Our forebears were so deprived they had no tinsel

June 2, 2011

Culture, Satire, Uncategorized

Our ancestors never saw this face

How did our ancestors do it?  There they stood on the Steppes, Byzantine civilization behind them and barbarian hordes before them.  They were the thin line between order verses chaos, culture verses vulgarity, sophistication and refinement verses ignorance and coarseness.   And they did it all without daily briefings on Jennifer Lopez, Paris Hilton, and Charlie Sheen.  It is even said that they were so in the dark that they never heard of the Kardashian sisters.

Say it ain’t so.

I mean, how can anyone preserve the writings of Plato, Aristotle, and the manuscripts of a host of ancient and sacred texts without knowing a thing about J-Lo’s body suit?  And how could their ancestors roam the Sumerian plains and plant that lone seed that launched the agricultural revolution without the latest and greatest on a movie star’s tirade?  Did somebody spike their Starbucks latte so they could crawl through their miserable days?

Things got no better as the millennia unfolded.  Unreliable, apocryphal stories would have us believe that Charlemagne ruled Europe without a single opinion poll (surely more research must be done), and, it is said, some rulers have actually rendered decisions on the merits of a given proposal.  How did society function?  Why did it function?  Why did they want it to function when they dwelled under such a canopy of despair?  Perhaps most important, what did they put in those lattes?

This darkness oozed into the modern era:  It is said that Abraham Lincoln preferred reading poetry and books; men would often call women “pretty” and “beautiful” but almost never “hot” or “sexy” lest they get slapped; and (get this) movie stars were once ashamed to take their clothes off.  I know.  Unbelievable.

Through it all, there was no news of Mariah Carey.

No wonder why they fell back on “religion” and used it “as a crutch.”  Their lives were so empty and futile.  Augustine could only follow the child’s voice and “take up and read” and Thomas Aquinas had nothing better to do than plow through Aristotle.   Copernicus despaired so much that he idled his hours making up math problems while Galileo refined lenses and looked at the stars.  And then there was Isaac Newton dozing in the weeds while apples thudded beside him.

What a waste of human life.  They should have been reading People Magazine.

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About Charles Redfern

Charles Redfern is a writer, activist, and clergyman living in Connecticut with his wife and family. He's currently writing two books, with more in his head.

View all posts by Charles Redfern


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One Comment on “Our forebears were so deprived they had no tinsel”

  1. Bill Scarrott Says:

    Great commentary! Funny while smacking us with the truth. Well done!


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