Comment Of The Day
But, sometimes not every day. Check the archives.

Wednesday, July 1, 1998

A Terra-Cotta Army

The Terra-Cotta Army of 2000 years ago, Xi'an, Shaanxi Province, Central China. The picture shows the First Emperor Qin Shihuang's (259 - 210 B.C.) Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses:
The 8,000 life-size, fully armed warriors who guarded the imperial tomb. This buried wonder was found in 1974 in the course of digging a well. The terra-cotta warriors and horses are acclaimed as the "Eighth Wonder Of The World."

Now, maybe it's just me, but isn't this just a little bit over-the-top? 8,000 life-size statues, hand-carved of course, by slaves to "glorify" this guy, Qin Shihuang, who supposedly "united" China? It's as though he wanted a photograph, before photographs were available, of the obsequence of the masses to his magnificence. They are all in a head-bowed, eyes downcast postion ... even the horses. All frozen in their sycophantic deterioration; fastened to their ineffable fallacy.

A historic monument .. but to what? It reminds me (you knew this was coming) of my old friend...


I met a traveler from an antique land,
Who said, Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read,
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, as despair!"

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

This poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley really says it all, doesn't it? And, yet, here we have another colossal wreck, even bigger. You would probably call that progress. What will we leave behind us? See you next time?

Return to the COTD Index