearly a thousand years culminating in Franz Joseph in the 20th century. You may be familiar with a little conflict called WWI that ended the dynasty.
Had an angry Serb not killed Franz Ferdinand, the empire might still be around. If that were the case, then Ferdinand Zvonimir von Habsburg-Lothringen would be an emperor ... instead, he races F1 cars.
Ferdinand Zvonimir von Habsburg-Lothringen, or "Ferd," as we presume his friends call him, is a 23-year-old Austrian soldier, racer, and his imperial highness. The House of Habsburg may not rule anything anymore, but they still maintain all the pretense of ruling pageantry. Often this clashes in surreal ways with the contemporary world, like when Ferd won a big race and the announcers described it like this:
"but will the man with the famous name make his own famous racing name? It's one thing to step of being a Habsburg; it's another to win at Macau, but he's got a chance to do it. And here he comes, folks, Ferdinand Habsburg has got the run on the number..."
Or when he was interviewed about his race car career and was straight-up referred to as his "Imperial Royal Highness."
Thankfully it seems the Habsburgs have stopped turning their family reunions into orgies, and Baron von Mario Kart seems like a solid dude. During the current pandemic, Ferd has traded his F1 car for a forklift to help restock supplies. But we can't rule out the possibility he's just trying to build goodwill before launching another World War to re-install the glorious House of Hapsburg, leaving only Vin Diesel and the Fast and Furious crew to save us.
Stalin's Granddaughter Is A Buddhist Punk Living In Portland And Running An Antique Shop
Joseph Stalin wasn't exactly what you'd call a fun-loving, free spirit unless you count freeing people's spirits from their bodies. He was more the deport-you-to-the-gulag and kill-your-whole-family kind of guy. While he helped industrialize the Soviet Union and did kill a lot of Nazis, he also killed a lot of his own citizens for the lolz. His brutal and austere rule resulted in an extremely rigid, repressed, and highly regulated society and culture, and it's why his only daughter, Svetlana Alliluyeva, defected for the United States in 1966.
Svetlana moved around the country, living a fairly modest life. She toured and lectured at universities and even returned to the USSR from time-to-time. She eventually retired and lived her final years in Southern Wisconsin, which honestly is interesting on its own, but it's Stalin's granddaughter who really surprises.
Born Olga Peters, she now goes by Chrese Evans and looks like she's ready to star in the next Mad Max.
She loves guns and America but is also a Buddhist running an antique shop in Portland. Things almost went even more differently, since instead of living in a Portlandia sketch, Evans almost took a job with the IRS.
But her lifestyle is not directly a repudiation of Stalinism. In fact, she didn't even know of her relation until she was a teenager. Evans' mother largely sheltered her from it since she herself felt so much guilt. Chrese just wants to live her life exactly as she wants to. For all of America's faults, at least it's still a country where the granddaughter of its archenemy can grow up listening to punk rock, shooting guns, and getting as many tattoos as she wants.
Bin Laden's Niece Is A Hardcore Trump-Supporting QAnon-er
While Noor Bin Laden is not technically a descendant of Osama, she's still his niece. She's also basically her uncle's direct opposite. Rather than living in a cave in Afghanistan dreaming up ways to destroy the West, Noor lives in luxury in Switzerland, promoting forms of saving Western Civilization. Of course, her idea of a "savior" Western Civilization, as it always seems to be with those who think the West is in danger, is Donald Trump.
And she's not just a tier 1 Trump support, wearing a MAGA hat and hating minorities. She transcends to the next plane of Trump support into a reality where Trump is fighting a deep state cabal of satanic Democrats lead by Hillary Clinton, who sexually assault, sacrifice, and consume little children. In other words, she buys into the 4 Chan conspiracy theory known as QAnon:
There she is decked out in her Fash-on like she's about the hit the runway at a Home Depot in Indiana, and it's not just a fashion statement. Noor's vocal about her presidential support of a country she's neither a citizen of, nor lives in. She claims Trump is the only one who can prevent another 9/11, and then he's "obliterating terrorists before they have the chance to strike." She also supports his ban on Muslims entering the country and is generally bat shit crazy.
Mussolini's Granddaughter Is Also A Fascist In Politics, But First, She Was A Pop Star, Actress, And Playboy Model
You may actually already recognize Alessandra Mussolini's name from when she made headlines last year after feuding with Jim Carrey on Twitter. No, that wasn't typed after a stroke. Jim Carrey posted a picture he drew of Mussolini's execution. Alessandra Mussolini popped in to call him a bastard and argue with him on Twitter because she's both an ardent defender of her grandfather and a fascist herself.
This isn't one of those instances where a liberal rag calls everyone they don't like a fascist. Alessandra's most famous quote (used often online in far-right circles) is "better a fascist than a f****t," which basically means if you have to be a fascist to purge society of its "degeneracy," so be it.
MuTwo's also an elected politician in Italy, having served in the Italian Senate and as a member of the European Parliament. It's already weird enough that the fascist granddaughter of Hitler's mentor is an elected politician, but that's actually her second career.
Italy never really went through an intense period of denazification like Germany, so many fascists continued to live their lives richly and openly. Mussolini's children integrated well with the Italian elite, and Alessandra is basically film royalty. Her father, Romano Mussolini, was a famous jazz musician and film producer, and her mom was Sophia Lauren's sister.
In fact, her aunt, who is again Sophia Lauren, took her under her wing and into an entertainment career. Mussolini became an accomplished actress in Italy and even had a part in an Academy Award-nominated film A Special Day (a movie set during her grandfather's regime). But she got bored with acting and started a floundering pop career (though she was briefly big in Japan), and took to posing in Playboy, all while somehow talking out of her ass more than the dude that played Ace Ventura.
Top image: The Motus Projects, International Institute of Social History