the truth about history
Judging by the present, all our interpretations of deep-historical human behaviour are over-dignified. Instead of, “This item was probably part of a religious ceremony,” for instance, we should always prefer: “They used this as part of some stupid fad.” Or: “It was that generation’s version of the Yo Yo.” Archeology by kitsch: foundational myth as pulp: the Mysteries as am-dram. Melinda dresses like a mermaid and sits on a rock staring out to sea. In the arena, Ronnie is pretending he can jump bull. Bull-jumping used to be a dangerous sport, but with today’s techniques and equipment, anyone can have fun at it. Later, they’ll go up to the limestone caves and watch the dogging. Then Melinda rests her head on Ronnie’s shoulder in the warm dark and you can hear her say: “It was a lovely holiday but let’s do something else next year. Everyone’s going to Hittite Anatolia these days.” Fantasy that rips off history should always take account of this.