Elseness: Being The Accidental Death of A Hoodie
A seriously wet morning in a boring lecture, I sat staring out the window and thought about an off topic subject I was busily engaged in. I was eating the library studying medical history and the four temperaments in particular and drifted far away from the drone of the lecturers voice.
At lectures end I left the building into a particularly stormy afternoon of wind and rain. thick heavy and vertical. Its one of the low points of living in a city designed by engineers with an eye on health and the four temperaments in mind. Rather than having rain falling from the sky the rain is caught by the wind and just hits full in the body and face, the streets were designed to act as giant wind tunnels in an effort to dissipate the foul vapors that were thought to cause most endemic infections of which the city had many.
Anyway after getting about a hundred yards along the road I was soaked to the skin, I stopped beneath a concrete walk way, cursing my luck and wanting to get home. A guy passed by on the other side of the road, wrapped in a bubble coat and a hat and scarf.
I thought to myself I wish I had a hat, I am going to end up getting flue.
In the next moment that thought rather stunned me. Where had it come from? How on earth did I hold the notion that some unidentified quality of a hat is going to protect me from viral infection? A moment of panic.
Then the memory. My great aunt, who seemed to be very very big, standing with clear pride watching a small child making his way to one of his first days of school. “Put that hood up or you’re catch pleurisy………That boy.” But a whole legion of my great aunts obsession with the health giving properties of hats and hoods came tumbling out, to crash, burn and die on a cold and wet afternoon, shivering outside a concrete multi storey car-park.
Beliefs are not simply irrational things and the death of such things is not simple the death of an idea. They are what connects us to the people we love, in a world that has little time for such things.
Empiricism, has a bitter aftertaste, it is cold hard and brutal, destructive, impersonal and bites hard. In the moment it seems to take a piece of the soul and leave it awkwardly and embarrassingly, dying on the floor.
It is an emotional undertaking.
The Ape of Man
Going to start to examine potential reasons that made the ape, a despicable vile and wretched monstrosity to the 17th century mind and why it had to either abduct or capture human’s and imitate or was indeed a filthy hybrid human/ animal.
The boundaries between human and animal have been constantly drawn and moved rather fluidly across time, the only consistent feature is that the line is always made. These distinctions are increasingly brought into question at this time and it is in the late 17th century that the relationship between ape and man really reaches the high point of its inflection with the notion that the orangutang is potentially fully human.
Its not the most pleasing of stories.
“why should we shew so much violence in these things whereof we can shew no certain evidence?
Sir George Mackenzie, Religio Stoici, 1663
Of Such Creatures As This
A very old school Scottish, conservative, neo stoic, neo latin rhetorical question from the school of skeptical sarcasm.
Deaf Man hearing music from conduction through his teeth
Frontispeice, Philocophus or the Dumbe Mans Academie wherein is taught a new and admired art instructing them who are borne Deafe and Dumbe to heare the sound of words with theire eie and thence learne to speake with theire Tongue: illustrated with engraved plates shewing the different portions of the hands.
John Bulwer, wiki
Some 17th century talking points, were signs and gestures universal, was the language of gesture bestowed on man by god?