Thursday, August 3, 2017

A Momentary Interlude

As we prepare for the launch of CCRB: The Podcast...

Wait, I didn't tell you about that?  Yeah, that's TOTALLY gonna be a thing.  Tell your friends!  I'm thinking the first ep will be available in a few weeks just so we can get a head start on things.

AYNWAY!  As we prepare, I have taken a mild break from TROPEFEST II to start another project.

MYTH-TAKES WERE MADE will be my retelling of the Greek myths.  I think you'll get a kick out of it.  Just because I'm SO excited about it, here's the first chapter!


To tell any story properly, we must first start at the very beginning. And our collection of tales would be absolutely incomplete if we did not do the same.

Enter fucking Chaos. Chaos, the Greek word for “chasm”, is the first of the known primordial gods. He was a giant expanse of nothing where all of the elements were jumbled up and confused and eventually, Chaos got super-lonely, so from Chaos came Gaia, the Earth, Tartarus, both a god AND a place, grandfather to monsters, and Eros, the god of love…

Wait, what? Eros came BEFORE his mom? What fuckery is this? How the hell did this happen?

Yeah, it gets worse. I told you to buckle the fuck up.

So, there they were. Earth, Hell and Love. Together at last. Fit to make the world their bitch. And, in the meantime, Chaos just kept on going with the spawning. Divine jizz everywhere, staining the carpet and getting in people’s eyes. After the big three, there came Erebus (darkness) and Nyx (night). Because nobody needed to fucking see or anything.

And, because no set of Greek Mythological tales would be complete without some sweet, sweet, incest action (ick), Erebus and Nyx got bizzay and brought into the world Aether and Hemera (light and day). Uranus and Pontus (heaven and ocean) were the result of Gaia flicking her bean because she’s a strong, independent, woman who don’t need no help from no man.

Everything went fine for a while until Uranus decided to play “ride the bologna pony” with mom. Heaven and Earth, goin’ at it like two pigs in a sack. All rollin’ around, destroying the landscape and frightening little primordial whatevers. Condoms? Who needs condoms? We don’t even know what incest IS, yet. I bet Eros watched. Kinky fucker.

And from all that, we got the Titans. Gigantic, ugly motherfuckers who ruled as gods during the Golden Age and also lived on a very climbable mountain, Mount Othrys. Since there were no actual people, though, they didn’t get the respect they deserved. Which is to say, none. Because they didn’t really do a hell of a lot to earn it other than just exist.

ANYWAY, the first round of Titans was comprised of Mnemosyne (memory), Rhea (fertility and motherhood), Oceanus (the sea, duh), Hyperion (the sun/heavenly light), Coeus (rational intellect), Cronus (the harvest and, later, time), Phoebe (irrational intellect and prophetic wisdom), Tethys (fresh water), Iapetus (mortality), Theia (sight and a clear, blue sky), Crius (constellations), and Themis (divine law and order).

Oh, and there’s more, because, seriously, fucking out of boredom is an OK thing, I guess. (It totally is. I recommend it.)

The second set was a little more genetically diverse, but not by a whole lot. Hyperion and Theia went all horizontal and brought forth Helios (the Sun before he got replaced by Apollo), Selene (the Moon before that little upstart virgin, Diana, got in the way and who also went by the name “Mene” which is where we get our word “menses”) and Eos, the Dawn, who managed to keep her job.

More about all of these guys later, for sure. Even though some of them got replaced (We’re getting to that! Hush.), they still get to play along for cash and prizes… and babies… and kidnapped lovers…

SO! Everything was all hunk-dory until Cronus got a wild hair up his ass and said to Uranus, he said, “Dad, you totally suck because we all know you hate your kids and you’re totally gonna be the butt (hah) of asshole jokes for all eternity.” Which he did because not only did Uranus father the Titans, but he and Gaia also popped out the Hecatonkheires, three one-hundred-handed giants, and the Cyclopes, one-eyed motherfuckers with a taste for flesh and, for real, who wouldn’t feel a bit of revulsion knowing that your kids were cannibals? I know you’re supposed to love your kids unconditionally but there are limits to everything. Hell, there was recently a London newspaper opinion article where a mom basically disowned her kid for getting a tattoo. Parents can sometimes suck out loud. Like Uranus who banished the Hecatonkheires and Cyclopes to Tartarus (the place, not the dude) which was deep within the earth (the goddess, not the place) and caused Gaia great pain.

Cronus continued by saying “You sent the ugly kids away and I think that it’s time someone better than you came along and took over because you are obviously derelict in your duties as a man, a god and a father. Eat it, dickface.”

And with that, Uranus, using a sickle that Gaia had crafted especially for this purpose, jumped his dad and castrated him. This was not just a circumcision, folks. This was straight up removal of twig AND berries. And, of course, Uranus didn’t survive the ordeal because he was all kinds of “Quiverfull” creepy and he needed to leave that poor woman and her uterus alone but spent so much of his time dick-deep in Gaia that he didn’t know what to do now that he had no dick. After this, he was no longer a “he”. He was just the sky, the only thing left of him as being even remotely thought of as human-shaped was his pants-prizes.

Cronus, with his dad’s severed junk in his hand shouted to the world “I’M YOUR KING NOW, eew,” and splattered Uranus’ dick blood around while trying to shake the gore off of his hand. Thus sprang forth the Titanes Theoi (“straining gods” which sounds like they’re totally the culprits behind constipation but that just isn’t true at all). The Giants, basically made up of anger and spite, the Erinyes (The Furies), who took “basically” out of the equation (more on them later), the Meliae, the first tree nymphs, and the Telchines, the fish children who were basically humans with sea lion flippers for hands and how that made them skilled metallurgists is completely beyond me because thumbs are a fucking thing but we have to accept that genetic abnormalities do not make a person a failure and more power to them.

Finally freed of the blood, he tossed the offending genitalia into the sea and, from this, we get Aphrodite, the goddess of love. Because OF COURSE she’s made of something soft and wet. Apparently, sea foam is post-mortem Uranus spunk and now you have one more reason to avoid that beach vacation. More on Aphrodite in a bit. She’s important.

Now that his dad’s junk was safely out of his hand and Papa was deposed, Cronus took a look at his brothers and sisters and said to the Hecatonkheires and the Cyclopes, “Y’know what? I don’t particularly want to look at you, either, soooooo...,” and banished them back to Tartarus, because fuck you, Mom/ex-girlfriend but, to be fair, he DID give them a pet, this time, in the form of the great dragon Campe.

Cronus and his sister, Rhea, ruled as king and queen and during their reign, there was no need for rules and laws because everyone got along peacefully and immorality was not even a thing, yet. People just did the right thing. At least, until Cronus received a prophecy that said that his own sons would overthrow him as he did with dear, old Uranus. Once he got that news, he was all “Oh, no, fuck that” and hatched a horrible plan.

Oh, he went about his daily business of sticking it in Rhea and having her give birth to the gods we all know and love (Demeter, Hestia, Hera, Hades and Poseidon) but he just kinda sat at her cooch with his mouth open and ate the kids as they were born. The romantic paintings don’t show you THAT. Mostly because it’s kind of a gross image and I’m sorry I put it into your heads. (I’m not really sorry.)

BUT! And it’s a big “but”, much like my own. BUT, Rhea still had one more child and Gramma Gaia and Rhea hatched a cunning scheme. Before Cronus could get all up in there during the birth of Zeus, Rhea took a trip to Crete and gave birth to him there in secret. She then took a stone (called the Omphalos stone, which is where we get the term omphaloskepsis or “contemplating your own navel”), wrapped it in swaddling clothes and gave it to Cronus who swallowed it whole. I mean, the lie the rock and everything. Cronus might have been clever but he wasn’t THAT clever and he was apparently blind. Who confuses a rock for a baby? Come on. Now.

The story gets a little hazy, here, at least in terms of the upbringing of Zeus. They say that he was raised by Gaia. They say that he was raised by a goat named Amalthea while his own personal rock band/personal guard, the Kouretes, danced and sang so loud that Cronus couldn’t hear his cries. They say he was raised by a nymph named Adamanthea who hid him from Cronus by hanging him by a rope from a tree so he was between the earth, the sea, and the sky and, thus, indetectable by Cronus, the ruler of all three. Whichever is the real story, we don’t know and we don’t care because that isn’t the interesting part.

The COOL part is when Zeus reached adulthood. Adulthood that somehow did not end up warped out of control due to being raised by a goat while hanging from a fucking basket and having to listen to musclebound proto-Greeks get their disco on for 18 years or so. I mean, other than that whole “I’m basically being raised for the sole purpose of killing my father and becoming ruler of Heaven and Earth so I guess I’m SUUUUUPER entitled to pretty much everything” thing.

Nobody knows for sure but either Metis or Gaia handed Zeus an amphora of Ipecac and said “Go get’im, tiger,” and sent him on his merry way. He eased his way on down the road to Mount Orthys and met up with dear, old Dad. That conversation was either totally “Yo, man, I got something good for ya,” in which Cronus, who was never taught not to take candy from strangers, just downs the emetic or “This wine is off, kid,” and Zeus just says fuck it and disembowels Papa causing the contents of his stomach to spring forth in reverse order, starting with the fucking rock that he was stupid enough to swallow. That rock was set at Pytho under Mount Parnassus as a sign to the mortals that the new guard is here.

Zeus then got the Hecatonkheires and the Cyclopes freed and the Cyclopes got busy arming Zeus and his male siblings (Oh, hey, did I mention that these stories are rarely feminist in nature?). Zeus got super-rad lightning bolts, Poseidon got a trident and Hades got his helmet of darkness. They needed all of this stuff because war was coming. A war called the Titanomachy, the first of all wars.

Zeus and all of his brothers and sisters (who, apparently, fought unarmed?) and the Hecatonkheires and the Cyclopes waged a war with the old gods and the Titans so vast and so widespread that it changed the face of the planet. Zeus prevailed, though, and confined most of the Titans in Tartarus. There are some notable exceptions: Atlas, Epimetheus, Prometheus, Menoetius, Helios and Oceanus.

After all of this, Gaia, being extremely tired of being used as a prison by her first husband, her son/ex-boyfriend, AND her grandkid, had finally had enough and with the advice of her therapist, gave birth to Typhon, the father of monsters, as revenge for her children and their unjust imprisonment. It didn’t really do a whole lot of good, though, except for guys like me because you’re gonna hear ALL ABOUT the monsters.

Now, Cronus, during all of this, is not fucking dead. He fought the whole time. We’re not quite sure where he and his PTSD ended up, though, after the war. Some say he was imprisoned in Tartarus, too. Some say he was locked up in Nyx’s tastefully decorated cave for eternity. Some say he escaped to Latium and became a king and lawgiver. In none of these stories is he ever considered a god, again.

And, so, with the evil ancestors defeated and those unsightly cousins FINALLY out of the attic and co-mingling in society, because ugly kids need fresh air and love, too, our TRUE stories begin.