Monday, July 27, 2009

The Universal Thump

"Who ain't a slave? Tell me that. Well, then, however the old sea-captains may order me about- however they may thump and punch me about, I have the satisfaction of knowing that it is all right; that everybody else is one way or other served in much the same way- either in a physical or metaphysical point of view, that is; and so the universal thump is passed round, and all hands should rub each other's shoulder-blades, and be content. " -Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chapter One

Don't kill your buddy...give him a back rub.


  1. The squirrel image is appealing, but they are more likely to eat each others' newborns than share a backrub, which conjures a damp, drizzly November of my soul! But Josua, I'm actually using this space because I could find no other way to commend you on the beautifully written essays on Hannibal and Vercingetorix. I must say, given how Rome treated its defeated adversaries, I often find myself rooting for the adversary, whomever that was over the centuries. But, in any case, please continue writing!

    Denny Smith

  2. Better being one day lion, than two million years sheep. (Guess where iam from, not where i live coincidentally or being named after fraudulently, and after that assimilated, unrooted and murdered) From means =land of descent =homecountry. Living anywhere else is exile.

  3. Mr. Mark, my name is Tony Mark and I am a grad student at Coastal Carolina University. I'm doing a research paper on Assyria (I am of Assyrian decent) and I ran into your article in Ancient History Encyclopedia. Your name obviously stood out to me (especially since I have a nephew named Joshua Mark). I see you're from NY, as am I. I have a suspicion we might be related. I was wondering if we might be able to touch base. My email is I look forward to hearing from you.