Um, Bob, where did all the cows go ?
June 8, 2001 1:34 PM   Subscribe

Um, Bob, where did all the cows go ? So much for the theory of how Native Americans and Aborigines have lived in harmony with the land since time began.... Turns out they were just gluttonous killing machines who gorged themselves on steak till all the beasties disappeared (or something like that)
posted by zeoslap (14 comments total)
What's with that tricked out elephant cave drawing? Is that real? It has so many advanced elements of shading and 3-D perspective that I'm surprised it didn't come out of Europe around the time of the Renaissance. Any art historians here? It took "civilized" European artists quite some time to grasp concepts of perspective.
posted by fleener at 2:34 PM on June 8, 2001

And it's an elephant. Not a mammoth.

This is the BBC - we deserve better.
posted by Grangousier at 2:47 PM on June 8, 2001

Generally, the cave art created without consistent contact with "western civilization" of the twentieth century isn't quite as outlined as that is.

In the past, the BBC has "helped" users see the indistinct shapes of animals by using a very distinct different color to draw out the image from the shadows (once in my memory), but they have not delineated the animal in such a way as to meld with the picture itself.

My guess is that it is a 20th century drawing, done for spiritual/religious purposes by an aboriginee who has had some art training/influence by western culture.

The shading/perspective exists in rock art throughout the ages, regardless of nature. It's the detailed illustrator outlining AROUND that shading/perspective that sent my eyebrows to the top of my head. You often see line-drawings or shading/perspective, but they are rarely combined.

[I'm not an expert, I've just looked at a lot of rock art websites and news articles.]
posted by julen at 2:58 PM on June 8, 2001

I don't fault the aboriginal people at all. You ever eat fresh roast buffalo? God. On top of that, they had neither cable nor internet, and their porn musta looked like stick figures.
I'd have done the same, only much faster.
posted by dong_resin at 3:47 PM on June 8, 2001

like a roving Winn Dixie
posted by clavdivs at 5:07 PM on June 8, 2001

There are other explanations.
posted by rodii at 6:57 PM on June 8, 2001

that's funny. say, i heard from someone about a herd of cows that was neglected for a few days and when found, about a dozen of them bad boys had chunks taken out. cows eating cows. does anyone know anything about this?
posted by clavdivs at 7:49 PM on June 8, 2001

Clav, I hope that turns out to be real.
posted by dong_resin at 8:13 PM on June 8, 2001

humans suck.

on the cow chunks.. it is common practice to bore holes into cows and remove chunks like an ice core the size of your fist. The cows dont seem to mind it much and its used for research.
posted by stbalbach at 8:58 PM on June 8, 2001


Actually, that's even cooler.
posted by dong_resin at 10:15 PM on June 8, 2001

Near my old home, in Waikato, they have research farms and cows with round glass windows to view the stomach's contents. If you put a rotting watermelon in a dryer you'd get a similar scene (ask your mum first).

This reminds me of Maori being portrayed as natural conservationists and noble savages. Most natives ride the "one with the land" bandwagon though they've eaten species to extinction. It's understandable, there's benefits for shallow sentiments, but they were just human.
posted by holloway at 12:44 AM on June 9, 2001

Looks like the BBC used clip art and a rock texture, to me. Here's a real cave painting of a mammoth. Which isn't to say the cave-painters didn't have sophisticated techniques...

I really do have to recommend this Lascaux site (home of link above). Excellent graphical presentations (though some of the images could be larger), fairly easy navigation, good historical context. Maps & timelines too. The opening imagery has a neat javascript mouseover "spotlight" effect.
posted by dhartung at 2:02 PM on June 9, 2001

I was giving the BBC the benefit of the doubt, mostly because I didn't think their web monkeys had time to do all the constructing and futzing, but dang, those tusks are white, that wall is uniformly colored, and the shading and lines wouldn't stand separately so well.

I wrote the BBC asking about it; We'll see if I get an answer.
posted by julen at 6:25 AM on June 11, 2001

I got this response:

Sorry but the picture came from a photo library and we have no further details of its origins.
Thank you for your interest in BBC News Online,

posted by julen at 6:28 AM on June 13, 2001

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