Friday, February 21, 2014

It's the oldest known film of a pope, taken in 1896. It was a year before my grandfather was born in Portsmouth. The audio is his voice, recorded in 1903, the year my grandma was born in Plymouth, and also the oldest known recording of a pope.

Leo XIII was known as the Rosary Pope, for the many encyclicals he wrote on the Rosary and its merits.

It's a funny feeling, isn't it? Even though we newfangled people are all smarty-smart and sophisticated nowadays and we all know Science and stuff, seeing something like this still gives us a strange little primordial twinge of The Spooky. It's like looking into a window on the past, something our ancestors couldn't have ever done.

And yet, despite all this evidence about it, the past is perhaps more closed to people of our time than it was to anyone who lived there with their clunky, old-fashioned "books" and mass illiteracy. We smarty-smart moderns are a deracinated people who have forgotten who we are, even as we continue to load our past onto the 'net.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is not so much that the present generation(s)has forgotten who they are, but have looked onto the past with the contempt of a narrow and bigoted people.