Monday, November 03, 2008

brass jug wonder and a famous Christian reactionary

Talking about sacred use of metals, here's a cool anecdote empty vessels:

"Scientists from Britain and India recently investigated a long-held belief among people in India that storing water in brass pitchers can ward off illness. (Brass is an allow of copper and zinc.) They filled brass pitchers with sterile water inoculated with E. coli bacteria and filled other brass pitchers with contaminated river water from India. In both cases, they found that fecal bacteria counts dropped from as high as 1,000,000 bacteria per mililiter to zero in two days. In contrast, bacteria levels stayed high in plastic or earthenware pots. Apparently, just enough copper ions are released by the brass to kill the bacteria but not enough to affect humans." pg. 327 Chemistry and Chemical Reactivity, 7th edition

In other news, I speculate that Chronicles of Narnia author C.S. Lewis was a reactionary by the most basic definition of the word. Unless I miss my mark, Narnia books were created to counter Robert Graves' theories about pre-modern, matriarchal Middle Eastern and European societies which primarily honored female deity. Lewis' first Narnia book was published to years after Graves', in 1950 C.E. Here's my evidence, you be the judge.

"Graves' thesis was, among other things, that greatness was a pathology; “great men” were essentially destroyers and “great” poets not much better (his arch-enemies were Virgil, Milton and Pound), that all real poetry is and has always been a mythic celebration of an ancient Supreme Goddess, of whom Frazer had only confused glimmerings, and whose matriarchal followers were conquered and destroyed by Hitler's beloved Aryan hoards when they emerged from the Ukrainian Steppes in the early Bronze Age (though they survived a bit longer in Minoan Crete). In a book called The White Goddess: An Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth, he claimed to map out the rudiments of her calendar rites in different parts of Europe, focusing on the periodic ritual murder of the Goddess‟ royal consorts, among other things a surefire way of guaranteeing would-be great men do not get out of hand, and ending the book with a call for an eventual industrial collapse."
(pg 9-10, "Anarchist Anthropology" by David Graeber)

The first novel in C.S. Lewis' series of 7 is titled "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe". In his story, 4 Earth children are transported to a fantasy land of Judeo-Christian humans, animals, satyrs, and centaurs. There, the creator God is a lion named Aslan who deems to leave Narnia to its own devices after he's finished making it. His exit is followed by the inauguration of dictatorship. A near-omnipotent being simply known as "the White Witch" has the place under martial law, and keeps Narnia's seasons from progressing past the heart of winter through her magic. (Later, we are to learn that she is an alien from yet another parallel world, who committed planetary genocide by uttering a forbidden magic word and escaped into Narnia at the beginning of history with Aslan's permission.) Aslan comes back and with the help of the Earth children, kills the White Witch and sets up the 4 children as rulers in her stead and leaves again.

I'm feeling very un-Christian today.

7 comments:

Hakim Baker said...

Fascinating. All of it.

donald423 said...

I'm looking into non-plastic water bottles, and I figured someone somewhere might make brass ones. Well, Sigg does, but they're lined with some kind of lining! So the brass doesn't contact the water! Oh well.

Non-plastic water bottles are expensive--but, in theory, a one-time-only expense, and I'd never again have to think about bringing home plastic water bottles from work to have some on hand for when we go out or whatever. Hmmmmm.

Charles said...

Despite any influence from the powers of creative chaos which stand at your beck and call, something as solid, wonderful and real as a brass water jug would be hard to misplace, difficult to harm and why would anyone steal it? Good luck in the search.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

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D. Lollard said...

OK, that's enough "It was rather interesting". Is Anonymous phishing, or what?

vivir vino veritas said...

yeah seriously who the fuck would say something so vague? are you a robot sent to annoy us?