Thursday, July 02, 2009


LAOCOÖN, n. A famous piece of antique scripture sculpture representing a priest of that name and his two sons in the folds of two enormous serpents. The skill and diligence with which the old man and lads support the serpents and keep them up to their work have been justly regarded as one of the noblest artistic illustrations of the mastery of human intelligence over brute inertia.

2009 Update: A Trojan priest wise enough to warn his comrades against Greeks bearing gifts but impetuous enough to father two sons. For their lesser incaution, the Trojans were punished with death but allowed to retain some dignity.

Update: Good eye, Jim. The slip, however Freudian, isn't mine. I copied and pasted from The online Devil's Dictionary and missed the error you caught. I checked the book and Bierce is also innocent.


Jim said...

Hi Doug, I'm going to see where this sculpture is located, I may have walked right past it in my travels and not have appreciated it's part in history.
BTW, I see you called it 'scripture,' is that a Freudian slip letting us all know you are preparing a sermon for Sunday?
Jamie Dawn used to do that preaching on-line. She had too many attendees and comments to answer and had to give it up I guess.
Aren't you glad I came early this morning?

TLP said...

So the moral is to use Trojans and thus avoid having sons? Is that where the brand name came from?

sauerkraut said...

Strap 'em over your achilles heal, TLP. Works best there. ;-)

Nessa said...

Can you truly call Bierce innocent, Doug?

The gods sure are jealous of human sexuality.

btw, Doug, nice rap a few posts back. You could have a second career going there.

Minka said...

aemmm..........I'll be back!!!

Jamie Dawn said...

That's a pretty amazing sculpture.
I have nothing remotely interesting to add.

G said...

This defies further defining. Tibbar tibbar mate!

All I can say is "uricle!" - my verifier.

F. O. said...

That's a horse of a different color. Trojan or otherwise.

cooper said...

Beauty our of tragedy, and I don't mean not having your Trojan's.

Doug The Una said...

As noted, Jim, good catch.

TLP, you're such a Cassandra.

This is why you have children, Sauerkraut.

Nessa, good point. I probably should have contextualized more. Much more. I'm the least dapper rapper.

Was it the snakes, Minka? Sorry about that.

A-bell, the catecombs of the old archbishopric in Cuzco is filled with art made from the skulls of dead monks. This is mild by that standard.

Wow, JD. I didn't know you did art criticism, as well. Many, many talents.

Don't worry, G. We hadn't forgot your birthday.

F.O., if you're just going to change your name every time why not stick with "anonymous?"

No, Coop. Thank you.