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Nothing Epic About The West
Crackpot Mailbox: Carlos the Brained Nimbus and the Crackpot Discuss Literary Degeneration
Nothing Epic About The West
Dec 23, 2019, 10:45 PM (2 days ago)
Hey James, Carlos the brained nimbus here. The last paragraph contains my question, the stuff before are the observations that motivated the question. Yakub sends his blessings my brutha.
Recently I've been reading through the greek classics, and to help make sense of it I read a bit of the poetics by Aristotle. Most of it flew over my head, but one thing stood out to me. He talked about how the Epic's, like the Illiad and Odyssey, gave birth to the the tragedy, the major differences being the length of the story told and the tragedy takes on a narrative form. Another interesting point brought up by Aristotle is that History is in someway inferior to the tragedy and epic, since the latter two serve to highlight great human deeds, and the type of moral characteristics that make that type of person. I got this feeling reading an older history of Alexander the great, reading about his long 50 mile marches inspired me to try that one day myself. In fact, history and the tragedy appear write about the same time with Herodotus and Aesychlus during the first peloponnesian war.
From this the comedy appears, which is viewed as inferior for reasons I cant quite comprehend which Im hoping you could explain. So that would have been the lowest of the low at that time, the comedy made for the filthy masses. Which makes sense, guys like George Carlin and Eddie Murphy were funny, but I wouldnt consider them disciplined or of great character.
However, things are really gay now where even comedy isn't allowed anymore. Especially with these bugman franchises like Star wars or Marvel Comics, the point of these forms of entertainment are not to point out some great moral truth or tell the tale of a great deeds and character like the epic and tragedy, or even make you laugh like old fuck Carlin. They seem really to be these forms of escapism detached completely from the world of action and consequence. To me this may be because most people are so detached from physical reality they don't wish to engage in it themselves, and would rather live out their lives in these escapist pieces of garbage. The only comparable thing in the past I can think of is the chariot races in Rome.
To sum up my question, along
Epic poetry——>Tragedy——->Comedy——->?——->modern entertainment, which is just escapism.
I'd like to hear your thoughts on this process of how our entertainment has devolved from cave paintings of big titty bitches and mammoth hunts, and the bard singing of great deeds, to fantasies meant to distract soy people. What kind of people appreciated the different forms of art, and if somehow in the sci-fi future this will get worse, or has already been touched upon.
-Carlos

Carlos, I really like your battered brained take on this vast subject.
keep in mind that Aristotle wrote—dictated most likely—around 334-25 B.C. and that the curator of his work Theophrastus was very likely his posthumous coauthor.
We can make much sense of this by avoiding the pitfall of the academic, which is to conflate chronologically the subject matter at hand. When I began to look into ancient boxing all there was was two historians with unified boxing theories. Once I broke down the subject in evolutionary and devolutionary terms, chronologically, things became clear, to take shape. Let's do that here, to see if, we, like Aristotle [Best-Purpose], can divine what was going on in the life of Hellas by comparing literature to its font. Each age will focus on major forms with minor forms noted, from the trash-bin of my ailing mind, with the eldest works followed by the newest works:

Heroic and Archaic Ages
750 down to about 500 B.C.
Iliad, Homer epic
Odyssey, Homer? epic
Works and Days, Hesoid, liturgical
Archilochos, minor, gangster rap
Sapho, minor whimsical
Aesop, minor fable
Tyrteus, liturgical
Epigrams, heroic
All of the above forms are either religious, heroic, or minor and the more personal art forms, being minor, sketch the subtext of macro-social life from the individual perspective of the soldier [Archilochos], the woman [Sapho] and the slave [Aesop.]
This was a heroic age of chieftains having given way to an age of communities who attempted to spread the idea of heroism in a yeoman way, like spreading chivalric European ideas left over from the Middle Ages into the early modern soldier and officer. What we will see unifies all is the epigram, the ode to the hero and the athlete that threads through all these ages and keeps the heroic ideal alive as other forms corrode the masculine soul—or do they just chart its corrosion by the trajectory of civilization?

Classical Period
500-400 B.C.
Epigrams predominate, including Simonides, the master epigramist who lionized the Spartans at the Hot Gates
Inquires, Herodotus [major folk narrative]
Tragedians who survived the heroic wars
Pindar is the high point of civic heroic tradition, the writer of odes for athletes and leading men of virtue, notably, largely outside of the Athenian swamp, making him one of few sources not filtered through the Athenian view from this period. note that the earlier sources were from all over. In the period of the tragedians and comics, we are looking at Athenian mono-culture, with the following figure all Athenian.
Comics who lived through the bloom of Mercantile Athens and derided heroism
Thucydides who wrote an analytic history about the war which killed him and his people
Xenophon who finished that history and then wrote books on cultural and masculine rejuvenation and left Athens for Sparta
Socrates, and his sacrifice mark the end of this period, which is the triumph and fall, the rise and collapse under the weight of hubris and decadence. Comedy is a reaction to the absurdity of the Athenian life in which the city that owned half of the known economy was under siege by a rural hamlet which eventually won that civil war.

Late Hellenic Antiquity
400-323 B.C.
Epigrams remain important, especially for all states other than Athens, which are still mostly traditional. Since virtually all surviving literature came through the Athenian filter our view is skewed, like the fact that our history will be preserved by academia centered in New York, New England and London.
Plato writes of Socrates and forms, trying to provide utopian rationality where Hesoid had once offered traditional folk wisdom.
Isocrates teaches oratory, basically political and legal language for demagoguery and dissembling.
Aristotle, Plato's pupil, tries to salvage and define all knowledge and ends up settling on Alexander, his pupil as a vehicle into the future, by annotating a copy of the Iliad for the boy wonder to take with him and read on his quest to become a God. Alexander will have Kalisthenes, Aristotle's son, and his personal historian, slain as he spiraled into megalomania.

Hellenistic Age
323-50 B.C.
The epigrams from this period are deep, extensive boasts of giant, Herculean athletes among a world of worn-out runt slaves and sedentary rulers, an aspect of our own celebrity culture where distant actors on field and screen serve as avatars for denatured masses.
During this period appears a prose novel called The Acts of John and Thekla. Keep in mind that the novel is long thought to be a modern art form, but it occurred in modern-type decadent phases in antiquity.
This is a rich period of literate rejuvenation in decadent settings, beginning with Theocritus and Apollonius rebooting epic myth, and also producing many letters, legal, liturgical, exploratory, scientific and financial statements as Egypt had been Hellenized and provided a dry storehouse for documents. In many ways we see a modern vision of the West in the Hellenized remnant of Alexander's pathos with a great amount of intellectual production in the shadow of earlier ages of conquest and building. Eventually, Roman conquerors would become patrons of Greek scholars as their young vigor employed minds like Polybius and Diodurus Silicus to chart the shape of knowledge, in much the same way that our Chinese successors might decided to patronize some remnant westerner, who had finally gained perspective unattainable by the World War Two brain-washed fool that is the postmodern American blinded by the light of what he believes is the only historical act of importance to ever occur on the planet. I see a future where a Victor Davis Hansen type of historian might be employed by a Chinese techtarch to sketch the suicide of his own race as a museum curation of a failed nation for the education of the elite of a rising state.

To your question:
Decadence such as escapist fantasy viewing and sports worship in the postmodern world, as well as military trends, have linked corollaries in the ancient Hellenic and Roman world in the following repeating cycles:
-Amateur to professional combat sports
-the devolution of chariot racing from being the driver, to being the owner of the slave driver to being the fan of the celebrity driver
-warrior, frontiersman
-voluntary citizen soldier, militia man [generally slim on the ground and sporadic, linked to touchstone events such as uprisings]
-to involuntary citizen soldier, conscripted draftee
-to professional citizen soldier, post Vietnam
[we are here on that trajectory, were Rome was at about A.D. 217
-to mercenary, contractor
Cave painting were likely objects of religious rites and of worship.
Epics were both entertainment and religious in nature with the entertainment aspect being coopted down the decadent stream by comics and dramatists and the religious aspects being concentrated in the genius hands of the tragedians, making the tragedies to scions of the epics—whispers of which can be gleaned especially in Priam's discussion with Achilles as a dialogue of the doomed.
In the science-fiction future, as I have explored in Organa and The Sunset Saga, I think that, if our technological progress continues—and it may well not—that organic, unaltered humans, will be very rare, heavily licensed and generally used as the centers for corporate theme parks to serve as a diversion for the minds of the multitudes of sterile, vary-gendered, meat-puppets so that they do not turn on their puppet-masters and bite them off at the ankles. The theme of Organa is that a security tech, a manufactured and technologically augmented man, gets a job being the usher for the last organic woman on earth as she entertains her worshippers from among the top 1% of financial post-humanity in the theme park built around her.
Thanks for dredging up the dregs of my ancient boxing research to aid in the Aryan history project, Carlos.
Organa: The Malfunction of Tray Sorenson
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Add Comment
DeniseJanuary 2, 2020 12:48 PM UTC

From what I understand, the Comedy is meant to tell us great truths about ourselves but cushion the blow to our egos by making us laugh. I would say the reason that modern comedy is losing its punch is because the PC Police have put the kabosh on truth telling.

It sounds like you answered my question on your most recent post about how technology may affect us in the future in your Organa book. Organic humans becoming a rarity makes sense, given the direction we seem to be going.