"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Monday, April 29, 2024

The Dumbing Down Of Helen Of Troy - Bring Back Vixens, Adulteresses, And Nietzschean Harpies

There has been no heroine in literary history quite like Helen of Troy, 'the face that launched a thousand ships', the mythical woman who either was an opportunistic gold digger, willingly going off with Paris to Troy and the regency of the land; or an abductee, a woman taken from her rightful husband because of the jealous capriciousness of the gods.  Helen either went to Troy as a captive or complaisant prize to Paris, or never went to Troy at all but to Egypt where she waited for her husband Menelaus to rescue her. 


Homer wrote of her legendary beauty, and Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides all added to her legend.  In their hands she was either a powerful, manipulating seductress or a women with uncanny will and agency.  Her beauty was unparalleled, but her intelligence and savvy underrated.  

Euripides in Helen created a complex and intriguing character and placed her within a pre-Platonic world of supposition, shadows, and improbability; and in The Trojan Women gave her a willful defiance of received wisdom, a canny legal defense, and a political insouciance of only the strongest, most incomparable women. 


Her sister Clytemnestra was no different.  Enraged and outraged by her husband, Agamemnon's sacrifice of their daughter, Iphigenia simply to get favorable winds to assist him in his casus belli war against the Trojans, Clytemnestra and her lover, Aegisthus, plot to kill the king, her husband and murderer of Aegisthus' father. 

Clytemnestra is the more determined of the two sisters.  She never wavers in her intention to avenge the death of her daughter, to murder her killer, and to become regent of Argos alongside her lover.  She is a Nietzschean hero - amoral, undaunted, merciless in the execution of her designs and ambitions. 

The sisters are unmatched in literary and mythological history - proto-feminists, proud and determined women, unbowed and unintimidated by their male overlords.

Where are the Helens and Clytemnestra today?  Where is such unparalleled defiance to patriarchy, Machiavellian determination and will?  Nietzsche said that the expression of pure will is the only validation of the individual in a meaningless world, but the amoral, willful heroines of the past are done and gone, 

Shakespeare understood the Greeks and anticipated Nietzsche. Goneril, Regan, Tamora, Dionyza, Lady Macbeth, and Volumnia were cut from the same Athenian cloth.  They were indomitable, unstoppable, and defiant.  Today? Women who have ignored the legacy of these queens and pretenders, have shaken their heads at Hedda Gabler, Laura, Hilde Wangel, and Rebecca West, Ibsen and Strindberg creations who have used guile, treachery, and feminine insight to undo the likes of the Master Builder, Rosmer, and the Captain.

Where is Margaret Thatcher when we need her? ask women tired of being told they are a persecuted minority, shielded from men's misogyny and sexual predation; women who cannot stand on their own and must be protected, coddled, and protected.  Thatcher was a Clytemnestra in grocer's daughter's clothes - a defiant challenger to received wisdom, male subordination, and masculine febrility.  She was outspoken, literate, persuasive, and a royal pain in the ass to the liberal hectors of the Left. 

The United States, trapped in a culture of MeToo, 'No Means No' female protectionism, seduced by hopelessly anti-historical notions of gender fluidity and peaceful co-existence, have chosen to be represented by people of color, alternative sexuality, and ethnic diversity - women as far from Nietzsche's √úbermensch as a sparrow from an eagle, a compromising, uncertain cadre of phantoms just like the ephemeral likeness of Helen in Troy. 

Diversity un-mans and un-womans, denies Nietzschean will, assumes a passive acceptance of the notions of the herd and encourages posturing - political poseurs who have never faced incoming.  Race, gender, and ethnicity - what are they compared to individual will? Nothing but poster boards, memes, campaign slogans, lawn decorations, banners and festoons? 


Goneril and Regan were not nice women. They were ambitious, murderous, and psychopathically driven; but their brand of willful, indomitable will is sorrowfully missed.  This whole color-amalgamated potpourri of gender- and race-associated women is a lark, a child's garden of verses, and a Goodnight Moon childish fantasy. 

Oh, but Goneril and Regan were not nice ladies nor was Hilde Wangel, manipulating the Master Builder to jump from the tower; nor Laura who got her husband committed thanks to an insidious, women-only doubt over paternity; nor Volumnia who engineered her own son's death to accede to power,

Niceness is in vogue especially if it is the inclusive, embracing kind - love for gay men, trannies, and Folsom Street Fair butch-and-leather femmes in Spanish Inquisition drag.  Gay power couples debate who's on top, who's the husband, and who meets the press.  The Clytemnestras - those women who want to do their husbands in - are working two jobs, three shifts and with barely enough time to buy the poison. 

Most American have had enough of simpering, distressed women. The hectoring blandishments of the Congressional 'Squad', discontented women of color with no clue about female reserves or when and how to call them up.  They are old-fashioned Saturday morning cartoon characters in modern drag- Daffy Duck, Goofy, and Porky Pig - without a clue, falling off cliffs without a clue why or wherefore. 

 It's only a matter of time before the real feminism returns.  Perhaps it was because the women of Aeschylus, Shakespeare, and Ibsen lived in the patriarchal times they did - such harnessing, rein-and-bit male domination lit their fires - but it's time for these banked fires to be fanned.  Forget MeToo, 'No Means No' and the whole raft of  trans-this and trans-that faux womanhood has had its day, over and done with, ready for the real women to strut their stuff 

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