Cats and hubris go together.

The best Cat Vid you’ll see here that’s copied from Ace.

This post was started years ago, but finished this morning. It’s about whether we were really in the Funniest End of Civilization Ever, back when it was funnier and before it ended.

I wrote most of the below when I was reading or just got done reading Herodotus and Xenophon, now I’m reading The Jewish Wars by Josephus. It’s pretty cool. It’s a guy born in 37 AD I think, talking about the years leading up to the Diaspora, he was a leader during the rebellion against Rome that ended with Masada but changed sides.

So much of our problems today stem from hubris. Like global warmmongering, the idea that since we’ve industrialized no more than 5% of the planet and probably far less, we’re going to KILL US ALL!!!!!!

Which has made me wonder if many of us are suffering from it. I mean, maybe we’re not really in the Funniest End of Civilization Ever! but merely one of the funnier ones and perhaps our civilization isn’t the most ridiculous.

That last sentence didn’t hold up, that was before it was a crime against humanity to deny that a man could give birth or that women formerly known as Fred could dominate women’s sports or President Joe Biden and Vice President…. you know, the thing.

The problem is that we’re not all that familiar with civilizations before writing so who knows if some stone age tribes fell in some funny ways? I can’t really see any ways getting bludgeoned by rocks tied to a stick is funny, but who knows? I never would have foreseen Vice President Joe Biden.

Maybe the Pueblo hired the forefathers of the Apache as temple guards and the Apache decided they looked tasty and easy to kill. That would be sorta funny and who knows how funny it was when we killed off the other intelligent species like neanderthals?

Egypt falling to the Hyksos because they’ve never seen horses or wheels is sorta funny, but not all that funny. Most falls to barbarians are just ugly.

See, the reason I’ve been wondering this though is because the Greeks had writing and they have some serious hilarity going on. A city falling because of a giant wooden horse with people in it? C’mon, that’s pretty fucking funny.

One thing on them, it’s funny reading translations. Even though Herodotus makes it blatantly plain he’s never been some of the places he claims (because of ridiculous assertions) while Xenophon definitely told only what he knew for sure, yet Herodotus (Hdt) is respected more in the Penguin translations I used. It appears that Herodotus is of the upper classes while Xenophon (Xen) was not. It’s a matter of standards and Xen does not meet them. Reminds me of…. us. Hdt is of our betters’ class, Xenophon is a soldier (bad) who didn’t condemn the bad orange man (worse).

Hdt tells us a tale of a king, Candaules, who got off on other men seeing his queen nekkid. So he forced one of his ministers to check her out. I figure the king was probably an early NRO (National Review Onmud) contributor.

She got pissed off so she got the minister to kill the king, marry her and become king. I don’t see that shit happening though. Nobody in today’s climate is going to kill someone to get married.

There’s a tribe called the Masagetae who throw pot plants on a fire and sit around and get baked. He doesn’t mention dreds and this was way before Bob Marley, but you know there were drums. Maybe Keith Richards on guitar.

Then there’s Croesus. You probably know about this but in case… he wanted to go to war so he sent someone to Delphi to ask the Oracle what would happen if he fought Persia and was told a mighty empire would fall.

I have this image of Apollo out carousing with Mars, getting hammered and putting his arm over Mars’ shoulders, “So then I said a mighty empire would fall and the fool thought I meant Persia. He never asked which empire” with Mars thinking that the funniest thing he’d heard in aeons. There are too many of our fine betters in gov’t who would be that dumb, so you pick your favorite.

So Croesus, whose city was taken, pillaged, raped and burned, was treated as a fine guest of Cyrus, the Persian who beat him in a war. That’s sorta funny and endy, the guy who started the war became a favored guest of this conqueror while “his people” were murdered, raped, burned and/or enslaved (hopefully in that order, but often not). As now, our betters don’t face the consequences of their decisions, we do.

Later on, Cyrus was going to kill off and/or enslave people from Lydia because they pissed him off but Croesus To The Rescue!!!!!!

He told Cyrus to take their right to bear arms, make them wear tunics under their cloaks, stompy boots, to make their sons take up the zither and the harp and to become shopkeepers.

Do you realize that the first San Francisco was created by Cyrus egged on by Croesus to save people from death, rapine and slavery? That’s funny and endy but not as funny and endy as what the folks in San Francisco have done to their city, which so many will still refuse to admit that their pols caused it.

There’s a queen who had an inscription that said if there was great need to open her tomb and take the treasure. A few centuries later someone opened the tomb for the dough but there was a note that called them assholes. I picture the nobleman in charge looking like Geraldo when he opened Al Capone’s vault.

That’s as far as I got back in 2014. I have Hdt and Xen dog-eared somewhere, if I find them I’ll probably do some more. There’s some seriously funny shit in there.

I like Josephus. The writing actually has a Biblical feel. It was written by someone from the same time and same place as the New Testament after all.

There’s just about no funny at all and a lot of horrible in that book. I mean truly, fucking horrible, eating your fucking kids horrible. The only funny is that the Herod from I, Claudius and Claudius the God appears to have been just like the real one (not The Great).

From reading between the lines of Josephus we see that Herod travels around a lot and always seems to get money from important people like the various Tiberius Claudius Nero Germanicus Caesars and Roman governors. Josephus even notes how he always spends his last gold piece to look good when begging for money, just as Graves portrayed him.

I haven’t finished it yet, probably this weekend. I don’t read old books like that at one sitting. Jerusalem was falling when I put it down. Don’t tell me how it ends.

The translator talks about another translation. Apparently they republished this under Diocletian, when being Christian was almost as bad as being one today, so they cut out the part about Jesus Christ but the original was saved somehow.

They’re called the Slavonic Copies. I’m going to get a copy. The translator pararaphrases it, but apparently he talks about John the Baptist (the Forerunner) and Jesus. He talks about miracles and other stuff.

He wasn’t trustworthy about himself, he did some slimy stuff and explained it all away very unconvincingly. Hmmmmm, sorta like Ted Cruz going on Tucker Carlson yesterday and cribbing the “It wasn’t my fault!” speech from the Blues Brothers, so I don’t know if he was a Christian, but he does write about stuff from the Bible apparently.

I got his book, and a lot of others, from Thriftbooks , they’re great, I get a lot of books for like $5.

I like browsing a used book store, but I also really like thinking of a book I haven’t read in decades or want to read that is out of print and finding it there for $5. I’ve probably  brought 50 books in the last few months.

I’ve been reading Stephen Brust, a fantasy writer. I don’t know why I picked him out, but I enjoyed the first one and now I’m on like number 10 or 14.

There are two series I’ve read/ing. One starts with the Phoenix Guards. It’s a good story, not too magic-reliant, and fun. The only jarring note, no, the only JARRING note is how the nobles talk.

Scene: A messenger is ushered in to see Baron Count von Something.

Do you have a message for me?

I do.

How, a message for me? From whom?

The Empress.

How, the Empress sent me a message?

She has indeed.

Is this famous message written?

No, I have been instructed to recite it myself.

So you have this message now?

I do. I was given it from the Queen.

The message from the Queen.

Yes, shall I tell you the message?

I think that I have wanted nothing more than this for an hour.

So I shall tell you the message.

That is good. I should like to hear the message.

Shall I begin now?

Yes, I believe you should tell me the message now.

I shall. And here it is.

Seriously. That is not an exaggeration.

The second book, 500 Years Later (about events from, you guessed it, 500 years after the first book) started that way and I put it down. I just couldn’t take it, so I picked up another book, Jhereg, that’s written normally. It’s about people who live in the same place but they’re not real nobles. That’s a good series. I’ve been zooming through it.

I finally picked up, and finished, 500 Years Later and the next 2 in the series in about 5 days, he toned down the long conversations of people being overly polite to each other in trivial matters in the last 3 books.

They’re good so if you’re sick of the new breed of military sci-fi writers who don’t know the military, don’t know sci (or math) and only occasionally know fi, try them out. They’re from long ago so it’s used book store time.

An observation, Wyatt links to an article where hot women don’t want to be told they have an hourglass figure, now they have to have an airpod figure.

Now, vacuous people gonna vacouate, but it made me realize we’ve reached the time when we’ve had good boob jobs for long enough for there to be grandmas and great-grandmas with bodacious tatas.
I’ve been wondering for a long time what that’s going to look like. Grandmas used to have knee-bangers, now theyr’e gonna ha…
Whoa, just creeped myself out there.

Now the post needs something uhhh….


To quote Magenta, More More More


That’s hypnotic.

All repeats, this computer is new and doesn’t have any hotassery on it, except a short gif of Linda Carter.

Did you know she was in an r rated movie before Wonder Woman? If not, you should.

Now, at the end of the post where nobody is reading, I have something to say I wasn’t sure if I wanted to say.

Lemur King, who I’m still boycotting so you can go there and tell him I won’t link him or promote his blog at all, got this for Christmas and is very proud. I wasn’t going to make fun of it, but he’s had it long enough that it’s in the closet now, to be brought out next Christmas.

lemur kings best friend

Now, I understand I’m well to the right on the bell curve for preverts, but really, am I the first to find that pervertedly funny?

I mean first of all, he’s choking his chicken, and well, the mouth. no i mean really

Seriously, I refuse to believe that I’m the first one to think of that, but his blog always seemed so… clean.

Now I have to re-evaluate everything.

  1. tom says:

    I don’t trust that Josephus guy, I don’t believe that the Romans would have let a rebel leader live; but lots of fendy stuff throughout the history of the world.

  2. veeshir says:

    They gave leaders a place to live near Rome to encourage others to surrender I’d think.
    They did that a lot in the old days.
    Like today, they’re better than the hoi polloi, so their betters often looked after each other.

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