Charles Nevin: Must we regard our ancestors as cannibals?

Start the week: Do you ever think we're a touch tough on ourselves as a species?

Share
Related Topics

Happy Monday. Do you ever think we're a touch tough on ourselves as a species? Unthinking bullies, selfish despoilers, that sort of thing? Our ancestors get an especially hard time. Give an archaeologist a bone, and it's human sacrifice before you can say cannibal. This hollowed-out skull found at Cheddar, too, I see, is right in the frame as a vessel for drinking the blood of fellow members of the then Big Society. But couldn't there be a slightly more benign explanation? A flower bowl, for example, or a useful receptacle for those little bits without a proper home in the cave, or a souvenir from Stonehenge? Exactly.



Men, apparently, are unimaginative when paying compliments to their partners. A quarter of them are said to involve "nice", a word difficult to imagine appearing in concert with "We'll always have Paris", "Oh, Jerry, don't let's ask for the moon. We have the stars", or "An hundred years should go to praise thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze". I would counsel sparing use, and never with "that's", "dear", "is it new?", "nearly as good as" and "my mother's".



You will have noticed that there are some things impossible to take seriously. The sausage, for example. So much so that a prosecution involving a house party guest being hit in the face by a flying one has been judged beneath the dignity of a Crown Court. In Essex, another undeserving fun object. Come on: we're all in the BS together now. This week, can we try, please, to be, yes, nicer, and not snigger at bananas, pigs, pouffes, UKIP, custard, bow ties, crumpets, poodles, 4x4s, plug-in air fresheners, hats, urgent government direction of travel manoeuvres, or jelly?



Excellent news about President Obama's visit. I trust he will find time to return to his roots, which are, of course, firmly fixed in Lancashire. Indeed: his great (times 11) grandmother was one of five sisters sent to America from Sutton, now part of St Helens, to find a husband after the Civil War here (they were firmly of the Royalist persuasion, Ma'am). Mr and Mrs Platt, who live in the old family home, have assured me it would be fine for the Obamas to pop in. Interestingly, too, the President is known to be very fond of that local delicacy, the pie. This week is National Chip Week, by the way. Happy Monday.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Jemma Gent: Year End Accountant

£250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...

Jemma Gent: Management Accountant

£230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...

Beverley James: Accounts Payable

£22,000 - £23,000: Beverley James: Are you looking for the opportunity to work...

Beverley James: Accounts Assistant

£30,000: Beverley James: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for a person looki...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Kanye West performs live at the Brit Awards 2015  

UK Grime is finally getting the recognition it deserves, but why has it taken so long?

Paul Gibbins
 

Jihadi John went to my university – so what?

James Tennent
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower