Fox News: its values and its viewers

Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2020630074/. Contrast and detail restored.

From England’s Natural History Museum, https://www.nhm.ac.uk/our-science/departments-and-staff/library-and-archives/collections/piltdown-man.html:

In 1912 Charles Dawson, an amateur archaeologist, claimed to have discovered the ‘missing link’ between ape and man. He had found part of a human-like skull in Pleistocene gravel beds near Piltdown village in Sussex, England.

Dawson wrote to Arthur Smith Woodward, Keeper of Geology at the Natural History Museum at the time, about his find.  

Dawson and Smith Woodward started working together, making further discoveries in the area. They found a set of teeth, a jawbone, more skull fragments and primitive tools, which they suggested belonged to the same individual.

Smith Woodward made a reconstruction of the skull fragments, and the archaeologists hypothesised that the find indicated evidence of a human ancestor living 500,000 years ago. They announced their discovery at a Geological Society meeting in 1912. For the most part, their story was accepted in good faith.

However, in 1949 new dating technology arrived that changed scientific opinion on the age of the remains. Using fluorine tests, Dr Kenneth Oakley, a geologist at the Natural History Museum, discovered that the Piltdown remains were only 50,000 years old. This eliminated the possibility of the Piltdown Man being the missing link between humans and apes as at this point in time humans had already developed into their Homo sapiens form.

Following this, biological anthropologist Dr Joseph Weiner and human anatomist Wilfrid Le Gros Clark, both from Oxford University, worked with Dr Oakley to further test the age of the Piltdown findings. Their results showed that the skull and jaw fragments actually came from two different species, a human and an ape, probably an orangutan.

Scratches on the surfaces of the teeth, visible under the microscope, revealed that the teeth had been filed down to make them look human. They also discovered that most of the finds from the Piltdown site had been artificially stained to match the local gravels.

The conclusion: Piltdown Man was an audacious fake and a sophisticated scientific fraud.

We hold many documents and photographs relating to the Piltdown Man, including correspondence between Woodward Smith and Dr Oakley and communications within the Museum’s palaeontology department. The Museum also has a large collection of photographs of the original findings and cranial restoration. There are also a number of Museum publications on the Piltdown story.

 

Nevertheless, what you’re seeing is in color, just like your TV.

Requires red-and-blue stereo viewer.

So you know it’s true.

 

You Republicans and your underwear

If you entrusted your wealth and your women to Jeffrey Epstein, this advertisement’s roman fonts are for you.

Graham’s Lectures on Chastity, Specially Intended for the Serious Consideration of Young men and Parents, ed. James Coates. Glasgow: James Coates, n.d. Archive.org, https://archive.org/details/grahamslectureso00grahuoft/mode/2up

But if your holdings are with Fox News, scroll down to the fine italic at the bottom.

It comes from an undated Scottish reprint of an American text by the health lecturer Sylvester Graham of Northampton, Massachusetts: 1834, second edition 1837. Whether you know it or not, Graham occupies a happy place in your kitchen. He is the man who gave his name to the Graham cracker. In his lifetime, however, he thought of small pleasures like that one as aspects of a much larger happiness. It may not have been mere commercial motives that placed his ads in America’s pioneer Abolitionist newspaper.

The Liberator, April 7, 1837, page 4

No; because Sylvester Graham conceived of happiness in what we’d probably recognize in 2021 as Republican terms: a liberation from bondage to bondage. You incels who reverently stood before cross and flag on January 6, 2021, believing yourselves worthy at last to track shit through the Capitol, what do you think? Way back in 1837, wasn’t Sylvester speaking for you? Here you are: described on Coates page 57, and then lovingly prescribed for.

The question is often asked,– Is it best for a young man, of suitable age and circumstances, to marry, when he is in a state of great debility and morbid irritability, resulting from self-pollution. To this I reply, as a general rule, that if a young man has so injured his body by any mode of venereal excess, as to be subject to involuntary emissions of semen on occasions of considerable excitement, or irritations of the parts from riding on horseback, or from other means, and also, to be subject to frequent nocturnal emissions, it is far safer and better to defer matrimony, and to avoid all dalliance and familiarity with females, till he has, by a rigorous adherence to the regimen laid down on the pages from 33 to 35, improved his health to such a degree that he is wholly relieved from his involuntary discharges by day and by night. Let him constantly push his exercise in the open air, so far as he can comfortably bear it. If he finds riding on horseback irritates the parts too much, let him avoid that sort of exercise. Where it can be done, regular labour on a farm is the best mode of exercise for such a person. To use the language of young people, if he is in love and courting, or engaged to be married, let him find some good excuse to go away from home, or, by some other means, which are honourable and kind towards his “sweetheart,” absent himself entirely from her, till he recovers from his difficulties, and is in a proper condition to marry.

By providing himself with a quantity of unbolted wheat-meal sea-bread, made very thin, he may with great advantage go a voyage to sea as a sailor.

Yes, the paragraph is only that single sentence. It stands before you as an oracle, chanting Know thyself; quaff thy nutritional supplements. You once were a mere Graham character, but now you have eaten of that which is unbolted. Making your congé from notional “sweetheart,” you have become your destiny: in this instance, as an extra picturesquely costumed as Leslie Fiedler in the scene from Two Years Before the Mast that got D. H. Lawrence classically off.

Ceteris paribus, of course, as Fox News’s legal department will have reminded you in the fine print.

Fall River Monitor, April 7, 1851, page 2

But doesn’t the magnet feel comfortable as it rusts away next to your skin?

The Grand Old Party assures you it does, by Jove. If it doesn’t, that’s what you get for being a pussy.

It will be interesting to teach Emerson again after two years away

In 2016, all I had to say to get the discussion started about “Self-Reliance” —

What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think–

was “Ayn Rand.” This coming spring, in the Trumpera, the discussion seems all too likely to self-start out of an indignant and rejecting silence.

Still, yes:

Nature is the opposite of the soul, answering to it part for part. One is seal, and one is print. Its beauty is the beauty of his own mind. Its laws are the laws of his own mind. Nature then becomes to him the measure of his attainments. So much of nature as he is ignorant of, so much of his own mind does he not yet possess. And, in fine, the ancient precept, “Know thyself,” and the modern precept, “Study nature,” become at last one maxim.

It’s true, as you see. Nature doesn’t contemplate the possibility of an Ayn or a Donald. In her domain there is only law, reproducing its works by contemplating itself.

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Sources: Emerson, “Self-Reliance” and “The American Scholar”