What a great idea from Doc Searls in response to the sacking of the national museum in Baghdad: “It’s barn-raising time for civilization, folks. Hunting down bad guys and offering cash rewards might be necessary moves, but they’re highly insufficient. Let’s do something sustained and positive to help the Iraqi people and the rest of civilization get back what’s been lost.”
Doc’s concrete suggestions include created dedicated radio and television stations to recovering stolen objects, creating an .iq (what a domain) website aggregating and documenting museum objects, and getting the global weblog community to “cultureblog” around the issue.
British Politics goes rather Victorian in its “translation” of Homer for the current events in Iraq. For the nth time, I urge any of my readers (or at least those who can’t read the original Greek) to rush out and get Christopher Logue’s War Music. When I first read War Music in the early ’90s I was swept away by the power and imagery of the poetry. I asked a friend who is a true classicist how close or distant Logue was from the original. “He’s pretty close,” was the reply, “but the original is that and much, much more.” That’s why I decided to learn ancient Greek.
Incidentally, I am frequently disappointed when I see a newspaper or magazine headline invoking Homer. At least nine times out of ten, they mean Homer Simpson. I yield to no one in my enjoyment of The Simpsons, but I’d like to find a way to reclaim the name Homer for the fount of western literature.