Right, this is Wednesday in Paris. On Wednesday we decide that we must go to the Louvre. That is pronounced Loo-Verr if you’re English of course.
At the Loo-Verr there are glass pyramids outside and thousands of marvelous art exhibits from dozens of civilizations inside and generally a million things to see and do, so everyone just ignores all that and queues up to see the Mona Lisa. Naturally this is what we also do, but in order to get there you have to first go through numerous other things, and what attracts my attention are the ancient Greek statues.
There are many reasons why I’m attracted to that sort of thing (I’m sure having been brainwashed from ages 0 to 17 about the superiority of the ancient Greek civilization plays no some small part), but apart from that I’m very keen on them from a physiological point of view. I want to see how those physiques compare to modern day people who go to the gym / play sport / work out. So let’s have a look then.
Exhibit A. Some Greek guy’s torso.
There isn’t much left to see from this guy, but what’s left is good. Perfect pectoral muscle tone without being overdeveloped, good abdominal definition, obliques that can make any sane person cry, general leanness combined with good size. It’s just too good really. I feel so stupid right no for not actually taking a picture of the bum bum area, which frankly exceeds all expectations.
Exhibit B. Some Greek guy’s full body.
This could be exactly the same person, couldn’t it? Fair enough, in this one I would personally like to see a bit more size in the quadriceps area, but maybe my ideal is spoilt by my idolization of rugby players. Also, what we can conclude from examining Exhibits A and B, is that the ancient Greeks had a certain obsession with the side of the abdominal area (the obliques). I really don’t know how you can achieve that look, apart from if you spend your formative years (ages 6 to 17) participating in international level decathlon events.
Oh yeah, please note how both these statues (and the majority of all others actually), have smooth torsos. And don’t tell me, err…how exactly are you going to sculpt chest hair, it IS possible.
Exhibit C. Some Greek guy’s head.
Look at this boy’s face. Look at his perfect symmetry, the straightness and size of his nose, the full but masculine lips, the empty but intense look. If I could choose a face, this is the one I would go for. He also has stubble/short beard, which I’m not sure comes across very well in the picture (makes him look like he has a big jaw in 2D) but he does and it’s great. I’d have that too please.
Now let’s look at a couple of Roman statues (and slag them off). I realize that in the minds of many people these days, the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations are interchangeable. Well apart from the fact that the Greeks predated the Romans by a few hundred years (it’s like confusing the Renaissance with World War I), this Wednesday at the Loo-VerrI come to realize that their statues were also crap.
Exhibit D. The God Mars (Roman sculpture)
This is a Roman statue of the God Mars. Mars is the same person as the Greek God Ares, but when the Romans adopted the Greek Gods, they also changed their names (Aphrodite to Venus, Athena to Minerva, etc). Anyway, we’re not here to bicker about this – just look at this guy’s body. For fuck’s sake, they have given him a pot belly. Yes, he does have well defined upper abs, but look at the part I’ve circled. Mars looks like a Fire regular who took the wrong steroids, got bloated and doesn’t know what to do with that excess flab around the waist. If this isn’t sacrilege, I don’t know what is.
Exhibit E. Some Roman guy’s head.
Do I even need to say anything? Absurd hair, gawping eyes, pencil thin lips, what the fuck is going on with that nose? This person would never have made it into a Greek statue.
I don’t know if the ancient Greeks where actually so much better looking than the Romans (doubtful) or if they just eliminated the imperfections from their statues (a form of primitive airbrushing), but what can I say – either way good on them.
Also as I personally appear to have more in common with the ancient Greeks as they appear in statue form anyway (straight nose, smooth body, leanness and tone) than modern Greeks (disproportionate hook noses, hairy to the nth degree, automatic fat belly when you hit 18) I like to think that somehow, I am one of few Greeks originating from Athens in 55BC and everyone else who lives in Greece now is a bastardization of all the civilizations that have occupied the country on and off over the last 2,000 years (Turks, etc). So there.
Oh yeah one final point on this ancient Greece thing - I wanted to share the fact that the word "gym" (short for gymnasium obviously) derives from the Greek word "gymnos", which means naked. Because this is how they used to work out back then. I don't know, maybe you'll find this exciting, personally I prefer people who are not completely naked. They must wear a pair of shorts, a jockstrap, a loincloth, something.
Anyway, enough of that. After the Louvre we walk down to the Notre Dame (Nottr-eh Dam for the Brits) and have the following pictures taken:
Me taking a rest outside the Notre Dame
Me crawling to the Notre Dame to beg for forgiveness (please note tourist to my right who will have to step over me in 3 seconds' time)
Final day (plus THAT most offensive comment) tomorrow.