There’s a Latin symbol of a snake eating its own tail called the ouroboros, pronounced similarly to a drunk Brit trying to say “outer boroughs”.
It’s supposed to represent how everything is cyclical, infinity, light/dark, feedback loops, and other things that a bunch of people who had nothing better to do than carve marble in the nude and get drunk on ill-prepared wine would come up with.
As a side note — can we stop acting like the Greeks and Romans were all that?
It’s been 2000 years. Out of everything they ever created, you’ve got some crumbling columns and a few scraps of philosophical ideas.
If you had no Internet, no TV, mild to warm temperatures, and lived in an advanced city with a few decades to spare I’m sure that you could easily come up with a few of those concepts a week, let alone in an entire lifetime.
This was the best we could do?
Do we look back at hunter-gatherers in awe?
Or do we fetishistically pay homage to the Goths or the Vandals, outside of using both those terms in wildly different contexts completely removed from their original description?
*travels in time machine back to the 500’s*
IN THE FUTURE PEOPLE NAMED AFTER YOU WILL WEAR DARK MAKEUP AND LISTEN TO CRAP MUSIC WHILE MOANING ABOUT HOW AWFUL THEIR LIVES ARE
Of course not.
So Greeks and Romans should not be any different. There’s nothing special about a bunch of lazy sunbaked alcoholics who decided to lick a few reeds together and scribble down some ideas.
In LA, we call that “Sunday brunch”.
By the way, if modern-day Greeks and Italians are any indication of what the ancients are like, I am not impressed.
Has there been any further or more disappointing fall between an ancient and modern culture than the Greeks? They went from being the most advanced civilization in the world, the “birthplace of civilization”, to being unable to balance a checkbook.
I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH FREE CRAP!
It’s like the stereotypical football star uncle who shows up to Christmas hoping he can ask for another loan every year because he’s got a “million dollar idea” and just “needs a few bucks to get it off the ground” and we can “go into business together” and “be partners” and “you wanna be rich, don’t ya?” and you smile and nod like you would talking to any other crazy person and stuff another roll in your face so you don’t have to respond how you want to respond and you’re hoping with the few remaining brain cells he has to rub together he doesn’t notice that you claimed to be gluten free recently.
And as he backs out of the driveway in his “bitchin” Fiero, you wonder — where did it all go wrong?
i don’t know uncle rico, how much of my money do you wanna bet you’re not going to pay back the loan I gave you last Christmas
An indicator of success for a civilization is initial hardship which also translates to individuals.
The Romans came from the Etruscans, an early and advanced civilization, the same way the Greeks developed from the Minoans and Mycenaeans, early and advanced civilizations.
There’s such a thing in life as “peaking” — getting too big, too quickly, and then having nowhere to go but down.
It’s why if family fortunes don’t get blown by the grandchildren, the great-grandchildren will most likely find a way to burn through all that Schlitz money realdamnfast.
This is why the British civilization became one of the most successful in history and to a degree, still is–they started off as a bunch of Roundheads and Viking nomads and just slowly, steadily built upwards from there until they basically created the modern civilized world.
Same with America. The early settlers didn’t even know if corn was for eating, smoking, or hilarious warfare. But gradually, we grew into the giant we are today.
in my search for this i found a dating site called “Native American Passions”, if any of you are interested
There’s also a shadow of success to live in if one becomes too successful, too quickly.
Look at the Egyptians.
The best thing to come out of there is over 5000 years old.
You know something’s old when Jesus is the halfway point.
In over 5000, five-thousand, cinco-thousando years, the best, BEST they have to show for themselves is a life-sized LEGO sculpture.
Even with their primitive tools, it took just 44 years to complete, or about the time we’ll finally get the stretch of bullet train between Delano and Bakersfield built.
it doesnt count as private development if you need a federal loan, xpress west
Even if they learned nothing, even if they used the same exact methods to the present day, they should have about 113 pyramids by now.
If it weren’t for them bringing people by their place to see a few artifacts like an aunt who harps on her ORIGINAL Thomas Kinkade painting (see? he signed it. SIGNED IT. 1 of 400) the country would collapse more than it already has. More than 1 in 10 dollars is spent by a tourist, and more than 1 in 10 Egyptians is employed because of tourism. They’re not Dubai saying “come and see our incredibly advanced cities of glittering skyscrapers and hotels shaped like boat sails”, they’re showing you the fruitcake from Christmas 1962 that they keep in the closet and trot out every year.
fresh as the century it was baked in
It’s effectively a society that’s cashing in its royalty checks from millennia before. There’s no incentive to grow, advance, move forward, prosper, write a sequel (Giza 2: Electric Boogaloo!) or anything.
And speaking of no incentive, I need one to stop biting my nails.
My poor exasperated mother once offered me $100 to stop as a kid, which was like, 100 Hot Wheels.
I stopped for a few days. I collected the $100. I started again one day, completely unconsciously.
I’ve stopped for a week or two at a time but got the habit of just nibbling around the corners, or just testing the thickness of each nail with my teeth like a chef making sure the pasta is al dente.
When I’m anxious or hungry, it starts again, and happens so unconsciously that I usually am not aware of what I’m doing unless 1) someone points it out 2) I start bleeding.
I’ve tried manicures, I’ve tried polish, I’ve tried more addictive habits to replace it, and nothing works long-term.
see how cool smoking is kids
So please–if you see me, tell me to stop.
And if you have any ideas to stop, let me know.
Because I’m consuming my own tail here and instead of representing the cyclical nature of life I’m representing every failed civilization — literally consuming myself.