hey i know i have a lot of ASD friends for whom autoplay is a really awful thing so here is a really nice option, stay safe friends
mccoydarling said: Please talk forever about Helen and ancient greek you are so enpoint
in the iliad helen speaks the last lament for hector. the only man in troy who showed her kindness is slain—and now, helen says, πάντες δέ με πεφρίκασιν, all men shudder at me. she doesn’t speak in the iliiad again.
homer isn’t cruel to helen; her story is cruel enough. in the conjectured era of the trojan war, women are mothers by twelve, grandmothers by twenty-four, and buried by thirty. the lineage of mycenaean families passes through daughters: royal women are kingmakers, and command a little power, but they are bartered like jewels (the iliad speaks again and again of helen and all her wealth). helen is the most beautiful woman in the world, golden with kharis, the seductive grace that arouses desire. she is coveted by men beyond all reason. after she is seized by paris and compelled by aphrodite to love him against her will—in other writings of the myth, she loves him freely—she is never out of danger.
the helen of the iliad is clever and powerful and capricious and kind and melancholy: full of fury toward paris and aphrodite, longing for sparta and its women, fear for her own life. she condemns herself before others can. in book vi, as war blazes and roars below them, helen tells hector, on us the gods have set an evil destiny: that we should be a singer’s theme for generations to come—as if she knows that, in the centuries after, men will rarely write of paris’ vanity and hubris and lust, his violation of the sacred guest-pact, his refusal to relent and avoid war with the achaeans. instead they’ll write and paint the beautiful, perfidious, ruinous woman whose hands are red with the blood of men, and call her not queen of sparta but helen of troy: a forced marriage to the city that desired and hated her. she is an eidolon made of want and rapture and dread and resentment.
homer doesn’t condemn helen—and in the odyssey she’s seen reconciled with menelaus. she’s worshipped in sparta as a symbol of sexual power for centuries, until the end of roman rule: pausanias writes that pilgrims come to see the remains of her birth-egg, hung from the roof of a temple in the spartan acropolis; spartan girls dance and sing songs praising one another’s beauty and strength as part of rites of passage, leading them from parthenos to nýmphē, virgin to bride. cults of helen appear across greece, italy, turkey—as far as palestine—celebrating her shining beauty; they sacrifice to her as if she were a goddess. much of this is quickly forgotten.
every age finds new words to hate helen, but they are old ways of hating: deceiver and scandal and insatiate whore. she is euripides’ bitchwhore and hesiod’s kalon kakon (“beautiful evil”) and clement of alexandria’s adulterous beauty and whore and shakespeare’s strumpet and proctor’s trull and flurt of whoredom and schiller’s pricktease and levin’s adulterous witch. her lusts damned a golden world to die, they say. pandora’s box lies between a woman’s thighs. helen is a symbol of how men’s desire for women becomes the evidence by which women are condemned, abused, reviled.
but no cage of words can hold her fast. she is elusive; she yields nothing. she has outlasted civilisations, and is beautiful still. before troy is ash and ruin she has already heard all the slander of the centuries; and at last she turns her face away—as if to say: i am not for you
- Mike Brown’s mom laid flowers where he was shot and police let a dog pee on the memorial site
- “Stand Up Against Racism" demonstration outside US Embassy in London
- Police claim to have no records of arrests of journalists
- Illinois school bans discussions of Mike Brown’s death
- Gov. Nixon introduces new Public Safety Director
- Push for police to wear body cameras continues
- Jon Stewart on Ferguson
Well tomorrow I am leaving to go travelling… I shall be in Australia, the USA and Europe, in about that order, and posts shall be sporadic to say the least. This state of affairs will last for about six months.
In other news, my degree arrived in the mail today! I am now officially a Bachelor.
Anonymous said: For some reason I just really need to see a tiny Sauron. In a Bubble.
today i was feeling PISSY AS ALL HELL after work because blah blah everything’s a nightmare blah blah. so i was like, what’s something that real people do after a trying day that’s not just “refresh tumblr until something is either delightful or infuriating enough to elicit an emotional response”? like, idk go for a walk? somewhere nice?
i mean, i have no idea, but i decided to try it out and go to a nature center and have myself a nice lil:
NATURE: FOUR OUT OF FIVE STARS
- shitty wi-fi
- too many mosquitos, like, an unnecessary amount of mosquitos
- can’t stop walking because of the mosquitos because it just gives them a stable surface to land on
- sweating on your buttcheeks because you’re very out of shape but can’t stop walking because of the mosquitos
- when you go into nature, sometimes you feel like, am i doing it right? do i just, like… walk? am i appreciating it right? am i snapchatting it too much? am i not snapchatting it ENOUGH?
- weird sense of deja vu because you just remembered this is the nature center you went to day camp at when you were 8, and there used to be a buffalo and a bald eagle there, but they got sick and died, and you tried to kiss a boy in one of the pavilions by the graveyard, except he pushed you away, and now you can’t even find that particular pavilion to go visit, which doesn’t even matter except suddenly it feels very insulting (BUT THAT MIGHT BE SITUATION SPECIFIC)
- not your house or your couch
- sounds in it are nice if initially unsettling
- feels like you’re doing something because, weirdly enough, you are
- while you’re trotting along and sweating and swatting at bugs and staving off existential despair and reminiscing about past rejections and also starting to compose this shitty post in your head, which at that point only amounted to “SHITTY WIFI, TOO MANY BUGS,” you look up and all of a sudden:
- this deer is like three feet away looking at you, like, DEADASS in the eyes, very knowingly
- the deer doesn’t give a shit that you’re there
- you hang out and make weird eye contact with the deer for a while, even though the mosquitos are biting, because like, this feels like a MOMENT
- then the deer wanders away
- and you realize your shitty glib “nature sux” post isn’t gonna cut it because actually it’s pretty cool and weirdly you do feel a lot better
- plus then you get to instagram the deer
Can I review a review because this gets six out of five stars