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The World according to Lothar part IV
by Mark on 3/4/2004 (4)

Lothar ponders the lust for Gold
From Zurich, with love.

Hello, my dear friends. My name is Lothar Von Rasmussen. I am a free thinking Neo-Kantist, BMW motorcycle racing enthusiast, Dominican cigar affeciando, connoisseur of Swedish women and French brandy, bidding salutations from Zurich, Switzerland, the cradle of refined taste and invention.

Happy Leap year to my friends and followers in the States.

How unsettling and iconoclastic the Leap year is. How resistant the human mind is to imperfection. A year of 366 days? A reminder every one year in four that our illusion of a perfect world is precisely that, -an illusion. Much like the lusterous, seductive illusion that radiates from an uncommon shiny metallic element with virtually no practical value at all...Gold.

In order to truly experience gold lust, one must actually heft a piece of gold -a coin or an ingot works best- and gauge its great mass in the palm, and visually caress its soft, seductive golden hue.

Of what odd, misguided emotions are born of this strange, rare, metal? From where in the mind do they spawn? Is it merely the scarcity of gold that creates its ubiquitous appeal, or does gold intertwine itself far, far deeper into the fabric of the human psyche?

The lust for gold has brought down countless women and men, and even entire civilizations were hunted to extinction for the stockpiles of gold they possessed. Here are a few stories documenting the shockingly frightfull and subtly amusing consequences that the lust for gold can bestow upon the greedy.

1. All the gold he could carry: In ancient Alexandria, during the realm of Alexander the Great, a Persian spy supplied Alexander's Generals with Persian troop locations and strengths, a map of oasises and food supply depots, and ports of call for Persian sailing vessels.

In return the man was promised all the gold he could carry.

Indeed the intelligence he provided was of the highest order, resulting in a sweeping route for Alexander's armies.

When the triumphant informant came to collect his due, his wish was granted, and the promise a shockingly Draconian fashion. Alexander's Generals, keenly sensitive to the repugnant notion of traitors and betrayal, fuffilled their promise by giving the man all the gold he could carry: By melting it down in a crucible, and pouring the molten gold down the living man's throat.

Hmmm...something to ponder when sipping your next precious dram of Goldschlager.

Who can deny the seductive gleam of Gold?
2. The entrerprising undertaker: In Elizabethian England, an unscrupulous undertaker, after burial of his wealthy clients, most of whom were buried with gold wedding bands and diamond and ruby jewelry, later made a midnight "withdrawal", digging up the graves and removing the precious articles from the unprotesting dead. Later that winter, the man was crushed beneath a wagon wheel. Mortally wounded and moribund, -upon hearing that his young mortuary apprentice, also his cohort in grave robbing, would tend to his body post mortum-, insisted that nothing of even the least trivial value be interred with his corpse.

The man's wishes were kept

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1. by nj46_uberfan on 3/1/2007 4:52:29 PM
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2. by Lothar on 3/1/2007 4:52:29 PM
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