Monday 28 May 2012

I'm Throwin' In the Towel. Hangin' Up My Six-Shooters. Pettitt Claims Victory and I Can't Be Bothered to Respond. Meet Me at the End of the Universe.

Yesterday I mentioned The Palaeolithic Origins of Human Burial, by Paul Pettitt. As I pointed out, his book spends quite some time dispensing with research that I published in 1989 and 1999, and about which you've heard quite a bit over the course of the past six months.
     I've been reading Pettitt's book, which I was compelled to purchase after I learned of its existence and, especially, of the number of times he finds it necessary to comment in an ill-informed manner on my work. I know. Yesterday I was all fired up, and I was gonna go head to head with Pettitt's mainly erroneous assertions and pettyfogging dismissals.
     Sitting here right now I'm succumbing to ennui. After all, Pettitt is just one more in what's now become a very long line of academics [I won't go so far as to say they're scholars] who've disagreed, and no more, with what I've published about Middle Palaeolithic burial. As with all the rest I find that Pettitt misses, not just one, but numerous points that I've made, and I can only conclude that he and the others either can't read or are so blinkered that they're unable to interpret what it is I've said. So, you see, it doesn't matter what I say; it seems only to matter what they choose to ignore and misunderstand about what I've said.
     Therefore, I've concluded, there's little, if any, point to trying, once again, to explain what I actually said about Middle Palaeolithic burial to someone who's clearly intellectually challenged by my words. I'll simply say this to the Pettitts of this small world of ours: meet me at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe. We'll have a drink. And there, when all the data are in, I'll gracefully accept your apologies and your acquiescence to the truth about MP burial. I'll be having a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster. Make mine a double.
The Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster is an alcoholic beverage invented by ex-President of the Universe Zaphod Beeblebrox, largely considered to be the best in the Universe. Its effects are similar to having your brains smashed in by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick. Mixing Instructions: Take the juice from one bottle of Ol' Janx Spirit. Pour into it one measure of water from the seas of Santraginus V—Oh, that Santraginean seawater! Oh, those Santraginean fish! Allow three cubes of Arcturan Mega-gin to melt into the mixture (it must be properly iced or the benzine is lost). Allow four litres of Fallian marsh gas to bubble through it, in memory of all those happy hikers who have died of pleasure in the Marshes of Fallia. Over the back of a silver spoon float a measure of Qualactin Hypermint extract, redolent of all the heady odours of the dark Qualactin Zones, subtle, sweet and mystic. Drop in the tooth of an Algolian Suntiger. Watch it dissolve, spreading the fires of the Algolian Suns deep into the heart of the drink. Sprinkle Zamphuor. Add an olive. Drink... but... very carefully... Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
     So. What's next for me? Back to the true work of the subversive archaeologist. It's much more rewarding and successful than my stuff on burial, and I won't be plowing the same ground over and over again! *cough*
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