The British Museum, and in particular, the Greek exhibit; represents literally the Areopagus to me. The ancient Greeks were the vanguard of humanity, so much so that we still learn from Aristotle today; they taught us what is beautiful, what is good, what is true. They taught us democracy, and the proper meaning of aristocracy. The Greeks taught us to admire the beauty of femininity, and not to hide it, they taught us what masculinity was; masculinity is contemplative wisdom, the aged leaders who are skilled at the art of words, and of swords.
Most of all, Aphrodite represents the eroticisation of perfect femininity to me. I’m sure that Antisophie is chastise me for saying this; but I think Aphrodite represents the peak of feminine beauty, her voluptuous curves as if to say I don’t care what you think, I am beautiful and you WILL adore me! Athene’s wisdom, her access to the world of intellect so powerful that men pale in comparison to her; yet she holds a shield and spear; Athene, perfectly wise, yet modest in dress, but fierce in battle, she is the true Athenian Idol, she is my idol; oh, how could we all be like her!
Aphrodite represents the height of attractiveness; she is sly and manipulative (as Venus, to Aeneas); she is tricky and clever, typically male characteristics, and most of all, she expresses this raw lustful beauty and eroticism about her; she’s so beautiful and sly, that no mortal can ever achieve her, no mortal man is ever worthy of her perfection. You will get burned by the claws of the Aphrodites of the world; but I don’t care…she’s worth it!
The Parthenon exhibit represents the appreciation and deference to the Greeks, it is almost as if seeing the same world that Socrates walked into as an Athenian. It is from the home of the true Areopagus; and the Acropolis. The Greeks represent the idols of my childhood, the civility that maintains my present, and the Areopagite future of a new.
The Greeks exhibit both beauty and wisdom, from Praxiteles to Plato, through Sophocles to Homer; Pausanias to Homer; they were the golden age of humanity; the stuff of dreams, the hope for the future.
The Greeks represent a passing fancy to a deep seated project for the future. They encapsulate every facet of human ideal from sexual desire to the life of contemplation. From the barred to the endorsed; they are the rose-tinted fantasy. and it is the British museum that facilitates my ridiculous fantasies; my longing to be close to those greats like Aristotle. My longing to live in a golden age of human development.
[minor eds. Sinistre]