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Happy Solstice!

Okay, the Solstice is tomorrow, but I post late so you’d miss it. Ten o’clock here, and still light enough to walk around the garden.

Tomorrow is the only day of the year they close Stonehenge, so the silly hippies can dance around it and pretend they know what our ancestors did there. Which is more than usually silly because a) we have no idea what the Stonehenge people were up to and b) Stonehenge is fake.

Okay, maybe not fake fake, but it was significantly reassembled in our time. The circle saw reconstruction projects in 1901, 1919, 1920, 1958, 1959 and 1964, with stones being winched into place and set in cement. And if you can’t trust a site called www.ufos-aliens.co.uk (with ads for London hotels and an online casino embedded in the text), who can you trust?

Well, really. Constable painted the above in 1835, and massive umpty-ton stones don’t just right themselves, do they?

So, now that I think about it, it’s perfect: tomorrow, people will perform a ritual they hope is something like the original around a ring of stones archeologists hope is something like the original.


Comment from Scubafreak
Time: June 20, 2011, 10:48 pm

Damn. Next thing you know, people will be telling us that Rawhead Rex really ISN’T pinned under one of the pillars, waiting for the day when he can walk the earth again….

Sorry, Obscure Horror book/Film reference…..

Comment from Nina from GCP
Time: June 20, 2011, 11:08 pm

If you pretend to be a smelly hippy can you go on the solstice?

Comment from USCitizen
Time: June 20, 2011, 11:18 pm

And a very Happy Solstice to you and yours, too!

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: June 20, 2011, 11:31 pm

Fake holiday celebration? Is it Kwanza already? (Note to the those worried about creeping politically correctness – the spell checker corrected my spelling of Kwanza).

Weas- just a note “ruins” were very fashionable in England in the 1830’s – 1890’s so a painting might have been touched up to make it look more ruineded. ( Take THAT spellchecker

However here’s a photo from circa 1890 that shows you’re right so, uhm, just never mind.


Comment from Mark Matis
Time: June 21, 2011, 12:08 am

Yeah, Some Vegetable:
As if we haven’t seen PhotoShopped pictures before…

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: June 21, 2011, 12:18 am

Stonehenge is remarkably short on atmosphere, I must agree – though The Weasel slightly diseembles: the first time she saw it, just parked casually by the side of the road like a filling station, she almost squeaked.

Avebury, on the other hand, Silbury Hill or Wayland’s Smithy…

There are places an old badger could take you where even the most hardened septic might start whistling.

Comment from Nina from GCP
Time: June 21, 2011, 12:43 am

I squeek at old things too, and I’ve been known on occasion to squeek loudly when around them. I did a lot of squeeking last summer in Norway, and would likely do even more in England as that’s where my people progenitated.

My spell check is having a heart attack, and it’s good.

Comment from Sven in Colorado
Time: June 21, 2011, 12:57 am

Yanno….the manipulation of historic fact is ongoing. We all look through lenses tinted by our own upbringing, teaching and culture.

I love this book: http://www.globecorner.com/t/t35/17759.php

Tim Cahill is funny, subtle and sheds a sweet light on how MY Irish (celtic) forefathers kept the library alive.

Yeah, ’tis one man’s thought and research. Yet it is well done and delightful.


Comment from Rich Rostrom
Time: June 21, 2011, 2:17 am

Wikipedia sez that several of the stones have been concreted into place because they were about to (or did) fall over.


For real fakery, go to Japan. During the Meiji Period, the Emperor was “restored” as supreme authority.

That is, a cabal of powerful nobles used the Emperor as a figurehead for the abolition of the Shogun (who had held all real power for 850 years) and the creation of a modern state.

To ensure the loyalty of the Japanese people to the “Imperial” government, the cabal invented a bogus history of extreme reverence for the Emperor. To support this history, they faked up “Imperial tombs” from earlier eras.

Comment from Oceania
Time: June 21, 2011, 2:49 am

That looks about tight in that painting -there are other paintings and sketches also ..

Same problemin Egypt … those dirty brown people that took over Egypt in the later dynasties really ruined the architecture.

Then those filthy Muslims in 1200 AD took that Tura limestone blocks off.

Comment from Sporadic Small Arms Fire
Time: June 21, 2011, 3:04 am

Uncle Badger sez:
“the most hardened septic”.

Is it the selfsame druid who abstained longest from rinsing his codpiece?

Bonus question, with quadruple chooks now at Chez Badger, how often do you get to partake in worm pie?

Comment from SCOTTtheBADGER
Time: June 21, 2011, 3:07 am

A little penicillin will clear up a hardened septic.

This means, of course, that Wednesday, that days start getting shorter! Winter is coming! HUZZAH!

Comment from Sporadic Small Arms Fire
Time: June 21, 2011, 3:22 am

I am not even remotely a hippie but somehow I suspect that one can safely approximate the activities at stone kromlechs.

Ingestion of mood altering herbal supplements.
Emission of DNA evidence into undefended orifices.
Subjugation of gullibles and appropriation of their portable assets.
Blaming superior cultures for own squalor.

All right… all right… but apart from better sanitation and medicine and education and irrigation and public health and roads and a freshwater system and baths and public order… what have the Romans done for us?
Brought peace!

It is a sad state of affairs when one looks at a kromlech with yearning for civilization. United Skansenium is a caricature of its shriveled shadow. I regret to say as an erstwhile Englishman that the demise is self inflicted.
America is hellbent on arriving at the same destination it seems.

Comment from JuliaM
Time: June 21, 2011, 6:08 am

“Sorry, Obscure Horror book/Film reference…..”

Not that obscure… 😉

Comment from steve
Time: June 21, 2011, 11:53 am

Since Some Vegetable brought up Kwanza:


(I usually wait until Kwanza before posting this….but….)

Comment from some vegetable
Time: June 21, 2011, 1:23 pm

The Irish saved civilization, Sven? Even my grandfather Owen (an Irish Druid of the O’Bushmill clan) conceded that while Saint Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland even he didn’t get the pink elephants.

One wonders if those Irish monks didn’t colorize history a wee bit.

Comment from Oldcat
Time: June 21, 2011, 5:54 pm

The other funny thing is that the solstice the ancients were interested in was almost certainly the winter one.

Of the two solstices and the equinoxes, the hippies have chosen the least relevant by far.

Comment from Chucho Ysidor Morales y Morales de Fuentes
Time: June 21, 2011, 6:26 pm

¡Ay, mi culo grande! Las ruinas de pueblo Ingles, donde estan los burros?
Maricones y borrachos de Ingleterra chingy-chinga los terrieros.


Comment from Mark Matis
Time: June 21, 2011, 6:28 pm

For Oldcat:
Why should this one be any different than the REST of their choices?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: June 21, 2011, 8:30 pm

I think our excitable Hispanic friend is a drive-by Anglophobe of some description. Not sure. Babelfish is so tricky on colloquialisms.

Still, with an adorable winking weasel at the end, I’m inclined to forgive him everything.

Comment from Anonymous
Time: June 21, 2011, 8:46 pm

Ay carramba, they are letting all sorts of riff-raff into this impeccable kennel of mustelids. The Moat of La Manche is no obstacle to buoyant flotsam of Grand Armada.

Stoaty Weasel,

I’ve been meaning to ask whether you have ever seen a 1982 Peter Greenaway’s production of “The Draughtsman’s Contract”.
There appear to be present many a factor of peripheral interest.
English rural countryside? check
Sheep & Lambs? check
Art? Graphiques? Pageantry & Tomfoolerie? check, check and check.
Britisher Costumes from the bygone era of grandeur? in spades.
Gratuitous makings of beasts with two backs? hey, that’s written in the agreement, witnessed by notary and barristers.
Greyhounds? check.
Michael Nyman’s finest faux-baroque keyboard clackings? check.
Eccentric characters exhibiting bizarre behavioure? indeed, M’Lud.

I do not believe this movie has been batted around yet.


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: June 21, 2011, 10:06 pm

That looks interesting, Señor. In a louche kind of way.

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: June 22, 2011, 12:16 am

Huhn. I remember reading a review of “The Draughtsman’s Contract” that made it sound very appealing. Didn’t go see it, unfortunately–but how lovely to be reminded of the name! Wonder if it is out on the great inaweb?

Comment from Sporadic Small Arms Fire
Time: June 22, 2011, 4:12 pm

11 parts of shoddy image quality on youtube.
Netflix will ship you a DVD and that’s the option I’d recommend (DVD, not netflix).

If you liked Anne Louise Lambert in “Picnic at the Hanging Rock”, she does a whole lot more talking in “Draughtsman”.
Witty ornate repartees that are easier to characterize than to summarize. Think Voltaire fencing with Diderot.

The black and white drawings by Mr. Neville are exquisite.

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