Friday, February 3, 2017

February 3: Woman and the Pony, Origin of Pornography, Alternative Fact Checking

The woman and the pony were posed before velvet draperies which were fringed with deedlee-balls.  They were flanked by Doric columns.  In front of one column was a potted palm.  The picture that Weary had was a print of the first dirty photograph in history.  The word photography was first used in 1839, and it was in that year, too, that Louis J. M. Daguerre revealed to the French Academy that an image formed on a silvered metal plate covered with a thin film of silver iodide could be developed in the presence of mercury vapor.

In 1841, only two years later, an assistant to Daguerre, Andre Le Fevre, was arrested in the Tuileries Gardens for attempting to sell a gentleman a picture of the woman and the pony.  That was where Weary bought his picture, too--in the Tuileries.  Le Fevre argued that the picture was fine art, and that his intention was to make Greek mythology come alive.  He said the columns and the potted palm proved that.

When asked which myth he meant to represent, Le Fevre replied that there were thousands of myths like that, with the woman a mortal and the pony a god.

He was sentenced to six months in prison.  He died there of pneumonia.  So it goes.

A little history lesson on the origin of pornography from Kurt Vonnegut on a Friday night.

Nowadays, people can turn to the Internet to satisfy their urges for mythological weirdness.  It's one of the curses of the world of mass media.  It caters to the very best of humanity (readers of The New York Times and this blog), and the very worst (pedophiles and President Trump).  I have now made it a rule to fact check anything I read on Facebook.  I must have confirmation from at least three independent news sources.  (Sad thing, most of the news reports that I've questioned and investigated have turned out to be true.  So it goes.)

I enjoy alternative facts.  As I've pointed out in previous posts, in my universe of alternative facts, Tom Hanks is President of the United States.  Chocolate chip cookies contain zero calories.  And I am a graduate of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  Go ahead.  Contact Professor Dumbledore if you don't believe me.

It's the weekend.  I encourage all of my disciples to embrace their own alternative facts.  Fritos and cheese dip are health foods.  This Sunday, there isn't going to be a football game--just four hours of really good commercials.  Adele is going to show up at your house tomorrow night with Barbra Streisand to sing lullabies.  You look good in spandex.

See, it's easy.  A willing suspension of disbelief.  I'm willing to look like George Clooney and paint like Picasso while sawing away at a cello like Yo-Yo Ma.  Not to mention that fact that Pope Francis just canonized me while I'm still alive.

Saint Marty is grateful for truth and all its alternatives.


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