Back in the days of March 2020 B.C. (Before Corona), lots of stuff was happening. Stuff that didn’t involve the talking heads on television telling us to be calm despite all the awful things they were telling us to be afraid of. It was kinder, gentler time. A time when the Tar Heels basketball team began a mini comeback. A time when Harvey Weinstein had been sentenced to 23 years in the pokey for his history of bad acts toward women. Hope like spring was about to spring eternal. Then, oops. Along comes Corona.
Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear B.C. Out of the past came the thundering hoofbeats of the great horse — Silver. I digress, wrong canyon of thought. Let us ponder Weinstein’s woes. What Harvey said at his sentencing hearing got me thinking about Circe, the Greek enchantress. Yep, you are going to have to endure yet another column about Greek mythology if you keep reading. Harvey told the Judge: “I really feel remorse for this situation. It is just that I am totally confused, and I think men are confused about all of these issues.”
In his brain, it wasn’t his fault. The women had led him on by their mere existence. He had been enchanted by them. They had turned him into a pig. Which takes us to the story of Circe.
Jeremiah was a bullfrog, and Circe was an enchantress. She lived in a palace in the woods on her island. When sailors would land on her island, she would sing enchantingly. Her singing had the power to cloud men’s minds. Odysseus, like Popeye, was a sailor man. Ody, as his friends called him, put ashore on Circe’s island for some R&R from the toils of the sea. Ody remained on his ship and sent out a scouting party to learn the lay of the land. His crew heard Circe singing and ended up at her crib. This part of the plot is similar to the story of King Kong when the director Carl Denham sent out a scouting party to find out what was doing on Skull Island before landing his whole motion picture crew.
Circe invites Ody’s crew for a big feast of cheese and meat pottage, honey and a secret potion. All but one of the boys chow down, drink wine, and then magically turn into pigs. One sailor, smelling a rat, escapes and high tails it back to the ship to warn Ody. Ody naturally wants to save his crew of man-pigs to avoid a huge workers’ compensation claim. The goddess Athena sends her messenger Hermes to tell Ody how to free his crew from the evil womanly wiles of Circe.
Hermes gives Ody a powerful herb called Moly, which will protect him from Circe’s ability to enchant him. The plan is for Ody to wave his sword at Circe and pretend to attack her. He has to get Circe to agree not to harm him by swearing to the gods that she won’t hurt him. This is the first recorded instance of a nondisclosure agreement. Ody does as instructed. Naturally, Circe invites him to join her in bed.
It turns out that Harvey Weinstein must have been a scholar of Greek mythology. As all this had worked for Ody, it was only natural that Harvey could wave his sword, get his victims into bed, and then magically make them disappear with a nondisclosure agreement.
Under the Circe theory of male/female relationships, it is always the woman’s fault for turning men into pigs. Not the man’s fault at all. The feminine allure of merely existing is enough to pigify men. Harvey wasn’t responsible for his crimes. It was all Circe’s fault and that of her sisters. That was why he was “so confused about all of these issues.” This theory is an insult to pigs as well as women.
Pigs are noted to be among the most intelligent of creatures — although the priorities of pigs can be puzzling to mere humans. Many years ago, in the 1960s B.C., there were some curious television commercials starring pigs. Consider the Frosty Morn ham commercial, which featured a classroom of singing pigs looking at Fred the Frosty Morn Ham on a shelf. The pigs sing: “It’s the height of a piggy’s ambition/ From the day he is born/ Is hope that he’ll be good enough/ To be a Frosty Morn/ For meat that’s wonderfully different/ They tenderize each ham/ They sugar cure and hickory smoke/ That’s Frosty Morn, yes Ma’am.”
The commercial ends with the pigs cheerfully holding up their cousin Fred, who is now a perfectly wrapped Frosty Morn ham. They dance around. Fade to black.
Today’s Zen: If you are not wrapped up like Fred the Frosty Morn ham, or in the Big House like Weinstein, it’s gonna be a good day.