Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Not much has changed...

Women are "leaving the door open for a guy to get away with something...Here's what's happened over the years," says comic and radio host Steve Harvey. "Women's standards and requirements have lowered over the years. And as men, we know that. We have taken advantage of it. We've created terms that we feed to women that allow us to exist as we do," Author of Act like a Lady, Think Like a Man, Steve Harvey puts the responsibility on the women to train men again. By withholding what he calls "the cookie" (sex) women hold the power and can demand more from the men. He suggests a ninety day rule. Ninety days in a relationship before the man, uh, gets the cookie. In this way, the men can be held to a higher standard. Does this sound familiar? I immediately thought of Lysistrata's brilliant but simple plan. Stop having sex with men, to get them to bend to a woman's will. In her case it was to stop a war. Of course when Aristophanes wrote the play it was fiction, and comedy at that. But is there truth in it? What hidden power do women possess? And more importantly, is it our responsibility to ensure that men behave themselves? That they don't kill each other and sleep around? I want to know.

Death of Cygnus

1. At the walls of Troy,
2. A place once awed and admired,
3. An epic battle raged at her feet.
4. Swift footed Achilles tore through the Trojan lines,
5. Eyes searching for his prize,
6. But the life of Hector Tamer of Horses,
7. Would not be his to steal for years to come.
8. Instead here came Cygnus son of Neptune,
9. God of the sea.
10. His mighty arms plucked Greek soldier after soldier from the battlefield,
11. Throwing their souls into the dark underworld.
12. A worthy opponent indeed.
13. “Think yourself lucky,” Achilles bellowed,
14. “As you leave your pretty armor to me,
15. That it was Achilles who killed you.”
16. His deadly spear sped toward the Trojan's champion,
17. But…miraculously bounced harmlessly off his chest.
18. Achilles stared on in shock.
19. Cygnus’s taunting laughter pounded in his ears,
20. “To be the son not of a sea nymph like you,
21. But of Neptune, lord of the whole ocean, eh,
22. You’re going to have to do better than that, Greek,
23. If you want to kill me.”
24. At this time Cygnus threw his own spear,
25. Achilles raised his shield,
26. And felt the dull thud as the point nearly drilled all the way through.
27. Achilles returned fire,
28. Only to have the same result as before,
29. He might as well have been throwing toothpicks,
30. The way his spears bounded off Cygnus.
31. Achilles, angry, began to doubt his own strength.
32. He gathered his fallen spears,
33. And for good effect,
34. Hurled one through the soft body of a nearby Lycain.
35. He watched the man crumble dead to the ground.
36. Satisfied in his skill, Achilles hurled the same spear at Cygnus,
37. His eyes saw blood,
38. But his brain failed to tell him,
39. It was from the man he’d just killed,
40. And not from Neptune’s son.
41. He charged at the uninjured Cygnus and pounced on him,
42. Achilles blade shattered his helmet and shield with its frantic blows,
43. But Cygnus remained whole and unharmed.
44. On the contrary, it was the blade of Achilles that suffered,
45. The sharp edges turning soft like lead.
46. In a rage of despair and frustration,
47. Achilles rammed his shield into Cygnus’s face,
48. Crushing the nose like a soft pair.
49. He brought his sword pommel down,
50. Slamming it into the top of Cygnus’s head.
51. In this berserker state,
52. Achilles repeated this action until the skull caved in.
53. Thus was the death of Cygnus, son of Neptune.
54. But Achilles would go without his spoils,
55. For Neptune had spirited his sweet son away,
56. On the white wings of a bird.

Note: Lines 13-15, 20-21, 45, 48 were taken from the Ted Hugh's translation.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

An Imaginary Life

Who is The Child? He is Enkidu. He is Mowgli. He is Neleus and Pelias. This mystical character is present in all cultures and all times. There are websites to this day about wild, feral children. The struggle between civilization and nature have been voiced in human expression since the oral tradition. The Child slowly changes as he becomes more familiar with Ovid. What Ovid doesn't know, is that he changes as well. The more things change, the more they stay the same. All that is past possesses the present. These concepts are prevalent throughout the book. Not only does it have direct references to Ovid's Metamorphosis. pg 64 - "I have stopped finding fault with creation and have learned to accept it. We have some power in us that knows its own ends. It is that that drives us on to what we must finally become. We have only to conceive of the possibility and somehow the spirit works in us to make it is the real metamorphosis. Our further selves are contained within us, as the leaves and blossoms are in the tree. We have only to find the spring and release it. Such changes are slow beyond imagination." These changes are the true metamorphosis. Beyond life into poetry. Beyond poetry into life. The two become indistinguishable. So than, why does The Child return to the wild? After all his experiences he chooses nature over civilization. He leaves and Ovid is left alone, but happy. He wants this in his soul. He knows it is right. The meaning of age is lost to him. As is his previous life in Rome. He is left to nature and in this knowledge he is happy.

Term Paper

I got this brilliant idea for a creative term paper. I just have to talk to Prof. Sexson about it. Since all that is past possesses the present is the theme of our class. I would like to modernize one of the classical stories we have read for this class. My favorite is Cupid & Psyche, even thought we haven't gotten that far yet. But I thought an updated version of the classic tale would be pretty cool. We have Beauty and the Beast and a few fairy tales, but we don't have anything anchored in the real world. That's what I want to do.