lots of intervention from the classical world these past months. first it was achilles. now it’s spartacus. there was the bookstore on saturday, where steve collis read. it has a new very beautiful space just doors down from the old location, which burned. (nero anywhere in sight?)

i got a call yesterday from herb at spartacus, and i was wondering what in dog’s name he could be calling for, until i realized it was herb dasilva from spartacus gym, across the park, where i signed up about a week ago. i’d asked for him because he is the one trainer there who specializes in rehab. so i had a session with him tonight, to help me get back in shape after these patient months as the one-hoof wonder of the west. everything is tight and weak. let’s not discuss it and pretend we did. but herb was great. very supportive and also really good at explaining technique, sometimes repeatedly, until i got it.

so what do an anarchist bookstore and an eastside gym have in common that they should adopt the same name? (i wonder how many of the same people they attract?)turns out spartacus was a thracian soldier captured by the romans and sold as a gladiator. he escaped, raised an army of rebel slaves and defeated two roman legions before a third roman army got him. those were the days of crucifixtion. apparently 6000 slaves were crucified and put on display as a warning against slave rebellion. there was a movie in the 70s, starring kirk douglas and directed by stanley’s all coming together— hollywood, body-building, political rebellion. i wonder if spartacus would have gone to spartacus the gym, spartacus the bookstore, both, or neither? once, of course, he escaped the romans a second time and joined the banale herd of the thracian middle class. the romance of the mind or the romance of the body? apparently i need both. but come the revolution…

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