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Gilgamesh at VA

I’m not exactly sure what to say about this new training video on the VA website, but i feel compelled to pass it along. Thanks to Boing Boing (Department of Defense remakes Gilgamesh online Thursday, December 28, 2006) for pointing to it:

There are lots of good translations of Gilgamesh. Try this one to refresh your memory: The Project Gutenberg eBook, An Old Babylonian Version of the Gilgamesh Epic, by Anonymous, Edited by Morris Jastrow, Translated by Albert T. Clay

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  1. dcornwall says:

    I find it fascinating that the first chapter of a video focuses on a supremely confident king who goes on a optional war over valuable resources, who cannot be dissuaded either by friends or by people with prior military experience. The king wins the war, but then his troubles really begin?

    Does this sound a little familiar to anyone else out there? Does make you wonder what the VA is up to? Probably a coincidence, but since the VA has to deal with the aftereffects of Iraq, you never know.

    “And besides all that, what we need is a decentralized, distributed system of depositing electronic files to local libraries willing to host them.” — Daniel Cornwall, tipping his hat to Cato the Elder for the original quote.

  2. jrjacobs says:

    Jim, you beat me to the punch! I was just about to blog about this, based on this post from boingboing. A commenter to the boingboing post said:

    Using Gilgamesh in a cartoon to explain “Post-Deployment Health Evaluations” sounds like a bizarre combination, but they’re following a meme started by VA psychiatrist Jonathan Shay. His books include “Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character” and “Odysseus in America: Combat Trauma and the Trials of Homecoming”.

    I’m adding this to the Best Titles Ever page!

  3. jrjacobs says:

    I’ve updated the best titles page. But guess what? It’s not listed in Worldcat meaning that it may be a fugitive document. If anyone can get this cataloged (or better yet, capture and archive the flash video, THEN catalog it!), please let us know so we can add a link to the open worldcat record.

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