Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Mad Dogs and Englishmen

Oh dear, I have nothing ready to publish today. This one is almost finished. What title can I give it? Got it.

Possibly racist, certainly a generalisation, but don't the best brains and the most artistic types come from countries that have a cold winter?

Personally, I don't function well in heat, dry or humid makes no difference. I hate the heat.

In the British colonies of India, Ceylon and Malaya, the well to do could escape the heat to the mountains where it was cooler. I don't know about Africa. The French colony of what is now Vietnam had the same, with accommodation for the French and the local rich people high in hills where it was cooler. Not sure about Laos and Cambodia.

But don't the world's best scientists, the best painters, the best authors, the best sculptors, the best architects etc etc all come from Western countries where there is a cold winter?

Of course I am suggesting this as a Western person who knows more about Western civilisation than I do about any other but I am quite firm in my opinion that the best brains come from countries that have a cold winter.

The hill station of Simla in India was a deliciously cool place for the English in the time of the Raj and not a gum tree to be seen. They had to go there to recalibrate their heat affected brains.


15 comments:

  1. Your theory raises interesting thoughts about Melbourne based minds. (I'm not referring to yours!) The Melbourne climate is renowned for its capacity to cover four seasons in one day.

    So, do you have the best and worst of Melbourne minds in Melbourne; or are they just muddled?

    Only joking!

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    1. I see your point Victor, however, our winters are consistently cold enough. Welcome home.

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  2. Heat does my head (and body) in. An interesting generalisation. I really like some Indian, Iraqi, Iranian architecture and art more generally. I wonder whether the creators were wealthy enough to escape the heat?

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    1. Yes EC, there will be plenty of exceptions and it is quite a generalisation. Where we would be without art from India, Africa and the Middle East.

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  3. You could be right, the sun just makes you sleepy.
    Merle............

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    1. Merle, don't you get a lot more done when it is cool, and you can think better.

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  4. I had a whole theory developed about Paris, London, Berlin, St Petersburg, New York and Chicago being world centres of engineering, architecture, music, literature etc. Vienna won more Nobel Prizes for medicine, chemistry, physics, literature etc in a decade than Madras, Singapore, Algiers and Darwin won in 110 years, put together.

    After all, why would a person slave away in a library or chem lab if he/she could be swimming on the beach each day?

    But then how do we account for Ancient Cairo and Athens?

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    1. Hels, I suppose we have to think of modern times. Both places you mention are disasters and hard to imagine how anyone would have time to think and ponder.

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  5. Cold winters have the best brains and artists etc? What about all the geniuses from countries with a warm winter and white hot summers?

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    1. River, it is all about numbers, and those places have huge numbers of people, but the good stuff mostly comes from Western countries with much smaller populations.

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  6. Victor's comment made me smile :) About Africa, we used to travel down to Beira in Mozambique for holidays, a very moderate climate, the temps were around 28C in summer and 21C in winter, so the perfect place to get away from the October heat in Zambia! and btw Andrew, excuse me, talking about the lack of great artists in hot weather.. did you see my painting the other day .. hahahaha! only kidding!

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  7. I just checked Beira. Sounds like it would have been a great place, but not now. I bet you did most of the painting in the cool, not in the heat.

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  8. I seem to remember the few days I did this painting it was about 38C here Andrew and because of the mess I always create had to paint outdoors.. not trying to disprove your theory or anything :)

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    1. Grace, I liked your painting but I can't possibly let you win. When your painting hangs in our National Gallery, your point will be proved.

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