Take That However You Want
I finished Ovid yesterday. The last thing I read was the letter from…now I’ve forgotten…Medea to Jason. No, it was Sappho to Phaon, whoever that is. I had to check. You can see how much it impacted me.
It’s essentially a remake of the other letters, which are remakes of each other. Sappho said a couple of things that were relatively clever, but they weren’t clever enough to raise her above the level of the other jilted stalkers.
My main reaction to finishing Ovid: relief. Of course. Now I get to read Augustine. I don’t like calling him “St. Augustine” because he’s not a saint. By that I mean he’s not better than other human beings. He’s not someone people should pray to. Great guy, maybe. Not a saint. The saints were created to replace the Greek pantheon. God had nothing to do with it.
If you had told me a year ago that I was going to have to read Augustine, I would have looked for a way out of it, as I did, successfully, back at Columbia University. After my ordeal with the Greeks and Romans, Augustine sounds like a trip to Disney World. Bring him on. I can’t wait.
The Sappho letter lends credence to the idea that Sappho was a truck-driving, Anne Murray-listening, overall-wearing ladies’ lady. She complains that Mr. Phaon has ruined her for women. After her Phaon fornication binge, women just don’t do it for her. Does this mean she was really a lesbian? I don’t think so. Ovid lived a long time after Sappho, so he probably didn’t know much more about her than we do. Once you get a reputation, justified or not, it tends to stick. Maybe Sappho had already been lumped in with the field hockey players and non-shavers of legs before he was born.
Maybe there is a document out there which proves Sappho liked women. I will never know, because I am done with the classics. I wouldn’t read another classic author even if his book was a collection of winning lottery numbers in Roman numeral form. But the document must not exist, because people who actually like the classics do not agree on her orientation.
I don’t know why I’m discussing this. Maybe it’s because it’s the only thing about Sappho that is even remotely interesting.
It’s hard to think of anything exciting enough to follow up speculation about whether Sappho was a flannel-wearer, but I will try: today my belt grinder is going to arrive. If Fedex gets it right. I ordered it a week ago, and the shipper decided to fix it so it required a signature, so I’m stuck at home.
I think I made a good buy. I’m spending maybe $200 more than the cost of building my own grinder, but I will save a pile of work and time, and it looks like the grinder I chose–the Oregon Blade Maker–is a tremendous deal and a good product.
I say that before trying it.
If Sappho were alive, I bet she’d have a belt grinder.
Is it okay to make jokes like that? I don’t actually care, but I guess these days it’s likely to bring out the pierced and tattooed villagers with thrift store torches and Ikea pitchforks.
The coming increase in the persecution of Christians is a frequent topic here, but there are some aspects I haven’t thought about yet. Here’s one that just occurred to me: we will probably be beaten and imprisoned by hipsters. That’s terrible. It’s embarrassing. I’m not sticking up for the Nazis, of course, but I feel like it’s less of a blow to your self-respect when the man who shoots you in the head is wearing a smart military uniform with shiny death’s head pins. We’re going to be murdered by “men” who look like Snuggles the Fabric Softener Bear with glasses. It will be like getting punched out by Truman Capote.
Suddenly the Romans don’t look too bad. Having your brains clubbed out by a 6’8″ barbarian centurion…that’s a man’s death. Centurions didn’t have to say, “Hold my latte,” before they killed people. We’re going to be slaughtered by the snowflake patrol.
I never thought musing about persecution would look like this. You have to wonder what people will make of it when I’m gone.
I would not be the first Christian to have a sense of humor about it. They say that when Lawrence was roasted on a grill (by the church), he looked up and said, “I’m well done. Turn me over!”
If I have to take sides, I think I’ll side with John, not Lawrence. Lawrence was grilled, and grilling is about health, not flavor. John was deep-fried. It didn’t take, but it was certainly a superior method of preparation. Now that we know KFC’s secret recipe, I can request to be breaded.
I look forward to trying the grinder, but it won’t solve my scale problem. I will still have to find a way to clean mill scale off of steel, without ruining the shape of the metal. A surface grinder would be great to have. Another possibility: buy steel a little oversize and put screw holes at the ends. Screw it to a big piece of metal, put the metal in the mill vise, and mill the scale off. The large piece of metal and the screws would hold it flat, better than a vise could.
While I wait for the grinder, I’m working on my next food project. I keep making large batches of food so I can reheat during the week instead of cooking from scratch over and over. Yesterday I gave up and bought collards, hocks, neck bones, corn meal, tomatoes, and Vidalias. I’m going to make collard greens and hoe cakes. I just hope I don’t overeat. This food will be off-the-charts good.
I look forward to making the hoe cakes, because I have a Griswold griddle I’ve never used. I Ebayed it and used electrolysis to get the crud off. It looked brand new when I was done. Then I seasoned it with bacon fat. It should be wonderful to use. A griddle is great for things like pancakes and crepes, because it provides easy access for a spatula.
I don’t think I’d want to be griddled. I keep hoping I’ll be hit by a meteor. I can’t come up with anything that beats that plan. Makes a mess, but that’s not my problem.
Maybe I’ll post a photo if I get the grinder running. Or maybe I’ll just lie on my back eating hoe cakes.