Sunday, May 14, 2006

A Sunday Meme

Blame Hannah; she tagged me.

RULES "Once you've been tagged, you have to write a blog with 8 facts/things/habits about yourself, saying who tagged you. In the end you need to choose the people to be tagged and list their names. No tag backs."

1. I still really like Scooby-Doo. When I was young I believed that the secrets of the universe were hidden in the adventures of Scoob and the gang. I'm thirty-five years old and I own a Scooby-Doo lamp, a Scooby-Doo remote control holder, Scooby-Doo air fresheners for my car, Scooby-Doo sleep pants, a Scooby-Doo mug and probably some other stuff I'm not remembering. Also my impulse to buy food items with the image of Scooby-Doo on them is Pavlovian. Because I love Scooby-Doo so much, I have a violent aversion to the appearance or mention of that abomination, Scrappy-Doo. Please do not speak of the Beast.

2. In general, I disapprove of belts. Suspenders are acceptable.

3. I've had one genuinely inexplicable psychic/paranormal-type experience, but it is so mundane that it's not even worth telling the story.

4. Um . . .

5. Sometimes I pretend that I'm being interviewed by Charlie Rose. Or Terry Gross. Is that weird?

6. When I'm with a girl I like, it's hard for me to say anything cool, or witty, or at all. I can usually make a few vowel sounds, and then I have to go away. It's that bad. I think girls are more interested in a boy who can talk. (I stole that speech, although the pronouns are reversed. Points for them what can tell me who my anima is where it's from.)

7. Comic books have been the cause of financial crises for me on more than one occasion. I pretty much quit buying them for a long while there, and I still won't venture back into X-land. As someone wittier than I once said, "That way lies madness. And back issues."

8. I have always been deeply bothered by the story of Paris and the apple. You know, where he had to choose who was the most beautiful of the goddesses? Aphrodite offered him the most beautiful woman in the world, Hera offered him lands to rule, and Athena offered to give him all knowledge. I mean, never mind that it seems out of character for Athena to be so vain, and that I doubt Hera could reasonably compete with Aphrodite in the first place, but if he was going by the bribes offered? Why would you not take the knowledge? Once he had the knowledge he could have gotten power, if he wanted it. And, well, I'm still keeping the faith that women like smart dudes. (Who can talk.) So, really, Paris, you fail at life, considering you were already married for one thing, and you sure got a lot of people killed. Hope you're happy, dumbass.

If you want to be tagged, do the secret hand motions, and I will have one of my lackeys tag you. I'm too lazy to do it myself.


Blogger Karen said...

Willow. And as it happened, she did just fine with the ladies, so I'm sure you can too.

Do you think Paris had an obvious choice? I don't; I think his options were values that people choose between all the time, and looking around it's easy to see that everyone makes the choice differently. What's more, we each go on shifting our priorities and making new choices throughout our lifetimes, as different apples become ascendent. Poor old Paris might have done the same, but he didn't get the chance at a do-over.

In any case, once you're dealing with gods in mythic times, I hardly think choosing the apple of knowledge is a gimme. I mean, he's got to have heard about how that turned out for the other guy.

3:45 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

I don't have as much sympathy for Paris as you do, I'm afraid. His choice was short-sighted at best and slave trafficking at worst. To me Athena's bribe is, in fact, the obvious choice. I'm certain that says as much about how I'm wired as it does anything else, but there you go.

As for the Eden parallels, OK, sure, you got me. But the Greek gods are generally less immediate and more creative about their punishments for hubris than the Judeo-Christian sky guy. At the very least he'd probably get ten or twenty years of adventures out of it, rather than being cast into the desert to live in misery right off the bat.

4:06 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

I can see it that way if you're thinking of the choice literally in terms of the bribe: "Choose me and I give you this woman". I see it more in terms of him choosing which goddess, and what she represents, appears to him as the most appealing. His choice was between Hera (political power), Athena (not exactly "knowledge", but a sort of wisdom and warrior skill), and Aphrodite (love). For a romantic young man uninterested in power or war, love is going to look pretty appealing.

I think the ancient Greeks might agree with you that his choice was disastrously soft and short-sighted, especially in a royal son who would need those other skills, and what with with both parties being married and all. He made a bad choice for his circumstances, but the basic situation of someone choosing between the three goddesses is still an evocative one, and all three choices continue to have strong appeal.

And the Greek gods could be very creative and immediate in their punishments! Unless by "adventures" you mean "having your guts torn out by eagles on a daily basis"...

5:25 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

It's difficult for me to look at the choice as symbolic, since its practical consequences are so concrete and devastating. I don't think I'm a completely unromantic person, but I don't see the romance in breaking up two existing marriages, in (depending on your version) Helen being either brainwashed by Aphrodite or kidnapped, or in Paris's abstract desire for an ideal rather than an individual.

Perhaps part of my distaste for the choice, and the reason I find it easy to reject the other two, is that I find the idea of something being handed to me a bit distasteful, whether it's power or love. I'd rather earn those things, because I think I value the things I work for more.

As for punishments, I guess I'm not sure, if it came down to cases, how it would stack up; but I'd rather be, say, Odysseus than pretty much anybody from J/C mythology.

7:44 PM  
Blogger Milan said...

I would also go for the knowledge. But then again, I'm a grad student. Bias.

8:38 PM  
Blogger Milan said...


"I hardly think choosing the apple of knowledge is a gimme. I mean, he's got to have heard about how that turned out for the other guy."

To quote my fellow Oxford resident, Philip Pullman:

"Suppose that the prohibition on the knowledge of good and evil were an expression of jealous cruelty, and the gaining of such knowledge an act of virtue? Suppose the Fall should be celebrated and not deplored? As I played with it, my story resolved itself into an account of the necessity of growing up, and a refusal to lament the loss of innocence. The true end of human life, I found myself saying, was not redemption by a nonexistent Son of God, but the gaining and transmission of wisdom. Innocence is not wise, and wisdom cannot be innocent, and if we are to do any good in the world, we have to leave childhood behind."

8:40 PM  

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