Early Afternoon Thoughts ~ Deadly Veggies And Snakes On Facebook…

During the time I was teaching Speech, Theater and English in India, I sometimes had a bit of difficulty helping students “get” some of the Greek Classics in Theater.  Face it, much like Shakespeare – some of the translations of the Greek Theater have about as much excitement in them as reading the day’s to-do list….but with “You Need To Know This” added on top of it.

There are fun(ish) games one can play with Shakespeare such as “What is the color and design of Desdemona’s handkerchief?” … which can only be ascertained by actually reading the text.  The Greeks? Not so much.  Several years ago, I ran across this video of Oedipus The Movie [“Warning ~ contains vegetable sensuality”] …. Something such as this would have made teaching Oedipus Rex easier with my high school students ….

Now, there’s no plays that I know of starring Medusa, but she certainly colors a lot of plays and literature … From this website http://cityofspeed.msn.com/article/detail/253303958 I found an amazing telling of Medusa and Facebook …

Fox 2000 Pictures

Here’s the article …

Maybe Posting Medusa’s Photo on Facebook Was a Mistake?

After a long journey with many adventures that will soon become legend, Jason and the Argonauts returned home. Like anyone just back from a trip, Jason was anxious to upload all of his pictures to Facebook, because as they say in this golden age of ancient Greece, “Pictures or it didn’t happen.”

Though he eluded the stone curse of the Gorgon called Medusa by looking at her with a mirror, having not reviewed his pictures, Jason had not yet learned that the curse also applies to high-definition digital photos of Medusa, of whom he took many.

While batch uploading pictures to Facebook, Jason didn’t notice that a photo of Medusa was included in the “Whoa!” album. The following is the comment thread after the picture auto-posted to Jason’s wall.

Heracles Hmm. That woman looks familiar. Does she run the inn on the Isle of Crab Legs? Hoowee! I must have eaten BLARRRR!

Polymede Son, I raised you to know better than to post pictures of the floozies you meet while on your odysseys. Things like this are better kept privateEEEP

Apollo Jason, what is this creature? I foresee a fortnight of nightmares with this face, haunting my dreams otherwise filled with rainbows, sunny fields and harps. Ergggg

Kevinacles Heyyy roomie. Nice pic. So, if you have time, could you do all the dishes you left out last night? It looks like a pack of boars got in here and GRRK

Achilles I have battled some of the most fearsome warriors and monsters known to man, but this is the first time I’ve ever spilt my drink at the sight offfffffffffffffffffffff

Pan Seeing this, I long to return to the fields for some peace and reflection, surrounded by my herd of goats, who, incidentally, are like 20 times more attractive than this womEERRRRRRGGG.

Aeole the Blind Oracle What? What’s everyone talking about? Someone DESCRIBE the picture please. Ay, I hate Facebook.


Dale the Argonaut “Whoa” is right! I remember that day! That Medusa was a handful! If we hadn’t used that mirror trick, we’d have never AIIIIG!!!

Poseidon Jason! You fool! This is my ex! One look at her will literally turn you to stone! I’m reporting this picture before anyoneeeeeeerglgdho.i/tfv[p

Jason Wow, strange comments. Is there some kind of mass keyboard malfunction going on? Anyway, sorry. I didn’t mean to upload this one. But don’t worry, a photo of Medusa shouldn’teeeerk

And We Got Here How? (Part 1) ~

When I first began to gather my thoughts for this “ramble” … I was concerned with discourse, or lack of discourse.

As I thought and worked through how I want to try and connect my thoughts – yesterday, THIS report was released by the PEW foundation – which has been polling the polarization of America since 1986.  This report, which I’m going to link to in it’s entirety, shows that we are more polarized than we’ve been since they began tracking.  This does not surprise me in the least. http://pewresearch.org/pubs/2277/republicans-democrats-partisanship-partisan-divide-polarization-social-safety-net-environmental-protection-government-regulation-independents

As I’ve said before – I’m a member of several forums, follow an insane number of blogs and news sites (and the comments) as well as being part of World of Warcraft and Pogo games.

I cut my computer “teeth” – so to speak – in the AOL chat rooms of all kinds – where one had to have an advanced degree in AOLese or AOL speak or you would be five conversations behind everyone else.  (For those who may not know, you had to learn to read through the typos/spellings and strange constructions because people were typing so fast and thinking so quickly that sometimes things didn’t quite match-up.)

All of this introduction is to simply say, I didn’t need the PEW organization to let me know “There’s Trouble In River City”, all I’ve had to do is be around people on-line and even in real life.

What has happened over the years is a steady decline in the ability of people of differing beliefs, hopes, dream, ideas, lives to even civilly approach each other.  At one time, personal opinion, you either were willing to listen to another person or you didn’t interact with that person at all.  Much of time now, I feel it has become a game of seeing who can one-up another in either hate/degradation/intimidation/provoking (not to be confused with trolling – that’s a special sub-set of behavior!!)   or proving how much more someone knows than anyone else.

Just the other day on Facebook, I entered into what I thought was a discussion involving the concept of gay marriage (how’s that for a hot button at the beginning of these postings?) and the difficulty someone had found in talking to someone else about it.  Those of us who are friends with this person and know the overwhelming love in her heart for all people, commiserated with her and offered some light-hearted and yes, even snarky thoughts to help.  Another person had entered the conversation and within two posts it had devolved into 1) necrophilia 2) pedophilia and 3) bestiality.  Even with AOL speak, I couldn’t figure out how we’d gotten there.  It became very obvious that the person simply wanted to anger everyone and bait everyone into an “argument” so that they could present themselves as a 1) winner 2) extremely knowledgeable and at the same time 3) the victim.

So, how did we get here? There were news events from when PEW began tracking the polarization: 1984 The Aids Virus is identified it is not the worldwide problem it is today. Following on from the PC Apple releases the Macintosh computer. Following the Widespread Famine in Ethiopia many of the top British and Irish USSR pop musicians join together under the Name Band Aid and record the song “Do They Know It’s Christmas”. Following the boycott by the US of the Moscow Olympics the soviet block boycotts the Los Angeles Olympic games. Recession continues to be a problem in the US and 70 US Banks fail in just one year.  But I think it goes back to even before that.

Here are three images and comments that will start this series of posts ~ and hopefully, you’ll forgive the length of this one…

At this point in time, we as a people were pushed into the realization that those dedicated to protect us, could indeed seem to turn against us.

Kent State by John Filo

Add to that another realization that perhaps our view of life wasn’t quite so quaint as we wanted to believe.

Birmingham Alabama 1963
I don’t know whose picture this is


And lastly – an event that shook our already shaky belief in our government.

So bear with me, and more on this journey of thought over the next few days ….

Valentine’s Day ~ Early Evening Thoughts (history)

This year, I’m helping out at the florist shop (again) answering the phones and trying to keep some sense of order in the chaos. I wanted to repost a bit of the history of Valentine’s day . . . and all that goes with it. (I will do my best to do another chapter of “moving tales” tomorrow)

We may owe our observance of Valentine’s Day to the Roman celebration of Lupercalia, a festival of eroticism that honored Juno Februata, the goddess of “feverish” (febris) love. Annually, on the ides of February, love notes or “billets” would be drawn to partner men and women for feasting and sexual game playing.

Early Christians, clearly a dour bunch, frowned on these lascivious goings-on. In an attempt to curb the erotic festivities, the Christian clergy encouraged celebrants to substitute the names of saints. Then, for the next twelve months, participants were to emulate the ideals represented by the particular saint they’d chosen. Not too surprisingly, this prudish version of Lupercalia proved unpopular, and died a quick death.

But the early Christians were anything but quitters, so it was on to Plan B: modulate the overtly sexual nature of Lupercalia by turning this “feast of the flesh” into a “ritual for romance!”

This time, the Church selected a single saint to do battle the pagan goddess Juno — St. Valentine (Valentinus). And since Valentinus had been martyred on February 14, the Church could also preempt the annual February 15 celebration of Lupercalia. The only fly in the ointment was Valentinus himself: he was a chaste man, unschooled in the art of love.

Despite the efforts of the Church, Valentine’s Day continued to echo Lupercalia in at least one respect – men and women, married or single, would draw lots to select a “valentine.” Once paired, the couple exchanged gifts and sometimes love tokens as well. The custom of lottery drawings to select Valentines persisted well into the eighteenth century. Gradually, however, a shift took place. No longer did both parties exchange gifts; instead, gift-giving became solely the responsibility of the man!

This new twist helped to finally bring an end to the random drawing of names, since many men were unhappy about giving gifts (sometimes very costly)to women who were not of their choosing. And now that individuals were free to select their own Valentine, the celebration took on a new and much more serious meaning for couples!

The first written valentine is usually attributed to the imprisoned Charles, Duke of Orleans. In 1415, Charles fought his lonely confinement by writing romantic verses for his wife. By the sixteenth century written valentines were so common that St. Francis de Sales, fearing for the souls of his English flock, sermonized against them.

Manufactured cards, decorated with Cupids and hearts, appeared near the end of the eighteenth century. A purchased valentine became the most popular way to declare love during the early decades of the nineteenth century. Miniature works of art, the cards were usually hand painted and were often lavishly decorated with laces, silk or satin, flowers (made from the feathers of tropical birds), glass filigrees, gold-leaf or even perfumed sachets!

Did you know that the current popularity of St. Valentine’s Day owes much to the modern postal service? Until the mid-1800’s, the cost of sending mail was far beyond the means of the average person. Even worse, the postal service demanded payment from the recipient, not the sender, of the letter! Imagine receiving a Valentine card, paying the postage due, then reading that you were “…valued beyond rubies” by your Valentine. Even more ironic… discovering that your Valentine card was from an unwelcome suitor! So, until the advent of the penny post, most valentine cards were hand delivered by the prospective lover.

This history adapted (stolen) from

Daddy Dearest ~ Early Morning Thoughts

I did a little research about the upcoming holiday of Father’s Day.

About 4,000 years ago a young boy named Elmusu wished his Babylonian father good health and a long life by carving a Father’s Day message on a card made out of clay. (No one seems to know exactly where this charming and suspect legend comes from …) No one knows what happened to Elmusu or his father, but the tradition of having a special day honoring fathers has continued through the years in countries across the world.

In the Catholic Liturgical Calendar, Father’s Day is celebrated on St. Joseph’s Day ~ March 19. In the Lutheran Church, March 19 is also observed as the Feast of St. Joseph. And even other Protestants denominations celebrate a Festival of Joseph. In New Orleans, the feast is celebrated with elaborate altars and even parades.

In the Eastern Orthodox Church, the feast day of St. Joseph is celebrated on the First Sunday after Christmas).

The idea for creating a day for children to honor their fathers began in Spokane, Washington. A woman by the name of Sonora Smart Dodd thought of the idea for Father’s Day while listening to a Mother’s Day sermon in 1909.

Having been raised by her father, William Jackson Smart, after her mother died, Sonora wanted her father to know how special he was to her. It was her father that made all the parental sacrifices and was, in the eyes of his daughter, a courageous, selfless, and loving man. Sonora’s father was born in June, so she chose to hold the first Father’s Day celebration in Spokane, Washington on the 19th of June, 1910.

In 1924, Calvin Coolidge supported the idea of a national holiday, but according to several sources, the first presidential proclamation of the 3rd Sunday in June as Father’s Day was in 1966 ~ but only for that one year. Finally, in 1972 Father’s Day was made permanent by another presidential proclamation.

Any man can be a father,
but it takes a special person
to be a Dad.