Detecting the direction of undirected readings

Dennis's last post reminded me of certain extremely stubborn pieces of primary source historical evidence which won't go away, because they're made of metal.

C-O-I-N-S.

I've discussed ancient Roman coins in several posts, particularly the ones which were struck to commemorate victories over the Jews in a place called "Judea" -- which of course was named on the coin. A bound, captive Jew is proudly displayed on the reverse of one of the better known of these coins:

CaptiveJudea.jpg

The coin celebrates the military exploits of emperor Vespasian who, as a Roman general, was sent in to destroy and occupy Judea in 66 A.D. (Vespasian became emperor in 69 A.D., and the coin dates from his reign.)

Likewise, the Romans also built triumphal arches showing the destruction and plundering of the great Jewish Temple of Jerusalem. Like this:


TitusArch.jpg


It seems self evident to me than no sane person would question what is part of history -- and staring at us on the plain face of these coins and monuments (that the Romans put down the Jewish rebellion and destroyed the Temple). So the contention of so many governments in the Mideast hold that the Jews were never there, that these coins must be "forgeries," why, that strikes me as so laughable as to be pathetic.

But now, thanks to Dennis, I see that the Roman presence in Judea, their military victory, the destruction of the Temple, is only my "reading" of history. What would my reading be called?

Pro Roman? Or pro Zionist?

According to the professor Dennis quotes, "each of us had a different but equally valid view of history." (As I wisecracked earlier, "Denial of reality is, of course, a 'view.'") That must mean that it is equally valid to declare coins and monuments "modern Jewish forgeries" as it is to see them for what they are.

It might just be my "reading," but I think the lunatics are trying to run the asylum. (Well, they already are running certain asylums -- a fact which reflects poorly on people dumb enough to imagine that they're being "educated" in them.)

I'm left wondering whether they actually believe their nonsense, or whether it's a tactic. Because, if they really can't recognize the plain meaning of primary source material like what's on the face of a coin, how can they be expected to do things like drive a car? Or vote? (The former requires "reading" street signs, while the latter requires "reading" ballots.) And how would you read a compass? If I say it points North, is that just my "reading?"

Is it all as absurdly directionless as it seems? Or is there a hidden direction of which I'm unaware?

(I try to use logic, but I'm told that too is a reading -- and a "masculinist" one.....) BTW, "masculist" is gaining in usage, but the former still wins the Google memefest.

Isn't it time to look at the bigger picture? Shouldn't we ask what it is that we call "reading," and whether it has any value at all? Or why, say, should what we judgmentally call "mathematics" be considered culturally superior to drinking blood?

It's going to be a long day, and I might not have time for any more posts. I think I'll take a "reading" from my watch, then go outside and try to "read" the weather. It's supposed to rain, but whether it rains or not depends on our "views."

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!

(But can I really say that? I mean, isn't that just my "reading" of a Western, Judeo-Christian-centric calendar?)

posted by Eric on 12.31.05 at 08:26 AM










Comments

My reading of "masculist" is that it represents a form of name-calling of certain males, those which disagree with whatever the dogma/correct noises prescribe. Of course women can and will be included as masculists, as need arises.

Somehow language is seen as creating things. Can we in response say, "Bullshit"? Or, "Go back to Kindergarten"? Or, "Get some new genes"?

I read, therefore I am.

Joe Peden   ·  December 31, 2005 9:20 PM

"Back to Kindergarten" is exactly where we're all headed.

You're right about language being "seen as creating things." This fundamental error in logic is only possible in the absence of logic, which means logic must be destroyed!

BTW, thanks for your comments Joe.

Eric Scheie   ·  January 1, 2006 1:00 AM

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