Fat and Happy Artwork

There’s a new finding about some cave paintings in Spain.  Turns out that they were painted by Neanderthals.  Those are the hillbilly cousins of homo erectus that we don’t like to talk about.  We’re better than them.

Or so we thought.  Turns out they were just like us.  Mostly.

Done by the fat and happy.


We wonder why we don’t find more art of all types from early humans.  There’s a bunch of reasons of course.

Stuff gets lost.  Gets covered over.  Washes away.

But a lot of things don’t.

There’s a big reason in particular I want to harp on about.

Ancient people only made ancient art when they had the time and the inclination.

In other words, they were rich.  Relatively speaking.

If you are an ancient person, but young at heart, and you’re hungry or cold or tired or about to be eaten by a tiger, the last thing you’re going to think about is making some art.

But if you have some time, you’re full, you’re not worried about your next meal, and you’ve got some deep thoughts you’ve been thinking over for a while, then guess what?

Grab that torch, get some rocks and charcoal, and head for the caves.

Reminds me a bit of the guys who do all that graffiti along the roads in the cities.

So the reason we don’t see a whole lot of art from back then is because people weren’t fat or happy that often.  And that’s good to know.

So the next time you see some cave art, think about those fat and happy people.  And then try to figure out what they were thinking about.  After all, aren’t you also happy?




Most every American seems to know what this means – it’s Cover Your Ass!  Personally, I’m glad everyone (mostly) covers their ass.  I really don’t want to know what yours looks like.  Heck, I don’t even want to know what mine looks like.  I totally pity and appreciate those doctors who make it their job to look at the public ass.

Strangely enough, “ass” is also the beginning of “asset.”  So CYA also means cover your assets.  And that’s what really counts in the long run.  If you take care of your assets, you will be better assured of some comfy living later in life.  Perhaps the same is true of your ass, but I don’t want to touch that.

We had a chance to visit the Warther Museum the other day, and it’s a marvel of ingenuity and perseverance.  It represents American idealism at its best, and stands as silent testimony to the greatness of individuals who are sufficiently motivated.  The talent, energy, and dedication of one man has created a magnificent set of carvings that are unique.

More to the point of this story, this man left all his art to his family.  He never sold any of his works.  He told the big bucks big city boys to keep their money because he wasn’t hungry, and had a roof over his head.  That decision has made his family stronger in the long run, because now they have a museum and a legacy to maintain.  It gives them, as a family, a stronger basis upon which to face an uncertain future.

What of our state?  This asset not only benefits the family, but the town surrounding it.  It benefits our state because people will come from around the world to visit.  Do we do anything to promote this museum?  Do we extend any form of assistance?  Do we give them tax breaks?

I certainly hope so.  This is not the place to pick apart the political details that may help or hinder this museum.  And it certainly isn’t the place to try and navigate the partisan politics that would always make their way into the discussion.  No, this is a discussion about behavior.  And in this case, it’s the behavior of the state that’s important.  Does our state, any state, understand the relationship between protecting all its assets in order to better face the future?  Parks, a rare species of salamander, a particular vista, or someone’s artwork?

It would certainly be nice if they did.  In the meantime, I wouldn’t trust the state to do the right thing in a timely manner.