Thursday, October 2, 2014

Hey, Ancient Greeks, Who's the Real Victim Here

I was thinking the other day about Prometheus.*

*The Greek Legendary figure, not the vaguely disappointing movie that sadly failed to have proper Aliens in it.

For those who were never deeply unpopular 12 year old boys - and feel free to be all smug about it now - Prometheus was a Titan.*

*The superhuman creatures who came before the Greek gods, not the vaguely disappointing football team from Tennessee.**

**That's American Football - Which again can be loosely described to the rest of the world as playing rugby while dressed up as a robot.

The main crux of the myth of Prometheus is that he stole fire from the Gods and gave it to Mankind, thus enabling us to become an independent thinking species.  It's actually pretty analogous to the myth of the Garden of Eden, in that in both cases the God in question wanted to keep mankind ignorant for their own good and someone else intervened, gave mankind knowledge, and was punished for it. This is an interesting statement on the long held view in some religious circles that all knowledge is inherently dangerous and therefore evil.  See, it didn't just start with the FOX network.

Where was I...

Oh.  Right.  Punishment.

So, Prometheus did us a solid by giving us the gift of Fire, and for doing so he was punished by the Gods.  Specifically, he was chained to a mountain in the Caucuses and every morning an Eagle* flew in and tore out his liver and ate it.  Every night his liver grew back.  Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

*His name was Ethon, apparently

Now, the immediate response to this is of course - Ow.  That sounds painful.  Both the tearing out AND regrowing.

But I think that both we and the Greeks are overlooking the real victim here.

The real victim is clearly Ethon.

Think of the poor guy.  Every single day he gets up, spreads his wings, maybe has a nice cup of eagle coffee and says to himself, 'Self, today's going to be an awesome* day.'  Then he flies out over the Caucuses, glorifying in the morning sun.  He swoops.  He soars.  He... looks down and sees Prometheus.  Again.

*Yes, Ethon is voiced by Chris Pratt in my mind.

Here's a rundown of Ethon's internal monologue each morning.


Self, Today's going to be an awesome day!
Man.  What a great nights sleep.  I feel like a million bucks!
I sure do love the way the morning sun shines on my Aerie!
What a great morning.  Everything is awesome!
Hey, I should totally put that Tegan and Sarah song on my iPod...
Man, it feels awesome to fly through these beautiful mountains
I wonder if there are salmon in this part of the world?
I'd love a salmon.  That sounds yummy.
Hey, what's that down there on that roc...

Oh you have GOT to by F**KING kidding me.


How many times???  How many???

No.  I'm just not doing it.

F*** You, rock guy, and F*** your liver too.


NO.  No, I'm just not going to do it.

Maybe one more pass over that valley...  
You know... Just to make sure he's still there...

Yup... still there....

Jesus H. Not Going To Be Born For 4 Thousand Years Christ.



Over and over again.  Every day.  You think your job is repetitive, think of poor Ethon.

Then, a bit later on, Hercules rescued Prometheus.  You know how he did it?


It could not be clearer who the real victim is in this story, and it ain't the guy chained to the rock who was perfectly aware of the consequences of his actions, oh no.

We're sorry Ethon.

We're so sorry.

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