Death and Destruction and Happiness and Love.

There couldn’t have been a more beautiful Edinburgh day. Ice-blue skies and cool air, tons of people out and a brief reprive from the frigid herald of Winter. Another weekend is here, and I still can’t get the fool smile off my face as I make the walk from home to the University buildings and back again, often multiple times per day. Across the massive tracts of ultra-green grass and frisbee-tossing students slipping on thick mats of fallen yellow leaves shoot spires of God on the city’s horizon, reaching forth like antennas to heaven…or counterweights to hell. They loom at every angle, watching over us, silent sentinels of sectarian supervision.

I just got out of the Media Lab after watching a stirring documentary on the Battle of Culloden by Peter Watkins. I’m amazed at what it did to me. I’ve had so much experience with this excerpt from history, but never in this way. I think that most historians don’t cry like babies when confronted with a tragic occurence from the past. It’s our job to be as impartial as possible, to synthesise collections of information, and to cut through the mire of emotional romanticism while objectively positing what we believe to have happened based upon many levels of primary and empirical evidence. But does this mean that we can’t be emotionally attached to certain happenings? Still trying to figure that one out.

The second I let a tear fall and blubber a bubble of mucus through my nose at future panels of historians, I shall retire ahead of schedule and become a game store clerk. But gamers make me cry to some degree, as well…

I implore you to see this film if you can find it. Read a review here.

And Venus is kicking my arse this week. She’s a bitch. Courtesy of
“Reel it in and, for the next 48 hours, go for the one step at a time, one day at a time program. Your Empress, Venus, is challenging Neptune, the planet of “is it or isn’t it?” and it could be harder than usual to determine which way is up, or indeed, who the good guys are.”


7 Responses to “Death and Destruction and Happiness and Love.”

  1. pisica Says:
    October 17th, 2003 at 10:14 am

    Emotionally attached, yes; otherwise why would we spend our lives researching it and trying to make other people care? But if your work became reduced to 'I'm gonna make those bastard Sassenachs pay for what they did', you could reasonably be accused of a lack of objectivity….

  2. FunkyPlaid Says:
    October 18th, 2003 at 9:35 am

    Yeah. That might be a bad thing…
    They *do* deserve to pay, right?

  3. velvetdahlia Says:
    October 17th, 2003 at 2:36 pm

    counterweights to hell ain't it the truth.
    Didn't Benjamin say historians were like angels?

  4. FunkyPlaid Says:
    October 18th, 2003 at 9:37 am

    You said it, not me. 😉
    I would never equate anything I do with angelicness.
    As for the rest of 'em, I'm not at liberty to say…

  5. velvetdahlia Says:
    October 18th, 2003 at 10:29 am

    Ok, so I found the quote…
    So, it's not exactly mortal historians, but it's still pretty great.

    A Klee painting shows an angel looking out as though he is about to move away from something he is fixedly contemplating. His eyes are staring, his mouth is open,his wings are spread. This is how one pictures the angel of history. His face is turned toward the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage…the angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing in paradise; it has got caught in his wings with such violence that the angel can no longer close them. The storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned…The storm is what we call progress.–Walter Benjamin, "Theses on the Philosophy of History"

    Gotta love the man!

  6. kratkrat Says:
    October 17th, 2003 at 2:44 pm

    silent sentinels of sectarian supervision.
    A little Stan Lee moment there, huh? 🙂

  7. FunkyPlaid Says:
    October 18th, 2003 at 9:40 am

    I can't shuck my geek roots. You found me out.
    I'm mortified by your marginal modicum of munificent musing.

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