Monday, September 27, 2004

Athens of the South

Is it just me, or is Nashville the last place one would expect a life-sized replica of the Parthenon, complete with statue of Athena inside? Yet, here it is, in all its glory, smack dab in the middle of Centennial Park in downtown Nashville.  Posted by Hello


Praecox said...

That has to be the funniest... and yet most disturbing thing I've ever seen. Yeah, only in the south.

Anonymous said...

This is very intersting. It would make a good feild trip for schools, because it would allow the kids to see what the Parthenon would have looked like. I think the only big thing missing is that the Parthenon was built out of marble. However this would require more money. Overall I think this was a great idea.

9th grade student

Anonymous said...

I have to agree. To bad the Parthenon wasn't built in marble. It would have look a lot cooler and would stand out more.

Dave said...

The Persistence of a Memory

"Is it just me, or is Nashville the last place one would expect a life-sized replica of the Parthenon, complete with statue of Athena inside?"

It's just you. Nashville has been known as the Athens of the South, and still should be.
Currently Nashville is home to:
Vanderbilt University (number 7 research university in the USA as ranked by research productivity)
Tennessee State University (predominately African-American)
Meharry Medical College(predominately African-American)
Fisk University(predominately African-American)
Peabody (absorbed into Vanderbilt)
David Lipscomb
Nashville School of Law
About a gazillion vocational and community colleges. And before you remark, I apologize for the neologized hyperbole.

I noticed you have an interest in John Dewey. Vanderbilt Philosophy specializes in pragmatism. John Lachs, Michael Hodges, John Stuhr, and Robert Talisse are all experts in Pragmatism. And right down the road at MTSU, Mary Magada-Ward is Peirce scholar.

Some other notes. TSU has a NASA funded Center of Excellence where astronomers remotely control telescopes that are located around the country. Greg Henry was the first astronomer to observe a planet outside our solar system. Some of the data that is collected is sent to high schools around the country to be analyzed by students and then sent back to the Center.

Of course, the music industry is here, so we have a large creative class. Several Art Schools. A Film school. Montgomery Bell Academy's Sam Pickering was the inspiration for another MBA alum Thom Schuman's Dead Poet's Society. Big Red, though too elite for my tastes, is no slouch academic arena.

But really all of that misses the point. My question is this. If it's an intellectual error to be racist, sexist, or to judge a group of people by such superficial features as color of skin, sex, religion, ethnicity, or handicap, then what is the reason for this regionalism against the south?

But what would I know? I'm just a barefoot, inbred, ignorant, Appalachian hillbilly. Of French descent. My ancestors were relocated, killed, or enslaved by the English. And my family, having lived in Appalachia since our return to the new world, fought for the union. But none of that matters. I'm just another member of the confederacy of dunces.

I do know one thing. If you want to solve the Sudan, you better first talk to the French and the Chinese since they have the oil concessions there. Oh, and the Canadians have concessions there as well. I for one agree with the liberals that we need to cease our dependence on foreign oil. Lets cut off our number one supplier, the Canadians, immediately!

Take a look! Should we invade, the cries of no blood for oil will erupt and be led by our friends the French and Chinese.

By the way, what happened to Tibet? Being a bit of Buddhist (Korean Renzai Zen Tradition), I'm disgusted that the Chinese have outlawed the transmission of Buddhahood. We could invade China and save Tibet, the Sudan, and Taiwan with one swell foop! What a deal! Whose with me?

Maybe if you can get over your loathing of the south and those who inhabit it, we could discuss the philosophy of mind: Searle, Dennett, the Churchlands, Chalmers. Or perhaps you would rather talk psychometrics. Question intelligence, creativity, personality, and mental illness and ask: can they really be measured? We could set sail on the ship of fools with Foucault. Follow the path of sublation all the way to the absolute with Hegel. Walk the path of the hero with Campbell. Falsify some scientific theories. Entertain the notion of dialetheism. Answer Newman's knowledge-as-its-own-end with an aphorism from Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil. Thank Dionysus as we sample the fermented juice of vitis-vinifera. Ponder whether Schrodinger could have done his famous thought experiment had PETA existed at the time. Play Taps for the O-bomba campaign.

Time is short, and I have tarried by this wood too long. Urged on by the Titans, Chronos and Vince Young, I move forward and bid you adieu.

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