Quintessence of Cool

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    Jul 05, 2008 7:40 AM GMT
    Whom do you admire? Why?

    bahadrian105.jpg

    "The Emperor Caesar Augustus to his most esteemed Antoninus, greeting. Above all, I want you to know that I am being released from my life neither before my time, nor unreasonably, nor piteously, nor unexpectedly, nor with faculties impaired."

    Hadrian - a bisexual Spaniard obsessed with architecture, poetry and hunting - was one of the few people to succeed in the task of ruling the western world.

    He withdrew Roman forces from Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq) and built his famous wall between England and Scotland (then Caledonia) to mark the Empire's northern border.

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    But he was also a scholar with passionate interests in Greek culture, philosophy and architecture and his legacy remains in magnificent buildings such as the Pantheon in Rome and the villa of his residence in Tivoli

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    He is also remembered for his love affair with with the young Greek Antonious, who accompanied Hadrian on his tours of the Empire.

    When Antonious died mysteriously in Egypt, Hadrian founded the city Antinoupolis in his memory and declared him a god linked to the Egyptian deity Osiris.

    Hadrian was the first Roman emperor not to be clean-shaven.

    Poem written on Hadrian's deathbed-

    Little soul, little wanderer, little charmer, Body's guest and companion, To what places will you set out now? To darkling, cold and gloomy ones - And you won't be making your usual jokes.


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    Jul 05, 2008 7:56 AM GMT
    Not a Spaniard, an Iberian! LOL
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    Jul 05, 2008 8:05 AM GMT
    Here's one of mine:

    René Magritte

    René Magritte described his paintings by saying,

    My painting is visible images which conceal nothing; they evoke mystery and, indeed, when one sees one of my pictures, one asks oneself this simple question, "What does that mean?". It does not mean anything, because mystery means nothing either, it is unknowable.

    Golconde.jpg

    Golconda

    Portrait_of_Edward_James.jpg

    La Reproduction Interdite

    Magritte_TheSonOfMan.jpg

    The Son of Man

    The_Human_Condition_1935.jpg

    The Human Condition

    And one of my favorites:

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    The Dominion of Light
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    Jul 05, 2008 4:05 PM GMT
    I admire:
    Aaron Copland, whom I knew slightly.
    Leonard Bernstein, whom I never met.
    Ella Fitzgerald, for whom I threw a memorable party a zillion years ago.
    Lyndon Woodside, in whose oratorio group I sang for 15 years, in New York and on annual European tours.
    Paul Wellstone, whose voice is still missed today.
    Edgar Kaplan, whom I had the privilege of knowing for many years, a world-class bridge player, author, and talented amateur musician, and the most ethical person I've ever known. (You ought to look him up in Wikipedia, he was an amazing man.)

    I'm sure there are others.

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    Jul 05, 2008 4:31 PM GMT
    Ken Keasey- The way Kerouac describes this man in "Big Sur" makes him out to be some kind of God. He could lead anyone to any place and I'm sure there'd be some fun along the way.
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    Jul 05, 2008 4:35 PM GMT
    Sometimes people recede so far back in history that only their accomplishments - or the legends of them - remain. Somehow, it seems more impressive when we can read about people who accomplished great things, but we also still have records that show them to be ordinary people who paid their bills late, farted, got into trouble with their spouses and indulged in a few petty rivalries.

    Lately, I've been impressed by the lives of

    Robert Hooke (could he possibly have been just one guy?)
    Benjamin Franklin
    Peter Mitchell

    Amazing what you can apparently accomplish when you don't waste all of your time on the internet...
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    Jul 05, 2008 5:17 PM GMT
    Quintessence of cool?

    I can't think of too many. . .

    Albert Einstein
    Johnny Depp
    Hal Sparks
    Rachel Carson
    The Phineas character in "A Separate Peace"

    Not to get overly political, but I think Barack Obama might fit this category. We'll see. . .
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    Jul 05, 2008 6:16 PM GMT
    I always thought the Dread Pirate Roberts had to be cool, lol, but I liked Inigo Montoya much more:

    inigo_montoya.jpg

    Of course, I liked the 'man in black, or Westley, the best:

    dreadpirateroberts.jpg
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    Aug 31, 2008 4:29 AM GMT
    Anyone that can march to the beat of a different drum without even knowing it.

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    Aug 31, 2008 4:33 AM GMT


    our ursamajor.

    candid. confident. compassionate. cuddly- (yes, even over the 'net - he expresses himself that well in text!)
  • TexanMan82

    Posts: 893

    Aug 31, 2008 4:44 AM GMT
    muchmorethanmuscle saidI am going to order this book from amazon.com eventually that has to do with the "real" history of all the great leaders of the world. I think it has more to do with those more associated with America in some way. But I was told a lot about the book and it's fascinating.

    One part of the book talks about how Christopher Columbus was a pedophile and wrote in a boastful manner as to how he would force himself on 9 or 10 year old girls from the new world. It's just awful. And then I see shows like 20/20 where a 21 year old man is in love with a 14 year old girl and they got married in the state of Kansas, which at the time was legal. Even though that very odd and the girl is young at least they believe themselves to be young. But their reputations, especially the 21 year old's will be destroyed forever because he's now considered a pedophile. But we honor people like Christopher Columbus who, to me, sounds like the scum on the sole of my shoe for raping not only a girl but someone not even in their teenage years and bragging about it ind diaries.


    I understand what you're saying. But, it was a very different world 600 years ago. Not condoning, though. But, context definitely matters.
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    Aug 31, 2008 4:52 AM GMT

    So then, who do you admire, good muchmorethanmuscle, and why?

    (Doug and Bill watching monitor in hopeful anticipation.. )
  • TexanMan82

    Posts: 893

    Aug 31, 2008 4:52 AM GMT
    muchmorethanmuscle saidMy grandfather was in his late 30's or early 40's when he married my grandmother and she was only 13. That was very common in this country in the early 1900's. Woman had to be young and fertile in order to produce a lot of young for working on the farm.

    I don't think what Christopher Columbus did was socially acceptable. I just don't there were appropriate punishments for that type of crime.

    Plus, these were indigenous people from the new world. So to most Europeans these people were less than human and weren't viewed as having rights.


    I think that's what made it socially acceptable. They were seen as less than human. It's difficult to judge past cultures with what the standard of today is. It doesn't make it right by any means, but it was a very different time.
  • TexanMan82

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    Aug 31, 2008 5:06 AM GMT
    And it's rumored that Abe was, at the very least, a bisexual.
  • TexanMan82

    Posts: 893

    Aug 31, 2008 5:17 AM GMT
    He was a very melancholy person. I wish I could remember the man's name with whom he shared an extremely close relationship. They even slept in the same bed. No one knows the full extent of their relationship, but I think they say he was at his happiest when he as with this man.
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    Aug 31, 2008 2:34 PM GMT
    I've got two people on my cool list.

    Steven Fry and if you know who he is, you'll know why without any explanation.

    The second one is one of my teachers David Allen, because he's like a living breathing Qi show.
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    Aug 31, 2008 3:18 PM GMT
    This is cool:



    And so is this

  • DCEric

    Posts: 3713

    Aug 31, 2008 3:20 PM GMT
    original714 saidI always thought the Dread Pirate Roberts had to be cool, lol, but I liked Inigo Montoya much more:

    inigo_montoya.jpg

    Of course, I liked the 'man in black, or Westley, the best:

    dreadpirateroberts.jpg


    +100 points!

    /Best. Hand-to-hand combat. Ever!
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    Aug 31, 2008 3:42 PM GMT
    Rubinstein was way cool:

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    Aug 31, 2008 3:44 PM GMT
    Countess Olenska from the novel the age of innocence, written by Elin Wharton I believe.

    To give someone up for another because being with you would mean forcing them to destroy the one thing you loved most about them, their innocence. Its something that touches me whenever I watch the movie too. Gets me all misty eyed and though so incredibly different, makes me appreciate how quickly I would do the opposite as well.

    And going back to reality,

    I'd have to say my mother. We may not always get along, she may have called me on the phone the other day to tell me that a family took a guy on tv because he was blatantly open about his sexuality with men and she was just calling to say how grateful she was that her son was respectful and secretive about his lifestyle ... sigh... she went through so much and survived.

    From being beat as child, to getting beat in loveless abusive foster homes, to being so desperate for love that she got beat as a grown woman with children. I am often impressed at how much I have watched my mother grow since I was a child. Though a hint of resentment lives in me seeing my younger siblings not appreciate the amazing lives they live with her now, the ones that my older brother and I could only dream of, I'm glad that she has made so many steps to turn her life around and is now happy successful nurse.

    Still single, which breaks my heart and I see the sadness in her sometimes so great that after all this time she doesn't know that I'm in a relationship because I can't bear to prove the words of the trashy men she has dumped which were "you're going to grow old be lonely while your kids go off and find love and start their lives and leave you alone."

    But she's a success story nonetheless and though so many great people have existed in the past, I could never appreciate any of them as much as the one who touched my heart directly with her own two loving hands.

    I love you mommy!
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    Aug 31, 2008 3:55 PM GMT
    I'm going to one up the other historians here and go even further back: Themistocles of Athens.

    "I have with me two gods, Persuasion and Compulsion."

    Look away from the Spartans for a second (*SMACKS the movie "300" with a large trout*) when thinking of the Persian Wars of 480 BCE and you'll see that Athens and Themistocles played just as important a role. Using everything from Delphic oracles to their animosity with Aegina, he was able to persuade the Athenians to give up a chance at "free money", to leave their homes, and to give up the much-favoured "hoplite" army that had served them so well at Marathon 10 years earlier.

    All this to create a navy which--after just 3 years--if it couldn't outright beat the massive Persian fleet, it could at least give the Greeks a fighting chance. And he used this to influence the rest of Greece into fighting at the decisive Salamis (I know many will say Plataea was more important) where they would soundly defeat the Persians under the very eyes of their king, Xerxes. Many sources also say that it was the by the design of Themistocles (through the use of his servent as a messenger) that the Great King threw his entire navy into the narrow straight and a terrible defeat.

    He then goes on to form help form the Delian League, paving the way for the Athenian empire and the golden-age of Ancient Greece.

    Of course, he loses some points for medizing in the end, but that was probably more at the pressure of the jealous Spartans.

    "I never learned how to tune a harp, or play upon a lute; but I know how to raise a small and inconsiderable city to glory and greatness."
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    Aug 31, 2008 4:19 PM GMT
    No, this is the quintessence of cool:

  • Mars

    Posts: 158

    Aug 31, 2008 6:35 PM GMT
    I am not going to delve deep into history or literature for this one because the coolest person I have ever known is my own grandfather. He was the kindest and most openly welcoming man I ever knew. He always had time for everyone and was the first one to step up and offer help when it was needed. And this was not just to his family and his immediate friends, but ANYONE who needed his help. I don't think I ever saw him without a smile on his face even when life was less than ideal (as we all have witnessed in our own time). He was a survivor of the Great Depression and the Oklahoma Dust Bowl of the 1930's and he was also a WWII vet who served in Okinawa. When I was young, I used to love to listen to him tell his stories of those times . He was a very hard wroker and was well respected by everyone who knew him. This was because he was genuine in his respect for everyone he knew. I am so privaleged to have known him and even though he is long gone, I still smile when I think of him. icon_smile.gif

    People in the world who leave a legacy like that are the ones (to me) that deserve the title of "Quintessence of Cool"
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    Aug 31, 2008 7:13 PM GMT
    Aww, that was real cute. Thanks for sharing, Mars.
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    Aug 31, 2008 7:17 PM GMT
    original714 saidI always thought the Dread Pirate Roberts had to be cool, lol, but I liked Inigo Montoya much more:

    inigo_montoya.jpg



    1036011514_esultinigo.jpg