Ketchup with the past

Yup, a wordplay and I am always happy to make wordplays. I think it was the Monty Python team who instilled that part in me. I reckon they came at the right time. One might say that it was a ‘Papers having been a place for the Great Charter’, the latin joke gains perspective once you add ‘great’ to the equation of a ‘shitty place’, but that is merely me trying to find the joke in all the wrong places. It brought me back to a situation I thought of before. It is added with the thought that when you decide to steal a billion dollars YOU WILL BE FOUND! Unless everyone realises you are dead, the loot is gone or if the theft was never detected in the first place and it is that last part that matters. 

In 1495 Girolamo Savonarola started something that would later be known as the bonfire of the vanities. In that event works by Albrecht Dürer, Giovanni Bellini, Luca Pacioli, Michele Giambono and at least a dozen others, from these makers some works made it to today, but not all. A lot was burned by the people adhering to the words of Girolamo Savonarola. Books and pantings that would now value at a billion plus. So what would happen if (massively sci-fi and fantasy) we could step through in the minute before it happens and replace these works with forgeries? The forgeries would be burned, the originals saved. It is not the only moment that this happened. There was Kristalnacht (9–10 November 1938) and more importantly the Library of Alexandria that had in excess of 200,000 scrolls holding the works of Plato, Homer, Aristotle, Apollonius of Rhodes, Aristarchus of Samothrace and many more. Some survived but a lot were lost to the flames, what do you think that a scroll, a first edition to a work by Didymus Chalcenterus, the man that inspired Cicero would fetch? I reckon you are millions short in your estimate to the value of such works. Parts were burned (allegedly accidentally) in 48 BC? After that there was another issue where Caliph Omar had another go at the same library, now in 642 AD. How much was lost? So there is no foundation in reality, but in fantasy? Three jobs in two places with a loot amounting to that could fetch well over $4,000,000,000 and no one is the wiser, history was written and 2,000 year later that loot is no longer hot and wanted, so what could be gotten? History is filled with events where we see that fires and natural events caused havoc, and what stops the inquisitive minds to seek out those ‘forgotten’ treasures? 

So, this has no bearing on reality and its setting, and as far as I am concerned, the creative mind merely needs to dream, realistic or not, we tend to dream (sorry Scarlett Johansson). For me it all started with Tom Hanks and Melanie Griffith in ‘Bonfires of the Vanities’, it was an entertaining movie, but it was there (1990) when I learned of the origins of that name and some Italian prophet who enticed people to burn art, the lowest form of censorship. That day I learned (again) that Adolf Hitler wasn’t even original, he got the idea from an Italian. It also intersected with the thoughts that censorship burning  have no positive outcome, it never does, what existed was lost, we could never see the ‘feigned’ negativity of the works and learn for ourselves. It is perhaps the only reason I opposed the banning of ‘Mein Reich’ not because of the work, I never saw or read it. We can never make up our minds if we do not see the negativity of the work. All these so called ‘wise people’ stating that it is better for us, we have learned that these people are all about forwarding their own positions at the expense of EVERYONE else. And we lose the option to learn.

We can search the red book of Mao and wonder in that same way what some were trying to hide from us. We saw the posters, the presented imagery by the Chinese in those days, but we never got to learn what was wrong and why things were wrong. I reckon that the what and why are connected, but from me that would be speculation. You see, we should have learned something from the trial of Socrates in 399 BC. We are told (from primary school onwards) that he was given the “death sentence of Socrates was the seemingly legal consequence of asking politico-philosophic questions of his students, which resulted in the two accusations of moral corruption and impiety”, yet in that we were never told what these politico-philosophic questions were in the first place, we were too young? It was too complex? We didn’t learn, merely that some questions get you the death penalty and there is a larger failing there. If we cannot learn, how can we move forward? In that same setting in school we were never made aware of ‘Apology of Socrates to the Jury’ by Xenophon of Athens, if so would we have learned anything more? 

We need to catch up with the past at times, although it was a snow globe that gave me the idea how to push a meltdown to nuclear reactors, actual positive inventions are clouded by censorship. And the times is filled with those examples, so what were we not allowed to learn then and have we learned now? Do not take the work from power players proclaiming to know, learn it for yourself. You might pick up a few ideas on the side and that might give you your first big break. It is up to YOU to decide what to do, and as long as you have peace with whatever path you take, that will be all that should matter to you. 

In the past we were inspired by books and music, then we got records and electronics, then there was the internet, but it will be limited to what you are allowed to see, I reckon that the really nice parts are hidden in what you were not allowed to see because people decided what was good for us. I do accept there are premises where censorship is a given (read: a must) and essential to protect the vulnerable groups and I do not oppose that, I merely wonder who gets to make certain calls, especially in the case of political censorship. Yet overall I spend a nice day day dreaming of a situation and it passes the day. Optionally I came up with a new movie, not bad for a simple Sunday in May. 

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