Monday, November 12, 2007

Island Blues and Roman History

I've had the island blues, and for one of the few times, have nothing to say. What I do have to say I'm trying to save for my Wednesday column. Sometimes it is hard to expatiate on island affairs, and to focus on our lousy government, the normal domain of columns, is just too depressing to do regularly.

I'm one of those people who need to get off this rock every six months, and at month four I get real itchy about getting away. I'm there right now. Other than diving Lau Lau today, I haven't done much all long weekend. I did attend Brad Ruszala's 40th Birthday party, and he rigged the game and cost me a phone in the contest. I was in the final three at Hard Rock and my competitors had the answer before I heard Brad's question. My competitors were hot Asian chicks, so I stood no chance. EJ won. So let me say right here: Brad Ruszala sucks. He may have a hot girlfriend and has worked his charms on every hot chick on island, but he sucks, too.

I can't stay hostile against Sand, though. He and I got the band back together for one night at Porky's on Friday. I was once a budding bass player, but could never live up to my hopes and Brad and I had a band, but it did not last beyond a day. Friday was day two. Brad sang Johnnie Be Good, and I did my best on bass. The only time I touch the fabled instrument is when the folks in bars drag me up. Jerry calls me up at Round Two on occasion. I could never quite live up to my own lofty ambitions as a four string axe man, so those days are over.

In this bored and tired funk of late I've been watching the HBO series Rome, which I've always figured I'd like, I'm a Roman history buff, and it has been great. When I was in the states I got a bunch of DVD series of renowned shows I've never seen. Some I'm taking to, some I haven't and others I need more time. I'm not seeing the reputed brilliance of "The Wire" just yet, but I'm only halfway through or less season one. I've not given up yet, but I don't get the fuss so far.

I've caught almost all four years of Entourage over the last couple months. Love the show. I read a quote that says, "Washington is Hollywood for ugly people," and it certainly fits. Hollywood, like Washington, gives the people what they most demand: mind numbing pablum. The folks who make the most sense are marginalized. This is a great show that captures how people are sometimes over rewarded in Hollywood.

I'm about halfway through season one of Rome. Love it. Casesar was a fascinating character. Shakespeare plays a big part in his renown, but his military prowess was obvious. To the right is a picture of where his body was cremated in the Roman Forum. Dead bodies never came there for fear of disease, but Caesar's was. If you look closely, you can see that 2,000 years later, some people are putting flowers at Caesar's grave site.

One thing that is interesting that people might not get. The Romans had been crucifying people for years. Jesus was not the first or anything. One Crucifixion artifact was actually found. The nails went through the heel bone and the wrist, which is not what those Renaissance pictures suggest. There is a picture of the bone to the left.

"The remains were found accidentally in an ossuary with the crucified man’s name on it, 'Yehohanan, the son of Hagakol'. The ossuary contained a heel with a nail driven through its side, indicating that the heels may have been nailed to the sides of the tree (one on the left side, one on the right side, and not with both feet together in front). The nail had olive wood on it indicating that he was crucified on a cross made of olivewood or on an olive tree. Since olive trees are not very tall, this would suggest that the condemned was crucified at eye level. Additionally, the piece of olive wood was located between the heel and the head of the nail, presumably to keep the condemned from freeing his foot by sliding it over the nail. His legs were found broken. (This is consistent with accounts of the execution of two thieves in the Gospel of St. John 19:31.) It is thought that since in Roman times iron was expensive, the nails were removed from the dead body to cut the costs, which would help to explain why only one has been found, as the back of the nail was bent in such a way that it couldn't be removed."

Also, there is also one piece of archaeological evidence for Pontius Pilate. This limestone block discovered in 1961 with Pilate's tribute in Latin to Emperor Tiberius, who was emperor at the time of the crucifixtion The words [...]TIVS PILATV[...] can be seen on the second line. This piece was discovered in 1961 in the Roman theatre at Caesarea Maritima, the capital of the province of Iudaea, bearing a damaged dedication by Pilate of a Tiberieum.[5] This dedication states that he was [...]ECTVS IUDA[...] (usually read as praefectus iudaeae), that is, prefect/governor of Iudaea. The early governors of Iudaea were of prefect rank, the later were of procurator rank, beginning with Cuspius Fadus in 44. The inscription is currently housed in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, where its Inventory number is AE 1963 no. 104. Dated to 26–37, it was discovered in Caesarea (Israel) by a group led by Antonio Frova.

12 comments:

The Saipan Blogger アンジェロ・ビラゴメズ said...

There are a lot of boobs in that show. I only caught the first few episodes of the first season before I moved to Japan. I like how those two soldiers were involved in everything Caesar did, right down to impregnating Cleopatra. Kind of Forrest Gumpy if you ask me.

bigsoxfan said...

Time for a vacation, time off, something. Your post is a little gloomy. Stop by Ulan Baatar for some mutton. my cable lost everything English language except the bbc news and the Australian Channel. Did you know that the American enthusiam for Ethanol is driving up the cost of beer worldwide? And the Wiggles are too big time to be included on generic australian tv. Suck it up, take a dive.

SteeleOnSaipan said...

Diving, trivia finalist and jammin' on stage all in one weekend? Ha!! Wait 'til the baby comes. I don't have weekends half that active anymore.....

Bryan said...

Give "The Wire" a chance, I think you'll probably get into it after a bit, I know I did. Also if you're into HBO series you have got to check out "Deadwood". Imagine Shakesphere being around in the 1860's and writing a western. For something funny try the Showtime series "Weeds". TV sucks just rent, buy or download the few series which are actually worth viewing.

bradinthesand said...

there's always a 'day three' around the corner. maybe in the philippines?

Brad said...

Hey Jeff, I didn't know you were a Roman history buff too...I loved the show...watched the entire series. I've got a lot of books on tape, videos and university lectures on the Romans. Great stuff for your mp3 player or Ipod. Let me know if you want me to burn you a disk.

Bruce A. Bateman said...

Did that whole last post disappear or did it go for editor's approval?

If gone it basically said " Yes to Historic facts and tidbits - no to TV sitcoms" but it took 2 paragraphs to say it.

I was about to add that you did a great job on the bass guitar during the Blues Festival. Brads vocal rendition of Jonnie Be Good was far better than expected, excellent in fact. And your bass playing was appreciated by all. It was like a reunion with your own amplifier.

Jeff said...

Looks like it did disappear Bruce.

Brad, thanks for the offer. Sounds cool. I love the podcasts.

I saw the first Deadwood, season one, episode one, and didn't get the fuss there, either. I'm not against giving it more of a chance.

Tamara said...

I just finished watching the entire Season II...I loved it! Of course it didn't hurt that Titus Pullo (Ray Stevenson) is a HUNK! :)
I heard there will be no season III...bummers!

bradinthesand said...

Any thoughts about ROn Hodges' letter to the editor? See here:

http://beachboyinparadise.blogspot.com/2007/11/call-to-arms.html

bigsoxfan said...

Must have been a slow news day, I jumped on it too here, http://welovesaipan-bigsoxfan.blogspot.com/

Brad said...

The tv series "Rome" was considered one of the more historically accurate shows ever done...not so much for stuff like Titus Pullo impregnating Cleopatra (rather than the historically accepted Julias Caesar) but for all the 'little things' the show put in such as the treatment of slaves, religious sacrifices, household affairs, etc.

With all the attention to detail, the cost of the show was also higher than normal...which is why the show was cut. Yep. It's over. Finished. It sucks but the industry won't support good programs just because they're good...they also have to be hugely profitable or they're cut.

I wish they would have kept this one though...Rome was a great show and they could have skipped through the years to cover different Emperors like Nero or Claudius for different seasons.