#BLAThoughtOfTheDay: We need to end the “Dionysus as Frat Boy” trope



“It may seem a stretch to claim that The Girl With All The Gifts is an anti-natalist story when its most pro-natalist characters aren’t necessarily pro-baby, but pro-species. The logic behind both, however, stems from the same selfish and oppressive choices. Humans, until this point, have treated the new, immune second generation like just another thing to be colonized to secure their own posterity. They subject the children to captivity and dissection. This is all done in search for an antidote so that the old generation of humans can keep on living and therefore breeding. It is never in the interest of the new generation/Other. It is here I would like to emphasize natalist vs. pro-natalist. Pro-natalism goes beyond the status quo of humans’ natalist tendencies to promote a birthrate without reason or through ignoring ethical critique.”


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What the gods specifically desire from mortals via sacrifice is “honor, prerogatives, and gratitude.”

‘What the gods specifically desire from mortals via sacrifice is “honor, prerogatives, and gratitude.” Thus those priests and seers who attempt to bind the gods practice a perversion of religion, and in his Laws Plato specifies the death penalty as the punishment for an mantis who attempts to harm someone through spells and incantations. Plato’s formulation is problematic, however, because his religious beliefs were not necessarily those of the average Greek, or even Athenian, and his distinction between religion and magic is surely far more narrow than the popular one, insofar as most Greeks even thought about the distinction at all.

In actual experience, the distinction between magic and religion is fluid, and both can coexist within the same body of ritual acts. Both religion and magic rely on prayer, sacrifice, and incantation to achieve their ends. But whereas religious practices tend to be under control of the polis, magical practices are beyond public control and therefore are perceived as being dangerous. Yet the difference between magic and religion is also one of context and social approval. Magic is activity meant to achieve the goals of prevailing religion in ways disapproved of by that religion. Thus both magic and religion are goal-oriented, but the relationship of each to the supernatural, at least in Greek eyes, was different.’

– Michael Attyah Flower, The Seer in Ancient Greece