THE STONER AGE
Researchers – or pranksters, we’re not sure – have concluded that stone age cave men might have been, well, stoned when they painted their cave paintings. The article I read is here. Do go read it. Then come back. I’ll wait right here.
The thrust of the article is that prehistoric cave paintings found around the world contain similar geometric patterns because the painters – cavemen – were ingesting psychedelic plants, perhaps intentionally, to alter their minds so they could take their art to a new level. And apparently something about this particular pattern is appealing to stoners.
Yeah, I’m starting to think it was pranksters.
So, if you ever wondered why Fred and Barney thought those Loyal Order of Water Buffaloes hats looked good, now you know.
Personally, I’m not surprised. Other than the pesky need to spend every waking moment on the primary needs of survival – food, shelter, occupying your time in an era with only basic cable and no Netflix – life could be pretty boring.
I’m pretty sure at the end of a cave-day, the mastodon-call is placed back in its leather pouch, the day’s catch stored in the upright freezer, and now nothing but cave-time on cave-hands. The conversation probably goes something like this (Translation from the original Cave-Speak provided by Google-Flintstone):
Oog (giggling and waving sticks dipped in colored pigments, leaving little droplets on the cave floor): Wait…no wait…(laughs uncontrollably)…that one totally looks like a saber tooth tiger.
Bog: Yeah, man, totally a saber-tooth, but, like, he’s sort of…massive…like a mastodon. Man. Massive.
Oog (lumbers around the cave): Look at me! I’m a T-Rex. Grrr!
Bog (sticks some plant leaves into the colored pigments, smears some on the cave wall: A little for sake of art. (chomps some of the leaves) A little for me.
Oog (still in dino-mode, but fading): I’m soooo gonna be extinct tomorrow. (Falls face first in the cave paint. Bog tries to recreate the scene on the cave wall, but it just comes out looking like a prehistoric bunny, which, for Bog, means a bunny from last Tuesday.)
And, thus, art history is born.
This concludes this week’s seminar on the ancient arts. The final exam is tomorrow. For those just auditing, I got no time for you.