January 08, 2003

The Eyes of the Pharaohs

The Eyes of the Pharaohs and Bits of Randomness

Last Saturday, I went to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts to peruse their recently opened Egyptian exhibit, on loan from the British Museum until March 13. I'm one of those pathetic souls who can't absorb enough about ancient Egypt. If I'm flipping through the channels and I catch a glimpse of the pyramids, I'm stuck there, whether I've seen the program 10 times before or not. I've become adept at listening to Dr. Zahi Hawass and understanding him through his maddeningly thick accent.

Unfortunately, my exposure to the world of ancient Egypt has been entirely through the medium conjured by Philo T. Farnsworth: television. The chance to actually see 144 Egyptian artifacts up close was just too enticing to ignore. It truly is an woderful exhibit. For an hour-and-a-half, I absorbed 5,000 years worth of history, standing before works of art so brilliantly crafted, it was hard to believe they weren't created minutes ago rather than millennia.

Although you're not supposed to touch the artifacts, I really couldn't help myself. How can you stand an inch away from a carved relief and not touch it? How can you stay your hand from so much history? It was worth it. It's astounding how smooth and perfect the cold stone felt. The ancient Egyptians understood art and architecture to an extent that makes the rest of the ancient world seem like a troupe of doddering imbeciles. I mean, seriously, if you compare Stonehenge and the pyramids, which culture would you want to be associated with?

Moving on over to weather, with our weatherman, Ryan Rhodes, we see that much of Minnesota is enjoying temperatures in excess of 50 degrees today. It is freakishly unusual to see such temperatures in January. January is usually the month dedicated to the god of sweaters and the demi-god of shovels and ice-picks. But here it is 50 degrees! Unbelievable. It definitely makes the winter season bearable when there's no snow on the ground and jackets, if even for a short while, are optional. I think I'll leave work early today just so I can go for a run in the daylight and totally enjoy the weather.

And finally, I would be most remiss if I didn't give at least passing mention to the world of terrorism. It seems those wacky terrorists are dabbling in lethal toxins, although how they intend to use the toxic toys remains unclear. Granted, it's no big surprise that they're playing with toxins. After all, in their fundamentalist minds, any way you can kill an infidel is a good way. However, it really sheds some light on how totally fucking demented these people are that they want to expose people to a toxin so vile it actually causes people to shit themselves to death. Imagine, just imagine, that somewhere in the world, someone you have never met, and frankly could care less about, is cooking up a plan to expose you to a chemical that causes fever, stomach ache, diarrhea, vomiting and eventually death. Inhaling ricin often results in death from respiratory failure in 36 to 72 hours. Injected ricin causes death from multiple organ failure.

I'm not panicking here, I'm just pissed. Islamic fundamentalist terrorists honestly believe the West is out to destroy Islam, but they're the folks scheming to obliterate people by the thousands. If we truly wanted to eradicate Islam, we're more than capable of launching a nuclear salvo and reducing every Islamic country in the world to smoldering piles of turbans. But, we're not out to eradicate Islam. Islam is not our enemy. As far as we're concerned, you can worship however the fuck you want. Go ahead and become a Raelian for all we care. We're not against any religion. We're against those who use their own religious interpretation as justification for the indiscriminate killing of innocents. That's not a religion, it's a declaration of war.

Posted by Ryan at January 8, 2003 01:00 PM
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