I always love seeing this fact pop up. Yeah, what we thought was the ancients just being really cool and aesthetic was actually the gaudy colors fading away over time. It’s like when people think that old houses were built better than they are now, when it’s really just that the shitty houses all fell down already.
Ummmm but the problem is not so much that they weren’t being “cool and aesthetic”; it’s that this entire western concept of aesthetics is built on a mistake.
fittingly, I was just reading this:
The Parthenon marbles Elgin took to Britain do consist of marble, but a darkly pitted Greek marble rather than the smooth, snowy white variety more common in Italy. Here lay an aesthetic problem: whiteness versus color. The alarming history of European marble “cleaning” includes a chapter on this statuary describing a drive to make ancient Greek art white that nearly destroyed the art itself. In the 1930s workers in the British Museum were directed to remove the dark patina with metal tools on the mistaken assumption that their proper color should be white. Such a “cleaning” seriously damaged the Parthenon marbles, prompting an inquiry by the museum’s standing committee that halted the work.
—Nell Irvin Painter, The History of White People, page 63
It’s particularly obnoxious given the claims by so many British people that the marbles had to be removed to Britain in order to protect them.
The bold: People should really know about that, too.
And yes, it is connected with this article about Chromophobia and colonialism
which is also connected to the Reformation.
Especially if you think about (at least in an American context) the way that Catholicism has been, to a large degree, racialized. And how the Catholic Mass and other traditions came to be associated with licentiousness and was condemned for its use of decoration (aside form legitimate gripes with corruption).
see also: Calvinist Iconoclasm:
OMG!!! I FORGET PEOPLE DON’T KNOW THIS!
Yes, all those aloof, “pure” white statues from Ancient Greece?
They actually looked like this:
Vinzenz Brinkmann, much to the apparent chagrin of Westerners everywhere, used ultraviolet light to reveal the original paint schemes of these statues that the millennia had washed away.
And to underscore the Chromophobia?
In the summer of 1566, spurred on by the sermons of Calvinist preachers, zealous mobs descended on churches in the Netherlands, intent on ridding them entirely of their imagery. Many churches were literally white-washed.
All of these things are connected.
Kait Rokowski (A Good Day)
via Facebook, it apparently originated from the NUT.
[ Text reads: “What do Michael Gove and a turtle on a post have in common?” (Pictures of each) A tick list with: “You know he didn’t get there by himself, He doesn’t belong up there, He doesn’t have any idea of what to do now that he is up there, You wonder who could have thought it was a good idea in the first place, He’s elevated beyond his ability to function.” Small print reads: “No creatures were harmed in creating this post- so don’t take a fence”.]
Here it is… Welcome to Night Vale in American Sign Language! For the viewers who are deaf, who like to sign, and/or who don’t like to hear stuff….
I’VE FINALLY FINISHED the video of me cosplaying as Cecil, giving his first radio podcast in ASL! Wheeeeeeeeeee! :DDD
((And, I’ve added subtitles for those of you who don’t know sign so you can enjoy it as well!))
when i die i want to be buried wearing a pair of sunglasses so that a few decades down the line i will also be a cool skeleton
26,473 notes. 26,473 people identified with this statement. if even half that many people actually did this, can you imagine how confused future archaeologists would be
"In the end of the twenty-first century, a new grave good phenomenon spread rapidly in a global, decentralized fashion. In the relevant burials, the deceased would be buried with a pair of non-functioning spectacles fastened to their face; in many cases, the pair was anchored quite firmly into the skull (as-Sabah 2839), as though to make sure that it would not come off if the burial was disturbed.
"The significance of this grave good arrangement is unknown. The glasses vary wildly. One adolescent skeleton was found buried with a pair that chemical analyses indicate was bright pink at the time of burial and made of plastics common in twenty-first century excavations, and carved with an anthropomorphic image of a cat on one corner (Bao 2836). Another example was a finely manufactured pair, affixed with post-mortem stapling to a middle aged man’s skull, which had been plated with gold and had several small diamonds affixed, although much of the gold had come unfastened from the core in the intervening time (Jensen 2841). The main thing that all the glasses have in common is that, in contrast to the rarer, functional eyeglasses buried with a few individuals in previous years — presumably those who had used them in life, as spectacles were a common early method of vision correction (Zhang 2833) — the lenses are plain tinted glass. Their primarily function seems to have been to obscure the vision of the wearer.
"The reasoning for burying the dead with these items has been speculated on widely without much consensus. The most popular theory is that it is related to early twenty-first century cynicism; at the same time as the beginning of cynicism’s century-long dominance of serious philosophy and beginning just before the first Data War and escalating throughout it, many ceased to put faith in old religious ideas of a just world and peaceful afterlife and returned to less optimistic versions of their faiths. The glasses may have been meant to shield the wearers in the afterlife by limiting their visions and knowledge of it (Gonzoles 2840) an idea that was known to exist at the time and would develop further in the Cult of the Hammer and Cross, among other similar groups that dominated religious beliefs following the collapse of major world powers in the later half of the twenty-first century (Werlinich 2837)."