Da Black Whole

Thursday, July 28, 2005

The Late Show: Mildred Coming Through!

the historical Constantine the Great (272 - 337 C.E.) was the Roman emperor who "legalized" and legitimized Christianity throughout the Empire, after centuries of persecution

the DVD of the movie Constantine came out last week, the latest in a spate of "A-List" films over the last few years with strong plotlines or themes of "spiritual warfare" taking place amidst "real-world" phenomena and lives

many have dismissed Constantine as a superficial, action-oriented, comic-book film, but methinks that's a bit hasty . . .

Keanu Reeves plays the lead, very much as extension of his role in the Matrix trilogy, which also was driven by a "holy war" theme (e.g., the safe haven of the "rebels" in the trilogy was a subterranean city called "Zion")

in Constantine, the protagonist's sidekick/chauffer is a plebe named Chas Kramer, played by Shia LeBeouf (a surname reminiscent of Beowulf, the first epic poem written in English, which also concerns spiritual warfare and the paradox of the Heroic Monster, likewise applicable to the Constantine character)

Wikipedia notes:

This explanation reads the hero's name Beowulf as bee-wolf, a kenning for "bear" (due to their love of honey), and therefore links him to Bodwar Bjarki (Battle Bear), who somewhat corresponds to Beowulf in Scandinavian sources. The poem is the only substantial Old English poem to survive that addresses matters heroic rather than Christian.

"Constantine" is an interesting word in the above contexts -- one breakdown being con/stan/tin/e

if we identify the "con" syllable in usual denotation of "against," and the "stan" syllable with its near-anagram, "satan," we indeed get a name that reflects a kind of spiritual opposition or antagonism

the last syllable, "tine," is of course a prong on a fork (suggesting a tuning fork) -- and the word "tin" is prominent in Qim Tunes, an online document that also concerns spiritual warfare, like many of the Dead Sea Scrolls (e.g., the War Scroll)

the Internet Movie Database's page of "Memorable Quotes from Constantine" lists the sidekick character as Chas Chandler

weirdly, the IMDb review contains the following dialogue-clip, as Chas practices his tough-guy act in the safety of his taxi's rear-view mirror:

This is Kramer. Chas Kramer. Asshole.

that's a typical bit of dialogue from Chas, a character who -- against expectations -- actually comes through in the end, and turns into the surprise of the film, undergoing a transformation and ascent that we witness only AFTER the closing credits have run for the film, an unusual and innovative technique

ennyway, it's a very brief, but visually powerful, coda to the film, providing closure, and opening new possibilities for "future productions"

then this popped up today, an apparently unrelated "new's item" -- check the lead, with its apparent contradiction of the emperor's image being conserved for centuries in a Roman sewer -- an environment suggesting spiritual lowness or baseness, a "fallen condition"

Statue of Emperor Found Among Rome Ruins

By ARIEL DAVID, Associated Press Writer Thu Jul 28, 1:30 PM ET

ROME - A sewer might be no place for an emperor, but it is precisely from an ancient drainage system that archaeologists have dug-up a large marble sculpture of Constantine, one of Rome's greatest leaders.

Archaeologists found the 24-inch-tall head last week while clearing up a sewer in the Roman Forum, the center of public life in the ancient city, said Eugenio La Rocca, superintendent for Rome's monuments.

"We can't be sure of why it was put there," La Rocca said Thursday at a news conference during which authorities showed the bust to the media.
One possibility is that the sculpture of the man who reunited the Roman Empire in the early fourth century and ended years of persecutions against Christians was unceremoniously used later to clear a blocked sewer, he said.

La Rocca called the statue a rare find, saying that its insertion in the sewer probably saved it from the plundering the Forum suffered after the fall of the Roman Empire in the fifth century.

"Many portraits have been found in Rome, but these days it's not easy to find one, especially of this size and so well preserved," he said.

Experts confirmed that the sculpture portrays Constantine by comparing it to coins and two other giant heads of the emperor that are kept in Rome's Capitoline Museums, La Rocca said. The Carrara marble head probably belonged to a statue of the emperor in full armor, and was erected in the part of the Forum built by the emperor Trajan after Constantine conquered Rome from a rival in A.D. 312.

The style and stern features used in all of Constantine's portraits also recall the traits of Trajan, who expanded the empire to its maximum size in the early second century.

"Trajan was the greatest emperor and Constantine considered him a model," La Rocca said.

During his reign, which lasted from 306 to 337, Constantine tried to stop the fracturing of the empire and sought to restore it to its ancient glory. Although not a Christian himself, he ended the frequent waves of anti-Christian persecutions by proclaiming religious freedom throughout his lands. He also moved the empire's capital to Constantinople — today's Istanbul — closer to the Eastern borders threatened by the barbarian invasions.

La Rocca said that restorers will now take charge of the work, which will probably be put on display next year in a museum being built in the Roman Forum.

there's more to this thread, but for now we gotta leave it at:

this post is for you, Millie!

and let the future figger out the rest . . .



  • (The Prince of Egypt)
    music & lyrics by Stephen Schwartz
    [soundtrack song - The Plagues]
    [soundtrack song - When You Believe]

    [begin: Plagues]

    Thus saith the Lord
    Thus saith the Lord
    Thus saith the Lord...

    Since you refuse to free my people
    All through the land of Egypt
    I send a pestilence and plague
    Into your house, into your bed
    Into your streams, into your streets

    Into your drink, into your bread
    Upon your cattle, on your sheep
    Upon your oxen in your field
    Into your dreams, into your sleep
    Until you break, until you yield
    I send the swarm, I send the horde
    Thus saith the Lord

    [Interject Believe:]

    Many nights we've prayed
    With no proof anyone could hear-
    In our hearts a hopeful song
    We barely understood.
    Now we are not afraid-
    Although we know there's much to fear. We were moving mountains long before we knew we could!

    [from Plagues:]

    Once I called you brother
    Once I thought the chance to make you laugh
    Was all I ever wanted

    I send the thunder from the sky
    I send the fire raining down

    And even now I wish that God had chose another
    Serving as your foe on His behalf
    Is the last thing that I wanted

    I send a hail of burning ice
    On every field, on every town

    This was my home
    All this pain and devastation
    How it tortures me inside
    All the innocent who suffer
    From your stubbornness and pride

    [from Believe:]

    In this time of fear,
    When prayer so often proved in vain,
    Hope seemed like the summer birds
    Too swiftly flown away.
    Yet now I'm standing here
    With heart so full Ii can't explain,
    Seeking faith and speaking words
    I never thought I'd say.

    [from Plagues:]

    I send the locusts on a wind
    Such as the world has never seen
    On every leaf, on every stalk
    Until there's nothing left of green
    I send my scourge, I send my sword
    Thus saith the Lord

    You who I called brother
    Why must you call down another blow?

    I send my scourge, I send my sword

    Let my people go

    Thus saith the Lord

    [Moses and Chorus]
    Thus saith the Lord

    You who I called brother
    How could you have come to hate me so?
    Is this what you wanted?

    I send the swarm, I send the horde

    Then let my heart be hardened
    And never mind how high the cost may grow
    This will still be so
    I will never let your people go

    Thus saith the Lord

    Thus saith the Lord

    I will not

    [Moses, Ramses and Chorus]
    Let your (my) people go

    [from Believe:]

    A~shi~ra i'a~don~ai ki ga~oh ga~ah
    (i will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously)

    A~shi~ra l'a~don~ai ki ga~oh ga~ah
    (i will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously)

    Mi~cha~mo~cha ba~elim adonai
    (who is like you, oh Lord, among the celestial)

    Mi~ka~mo~cha ne~dar~ ba~ko~desh
    (who is like you, majestic in holiness)

    Na~chi~tah v'~chas~d'~cha am zu ga~al~ta
    (in your love, you lead the people you redeemed)

    Na~chi~tah v'~chas~d~cha am zu ga~al~ca
    (on your love, you lead the people you redeemed)

    A~shi~ra, a~shi~ra, a-shi~ra...
    (i will sing, i will sing, i will sing...)

    There can be miracles
    When you believe-
    Though hope is frail,
    It's hard to kill.

    Who knows what miracles
    You can achieve
    When you believe
    Somehow you will-
    Now you will,
    You will when you believe.
    You will when you believe.

    They don't always happen when you ask.
    And it's easy to give in to your fear.
    But when you're blinded by your pain,
    Can't see your way clear through the rain
    A small, but still resilient voice
    Says help is very near.

    Ben L.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 11:28 AM  

  • Some fall up. Some fall down intentionally to "help." Assignments won, assignments lost for both teams. All the world's a stage played out in burning vignettes in every corner of our souls.

    "Books are your first line of deception" - QIM Tunes

    This is not a dress rehearsal. We repeat: this is *not* a dress rehearsal. Cue the actors. And 3..2..1...

    Truman Show

    Christof: Cue the sun!

    Truman: Good morning, and in case I don't see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night! --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sylvia: Look at what you've done to him!
    Christof: I have given Truman the chance to lead a normal life. The world, the place you live in, is the sick place.

    Truman: What are you gonna do? Grate me, slice me or dice me? There are sooo many choices. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Christof: If his was more than just a vague ambition, if he was absolutely determined to discover
    the truth, there's no way we could prevent him.

    By Blogger Annie, At 5:06 AM  

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