Tag Archives: Jean Leon Gerome

historic surprises

Unless we grasp that the historical process can always take men and their societies by surprise, we shall fail to understand our own immediate dangers, or indeed, our opportunities. Tides can suddenly break old barriers in a matter of hours … Continue reading

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under the bus: same old same old

Not that Barack Obama is entirely wrong about ¬†about Netanyahu. But politics being what it is, Obama and his cohorts would have no compunction about meddling and massaging Israeli politics to act as midwife for the birth of some regime … Continue reading

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a plateful it is

The level of profoundness and incisiveness, let alone plain vanilla veracity is about at the same level as elementary school Scholastic Book Services paperbacks. Banal, slightly generic, and with lots of pablum serving drivel and spittle. Its the New York … Continue reading

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Visionary or megalomaniac?

No, not Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, the Fred Flinstones Order of the Buffalo or the Karnak Temple whirling dervish go-cart 500. Akhenaten and another sort of religious revolution based on monotheism and worship of the sun god Aten. … Continue reading

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the blobs

Characterizing the idea of “otherness” is the ultimate divide and conquer, and in the case of the Arabs a metaphor for the word “backwards” homogenously spread over a large swathe of the globe and a sub-category for Islam in general. … Continue reading

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how much is that slave in the window?

As a commodity, slaves created peculiar problems for the merchant. Apparently in the larger cities there were a few shops where slaves could be bought: in Rome in Nero’s time they were concentrated near the temple of Castor in the … Continue reading

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deathbed manumissions

It is a particular institution of the Old World: slavery. The Greeks and Romans practiced slavery and condoned it- for war, for luxury, and for business. But even they knew it to be evil… Bills of sale were usually written … Continue reading

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bowing to the dominant emotion

When something big was up. That was the Year One. No one could have foreseen such consequences. Often, great historical processes begin invisibly and only later is it possible to pin down the critical date. The strangest thing is that … Continue reading

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suspicious minds

Good to walk around with a mirror just to see who may be sneaking up on you. Hard to find a Sultan who wasn’t suspicious and didn’t keep a food tester on the payroll. And lets not talk about the … Continue reading

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peeping thomas and the organ grinding sultan

The comings and goings in the Grand Seraglio would make a Dostoevsky novel look like a child’s short story. No, call this Persian Goth mixed with a surreal world that was so over the top so as to seem like … Continue reading

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