Monday 25th of September 2023

the goddess with the many boobies...

nature   Nature Adorning the Three Graces (painted between 1613 and 1615) is also known as Nature and Her Followers. Rubens did the figures, and his friend Bruegel (de Velours) painted the flowers and the fruit ornaments. The statue in the centre represents 'Mother Earth’ — the many-breasted Diana of the Ephesians

The three graces are the goddesses of charm, beauty, nature, human creativity, and fertility, together known as the Charites. In Roman mythology they were known as the Gratiae, the "Graces". The Charites were usually considered the daughters of Zeus and Oceanid Eurynome. The three Graces are often depicted naked.

The fat old man in the foreground is Silenus. A notorious consumer of wine, he was usually drunk and had to be supported by satyrs or be carried on a donkey. Silenus was the oldest, wisest and the best drunk of all... As the drinking teacher of Dionysus, he was one of the gods’ tutors — a group of phallic and half-animal that included Priapus, Hermaphroditus, Cedalion, Chiron and Pallas, the tutor of Athena.

When intoxicated, which was nearly all the time, Silenus possessed the power of prophecy. King Midas wanted to learn from Silenus. He filled a fountain with wine from which Silenus often drank (water? You’re kiddin’!). As Silenus fell asleep completely drunk, the king's servants took him to their master. Awakened, Silenus shared his philosophy, according to which "the best thing for a man is not to be born, and if already born, to die as soon as possible”… This could have been the motto of the Amazons now used by some modern angry feminists...

Midas was well-known for turning everything he touched into gold, including food… He died from hunger of course…

This rather smallish (107 x 72.5 cm) painting was believed to have belonged to the Duke of Buckingham, Charles I’s favourite lover ( see brexit, looters by royal appointment and by presidential decrees…). 

In our coronavirus-laced world, we can but wonder about the wisdom of Silenius and about the value of nature, which is more than fruit and flowers. But already in this painting, nature was idealised to serve the human needs represented by the three Graces. Our industry of lies was well and truly operational… 

That we need to carry on telling amusing porkies and serious tall tales, some of them well-entrenched in religious beliefs to serve the power of kings and popes, while others are “just for fun”, is part of our need for accepting deceit and story-telling entertainment to “pass the time"… and/or keep us enslaved to the daily grind under orders — believing it is our lot to suffer and be screwed.

Good Omens — The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (1990) is a novel written by Englishmen Pratchett and Gaiman — a satire about the son of Satan and the coming of the End of Times. The angel Aziraphale and the demon Crowley (this name is famous in demonic circles) together "want to sabotage the coming of the end of times" — having grown accustomed to their comfortable bourgeois surroundings in England...

There was a mixup at the small country hospital when the Antichrist, Adam, was born and he grows up with the wrong family, in the wrong village. Sounds like revisiting Monty Python's “The Life of Brian” or Jesus of Nazaria in Red Dwarf...

In an attempt to avert the Apocalypse, using "Madam Tracy’s voice" the angel Aziraphale tries to get Shadwell to kill Adam, the Antichrist. Shadwell is not convinced until Aziraphale lies about Adam’s nipples: "Oodles. Pots of them. His chest is covered with them — he makes Diana of the Ephesians look positively nipple-less.”

We are back to the top…. Diana is the goddess of nature, of the hunt and of the wild, but Diana of the Ephesian in the picture is a different kettle of woman.
Diana (Roman) or Artemis (Greek) was the Goddess of the Moon and of the hunt, the virgin protectress of woodlands and wild animals. She is often depicted with a bow and arrows used to punish mortals who piss her off. She was the twin sister of Apollo, and the daughter of Jupiter (Zeus) and Latona (Leto).

In Ephesus (now in Turkey), the temple is called the Temple of Artemis (Diana), yet it is that of Diana of the Ephesians, who may have been based on an older, possibly Eastern (India) or Egyptian deity.

Diana of the Ephesians was honoured for her fertility and as the nurturing mother. This is the image of the multi-breasted statue, carved from a stone "that fell from the sky” (a meteorite?), found in the Temple of Artemis — with lots of nipples.

The earliest version of the temple dates to the Bronze Age. Callimachus attributed this to the Amazons. it was subsequently destroyed by a flood, rebuilt under Croesus of Lydia. This later version was destroyed in 356 BC by Herostratus in an act of arson… His acts prompted a "damnatio memoriae law" forbidding anyone to mention his name, orally or in writing. The law was somewhat ineffective, as his existence is still mentioned. Thus, Herostratus has become a metonym for someone who commits a criminal act in order to become famous… 

The last form of the temple, funded by the Ephesians themselves, was described in Antipater of Sidon as one of the Seven Wonders:

I have set eyes on the wall of lofty Babylon on which is a road for chariots, and the statue of Zeus by the Alpheus, and the hanging gardens, and the colossus of the Sun, and the huge labour of the high pyramids, and the vast tomb of Mausolus; but when I saw the house of Artemis that mounted to the clouds, those other marvels lost their brilliancy, and I said, "Lo, apart from Olympus, the Sun never looked on aught so grand”.

In Greek mythology, the Amazons were a tribe of warrior women from Asia Minor. Apollonius Rhodius, in Argonautica, mentions that they were the daughters of Ares (the god of war) and Harmonia (the goddess of peace). The Amazons were brutal and aggressive, and their main purpose was war. They were successful at it… Xena, the warrior princess is a modern derivative in such our legend-telling… but the movie schedule has been delayed in New York apparently due to the virus, you know.

In the Christian religion, Paul was nor received too well by the Ephesians, possibly due to their Diana with the multi-breasts worship… he soon got the Ephesians to tighten their butts and have less fun:

"… But the incident terminated Paul's work at Ephesus. He evidently felt, in the light of this personal hostility to him, that the interests of the growing church would be better served by his absence rather than his presence. During his two years' residence in the city, the Church had become well organised; there were several responsible men well able to fulfil every duty of the Christian ministry and the Apostle felt that he could now resume his travels. He took his leave of them and set sail for Macedonia."

Weirdo!… Poor Macedonians… Great to see that the myth of Diana with the many boobies had not died completely and the Baroque epoch brought a revival. May be we need to worship Diana of Ephesus once more… Just for fun...

So far, coronavirus=twenty goals, humanity=nil, shaken but not out… Science to the rescue. And for Silenus to teach us nothing. We’re way ahead of him...

Gus is a rabid atheist…


what's life?...

The (simplified) view (1967) from Bruce Petty, the greatest cartoonist ever on this planet.




Bruce Petty, born in 1929 at Doncaster, a suburb of Melbourne, is one of Australia's best known political satirists and cartoonists.[1] He is a regular contributor to Melbourne's The Age newspaper.

His intricate images have been described as "doodle-bombs" for their free-association of links between various ideas, people and institutions. Age journalist Martin Flanagan wrote that Petty "re-invented the world as a vast scribbly machine with interlocking cogs and levers that connected people in wholly logical but unlikely ways."[1]


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Brunce, 91, is the doyen of us all. He deserves to be glorified in these days of isolationing darkness... The world has gone madder than what madness he ever drew... We need a Petty doodle-bomb about the coronavirus... The only thing I can do in Scott Morrison's imposed isolation is to watch old FATHER TED's episodes... The one about Christmas is a classic:



making sure silenus is looked after...

On Monday the UK government revealed new procedures for a national lockdown, with police called upon to enforce the strict regime in a race to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

The list of essential shops allowed to remain open amid lockdown measures in the UK sparked by the spreading COVID-19 coronavirus has been expanded to include off-licence liquor stores, writes The Times.

The list, put together by the Cabinet Office, was updated on Wednesday to add “off-licences and licensed shops selling alcohol, including those within breweries”, thus overruling the earlier government decision that only off-licences doubling as corner shops would be allowed to stay open.

As pubs and restaurants have been required to shut down in compliance with the new restrictive measures amid the pandemic, the head of Wetherspoons pub chain Tim Martin was quoted as deploring the fact that it was currently losing most of its business to supermarkets.

The news came in amid reports that the latter were starting to run out of beer, wine and spirits, despite data from opinion polls such as YouGov, which released findings on Tuesday that showed more than half of Britons were drinking roughly the same amount as they did prior to the enforced shut-down of pubs and self-isolation conditions set in. A quarter of those polled said they were drinking less, while 17 per cent said they were drinking more.

Meanwhile, as the “essential retailers” list has been updated, pubs and breweries have been triggered to start lobbying the government to allow them to make takeaway and delivery sales of alcohol.


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