I’ve talked before about how cool it is that anyone can blog now. Maybe everything published isn’t as polished as it used to be, but at least everyone’s voice can be heard.
It’s neat that future generations will have so many records of what we everyday folks were thinking, even if those thoughts mostly consist of bitching about annoying coworkers, talking about lunch, or showing off stuff we just bought.
That’s just not the case with earlier periods of human history, considering only the writings of highly-educated, elite aristocrats survived. I’ve sometimes wondered if we picture these periods as being more formal than they usually were because their lingering voices are always issuing edicts or chanting lofty works of poetry.
Take Ancient Egypt, for example. Most people couldn’t write and those that could were chronicling important historical events or carving painstaking hieroglyphics across sacred monuments for billionaire employers. Stuff the gods were supposed to read for all eternity.
But what about Bob, one of construction guys hammering out the pyramid bricks? He had a life too. I picture Bob getting home after a long day pushing blocks and talking to his wife Della like this:
Della: Hey Bob, how was your day? Did you remember to pick up some figs?
Bob (groaning): No, I didn’t grab any figs.
Della: Dammit, Bob. I’m meeting Lucille at temple tomorrow and now I can’t make honey fig casserole. And I can’t make any honey cakes either because some rats got into the wheat bags last night. What am I supposed to do!?
Bob: Geez, I’m sorry Della. Guess I was too busy today HAULING 80 TON BRICKS UP WOODEN RAMPS to think about your figs. And how are rats getting into the wheat bags again? What good is your stupid cat? I don’t know why we keep on feeding it.
Della: Watch your mouth, Bob. She’s not just a cat, she’s the living embodiment of the Goddess Bastet.
Bob: Well, your goddess just crapped in the living room again.
Okay maybe they never had that exact conversation, but I’m guessing more people were worried about getting to work on time and wondering what they ate that was bothering their stomachs than thinking the highbrow stuff plastered all over city monuments.