The Why?s Man
"My art is place specific and people specific." George Wyllie
Back to A Day Down a Goldmine
EXTRACT THREE: THE GREAT BUM STEER
We will now throw the time switch from 'Present' to 'Past' and zoom in on the ancient Greek Island of Delos.
The Greeks I am interested in looked like those around the edges of the vases in their National Archaeological Museum.
Such Greeks lived on Delos and they regarded the Universe with much more awe than we moderns.
They thought a lot of their sun.
They didn't have T.V. to distract them by offering newer and more trivial things to worship.
Yep, Ancient Greeks are best - I tell you no psemata.
The ancient Greeks loved Delos, and they made it a sacred island and mission control for keeping in touch with their gods.
Sometimes a Sheep, Sometimes a Goat, - Sometimes a Sheep, Sometimes a Goat would be sacrificially launched to sweeten the Deities lurking in the upper stratosphere.
You see - these ancients were very pleased with their new universe and felt that they just had to do something to show their appreciation. They did not realise that the great universal sold to them was under guarantee and would have worked quite naturally without the sheep and the goats - perhaps the tourists expected the ritual. Sheep and goats now began to run away when approached by humans and their numbers dwindled. If the ancients had simply stuck to happy primitivism and used their ritual barbecues as a source for kebabs and souvlaki, the world would now be a much better place - but no - the shrinking meat supply and the tendency to go one better demanded that other quite unnecessary offerings be made - like precious things - like GOLD.
The greatest ever confidence/ trick to be played on the human race by the human race was about to happen...
Gold is a legitimate lovely metal, - in functional form very useful for electrical contacts, spacemen's umbilical cords, fancy picture frames, and tiaras. The early goldsmiths happily hammered it into a nice line in bangles and drinking cups, and our own particular favourite - golden face masks. These were used for jollying up royal corpses, a practice which did not quite make it to our civilisation - although gold teeth did.
So you see, gold has seduced us since it first gleamed from some ancient crack. (indicating ASSISTANT'S mouth and teeth).
Gold was now inextricably mixed up in the depths of our pockets and beliefs, implacably entrenched in all of us, and fostering attitudes which have not become less stauch or touchy as the centuries have rolled.
The day of the Slack Abacus had arrived.
AN INCORRECT ASSUMPTION...LEADS TO A FALSE CONCLUSION.
A golden rule?
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