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Venus Figurine Sheds Light On Origins Of Art By Early Humans

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Author Topic: Venus Figurine Sheds Light On Origins Of Art By Early Humans  (Read 503 times)
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« on: May 16, 2009, 08:32:00 pm »

                                   Sex, sex, sex: We've had single-track minds for 35,000 years

By Nigel Farndale
16 May, 2009

                                                            Venus of Hohle Fels:

                                                 An ancient sculpture with a familiar form

 Exactly 35,000 years ago – archaeologists are strangely precise about these things – a caveman in what was
to become southern Germany started whittling away at a tusk. He was about to create one of the first sculptures
in the history of art. But what would his subject be? A bison? A mighty redwood?

No, of course not.

It was a woman with large breasts.

An expert at Cambridge University has described this newly-discovered figurine as "bordering on the pornographic". She is being called the Venus of Hohle Fels, after the region in which she was found.

Little is known about the budding Rodin who carved her, other than, and I am quoting from official sources here, "he definitely had the horn".

Contemplating this Stone Age Jordan, I had an epiphany of sorts. Not a profound one, I admit, but an awareness of a fundamental truth about the human condition nonetheless. It really is all about sex, isn't it? Sex, sex, sex. We hide our shameful nakedness under layers of clothing and pretend that we have better, more cerebral things to think about, but sex is always there, lurking in the shadows of our unconscious minds. It is the great secret we all share, the dark continent, the subject of subjects. Sex is, moreover, the psychological thread that takes us back to the caveman, via Freud, Boucher and Socrates (who reckoned the male libido was like being chained to a madman).

I remember Auberon Waugh having a similar revelation and, from that moment on, finding a way to have the word "sex" printed somewhere on the cover of every issue of Literary Review. He understood that sex is the motivation behind all our actions, what makes us robots – or rather hairless proboscis monkeys – servicing the interests of our selfish genes.

The money we make, the music we listen to, even the politicians we vote for, all is to do with sex. Think of Clement Attlee… OK, perhaps not a good example, but how about Barack and Michelle Obama? They had sex appeal as a couple before they moved in to the White House. But now? Kissinger said power was the great aphrodisiac, and he was right. It is the reason, the only reason, John Major and John Prescott can be mentioned in the same sentence as Jack Kennedy and Bill Clinton.

Then there is Sir Tim Berners-Lee to consider. He invented the most magical, potentially creative tool in history – the World Wide Web – and what was the first thing mankind did with it? Searched for ****.

We can't help it. According to Nature magazine, within a second or two of a heterosexual man and woman being introduced, their brains will have made a thousand tiny calibrations about whether they want to procreate with each other. Not that we are shallow or anything.

Joanna Lumley. She's another good example. Even the high-minded Charles Moore has been swooning. And when John Major first sat in the Cabinet Room after becoming Prime Minister, he asked his aides: "So I can invite anyone I want for lunch… even Joanna Lumley?" Would the Gurkhas' cause have been as popular had Susan Boyle been their champion?

* Anyway. Croquet. A game so good not even an association with John Prescott can diminish its appeal. But as well as bringing out a player's competitive side, it also makes him or her homicidal. A new book about Bonnie and Clyde reveals that the couple once tried to steal a car from four old ladies who were playing croquet. When they demanded the keys, the old ladies attacked them with their mallets so viciously that the bankrobbers had to run away. Anyone who has ever played croquet will know how this could happen.

* Incidentally, there is more to Joanna Lumley than sex appeal and a breathy voice. She has great wisdom and tact, too – as I discovered in 2002 when I said something to her that still makes my toes curl. She had been shrewd to quit Absolutely Fabulous while the show was at its peak in 1996, I suggested, rather as John Cleese had done with Fawlty Towers. Because I don't watch television much, I hadn't realised that she had recently done a whole new series of Ab Fab – one that had not been a ratings triumph. Instead of embarrassing me by pointing this out, she just smiled graciously and steered the conversation away. Such charm. And the other reason she brings out the caveman in Charles Moore.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2009, 08:35:19 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
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