Wednesday, 28 August 2013

The Tut Dude

I wrapped up a Berlin trip last night, and returned home.  The key feature of this trip?  Well....the King Tut Exhibit.

In a curious way, I've spent hours and hours over the past two or three decades....reading up on Egyptian history.

It's hard to say that we have a lot of facts.  There's some bits and pieces.  We know the rulers, and the general history.  Nothing much is exact.

I've come to several conclusions....based on what I've read, and how I see history.

First, all of these Egyptian rulers....had a bunch of religious geeks in their camp.  With umpteen gods, there were open spots for probably fifty-odd characters, who claimed they had the vast knowedge of Hapy, Atum, Seth, Ra, Nut, Khnum, etc.  Naturally, this all led to competition between the religious nuts, and various interpretations that were as good as picking the NCAA football champions as early as the second week of the season.

Second, unless you had a war brewing....there wasn't much to discuss or get all hyped-up on.  Maybe some idiot would be pumping up the royal court on accusations of high crimes or treason.....mostly faking folks enough for entertainment purposes.

Third, eventually......folks got around to noting the significance of so-and-so.....compared to so-and-so from fifty years ago, and the evidence usually was the fancy art or construction work of some building or statue.  Naturally, public works became a big deal.....if you wanted a status bigger than some dead guy from forty years ago.

Forth, folks got all peppy over the royal wife and what this tended to mean to them.  At some points, it was agreed that you'd best marry your cousin or close relative gal.  Course, this usually meant some diseases carried on, and you weakened your family line on down some degree.  Since they didn't know any better....you can't judge them of a bad idea in today's environment.

Fifth, all of this rich Egyptian history comes to some end as King Tut dies......in his youth.  There's no descendants to pass the mess along to, and various non-royals come onto the scene.  It's kind of an abrupt end....because so much of the history is just plain dumped at this point.  What remains?  It gets destroyed in various fires, and as invaders come into Egypt.  You could argue the point that one-tenth of one percent of whatever was written for Egyptian history....survived, and that's a pretty lousy number if you think about it.

Sixth and final.  No, there's no aliens building the Pyramids.  Real men, real engineers, and real dedication were the necessary ingredients.  You could take forty of the best Auburn University graduates.....toss them into a football stadium....and tell them to draw up a plan on building three simple pyramids.  No bulldozers....no cranes....no dump trucks.  It might take a couple of years, but they'd eventually figure a trick around every single problem.  Face it....if you don't have NCAA football, hunting, fishing, Dancing with the Stars, Fox News, or church meetings to attend.....then you've got lots of time to think about oddball and crazy ideas.

I'm not of the mind that this was a wonderful period, or a great period of history.  It was awful dang hot....folks tended to fight wars for little-to-no reason....and you could die from food poisoning real easy.  I doubt if anyone lived much lived past the age of forty-five.  So you lived as much as you could....and just kinda accepted statistics as they were.

The King Tut Exhibit?  Well, that was a curious thing.  It's to end this weekend.  They took every nifty piece of the King Tut burial chamber, and reproduced it.  Yep.....the exhibit was all FAKE.

Now, a guy could laugh over this.....paying $18 for entry and feeling foolish for viewing fake King Tut stuff.  But, since it's all dangerous now to wander off to Egypt.   Looking at fake stuff might be the only logical plan "B".

Finally, a Bama guy is pleased to note in the midst of this burial chamber.....King Tut had this fancy gold-plated cow-head there.  I'm thinking Tut was a farmer at heart....having an appreciation for cows.  So it just made sense....as you get buried, to have some fancy cow-head in your chamber.  Guys from today get all weepy-eyed and want to have their fancy University of Alabama sweatshirt on as they are buried.  Luckily, folks don't get stupid and allow this to happen much.  In King Tut's day.....no one would have said much against a stupid college sweatshirt, or some Coach "Bear" hat being left in the tomb.

Just the way it is.

Scripted US Military Response

After this Syrian chemical weapons attack......you kinda expected folks to get all stirred up and want some US military reaction.  No one else wants to participate.....but between the UN folks, the media, and a bunch of Syrian rebel folks.....the US military is the only solution.

So basically, it's a scripted episode.  There's likely some 36-hour mini-war about to erupt.  You can figure around twenty cruise missiles, and maybe a dozen bombers making a couple of runs.  Some military sites will be destroyed in Syria.  Maybe the chemical weapons depot will get hit.  And you can figure two or three government buildings somewhere in this mix.

The Pentagon will announce success.  The fancy-pants journalists of the Washington Post will note how wonderful the results were, and some French journalists will note that not much of anything was really achieved.

The reason for thirty-six hours?  Well....the President is supposed to be doing a visit off to Russia and he needs it done and complete by the time he arrives in Moscow.  The reason?  Well....it just doesn't look right if the President is doing trips in the midst of some 'war'....even if it's not a real war.

The medals?  Oh yeah.....well....there's bound to be at least two hundred various medals awarded to various folks for this magnificent operation....maybe even five hundred.  In the glory days.....you had to be off on some war-front for months and months.  Today?  You can do a mini-war of thirty-six hours, and that's enough to get some kinda medal.  It doesn't make much sense, but modern war is like that.....quick....lacking results...and simple.

The big part of this spin is that CNN gets one big chance to regain their market-share with a big fancy background, and minute-by-minute analysis of "THE WAR".  CNN will interview at least thirty Senators, at least a hundred foundation wannabe experts (retired generals) on war, roughly sixty Syrian folks will describe the brief war and it's success, and another forty-five folks who were in previous wars (thus having experience at such events).

The President will have a start-up speech for the war.....roughly sixteen minutes probably.  He'll describe his feelings, his beliefs, his anger, and his goals.

There's already a second wrap-up speech for the end-of-the war....probably another sixteen minute piece.  He'll describe success, winning, and the great future for the people of Syria.

Yeah, it's scripted.  But that's the way things work in the modern era.