Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Sheik of the Burning Sands

With all the hoopla in the news about Egypt, I thought I'd mention that I went to a fund-raiser at OMSI–that's the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry–last week, and the focus was on Egyptian history and archeology. (Let me point out that my wife and I went as guests of a couple who have money to buy tickets for such things.)

OMSI, however, for those of you who don't live around here, is way cool, and one of the best hands-on museums in the country. A great place to take your kids and watch them go bananas fiddling with this and that.

It was black-tie optional–and I didn't opt for that, though I did wear a black suit and T-shirt, for writer's chic. 

The place was packed, and the Egyptian theme included a camel out front–who liked being scratched behind the ears, I discovered when I did that; belly-dancers; guys in harem pants and no shirts; and music and food and exhibits of mummies and speakers. 

We listened to a professor from SoCal talk about how she could tell from the kind of coffin used the social status of the person buried in it. Wood in that part of the word was extremely scarce, and back in the day only the top 5% of people could afford coffins for their beloved at all, and most of those were fairly crappy. Those you don't see on display in museums. And how these would sometimes be dug up and re-used, painted over (paint was expensive, too) and touched up, so that parts of one might be a couple hundred years older than other parts. Fascinating stuff.

I learned one story I loved (loosely interpreted here): Sekhmet was the Goddess of Destruction, Ra's daughter. He sent her down to take care of some retribution, but she went bugfuck and out-of-control, wholesale slaughter to the point where it scared him, so he dyed some beer red. Thinking it was blood, Sekhment drank a shitload of it, and it mellowed her out so much she gave up destruction and became known as Hathor, the Goddess of Love, Music, and Dance. 

Beer saves the world yet again ...

She also talked about the current unrest, and how some of her colleges still in-country were either hunkered down or trying to get out. 

I fear we are living in interesting times. Somebody maybe needs to dye some beer red. 

1 comment:

Jim said...

Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.
-Ben Franklin