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Archive for the ‘greeks’ Category

I’m a researcher – or perhaps I should say I’m an information broker – someone who finds and sells information to clients around the world [insert shameless plug here]. It also means that I spend much of my day surfing the Net and trolling through databases of various kinds, together with other online and offline sources and newspapers. The rest of the time I play Warcraft, read blogs and buy things off eBay, but that’s beside the point. What I wanted to talk about was some of the very surprising things I find while surfing around cyberspace, a great deal of it pornographic. The other day, for example, I was searching for something innocuous, like the standard medical treatment for some disgusting disease or other, and although I usually use some highbrow source like the National Library of Medicine for such a search I often drive off the info highway down a side-road and Google it as well – just to be thorough and have a little fun looking at all the wacky advice and info out there – such as can be found on Wikipedia for instance [Oh sit down you at the back – yes I know you love Wikipedia – but did you know the last entry was probably inserted by your addled old granny and has as much authority as my six year old grand-daughter reading the back of her crisps packet hrrrumph]. Anyway, as I was saying before I rudely interrupted myself for a bit of a rant – yes – I was looking for something to do with the treatment of scurvy or some such [don’t ask – but sailors have info needs too you know, and not all of them to do with dalliances with ladies they met in Thailand].
I clicked some innocuous sounding link and before I knew it – rather like rubbing Aladdin’s Lamp – oops wrong metaphor – up popped [stop it] the most improbable [and possibly impossible] images I have ever seen. Come on guys out there – tell me how it is possible for one man – black of course because racial stereotyping is alive and well in the porn industry – to have an – ahem – member [nudge nudge wink wink] thicker than a tree-trunk and twice as long as his leg? I did pity his unfortunate girl-friend – or six actually, all of whom were wearing bright red lipstick, red shoes and nothing else and doing a lot of pouting and mouthing and licking of lips with what I take was meant to simulate orgasmic expressions on their Barbie-Doll faces. The last time I saw a male member [and I’m not talking about the Masons] that size it adorned a Greek pot in art class and belonged to a Satyr who would obviously have had some difficulty running to the Bacchanalia had he jumped down off his rock in a hurry.

The Internet porn industry aside we have always liked to adorn our houses and gardens, not to mention our offices and our cars and just about everything else with phallic symbols – that and the apotropeic eye to ward off evil but now of course we just have CCTV cameras. The Romans used to place bloody great stone replicas of penises around their arenas and outside the door – just in case someone came along and accused them of being weeky weedy wimpies or something. They just couldn’t resist a bit of male posturing in some sort of sublimated territorial display that said – keep off – this is *my* patch –grrr [cut to shot of caveman beating his chest while wifey – clad in fur bikini of course – looks on admiringly]. Today they would just be driving around in Corvettes or some other enormous great expensive car shaped like a torpedo to demonstrate just how big *theirs* is. It doesn’t take much to see what I mean – look around you at that tube of toothpaste, that car, that missile, that jet-fighter, the CN Tower, the Post-office Tower, Cleopatra’s Needle, all those ancient Greek columns, that microphone clutched in the hands of some blond bimbo singer with her red lips so close … need I say more? You don’t have to be an iconographer – let alone a pornographer – to get the symbolism there now do you? Anyway – now I’ve got you thinking I’m going off to go get some lunch – hot dog anyone?

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Ancient Greeks used to resolve disputes by a process of what was called ‘Dialectic’ – which meant you strolled around the Agora in your toga – oops sorry, that was the Romans and they did it in the Senate. No – ancient Greeks strolled about wearing Chitons [a sort of draped and folded double sheet affair cinched with a Zoster] and not much else and sought to out-argue each other. Ideally one proposition or thesis would be contrasted with another until a sort of middle ground or synthesis was reached. The one with the best argument won something like the closing speeches of lawyers on Boston Legal. In actuality, although the records are sparse on this point, there was probably a lot of pushing and shoving and biting of thumbs, especially when that argumentative sod Socrates insisted on answering every question with another question and driving everyone mad until one was forced to put the ancient boot in while calling for the Hemlock.

 

But if it worked in theory if not necessarily in practice it would be a great way to head off wars before they got the chance to grow into global conflicts involving massive armies and WPD’s wouldn’t it? Can you imagine? There might be some hope for our species after all. Leaders of opposing factions could sit down together and undertake a process of logical argument until the one with the best grasp of rhetoric won. That would be a political debate on steroids – one that might actually accomplish something other than allowing for a lot of grandiose posturing, general insults and vote gathering. Sounds all very civilized to me, rather like those Chinese emperors who – apparently – sat down and decided the fate of the known world over the chess board. “Check-Mate mate” “Oh alright then, you can have all of Outer Mongolia and I’ll have the bit on this side of the wall.”

 

Shakespeare said ‘First let’s get rid of all the lawyers” or perhaps he meant Paris Hilton, can’t be sure – and I would also suggest that we include on that list all generals, armies, long-range missiles, religious leaders, fanatics of any kind and George Bush. I think the world would be a better place without any of them and perhaps we could get back to essentials like trying to get along, saving the whales, repairing the ozone layer and feeding the homeless. Perhaps we could mind our own backyards instead of slavering over yours.

 

At the very least we could declare all weapons of modern warfare totally off limits and if you really must fight you have to agree to nothing more lethal than a wrestling match down at the local arena on a Saturday night where we can all watch it on the big screen. Think of it – too bad they topped Saddam already because we could have a tag team match – Blair and Bush v Saddam and Osama – winner gets a years supply of Middle-Eastern Oil and a Toyota Prius and loser is banished to an island off the coast of French Guiana with all the rest of the shit-disturbers. Either that or you have to fight Ancient Greek style – meaning you go up against Osama naked armed with nothing but your little round shield, your sword, pike and armored breast plate. I suppose there must have been a gentleman’s agreement not to strike below the belt so to speak since you were only wearing your shin guards down there – bit dicey, not to mention drafty if you ask me, but there you are, I’m sure the Ancient Greeks knew best and “You there, Jones in the back row – stop tittering boy – and come and see me after lights out – I mean prayers – you little weed.”

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