Sunday, November 25, 2007
We Suffer Into Truth
Truth doesn't come easily. One thing the ancients got was that questions are dangerous things. Oedipus was on top of the world until he started wanting answers. Everyone begged him to stop. Then his whole fucking world caved in. Nobody could draw out a reversal or a recognition scene quite like the Greeks. They reveled in it. To these guys, the most amusing thing in the world was to have it dawn that things are not what they seem. "I'm a wise and powerful king! No, I'm a regicidal motherfucker! Shit!" Orestes is another one. Pylades, big help that he is, chimes in with his "count all men your enemies rather than the gods" and talks his best friend into driving a knife into his mother's plaintively exposed breast. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Apollo was in his corner. Athena, not so much. The furies, definitely not. Life's like that. In the end he was exonerated by the skin of his teeth and probably still wonders at some level whether he did the right thing. People in Argos are still sorting it out. You do stuff. Some people love you. Others get mad. It's safer to stay in exile, but not much happens there. Life isn't easy. Neither is Truth.