GABBLER RECOMMENDS: How a Woman Becomes a Lake By Jia Tolentino

‘These days of fear and sadness show no sign of abating. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt lake-like—cool and still.

Just as a person does not wish to become a motionless body of water for no reason, girls don’t get to turn into lakes on a whim. I’ve been rereading Ovid lately—the clean and gorgeous Rolfe Humphries translation of the Metamorphoses, published in 1955—and, in Book V, the nymph Arethusa tells Ceres the story of how she was transformed into a spring. Out hunting alone on a hot day, she found a silent, clear river with silver willows on the banks. She took off her clothes and went swimming, only to hear a “curious kind of murmur / From deep down under”—the river god Alpheus. In “that hoarse voice he had,” Arethusa says, Alpheus asked her, “Where are you going in such a hurry, Arethusa?” She began running away from him, “naked, for my clothes / Were on the other bank, and all the more / He kept on coming; naked, so he thought / I was readier for the taking. So I fled.” She kept running, through fields and mountains and “pathless places,” with the sun at her back and Alpheus’ shadow looming over her shoulder, frightened at “the way his labored breathing / Blew on the back of my hair.”’

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GABBLER RECOMMENDS: The Amazons Were Based on Real-Life Women Warriors Who Were Cool as Hell

Most of what the Greeks wrote about the Amazons can be dismissed out of hand. The idea of all-female tribes that reproduced through sex with strangers and murdered their male infants sounds more like a paranoid male fantasy than historical fact. Similarly, the idea that Amazons cut off one of their breasts to improve their bow skills is laughable to any woman who has managed to master archery with their chest intact. (Not to mention the high fatality rate that such a drastic procedure would have incurred, given the medical capabilities of the time.)

“One can no longer claim that Amazons were nothing but fantasy figures to be killed by mythic Greek heroes; that Amazon myths were invented to discourage Greek women from admiring strong women; that Amazons in Greek art were simply stand-ins for Persian men; and that there was nothing in the historical world shaped or influenced the images of Amazons in literature and art,” Mayor says.

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#BLAThoughtOfTheDay: Thor: Ragnarok is anything but Norse

While this is the first Thor movie I’ve actually felt compelled to see, I think my intrigue has more to do with the syncretic mix of non-Norse imagery in its advertisements:

The above poster looks a lot like iconography for the Hindu Pantheon, complete with lots of arms and the hyper use of color:

And then we see a Pegasi, from Greek myth, in the trailer:

Granted, Valkyries did fly through the air, arguably on horseback. It’s just not a decidedly Norse creature when given feathered wings…

And at one point Thor is forced to fight Hulk, Roman gladiator-style:

So, my last thought is:

Other than just the Norse gods themselves, where’s the Nordic flair? 

 

Mercury is drawing on The Automation for his next painting. He loved our use of the word “mercurial” so many f*cking times.

[“BLA and GB Gabbler” (really just a pen name – singular) are the Editor and Narrator behind THE AUTOMATION, vol. 1 of the Circo del Herrero series. They are on facebook, twitter, tumblr, goodreads, and Vulcan’s shit list.]

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