THE LIFE AND TIMES OF SOCRATE

Few figures of history have remained so fascinating and yet so enigmatic. Who was this mysterious man? What did he do? Why is he important? Based on newly discovered texts, all this and more will be revealed!

 
(Presented by Two Small Blocks)

Due to a curious gynecological mishap, Socrate was born 470 BC in Athens, balding, with a full beard. His father was a painter of homerotic vases, and his mother was married under a basket. Here he is, age two months:

Note the furrowed brow, and expression of deep thought. Research has been unable to find reliable statistics on motor skills of four-month-olds, but they look pretty good in this picture, don't they? This picture is of particular historical interest, because it demonstrates the early use of safety pins in Hellenistic society.

Socrate spent his youth modelling for his father, while mantaining a close friend(?)ship with his cousin, Socrates. (Socrates would ultimately become the more famous of the duo, but Socrate is by far the more interesting and relevant to our time.) Although many historians debate the veracity of this, it seems that Socrates spent his teenage years practicing to become a ballerina. The evidence for this is mostly based on this (possibly unfinished) picture below:

Socrate can here be seen in the devellope position, wearing a nicely patterned toga. Historians suspect that the end of Socrate's carreer in ballet came either from a leg injury, or the mandatory service in the Athenian army. In later years, and while in a state of inebriation, Socrate was known to dance the Tango and play "Fur Elise" on a kazoo. The connection is a matter of controversy among historians.

In any case, Socrate did enter the army at age eighteen, where he served alongside his cousin Socrates. Socrate was decorated with the prestigious Purple Priapus, after he distinguished himself for extreme cowardice in the Battle of Delium. Here is a shot of Socrate in action:

Upon his return to Athens, Socrate dabbled briefly in the Art Nouveau, resulting mainly in the portrait below:

Here we see Socrate looking sternly into the distance. Artistically, it is worth noting that Socrate's beard has shrunk and his nose has taken yet another, equally improbable, form. Because Socrate's artistic pursuits lasted only a few months, some scholars have suggested that Socrate's power resided Samson-like in his beard. With this beard cut, Socrate fell into an excruciating and avante-garde weakness, which was eventually alleviated by it's re-growth.

After his brief stint at art, Socrate entered the public forum, where he spent his middle-years in vigorous and often successful pursuit of debauchery, inebriation, and pederasty. He cultivated in his household numerous "cupbearers", and was heard to comment more than once, "Yea, my cup is overflowing!". Also during this period he was seen to hang out at local bars with Confuzi, from whom originated the immortal "This one time, at band camp" paradox. Here we see Socrate with his favorite enema amphora.

While it is certain that Socrate's gesture is suggestive, scholars debate the location of Socrate's left hand in this picture. Socrate himself refused to comment.

During this time, Socrate also made most of his major philosophical contributions. Although he wrote nothing, his "followers" have recorded much of his thought. Socrate's two outstanding works of thought are the "Cheese Connoisseur Riddle" and the answer to that previously insurmountable question, "Quid Jove maius habemus?" As recorded by Plato in "The Anarcho-Syndicate," here is the "Cheese Connoisseur Riddle":

SOCRATE: Those who will seek after knowledge must logically answer one question.

GRATON: Yes! You are right!

SOCRATE: I am always right.

GRATON: I agree! You are right!

SOCRATE: Here is the question which we must answer: So this cheese connoisseur opens up a Mexican food store. What does he call it?

GRATON: Gosh, Socrate. I don't know.

SOCRATE: Nacho average cheese! Get it? Like Not-your average cheese? Nacho average cheese. 'Nacho' kind of sounds like 'Not your'. Haha. Get it?

GRATON: You are right!

SOCRATE: That's because I'm a genius.

Socrate's next greatest contribution to philosophy was his answer to the famous question, "Quid Jove maius habemus?", which is Latin for "What more do we have than Jupiter?" Socrate is shown solving this conundrum in the picture below:

That's right. Socrate himself is greater than Jupiter. 'Jove' is in the Ablative Singular of Comparison, while 'Socrate' is completely un-declinable in most modern and ancient languages.

Unfortunately, shortly after this epiphany, tragedy struck Socrate's life. Socrate's cousin, Socrates, was sentenced to death by drinking hemlock. It is worth adding a picture of this famous event, in order to explain the events that resulted from it. Here's The Death of Socrates, by Jacques-Louis David, 1781.

After the funeral for his cousin, Socrate was seen sitting on his bed with one finger in the air, shouting "I can do it too! Look! Look! I'm incorruptable! Look at me!"

Although Socrate was stricken with grief over Socrates' death, he was determined to match his cousin's fame. Standing thus on his bed, Socrate shouted, "I can die for my principles too!" He thereupon drunk himself to kidney failure and died.

THE END.

As scholarship progresses, more details of Socrate's life may be illuminated.
Meanwhile, return to Two Small Blocks for more edification.