Sunday, April 26, 2009

American Stonehenge

Okay, I've already 'fessed up that I'm a sucker for the totally random roadside monuments that add a delightful quirkiness to these United States. SPAM Museum? Been there. Wall Drug? I know it well. World's Largest Ball of Twine? It's on the list. So I'm appalled, appalled to find out that I have lived my life in blithe ignorance of the Georgia Guidestones. Five sixteen-foot granite steles, inscribed with vaguely creepy multilingual New Age advice to the survivors of civilizations' collapse, towering over the hills of northeast Georgia. Built for the psseudonymous client R.C. Christian, a transparent reference to Christian Rosenkreuz, the founder of the mysterious Rosicrucians. How did I not know this existed?? Well, my ignorance has been remedied, and unless something far more compelling comes up (unlikely!), I'll be driving up to Elberton next weekend to see these in person. I'll post some pictures.

To get a bit more serious, what really excites me about this monument are the multilingual inscriptions in granite. No matter the zaniness of the text, these could be very useful to future archeologists. I just wish they had chosen a broader spread of linguistic families for the main text. English, Spanish, Swahili, Hindi, Hebrew, Arabic, Chinese, and Russian break down to just four language families. I do like the touch of incorporating the ancient scripts as well, although a longer and less abstract text would really be a favor to the Michael Ventrises of the future.

Maybe I'll make a lifelong hobby out of engraving multi-lingual texts on stone and burying them for the benefit of future classicists. Hey, there are sillier hobbies out there.

UPDATE: Really, considering my previous post, I can't believe I didn't draw the connection. I guess I'm just in an apocalyptic end-of-civilization sort of mood. My griping post on the misuse of the word "apocalypse" will wait for another day.

1 comment:

Elephantschild said...

If you forget your camera next weekend, I will never forgive you.