måndag, maj 19, 2008

Or Knitting. Knitting is Good

Note to self: wait for The Landmark Herodotus to come on on tape. I barely made it through the New Yorker review, and it was terrific. Plus, going back in time means I'm going to have to relearn the map. Again. And that's frustrating. I like the name Persia, so it sticks. I listened to Thucydides on tape. It was a lot of "Then the ships landed at the seaside village and everyone was massacred," only in a deeper voice. It got to the point where I figured there had to be only 150 people left on the planet, all big, hairy mean guys.

"Listen to this passage," I said to my husband, who was trying to sightsee while I sat in a Taxi reading: "On hearing that the Persians were so numerous that their arrows would 'blot out the sun,' one Spartan quipped that this was good news, as it meant that the Greeks would fight in the shade. ('In the shade' is the motto of an armored division in the present-day Greek Army.)"

"Sure," he said. "All six guys."

"Yeee-ouch," I thought. "Euro-snotting." Life could be such fun.

I'm not completely Western centric, the love of "Persia" notwithstanding. I know there were like, eleven other continents with populations on then. Or penguins. But think about it. If it was happening on the tiny Aegean in such epic proportions and with a steady rollover from one century to another, it had to be going on everywhere else, too.

The next time someone complains about the evils of television, throw "The Landmark Herodotus" at them and remind him or her how important it is for some people to have a pacifying hobby.