I’m sure you’re wondering, BRP, where is the music stuff? What is all this about Mount Vernon, the Hokies and Mexican artists? And my answer is simple: hell if I know. I just go and do stuff and share it with you. Is that ok? Or as they said in the cheesy cult movie The Warriors, “Can you dig it?” Anyway, I’ll get back to the music soon enough, and you can choose to skip these posts and head straight to the music later if you want. Or you can read on, and I hope that I can entertain you for a few minutes.
Or if it makes you feel any better, you can imagine me writing this while I’m on a plane to Floridaaaaah while jamming to the great Undertones song “Here Comes the Summer.” Because that is the truth. And you can also imagine me on the plane grooving to the song while I type – you know, head bouncing to the music, shoulders moving, skinny little butt bouncing a bit in my seat, foot tapping, and sound on so loud that the poor dude next to me gets to share my song selection. Yup, the truth again.
In fact, the last time that I went to Florida, as I was exiting the plane the flight attendant commented to me that I really seemed to be enjoying my music and asked what I was listening to. I didn’t have the heart to tell her it was “Waitress in the Sky” by the Replacements, so I fibbed and told her that it was Beethoven. Haha, roll over, baby!
Anyway, I was in DC recently, and got a chance to hit the National Geographic’s display of “The Greeks: Agamemnon to Alexander the Great.” I like antiquity stuff, but I can’t fully explain why. Part of it is that I can relate to humans being humans and doing the same kind of stuff we do every day, but doing it 3,000 years ago without all the modern technology. I’m interested in learning how they did the mundane, entertained themselves, governed themselves, etc.
I also love the legacy of cool stuff that the ancients left behind that still is fascinating and influential: the art, the philosophy, the literature, the architecture. I like learning things like “classical” statuary in white marble isn’t how the ancients viewed them at all; rather, they were actually painted vibrant colors to make them realistic. Haha, the joke is on us! I also like the military history, and God knows that Greek history is chock full of epic wars and battles. And when it comes to the Greeks, I like learning about how this small collection of people in warring city-states eventually coalesced to fight outsiders bent on their domination, and then collectively developed the basics of Western Civilization that still form my world view: democracy, human rights, property rights, scientific curiosity and discovery, philosophy, law, and of course, art, literature and architecture.
NatGeo brought together some great historical objects, told a good story of the 5,000 year development of the Greek nation, celebrated its epic heroes, and did it all by using artifacts, videos and creative museum displays to great effect. For instance, when telling the story of Thermopylae (you know, the 300 Spartans led by King Leonidas that fought off thousands of Persians for days, but ultimately were slaughtered), NatGeo had a cool display of arrows in flight, shields and other weapons, and an efficient telling of the story. It was well done.
Unfortunately, NatGeo prohibited photos of the exhibit. Fortunately, BRP forgot this rule a couple of times, and snapped a few anyway. I think you’ll like what I have below, but recognize that this is just a fraction of what was on display. There was a lot to absorb and observe, and it was a few hours of well-spent time to get through the displays. Check out the photos below: yeah, the figurine is from the Cycladic period (of course!), and that’s Plato before he moved to New York and opened his Retreat. Yup, those are adorned hoplite warrior masks. And that gold myrtle crown is, according to NatGeo, one of the best preserved treasures from the ancient world – I believe them, it was stunning.
Now, that wasn’t so bad, was it? Thanks for reading – I’m back to music very soon, I promise. I have a couple more shows to review, a new Philly venue to be rated, the finale to the rock ‘n roll alphabet series, and some other posts that I have been working diligently on that I think you’ll find fun. Cool? Of course it is: it’s BillyRocksPhilly!!! Love you for reading and hope you keep coming back!
My name is Bill, and I live in the greater Philadelphia area. I love music, and I have a lot of opinions. This site is primarily focused on music, but sometimes I get off track. I hope you enjoy.