It started last month when I decided to create a new TV series out of thin air, well, it is in space, so air was not a factor. It was a little homage to RendezVous with Rama, yet I added a twist, as one does. I started that journey in ‘And that was a hard sell?’ (At https://lawlordtobe.com/2020/09/21/and-that-was-a-hard-sell/), whilst I was exploring a few ideas, I stumbled (for more than one reason) on Thalia, the muse of comedy. Leave it to me to seek out the history and optional origin of my bad sense of humour. Now, when we consider the origin of humour, or better stated the muses, Their origin goes back 7 centuries before there was even a christ, and even then there was some correlation to comedy (the muse Thalia) and her mother Mnemosyne the goddess of memory. The heralding of the muses starts (as far as I can tell) in 800BC when the poet Hesiod makes mention of them. Over the three millennia two of his works survived. The first is Theogony, the second one is called Works and Days, describing the peasant life. The Theogony is basically a story of crime and revolt (by Zeus) and set the story of gods and titans, yet I do not want to digress, it is not bout the gods, it is about Hesiod. He sets the stage of muses, he sets the indication of Mnemosyne and her 9 daughters Calliope, Clio, Erato, Euterpe, Melpomene, Polyhymnia, Terpsichore, Thalia and Urania. They are the depiction of Epic poetry, History, Love poetry, Music and song, Tragedy, Hymns, Dance, Comedy and Astronomy, in all this, we merely whisk them away as the stories of those with angst and superstition, yet in all this Hesiod was apparently a native of Boeotia, a district of central Greece. It is said that he had mastered the technique and vocabulary of the epic by memorising and reciting heroic songs. He himself attributes his poetic gifts to the Muses, who appeared to him while he was tending his sheep. So a sheep herder focussed and learned the setting of entertainment to an almost eerie level of precision in a time when none of it existed (or mostly none of it). In this no one is wondering how that happened?
I was wondering about the setting of comedy, about the stage of dance and what christianity broke and almost destroyed. Is no one wondering why? A stage of entertainment and insight into the mind and we are seemingly dumb do the notion, I was, and I was this to the largest degree, schooling made me this way. We have been said to a stage of moving forward, all whilst we ignore the past, the past that leaves us with more questions and not a lot of answers. You see, Hesiod did not merely have a muse of poetry, he had two, Calliope the muse of epic poetry and eloquence and Erato, the muse of love poetry. She was also part of the Aeneid almost 750 years later. So consider that we have lost the texts of most of the events between 1250 and 1400, a lot of it destroyed, yet this work survives. It also sets another person, the writer of that work Publius Vergilius Maro, who before there was a christ created three legendary works, the Aeneid, Georgics and Eclogues. In one of hist works we see the growth of tension as a forward momentum and hist work would be the larger inspiration to Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, where Virgil becomes the authors guide. 6 notable legendary works in a stage where works mostly did not exist. More important, these works were kept safe, in an age where we now are swallowed by trash, spam and fake news, we disregard deeper works of optional philosophical nature and are left in the dark on their existence.
Yet in this age, in the age of streaming entertainment, it seems natural that we take a deeper look at the old works, we might have to, even as the Vatican did it best to remove as much of the Rhaetian language as possible, they did not remove all and when we see these old works, we might ask actual questions that matter. You see, if a man herding his sheep sets the stage of entertainment to a much larger degree 3,000 years ago, even as his own audience (the sheep) had no clue what he was on about, he sets a larger frame, that frame is seemingly important, because of the goddess of memory had a sense of humour (Thalia), we better figure out what that is and how it affects us.
It is perhaps best seen in:
“Do not, I pray thee, do not weep for me, neither pursue me thus ominously as I go to the stern shock of war. Turnus is not free to dally with death. Thou, Idmon, bear my message to the Phrygian monarch in this harsh wording: So soon as to-morrow’s Dawn rises in the sky blushing on her crimson wheels, let him not loose Teucrian or Rutulian: let Teucrian and Rutulian arms have rest, and our blood decide the war; on that field let Lavinia be sought in marriage”
Now consider his assumed past “Virgil was from an equestrian landowning family who could afford to give him an education. He attended schools in Cremona, Mediolanum, Rome and Naples. After considering briefly a career in rhetoric and law, the young Virgil turned his talents to poetry”, which I do not debate, yet consider that he died at the age of 50, he was at home the first 10 years, yet after that he attended 4 schools, over a distance of 1100 KM, which would have taken at least a week per part and in that setting he would have been exposed to all kinds of issues. And when we see this work (one of three important ones) over 12 books, hundreds of words per book, we forget the important question, how was this created? There was no typewriter, this is the work on scrolls, likely several per book and now consider that this would have to survive well over a thousand years. Each fact gives us something more to consider, and when we look at then, perhaps we are doing something really wrong now, have you even considered that part?
If we consider merely these two writers and the massive impact that they had, what did we lose over time and more important was was removed from sight since the 11th century? These are part of the questions that were plaguing me as I was setting the tone in my idea for a TV series, but here I am, I already forgot the title, but not the setting. And in all that there is the choice, but what happens when we never had a choice? Did you consider that? Some might have seen the movie How It Ends, but did you consider it? Basically Theo James had a lot less options than he thought he had, and we merely see that ending come to us as the movie ends. Yet what if Hesiod and Publius Vergilius Maro were telling us about the fight, the fight that is coming in the only way that they could grasp and we wasted 90% of 2750 years and 99.9% of the 47 years that followed, with the last 3 years 100% wasted due to spam. We consider and we accept that some (in the most weird corners of life) can be the stage masters of life and creativity (JK Rowling being an example), but we have something to look back to, we have (to some degree education), as did Publius Vergilius Maro, yet what about Hesiod, who pasturing sheep on Mount Helicon? Shall we write it all to ‘imagination’?
I am happy to do that, but from what we know now bout then, his work leaves us with all kinds of questions, questions that we (for the most) cannot answer. How many people (of non noble origin) had the ability to write? Were versed in all kinds of manner? And consider that Mount Helicon was close to 150KM from Athens, not a trip sheep herders tend to make. So where did the refinement of his work come from? We are left with questions and some people (academics) will give bright answers that make total sense today, but 2000 years ago, a lot less so.
As such, when I was considering memory and humour as I was trying to find a scientific narrative in season one of Keno Diastima (I had to name it again) and that is where I find myself. A station of choice where the choice is an illusion, because the option of choice was only valid for a while and we decided to waste time and options, as such what would we face then?