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The Stalags: Israeli Holocaust Erotica March 15, 2014

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
The Stalags: Israeli Holocaust Erotica

Literature has some pretty bizarre dust balls under the bed – roadkill cookbooks, Marxist-Leninist poetry… – but there are few things that compete with the so-called ‘stalags’, Israeli erotica based around Nazi murder camps. In the late 1960s Israel was experiencing holocaust delerium: sweating out the killing of six million Jewish Europeans just two decades […]

Crowds #7: Fleeing July 4, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
Crowds #7: Fleeing

Beach greatly enjoyed, last year, writing a series of posts on crowds: i.e ransacking the web for likely images with the philosophy that groups, particularly ecstatic, tense or ‘altered’ groups make for interesting studies. There was crowds as art, those silly men with straw hats from August 1914, listening crowds, religion and crowds, prisoner crowds […]

Jesus Christ and Naked Men September 23, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient
Jesus Christ and Naked Men

All the fuss about Jesus’ wife the other day, put Beach in mind of an earlier controversial Biblical find, one that is, in many ways, more exciting. In 1958 a (then) young Biblical scholar Morton Smith (obit 1991) was working in the library of the Monastery of Mar Saba on the West Bank when he […]

Highest Placed Spy August 2, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
Highest Placed Spy

And so it begins… Mrs B woke up at 5.00 am this morning and took darling daughters and aupair to the sea for at least a week. Beach is going to relax today and then from tomorrow do some serious MANLY writing. (He will only really relax when he learns that Italian motorways have not […]

Precious Pot Sherds at Tell-el-Hesy July 23, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Modern
Precious Pot Sherds at Tell-el-Hesy

Beach has failed to find the original for this as it appeared unreferenced: a crime he is going to compound by unreferencing that one late inadequate reference. However, the passage almost certainly relates to the work of Flinders Petrie at Tell-el-Hesy in 1890, sometimes said to mark the birth of modern archaeology. FP, among his […]

Suicide and Historical Loopholes April 7, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite, Ancient, Contemporary, Modern
Suicide and Historical Loopholes

Suicide has proved abhorrent to most spiritual traditions. Certainly, the great monotheistic religions and most of the far Eastern religions have condemned ‘self-murder’: cue lots of pulpit bashing and descriptions of hell or unpleasant reincarnations. This begs the question though of what you can do if you live in 500 BC or 500 AD or […]

Medieval and Ancient Rats January 18, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Medieval
Medieval and Ancient Rats

One of the mysteries of the Black Death in the Middle Ages is how the victims never – with one curious Scandinavian exception – cottoned on to the fact that rodents, particularly rats were disease bearers. In some cases there were infestations of rats before the disease struck and many rats also died, which should […]

Israel Saved by the Soviets in 1973? January 13, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
Israel Saved by the Soviets in 1973?

In 1948, 1967 and 1973 Israel fought wars that could conceivably have seen the destruction not only of the Israeli state but also of the Jewish community in Palestine. None of these wars came closer to Arab success than the last, the Yom Kippur war. Egypt and Syria (with Iraqi backing) managed to achieve almost […]