Life Nasty, Brutish & Short

“I need it like a hole in the head”.  I always thought it was probably a direct translation from a foreign language because of the peculiar grammar.  But I don’t really know where it came from and I figured it was just a saying. 

Alex and I went through a forensic archeology exhibit at Smithsonian. Take a look at the skull alongside and try to guess what killed this guy. I don’t suppose you would need a degree in forensic anthropology. Most of the other exhibits were less obvious. They can read various types of sickness on the bones. Evidently significant numbers of people died of toothaches in the old days, or more precisely from infections related to abscesses. What a way to go? There was a lot of misery back then from things that we just no longer think about. I stroll through this exhibit will cure even the worst case of nostalgia for the good old days.

Life in the old days was nasty, brutal & short for most people. Even the rich people lived rotten lives if you look at the things they had to put up with and suffer from. The old palace looks good, until you recall the state of plumbing, air conditioning and medicine that the fat cat had to live with. None of us would willingly trade places with Louis XIV if we had to really live his life.

Speaking of living nasty, brutal & short lives, take a look at the map below and try to find North Korea. It is truly a benighted place – literally. When you go to museums and think about how rotten life used to be in the dark old days, it is useful to recall that in some places it never got any better and I have no doubt that living in a fever ridden colony a couple of centuries was better than living in a place like North Korea today. It must be like living in a giant, endless concentration camp, where technology is used to create misery and control rather than improve lives.

BTW – the map is just supposed to show the world’s bright lights, but when you look at it you cannot help noting that North Korea doesn’t have many. 

Finally, we have something that makes life better, IMO, something even the richest king couldn’t have before the 1880s – Coca-Cola. Below are Kola nuts, used to make Cola flavored soft drinks. I recalled an old commercial for 7up talking about the un-cola nuts and with the wonders of YouTube we can see it again.