Monday, April 3, 2017

"Musk Taunts Shorts As Tesla Hits Record Highs" (TSLA)

Duude, Memento mori, Memento mori.*
(I'm no classicist, see below)

From ZeroHedge:
Amid the stock's best day in 6 months, pushing the taxpayer-subsized company to record highs, Tesla's CEO Elon Musk has three brief words for some speculators...
"It appears "Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall," was not a consideration for Mr. Musk."

*"Remember that you will die," a shorter version of "Respice post te! Hominem te esse memento! Memento mori!" i.e. Dude, look behind you, you're just a guy, remember-you'll die.

-Supposedly the words a slave whispered to a returning Roman general during his triumphal procession.
Cambridge classicist Mary Beard makes a strong case against the simplistic popular conception in her book "The Roman Triumph".
From Friends of Classics Reviews:
...Balancing the enemy captives and bringing up the rear of the triumphal procession were the victorious general’s troops, chanting the mysterious “io triumpe”.

Less mysterious were the rude chants that the triumphing troops were licensed to direct at their general. Suetonius gives us a sample of what Caesar’s troops contributed: “Romans, watch your wives, the bald adulterer’s back home. You fucked away in Gaul the gold you borrowed here in Rome”.

Traditionally these chants have been seen as “apotropaic”, designed to ward off envy and the evil eye in the moment when the successful general was most vulnerable. This is consistent with what is perhaps the best-known aspect of the traditional picture of the triumph, the slave who supposedly stood behind the general in his chariot to remind him that he was not a god, by repeating the words “Look behind. Remember that you are a man”. In the film Quo Vadis? the slave’s words receive an unintended comic twist when they are delivered to a triumphing Marcus Vinicius as he ogles a pretty girl in the crowd (nothing wrong with Marcus Vinicius!).

Beard points out that the slave and his cautionary words have been cobbled together out of bits and pieces of evidence from different contexts and periods and that no single text gives us the whole picture. She is similarly sceptical about the modern theory that the triumphing general impersonated the god Jupiter Best and Greatest, dressed in the clothes of his cult statue and with his face similarly painted red.

The impersonation of the god, the admonitory slave and the apotropaic songs all make a tempting package, but the evidence for the triumphator’s impersonation of Jupiter is very slender. What we can say is that Roman authors of the late Republic and early Empire were particularly concerned with the line between the human and the divine, and with the problematic concept of the divine human. Eventually, the emperor would be hailed as a god and receive divine honours, but this would be a slow and difficult process....