Re: Things I learn from reading Instapundit

1

Why is central engineering still approving those mosque construction plans????!???


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:00 PM
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Things I learn from reading Instapundit

Sadly, for reasons unbeknownst to me, "do not read Instapundit" never shows up your lists. That was one of the first things I learned from reading Instapundit.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:06 PM
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Seriously. I thought the funding had been cut for the state-approved mosques.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:06 PM
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Thesis: There are words which signify to me that the author will have nothing useful to say. E.g., "dhimmi", "Obamabot", "illegal gatecrasher."


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:08 PM
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Brock, here's how it happened. I recently set up my RSS thingy, and as a result I only read blogs I like via that, then I use the browser for comics and odds and ends. "Hmm, been a while since I looked at Instapundit," I thought, stupidly, "wonder what that angry white dude's been up to." And lo! A great big pile of crazy.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:08 PM
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Someone should tell Glenn Reynolds about this group of people called "Mormons" and how they have "temples" that you can't enter unless you're Mormon, and even worse, a Mormon who's been cleared for temple entry by your bishop.

THE HORROR.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:09 PM
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A very tiny robot with a concealed-carry permit.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:10 PM
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Someone really has to look into this oversight. I can't *believe* the feds are still building mosques with *my tax dollars*.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:10 PM
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6: I am so tempted to troll that first guy's blog. How does he expect this to work? Will we create the DHS: Special Edition where there's a department of Approved Religious Construction?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:11 PM
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I know, it's so outrageous! We need to federalize zoning laws.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:13 PM
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Oh, it's some other douche, not Glenn Reynolds. Whatever. My point still stands.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:13 PM
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couldn't we with equal justice argue that New York (to say nothing of London, Paris, and dozens of other spots) are sacred to us idolatrous Westerners?

Um, actually, no.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:13 PM
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Will no one think of the poor suffering Jews of Saudi Arabia, who want nothing more than to have a prominent public place to congregate?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:15 PM
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I like how this guy professes to just be all about religious freedom and then refers to Mecca as a "locus of lunacy" and a place of "fun and fanaticism."


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:15 PM
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Cala, I stole your idea. Wonder if he'll let it through?


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:15 PM
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It's really a great line of argument. He anticipates the 'i can haz first amendment?' objection, by saying, in essence, it is only by ending freedom of religion that we can preserve it.

6: Pretty much the definition of religion is to have stupid rules about who's allowed to do what in what holy place.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:16 PM
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I am so tempted to troll that first guy's blog.

His picture in the sidebar is priceless.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:16 PM
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That second link is hilarious. Gosh, I really miss the Crusades. Whatever happened to the Defenders of Our Christian Faith??

Good times, good times.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:17 PM
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From the first link:

Tariq Ramadan, the Swiss-born Muslim activist and impresario, sent shivers of delight through Western liberals when he called for a "moratorium" on the application of Sharia law... in places like Western Europe that were not (or not yet) fully under the sway of Islam.
The (or not yet) is the delicious cherry on top of the huge dollop of crazy.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:17 PM
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I really kind of want to read this guy's book, The Rape of the Masters: How Political Correctness Sabotages Art. The fuck? Wonder if I can get it at the library.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:17 PM
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Will no one think of the poor suffering Jews of Saudi Arabia, who want nothing more than to have a prominent public place to congregate?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:17 PM
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Actually, Labs, "Allah" spoken by a Muslim, "Yahweh" not spoken by a Jew (but not spoken in a way different from the way others don't speak it), and "Lord" by a Christian are not coreferential.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:17 PM
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Against my better judgment I keep getting steamed by the implicit line of argument. We'll show you, Saudis! We'll punish your coreligionists, many of whom think that you're doofuses, and over whom you have no authority! That'll learn 'em.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:18 PM
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Shit, I want to burn down that guy's blog. He's completely missed the point of Chesterton, who while not exactly a modern liberal, would totally be on my side on this one.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:19 PM
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22: I knew you would do something pedantic. Are you thinking of worries about fictional objects?


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:19 PM
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Pretty much the definition of religion is to have stupid rules about who's allowed to do what in what holy place.

What's up with the pithy aphorisms lately, Cala? Dissertation nearing completion, or irrevocably stuck b/c all your thinking is in soundbites now?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:19 PM
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25: Fuck the neoMeinongians with a nonexistent golden cock.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:21 PM
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Ben, I thought you were supposed to be working.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:21 PM
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"locus of lunacy" and a place of "fun and fanaticism."

They need to do more with assonance and consonance -- I mean, the dastardly deacons of dhimmitude are fine and all, but why is no one warning us about the liberal fibbers who want to slip us meekly into the fiqh of the Arab street?


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:22 PM
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"If your nonexistent phallus experiences an erection lasting for more than four hours, discard it in favor of one that does not."


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:24 PM
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22: I knew you would do something pedantic. Are you thinking of worries about fictional objects?

No, not at all. I'm, like, in the fiction, if you will. The Christian god is triune, no? Father, son, holy ghost. Allah and Yahweh aren't. As far as I'm concerned, Allah didn't give Moses no tablets, and Yahweh didn't have anything to say to Mohammed.

How do you figure they're coreferential?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:24 PM
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Ben, I expected better. Allah (SWT) is one, but has been misunderstood by Christians. Putnam, Burge.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:25 PM
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Wow, this really pisses me off. Does Reynolds still pretend to be a reasonable centrist?


Posted by: Wry Cooter | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:25 PM
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Ok, if the tack your taking is that the Muslims got right what the Christians and Jews had only dim inklings of, then your claim at least makes sense, but you can't build an overlapping consensus on that, my friend.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:27 PM
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(You would be hard pressed to get Jew Blow to say that he doesn't know what an elm treegod is, so he means whatever Yusuf over there means.)


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:28 PM
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What 32 said. But, I do agree with ben that the triune business is something that can't really be overlooked, to the extent that a Christian being a Christian is not going to be a good "person of the Book" to a Muslim. (Not that anyone understands the Trinity anyway.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:28 PM
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Weird. *This* totally doesn't piss me off; it's so patently hilarious. And yet, it angers Labs and Cala, both of whom are usually so much less inflammatory than I am. And Wry, who I assume is also the calmer sort.

Hmm.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:29 PM
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28: I opened emacs.

Cala, I expected better of you.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:29 PM
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"your" in 34 s/b "you're", clearly.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:30 PM
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38.1: And started quibbling on Unfogged. It doesn't count.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:30 PM
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"Elohim" is cognate with "Allah", and Syrian Christians call God "Ilahu", another cognate. Verdict: coreferential.

But who is this "God" motherfucker? Get him out of here!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:31 PM
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38: You close emacs?

Does Reynolds still pretend to be a reasonable centrist?

Was there ever a time when that claim could be taken at all seriously?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:31 PM
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Mutatis mutandis, the Jewish worshipper can also believe that when a Muslim refers to Allah he or she is talking about their mistaken understanding of the same true G-d, and some Christians manifestly do believe this about Jews. They're united in their belief that the others are attempting to talk about the same being, even if from a less informed perspective.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:31 PM
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Can we establish some points of reference here?

It is clear that Zeus = jupiter. Also, Zues =! thor.

What makes Allah and Yahweh more like the latter?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:32 PM
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Right, Ben, you seem to be thinking that differences in theory rule out the coreferential claim, which is weird. Aristotle was talking about water, even though he thought it was an element, and so on.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:33 PM
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Also, w-lfs-n is a bigot.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:33 PM
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Polemically, I'm only committed to holding that if A is going throw around terms like "Judeo-Christian" on the grounds "but we're worshipping the same God....", then A needs to include the Muslims, too, which probably wreaks havoc on A's argument that Jews and Christians are united against the Mohammedan hordes.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:33 PM
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Ah yes, the first guy be Roger Kimball, author of Tenured Radicals and penner of one of my all-time favorite bits of dhimmuddledness:

The point is that the "openness" that liberal society rightly cherishes is not a vacuous openness to all points of view: it is not "value neutral." It need not, indeed it cannot, say Yes to all comers, to the Islamofascist who after all has his point of view, just as much as the soccer mom has hers.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:33 PM
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One reason we say that Zeus = jupiter is that they grow out of the same tradition of stories and practices. Can't we say that about Allah and Yahweh?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:34 PM
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44: if you're going to be syncretic about it, Christ is Ahura Mazda.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:34 PM
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To build the case, all the Abrahamic faiths agree on a core description of the deity; they all agree that He was the Being who interacted with Moses, Abraham, Noah; Christians and Muslims add Jesus while Muslims add Muhammad. And so on.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:35 PM
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If you're going to hang around here, Ben, remind me how old you are.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:35 PM
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Not that anyone understands the Trinity anyway.

sort of like the Living Tribunal, I think.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:35 PM
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37 - Obviously it's totally ridiculous and absurd. But somehow it still is very irksome. Perhaps I am still irritated with myself about how, back in those immediate post-9/11 days, I used to read Instapundit and think he was relatively reasonable. I am paying back my sins through getting worked up about ridiculous Roger Kimball pieces, or something.


Posted by: Wry Cooter | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:36 PM
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Aristotle was talking about water, even though he thought it was an element, and so on.

But one of the important things, as I understand it anyway, about Putnam's original articles here (haven't read Burge) is that the things under discussion can be ostended (and moreover are natural kinds, I suppose, but I don't know how important that is). It seems to me as if what you're saying is that H2O and the element Aristotle was talking about must be coreferential, as must "phlogiston" and "oxygen" (as being what explains combustion and a whole lot more). What plays the role of water in your claim about Allah, such that we can say that the Christians were obviously talking about that?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:38 PM
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I'll be 26 in a little over a month, B. Feel free to send presents.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:39 PM
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Let me clarify: I know you aren't, and aren't intending, to say the above claim about elemental water and h2o, but it seems as if the claim you are advancing has that as its (wait for it) analogue.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:40 PM
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42 - As noted above, it took me a while to realize he was just a total right wing hack. But that was probably mid-2002, at latest.

44. 49 - my understanding is that Jupiter was originally a distinct Italian deity. Because the Romans were dull, unimaginative people who had no interesting stories about their gods, they gradually attached stories and attributes of the Greek god Zeus to him. And, of course, when Tacitus talks about how the Germans worship Jupiter, Mercury, and Mars, he means Thor, Odin, and Tyr - so he, at least, thought they were coreferential.


Posted by: Wry Cooter | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:40 PM
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36, 53: I refuse to allow a quality that no one understands and is deliberately paradoxical to be a criterion for corefenciality.

I'd be much more comfortable with arguments that the Mormon Jesus is not the Catholic Jesus, because the Mormon Jesus had all those adventures in N. America. At least there we are talking about a comprehensible quality.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:41 PM
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51 to 55, I think.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:42 PM
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s/b "aren't saying, and aren't intending to say,".


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:42 PM
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60, 51: These are just more definite descriptions. When I, a phlogiston theorist, talk about the thing that allows for combustion, aren't I talking about dephlogisticated air, and not the presence of oxygen? (Or whatever the details of phlogiston theory have it being.) Whereas Aristotle was clearly talking about this stuff, there, water.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:44 PM
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58.2 is troubling. We need to be able to establish some clear cases here, beyond saying that Zeus is ΖΕΥΣ.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:45 PM
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A is A, rob.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:46 PM
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i worked with a cute coworker, a Turkish guy, with the largest eyes i ever saw, who was a very strict believer, he would pray in the lab facing to the Mekka like two times during the working hrs
so he said once he favors the christians over the buddhists because the christian god or Jesus,may be, is considered to be one of the muslim prophets, but the buddhists, they do not believe in anything, he would say with scorn
even knowing that i'm a buddhist
i picture ogged resembling a little bit him sometimes


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:46 PM
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62: Saying that oxygen = dephlogisticated air is much more more plausible than what you said before, that oxygen = phlogiston.

With oxygen and dephlogisticated air, we can imagine two people pointing to the same bottle and saying different things.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:47 PM
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because the Mormon Jesus had all those adventures in N. America

Feivel Goes West!


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:50 PM
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Further to 66, "being the stuff in that flask there" is a much better commonality for two terms to have than "being the thing that explains combustion."


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:50 PM
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63 - Isn't the only real issue whether believers in those faiths accept that the deities are coreferential? I'd say that ancient Greeks and Romans in the period on which we have written records generally accepted that Zeus and Jupiter were one and the same. (But they also thought Thor was the same, insofar as they thought of him. I don't know whether Germanic tribesmen would have recognized Thor in Jupiter, though.)

As far as I can tell, most Jewish, Christian, and Muslim theologians, etc., have generally accepted that their god is more or less the same God. I'm not sure this is going to get anywhere unless we set terms on what we're talking about. Is this a linguistic/philosophical discussion, or a historical one?


Posted by: Wry Cooter | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:50 PM
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62: You've lost me. Surely the argument here isn't that there can't be a direct reference because God isn't material. Why isn't "we all worship that God, there, that our ancestors worshipped [point at sky]" sufficient?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:51 PM
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SO we have three nonexistent beings called A, B, and C by human groups a, b, and c, each group worshiping the corresponding nonexistent being and believing it to exist.

And group c believes that A=B=C, whereas group b believes A=B but not C, and group a believes that A equals neither A nor B and has no opinion about the relationship between B and C.

So are these three names for three different non-existent creatures, or three different names for the same non-existent creature, or three different names for the same non-existent creature, which is also described differently three different ways with three different narratives of the historical relationship between the appearances of these creature to humanity.

Hm.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:52 PM
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I'd be much more comfortable with arguments that the Mormon Jesus is not the Catholic Jesus

Hey, now.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:52 PM
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Wry: I think this is a philosophical discussion for which historical facts are relevant.

I'm pretty sure it is wrong to say "words refer to what people historically think they refer to," even for very theory bound terms.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:53 PM
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72: I'm not saying I believe it. I'm just saying it makes more sense to me than any statement involving the trinity. (A weak claim.)


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:54 PM
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whereas group b believes A=B but not C, and group a believes that A equals neither A nor B and has no opinion about the relationship between B and C.

Is this clear, though? I think a lot of Christians accept that Allah is the Christian God, in some sense. Certainly the guys writing that letter that's getting criticized did.

And I would say that many Jews will accept that both Muslims and Christians are sort of worshipping the same God as Jews.

Certainly there's no monolithic beliefs on either front that would allow one to make conclusive generalizations like that.


Posted by: Wry Cooter | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:54 PM
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How embarrassing for me that when o2 was first discovered it was taken to be dephlogisticated air—shoulda stuck with phlogiston, which has no analogue, or the elemental water case. I still maintain that Labs is wrong, and will do so until my last breath.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:54 PM
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Ben, assuming that theism is true makes it easier because we can designate the Being by causal descriptions, e.g., creator of the world, gave tablets to Moses, etc. Atheism makes it harder because the role description is radically confused.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:54 PM
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Isn't the Mormon Jesus actually Satan? Aren't there secret Satanic rituals in the Salt Lake temple?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:55 PM
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I can't see it making much difference from the outside. Meaning, if you aren't a member of a, b, or c, then A=B=C or near enough it makes no practical difference.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:56 PM
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78: No, John. Satans brother.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:56 PM
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73 - But getting back to Jupiter and Zeus. Presumably at one point, the identification between Jupiter and Zeus was similar to the identification between Jupiter and Thor - different Gods, although perhaps descended from the same proto-Indo-European god, who had similar functions and were thus identified with one another through syncretism.

At some point, though, certainly by the time Ovid was done with them, the two had merged to such an extent as to become virtually inseparable, mostly. Certainly in most contexts it makes sense to say that Zeus is Jupiter and Jupiter Zeus.

But this was never entirely true, I think. Is Saturn really equivalent to Cronus, for instance? I'd say "not really."


Posted by: Wry Cooter | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:57 PM
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I think that Jews believe that the Christian God is a misunderstanding of the actual God, and likewise Christians about Allah. But A = A still. Since all are monotheists, it's not like you're going to argue about thre different Only Gods.

Muslims and Christians historically must acknowledge the earlier Gods as historically valuable but superceded preliminary descriptions of the actual God, Allah.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:59 PM
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I think that Jews believe that the Christian God is a misunderstanding of the actual God

The phrase you're searching for is "false messiah".


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 2:00 PM
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79: Well, duh. There are three different non-existent Only Gods.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 2:00 PM
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Much as I would like to pursue this topic I have to write about Dick More-Man.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 2:01 PM
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I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together.

I trust that settles it.


Posted by: Ywh aka Allah aka Dei | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 2:01 PM
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Labs is right, it makes a huge difference here whether we are talking about fictional reference.

Is the character portrayed by Katee Sackoff in the new Battlestar Galactica the same as the character portrayed Dirk Bennedict? Are either the same as the character of the same name in Moby Dick? You just can't answer these questions.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 2:02 PM
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The felon Reverend Moon is Jesus' brother. His older brother. And the Bible-thumpers all kiss his ass.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 2:02 PM
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Labs is right, it makes a huge difference here whether we are talking about fictional reference.

I think it probably makes at least as much a difference what your philosophy of science, and take on theoretical entities, is. But I'm not here, of course.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 2:04 PM
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BTW: Questions about reference in Battlestar Galactica are probably addressed by some of the essays in this volume which I know has at least one kick ass essay in it.

In fact, I will send copies of the Blackwell Battlestar and Philosophy book to anyone who will blog about it.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 2:06 PM
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a Turkish guy, with the largest eyes i ever saw [...] i picture ogged resembling a little bit him sometimes

Ogged's head is entirely too skinny and pointy to house oversized eyeballs.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 2:06 PM
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Three different non-existent Only Gods walk into a bar. YHW orders a .... God orders a .... Muhammed orders a ....

"....", says the bartender.

"...." says YHW.

"...." Says God.

"..." says Muhammed.

"....!" Says the bartender.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 2:06 PM
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S/B "..." says Allah.

We regret the error.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 2:07 PM
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You just can't answer these questions.

Ogged could, but he has abandoned us to our insufficiency.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 2:07 PM
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90 - Damn it, why the hell am I not in a field where I can write scholarly articles about TV shows?

Stupid history, all we can do is write narrow-minded, missing the point entirely essays about why this or that recent historical movie gets everything wrong and ought to be snubbed.


Posted by: Wry Cooter | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 2:07 PM
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28 violates the sanctity of off-blog procrastination.

That's okay, though, because w-lfs-n violated the sanctity of off-blog shop talk with extreme prejudice.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 2:10 PM
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We in philosophy write such books as a desperate plea for attention from popular culture. History has no such worries. Note that there is a History Channel, but no Philosophy Channel.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 2:10 PM
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97: dude, Spike?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 2:11 PM
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the Romans were dull, unimaginative people who had no interesting stories about their gods

This may be historically true, but the Romans have since developed a vivid religious imagination.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 2:11 PM
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96, Labs is the one who brought philosophy into it.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 2:11 PM
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why this or that recent historical movie gets everything wrong and ought to be snubbed

99.9% of my knowledge of Catherine the Great comes from a hybrid documentary/reenactment thing last night on PBS. She looked hott in military uniforms. Historically speaking.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 2:13 PM
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102

The History Channel is a ridiculous embarrassment to the historical profession. It seems to have moved away from its previous policy of only showing programs about Nazis, but so far as I can tell from browsing the schedule, it entirely consists of programs about archaeology.

Also, when discussing philosophy, most people feel like they have no idea what they're talking about, and defer to those who do. Whereas lots of people think they know all about history, and one gets into annoying conversations about Howard Zinn with random dudes at bars, and so forth.

More than philosophy, the field I really envy is cultural studies, where they can write whole dissertations about Buffy, or whatever.


Posted by: Wry Cooter | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 2:14 PM
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Also, when discussing philosophy, most people feel like they have no idea what they're talking about, and defer to those who do.

Where are these people?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 2:15 PM
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annoying conversations about Howard Zinn with random dudes at bars

I'm telling Howard you found him annoying, Wry.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 2:16 PM
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103 - hmm...to a greater extent than history, at least. I guess that's not really true, though. If one wants to talk about, say, what Plato is saying, it's probably true, but for broader philosophical question it's probably not true.


Posted by: Wry Cooter | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 2:16 PM
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103: self-awareness begins at home, Ben.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 2:17 PM
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The point is that the "openness" that liberal society rightly cherishes is not a vacuous openness to all points of view: it is not "value neutral." It need not, indeed it cannot, say Yes to all comers, to the Islamofascist who after all has his point of view, just as much as the soccer mom has hers.

WILL NO ONE THINK OF US UNFORTUNATE ISLAMOFASCIST SOCCER MOMS? TRAPPED BETWEEN TWO WORLDS...


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDMA | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 2:31 PM
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Ok, for the sake of my sanity and productivity, I am going to step away from the internet.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 2:32 PM
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ALL soccer moms are fascist! ALL! ALL! Death to soccer moms!


Posted by: JOHN EMERSON | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 2:33 PM
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108: I'm trying to, but I keep getting sucked into ObWi, where I'm not allowed to swear.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 2:40 PM
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Fuck that noise!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 2:42 PM
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It seems to have moved away from its previous policy of only showing programs about Nazis, but so far as I can tell from browsing the schedule, it entirely consists of programs about archaeology.

Ahem, Civil War?!?

I like the history shows on the local PBS stations a lot better, of course.

"Today we bring you six random narratives about things that happened in the glorious history of Bucks County, PA. You better believe there'll be montages of old photos of men in top hats in train stations."


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 2:42 PM
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The History Channel is a ridiculous embarrassment to the historical profession. It seems to have moved away from its previous policy of only showing programs about Nazis, but so far as I can tell from browsing the schedule, it entirely consists of programs about archaeology.

Nah, now they also have Human Weapon. (Not to be confused with The Discovery Channel's Fight Quest.)

Of course, it's also via the History Channel that I discover that Peter "Robocop" Weller has a master's in Roman and Renaissance art and is a lecturer at Syracuse.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 2:43 PM
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If you think of him as Peter "Buckaroo Banzai" Weller it makes a bit more sense.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 2:44 PM
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Bucks County, exciting.

While there were at one point civil war shows on the history channel, I think there was a long stretch where virtually everything related to World War II. The free archival footage made it cheap to put together shows about it, I think.


Posted by: Wry Cooter | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 2:44 PM
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You try to mess with this soccer mom, you're gonna have to go through PK.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 2:46 PM
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113 - Hopefully, the History Channel will soon change its name to "The Ass-Kicking Network." Perhaps it can start showing professional wrestling and Star Trek: The Next Generation.


Posted by: Wry Cooter | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 2:46 PM
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When I grew up I wanted to be Buckaroo Banzai.

Verdict: eh, getting there.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 2:46 PM
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81 is right, in that Zeus and Jupiter were (in a sense) both divergent and convergent evolution, whereas Saturn and Cronos were just approximately convergent. Athene/Minerva is also in the latter category. But some of the lesser/later gods/esses were pretty much equivalents (Dionysus/Bacchus), to the point that Apollo is simply Apollo in Rome. With Dionysus/Bacchus, for instance, the differences were a lot more sectarian-scale differences (homoousion/homooision) than the radically different conceptions of Saturn and Cronos.

Anyway, for the purposes of this discussion, I'd say that Zeus=Jupiter for all practical purposes. If the Romans treated the latter somewhat differently from the Greeks, so did the Peloponesians and the Greeks of Asia Minor. Romans thought Odin was Jupiter because that was a cosmopolitan, polytheistic way of looking at things, not because they could point to any theology for it.

Oh, and to be clear, I think that Ben is nuts on this. Emerson's 41 is pretty definitive, IMO. I think the only way you can prise apart the 3 (setting aside the Trinity for the moment) is if you also call the Catholic and Baptist Jesuses different gods (and certainly the Arian Jesus).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 2:46 PM
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116: so, he's under 10, right?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 2:47 PM
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My history friends call it the "Hitler Channel." I'm glad there isn't such a thing for philosophy, given that it would probably describe analytic philosophy as having something to do with chakras, and I got enough problems teaching.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 2:47 PM
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119 - Romans thought Thor was Jupiter. Odin was Mercury. I thought.


Posted by: Wry Cooter | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 2:48 PM
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121 - The Hitler Channel remains a hilarious joke in history circles, but is, so far as I can tell from looking occasionally at the TV listings, no longer especially accurate.


Posted by: Wry Cooter | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 2:49 PM
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116: Depends on which side we approach you from.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 2:51 PM
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First, that we shouldn't allow any more mosques to be built in the United States until Saudi Arabia allows for the construction of 20 synagogues and churches. ...
Second, that Christian leaders seeking better understanding with Muslim counterparts should go fuck themselves.

Wow, how libertarian of him!


Posted by: ed | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 2:52 PM
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119: No, no, JRoth. Bringing Jesus in ruins everything. I was talking about "God" in the sense of "God the Father" = Allah = JHW. Bringing the trinity into it plays into w-lfs-n's cunning hands.

But hey! -- what about that Holy Spirit? WTF is he all about? He doesn't really seem to pull his weight as a full member of the trinity. Maybe he's the slacker, featherbed part of the picture.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 2:54 PM
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The History Channel has moved on from WWII documentaries to credulous reports on aliens and cryptozoology. This may seem like a random jump, until you consider that HITLER WAS INTERESTED IN THE OCCULT!!!!


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 2:55 PM
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But hey! -- what about that Holy Spirit? WTF is he all about? He doesn't really seem to pull his weight as a full member of the trinity. Maybe he's the slacker, featherbed part of the picture.

That was just to soften God's image and pull in some support from the chick-flick human-interest crowd.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 2:57 PM
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They added the Spook to the Trinity to haul in the Neo-Platonists, no?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 2:59 PM
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Romans thought Thor was Jupiter

Bah ! Is there noone here with a classical education? Anyone well-versed in the literature knows that Thor was Dr. Donald Blake.



Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 3:00 PM
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If by "Neo-Platonists" you mean "chicks".


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 3:00 PM
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They added the Spook to the Trinity to haul in the Neo-Platonists, no?

Just imagine who the FSM people could get with a Spork.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 3:03 PM
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127 - Well, that's a step in the right direction. My department is one of the best history programs for cryptozoology in the country.


Posted by: Wry Cooter | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 3:05 PM
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-the i mean from Mekka
thanks to 91, now i have to picture ogged with a big nose, hm
skinny and pointy head is ok, compatible with the previous image


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 3:07 PM
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The fact that the Norse gods don't map well onto the Olympian is the dead giveaway that they were neither cognate nor coreferent. In contrast, talking about Elohim/Ilahu/Allah to members of those religions is perfectly logical, even if you'll occasionally get into specific doctrinal differences.

But I'm more interested in Rob's 87. Not because I want to talk about BSG, but because I think it brings up the 3 different ways that these situations can arise. When you've got comparable characters/deities, they either arose from common stock, one from the other, or coincidentally. So Zeus & Jupiter are (almost certainly) the specific local versions of a sky-god who was worshipped by common ancestors of the Greeks & Romans. Ilahu is clearly the result of splintering within the Hebrews. But Jesus isn't like Adonis (and Osiris and all the rest) because his story was cribbed or because the story of Adonis was scrambled in translation; there are interesting ideas about why it should be, but very few would say that Jesus was actually supposed to be Adonis.

I'd say that it's only the third situation where it's actually fallacious to call the characters in question coreferent. In the other situations, it depends on the specifics, but I think that the positive linkage is more important than the accidental distinctions.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 3:24 PM
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So Zeus & Jupiter are (almost certainly) the specific local versions of a sky-god who was worshipped by common ancestors of the Greeks & Romans.

Isn't the same likely true of Thor (and Indra!) as well?


Posted by: Wry Cooter | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 3:26 PM
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Seriously, what is the Holy Spirit supposed to be? (Having grown up Unitarian instead of Trinitarian, I didn't learn such things.)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 3:27 PM
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Some say Scotch, some say cognac.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 3:28 PM
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137 - Didn't the Holy Spirit inspire the prophets and the writing of the Bible, and that kind of thing? I'm not totally clear, what with having been raised vaguely Jewish.


Posted by: Wry Cooter | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 3:29 PM
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||

I stupidly got my hopes up after she broke up with her previous BF, and today I read a friends-only post on her blog about the new guy she's met, and every paragraph was like a not-too-hard punch in the heart, because I'm so clearly going to be in the Friend Zone forever.

|>


Posted by: Jimmy Carter | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 3:30 PM
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130: aw, that rabbit was trouble anyhow.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 3:31 PM
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Oh, I'm sorry, Jimmy. Better fish in the sea, lid for every pot, and all that sort of stuff, though.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 3:32 PM
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140: That sucks, Jimmy.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 3:32 PM
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135: Geneology is clearly important for identity in fictional reference, as it is with nearly any concept. The lineage argument makes the two Starbucks the same, and both of them different than Hamlet. It also makes all of the versions of Dracula the same, even though Nosferatu, the creature played by Bela Legosi, and the monster of Bram Stoker's novel have practically no traits in common.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 3:40 PM
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And sorry Jimmy. At least you'll always have lust for her in your heart.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 3:40 PM
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135, 136: Herodotus was certainly happy as a clam to march around the middle and near east naming this or that god "what the Scythians call Zeus" or "what the Persians call Apollo."

140: Oh dear. I'm sorry. The Friend Zone can be well nigh inescapable.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 3:41 PM
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Syncretism! It's fun!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 3:42 PM
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Herodotus was certainly happy as a clam to march around

Coincidentally, there's a reference in the Histories to the 'marching clams' of India, where molluscs were supposed to migrate in great herds across the central plains of Hindustan.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 3:47 PM
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Oh, fuck, the friend zone. I hated being in the friend zone.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 3:47 PM
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What happens when the clam marches meet the salt marches?

(I picture them with cute little arms and legs, like the oysters in illustrations of "The Walrus and the Carpenter.")


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 3:49 PM
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Did Chris Rock actually originate the phrase "the friend zone"? It's brilliant. I've used it in many situations.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 3:50 PM
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It's like ESPNZone, but the games are even stupider and more expensive.

And there's no bar!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 3:50 PM
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I never understood that one myself. Who are you supposed to fall for, if not your friends? People I don't know make me too nervous to be attractive.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 3:50 PM
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148 - that's why they call him the father of the history channel.


Posted by: Wry Cooter | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 3:50 PM
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152 to 149 or, cryptically, 150.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 3:50 PM
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152 - are there big comfy chairs where you can watch sporting events?


Posted by: Wry Cooter | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 3:51 PM
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137: Seriously, what is the Holy Spirit supposed to be?

This was one of the first items that began wedging me away from my Protestant religion as a young teen, it was so ... inelegant. (While it was a rancorous debate with an associate pastor over why and how we knew that the Bible was "finished" that really blew it all apart for me. I guess I really was yearning to be a Mormon and didn't even know it.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 3:51 PM
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152 to...um....78 maybe?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 3:52 PM
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There are important differences among the Christian God, Yahweh, and Allah -- first of all, they wear different styles of beards.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 3:52 PM
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153: my god it is crystal clear to me; could this be a gender difference?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 3:52 PM
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||
I have been the the ESPNZone once. I needed to watch a Cubs playoff game (leave me alone) that wasn't on TV in NY. There was arena seating! A giant screen! They brought me beer! Of course I have had neither occasion (*sob!*) nor desire to return since.
|>


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 3:53 PM
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LB must have never seen the Chris Rock routine. Alternately, 160 might get it right, which would be predicted by Chris Rock's related "dick in a glass case" routine.


Posted by: Crispix Attacks | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 3:54 PM
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The friend zone is where nice guys go to and come from.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 3:54 PM
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Who are you supposed to fall for, if not your friends?

The realms of the normative and the descriptive, alas! often fail to coincide.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 3:54 PM
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161 is hardly OT! Convention violation!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 3:54 PM
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Isn't the same likely true of Thor (and Indra!) as well?

Unless there's actual evidence (that I've never heard about) for this, I'm not inclined to agree. Other than the oak and thunderbolt, Thor has none of the attributes of Zeus/Jupiter - not a king of gods, not a pan-father, not a city-foundation kind of god....

I'm disinclined towards the view that all the pantheon sprang from common roots in the distant past (distant enough that it can be neither proven nor dis-). It certainly was true often enough, but in a case where we have more evidence, Minerva almost certainly was not cognate with Athena - they had only a few traits in common, and those few may have been added by the Greeks to the Libyan Neith, rather than being present in Neith but then taking differing aspects in Athena and Minerva. The Romans equated them for reasons alluded to above, but it was a pretty unnatural identification in a lot of ways.

I guess on some level it makes sense to say that all sky-thunder-oak gods are one, all war-gods are one, all hunter goddesses are one, etc. But that thinking leads to the White Goddess trap, and I'm not comfortable with that. There are lots of theories that can make sense of the recurrence of the Osiris/Adonis/Christ character (for instance), but their commonality will be described in service of the theory; it can't actually provide evidence for any one theory. So I'm inclined to discount (not dismiss) it.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 3:55 PM
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The friend zone is where nice guys go to and come from.

Discussing Jonah and David Frum?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 3:55 PM
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Who are you supposed to fall for, if not your friends?

In this area, as in so many, the DC and Marvel comics of my childhood have been the lights to my path: Batman and Catwoman, Captain America and Diamondback, Speedy and Cheshire, Green Arrow and Shado....

I'm going to go punch my teenaged self in the face now.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 3:55 PM
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I know it happens, I just don't get why it happens. If all people were like me, the Friend Zone would be a good position to be in if you wanted to get into a romantic relationship. Why do people insist on differing from me?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 3:56 PM
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As I understand it, the trouble, LB, is that all men are like you, while all women are different from you.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 4:00 PM
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Isn't Frum from the "bang your former girlfriend's mentally unstable daughter" zone?

Oh, wait, no -- that was Fund.

Fund, Shrum, Frum, they all look alike to me.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 4:00 PM
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Herodotus was certainly happy as a clam to march around the middle and near east naming this or that god "what the Scythians call Zeus" or "what the Persians call Apollo."

Yes, well. I mean, nice work on the whole "Father of History" thing, Dottie (his friends all called him that), but I'm not falling over myself to credit whatever Herodotus said as definitive.

As I said, I think that the cosmopolitan polytheistic view is precisely what he held, and it was, in many cases, right, but it also leads straight to Gravesism. Which I understand to be less than credible among the experts. I'd be happy to be wrong - I think the White Goddess is fascinating.

My main gripe is that the planets have Roman names, which complicates pointing out the "gods in the sky" to my daughter. I mean, I know it's useful for her to know that Mars=Ares, but I can't very well say, "look, child, there's Ares."


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 4:02 PM
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I can't very well say, "look, child, there's Ares."

You could if you were Greek.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 4:04 PM
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And the days of the week have mostly Norse names, even though the seven-day week is Babylonian. We need to clean up this shit and get a consistent theology in our calendric nomenclature.

The French actually tried, and got no credit for it. Christian traditionalist preferred Germano-Latin pagan names.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 4:05 PM
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171: Hey, you all saw that those assholes marketing bowdlerized DVDs of Hollywood movies got caught with a 14-y.o., right?

I swear to god, these uptight rightwingers turn out to be closeted pervs so often that it makes a mockery of the cliche. If liberals were fascists, we'd use rightwing panty-sniffing as probable cause for preventative detention.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 4:05 PM
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The White Goddess is not that credible among the experts, and Graves himself admits that he relies a lot on treating MacPherson's Ossianic poems as genuine.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 4:06 PM
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169: Sure, you'd say that, as a woman. You loooove having a bunch of platonic friends around.


Posted by: Chris Rock | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 4:06 PM
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173: Either my sister or my wife was relieved to learn that the Greeks did, indeed, call them that. She thinks that my anti-Roman prejudice is irrational. Which it may be, but it hasn't driven me to irrationality.

174: Part of me wishes that the French had succeeded on the calendar thing. The eleventh month as November is an interesting historical tale, but ultimately disinformative.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 4:08 PM
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176: That was my point.

Although I didn't think Ossian appeared in TWG. Was he using it for his framework, but then glossing over it?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 4:10 PM
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174 - In French, the seven days of the week are named for the seven planets, except for Sunday. In German, same thing, with Wednesday being the exception.

Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn

172 - you could read your kid old school greek myths, where all the gods' names have been translated to their Roman forms.

In terms of syncretism, etc., my sense was that certainly not all deities were to be identified as coming from the same sources. But that there probably was some kind of uniform proto-Indo-European pantheon which all the various Indo-European peoples ended up with variations on. But that might just be 19th century gobbledygook.


Posted by: Wry Cooter | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 4:12 PM
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I can't recall, since I read it in high school, but I distinctly remember some point early on (within the first 200 pages, I think) at which Graves says, basically, lots of people think these are spurious but I don't care.

I had a really breif discussion of TWG with JZ Smith once, where he said that it got a lot of attention from feminist scholars of religion because of the attention it paid to women in myth and whatnot. Some of their work may be more reputable these days, but I don't know who any of them might be.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 4:13 PM
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The White Goddess is not that credible among the experts

Who considers it even a little credible? Marija Gimbutas?

(It is, of course, completely fascinating. I've quoted Graves in a seminar paper, but it was Goodbye to All That in a paper on the use of classical themes in the understanding of WWI.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 4:14 PM
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It's called understatement, oudemia. It's a rhetorical advice. You know, back in the day, people used to study rhetoric. The art of effective speech. Right now I'm arguably employing another such device. Asyndeton. That's a a Greek word, if you didn't know. Hemingway liked it.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 4:17 PM
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Huh, I looked up asyndeton assuming it would mean "being a little bitch." Learn something new every day.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 4:19 PM
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In French, the seven days of the week are named for the seven planets, except for Sunday. In German, same thing, with Wednesday being the exception.

Montag, Dienstag, Donnerstag, Freitag, Samstag?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 4:19 PM
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I'll hold his arms, oud. You get the blowtorch.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 4:20 PM
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185 - Oops, that was stupid. German is like Tuesday-Friday in English, mostly coming from Norse gods identified with the Roman gods the planets are named for.


Posted by: Wry Cooter | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 4:21 PM
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Well, Germanic gods, not Norse gods


Posted by: Wry Cooter | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 4:21 PM
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ALL DAYS MUST BE NAMED FOR ME


Posted by: OPINIONATED WOTAN | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 4:22 PM
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Who considers it even a little credible?

I was going for understatement.

180: But the planets were associated with gods. Indeed, if Thor=Jupiter, then of course Thursday=Jeudi.

But that might just be 19th century gobbledygook.

It definitely was, but maybe experts still think it's true to an extent?

What's not clear to me is: TWG's thesis is utterly discredited. But Graves said a lot of stuff in there. So how much of the actual stuff is discredited? The days of the week thing, for instance - does anyone dispute that the names of the days are cognate for good reason? Is there a non-Graves consensus on the meaning of Tritogeneia? &c.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 4:23 PM
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184, 186: It's ok. I took "not that credible" to be "hedging his bets."


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 4:24 PM
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What name did Achilles take when he hid among the women?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 4:24 PM
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Aspirin?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 4:25 PM
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I can't believe no one's pointed out "advice" for "device", and in fact I suspect that Becks or LB changed it.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 4:25 PM
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Why did he have to take a name at all? He wasn't hiding from the women.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 4:25 PM
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"Missy". Occasionally the girls would go out to a Karaoke bar, and the other girls would have to call him something.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 4:28 PM
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197

Achilles, Aspirin for Men®.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 4:29 PM
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196 - When Ulysses arrived on the island, posing as a Karaoke DJ, and Achilles immediately decided to sing "Pour Some Sugar On Me," the jig was up, and he went off to the war.


Posted by: Wry Cooter | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 4:33 PM
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199

Achilles on lead vocals.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 4:34 PM
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200

198: You've got a real future in slashfic.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 4:36 PM
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200 - Achilles/Patroclus was the original slash.


Posted by: Wry Cooter | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 4:39 PM
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Kid, Ben w-lfs-n and men like him are going to make you a star.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 4:41 PM
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The original slash wasn't very creative.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 4:41 PM
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204

203: And not nearly so slashy as, say, Plato thought.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 4:43 PM
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205

204 - I was thinking of Homer as the base text, with Plato and other later writers in the role of the actual slash writers.

Is the Iliad really less slashy than the original Star Trek?


Posted by: Wry Cooter | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 4:45 PM
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BTW, who's this "Ulysses" character Wry is mentioning?

Did I mention my irrational dislike for Roman mythology?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 4:46 PM
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205: OK, that's fair. You're right, the Iliad gives us precisely as much to go on there as Star Trek does.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 4:46 PM
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208

Is Ὀδυσσεύς better?


Posted by: Wry Cooter | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 4:47 PM
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206: I'm right there with you, babe. Fucking Romans, with their roads and laws. (I'm totally serious.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 4:48 PM
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I would normally say Odysseus, actually. I'm not sure where the Ulysses came from. But it's a perfectly acceptable alternative.


Posted by: Wry Cooter | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 4:49 PM
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And isn't "Achilles" just as much a Romanization as "Ulysses"? The Greek is Akhilleus, no?


Posted by: Wry Cooter | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 4:50 PM
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True or false: "The Iliad" is about Iliadeus.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 4:50 PM
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208 makes my heart flutter. And 209 has me intrigued.

It was a conscious effort up above to write "Athena," so yeah, given the choice, I'd prefer Akhilleus. But the transliterations that don't (appreciably) affect pronunciation don't much faze me. You have to really work to make Patroklos sound different from Patroclus. Whereas Ulysses.... I find it genuinely ugly (Minerva makes me shudder).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 4:54 PM
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212: Are you calling Odysseus Salieri to Achilles' Mozart?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 4:56 PM
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212: "Freakin' taxes goin' through the roof this year! Shoot me, damn it, shoot me if you hear me talkin' 'bout votin' Democrat again!"


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 4:56 PM
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Could someone weigh in on the "Odysseus" being derived from a pre-Homeric word for "trouble" thing? I was told that a long time ago but it seems too good to be true.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 4:58 PM
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Whereas Ulysses.... I find it genuinely ugly

It's got some great lines, though. To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 5:02 PM
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The papers I wrote in my first year of grad school are conspicuous for their use of Hekabe and Akhilleus and Aiskhylos. Then I realized that I would feel like an asshole saying any of those. And Thoukydides? Not likely. I've completely gone over now to what functions essentially as Classicist Standard Usage: Hecuba and Achilles and Aeschylus. Anything that is too different stays Greek (e.g. Odysseus).


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 5:03 PM
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217: I always liked "I am become a name."


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 5:03 PM
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I always liked "drunk delight of battle with my peers, far on the ringing plains of windy Troy"


Posted by: Wry Cooter | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 5:07 PM
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215: Given that my reference in 212 was extremely obscure and pointless, I guess it's fair that I have no recollection of what 215 is referring to, although it seems likely that it's the same thing.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 5:13 PM
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JRoth, you're an architect, right? Whence your philhellenism?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 5:15 PM
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JRoth is an architect? I thought architects loved the Romans! Architects and engineers: you know, people who do/make stuff. And that pointy-headed aesthetes loved the Greeks.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 5:21 PM
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217 i knew in russian, great lines!
Learn something new every day
same feeling here
since people are naming the weekdays
hope you noticed that we name the weekdays three different ways, adopted from sanskrit, tibetan and mongolian, and yes, the naming is after the planets
that superfluous just to make sure that we are different from you the western christianmuslims :)
the White Tara prayer


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 5:22 PM
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When I was on Jeopardy, I got my first clue wrong for offering a Greek god when asked for a Roman one. Until this thread, it had never occurred to me that the Roman gods were anything but exact copies of the Greeks. Thank you for the knowledge, Mineshaft. Now I'm off to read about the White Goddess.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 5:25 PM
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217:"the heaventree of stars hung with humid nightblue fruit"


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 5:27 PM
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Ah, I see. It's Casaubon's book.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 5:34 PM
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Casaubon on mushrooms.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 5:35 PM
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228: Yes!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 5:38 PM
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228 is twice apt, given the discussion of 'shrooms in the text itself.

It really is a lot of fun. Also, I love the cover image.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 5:41 PM
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"Jimmy let me up from this poo"
...
"Messenger took out his matchbox thoughtfully and lit his cigar.

I have often thought since on looking back over that strange time that it was that small act, trivial in itself, that striking of that match, that determined the whole aftercourse of both our lives."

As far as I have ever been able to tell, this is not a character thought, but Joyce himself. The only time in the novel. "Our" refers to Joyce & Nora?
...
"His listeners held their cigarettes poised to hear, their smokes ascending in frail stalks that flowered with his speech." ...this is what i was looking for

"Aeolus" has some funny Greek vs Roman vs Irish stuff.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 5:48 PM
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I got my Greek mythology from Hamilton, then the two volume Graves. I understand the Graves is supposed to be an atrocity, but I loved it in HS.

Forgotten every word. Forgotten everything, had to look up Daphnis and Chloe today.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 5:55 PM
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Daphnis and Chloe wasn't mythology, it was a late antique romance.


Posted by: Wry Cooter | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 6:08 PM
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233:"Forgotten every word" and "forgotten everything" is not a redundancy or repetition but an extension from Graves to every motherfucking thing I have read in my life, which would include Longus and Appolonius and Fraser and why did I ever bother anyway.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 6:13 PM
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230: Sad; I was hoping it was the old cover image, which led my daughter to note, with great interest, that the three women had "only one nipple!"

My philhellenism was set at age 8, when my gifted program did a section on Greek myths and, in particular, The Odyssey. I played Odysseus opposite Alexis Hirsch as Dorothy in "Mixed Up Myths" which, as you can imagine, had the artistic circles in 1980s Miami talking.

The Romans win no points from me for applying Greek ornament to otherwise beautifully-proportioned works of engineering. My wife has taught me a love for Greek Revival architecture; there's not many examples in Western PA, but, especially in the vernacular, it's nice stuff.

My first evidence as a stereotypical high schooler reading The Fountainhead that Rand was full of shit: the disquisition she puts in Roark's mouth about how the Parthenon is shit.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 6:14 PM
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I'm a pointy-headed aesthete at heart.

That's not actually true, but it's an undercurrent. Like all the best architects, my soul is at war between theory and practice. Only difference, I'm not one of the best architects.

But I have a daughter who calls the goddess "Aht-hay-nay."* It's all I ever really wanted.

*Approximate.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 6:17 PM
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235: Was this for Olympics of the Mind, in like 1982?! (Olympics of the Mind had to change its name after the Olympic Committee came after them -- I don't remember what they are called now, but they still have their national championships in MI.)

Every aesthetic judgment poor Alice, I mean Ayn, makes is wrong.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 6:20 PM
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I did OM in grade school; my Hebrew school dropped out when we found out the competitions were on Saturday. Later, in H.S. (once it had changed from Olympics to Odyssey) our team went to worlds. One year it was with an ad campaign for "Dionysus Wine". Tasted great, unclogged drains too.

Also: is Daphnis + Chloe the myth about the innocent lovers who become aroused but don't know how to get it on? If not, what is?


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 6:24 PM
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i don't like to read Ayn Rand
but Every aesthetic judgment poor Alice, I mean Ayn, makes is wrong.'
sounds so like Rand, all right or wrong


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 6:25 PM
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Last thing, before I eat dinner: I do love the Tennyson poem, even if he gets the name wrong. Both of Derek Walcott's works on the subject are utterly brilliant, IMO. His play of The Odyssey I used to read annually, until I foolishly lent out my copy (first edition!).

Also, on preview: 237, No. They just chose myths as the framework for our studies (read about Cyclops, invent your own monster out of clay, etc.). The gifted program, geared for 1st-3rd grade, was called the Odyssey Center. Don't think they did Odysseus every year, though.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 6:29 PM
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238 - Uncertain


Posted by: Wry Cooter | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 6:32 PM
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Daphnis & Chloe

I was doing a thing on Ravel


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 6:48 PM
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Damn

Daphnis and Chloe


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 6:48 PM
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I think they are the ones. The Wikipedia is unhelpful, but these excerpts from a fuller web resource seem right:

Philetas tells the couple that they are being watched over by Love, and they in turn ask Philetas what this Love was and what power it had. Philetas describes the supreme and irresistible power of Love, for which there is no cure except "a kiss and an embrace and lying together naked."
Leaving Philetas, they ponder his words and decide they too must be "in love". During the next few days they try Philetas' remedies for love, but stop short, due to their ignorance, of having sex.

and:

the couple, especially Daphnis, seemed prepared to move up to the next level of erotic love. Lying down naked together is just not enough. They try to make love in the fashion of their animals, but this does not work, and they quit in frustration.

Chagall concurs.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 6:52 PM
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but Every aesthetic judgment poor Alice, I mean Ayn, makes is wrong.'
sounds so like Rand, all right or wrong

read, that's not what's wrong with Rand, that she's global in her pronouncements.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 6:54 PM
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244 - Indeed, that sounds familiar.

245 - What's wrong with Rand, instead, is that she's wrong in her pronouncements?


Posted by: Wry Cooter | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 6:59 PM
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246.2: She's probably written a few things that that are neither wrong nor global.

Doesn't matter.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 7:04 PM
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i read me books and intepret as i perceive however
thanks anyway for the suggestion how i should intepret Rand


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 7:47 PM
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just thought how aesthetical judgments could be right or wrong, one likes skyscrapers, another one Parthenon, the matter of tastes something
i saw a dead man tonight at the station, he was lying face down under the bench, not moving, a police officer stood there waiting for the ambulance may be to get the body to the morgue
nobody told me, i just assumed he was dead, because nobody was trying to help or doing cpr or otherwise moving the body
how horrible to end one's life under the bench on the concrete at the station face down all alone among indifferent strangers, um mani badmi khum


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 8:21 PM
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This is way late, but I, at least, appreciated 53's sort of like the Living Tribunal, I think., for whatever that's worth. And then I got to trying to remember what the relationship is supposed to be between Death/Eternity/Galactus and Chaos/Order/The In-Betweener, and decided that Jim Starlin introduced a lot of unnecessary crap to the world of comic-book theology. He wrote some fun stuff in the 70s, though...


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 9:14 PM
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now i have to picture ogged with a big nose

You're thinking of Cernunnos, whom the Romans identified with Mercury, I believe.

I love Graves and all the White Goddess stuff, too, but I wouldn't loan him money.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 01-29-08 7:51 AM
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224: hope you noticed that we name the weekdays three different ways, adopted from sanskrit, tibetan and mongolian, and yes, the naming is after the planets

Ooh, that's interesting. I knew that all the Latin-based languages have the same roots in the names of their days, but I didn't know the same was true of Indic languages and Japanese and Mongolian? Why is that? Sure, there are languages that don't have days named after planets, and sure, all human cultures have common ancestor if you go back far enough, but this must be going pretty far back. Why did the days keep their associations for so long?


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 01-29-08 7:51 AM
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Cernunnos was the deer-god, obviously the result of prehistoric Japanese influence in the British Isles.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-29-08 8:41 AM
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Sure, there are languages that don't have days named after planets

How many other cultures actually have weeks or something enough like them that they'd have to name days at all?


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 01-29-08 8:46 AM
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The seven-day week is pretty pervasive and goes way back (to Babylonia, I think), and I believe that the planetary identifications have always been part of it. China adopted the week awhile back, but mostly just number the days except Sunday: first day, second day, etc. There was an astrology book found in Taiwan, though, that gave occult names to the days of the week which could be shown to have been adapted from Persian.

The Mongols had Christian and Manichaean influences as early as they had Buddhist influences, and some Mongol vocaublary can be traced back to Greek. Most strikingly, "nom" = "dharma" traces back to the Greek "nomos".


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-29-08 9:17 AM
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Week


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-29-08 9:23 AM
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but mostly just number the days except Sunday: first day, second day, etc.

So do the Portuguese. The Roman week was originally 8 days, but they moved to 7 before they caught Christianity and nobody seems to know why. I'd expect the 7 days to be general in the semitic world and its offshoots, as you suggest, because there's no reason why the Hebrews would have had a different approach to their neighbours in the earliest period. I was more thinking of the new world, and parts of sub-saharan Africa, where there wasn't much contact until the last few hundred years.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 01-29-08 9:46 AM
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According to Wiki China went to the 7-day week around 600 AD, but I think that different systems were dominant until a couple centuries ago. The traditional Chinese calendar was a complicated mess.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-29-08 9:48 AM
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7 days fits into a lunar month, sort of 13 lunar months fit into a year, almost. But 12 is usually used, probably for numerological reasons, and then an extra one thrown in every once in awhile.

The day, month, and a year only fit very roughly together, but for thousands of years people tried to find an intelligible pattern.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-29-08 9:52 AM
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JE, do you know Mongolian?
i never thought that nom is from nomos, how interesting
but Hunnu's hun means man in Mongolian and nu means travel, wander
http://www.mongoliatoday.com/issue/8/hunnu.html
so may be Hunnus brought nomos to us :)


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 01-29-08 10:22 AM
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The Huns are a big questionmark. Most think that they were Turks, though like Mongols in lifestyle. There were many Syrian and Persian Christians in Central Asia around Genghis Khan's time.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-29-08 10:39 AM
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the the
may be i'll start write articles after my comments
so that to solt and peper :)


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 01-29-08 10:52 AM
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Hey read, were you taught Mongolian script, or was everything in Cyrillic when you were in school?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01-29-08 10:56 AM
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Cyrillic, the Uigurjin script my father's generation knows, my younger sister and niece
had to write the whole constitution in old mongol bichig in order to pass the grade :)
i took only two weeks course, but can write my name and read a little bit, but the grammar is quite different from cyrillic so it's difficult to use in everyday life
thethetheaaa, just in case


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 01-29-08 12:43 PM
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