Biblical Tour Guide aka A Metropolitan Museum Travesty

The Met was also the scene of an incident that really got my goat (and could often get my goat) about some aspects of some people’s American Culture. We happened to the surfing the Egyptian halls around the same time a Bible Tour Guide was explaining his version of the artefacts and Egyptian history.

D6 statue of a bound captive from the Metropolitan Museum, New York.
Metropolitan Museum, New York.

It started with a rather excellent Dynasty 6 (c2200 BC) statue of a kneeling and bound captive.

It is an incredible fact that the statue has survive for over 4000 years, however the Bible Tour Guide decided to portray it as evidence that biblical figures were in Egypt and bound as such using images like the below as evidence.

For the enquiring mind you might think that it is evidence that an artist for a biblical publication in the 80s did some research and decided to use the statue (or other similar depictions) as inspiration. There is no fact beyond that!


Sadly however that was not the last indignity that this ‘guide’ gave to the collection

Head of a Cow Goddess
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

The head of a cow goddess is thought to be either Hathor or Mehetweret, but this man decided to declare it as Hathor and proceeded to call her the original party girl; going out, partying down and getting drunk and debauching. He was using a lot of 21st century comparisons and allusions against this ancient Egyptian goddess and while granted she did have a role as goddess of music and dance, there we no bars, pubs and clubs that I can reference in Ancient Egypt history (do let me know if you know different!) and he was attempting to link these modern-day inventions with scenes like the below.

AncientEgyptDailyLIfeMusicPic_large

The biggest travesty of all was that was all he told his tour group about Hathor. There was nothing about the aspects of joy, the feminine aspect, fertility, love or motherhood; the cynic in me would say that is typical of a man preaching an Abrahamic religion the way he was.

At that stage my more calm (and laughing) other half had to physically removed me from that particular gallery room as through my raised voice I was trying too hard to make my corrections over heard. Oops.

I acknowledge that it is hard to sometimes not put a very modern perspective on a very ancient scene, especially when they can appear somewhat remote in terms of context, but yet very familiar; the young ladies above do seem to be having a good time with the music and dance. It is one thing that I thank the wonderful tutors at the University of Glasgow for constantly reminding the classes I have attended when we fall into that trap.

However sometimes is it an obvious and very deliberate; a way to disgrace and discredit an ancient culture, the people and the religion for your own ends. This is obviously wrong and more so in a place that is meant to be educating and informing with the facts that we know, not filling in the blanks of your own stories with the tall tales you can make up.

One thing though, this egit did not spoil my overall and very positive impression of the museum and the Egyptian collection.

What is it for.

Social media that is……

We all have different ideas; for some it is all about our lives, sharing top bits of information, the odd photo and the even odder argument with the spouse or someone; for others it is about keeping up with our groups, clubs and cultural interests. Others see it as a new form of procrastination and the growing of electronic vegetables, and there are loads more ideas of what it might be for, but most of us use it in all kinds of different ways. Snippets, photos, games, groups, causes, catastrophes.

As someone who has recently left a good number of friends and family a good 4 hours drive away (miles huh?) and was never good on the phone call side of things I tend to use it for the odd bits of snippet info or photos. Yup there is sometimes a share, but only of something that is of interest to me that some friends may find of interest. It is where I do my best to keep those I now don’t get to see every day/week/month a bit of insight as to my new experience, and where I can find out how they, their kids/dog/dug/cat etc are doing.

What I struggle with is when friends or family activity complain they do not know how they are going to stay in touch and then start to remove me from friends/follow lists. I have either moved to a foreign country and become the enemy (Scotland to England, so in the current independence debate climate that may be the case in their fevered imaginations), or it may be because I am no long at the drop of a hat available that I am gone and forgotten.

Either way, it smarts a bit. From close friend to an unfollow in 5 months. How do you take that?

*honest I don’t post drivel!

There is probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.

Now, personally I do believe in something, but I adore the way this gets some Christians knickers in a twist.

The Atheist Bus Campaign; 800 buses feature the slogan: “There is probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.

“The evidential basis for God is the same as for believing there are fairies at the bottom of the garden, and if you don’t believe the latter, you shouldn’t believe the former,”
A C Grayling defending said campaign.

Two stories on politics.co.uk:

  1. Atheist buses to challenge religious message.
  2. Christian challenges atheist bus advert.

The Elders

I cannot remember the trigger that helped me find this website and what The Elders is all about.

In short, it is a group people of renown for their efforts to work for the betterment of Humanity. They are now ‘elder’ statespeople from across the world, with the respect and wherewithall to broker deals in areas of conflict and strife that the rest of the world seems to be turning there backs to.

From an original idea of Peter Gabriel and Richard Branson who pitched it to Nelson Mandella. Today there are 12 Elders, including Aung San Suu Ky sho has been almost under perminant arrest in Burma for almost 20 years.

  1. Offering a catalyst for the peaceful resolution of conflict.
  2. Seeking new approaches to seemingly intractable global issues.
  3. Sharing wisdom: reaching out to grassroots Elders and to the next generation of leaders. Listening and helping to amplify voices for good all over the world.

I cannot help that with people like these individuals and their supports, both generally and financially, that the world would be a better place. I think is shows a kinda of hope that people want change, not just for the benfit of themselves or their nation.

The Cake

So it is Imbolc today, the Feast of St Brigid. This afternoon I am helping a friend with a new flat she has bought, so I thought why not bake a cake.

It has been about 10 years since I have baked anything in the way of cakes and the such, so it was with a little trepidation that I set about weighing out stuff. The aim was a victoria sponge, so essentially 2oz of everything per egg and a bit of elbow grease in the beating, folding and greasing etc.

Overall the end result, and the whole experience was enjoyable, so cake making might be back on the menu as a wee fun pastime. Maybe some scones next.

One lesson learned though, my cake tins are 8 inches and when you make a recipe that says it is for 6 inch tins, then your cakes are going to be thin! Enjoyably nice, I have sampled and achieved independent verification from Scott, but thin.

Next time, double everything up!