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The Love Lament of Donald T. Sterling
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As Donald Sterling tried to explain to Anderson Cooper, what he was attempting to say to V. Stiviano about her Instagram account was:

Since you are lovely, I know, of course that I can’t stop you from cheating;
All that I hope for, at best, is not to know when you do.
I am no censor to say that you always have to be decent:
Still, I wish you would try, or at least pretend that you are.
She who denies her guilt is never utterly guilty –
Only the guilt confessed brings the disgrace to her name.
What kind of madness is this, to broadcast the most intimate secrets,
Letting the light of day flood the events of the night?
Even the commonest tart receives her lovers with caution,
Keeping the people away, sliding the bolt on the door.
You, on the other hand, delight in the role of informer;
Scandal that implicates you, you are the first to make known.
Have better sense, or, at least, pretend to be one of the modest;
Let me think you behave, no matter what you may do. …
Lie to the people, to me; fool me, but don’t let me know it;
Let my folly enjoy all of its ignorant bliss.

Ovid, The Loves, Book III, Elegy XIV, c. 16 B.C.
Translation by Rolfe Humphries

 
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  1. The classics of antiquity have always seemed so contemporary to me; far moreso than, say, the literature of the Victorian Age. Go read Catullus or Juvenal and you will think you are reading something written two days ago. What’s that cliche? The more things change, the more they stay the same.* Sensational find, Steve!

    *except that V Stiviano ain’t all that lovely.

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  2. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Very funny. Really good find.

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  3. Dennis Dale says: • Website

    What kind of madness is this, to broadcast the most intimate secrets,
    Letting the light of day flood the events of the night?

    Because in our time shame is dead and notoriety is very much alive, a more aware and honest harlot might have replied. But as the deeper betrayal was not the infidelity but the phone call (“broadcast”? Ovid, you have no idea!) she could only mutter, with characteristic lack of conviction: “you know I’m mixed, right?”

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  4. Wasn’t Ovid exiled for private impropriety, too? Plus ca change and all that.

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  5. CHARIOTS OF FIRED

    And when it happened that this poem of Ovid became known to the people,
    a great hue and cry arose through all of Rome. And it was at once proclaimed
    by the Emperor Tiberius, that Ovid, in punishment for his shameful
    acts, should be deprived of all his property, and made bereft of all his slaves
    who, as gladiators, waged mortal combat in the arena of the Colosseum; and
    also, that that the poet he himself was banished, forever more, from the arena
    and from Rome, and from the company of the rich and noble.

    The wife of Ovid, though she herself much put upon by her husband, stood
    by his side through his ordeal, but to no avail. All her appeals, and his, that
    mercy be shown unto him, now in his dotage, fell on deaf ears: for in matters
    of the sort in question, the Law, though unwritten, was clear and yielded not,
    nor bent not, no more so than iron.

    And so it happened, no sooner had the proclamation of Tiberius been cried
    out in the Forum, than there came forward, to press their claim for purchase
    of the property of Ovid, and his slaves, an assemblage of noble princes and
    great merchants. The leader of them was of the tribe of Israelites, and he
    himself once labored in the bondage of a slave; and he was known by the
    name Judah Ben-Hur.

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  6. SFG says:

    ” Go read Catullus or Juvenal and you will think you are reading something written two days ago. ”

    History doesn’t repeat, but it rhymes (who said that?). We live in a profoundly pagan culture these days, and the ancients worried about living a moral life too, but they did so in a world where might made right, position was everything, and there was no afterlife as a reward or punishment for good or bad behavior.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Rome always struck me as a society in which the values found today among sports franchise owners went almost unquestioned. I've always liked the Italians a lot more than the Romans.
    , @Hunsdon
    SFG: Who said that?

    Hunsdon: Twain, I think.
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  7. @SFG
    " Go read Catullus or Juvenal and you will think you are reading something written two days ago. "

    History doesn't repeat, but it rhymes (who said that?). We live in a profoundly pagan culture these days, and the ancients worried about living a moral life too, but they did so in a world where might made right, position was everything, and there was no afterlife as a reward or punishment for good or bad behavior.

    Rome always struck me as a society in which the values found today among sports franchise owners went almost unquestioned. I’ve always liked the Italians a lot more than the Romans.

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    • Replies: @Hunsdon
    All hail the civilizing influence of the tomato!
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  8. Hunsdon says:
    @SFG
    " Go read Catullus or Juvenal and you will think you are reading something written two days ago. "

    History doesn't repeat, but it rhymes (who said that?). We live in a profoundly pagan culture these days, and the ancients worried about living a moral life too, but they did so in a world where might made right, position was everything, and there was no afterlife as a reward or punishment for good or bad behavior.

    SFG: Who said that?

    Hunsdon: Twain, I think.

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  9. Hunsdon says:
    @Steve Sailer
    Rome always struck me as a society in which the values found today among sports franchise owners went almost unquestioned. I've always liked the Italians a lot more than the Romans.

    All hail the civilizing influence of the tomato!

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  10. This is actually Elegy XIV.

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  11. […] certainly weren’t of the opinion that women were more fair in their behavior. But before people had much exposure to major racial differences in color, they were more cognizant […]

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  12. SFG says:

    Hundson: Thanks. It sounds like something he would say.

    Steve: “I’ve always liked the Italians a lot more than the Romans.”

    The professional sports bit is a nice analogy, given the gladiatoral games and the riots in Constantinople. But…the Romans built an empire, the Italians can barely keep a country together. Italy contains a collection of artworks greater than any other nation’s, decaying into dust. There’s a real sense in which nice guys finish last, in love and in life.

    Virtues and vices are difficult to disentangle, and one moment’s virtue may be another moment’s vice. Is it good to be stubborn and hold onto things? It’s good to hold onto your stocks through falls in the market…until the year, some century, when the market falls for good. It’s bad to be violent and go to jail…unless society is finally collapsing and you can fend for yourself better than the wimps who used to push you around. Treason doth never prosper…for, if it doth prosper, none dare call it treason.

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  13. No greater lust has one man than to give up his franchise for a really ordinary woman. He had the Laker girls, Clippers dancers, the Ice Crew and any Model Actress Whatever and he chooses very badly. I don’t think he is in the Steveosphere.

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