Excerpt from Sumerian Man to World, c. 5500 BCE

Besides, wasn’t it fun to do stuff like this?

Dear Friends,

I am writing on this tablet to warn you all about the impending destruction of our world. This so called “technological revolution” we are undergoing is dangerous and will lead to the death of all of you. The Gods have spoken, and they are not happy. Why, there are those among us who remember the grand old days. In our generation, many seasons ago, we didn’t have time for this so-called “farming” rubbish. When we wanted to eat, we went out and slaughtered something. Or maybe we gathered the hell out of some fruit. Nothing like this “growing” food or “raising” animals.

In my day, we had to make do with stone axes and spears. They were good enough for us, and they should be good enough for you. And yet, despite the obvious warning signs from the Gods, you persist with this “bronze” nonsense. The path to bronze is the path to doom. Bronze is unnatural and the Gods view it as dangerous. Yes, maybe we have to worry slightly less about lions eating our delicious and vulnerable children. But will that matter when the Gods flood us with hundreds of lions, armed with bronze spears?


And besides the fact that wheat is disgusting (and don’t talk to me about this “bread” everyone is talking about. It’s an abomination), how are we to explain to the Gods that now we have “houses” built with “clay”? Why can’t we leave the clay in the mud where it belongs? Heed my warnings, people and delicious children of Sumer, lest the Gods punish us for leaving our traditional hunter-gatherer ways. You have been warned.


Shulgi of Ur


The famous Shulgi of Ur was known for posting his “tablets”—an early form of the letter—in the main square of Ur. They always decried something or other, including the bronze age, shorter skirts for women, and the way goat tasted nowadays. Shulgi, of course, failed to recognize the irony in his using the city square as a place for publicizing his opinions while simultaneously complaining about the existence of the city square.

Shulgi wasn’t the only one who missed the Stone Age. Several of his friends got together every Tuesday to play a game of Spear and reminisced about rocks.

Toward the end of his life in Ur, Shulgi began simple staying in the city square all the time, where he forced people to read his increasingly lengthy and histrionic tablets. He was finally removed and taken to a facility for the insane, all the while screaming that in his day, he “would’ve been sent to live with the lions and would’ve been better off there than with you ungodsly maniacs!”


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