Tuesday, July 9, 2013

"Always Boaring, Never Boared" -- Popcorn by The Colonel #52

What's the difference between (1) a feral hog's victim and (2) an hour with the 45th Vice President  of the United States? (Hint: one's being gored by a boar.)

Before devious mutant shapeshifting

After devious mutant shapeshifting
Does humanity really stand a chance in the present World War P, when the marauders can change at will from the "terrifying attacker" look (above left) to the "typical wedding-crasher housewife" look (above right)?

The following quotation shows that word of the danger is getting around, but will it be in time?

“I don’t want to go from Wild Turkey to ‘cold turkey’ overnight,” Richard Fisher, the president of the Dallas Federal Reserve told the Financial Times, likening those who were selling based on the news [of possible ‘tapiring off’ of bond purchases by the Fed] to ‘feral hogs.’”

"Likening"? Those who are selling off are feral hogs. They just look like hedge-fund traders.

As for the Fed's plan to "tapir off," how do the tapirs fit in?

Sinatra complaining about reincarnation

Now we return to discussion of the history, languages, and literature of classical antiquity, because if we don't, the feral hogs win.

Pop quiz: What were Julius Caesar's last words? Pick the choice that you think likeliest.

(1) "Et tu, Brute?" ("Even you, Brutus?" --Latin)

(2) "Et tu, Brute? Then fall Caesar!" -- Shakespeare
(3) "Et tu, Brute degustabis imperium!" ("You too, Brutus shall have a taste of power!" -- Latin)

(4) "Kai su, teknon?" ("Even you, child?" -- Greek)

(5) "Kai su, teknon, tha echete tē dunamē! (και συ τεκνον Θα έχετε τη δύναμη) --"You, too, child, shall have a taste of power!" -- Greek)

(6) “Sic quoque tibi moxque, asine!” ("Same to you, and soon, pet!")

(7) “Tibi [dono] auream mediocritatem digitorum, Brute. Scis ubi eum ponere.” 

(Very roughly, "To you I digitally point out the golden mean, Brutus. You know its best place." Remark may have been accompanied by nonverbal enhancement.)

Good news! It's only a one-question quiz. Pass your half-sheets forward.

What's all this "taste of power" business? Sounds like a downtown fundraiser.

It's a Greek saying extant in Caesar's time. Its figurative meaning may be something like, 

"Ubi corona, ibi cultullus" ("Where crown, there knife").

Shorn of Roman brevity, those four words could mean, "When your turn comes to rule, you too will live with the ever-present possibility of assassination."

Why would Caesar, a Roman, be speaking Greek to Brutus, another Roman?

Aristocratic Romans of the time, such as Julius Caesar and Brutus, spoke Greek as the language of both culture and imperial administration -- Rome had conquered much of the Hellenistic world in which Greek was the lingua franca.

Mel Gibson's "Passion of the Christ" to the contrary notwithstanding, the Roman troops in Palestine probably spoke Greek, not Latin, not because they were Roman aristocrats, but because they were likely from the Greek-speaking parts of the the Empire and not Italy.

So if the dialogue between Jesus and Pontius Pilate, recounted in Greek in the Fourth Gospel, reflects an historical event, it is no surprise that Pilate spoke Greek, but one wonders where Jesus picked up his Greek. Growing up in "Galilee of the Gentiles," no doubt. "Lingua Graeca, mens Graeca," as the Judaean critics of Jesus might have said if they knew Latin. "Greek language, Greek mind."

Not so many digressions, please. Was Brutus assassinated in his turn?

Depends what you mean by "assassinated." When Mark Antony's troops defeated those of Brutus and were about to take the man himself, Brutus killed himself, knowing that he could not expect mercy of the kind Caesar had shown him years before, which he had ill repaid.

Allegedly, among the last words of Brutus were "By all means we must fly -- not with our feet but with our hands" and "Forget not, Zeus, the author of these crimes." 

The Zeus verse was well-known. Brutus meant it as a death curse on Mark Antony.

The ancients believed great power lay in a curse (or a blessing) from a person about to die. Hence some of the power of "Father, forgive them. They know not what they do."

No comments: