Friday, May 27, 2016

Michele Morgan #140 There's a double-headed axe at the bottom of my glass (nod to ACski & SH)

So the myth.  Ariadne on Naxos.  Got time for a story?
It has a political dimension.  At one stage Athens obviously
owed fealty to CreteCrete was infused with the
culture and wealth from trade with Egypt but it had its
own distinctive culture, flush toilets and cutting edge fashion,
all tits and tights, gym chic and shipping.
But at the heart of Crete was the Labyrinth
and at the heart of the Labyrinth was the minotaur
the bull-headed man with bitter flesh and a taste for young meat
And every year Athens had to send 10 of its young
men and 10 of its young women
tribute to Crete and prey to the minotaur
and virgins all if you believe the press
But Athens is like that; though
every election sometime during the
run-up, the democrat candidate is found in
bed with a blonde in Florida & the
republicans romp home.  Or romp somewhere.

Athens got jack of this eventually
It was getting its act together as the material girl of the mainland

flexing up its muscles and establishing a capital base and a theatre scene.
It ran short of patience, not to mention young men and young women or at least of virgins; and Theseus the king's son,
as well as being prime age Minotaur meat
felt the need to raise his profile
get some runs on the board
put himself out there, suck it and see,
sailed away to Crete, with the rest of that year's young fry,
a documentary crew and a stress management consultant.
And when he landed he struck up a friendship
with Ariadne, daughter of the king of Crete.
A convenient friendship.
Ariadne, who'd never been anywhere
and was just That Age
to give a foreign youth the glad eye...
So Ariadne told Theseus the secret of the Labyrinth
getting in and getting out again
once he'd killed the minotaur.
Sounds like a sexual metaphor to me
but that's how it goes.
Theseus killed the minotaur
and for reasons of politics and romance
took Ariadne with him when he sailed for home.
Though it sounds to me like the reasons of romance
were shallowly rooted because
as soon as he's out of radio range of Crete
he dumps Ariadne on Naxos
which is totally the middle of nowhere
in the Aegean.

and returns to Athens and a glorious political future
though his son Hippolytus turns out a very dodgy lot
very athletic but no common sense or idea of proportion;
all big hair & steroids; what can you expect?
[and I seem to remember that eventually Theseus married Ariadne's sister which goes to show something or other and the thing with the bull goes on and on]

And Ariadne is left lamenting,
which she does in all the books
and several lost operas
and, they would have it, all for Theseus.
But she's left a very good situation all round in Crete,
barring the boredom.
And the minotaur wasn't doing her any harm.
Brought in a lot of foreign money one way and another.
good for trade, marketed well, stylish logo.
Gave the place distinction
Created atmosphere
and reminded her of her mother
though the family always kept that dark.

And trading the palace at Knossos
even with the renovations -
they had Evans in; all that splashy colour;
it dated fast but got good press -
for the beach at Naxos, it
lost its novelty straight off.
But Dionysus, who just happens to be drifting around
the Mediterranean that summer at a loose end
with a pack of feral women
and everyone’s doing each other when they’re
not doing each other’s drugs,
picks her up on Naxos
and presumably shows her a very wild time
It's what he's known for.  And
all that crowd drinks too much
It's just non-stop party, trailing vine leaves
and mascara
And one of Dionysus' alter egos is a bull
There's some tie-in with sacrifice
But I'm sure it gave Ariadne something familiar she could relate to
And that's important.


  1. ha ha, great to see you writing at length!

  2. Thanks Anna. It's an old piece I never did anything with. But the cross play instituted with Morpheus was too good to let lie. It may be an old seam but it's rich.

  3. Yes I find the Moroheus thing rich too but also scary.

  4. Well yr making him quite a scary guy


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