Sunday, July 29, 2012

Agamemnon in Aulis: Please Bless Allan and His . . . Work

“It has been said that the myth is a public dream, dreams are private myths. Unfortunately we give our mythic side scant attention these days. As a result, a great deal escapes us and we no longer understand our own actions. So it remains important and salutary to speak not only of the rational and easily understood, but also of enigmatic things: the irrational and the ambiguous. To speak both privately and publicly.” 
--Mary Zimmerman, Metamorphoses

Soldiers wait on the coast. Drums no longer beat, their vigor lost to stillness. The air refuses to breathe life into the warrior’s sails. No plea will abate its silence. No sacrifice will appease its indifference. The wind obeys its god. Not like men. Men slay hosts without abandon. Futures fall to swords of desire. Death hangs across the bows of ships that will not return from Troy’s shores. And still, men—lusting after blood born of war—strike down the beasts of Artemis. Her fury matches the brightness of her brother’s light. She stays the air of glory, accepting no recompense for her slain treasure. And the Greeks wait. Enticed by promised victory, a thousand faces look on at dreams unable to launch.

In a vengeance forged by Hephaestus’ flames, Artemis extends an offer to man’s general, Agamemnon: the winds will blow and the boats will sail, but only at the price of royal blood. For Agamemnon’s eternal glory to live, his daughter Iphigenia must die. Honor. Glory. Gold. Women. Immortality. Prizes for a daughter’s heart. Agamemnon’s nation calls upon him to lead the way. If he denies them and saves her life, others will overpower him, offering them both to Artemis. War claims its victims. It will always start at home. A daughter’s tears will not beat back ambition. Agamemnon’s knife sinks into Iphigenia’s chest, but it severs the ties of families—Priam’s and his own. Iphigenia’s blood stains the altar’s stone. The winds blow. Troy falls. Agamemnon gets everything he ever wanted. What is a daughter’s life to a father’s immortality?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The False Idol of Body Image

( Cross-posted to emBody - a blog about loving our bodies )

I have worshiped plenty of false idols in my lifetime. Some of my favorites have been the false idols of Netflix, cell phone (iPhone kicked up my worship a few notches), Old Navy (don't judge me!), computer (facebook anyone?), and back in my teenage years - boys. My false idols are not unlike the false idols you worship on occasion.

I know the leaders of the LDS Church and sometimes even our parents have been pretty good steering us away from false idols, but the biggest, ugliest, and most tempting idol worship is one I'm sure at least 99% of us are guilty of worshipping over and over at some point in life. I have had little to no help from anyone in quitting this most fatal idol I worship.

It's body image.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Boys' Club, or Why Girls Can’t Blog

As a part of this heinous and almost completed semester, I am in a Child Development class. There are about 30 girls and 0 boys in it. I didn't want to sign up for it, but it's a prerequisite for a class I have to take in a couple of semesters, which class is required for my major and thereby I had to suck it up and take Child Development.

I’ve actually learned quite a lot, and my final project is a blog that will go unnoticed through the annals of the Internet, the only exceptions being my husband (my editor) and the TA, who will almost undoubtedly under-appreciate the amount of effort or the sheer number of hours I have poured into it. She will probably not even show it to my teacher who would probably love it. (For the record, I turned it in and got all 200 out of 200 points possible for the project. She didn't read a single post, which I know because not a single post had a page view when I saw the grade.)

The TA looks like this, only angrier.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Rediscovering the Values of the Founding Fathers (or Foundersland: A Fantastical Journey)

Recently my wife and I had guests over for dinner. Amidst our pleasantries, one of them voiced her displeasure with a certain recent Supreme Court ruling. She opined that America had strayed too far from the vision of its founders, which is a common refrain among conservatively-inclined Americans and civil libertarians alike. I'm no expert on the matter, but I'm a reasonably-informed amateur and a fairly astute historical thinker; plus, as luck has it I've been reading Gordon S. Wood's "Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815," so America's founding has been on my mind. I started thinking...what if our country did live by the values held by the founders?

So pull out your cardboard box, gather some Higgs Bosons for fuel, and let's take a trip to a parallel dimension where the founders' intentions were never altered, where the United States of America exist as they were intended to be! (The first sign we've entered bizarro-world? The country's title is still plural!) For clarity I will dub our new dimension Foundersland.*

In Foundersland, powdered wigs wear you!

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Holocaust of Hubris

Ash is falling like snow. If you live in Utah county, you've seen it, and it's an eerie sight. The state is covered in wildfires from north to south, and the cinders are dropping on Provo like we're Lilliputians in an ashtray. And in a way, I'm probably responsible.

You see, I recently took a BYU English class and, irresponsible young adult that I am, I tried, in my own little way, to defend the rights of gay students at BYU--and, doubtless, called down this plague upon the state.