Friday, 18 November 2011


Take a little trip back with father Tiresias,
Listen to the old one speak of all he has lived through.
"I have crossed between the poles, for me there's no mystery.
Once a man, like the sea, I raged.
Once a woman, like the earth, I gave.
But there is in fact more earth than sea."

These curious lyrics come from the song 'Cinema Show' by Genesis. Frankly, I'm a long paid-up member of the uneducated proletariat, so I hadn't a clue as to what these lyrics were alluding to. And re-discovering this song reinvigorated my curiosity. 

I really wish I'd been given the chance to discover the classics, or more to the point, had teachers who would inflame that curiosity in me when I was young. It comes down to teachers to inspire and it's the lack of inspirational teachers that was (and is) the real problem. But it's never too late I guess. 

I've always had the sneaking suspicion that women enjoy sex to a far greater degree than men. No, actually it's not a suspicion, it's a fact. And it's this that Tiresias imparts having lived life both as woman and man, and it's this that the lyrics allude to. What wonderful themes Greek mythology created.

Tiresias was much more though. He warns the mother of Narcissus that the boy will thrive as long as he never knows himself for instance. Cue Nemesis ... Such themes are an incredible and rich building ground for inspirational creativity. 

"She looks at herself instead of looking at you, and so doesn't know you. During the two or three little outbursts of passion she has allowed herself in your favor, she has, by a great effort of imagination, seen in you the hero of her dreams, and not yourself as you really are".

Taken from Le Rouge et le Noir 

I have such huge gaps in my education I wonder how I survive. 



I don't get many people visiting this blog so in an idle moment I had a look at the 'stats'. As expected, most visitors are from the UK followed by the USA. Well, it's in English after all.  But nevertheless there is a wide international range too. But the most popular post that generates most of what traffic comes my way is the one on red-heads. It's a popular search term that leads many here. But the weirdest search phrase has to be the one I saw today. 'Seeing a red-haired woman before fishing' 

What? I can't envisage what drove this person to enter such a seemingly unconnected phrase. What was he expecting to see? It has to be a he. My imagination is boiling over trying to work out such an incongruous statement. Is the red-haired woman a ghost perhaps? Or a secret lover? What? 

I'll just have to google it ...

And the result is interesting and something I never knew: Almost any fisherman will tell you that having a woman on board the ship ...can be averted if you speak to the red-head before they speak to you.


  1. Thanks for your Perceptions post and photo, and for guiding me to Genesis The Cinema Show. I am a paid up classicist interested in new visions of Greek myths. For me, pop culture is terra incognita!

  2. You're welcome. And I know which culture I'd rather know. The sea of pop culture isn't that deep.