The Free State
"Man, in a word, has no nature. What he has is - history."

Sunday, September 30, 2007

New banner

I've been meaning for some time to replace the blog's banner with something a little less belligerent... I'd been struggling a long time to find something appropriate... I started with rather cluttered images trying to get all my influences together. I think the idea was to get people together who'd advanced freedom (or made a noble attempt at it) or developed my understanding of freedom.

I couldn't decide whether to have these folks looking off towards freedom or have them staring, more or less disturbingly, towards the reader.

In the end I figured this was too much at once, too cluttered, and random.

I settled for a simple contrast between the Buddha (a Greco-Buddhist statue made from under the Hellenic influence in India following Alexander the Great's invasion) and the Pharaoh Khafra (he has the second biggest pyramid in Giza, I would have gone for Khufu, who has the biggest pyramid, but the only portrait of him we have is a lousy statuette).

The link isn't obvious, but maybe the Frantz Fanon quote (one of my favorite: "Irresponsible, hanging between Nothingness and Infinity, I began to cry.") binds them to gether. Buddha, from my very limited understanding of him, said that all pleasure and accomplishment was ultimately fleeting and unsatisfactory. Therefore, the good life was to free oneself of unreasonable desires, and not to vainly pursue this or that red herring.

The pyramids of Egypt, on the other hand, have represented throughout the ages a kind of ultimate human achievement. They are tombs, monuments to the death of a man, that is, man's final attempt to matter even though his life will inevitably end. The pyramids aimed for the eternal, and being the only wonder of the ancient world remaining, they have been the most successful. In fact, they have become tombstones, or rather the epitaph, to an entire civilization and have reserved for that civilization, a glorious, almost divine, place in the imaginations of all peoples who have known what they left behind. They are the ultimate vanity.

So yeah... between Buddha and Pharaoh.


Blogger cswilly said...

Like the new banner and the helpful explanation. Also your second people banner was good too.

9:12 AM  

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