Sunday, June 3, 2012

A Dusk of Idols: Not a concealed recording device, but a feature #2

O hai. It is a votive figure representing Abu the Sumerian God of Vegetation.
It appears in Julian Jayne's "Bicameral Mind" theory as an example of the 'large-eyed idol' phase in the development of consciousness. Jaynes reckons that Bronze Age populations created these idols as externalised symbols of the voices of conscience and forethought... ventriloquist dummies as it were, to allow them to channel these voices while the bicameral organisation of the mind broke down. This theory has the benefit of also explaining the popularity of Mickey Mouse and large-eyed Anime characters.

Sam Beckett arrived independently at the same conclusion, so Buster Keaton's character in Film rips up a foteau of this idol as part of his attempt to become pure esse without percipi which involves destroying anything in his room reminiscent of observation or self-awareness.
More recently, a similar fate met the original of the photo, after it had survived 4600 years in the mud-brick midden of Tell Asmar and 80 years in the Iraq Museum, subsequent to the US decision to open up Iraq for pillage. One could build an elaborate Dan Brown plot around this, in which Cheney and GW Bush set out to rid the world of reminders of conscience and forethought, but I am happy to ascribe the coincidence to the rich seams of Narrativium that underlie Mesopotamia.

8 comments:

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Why does Riddled hate the FREE MARKET so?
~

J— said...

Lost Treasures from Iraq

Wow, what a maddening, valuable site. I'm glad they've done this.

Substance McGravitas said...

Top image: PENIS.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Sam Beckett arrived independently at the same conclusion, so Buster Keaton's character in Film rips up a foteau of this idol as part of his attempt to become pure esse without percipi which involves destroying anything in his room reminiscent of observation or self-awareness.

Are you sure he didn't rip of a photo of an idol of the god of vegetation because someone slipped some Brussels sprouts onto his plate?

vacuumslayer said...

Jesus is a lame anime character.

I will just live this here:


Jesus Hentai

Smut Clyde said...

Eyedolatry!

vacuumslayer said...

*groan*

Rachel said...

Jaynes makes the Bronze Agers sound rather post-Freudian... how the hell did he make that reckoning?
Besides, forethought is a conscious thing in my books.
As for tearing up the photo, it's cuz he feels he's being seen through, analyzed, ruthlessly scrutinized, by the idol. Who wants that?