Dec. 20, 2012

George Lucas' one trick pony was a camel

It's so simple. Star Wars' Desert hole monster, aka Sarlacc, is the same thing as inside of a Camel's mouth. And the weird testicle-chin alien from the Cantina is the same thing as a camel extruding those doodads during mating season.


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Dec. 17, 2012

Odysseus is our first spree killer


Recent spree shooting in the news raises number of questions on balancing gun rights and public safety. All I can do is respond with sadness, and a digression.

The Odyssey

Our earliest documented shooting spree comes from Homer, the oldest recognized author of western literature, from around ~800 BCE. That's -- 2,800 years ago.  Odysseus -- aka Ulysses, is our first lone shooter referenced in a work of literature.

Rage: the first written word of the Illiad

After a long war campaign, Odysseus cautiously returned home in disguise.  He had been gone for decades, having to fight his way home from besieging Troy. Throughout that time, his wife remained faithfully unmarried. She had been staving suitors away, though they were circling in like buzzards, trying to woo their way into her estates.

For a time, he played coy and prepared his gear, until the dramatic moment at which he revealed himself and his rage toward the suitors.

Then Ulysses tore off his rags, and sprang on to the broad pavement with his bow and his quiver full of arrows. He shed the arrows on to the ground at his feet and said, "The mighty contest is at an end. I will now see whether Apollo will vouchsafe it to me to hit another mark which no man has yet hit."

Premeditation. He threw ammo down by his feet, and slayed his first victim in cold blood.

On this he aimed a deadly arrow at Antinous, who was about to take up a two-handled gold cup to drink his wine and already had it in his hands. He had no thought of death- who amongst all the revellers would think that one man, however brave, would stand alone among so many and kill him? The arrow struck Antinous in the throat, and the point went clean through his neck, so that he fell over and the cup dropped from his hand, while a thick stream of blood gushed from his nostrils.

Rather than reveal himself in plain sight, chase off his wife's suitors and resume his life in peace, he snapped, and expressed that rage in violence.

She found Ulysses among the corpses bespattered with blood and filth like a lion that has just been devouring an ox, and his breast and both his cheeks are all bloody, so that he is a fearful sight; even so was Ulysses besmirched from head to foot with gore. When she saw all the corpses and such a quantity of blood, she was beginning to cry out for joy

This sort of violent behavior has been with our humankind, and well-documented, for thousands of years. It's a stretch to think that a work of fiction applies to life, but, I think it's important to consider that this sort of thing is not exclusively a byproduct of modern society.


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