Saturday, August 21, 2010

My big, fat Greek posting

Καλώς ορίσατε, φίλοι ελληνικά μου, στο blog φερέλπιδες εγγαστρίμυθος!

Welcome, my Greek friends, to the Budding Ventriloquist blog!

Catching up on my welcomes to new countries joining the Budding Ventriloquist shindig, I am very excited to welcome Greece to the Budding Ventriloquist Family of Nations.  Once you're part of the family, you get placed in the Hall of Nations.  As the country list grows larger and larger, some of them will wind up in the Bedroom of Nations - most likely the one with the bed stacked sky-high with every one's coats.

Where do you start talking about how important Greece is?  It's where so many things, if they didn't start there, got cooled-up there. My one-minute history explanation of the evolution of civilization is that the Egyptians had a handle on lots of things, but along came the Greeks who said, "OK, let's do that better, without quite so many slaves, and write a hell of a lot more of this stuff down - not just with little pictures, either."

They were able to do this because although the days were still very hot, the nights cooled off a bit. Then came the Romans, who just copied all the cool ideas and did them in stylish togas.

In the history of ventriloquism, the Greek and Egyptian priests were masters of the art, throwing their voices to create miracles like the speaking statues of the Egyptians and the Greek oracles.  Just think of how good they really had to be to fool thousands under the bright light of the Mediterranean sun.

Eurycles of Athens was the most celebrated of Greek ventriloquists. In searching for a picture of Eurycles, all I kept finding was pictures of butterflies.  Not sure why this is, but perhaps Eurycles was the father of modern stage fright.

Today's Greek Ventriloquists
Here's ventriloquist Yakko Sideratos performing as Ventriloquist Petrakis with his doll.  The mini Greek who came from Greece just to make presentations of Greek music and dances.

This video was actually created in Brazil, so my information was translated from Portuguese.  The creators of this video put end caps on it with the song "Yakkety Sax", performed by American Boots Randolph and most famously used as the theme song on Britain's Benny Hill show.

Just shows you the international reach of Greek ventriloquism, don't you think?



***
To really make this tribute worthy, I need a flood of opinions from you, my coalition* of regular readers.  Clack on those keys and leave comments and opinions about this.

First, here's 5 historical Greek faces:

And a quick "Know your Famous Greeks" lesson: 

  • Pythagoras made influential contributions to philosophy and religious teaching in the late 6th century BC. He is often revered as a great mathematician, mystic and scientist, and he is best known for the Pythagorean theorem which bears his name.

  • Aristotle was a Greek philosopher, a student of Plato, who was a student of Socrates, who had Mrs. Christianson for kindergarten.  We know this because everyone seems to have had Mrs. Christianson for a kindergarten teacher. 

  • Although Democritus was an Ancient Greek philosopher who as an influential pre-Socratic philosopher and pupil of Leucippus, who formulated an atomic theory for the cosmos, his probably will be most famous for being a Greek face found in the Microsoft clip art collection. That's actually a pretty huge thing to be famous for.

  • Hippocrates of Cos  was an ancient Greek physician and one of the most outstanding figures in the history of medicine. He is referred to as the Western father of medicine and his school revolutionized medicine in ancient Greece. Because of him, practicing medicine is a billable profession.

  • Sappho was an Ancient Greek poet, born on the island of Lesbos. Yes, she was openly a Lesbosian. Later Greeks included her in the list of nine lyric poets. Most of her work is actually lost, although you can hear some of it if you listen to the complete collection of Indigo Girls.
The question is:
Which of these faces would be perfect as a face on a ventriloquism dummy?
Write early.  Write Often. Make your opinion count.
***
*A coalition is a group of cheetahs.

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