Author Topic: Mockery is as old as civilization  (Read 2486 times)

Cain

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Mockery is as old as civilization
« on: July 31, 2008, 03:30:46 pm »
From Claudius the God, by Robert Graves:

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There is nothing in this world, I suppose, so glorious as a Roman triumph. It is not like a triumph celebrated by some barbarous monarch over a rival king whom he has subdued: it is an honour conferred by a free people on one of their own number for a great service he has rendered them.

[...]

The [triumphal] procession entered the City from the north-east by the Triumphal Gate and passed along the Sacred Way. Its order was as follows. First came the Senate, on foot, in its best robes, headed by the magistrates. Next, a picked body of trumpeters trained to blow triumphant marching tunes like one man. The trumpets were to call attention to the spoils, which then followed on a train of decorated wagons drawn by mules and escorted by Germans of the Household Battalion dressed in the Imperial livery. These spoils were heaps of gold and silver coin, weapons, armour, horse-furniture, jewels and gold ornaments, ingots of tin and lead, rich drinking-vessels, decorated bronze buckets and other furniture from Cymbeline’s palace at Colchester, numerous examples of ..enamel work, carved and painted…totem-poles…embroidered Druidical robes… Behind these wagons came twelve captured British chariots, the finest we could choose… Next came more wagons, drawn by horses, containing models in painted wood or clay of the towns and forts we had captured…

After these came flute players… white bulls.. priests of Jove.. acolytes… a live walrus… the skeleton of a stranded whale… a transparent-sided tank full of beavers…arms and insignia of captured chiefs, and then the captured chiefs themselves…

[...]

…This exalted and happy personage was attired in a gold-embroidered robe and flowered tunic and bore in his right hand, which was trembling a little, a laurel bough, and in his left an ivory scepter…

Of course, these are not our sort of people, oh no.  We enter a little later on:

Quote
The procession proper…was followed by a laughing and cheering rabble giving a mock triumph to Baba, the clown of Alexandria, who had come to Rome to improve his fortunes. He rode in a public dung-cart, to which had been yoked in a row a goat, a sheep, a pig and a fox. He was painted blue, with British woad, and dressed in a fantastic parody of triumphal dress. His cloak was a patchwork quilt and his tunic an old sack trimmed with dirty coloured ribbons. His scepter was a cabbage-stick with a dead bat tied to the end of it with a string, and his laurel branch was a thistle. Our most famous native-born clown, Augurinus, had recently consented to share the government of the Society of Vagabonds with Baba. Baba was held to resemble me closely and therefore always played the part of Caesar in the theatricals that the two of them were constantly giving in the back streets of the City. Augurinus played the part of Vitellius, or a Consul of the year, or a Colonel of the Guards, or one of my ministers, according to circumstances. He had a very lively gift for parody. On this particular occasion he represented the slave who held the crown over Baba (an inverted chamber-pot into which, every now and then, Baba’s head disappeared) and kept tickling him with a cock’s feather. Baba’s sack-tunic was torn behind and disclosed Baba’s rump, painted blue with bold red markings to make it look like a grinning human face. Baba’s hands trembled madly the whole time and he jerked his head about in caricature of my nervous tic, rolling his eyes, and whenever Augurinus [touched] him struck back with the thistle or dead bat….The spoils of this rival triumph were displayed on handcarts wheeled by ragged hawkers — kitchen refuse, broken bedsteads, filthy mattresses, rusty iron, cracked cooking-pots, and all sorts of mouldy lumber — and the prisoners were dwarfs, fat men, thin men, albinos, cripples, blind men, hydrocephalitics and men suffering from dreadful diseases or chosen for their surprising ugliness. The rest of the procession was in keeping: I am told that the models and pictures illustrating Baba’s victories were the funniest things, in a dirty way, ever seen in Rome.
"The thoughts of all men arise from the darkness. If you are the movement of your soul, and the cause of that movement precedes you, then how could you ever call your thoughts your own? How could you be anything other than a slave to the darkness that comes before? Only the Logos allows one to mitigate that slavery. Only knowing the sources of thought and action allows us to own our thoughts and our actions, to throw off the yoke of circumstance."
- R. Scott Bakker, The Darkness That Comes Before

Cramulus

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Re: Mockery is as old as civilization
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2008, 03:34:48 pm »
okay that DOES sound awesome. Why doesn't our culture lord its victories over the losers in a show of public humiliation?

LMNO, PhD (life continues)

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Re: Mockery is as old as civilization
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2008, 03:41:03 pm »
Needs moar Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler.
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Kai

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Re: Mockery is as old as civilization
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2008, 01:58:21 pm »
Needs moar Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler.

 :lulz:
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Voodoo

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Re: Mockery is as old as civilization
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2008, 02:15:51 pm »
they should have the same thing after the american presidential elections

Cainad (dec.)

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Re: Mockery is as old as civilization
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2008, 02:18:52 pm »
Needs moar Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler.

Awesome! I read about that character for the first time just yesterday in Guards! Guards!

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Re: Mockery is as old as civilization
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2008, 05:10:10 pm »
Cain - Awesome as usual!!  :mittens: 

Our troll ancestors?


they should have the same thing after the american presidential elections

 :lulz:

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Re: Mockery is as old as civilization
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2008, 01:18:53 am »
When they first caught saddam I was saying they should bring him to the USA put him in a cage travel from city to city with the carnival and charge people good money to see the SOB.

I even wrote into CNN telling them this...  I wish they would have passed it along to the Whitehouse so they could get it done.   They would make good money doing that...at least I thought so.
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Re: Mockery is as old as civilization
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2008, 01:45:35 am »
Agreed, Rev. Voodoo!  But not just for the losers, winners too.