SAHM the Libby
"The Scythians next turned their attention to Egypt, but were met in Palestine by Psammeticus the Egyptian king, who by earnest entreaties supported by bribery managed to prevent further advance. They withdrew by way of Ascalon in Syria. The bulk of the army passed the town without doing any damage, but a small number of men got left behind and robbed the temple of Aphrodite Urania - the most ancient, i am told, of all the temples of this goddess. The one in Cyprus the Cyprians themselves admit was derived from it, the one in Cythera was built by the Phoenicians, who belong to this part of Syria. The Scythians who robbed the temple of Ascalon were punished by the goddess with the infliction of what is called the 'female disease', and their descendants still suffer from it. This is the reason the Scythians give for this mysterious complaint, and travellers to the country can see what it is like. The Scythians call those who suffer from it 'Enarees'."

SAHM the Libby

So often in books made into movies one or the other disappoints. Usually its the movie, not always though, I infinitely prefer the movie The Joy Luck Club to the book, but maybe that's just me. Rarely are both wonderful. Revolutionary Road was the book come to life. So if you liked the book you'll like the movie, there is really nothing of Yates to miss. Winslet was of course wonderful, DiCaprio was occasionally just adequate but over all very good, and both were just perfect for their roles. The screenwriter and the director were just brilliant. They got it all in. I loved the casting of Micheal Shannon as the insane John Givings, he looks a bit like DiCaprio, a messed up version, so to my mind, in their final confrontation it seemed like that ugly place inside Frank is confronting himself with the things he won't allow himself to acknowledge. The final scene even helped me to understand something from the novel, the way which April ends things confused me, but now I see it was her protest against being a woman. As she stood at the window looking out I could hear her telling Frank, "You're the most wonderful thing there is, you're a man."
I really recommend the book followed by a viewing of this movie.
SAHM the Libby

Thanks to Freud we all know the story of Oedipus. Or do we? Like Homer I found that the bits and pieces have become larger than the stories themselves. When reading the actual works there is so much more and the famous parts are often passing information. This is due to two things, the writers were working with already very well known stories in their time so the parts that we pay especial interest in aren't as of much interest to the ancient Greek. The other way that these stories are so large in our mind is the influence of the Greeks on our culture. The scene in Antigone where a messenger has come to tell the king Creon of Antigone's disobedience, the stuttering way the messenger gets out his story and Creon's peevishness, "out with it all ready," "you grow more tiresome by the minute," well it just smacks of Shakespeare, and really any play I've ever seen. I read the Lattimore translations of Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus, and Antigone. These three plays are arranged in order of the events but not in the order of when they were written. Antigone was actually the first and it was thirty years in between Sophocles writing Oedipus the King and Oedipus at Colonus. The first, Oedipus the King is the story of the tragic kings discovery that he had murdered his father and that his wife and mother of his children was also his own mother. I find it interesting that it is this rash violence of ancient Greece that brings Oedipus to kill his own father as they, unknown to each other, pass each other in the street. The driver of his fathers coach means to push Oedipus off the road which prompts Oedipus to kill everyone but one loan survivor left to reveal the truth years later during this play. Jocasta, upon learning that Oedipus is her son, hangs herself and Oedipus puts out his eyes. The most touching scene is at the end when the blinded Oedipus holds his two daughters, Ismene and Antigone, and laments, "I weep when I think of the bitterness there will be in your lives, how you must live before the world.-And when you're ripe for marriage, who will he be, the man who'll risk to take such infamy as shall cling to my children, to bring hurt on them and those that marry with them? What curse is not there? 'Your father killed his father and sowed the seed where he had sprung himself and begot you out of the womb that held you.'" I know I've looked at my beautiful daughter and wondered how many hearts she'll break, it would be a bitter pill to think she would be an object of derision and untouchable, completely marriageable. The whole scene reminds me of another tragic king, King Lear, I can almost heat Oedipus howl at the gods, "Why?" There is no answer. If the gods know at all they aren't telling.
The second play concerns Oedipus' two sons who are struggling over the throne. Oedipus is wandering Greece clinging to the arm of Antigone and begs to kindness of the king of whatever land he's in, telling his story like a wandering Entertainment Tonight, and living off their hospitality while their amusement with his infamous celebrity lasts. It the longest of the two and the least interesting. At the end Oedipus has cursed his sons and is called by the gods, saying you have tarried too long, to his final rest. And that is what it is for Oedipus.
Antigone takes up where the brothers have killed each other fighting for the throne and Creon, their uncle and Oedipus' right hand man during his reign and apparently the brother Eteocles, is now king and declares that no one should bury the body of Polynieces. Antigone goes out with an urn full of dirt and sprinkles this over the rotting corpse of her brother and is dragged before Creon. Antigone admits she did it but denies any wrong. She represents the right as ancient Greeks took burial very seriously and anyone who didn't bury their own family was cursed. Creon is stubborn and refuses to listen to reason from Antigone, Ismene, the chorus, his son Haemon (who suddenly appears as her fiance', so much for Oedipus' worries), or the prophet Teiresias who pronounces that due to his obstinacy one of Creon's own children will die. In the meantime Antigone is thrown down into a cave to slowly starve to death, instead she takes a stip of her clothing and hangs herself. Haemon goes in to save her but finding her dead runs himself through with his sword. Creon's kingship goes bad because of his bad character and his disobedience to the gods in not burying Polyneices. This is a common element of Greek writing except for poor hapless Oedipus.
Two final thoughts I have on this mess, none of would have happened but for the meddling of the Oracles and Prophets. They tell the King and Queen that their son will murder his father and marry his mother, so when he is born they leave Oedipus out to die of exposure. A shepherd saves him, he is passed to another he is carried to another land and adopted by the King and Queen of that land. When he is older he is told he will murder his father and marry his mother he leaves that land out of love for his parents. In doing this he stumbles right into the hornets nest. So if the prophets had kept their big yaps shut none of it would have happened. Lastly, if you followed everything in the Antigone story you would realize Haemon and Antigone are's that for royal inbreeding?