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I don’t know how to say “I’m luvin’ it” in Ancient Greek, but that was my reaction upon discovering that Radio Beeb is currently running a series called Acropolis Now, billed as “a sitcom set in Ancient Greece”.

Currently on offer: Episode 5, War -“Xanthippe’s luck is in as the war-like, sex-mad Spartans arrive in Ancient Athens.”

Coming up: Episode 6, Sheep – “Socrates and friends enter the Intellectual Olympics, but Heraclitus is side-tracked.”

I’ve got to set some time aside soon to check these out.

A glass of wine with Scufulans hirsutus.

**Spot the quote.  Another of my favorite Ancient Greek humor bits, but only worth 1.5 points because it’s so easy.

UPDATE: Oh, what the heck.  Here you go:

(I love it when the streams cross.)  Enjoy!

Now that the gels’ softball season has started, on several days of the week I have to head in to the office early in order to be able to get out in time for practices, games and whatnot.  What with daylight savings and all, my commute is in the pre-dawn, when the sky in the east is just starting to change color from black to dismal gray.

It’s a dank, dead thing, the fag-end of the night, and not an especially pleasant time to be oot and aboot.  On the other hand, it always brings about fond memories of my yoot, when I was dragged out of bed well before sun-up to go hunting or fishing with the Old Gentleman.  By the time the trees and buildings were just beginning to show in sillouette against the sky, we would already be well on our way to the deer stand, the duck blind or the first marker toward the bay where we fished.

It’s been, oh, well over twenty five years since I did anything like that.  Nonetheless, in my still half-asleep condition on my commute, especially when I smell cigarette smoke (the old boy smoked like a chimney back then), I sometimes almost fancy that I’m heading off on another one of these expeditions and not just to my desk.

In the coming days there will be many nooz articles about state revolts against the new guv’mint health regime.

Note to reporters and pundits: It’s “attorneys general” not “attorney generals”.

Thank you.

The Times has a fascinating little story on the sale of a letter written by Adolph Hitler to a Daily Express correspondent in 1931:

The letter is the very model of courtesy, expressing warm thanks for the British journalist’s “kind invitation” and speaking enthusiastically about the “truly cordial relationship” between the British and the German peoples. It is also from Adolf Hitler and yesterday was sold at auction at Bonhams for the knockdown price of £8,000.

“It was the most incredible bargain,” said the American buyer, Kenneth Rendell, owner of a Second World War museum in Massachusetts. He would, he said, have paid up to £50,000.

The letter, dated September 30, 1931, was Hitler’s response to an invitation from Sefton Delmer — one of the famous journalists of his generation, and the Daily Express’s man in Berlin — to write an article about the economic crisis facing Britain.

Although Hitler declined, the typewritten letter is revealing about the warmth of Hitler’s feelings towards the British. Writing of his hopes that a new accord would arise between Britain and Germany to replace the settlement made after the First World War, Hitler said: “I hope … that out of this crisis a new readiness will grow up in Britain to submit the last twelve years to a reappraisal. I should be happy if, as a result of this, the unhappy war-psychosis could be overcome on such a scale as to permit the realisation of the truly cordial relationship between the British and the German peoples so eagerly desired by myself and my movement.”

He went on to say that, “greatly honoured as I am by your kind invitation”, he would not write the proposed article because his views would be seen as a criticism and “part of the British public might consider it presumptuous of me”.

Hitler long had the idea that Germany and Britain ought to be natural allies in Continental politics (with, it must be said, at least some historickal justification).  I seem to recall reading somewhere in Churchill’s memoirs of his (Hitler’s) hope that some kind of “arrangement” could be reached regarding his plans for German expansion.  Indeed, even after the war broke out 1939-40, Hitler had a very hard time believing that the Brits were really determined to dig in their heals and resist his push into France and the Low Country, or to honor her commitment to Poland.

As the article notes, this may have influenced the level of German aggressiveness toward the BEF trapped at Dunkirk.   One wonders whether it also explains the otherwise insane idea of fighting the war on two fronts:  There’s not much doubt that Hitler had planned to double-cross the Soviets for some time, and that once Poland had been carved up he had to do it before the Soviets got the chance to double-cross him.  Perhaps he simply didn’t expect to be having to fight an enemy behind simultaneously.


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March 2010