A popular rastafarian slang for the Police force (or, more generally, the Establishment).

For some reasons why, check out the great track Callacop by Deep Space Network, which appears on the fantastic DJ Kicks album by Rocker's Hi-Fi (file somewhere between dub and drum and bass).

A night club located in Greensboro, North Carolina. Best known for their Friday night "rave parties", First Friday. From 1994 to 2000, Babylon was the epicenter of techno-music in mid-North Carolina until the tragic, gruesome murder of Ed LeBrun, the coordinator and promoter for First Friday's.

After Ed's murder, the scene in Greensboro collapsed within months. Others attempted to take up the task, but were lacking in something as they couldn't succeed.

We love and miss you, Ed!

What city is like unto this great city...that great
city that was clothed in fine linen and purple and
scarlet and decked with gold and precious stones and
pearls!...Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots
and of the Abominations of the Earth.
-Book of Revelation

Babylon was a city located on a branch of the river Euphrates. The language was a form of Akkadian, and written in the cuneiform script developed by the Sumerians.

The oldest settlement date is uncertain; in the 3rd millennium, while Sumer was at its peak, and while Nineveh and Ur were active on the international scene, it was nothing more than a farming community. It was at the end of that millennium that Babylon overtook a major role, due to a happy coincidence of a power vacuum and trade, taking advantage of its location at the spot where the Tigris and Euphrates came closest together.

Around the time of the king Sargon, shortly before Hammurabi, it codified its laws and began to organize the settlements around it and the labour necessary to irrigate the dry but fertile soil. Soon after Hammurabi, the southern states revolted, and after several years of turmoil was given the final blow by Hittite raiders, around 1500 B.C. A Dark Age followed, where little is written and thus even less known.

Babylon never again gained political importance, which was assumed in turn by the Kassites, the Assyrians, the Persians, and the Greeks. During that whole time, though, Babylon remained a cultural center. Its gods, most notably Marduk, were held in high esteem, and Assyrian kings tried to portray themselves as friendly to the Babylonian temples. In addition, it kept its language and writing, and was viewed as a source of learning. It was this legacy, of systematized education, literature, trade, and religion, that preserved the city until the end of the first millennium.

A few references, in case anyone wants to know more or prove my overly generalized writeup wrong:

Oates, J. Babylon. (London 1986).
Oppenheim, A.L. Mesopotamia: Portrait of a Dead Civilisation. (Chicago 1964).
Brinkman, J.A. A Political History of Post-Kassite Babylonia. (Rome 1968)


THE child alone a poet is:
Spring and Fairyland are his.
Truth and Reason show but dim,
And all’s poetry with him.
Rhyme and music flow in plenty
For the lad of one-and-twenty,
But Spring for him is no more now
Than daisies to a munching cow;
Just a cheery pleasant season,
Daisy buds to live at ease on.
He’s forgotten how he smiled
And shrieked at snowdrops when a child,
Or wept one evening secretly
For April’s glorious misery.
Wisdom made him old and wary
Banishing the Lords of Faery.
Wisdom made a breach and battered
Babylon to bits: she scattered
To the hedges and ditches
All our nursery gnomes and witches.
Lob and Puck, poor frantic elves,
Drag their treasures from the shelves.
Jack the Giant-killer’s gone,
Mother Goose and Oberon,
Bluebeard and King Solomon.
Robin, and Red Riding Hood
Take together to the wood,
And Sir Galahad lies hid
In a cave with Captain Kidd.
None of all the magic hosts,
None remain but a few ghosts
Of timorous heart, to linger on
Weeping for lost Babylon.

I suspect that Robert Graves was older than the lad of one-and-twenty of which he speaks in this poem. Looking back on both from a position of greater wisdom, when rhyme, at least, still flows.

Babylon, before being blown to bits, is the memory all poets, musicians, and other creative persons strive to resurrect--it is a testimony to Graves power, if not the catalogue he presents, that we remember ours.

Editor's note: Poem was first published in Fairies and Fusiliers, 1918 and a public domain work. CST Approved.

The name of Babylon is Greek for the Akkadian name "Bab-ili". The city was originally called "Pabili", a foreign word (whose etymology is unknown). Akkadians changed this to "Bab-ili", which means "gate of the god" (Marduk) ("Bab-ilani" means "gate of the gods"). This is called folk etymology.

An elephant's anus opens and lets fecal matter fly. It runs, a river of sewage, over a misfortunate man.

The movie is Damien Chazelle's Babylon (2022), and this scene, from the opening sequence, lampshades what follows.

The title references the ancient city by way of Hollywood Babylon, Kenneth Anger's angry collection of salacious libel from Tinseltown's early history. Every musty scandal gets reworked either for comic effect or thematic clarion-calling. Stars rise and fall, death gets waved away as dark comedy, anachronisms are spoken and sung, and excesses run like the film's diarrheic elephant. I can accept anachronistically stylistic flourishes, but the sporadically contemporary-sounding dialogue mostly feels lazy.

The film settles for a time. Performances are excellent, though it becomes difficult to take the characters seriously after the hyperbolic satire of the first third. The talented ensemble and a considerable budget largely get wasted in deliberate excess and disjointed execution. A few scenes-- a Hedda Hopperesque columnist musing on fame, for example-- make some amends.

In case we miss the broader targets, Chazelle riddles the film with allusions to the entire history of cinema, up to the present. The level of attendant wit falls somewhere between early-1990s Simpsons and any-season Family Guy: "Frankly, Scarlett, you're a cunt."

The film's final excess: several consecutive endings (some of them interesting) which reflect on the history and future of cinema.

Stephen King claims this film will one day be praised, a once-maligned classic. Most critics and theatre-goers just maligned it. The editing of individual scenes is often brilliant; the movie overall needs to have a hatchet taken to it. Ultimately, it's an indulgent commentary on indulgence, a three-hour tour with no desert isle in sight. Just because you can drown your audience in foul effluence, doesn't mean you should.

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