In our bedroom, directly across from the bed, is a 27 inch flat screen Sanyo television. I highly doubt that this comes as a surprise. Most people have a television in the bedroom. Between the bed and the t.v. we have a coffee table with an equally unsurprising and low cost laptop on top of it.
I would wager that 75% of the time there are video games on the t.v. and a documentary on the laptop. We watch a wide variety of documentaries, mostly via YouTube and Netflix, but also on the PBS website and Al Jazeera.com. When I’m working I sometimes listen to music, but most often I have some documentary going as background noise while I enter data into an ancient computer program.
From these programs and the internet as a whole I have learned a lot of shit for free. I wanted to share what I thought was interesting, open the floor for some debate and or a chance to learn even more.
This post was inspired by a PBS Frontline documentary From Jesus To Christ: The First Christians.
I have been interested in the history of most religions and faiths for a long time now, so when I noticed this documentary while watching something on prisons or whatnot I was really excited to watch it. In the last week I have listened to or watched it probably 4 or 5 times. If you have ever watched any Mysteries of the Bible or Bible’s Burried Secrets then you have most likely seen many of the historians and archaeologists that are in this four-parter.
I’m not a historian and I’m not a film critic. This is not a review. I can tell you I felt as if the director or writer made sure that there were many educated opinions but that is about the best I can offer. I watched the damn thing 5 times and this video alone is an hour and fifty minutes long. Obviously I enjoyed it.
But here is the free shit I learned:
I didn’t even know that was a word, and until I just typed it I still didn’t know how to spell it.
Eschatology is a branch of Christian theology. This branch seems to be mostly concerned with the end of things. According to Merriam-Webster the word itself is not as old as it’s ideas, first being used in 1844.
Did you know that Golgotha and Calvary are the same place? Also that Golgotha means skull. I had no idea. Honestly, as an avid Kevin Smith fan I thought it had something to do with excrement.
I learned about the last days and moments of Saint Perpetua (astonishingly a real name a not just a snobby character in Bridget Jone’s Diary). This woman died in a way that was apparently perfect for her, nevertheless, reading her account made my stomach turn a few times. She was arrested for being a Christian in a Roman world and killed after refusing to give sacrifice to whoever it was they wanted her to. Like most martyrs Perpetua was happy to die with her brethren and for her faith and like however many Roman victims she did so in front of a large crowd of people eager to watch her perish in the most graphic way their twisted little minds could think up. One of her fellow prisoners was attacked by a bear while being held in stocks, another killed by a jaguar, and Perpetua and Felicitas (Felicity) were netted and attacked by a crazy cow (heifer to be exact, because the Romans were kind enough to match victim and means of death by sex).
Reputably the short chronicle I read was partially written by the hand of Perpetua herself, though I will admit after the first few paragraphs I was unsure who in the narrative was ‘speaking’. This is definitely a piece of Christian history but it does not matter what faith you follow or if you follow no faith at all. Persecution sucks. Persecution by means of manic farm animal sounds like it would be an overabundance of suck.
I would like to point out here that I have so far gathered all of this information for free. Moreover, it didn’t take long. When the documentary mentioned Perpetua I typed her name into Google and within seconds I was able to access her words. I didn’t even have to take my feet off the couch.
Anyone can learn this shit for free.
Adding to the list of titles I do not hold; I am not an artist, art critic or art historian. I am, however, a human with eyes. I like pretty and shiny things. I like documentaries because through them I learn about pretty shiny things that I would never be able to see otherwise. For instance, there is a Mona Lisa of the Galilee. She looks like this:
Mona Lisa of the Galilee
She is just part of a larger mosaic, according to Wikipedia it is 15 panels, set in the floor of a banquet hall discovered in Israel in an ancient town known as Sepphoris. The mosaic is mostly dedicated to the Greek god Dionysus, includes 28 colors and an astounding 1.5 million stones. (Bible Places) Here’s some more:
It’s not always quiet contemplation and scholarly chatter in the bedroom of Shrakk. Often we are poking fun at the commentators, names of the ancients, or discussing the production of the documentary itself. So here is a gem:
If you know who Richard Cheese is and have a minute of time, scroll down to the bottom of this post and click on the video I have included. At minute 42:30 you will hear a man singing. I’ll go ahead and assume it is some sort of religious song, but it is in a language I don’t speak. I am convinced, and after playing it for him multiple times so is Brakk, that it is really just Richard Cheese singing “Lady lady lady” over and over again. If you do listen and you do not agree with me, smoke a joint, then try again.
I have done my best in this post to include links to where I found the information I have shared. It might not all be legal, and it might not all be right, but it IS out there and I welcome you to show me any where I have gone wrong.
Below I’m including the video of From Jesus to Christ and a picture of Max (the cat) because he makes Brakk happy.