Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Poor Odysseus traveled for 10 weary years to be reunited with his Penelope. Oh, how nauseatingly romantic. She sat silently weaving at home while he fought a war to determine who got pissing rights on Helen of Troy. He sailed the Mediterranean and had a couple of LTRs with strong women. And where would Odysseus have been without the kindness of those women with large hearts and larger ovaries -- magical women of strength and passion??? Instead he ran home to namby-pamby Penelope, who never did anything interesting at all ... including support Odysseus.

I shouldn't rag on a weak woman for being pragmatic. She was limited by the reality of life as a mortal female in Ancient Greece. Odysseus WAS gone for 17 years. Yet it seems that all she did in that time was weave and fall victim to suitors. They moved into her home, plotted against her son and she just sat there -- passive and weaving.

How did Calypso feel, after taking care of Odysseus' dumb, wandering, arrogant ass for 7 years?
He just up and left her for Penelope. Who was this love of his life? Why did he abandon the women who stood with him when Poseidon and logic betrayed him? (Speaking of that, what kind of sailor would piss off Poseidon? Is that an examle of Odysseus' famous wisdom?)

I don't believe that Calypso imprisoned Odysseus. That stuff Homer said about him crying in the day and falling madly in love with her at night? I think we all know what that's about. Zeus understood that Odysseus didn't want to leave Calypso's Cave of Delights, so he sent Hermes to convince Calypso to build the man a ship and send him home. Off he went, only to be wrecked for about the hundredth time by Poseidon.

What about Circe? Sure, she turned his men into pigs according to the (misogynist) Greek version of events. (Since when does a woman need sorcery to turn a man into a pig?) They were in love and she bore him a son. Before he left, she gave him all kinds of useful advice, including access to the underworld and thus safe passage -- since Poseidon had it in for him. And so Odysseus betrayed another strong woman who came to his aid so that he could go home to simpering Penelope.

Oh.... but Penelope was a romanticized ideal of a good wife who was set before us as a metaphorical example. Faithful Penelope who tricked the suitors so Odysseus could finally reclaim his rightful place as king of Ithaca ... thank Athena her epic hero showed up at the 11th hour. Otherwise, who knows...

But I don't hate Penelope. I hate Odyssesus for having acted like such a chicken shit and his betrayals of the women who helped him through 10 years of travel.

I hate that I have insomnia again. Over the years, it seems that I've come to the aid of several of the sons of pain and at least one of them should be keeping watch so that I can sleep tonight. But they've all set sail for Ithaca and tonight they're either holding themselves or namby-pamby bitches (read: not me). I am so very tired.

Siren Song
Margaret Atwood

This is the one song everyone

would like to learn: the song

that is irresistible:

the song that forces men

to leap overboard in squadrons

even though they see beached skulls

the song nobody knows

because anyone who had heard it

is dead, and the others can’t remember.

Shall I tell you the secret

and if I do, will you get me

out of this bird suit?

I don’t enjoy it here

squatting on this island

looking picturesque and mythical

with these two feathery maniacs,

I don’t enjoy singing

this trio, fatal and valuable.

I will tell the secret to you,

to you, only to you.

Come closer. This song

is a cry for help: Help me!
Only you, only you can,
you are unique

at last. Alas
it is a boring song
but it works every time.


Pelmo said...

Odysseus, just like the Captain made the fatal mistake and let Gilligan steer, henceforth the long journey.

La Sirena said...

Odyssesus, like Gilligan, pissed off the man in charge of the ocean.

So the answer is -- yes!

JoeC said...

It's a shame, how GPS has almost killed the great plot device of getting lost. The world seemed so much bigger when it was more likely for a voyage to lose its way home.

La Sirena said...

If you don't get lost, how are you supposed to find anything?

I'm kinda anti-gps -- but then, my kid was born with god-given gps in his head. Although it was occasionally awkward when I ignored my 3 year old's suggestions to turn this way now -- only to discover a half hour later that he was completely correct and I was absolutely wrong.

After the third such incident, I surrendered my pride and went the way he said.

We have been lost exactly once since then -- and that was a result of meandering dead-end roads.