The note under my door said “Meet at 3 AM in the parking garage behind the Waffle House.” I’d received notes like this before and, usually, they either led to great information or some guy in nothing but a trenchcoat asking me if I wanted to hold hands and whisper Carpenters lyrics into each other’s ears. Typically, these messages came from my high level contact in the CIA, a man who will only let me refer to him in public as Deep Thrombosis. He’s worked in The Company for many years and has put me onto some of the bigger stories Tyranny of Tradition has broken. He was the guy who tipped me off to Obama’s drumming on the first Overkill album and Nixon’s plot to assassinate the members of Black Sabbath. I knew that a night meeting with Deep Thrombosis could be the thing that gets me that Pulitzer Prize I’ve been coveting all these years or even a date with The Great Kat. However, I was not prepared for the monumental significance of what he was about to tell me.
“Tonight, we are going to pull back the curtain,” whispered Deep Thrombosis while his shifty, beady eyes darted from side to side. “The information I’m about to give you could bring down the whole circus. If you print it, be warned, there is a good chance you will end up having a ‘boating accident’ or accidently hanging yourself while trying to install a garage door opener. And for godsakes, if you print this, you need to promise not to mention you got it from a source in the CIA! They’ll be able to track it back to me.”
“I will absolutely not mention how I got this information,” I told my CIA source. “I swear it!”
He proceeded to tell me the most outlandish story I had ever heard. A story of violence, intrigue and a CIA so out of control that it would go so far as to break up one of the great thrash metal groups of our time.
“The Company had heard some rumors that the next Slayer album was going to be all about drone strikes on Al-Queda bases. The thing was going to be called “South of Reason”. Typical longhaired hippie liberal propaganda. We’d have let Limbaugh handle them except they were going to reveal potential bombing coordinates, out some of our higher level agents, and really turn the metalhead public against the whole ‘secret murder of civilians who have had no trial’ thing. We couldn’t let it happen. So we took action.”
“The first part of the plan was to kidnap Kerry King and replace him with an actor who resembled Kerry King. We have a guy who has done some jobs with us in the past who was a dead ringer for King, a sort of grubby, misshapen fellow who slightly resembled a poorly shaven yeti. We scooped up the real Kerry and threw him into Guantanamo and told the guards he was actually Osama Bin Laden’s masseuse and to ‘not torture him’ until he gave us any information on the whereabouts of the secret terrorist training camps in Iceland.”
“The guy we are using as Kerry almost gave the thing away during the first show. He played three or four really great solos, which confused the audience. Luckily, one of our agents got ahold of him and told him to haphazardly move his whammy bar around really fast when it was his turn to solo and no one would know the difference. Things went fine after that.”
“We had the fake Kerry plant a robot spider containing a laboratory made virus to bite Hanneman and keep him out of action for a while. We slipped a mind-altering substance into one of Araya’s drinks and, through the power of suggestion, convinced him to start listening to Asking Alexandria. We figured this would jam up any creativity that was flowing through his head. Then, we gave a copy of the band’s financial information to Lombardo. The rest is history.”
“The thing is, I’ve begun to realize that this sort of thing is dangerous. After all, if the CIA can destroy Slayer or overthrow the government of a foreign country or randomly kill civilians who happened to be in the same vicinity as people we believe to be terrorists without the consent of the American people, then what is the point of even calling our country a democracy. I started thinking of what a soulless, unaccountable beast like the CIA could do if it really put its mind to it. Forcing Exodus to do a ska album? Getting Testament to hire Michael Bolton as their lead singer? Letting Janick Gers write all the songs on the next Maiden record? The possibilities were too horrible to consider.”
“So, I have chosen you to help put a stop to this. Publish this article tomorrow and remind America that in a democracy, the government needs to be accountable to the people or else they have ceased being a democracy. That transparency is the only thing that can keep us from becoming a nation capable of any atrocity in the name of opening new markets and exploiting new sources of human capital. That America should stand for something greater than the principal of bending other, weaker nations to our will. And that Slayer should start writing stuff that sounds more like it did before Divine Intervention, because honestly, the new stuff hasn’t been all that impressive. Except for God Hates Us All. That was pretty cool.”
I heard the sound of a car door slam in the corner of the garage and turned to look at it. When I looked back, Deep Thrombosis was gone.
Years from now, the Rick Santorum Presidential Campaign won’t be known for much. He has gone along way on the strength of an uncanny ability to make hatred sound virtuous, but let’s face it, his campaign is clearly having its final death spasms and will hopefully be put out of it’s misery, Old Yeller style, in a matter of weeks. Not that anyone will shed a tear for the man. Those who hate him will move on to more worthy targets and those who love him will find another dimwitted fear monger to cast their lot with any day now. America is chock full of hateful, well-spoken vipers who can carry the neo-conservative mantle yet another yard as it lurches ever so slowly towards 1951.
It’s easy to rail on Santorum and weeks from now, it’ll be even easier to forget he even exists. However, I think that he should be praised for one thing. His shadowy team of Gollum-esque backers has managed to create the single best negative campaign ad since LBJ nuked that poor little girl picking the daisy. If you haven’t seen the Obamaville ad and you happen to still double-check the locks on your front door when anyone mentions Willie Horton, you are in for a treat…
The first fifteen seconds of this ad are beautiful. It’s as if they hired George A. Romero or the guy who used to do the Nine Inch Nails videos to shoot the thing. The dimly lit streets of some American town. Pale, muted colors. Crows. Rusty playground equipment and the abandoned shoe of a child. Desolation. Despair.
This is usually the point where the bloodthirsty ghouls wander down the boulevard in search of brains. Instead, we get a flood of about 10 images in one second. Happy family. Front porch. Old couple. Jailed prisoner. Baby in red. Is the baby a communist? Is the baby a symbol of purity stained by years of liberal attacks on….I dunno…..babies?
Yes, that was a subliminal cut to an eyeball at the 17-second mark. Why? Who knows, but it sure is creepy. More despair in Zombie America. People losing jobs. Families in squalid apartments forced to eat nothing but apples. Cut to long abandoned hallways. Evil doctors lurking around every corner with needles, ready to harm you all the while bleeding your bank account dry.
Then, the best image in the whole ad. A man with a gas pump aimed at his head committing….uhm….dieselcide. More images. Religious candles being blown out by, I guess, liberals. Darkness. But, wait…it gets better.
Old people. About to be harmed. By Iranians. With nuclear weapons. Yes, at the 40-second mark, you did see the ad cut from killer Iranian leaders to Barack Obama and back again. You didn’t make that up. It really happened.
People. Marching in line. Drones. Zombies in suits. Sent to America to take your freedom and potentially restrict your family’s ability to visit theme parks. Wall Street. A menacing, monstrous looking tree with glowing eyes.
Images. Speeding up. You’re fired. You’re in your minivan and you’re angry. Obama. Piggy bank breaking. Faster. Eyeball. Red. Capitol. Faster. Jails. Bossy old women. Glasses. Faster. Iranians. Faster. The red baby. This hell on earth could only be one place…..Obamaville.
What could it all mean? It’s a surreal pastiche of terror. Watching this ad made me less concerned about the economy and much more concerned about the possibility of giant hawk-like creatures coming down from the sky and ripping my head off.
Forget all this policy mumbo-jumbo, let’s scare the bejesus out of them. It’s not that this is an uncommon tactic, it’s just that you rarely see it so clearly spelled out. This is the mother of all attack ads, because it implies, pretty clearly, that voting for Obama is not just a bad idea….it will, in no uncertain terms, KILL YOU. Short of selling bottles of rat poison with Obama’s face on it, I’m not sure how much more clearly you can make that point.
So, a tip of the hat to Rick. He left us with something that will stand the test of time. His campaign is directly responsible for taking things to a level that shady little hucksters like Lee Atwater never dreamed. He’s created the first all-American political slasher ad. An ad so vile, so repugnant, so clearly aimed to poison the well, that it will take Herculean effort to match its malignancy. After all, when your entire campaign is based on the idea that hopefully America will become so unlivable, so completely ramshackle, that its people will rise up en masse and elect a guy who could easily have been the Commander in “A Handmaid’s Tale”, why the hell not run an ad like this?
“We may be through with the past but the past ain’t through with us.” -PT Anderson
History is inescapable and never-ending. In spite of protestations from some historians, like the famous one by Francis Fukayama in 1992 that the end of the Cold War essentially meant history was “over”, we have yet to come anywhere near something that could be considered a conclusion. History, on many levels, is a trap from which we cannot extricate ourselves. Its long arm reaches through time and pushes us in directions we never believed we be capable of going. This, more than anything else, seems to be the central message of Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 horror classic “The Shining”.
While it would be easy to dismiss the film as an exquisitely told, elaborately filmed ghost story, there is a deeper meaning at the heart of the film. The story begins with Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) and his family undertaking the westward voyage that so many Americans have. Our history as Americans are filled with just this type of journey West in the hopes of finding fortune and freedom in a new place.
They arrive at the Overlook hotel; a resort in Colorado that shares is decorated in a Native American theme. This is not a surprise, because we learn early on that the hotel is built on a Native American burial ground. While this idea itself has become a horror cliché, it is important to note that, within the context of this film, it indicates the connection with a brutal past. One could argue that much of Western America was a burial ground for indigenous Americans who were steamrolled during the United States’ drive from seas to shining sea.
The ghosts of the past are not simply ghosts in The Shining. They are reflections of a troubling history of violence. Dick Halloran (played brilliantly by Scatman Crothers) offers us a metaphor early on that perfectly describes this. He tells Danny, Jack Torrance’s boy, that the ghosts in the film are like the smell of “burnt toast”. They may no longer be with us, but their presence is still strongly felt. Where Dick is terribly wrong is in his claim that the past cannot hurt us because it is like pictures in a book. The movie seems to argue that these “pictures” are very much alive and deeply at the root of the conflict that was raging through America in the 1960s and 70s.
In order to understand the film, it is critical to note the three separate reactions of the main characters in the film to the horrors of The Overlook. Jack gains from them a sense of belonging. He longs to be a part of the horrific history of The Overlook. He loves the violence at the core of its polished veneer. Jack is a metaphor for one view of those with power in the 60s and 70s. Disinterested in the suffering that takes place below their feet, they revel in excess while Rome burns. They are the governmental father figures that were supposed to protect the average American and instead gave us an overwhelming glut of consumer goods coupled nightmares like the Vietnam War.
Wendy (Shelly Duvall) is meant to be the symbol of most Americans. She cares deeply about her family but is blind to the actual circumstances of her life. She explains away much of the horror she’s experienced at the hands of Jack. Wendy doesn’t see the hotel for what it is until her family is shattered apart. Her awakening is meant to mimic what so many Americans feel when they look underneath the façade of the American Dream and see the massacred corpses it was built upon. Much of the interplay between the hotel, Jack and Danny go past Wendy, who is only focused on the immediate events at hand and misses the greater context of what is taking place. Her recognition of the violence around her is very much the climax of the film.
Danny (Danny Lloyd) is the next generation. He is equipped with the power to see and recognize what was there before him. He shines, or can telepathically see the images of The Overlook’s horrific past. The expression shining was actually taken from the John Lennon song “We All Shine On” by the book’s author Stephen King. The idea is that this new generation, the hippies, the yippies, the Panthers and the other groups of Americans in the late 60s and early 70s have become unwilling to play the game of forgetting the past and going about their lives. They were able to see how the past has impacted their world and they felt a desperate need to make the world see what they were witness to. Danny serves as a reminder of the violence that permeates the center of our collective fantasy. We must not be reminded of it or we might be willing to destroy it in order to save ourselves from it. Both The Overlook and Jack recognize the danger present in Danny’s vision and realize he must be controlled or even murdered.
Is this vision of America an accurate one? On some levels it is. Keep in mind this book and movie were created in the shadow of the chaos, both political and social, that were taking place in America in the 60s and 70s. The Presidency had been debased, the myth of America’s military superiority had been unmasked and the entire concept of the American Dream had been called into question. America could be seen as a madhouse on par with The Overlook. While this might be true, it is a massive oversimplification to argue that the “new” generation could be easily characterized by a visionary innocent while the leaders of the past simply lumped into the category of tyrannical, blood-thirsty madmen. There were so many shades of grey; the protest movement was far from beyond reproach and the government was not solely filled with violent, greedy sycophants. When discussing mass movements, simple narratives are rarely completely accurate
The deeper question at the heart of this film is of the role of the past in modern life. It’s simply not accurate to argue that the past is totally behind us. The world and its resources were divided up a long time ago and to accept these divisions as “the way things oughta be” does a profound disservice to those who today still suffer from decisions made lifetimes ago. Think of how the territorial distinctions made at the Berlin Conference in the 1880s have come to shape today’s Africa and you can get a glimpse of the power of the past. While much of the past is inescapable, I believe it is also something that can be understood in a way that makes some sense of the world. We owe it to ourselves and to those who are still among us to try to rationally understand the world we live in and how it got to be the way it is. This means living free of as many illusions about our history as possible. This may mean giving up some of the sense of identity that myth of a pristine past gives us. But, there is a redemptive power to truth and, while it may not save us, it can help us shine enough to at least see what is actually around us.
For years one of the great mysteries in American political history was what President Nixon said in the missing 18-½ minutes of tape that was “accidentally” erased before it was given to investigators. A new book may just answer that question.
According to Nixon’s story, his personal secretary Rosemary Woods erased the missing section of tape when she was trying to transcribe the details of the conversation for the Watergate Hearings. In a new book, “Knowing Dick: My Mother’s Time Under President Nixon”, Petey Woods, Rosemary’s eldest son, claims that she revealed to him that Nixon had detailed discussions about assassinating members of the metal band Black Sabbath on the deleted section of the tape. He also claimed that his mother was asked by the President to destroy the section because he worried about “a wave of heavy metal coming over to the U.S. from England and spreading lawless, godless communism.”
According to the book, Nixon, who has also been rumored to have encouraged the assassination and overthrow of Salvador Allende in Chile, wanted to see a similar fate for Bill Ward, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler. Nixon was much less concerned about Ozzy, who he felt was a drag on the talents of the rest of the band. However, Nixon was concerned that “Sabbath might go ahead and get someone like that fellow Dio from the band Elf. Then, they’d all have to go or they’d be unstoppable.”
Nixon believed the CIA could be enlisted in plans to get rid of Sabbath. “After all, we used them to overthrow Mossadegh in Iran and Arbenz in Guatemala. They helped get rid of Trujillo in the Dominican Republic, Diem in Vietnam and Patrice Lumumba in the Congo. They even tried to kill Castro 8 times for god sakes. Getting rid of a bunch of angry, power-chord obsessed Brits should be no trouble whatsoever for the boys over at Langley.”
“The President was deeply concerned about the potential dangers of a style of music that loud and that intense,” says Woods in his book. Apparently, most of the 18-½ minutes is an anti-metal rant that featured the President raving about the future of metal. “Eventually they’ll be bands that play a style called speed or thrash metal. They’ll have names like Slayer and Demolition Hammer and they will corrupt the young. I can envision a world where kids run into each other in a dance they like to call “moshing”. They’ll be encouraged to kick their friend in the head and have a ball. Is this the type of America you want, Haldeman?”
One of the most shocking revelations about the tapes is Nixon’s Nostradamus-like ability to accurately predict the path of heavy metal. At one point, he allegedly referred to a style of metal from Scandinavia that he believed would be called “bleak metal” and would feature band members wearing corpse paint and playing fast, angry metal filled with high pitched screams. He then allegedly went into graphic detail about his concern that there might be a so-called “death metal” scene in Florida in the early 1990s where bands like Death and Morbid Angel “could completely warp the minds of an entire generation with satanic imagery and blast-beat drumming.”
Nixon even went as far as saying that if Black Sabbath isn’t killed, we’d see a future with bands like “Suffocation, Pig Destroyer, and Goatwhore telling our kids god knows what”. By “taking out Sabbath”, Nixon believed he could strike a final and decisive blow against the forces of heavy metal. “All we need are a few bullets, a little arsenic in their beer and a car bomb or two. Then the kids will start listening to positive stuff like Anita Bryant and Bing Crosby again. And just what the hell is a Goatwhore anyway?”
However, if Sabbath was successful in their metal mission young people would “fall like dominos” and eventually America would be filled with a majority of “black tee-shirt clad, long-haired maniacs who live to thrash all night and sleep all day.”
Later in Nixon’s life, he slowly began to accept heavy metal and even was rumored to have listened to Pantera’s “Cemetery Gates” on his deathbed. However, his willingness to use the power of the Presidency to kill members of a heavy metal band is deeply troubling for the remaining twenty or so Americans who believe that America doesn’t have the right to go around the world murdering people who are a perceived threat.
The Future Ain’t What It Used To Be: Reflections on The Significance of Teaching and Learning History
I believe strongly that one of the most significant things that can be gained through the study of history is a more profound understanding of the experiences of another human being. We can never completely understand what a person has felt or known, but it is possible to see a vague reflection of their condition. The full scope of human understanding is probably far beyond what a single person can ever completely grasp, but in the search for the meaning of individual moments in time, it is possible to see deeper into what it means to be that particular human in that particular moment. That understanding can grant us the grace that comes with feeling a genuine connection to those who we may not physically ever meet. This connection allows us to know more of what it means to be human. For me, this is the most important reason to teach and learn history.
Often, the study of history is presented as a magical panacea for all that ails the human race. I don’t believe history can “fix” anything. The most well-worn and wildly inaccurate cliché about history is that “those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Students are often programed like robots to repeat that as a way of explaining why it is worth spending hour upon hour of their time on earth pondering the actions of William the Conqueror or Marie Antoinette. Granted, explaining the deeper meaning of history is a labyrinthine task, but simply leaving students with the veiled threat about how not paying attention to a lesson may leave them to the brink of extinction is hardly an effective means of fostering a long-term commitment to learning. Nobody knows what patterns will unfold as time passes. Studying what has happened is not a recipe for understanding what will happen.
One of the few recognizable truths that the subject seems to offer is that it is impossible for history to ever repeat itself. Sets of circumstances are always unique. Sure, there are similarities between the French and Russian Revolutions, but to argue that history was merely re-running an episode of “The Revolution Hour Hosted by Vladimir Lenin” is a grotesque simplification. My experience has been that historical themes that “repeat” themselves only look that way if one is paying little attention to the actual circumstances of the event. There are nearly infinite numbers of minor unrecorded actions and forgotten decisions that made the event what it was. We know so little and presume so much.
By understanding the past, we gain little insight into our future. Even if I magically found a way to absorb every moment of the past, I strongly doubt that I could even know what the weather was going to be like a week from Sunday. The future is created by the sum total of the actions of human beings in each particular moment. I have not been given the machinery to synthesize a trillionth of the events of a given millisecond. If they all count for varying degrees of something, then how on earth could I possibly expect to understand the moment I’m in, let alone the ones that will come next?
The problem with a historical outlook that is built on gaining future “results” is that it obscures a much more powerful purpose for historical study, which is to genuinely understand something that goes beyond ones own wishes, desires and beliefs. Historians often try to bend events into coherent themes in the hopes of explaining large blocks of time. This form of historical shorthand is necessary on many levels, but when it comes to supersede the experiences and events that have taken place, then it becomes a major barrier to the path of empathy that true engagement with the subject can create.
If the goal of learning history is trying to predict the outcomes of a series of events, then it is certainly not an effective tool. However, history may well be one of the greatest engines ever created to teach empathy and compassion. The problem with teaching students to believe that history follows certain patterns is it robs them of the understanding of what a remarkable role uncertainty plays in history. Students often ask why a certain historical actor was so dumb as not to see how obvious their fate was to anyone who paid attention. After all, we know how all the stories end. The problem is, historical actors do not know how their lives will end up. They are making decisions in the moment without the benefit of hindsight. No historical pattern can guarantee a persons well-being. They were fishing around in the dark just like we are. They didn’t know how they would die, they didn’t know what their actions would mean and they certainly didn’t have the benefit being able to walk away from their stories when events became too challenging. We don’t either. This basic human truth should be the bedrock of any exploration of history.
To attempt to fully comprehend meaning of even one moment of a human life is an awe-inspiring goal. Even with the comparatively small amount of information we have about the lives of our fellow travelers, when we can see a flicker of their humanity we have granted ourselves the wonderful kinship that comes with knowing that we are not making our journey alone. Humans can survive perfectly well without studying history. The past, however, can teach us so much more than simply how to survive. It offers us an amazing window of insight into the miraculous complexities of what it means to be alive. This understanding is history’s truest gift to us. This is why it is worthwhile to learn about the past.
“A Grandma is at the shore in Florida with her little Grandson. The grandson is playing on the beach when a big wave comes and washes the kid out to sea. The lifeguards swim out, bring him back to the shore, the paramedics work on him for a long time, pumping the water out, reviving him. They turn to the Grandma and say, “We saved your grandson!” The Grandma says, “He had a hat!””
Bobby Gold was born to die a thousand slow deaths. His is the pain of a man without a country. Homicide is his confession. The confession of the man that can never be whole. He is the first through the door, the last to leave the gym. His mistakes must be rationalized or his coat of armor will become tin foil. He has an answer to every question even before you ask it, because he cannot afford to show an ounce of skin. He must convince them of his worth. He must be more than human or else they will see him. Then, they will know.
Bobby Gold, set to wander the desert into eternity. He must be exceptional or he is lost. He is the map of human misery. Bobby the Nomad. Every time he finds a river he drinks a mouthful of sand. He knows that you see him and he thinks you won’t let him forget it.
His is the story of the self-made man. What becomes of the self-made man when he stops creating? What if he gets tired? What if hasn’t the strength to work at the rate to which he has become accustomed? No one will catch him if his arms and legs cramp up. He knows this as surely as he knows how much time it will take him to get there 15 minutes early.
He looks around at people and instead sees the ocean. The ocean is still and never needs anything more than what is given. The ocean is a mystery to him. Who built it? How does it hide its shame? In his hands are a set of tools from which he must construct himself. From nothing. From the ground up. He must explain himself over and over. He recoils, overwhelmed by the fear that they’ll recognize the sadness in him. He explains and explains and explains never making the point that is so obvious to anyone who takes a moment to look. And he hopes his explanations will blind them to the truth. And he hopes they’ll see him and forgive his existence.
He looks enviously at those who have never had to work a day in their life to exist. Some people just wake up and “are”. He must invent. He must create. All of his actions reek of existential survival. Bobby is a reminder of how fast a man must run to not fall down. The faster he runs, the closer the oblivion he gets. It is gaining on him, always.
Bobby Gold, never to know the stillness and quiet of a dreamless sleep. Haunted by his visions of wholeness. Mocked by his own creations and talents. Bobby hears with a third ear. He is haunted by the stumbling footsteps of those who do not belong. The flesh on his neck stands at attention when he is near them. He doesn’t need files and he doesn’t need a map. He knows the look. He is blessed with the curse of understanding. As like is drawn to like, as “a dog goes back to its own vomit”, as pain seeks out pain. He is them and they are he. Outcasts. Alone in a crowded universe.
Bobby Gold, born to see what people pray to have the strength to ignore. Bobby the Outcast. Bobby the Obscure. Bobby the Stranger Among Strangers. Bobby the Donkey. Capable of so much, but unable to hide the absurdity of his being. Imploring the world to see him for what he does and not what he is. Doomed by the pain of the man who can never be more than he can build.
Greek Mythology has always been a source of great fascination to me. The Ancient Greeks had an uncanny way of explaining the random, capricious nature of life through their deities. The gods were wild and erratic. They could hand you a check for a million dollars one minute and throw you in a pit with a thousand rattlesnakes the next. Imagine the entire Old Testament was The Book of Job and you have a decent sense of how things worked for The Greeks.
The gods seemed to be a great way to explain anything and everything. At times, it can seem as if there were more gods then Greeks. Often, scholars spend their time focusing on the better-known gods like Zeus, Poseidon or Athena. However, there are many fascinating stories of gods that were widely worshiped in their day, but have disappeared into the great dustbin of history. Here are some great examples:
Arteriosclorities-The God of Deep Fried Foods
Beyond contributing democracy and many other key philosophical insights to our world, The Greeks are also the first society to deep-fry their foods. From yak to Snickers bars (a delicacy first created by Aristotle), the Greeks would throw nearly anything into a bubbling cauldron of oil. It is no wonder that the Greeks are believed to be the progenitors of Western medicine. Most Greeks weighed upwards of 300 pounds and were barely able to run. This fact tends to throw their achievements during the Olympic games into a whole different light.
Supposedly, Arteriosclorities was one of Zeus’ many sons from an affair with Eris, the goddess of strife and discord. In order to hide this affair from his wife Hera after the child was born, Zeus placed Arteriosclorities into the stomach of Dionysus while he was sleeping off a wild night of overeating and general debauchery. Dionysus awoke with a terrible feeling of discomfort and collapsed. Zeus, not meaning to have harmed Dionysus, sent Indigestius, the Greek god of stomach acid and ulcers, into his stomach to destroy Arteriosclorities. The two had a great battle, which was won by Indigestius. Dionysus finally awoke with terrible stomach pains that could only be allayed by eating massive amounts of antacids.
McKuenius-The God of Bad Poetry and Greeting Cards
The Greeks are known for creating some of the most poignant and moving poetry in human history. But, for every Homer, there were 1,000 less talented hacks trying to write their own Iliad. Many of these no talent writers ended up working for the Hallmark Corporation, which was founded in 654 B.C., with the mission of sending sappy, dull poetry to people on important days of their lives. Their patron saint is the god McKuenius.
McKuenius was known for writing terribly boring, pointless poetry and asking Hermes to deliver it. Hermes, the busy messenger god, was forced to deliver idiotic compositions like “Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, You are a Goddess and Athena is too” to Aphrodite or “Poseidon likes water, Demeter is his sister, She gave birth to his daughter,” to the god of the sea. After growing tired of having to read this drivel, Hermes begged Zeus to punish McKuenius in order to make him stop writing. First, Zeus sentenced him to one hundred years of writing dirty limericks on bathroom stalls. However, Zeus quickly discovered that he was enjoying his job. Zeus realized he was a lost cause and sent him to pits of Tartarus and made him write a detailed description of Sisyphus rolling a rock up the hill for eternity. He is still there today, happily describing suffering and misery in a pithy, gleeful, and highly moronic way.
Aggasius-The God Of Male Pattern Baldness
The gods seemed to all have some sort of fatal flaw. Be it rage, greed, avarice or just plain old insanity, they all seemed to have something locked into their character that made them both all-powerful and amazingly vulnerable. One of the earliest examples of this is Aggasius, the god of male pattern baldness. Aggusius was one of the original Titan gods who were overthrown by Zeus and The Olympian gods at 4:22 PM on February 12th 3212 B.C. Aggasius was capable of creating tornadoes, causing earthquakes and smiting entire nations with a wave of his staff. However, he was unable to grow hair on the top of his head. The tragic irony of Agassius was that he could grow massive amounts on his back, his ears and even on his shoulders like Sonny Corleone in the first Godfather film. He tried several potions created by Greek pharmaceutical manufacturers, a terribly made hairpiece created from the beard of Hyperion, and even tried to rubbing pomegranate seeds on his head three times a day, nothing seemed to work. In spite of his great power, the other gods laughed at “The Bald One” whenever his back was turned. Eventually, he grew tired of the mockery, quit being a god and moved to a suburb of Stillwater, Oklahoma, where he still lives today working as a successful middle manager at a meat packing company.