Sunday: Hili dialogue

by Grania

Good morning, and many happy returns of Ēostre. Actually, although Eostre or Ostara is claimed to be a  “Proto-Indo-European goddess of the dawn” there is some suspicion that this was invented by The Venerable Bede circa the 8th century.  There is a reference in the Old Norse Prose Edda book Gylfaginning but the deity is a male being called Austri. (Note, Gylfaginning is also where the Dwarves and Gandalf from The Hobbit originate).

Of course the festival, whatever it was was subsumed into Christianity’s Paschal cycle, via the Judaic Passover and Exodus saga from Egypt of the enslaved Israelite tribe. Or so the story goes.

Modern archaeology has told us that there was no such Exodus. Let’s face it, the famed 40 year journey through the desert by Moses is a little excessive for a journey that can be made on foot today in about a week even without the ability to part the seas for convenient if slightly damp crossing. Maybe he should have asked someone for directions.

If nothing else all these festivals have at least given the world great food and an excuse to indulge in chocolate eggs (if that’s your thing) and marshmallow chicks. On the subject of marshmallow, Professor Ceiling Cat is partial to Peeps and is always grateful to receive any kind offerings of the same.

Today is also the birthday of Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977), the actor, director and comedian who probably needs no introduction to anyone even though it is more than a century since his birth and the height of career.

Chaplin composed the music for Smile (lyrics by John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons) so it seems fitting to listen to it today sung by Nat King Cole.


Finally, we have news from Poland where Hili is persisting in her struggle against oppressive carpets.

A: Hili, what have you done?
Hili: I swept myself under the carpet.

In Polish:

Ja: Hili, coś ty zrobiła?
Hili: Zamiotłam się pod dywan.


  1. Randy schenck
    Posted April 16, 2017 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Cats can make a home of anything.

    The little tramp Charlie…

    • Randy schenck
      Posted April 16, 2017 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      If not done already, it might be good to note the passing of Robert Taylor, not the actor, the one responsible for development of what we are attached to here everyday.

  2. Historian
    Posted April 16, 2017 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    If there actually had been an Exodus, the movement of the group, taking into consideration its supposed size, the amount of baggage and need for sleep and rest, would have taken much longer than a week. Think of the images from the movie “Ten Commandments.” Thus, if it had moved only 2 km. a day, the journey would have taken about a year. But, 40 years, no!

    All societies or religions need their mythic stories of past heroes, loosely based on a past event or made out of whole cloth. Such stories help maintain societal cohesion. So it is with the Exodus and most biblical stories. The pity is that in the modern world there are still all too many people who take the stories literally and wish to compel people who don’t believe them to accept them whether they like it or not.

    • Posted April 16, 2017 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

      There’s another facet of the absurdity that many overlook.

      A caravan that size moving that slowly leaves an indelible mark in the archaeological record. We’d still be digging up garbage, fire pits, all sorts of detritus. And yet nobody’s even pretended to have found anything.



  3. SESE
    Posted April 16, 2017 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Probably predates Bede; good discussion here:

  4. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted April 16, 2017 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Well, happy Ēostre everybody. To celebrate the goddess of dawn or whatever the kids shall have Ēostre baskets with candy, including the enigmatic Ēostre eggs and a chocolate bunny.

  5. Sakebomb
    Posted April 16, 2017 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Fun fact, the kid in the pic with Chaplin ended up playing Uncle Fester on the Addams Family TV show.

  6. Blue
    Posted April 16, 2017 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Four of my girlfriends have 16 April as their actual one and only birthing day.

    Coincidentally, theirs today in y2017, falls on this particular hollowingday, er, holiday.

    I just now got freed up to read any of today’s W E I T posts cuz I have been busy wishing all o’these four, for their specific birthday time right now, for sure, … … a Haaaappy, Happy Estrus !

    Seriously ! Why the hell not ?! Far, far lovelier — and actually reasoned — my sentiment to them is than … … Happy Easter !

    Not ?!

  7. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted April 16, 2017 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    ‘Easter’ shares a word root with estrogen just as ‘testament’ shares a word root with testosterone. Nonetheless, women are not treated well in Christendom.

    Someone yesterday reminded me that today is the birthday of the recently resigned pope Benedict, IMO one of the 4 or 5 most to hold that office, so I am overjoyed to learn it is the birthday of my childhood hero, Charlie Chaplin.
    San Francisco’s “City Lights” beat poetry publishing house and book store (prosecuted for obscenity for publishing Allan Ginsburgs “Howl”) is named for CC’s movie of the same name and Jean Paul Sartre named his political journal “Modern Times” after Chaplin’s next movie. Interestingly, the Vatican issued a postage stamp with Chaplin on it in 2014.

    • JonLynnHarvey
      Posted April 16, 2017 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      Chaplin wrote the music to “smile” while the lyrics were a bono fide attempt to capture the spirit of the film in which the melody appeared “modern times”. Chaplin wrote both the words AND music to Petula Clark’s 1967 hit “This is my song”.

  8. David Duncan
    Posted April 16, 2017 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    “Hili: I swept myself under the carpet.”

    I’ll pay that one Hili.

  9. zytigon
    Posted April 16, 2017 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    2 Chronicles 12v1-12 has the tale that Shishak king of Egypt, with 1200 chariots, 60,000 horsemen and innumerable troops of Libyans, Sukkites & Cushites (people from upper Nile region) swept up to attack Jerusalem and carried off the treasures from the Temple and royal palace.

    Yet none of the Israelites is recorded as saying, “How come the Egyptians managed to travel that distance in a few days, conquer our city and scarper back to Egypt without the backing of the One And Only True G_d yet it took us 40 years to even cross the border ?”

    In any case I vaguely remember an article that claimed that the Ancient Egyptians had a string of forts stretching North up the Mediterranean coast from the Nile delta and basically treated the area of present day Israel as a vassal state from time to time when it wasn’t ruled by Assyria or others.

    history dot com/news/ancient-egyptian-brewery-unearthed-in-israel from March 2015 has :
    Today’s Tel Aviv may be famous for its nightlife, but it turns out the city’s hard-partying ways may date all the way back to the Bronze Age. Archaeologists say the fragments of ceramic jars, pots and other vessels uncovered from an office construction site in downtown Tel Aviv likely belonged to ancient Egyptians who used them to make beer. Though remnants of Egyptian settlement have been found in the southern Israeli region of Negev, this new discovery marks the first evidence that ancient Egyptians made their way so far north.

    TourEgypt dot net has article on Military Architecture of Ancient Egypt
    by Jimmy Dunn writing as Troy Fox:

    We can define Egypt’s traditional frontiers as the Western Desert, the Sinai Desert to the east, the Mediterranean coast to the north and the First Nile cataract at Aswan in the south. These were the natural physical barriers that allowed protection to the Egyptians from outside interference during the early, predynastic period when this great civilization was formed…..

    With the New Kingdom begins an era of Egyptian expansion in Asia. Some records of the momentous expeditions are to be found in the contemporaneous literature and in the extensive low-relief representations of Syrian fortresses on the walls of Egyptian temples and private tombs. In fact, despite the abundant military scenes on temple walls, not much can be derived from the text about military architecture. Almost all of the fortresses represented were located in Syria, being either Syrian structures or Egyptian fortresses built to control Egypt’s Asiatic possessions. They are rarely accompanied by more than a mere mention of their name.

    Little changed over the centuries as far as weapon and fortification techniques were concerned until the Egyptians came into contact with the far more warlike Asiatics. During their campaigns in Canaan and Retenu they encountered fortified places built of stone, with towers and sometimes even water filled moats.

    These cities and fortresses easily withstood traditional Egyptian siege techniques. Megiddo for instance fell to Tuthmosis III only after it was beleaguered for seven months.

    • zytigon
      Posted April 16, 2017 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      Wikipedia article on Megiddo has:

      Tel Megiddo is considered one of the most ancient settlements in the Middle East. It guarded the western branch of a narrow pass and trade route connecting Ancient Egypt and Assyria. The site was inhabited from approximately 7000 BCE to 586 BCE though the first significant remains date to the Chalcolithic period (4500–3500 BCE). However, the town experienced a decline in the Early Bronze-Age IV period (2300–2000 BCE), but the city was somewhat revived around 2000 BCE. Following massive construction, the town reached its largest size in the Middle Bronze-Age, at 10–12 hectares. Though the city was subjugated by Thutmose III, it still prospered, and a massive and incredibly elaborate palace was constructed in the Late Bronze Age.

  10. zytigon
    Posted April 16, 2017 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Note that Shishak isn’t recorded as saying, “This is payback time dudes”

  11. zytigon
    Posted April 16, 2017 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    How is it that Shishak never said, “Thanks for our gold back what you nicked from us, right will prevail”

    Also what became of those treasures the Solomon allegedly had made ? Is there mention of them in Egypt ?

    • zytigon
      Posted April 17, 2017 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      Video, “Flying Through History – Pharaoh Shishak I’s Military Campaign in the Holy Land” on Youtube Calit2ube channel seems worth a look.

      The video notes that 1 Kings 11v40 has, “Solomon tried to kill Jeroboam, but Jeroboam fled to Egypt, to Shishak the king, and stayed there until Solomon’s death” (So had the Egyptians totally forgotten about the Exodus events by then, they harboured no ill feelings or was there no real event to forget ?)

      • zytigon
        Posted April 17, 2017 at 9:57 am | Permalink

        See also video, “Raiders of the Lost Ark – Talk with Army Intel” on ThePsualumni channel which is the bit where Indiana Jones explains the tale about Shishak taking the Ark of the Covenant from Jerusalem and hiding it in Tanis, Egypt (the whole city being hidden by sand during a year long storm, which is definitely fiction)

  12. Barbara Radcliffe
    Posted April 16, 2017 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    In Australia some of us including Haigh’s Chocolates celebrate with chocolate bilbies, a rabbit sized marsupial with long ears and tail that has been driven nearly to extinction by the introduced bunny. Personally I much prefer dark chocolate bilbies.

  13. Posted April 18, 2017 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    I had forgotten that Chaplin was alive during my lifetime! (Barely, but so.)

  14. Christopher Bonds
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    On the subject of marshmallow, Professor Ceiling Cat is partial to Peeps and is always grateful to receive any kind offerings of the same.

    In my opinion the “new” Peeps are vastly inferior to the old, which were cute. The new ones look like the Maltese Falcon or something. I’m curious to know if Jerry likes all colors, or the traditional yellow, or some other color.

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