Stirring the Ancient Imagination

Of all the archaeological treasures that Egypt can still boast for today’s intrepid traveler, those monuments based in the Nile Delta have suffered the worst due to the onslaught of the centuries. Once a region teeming with some of the most resplendent and beautiful temples in Egypt, along with numerous metropolitan areas that were the artistic envy of the classical Mediterranean world, little is left to entice the wonder-lit hopeful eager to revisit Egypt’s glorious past.

Temples once lauded for their monumental beauty by men like Herodotus, Plutarch, and Alexander the Great were quick to be dismantled after the collapse of the Egyptian culture while Rome was declining as an empire. First, the rise of Christianity amid the majestic streets of old Alexandria prompted desecration of the old “pagan” sanctuaries, which ended-up serving as quarries for the erection of church buildings after the Constantinian watershed of the Fourth Century. Even more damage was done to the incomparable majesty of the archaeological landscape when the spread of Islam in the early Medieval Period demanded yet greater amounts of stonework for the building of mosques and palaces.

Priceless examples of historical learning and glory were thus erased by the successive priorities of the world’s two greatest religions, sending much of Egypt’s own, unrivaled five thousand-year architectural, religious, and engineering glory into the shadows. What a tremendous loss for humanity’s self-understanding has been occasioned by the utter destruction of colossal landmarks like the Library of Alexandria, the Serapeum in the same city, the temples of Neith at Sais and Naukratis, the shrines of Bastet and Wadjet in Bubastis and Buto, and the mysterious Labyrinth not far from the Fayyum. This kind of ruination is nevertheless part of the human story itself, with one empire and its traditions eventually conquering and erasing the evidence of great empires that came before.

Luckily, new and exciting discoveries are still rising from the silty farmlands and remaining marshes of the vast Nile Delta. THIS ARTICLE details some of the latest excavation work that has been completed at the site of the temple of Wadjet in the fabled city of Buto. It was in this prehistoric settlement that the mighty shrine of Egypt’s greatest cobra-goddess once rose to thousands of years of religious prominence as the symbolic center of Pharaonic rule in the northern portion of the Egyptian empire. Admittedly, not much remains to generate excitement for the average tourist, but the pithy remnants of once-grandiose colonnades can lead the careful observer on a trip back in time, telling the story of over forty centuries of Egyptian learning and ritual grandeur. The avid seeker of ancient Egyptian history and wisdom will be rewarded by sites like this as they are further developed to receive visitors from around the world … just as they did in the days of Herodotus, who wrote of such places with words of unequivocal awe.

Contact your travel agent and Egyptian tourist associations to plan your own trip into the magical, mystical past today. Heaven only knows what the next fifty years will bring to some of the human race’s greatest cultural achievements and touchstones.

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#AuthorJonathanKieran #JonathanKieran #WriterJonathanKieran #CaliforniaLife #OnTheEdge #Wistwood #JonathanKieranTheAuthor #JonathanKieranMusic #JonathanKieranNewAlbum #JonathanKieranArtist #Jericho #JonathanKieranJericho #JerichoAlbum #WritersOfInstagram #AncientEgypt #NileDelta #Excavations #TempleOfButo #Wadjet #LifeAmongTheRuins #AncientOrigins

Just Because It’s New Zealand …

… doesn’t mean that Great White Sharks don’t patrol that island nation’s glorious blue waters. They do, though attacks in New Zealand are surprisingly much rarer than those that have occurred so frequently in Australia.

This unfortunate young lady was apparently caught in a riptide when a juvenile great white shark landed a fateful bite on her upper left thigh: the favored spot for great whites when making a first strike against any mammal in the water, native to the waves or otherwise. Evolution has taught these terrifyingly efficient predators to approach and hit from the left side of their prey, for a traumatic, big bite upon the left “haunch” of a seal, sea lion, dolphin, or luckless human has the greatest chance of not only immobilizing the potential meal but severing crucial arteries, causing victims to bleed out quickly. In the case of human prey, the femoral artery is most often compromised after a successful bite and death occurs within mere minutes, barring extraordinary efforts of medical intervention.

Creepy, distressful stuff, this penchant of the ocean’s most formidable “lone hunter.” In the case of this young Kiwi lady, the shark seems to have been relatively small—perhaps only 10ft long, which is practically a sardine compared to the behemoth 20+ ft.-long white sharks cruising like submarines in the silence of the shallows for opportunities. But even juvenile white sharks are armed with lethal bite-force and rows of razor-sharp teeth. If they manage to score a perfectly placed bite in their favorite part of a hapless swimmer, don’t expect favorable outcomes.

This young woman and her gallant, would-be rescuers learned the hard way. Rest in peace, Kaehla, and may every possible comfort find its way to your stricken family and friends.

Also, forget the over-baked, misleading trope echoed ad nauseum by certain scientists that Great White Sharks always bite human beings mistakenly, assuming that they are seals. While shark conservation must continue in order to keep our oceans healthy, these intelligent creatures of prehistoric origin know exactly what they’re doing beneath the swell and the foam. A bite to the lower left side of any mammalian body indicates an attempt to score a meal, and great white sharks—possessed of fairly keen eyesight—can distinguish one form of prey from another quite clearly.

Learn to love the swimming pool or risk it, biscuit. We aren’t at our most agile in water. Not even in the bathtub.

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#GreatWhiteShark #SharkAttack #NewZealand #AuthorJonathanKieran #JonathanKieran #WriterJonathanKieran #CaliforniaLife #OnTheEdge #Wistwood #JonathanKieranTheAuthor #JonathanKieranMusic #JonathanKieranNewAlbum #JonathanKieranArtist #Jericho #JonathanKieranJericho #JerichoAlbum #WritersOfInstagram #ArtistsOfInstagram #AuthorsOfInstagram

Big New Jessi Colter News: Major Outlaw Music Documentary On the Way

Jessi Colter is the executive producer of this six-part, twelve-hour documentary regarding the seminal 1970s Nashville movement that enabled her, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Jerry Jeff Walker, and many other original writers to break the “sequins-and-satin” stranglehold of the Good Old Boys Club on Music Row.

Huge news has arrived for the world of music, whether one is fan of a rock, country, pop, blues, or plain ole Irish sea shanties. Singer-songwriter Jessi Colter, whose entirely self-written Capitol albums and 1970s hit singles like I’m Not Lisa, What’s Happened to Blue Eyes, and Storms Never Last sold millions and crossed from pop to country lists and back again, has joined forces with filmmakers Eric Geadelmann and Kelly Magelky to present  They Called Us Outlaws: Cosmic Cowboys, Honky Tonk Heroes And the Rise of Renegade Troubadours , a six-part, twelve-hour documentary about Nashville’s most earth-shattering musical shake-up.

On December 5, the Grammy Museum will host a special preview of the already acclaimed new film series. This event will also feature special appearances by Colter (who is executive producer), along with her son Shooter Jennings, Tyler Childers, John R. Miller and Abby Hamilton. Narrator Jack Ingram will be on hand for round table discussions about the major event.

Produced in conjunction with the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, the landmark documentary has been more than ten years in the making. In addition to legends like Colter, her late husband Waylon Jennings, and Willie Nelson, iconic figures like Billy Joe Shaver, Guy Clark, Emmylou Harris, Bobby Bare, Rodney Crowell, Jerry Jeff Walker, Charlie Daniels, and dozens of others will figure prominently. Contemporary mavericks like Miranda Lambert, Eric Church, Tyler Childers, Randy Rogers, Lee Ann Womack, John R. Miller, Jamey Johnson, and more will showcase their gifts and appreciation for the small cadre of singer-songwriters who paved the way for such a culturally powerful shift toward musical independence and major industry success.

Watch the trailer above for this upcoming tour de force and get your cowboy boots on: this account, as told by those who created and “lived” the explosive movement, promises to set the 1970s “outlaw” musical watershed in high-resolution perspective for posterity. Not to be missed!

Above: The inimitable Jessi Colter, executive producer of They Called Us Outlaws

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#WaylonJennings #JessiColter #WillieNelson #KrisKristofferson #JerryJeffWalker #OutlawMovement #TheyCalledUsOutlaws #MusicDocumentary #CountryMusicHallOfFameAndMuseum #GrammyHallOfFame #Legends #SingerSongwriters #AuthorJonathanKieran #JonathanKieran #WriterJonathanKieran #CaliforniaLife #OnTheEdge #Wistwood #JonathanKieranTheAuthor #JonathanKieranMusic #JonathanKieranNewAlbum #JonathanKieranArtist #Jericho #JonathanKieranJericho #JerichoAlbum #WritersOfInstagram #ArtistsOfInstagram #AuthorsOfInstagram

Heed

IF

the

Deity’s obvious plan

was to

have us rise above

the lesser animals

and sort of watch what happens …

… for sport …

then

you’d better hope it ALL ends

when we croak.

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(But fear not—there are two opposing Powers at work. Guess which one calls the shots in our mortal coil: The Cold, Calculating, Indifferent One.)

#AuthorJonathanKieran #JonathanKieran #WriterJonathanKieran #CaliforniaLife #OnTheEdge #Wistwood #JonathanKieranTheAuthor #JonathanKieranMusic #JonathanKieranNewAlbum #JonathanKieranArtist #Jericho #JonathanKieranJericho #JerichoAlbum #WritersOfInstagram #ArtistsOfInstagram #AuthorsOfInstagram 

Proof That Any Ole Piece of Shit Can One Day Be a Steamy Pop Hit

Definitely listen to this work of high art before arriving at any lasting judgments or conclusions.

The other day I went down one of those typical internet rabbit holes exploring lists of “Worst Pop Songs Ever Written” compiled over the years. You’ve seen them, too, at whiles. Many of the usual suspects were in evidence across the spectrum of polls and surveys when I was frittering about; I was already well aware of a number of these sonic abominations: MacArthur Park, (You’re) Having My Baby, Bobby Goldsboro’s Honey, etc., etc.

It might be fun to explore in further detail the abject hideousness of these and other frightful selections at a later time, but for now I wanted to highlight a musical atrocity with which I had never been acquainted. The song is called ‘Timothy’ and it was released in 1970 by a band called The Buoys. ‘Timothy’ reached the Billboard Top 20, peaking at No. 17—the only song by The Buoys to ever chart, so it’s obvious that his gaggle of goofballs never enjoyed the kind of sustained “career flotation” suggested by the name of their band.

Listening to the ear-bleeding, brain-frazzling slice of asininity that is ‘Timothy,’ one is hardly surprised that the band never went much further. Not only is their signature hit colossally repugnant, but they perform it with the sort of stunned, self-disbelief it deserves. What a hack job.

Far more pertinent to this little discussion, however, is the song’s (literal) gut-busting subject matter. ‘Timothy’ is a brief and idiotic shuffle, in which a tatty drum kit helps launch an incongruously perky and almost cheerful guitar riff into a tale of three young boys who explore an old, abandoned mine. The mine collapses upon the three morons (there’s Jeff, the eponymous Timothy, and the unnamed narrator of our saga) and, to put it bluntly, Jeff and the other kid cannibalize Timothy until they are rescued from the mine … with full bellies explicitly described.

The final lament from the narrator of this ghoulish farce concerns the fact that none of the rescuers ever “got around” to finding Timothy.

This, of course, brings up a lot of unanswered questions and conundrums. And I am a questioning spirit.

Presumably the rescuers knew that the three boys were trapped in the old mine, otherwise they would not have bothered to come looking for them, much less establish a complicated rescue operation/excavation in order to set the little bastards free.

Second, given the fact that Jeff (who, early in the song, declares he’d give his soul for a piece of meat) and his pal gorged themselves on Timothy’s flesh after killing him (?), why was there no evidence of the grisly repast once the “light of day” exposed the scene in the mine shaft? Don’t you think there’d be a section of intestine lying around down there? Those things are, like, sixty feet long or whatever. And slippery, they say.

Don’t you suspect that at least one or possibly both of Timothy’s eyeballs would have rolled away in the darkness after Jeff and the other kid cleaved his skull to get at the brain matter? Surely these boys didn’t consume Timmy’s eyeballs. Well, not unless these kids were Greek, in which case they may have followed the tradition of noshing on eyeballs popped or pried out of the Easter lamb’s head.

Did the boys actually consume Timothy—bones, hair, fingernails and all? That seems preposterous. But growing children can put-away astonishing amounts of food.

Did they bury Timothy’s clothing or shove it further down in the dark recesses of the mine? Did they cover-up the blood-soaked area with dirt, like a cat scraping litter over its embarrassing “business” in the box?

Was Timothy a fat and fairly stupid young fellow? This would make sense, given that he was apparently not quick enough to scoot away from the greedy clutches and snapping jaws of Jeff and the other kid, and not smart enough to sense that their hunger was potent enough to make him a prime candidate for lunch in the dark.

Why didn’t the boys just wait awhile before sampling Timothy’s sweetbreads? That entire slew of Thai kids trapped in the underwater cave went days without snacking on each other and, let’s be real: Thai is hard to resist.

The song indicates that there was plenty of water down in that collapsed mine. Why so quick to pounce on Timothy after only an hour or so and then moan and groan about how much they regretted sucking the marrow from his carcass immediately after they were rescued?

Weren’t the parents of these cannibal-brats concerned to hear their offspring locked behind the bathroom door a day later, straining to shit Timothy-turds into the bowl?

“Jeff? Darling, are you having trouble in there? Would you like an Ex-Lax?”

“Leave me alone! I’ll be out in a few minutes, Mom.”

So many unanswered questions and mercurial scenarios are posed by this enigmatic ballad that I feel a sequel-song should be written and disseminated to the public forthwith. Maybe even a prequel song. Or a song written and sung from poor Timothy’s point of view:

They were calling me a fat ass before they led me down

They always treat me like I’m just a roly poly clown

But little did I know that once the mine had caved right in

my buddy Jeff would sink his teeth into my juicy skin

The time is ripe—countless millions have surely been longing for closure all these years. The world owes it to Timothy.

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#BadSongs #WorstSongsOfAllTime #Timothy #TheBuoys #Cannibals #PopCannibals #AuthorJonathanKieran #JonathanKieran #WriterJonathanKieran #CaliforniaLife #OnTheEdge #Wistwood #JonathanKieranTheAuthor #JonathanKieranMusic #JonathanKieranNewAlbum #JonathanKieranArtist #Jericho #JonathanKieranJericho #JerichoAlbum #WritersOfInstagram #ArtistsOfInstagram #AuthorsOfInstagram 

Food Coma par excellence?

So a five-foot alligator was found in the belly of an 18-foot python in the Florida Everglades. Presumably, the python’s belly had to be slit open in order for rangers to make this discovery. How unfair. That python didn’t stand a chance of getting away, what with the 200-lb. meal stuck in its craw. That would slow anybody down. Taking inspiration from my previous post, imagine if Madonna swallowed Lady Gaga whole. Gaga’s only five feet tall, at best, and Madonna is always famished for something, apparently. I’m certain she could disengage her jawbone or whatever it is other serpents do and slowly consume her dwarfish pop rival, though the Germanotti schnoz might be tough to get down. Then she wouldn’t be able to move for at least four or five days, probably stuck on the floor of some bathroom near the toilet (where she had caught Gaga unawares in the first place.)

Poor Madonna would be be a sitting duck! Or, for those of cannibalistic tastes (which are evidently making something of a trendy “comeback”) Madonna would be a Turducken.

I know that I am not very lively after, say, a Thanksgiving feast. In fact, that would be an ideal time for any of us to be caught and dissected by curious specialists keen to grasp the mechanics of digestion. How fast can you slither away after all the cranberry sauce has been slurped-up and the sage stuffing has been ravaged? Be forewarned and keep one eye open as you snore, sprawled in your favorite chair by the crackling fire this holiday season. There is apparently no mercy for those who enjoy a good, well-earned gorge.

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#SaveTheSatiatedSnakes #Pythons #Everglades #Gators #FoodComa #ApocalypseNow #AuthorJonathanKieran #JonathanKieran #WriterJonathanKieran #CaliforniaLife #OnTheEdge #Wistwood #JonathanKieranTheAuthor #JonathanKieranMusic #JonathanKieranNewAlbum #JonathanKieranArtist #Jericho #JonathanKieranJericho #JerichoAlbum #WritersOfInstagram #ArtistsOfInstagram #AuthorsOfInstagram 

Madonna Has Gone to the Dogs? Think Again, Ye Doubters!

Yahoo news outlets seem to consider moldering pop-tart Madonna’s attempt to stoke the fires of publicity by hogging a dog’s bowl to be “edgy.”

Hate to break it to those alleged Arbiters of Subversion, but that would only be true if the dog’s bowl were perched on the very edge of a ledge atop the Empire State Building and America’s SweetFart were braving the winds to get a little quaff. Just imagine her, spider-like and feral, a parched tongue flicking in and out with little hisses, as that deformed face maneuvers into position above the stainless steel receptacle. Her lumpen, jacked-up fake ass wobbles this way and that in the capricious gusts above metropolitan NYC, the cartilage in her kneecaps cracking under the pressure of supporting such a grotesque keister. Against the merciless power of gravity she struggles to lower her chin into the dog bowl as dozens of media drones capture the Transcendent Artistic Moment. Clinging to the concrete before the Abyss, Madonna begins to lap at the dogwater, desperate to quench an insatiable thirst borne of decades long since spent.

Then, just before the work of creative genius has been accomplished, she lifts her soulless eyes toward the hovering drone-cameras, unable to resist the urge to make sure that her greatness is indeed being photographed. Her raison d’etre depends upon the functionality of those flying media tools.

But the need to reassure herself proves a fateful mistake; the lifting of her eyeballs sets in motion a tectonic shift that shudders through her dilapidated body, suddenly disrupting her already tenuous command of balance. A leather corset explodes. One drone is hit by the shrapnel of a silver Lagerfeld buckle. The drone wavers and wheezes in the sky, 1000 feet above Manhattan. Madonna grunts with displeasure when she notices the distress of this camera, this mediator of her Enlightening Artistry. The demise of the drone reminds her that there will be one less photo of her magnificence, one less angle from which her courage might be documented for the eagerly waiting masses.

The remaining synapses in her brain misfire. Equilibrium flies the coop. A malevolent tendril of errant wind coming from the wake of an uncaring jet far above wraps itself around Madge’s buttocks as they jiggle unnaturally in mid-squat.

My Lady croaks but one, telling word: “Whuh?” and then tumbles forward, butthole over pendulous bazooms, plunging like an ASS-teroid toward the pavement below. Trapped by the cruel forces of physics, the crooner of Papa Don’t Preach spins and flails, screaming out to the media drones above:

“Come to me, O vassals and conduits of relevance! Turn your lenses hither and vouchsafe my immortality by capturing the moment wherein I become a Picasso-type smear upon the fetid sidewalk!”

But the drones pay no heed, their cold eyes still affixed to the dog’s bowl still on the ledge, a true work of art which was spared such an ignominious end when its mistress lost her grip.

Madonna hurtles down down down, her heart defeated and the silicone bags filling every rounded portion of her physique bracing themselves for impact.

“Will they be able to salvage and reuse us in the body of another strumpet? Perhaps one of the lesser Kardashians?” these bags begin to ask themselves. Alas, all conjecture is in vain.

Madonna crashes, but not into the indifferent cement of the city. No no. In a divinely inspired twist of fate, Lady Gaga happens to be strolling by in three-foot high heels that match the exact length of her actual body. The Material Girl lands directly upon Gaga’s nose, whereupon she is both impaled and defenestrated, with no damage whatsoever to the Gaga schnoz, obviously.

The final Vogue is danced upon the walkway, strewn for nearly half a block in a colorful melange of gore. But this slurry of intestine and burst saline-bags does not give one the disciplined-yet-mischievous impression of Picasso. It looks more like a Basquiat.

Gaga ponders the mess for a moment, barely stunned. Her rhino-horn has withstood the very machinations of Destiny itself and she shrugs before moseying on about her day, sidestepping the wayward lobe of an overtaxed liver, one thought passing briefly through the acorn rattling in her own cranium:

I don’t know who that poor thing was, but she sure as hell left behind some edgy art. I could NEVER.

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#Madonna #DogBowl #Fame #LadyGaga #EmpireStateBuilding #EdgyArt #Desperation #ComingApocalypse #JustAnotherDayOnEarth #Drones #MediaSensation #AuthorJonathanKieran #JonathanKieran #WriterJonathanKieran #CaliforniaLife #OnTheEdge #Wistwood #JonathanKieranTheAuthor #JonathanKieranMusic #JonathanKieranNewAlbum #JonathanKieranArtist #Jericho #JonathanKieranJericho #JerichoAlbum #WritersOfInstagram #ArtistsOfInstagram #AuthorsOfInstagram 

Just “a normal part of life in Darwin.”

Yeah, that is the takeaway line from this brief story about an eleven-ft. saltwater crocodile ending up in someone’s backyard swimming pool in Darwin, Australia. It can’t be a mere coincidence. I think it’s destiny.

HARRIED AUSSIE MUM: “You kids are driving me nuts today! Get out of this house and go play in the bloody pool for God’s sake!”

KIDDIES: “Last one in is a rotten egg!”

Moments later …

HARRIED AUSSIE MUM: My word, but those kids are screaming louder than ever in that pool. What a lot of ridiculous splashing and shrieking. Well, I’m going to go out there and really give them something to cry about!”

Good luck, Mom. Hey, even crocs have to go where the groceries are plentiful.

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#AuthorJonathanKieran #JonathanKieran #WriterJonathanKieran #CaliforniaLife #OnTheEdge #Wistwood #JonathanKieranTheAuthor #JonathanKieranMusic #JonathanKieranNewAlbum #JonathanKieranArtist #Jericho #JonathanKieranJericho #JerichoAlbum #WritersOfInstagram #ArtistsOfInstagram #AuthorsOfInstagram 

And his teeth are pearly white …

Great White Sharks are making a tremendous comeback across the planet due to a few decades of environmental/conservational efforts and implemented articles legislation from Australia to Puget Sound. The evidence of shark-recovery is everywhere—not just in the increasingly sensationalistic and exploitative circus that is TV’s SHARK WEEK.

For example, Great white sharks are attacking, eating, and encountering more people than ever before in recorded history due to their increasing numbers and the ability to reach more mature levels of hunting prowess and sheer size. I, for one, could not be happier to see this crucial ecosystem’s revitalization signal a trend toward healthier ocean habitats. Long may they feast upon whatever fare they find delectable upon the cresting waves and amid the murky kelp beds. If you are in the ocean, you are a potential meal. Happy swimmin’!

Or kayaking! Read about this lucky Aussie’s close encounter with a Great White that could have easily flipped him out and swallowed him like an oyster on the half-shell. Better luck next time, Mack.

(Of course, I’m only being flippant. Every human life taken or impacted by the horror of a shark attack represents a genuine tragedy that can sometimes be prevented or avoided. Learn more about the risks of recreational ocean activities and about specific areas around the world that are known to be patrolled by large sharks of any genus. Ask your local lifeguard and wildlife expert and always use the buddy system when entering the ocean unprotected from … well, the ocean.)

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#Sharks #GreatWhiteSharks #IncreasingNumbers #HumanAppetizers #AuthorJonathanKieran #JonathanKieran #WriterJonathanKieran #CaliforniaLife #OnTheEdge #Wistwood #JonathanKieranTheAuthor #JonathanKieranMusic #JonathanKieranNewAlbum #JonathanKieranArtist #Jericho #JonathanKieranJericho #JerichoAlbum #WritersOfInstagram #ArtistsOfInstagram #AuthorsOfInstagram 

Cleo Isn’t Down There

I can understand why an eager archaeologist (along with various Egyptian Antiquities authorities) has been trumpeting the possibility of finding Cleopatra’s tomb beneath the ruins of a large temple site near Alexandria. Stoking the media-hungry fires of imagination generates great publicity for Egyptian tourism overall—I presume that authorities are eager to develop the Osiris and Isis temple at Taposiris Magna as a tourist destination—and the excitement certainly guarantees additional funds for Egyptologist Martinez’s ongoing exploration.

But the hoopla is, as usual, a lot of misdirected noise. There has never been any historical evidence or tradition that Cleopatra or Marc Antony were entombed at all, much less at a temple site fairly well-removed from their infamous last stand in Alexandra proper, as the forces of Octavian drew near for the final coup de grace that would launch a thousand tales of asps smuggled inside baskets of figs and a deceased Cleo dressed in all her royal finery and laid-out in resplendence upon her bier, handmaids dying beside her.

Mark Antony’s body may have been vouchsafed some form of semi-dignified burial; though he was considered a traitor to the Roman republic and therefore a sworn enemy, he was still a Roman citizen. Swift disposal in an unmarked grave would have been a likely fate for his remains; Octavian, flush with both anger and an exhilarating sense of triumph over his adversaries, may have been inclined to provide that much dignity to Antony, flimsy though it would have been.

Cleopatra, however, is a much different story. Despised by both Octavian and the rest of the Roman citizenry for her machinations with both Caesar and Antony, as well as her military overtures, the plan was to capture the defeated queen alive and transport her back to Rome, where she would be led through the streets in chains and subjected to exceeding humiliation—a legendary prize reduced to abject ruin for the jeering of thousands lining the streets of Octavian’s Triumph, his victory parade.

If the legend of Cleopatra’s last-minute suicide is true (and there is good reason to think that it is, though any number of poisons were more likely her mode of self-destruction rather than the romantic asp-in-a-basket trope), then Octavian would most likely have been irritated to discover that his nemesis had foiled his plans to desecrate her honor in a Roman spectacle. There would have been no nominal respect for her standing as Queen of Egypt. No way. Octavian hated her.

Moreover, the manner of Cleopatra’s burial—had she been given a proper one—would have had enormous religious and political repercussions alongside the already smoldering powder-keg of Egypt’s imminent absorption as a Roman colony. To have given Cleopatra some sort of regal burial in Alexandria would only have inflamed the hearts of the populace for their beloved monarch and stoked the fires of resentment against their conquerers from across the sea. To bury Cleopatra in the traditional Egyptian manner—even discreetly—beneath the foundations of a glorious temple like the one at Taposiris Magna would have been a political gaffe of astonishing proportions. The queen had already identified herself in her lifetime with the great goddess Isis, lifting herself to the level of semi-deification. Burying her in a traditional tomb at all, much less a tomb within a temple precinct, would have invited the ministrations of a popular cult to arise around the deceased Queen, further fomenting resentment and potential insurrectionist attitudes.

Octavian was far too intelligent to have made such a blunder. Even Cleopatra’s son, Caesarion, was easily murdered and likely left in some remote, desolate locale to rot and be eaten by animals during the escape attempt his mother had prearranged for his survival. The son of Caesar himself, bastard though he was considered by Rome, was hardly the recipient of any respectable interment, and Cleopatra’s power and allure cast far greater shadows than that of her ill-fated progeny.

From a political standpoint, Octavian would likely have told his new subjects that their Queen had been buried respectfully, discreetly, and secretly, the location of her tomb unknown. The matter would have been ended on a note of ambiguity, neutralizing any excessive swings of public sentiment. But Octavian being Octavian, it is not likely that he accorded Cleopatra the slightest element of traditional Egyptian embalmment, which would have required months of religious and magical ritualization, attended by witnesses galore, further fueling a period of organized mourning and probable furor.

No. Political stability at such a moment was paramount and Octavian was every inch the ruthless man he was said to be. In secret, he probably had Cleopatra’s body taken out to sea, weighted down, and dumped into the unfathomed shadows beneath the moonlight. If he was especially vicious, he threw her body to jackals on the outskirts of the desert or to crocodiles in the heart of the delta marshes. That would probably have given him immense satisfaction and Cleopatra’s people would have been none the wiser. The great Queen’s final fate was expedient by necessity, leaving no trace for her once-devoted subjects to follow or to later develop into religious and politically charged significance. She was almost certainly not buried with honor in a tomb beneath this temple they are currently attempting to showcase. I guarantee it.

Read about the present excavations (and publicity efforts) in the JERUSALEM POST.

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#Cleopatra #MarkAntony #TombOfCleopatra #Octavian #AncientEgypt #GoddessIsis #TaposirisMagna #JerusalemPost #EgyptianTemple #AuthorJonathanKieran #JonathanKieran #WriterJonathanKieran #CaliforniaLife #OnTheEdge #Wistwood #JonathanKieranTheAuthor #JonathanKieranMusic #JonathanKieranNewAlbum #JonathanKieranArtist #Jericho #JonathanKieranJericho #JerichoAlbum #WritersOfInstagram #ArtistsOfInstagram #AuthorsOfInstagram 

Zanzibar Rerun

Why not? It’s Thursday, after all.

#AuthorJonathanKieran #JonathanKieran #WriterJonathanKieran #CaliforniaLife #OnTheEdge #Wistwood #JonathanKieranTheAuthor #JonathanKieranMusic #JonathanKieranNewAlbum #JonathanKieranArtist #Jericho #JonathanKieranJericho #JerichoAlbum #WritersOfInstagram #ArtistsOfInstagram #AuthorsOfInstagram 

Rough Week Arises … New Album Drops

The past two weeks have been unsettling beyond description—for reasons far-removed from artistic exploits or creative endeavors of any kind. Accordingly, this has been a strange time to have a new album of songs drop on the international market. My mind has certainly not been fixed upon promoting the work with anything resembling enthusiasm.

That being said, my goals related to the release of this song-cycle have never been centered upon kindling some sort of all-out media apocalypse aimed at blasting me into the stratosphere as a hot new chart-busting SUPERSTAH.

Not quite. Not ever. Fame and celebrity hold no degree of interest for me. When I look out across the pop-culture landscape and see the various types of individuals who are so swiftly and interchangeably considered “famous” (in one way or another) I am disinclined to desire such a warped and toxically vain state of existence, much less to actively seek it.

On the other hand, producing quality artistic work—across a spectrum of creative media—does get my engine running. Any worthwhile rewards that may spring from such efforts are appreciated accordingly … with a healthy dose of wariness and incidental pleasure.

My album of self-written songs is certainly not aimed at the mainstream pop/rock audience, though I have heard works with a similar “vibe” achieving notoriety. A couple of years ago, while driving around the Monterey Peninsula with a friend, a song I had never heard before started to thump its way through the radio speakers. My friend was familiar with the song and was excited to hear it, saying, “This is a lot like the stuff you write and sing.”

I liked the song. It had a big, dramatic sound and, even though it was a bit on the dark and militant side, it was catchy in its own way, as well. For all of that, I could not see the similarities my friend mentioned, between this pop song and my own tracks, which at that time were largely in the “demo” stage of production. Then again, does any artist really like it when his or her completely original work is compared to the work of another? There may be a brief sensation of flattery (particularly if the comparable work is actually a work of evident quality) but, speaking for myself, it is not a big thrill to have one’s original creation compared casually to some other offering. Call it weird arrogance—and it probably is—but I don’t want to sound or write or draw like anybody else … even if I do, by happenstance.

Still, my friend insisted upon the stylistic similarity between this song and some of my own and I accepted the remark graciously, with not a lot of ensuing discussion. The comparison was intended to be a compliment: the song in question—‘Uprising’ (We Will be Victorious)—was by a UK group called ‘Muse’ and had been a big international hit some years prior to my hearing it for the first time. This much I learned after a quick Wikipedia search upon returning home. (Is there any kind of Wikipedia search that is not “quick”?) To say the least, my friend’s comment had piqued my interest, especially since it was made for the purpose of insisting that my sort of “sound” might have a place in a mainstream setting; I didn’t believe that was true.

I can now see a certain similarity, to an extent, and it’s intriguing to imagine a song of mine climbing charts … anywhere. The song by Muse has 244 MILLION views on YouTube. Holy shit. But the reality of the matter is that I wrote the particular suite of songs on my album for personal, cathartic reasons. I had long been involved with music and lyrical writing, since my teens in high school choruses and certainly in my subsequent young adulthood when performing with a few local bands at pubs and participating in choral chant, piano, and choir productions at the Cathedral of St. Augustine in its namesake Floridian town. When the time came, somewhat unexpectedly, to “give birth” to the songs on my new recording opus, the entire writing and performing effort sprang from an irresistible creative impulse to render some serious inner-conflicts in musical form.

I wanted to get that shit out … and do so with some measure of style and structure and panache, as is my wont.

More than anything, I was thrilled that the finished music captured what I was feeling at the time and matched what I was envisioning/hearing in my brain and spirit. ‘Tis as simple as that. The final result is a cycle of songs that is decidedly dramatic, emotional, cinematic, mystical, dark, mercurial, exultant, angry, anthemic … and hardly mainstream. In my own critical assessment of the material, I thought, “This is music that people will probably enjoy while stoned out of their minds” or “I could imagine some of these songs floating over scenes in a film score or soundtrack.”

Horror films? Coming-of-age films? Dark thrillers? Maybe. You definitely would not hear ‘em in a Disney animated feature. Or in a chick-flick. Well, unless one of the chicks was on her deathbed and the scene called for her friends to hold vigil by her side, dressed in black hoods and bearing candles.

I guess the music isn’t that dark, but it sure as hell ain’t ‘Louie, Louie.’

The plan is to let the tunes be enjoyed by anyone who happens to discover them and to market the entire set to cinematographers. If humans—by the tens of thousands or merely the tens—connect with the work in some way, I’m happy. Beyond that, it’s out there at last, y’all.

HERE it is on SPOTIFY, for instance. See ya ‘round the pool hall.

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