Monday, November 12, 2007

Socrates was a baaaaaad husband.

So I was listening to this highbrow podcast from the BBC Radio 4 about the life and works of Socrates.

I know, I know, it happens sometimes, I get all overcome with an urge for some actual culture in this otherwise age of morons.

But anyway, arch intellectual snob Melvyn Bragg is yacking away with these three head-in-the-clouds academics, one from each of Oxford and Cambridge (I expect you've heard of those) and another from Warwick (less likely you've heard of that one, but you never know), and they get to the bit about the old fart popping his clogs.

You know, the thing with the hemlock. "It is a far, far better thing..." No, wait, that's not right. Oh yes, his last words were: "Crito, we owe a cock to Asclepius. Please, don't forget to pay the debt." (Fnar, fnar.) Come to think of it, "It is a far, far better thing..." would have been much better. But I digress.

We get some vitally important details such as the variety of hemlock that has the effect of a slow paralysis from the feet up and then we learn that as he lay dying Socrates asked that the women, his wife among them, be asked to leave. He wanted some peace and quiet, all that wailing and gnashing of teeth obviously getting in the way of a properly examined departure from life.

I mean, how's a philosopher supposed to think of some decent last words with all that racket going on? Eh?

At this point, the female member of the panel gets all insistent about how she thinks Socrates was not a good husband while the two male members (Fnar, fnar. Sorry) of the panel proceed to talk over her. She tried to make the point twice, she did, before she took the hint.

It was a brief and amusing skirmish in the battle of the sexes - some woman got her knickers in a pointless and irrelevant twist because a man did something she didn't approve of while undergoing one of the most iconic deaths of all history and a couple of men knock her point flat on its copious ass by taking absolutely no notice whatsoever. Score one for the guys there, I think (but she was outnumbered, 'tis true).

Sorry, I guess the testosterone's taking over today. Must've been that slab of male chauvinist pork I burned for supper. Grunt.


Deadbeat Dad said...

Just be thankful you didn't catch a dose of Woman's Hour afterwards (it follows in the live schedule).

Anonymous said...

He WAS a bad husband though :) You know, when they tell you he really liked young men and was really interested in them, they kid you not. And he quit his job in order to talk to people and make them find wisdom... He wasn't a provider or a good father or in any way interested in the personality of his wife or who she was, and I can just imagine how everything he did was driving her nuts because he was the greatest philosopher of his time and she was just an ordinary uneducated women... whatever, nobody is perfect