This is a personal blog, please observe Think Hour for ad hoc quasi-diary writings and Big Ideas for my ratified longform items. I will see you there.


2020-11-12


It’s you, always was. Who else? Where else?

Medicine, Photography and Non-Masonry // edinphoto

statues 1858

In the post directly preceding this I looked at an entry on the “edinphoto” website, for a specific photograph(er) I had sought out. Less than 24 hours later I am fulfilling my vow to return to their digital doorstep, now for a look at a more serendipitous (quasi-randomly selected) subject: Robert Macpherson. The man was apparently placed onto and clawed back from the mortal plane within the 19th century and studied medicine in Edinburgh before traveling down more creative avenues (although medicine at the time could possibly be accurately described as “artistic” and highly creative).

a naked man

After some reading about the idea of a “Robert MacPherson” doing “painting and photography” but seeing little evidence of his working, we set out to look elsewhere for data. It becomes clear that this man is quite well documented, and seems to be as prolific as stated. He has a Wikipedia page, a hallmark of people with sizable renown, and was in fact spent much of his career in Rome, being the first man to photograph the interior of the Vatican. Many examples of his work is catalogued in super hi-res at the J. Paul Getty museum website, and is collectible with a little “inspect elementing”.

“… an innovator. His experiments with photolithography in the mid 1850s were years ahead of most of his contemporaries.”

the aforeseen statues in colour

The solitary evidence offered by the edinphoto site of the man ever having captured light permanently is a photograph that seems to show statues from his time shooting the Vatican. The room and works depicted are quite beautiful, and are thus shown to be largely unchanged today by many photographs by others over time into modernity (an interval approaching 200 years). It’s interesting to see them decorated in full colour in latter images, rather than in simple light values, though then who’s to say the room hasn’t changed in way of colours since then given the technological discrepancy. Whatever.

the painting

I really hate being so brief, erratic and inattentive in paying dues to my subjects when streaming out my quick-time written think-posts, but this is my personal unpublicized web logging site and one of my special mental handicaps that I will allow to manifest here is my love of insubstantial frivolous tangentia. With this declared, check out this website that is linked on Robert’s wikipedia page. Unbelievable it is. It is said to host a picture of the only known extant work in the realm of painting by Robert, which I will include if I can find it (the direct link is broken, but it might be on here somewhere or elsewhere). I will now prematurely ejaculate this paragraph and its purpose as a segue to instead split clean into a fresh section just because this website is so good. We are being water.

This is a Non-Masonic website. // The Autonomous Grand Priory of Scotland

torch

This website, belonging to the Scottish Knights Templar or a devoted fan thereof, is not simply archaic but quite artfully designed in a way that is able to resonate even those using temporally-2020 attuned eyes. This description is fitting for at least the landing page, which, if not for the #000000 void, is rendered as a roomy antechamber that operates as a vestibule leading into further dark mysterious directories. Decorating the room is a chest, a bench, castle windows (showing a view of what I assume is the Scottish countryside) and most imposingly two stoic knights dressed in robes adorned with a cutting red “cross patty”. If your faith or sworn allegiances have you cowed in the presence of these men, rest assured in knowing they are imprisoned in very small JPEG files.

templars on grass

Having set HTTrack running I can proceed onward. The first of two pages detailing their history is headed by a warning of a “false order” in the Czech Republic, which is funny in placement, bright yellow hypertext form and in that, at least for me right now, it conjures up thoughts of blood vs crip street beef and inter-family feuding bareknuckle gypsy fighters asking for a scrap. While it is easy to cast a comical and absurd light on all of this through a secular current lense, it is actually sincerely striking to think of a history stretching back to 1000 years A.D. existing currently in this wired-up markup digital form. While we can be certain this website doesn’t represent a complete backdated almanac and repository of all information and traditions pertinent to the order, the data that is here provides plenty to stake a web-ready existence for the “new autonomous priory” of 2013.

In keeping with the ecumenical nature of the Order a broad definition of the term “professing Christian” is applied and membership may be open to all men and women who support Chivalric Christian Ideals. People of high ideals who hold other beliefs may be admitted as Friends of the Order.

They provide lots of resources here concerning administrative operation. For instance there’s a FAQ on becoming a member, which elucidates the ecumenical nature of the institution (there are even means for non-christian involvement) as well as the fact their strict security and integrity measures meaning anyone with a criminal record should look elsewhere. It’s very interesting to note that prospective members must own a computer and printer. There are also repeated declarations of their non-masonic nature on several pages.

group photo

There’s lots of media available here too, what would a modern web presence be without images and video? Unfortunately it seems someone of lesser ability with use and presentation of image files has been at work in this regard, one image has a mouse cursor baked into it due to being captured via ScreenHunter in 2007, but there’s some decent work with blurring individual faces elsewhere in this group photo where privacy was apparently desired.

sword

In stating the above we do not as an Order take part in demonstrations nor do we subsidise any groups who mean these people any harm, we do not tolerate any violence whatsoever this is not what true Christians do, we are here to serve God and Jesus and to love one another as was laid down by Jesus. Most of the problems we see and her about today is caused by Governments and Politicians and not by the people themselves.

uh oh

While some will be worried by some of the imagery and references to violent historical events, they do avow and promote the peaceful teachings and nature of Christ. My personal approval of their positions does not end there - they also consider politicians as less than human. I’m joking, and taking advantage of some poor wording of course. Like me, they have many cool things that they lay claim to or association with. The “Stone of Destiny”, “The Book of Deer” and even Mary King’s Close are all listed amongst the inventory of Scottish treasures that they covet.

ruins

Taking a closer look at the site itself, we see it calls for usage of an old Microsoft character set, rather than the now monolithic usage of UTF8, and a javascript script for preloading images. Other than that I seriously can’t find anything that would illuminate how this site was put together. Was it a FrontPage creation? Does abuse of dreamweaver result in the abundance of &nbsp we see in the html? I’m not a good enough forensic investigator to say. Thankfully they at least credit and promote the makers of their regalia and goblets on the links page. Maybe I should contact them and make an inquisition about their in-house web development team.

mural