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Shell Shocked: The Greek gods are troubled

By ART STEVENS - | Oct 13, 2020

PHOTO PROVIDED Art Stevens

Zeus, the king of the gods, ruler of Mount Olympus, god of the sky, lightning, thunder, law, order, justice and blackened fish was pacing back and forth. He had assembled the other Greek gods, including Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Athena, Apollo, Aphrodite, Hermes and Bacchus.

Zeus: Where did we go wrong with the United States of America? We gave them independence, a constitution, separation of powers, Elvis Presley and Cher. We gave them social media, streaming, gefulte fish and Grey Goose. You would think that all of this would keep the more than 300 million natives on their toes, thriving and happy.

Hera: But you also gave them Donald Trump, the coronavirus, violence and Adam Sandler. As the reigning queen of the gods and goddess of marriage, women, childbirth, family and bocce, I’m aghast at what America has become. It’s currently the laughing stock of the universe. Our fellow gods and goddesses in other planets ridicule us. They think we’ve lost control of America.

Zeus: Bacchus, I’ve appointed you god of wine, fertility, festivity and ecstasy. What say you about what’s going on in America.

Bacchus: Dear Zeus, you left out another area you’ve anointed me with powers to lord over – madness. I’m also the god of madness. I was under the impression that you wanted me to exercise that power to keep earthlings on their toes. So I made a unilateral decision to introduce some mischief into the lives of the Americans. I introduced mayhem to American culture. I created coronavirus to see how they would handle it. By the time I realized that Americans were indeed quite inept at harnessing the intellectual powers given to them by all of our gods, it was too late.

Zeus: Actually, Bacchus, I believe that Athena wasn’t paying much attention to America. She’s the goddess of wisdom and she certainly didn’t provide much to the Americans. What say you, Athena Spending too much time reading the great philosophers and not enough time monitoring wisdom?

Athena: Dear Zeus. You gave me extraordinary powers but I’ve been focusing on climate change and not enough on smarts. I’ve been sending wisdom to some of the greatest minds on the planet of earth to do something about the awful mess they’ve made in messing with Mother Nature, who is certainly not one of our gods. But my assignment backfired. A number of key Americans found a way to evade my spell of wisdom and fight against all logic that suggests that much of climate change is due to actions taken by earthlings. Most countries on planet earth seem to get the message except for America. Aren’t our godly powers working?

Ares: Athena, as the god of war, violence and bloodshed it appears that my powers are greater than yours. Thank you, Zeus. I wouldn’t be a very efficient god if I didn’t make sure that Americans played an active role in violence and bloodshed.

Zeus: Now you listen to me, gods and goddesses. There is to be no infighting among you. None of you should have greater powers than the others. If violence and bloodshed are prevailing we need to call in Poseidon, god of seas, water, storms, hurricanes, earthquakes and horses. Poseidon, wake up, please. You seem to be asleep at the wheel. There’s much that you can do to harness your powers.

Poseidon: But don’t you think the sight of wildfires is exciting and stimulating? And those frightening hurricanes. I get turned on by the sight of falling trees, floods and torrential rain. It stimulates me.

Zeus: But you’re overdoing it. They’ve become more extreme than ever before. Our goal in America is to balance the various forces that impact the lives of its citizens. You can’t have a pandemic at the same time you have climate change which leads to horrible natural disasters. When I appointed all of you to be gods I made it clear that you were all to work in unison to balance the quality of life of Americans. You haven’t done that. Each of you has gone off on your own to use your powers to the ultimate.

Hera: But, Zeus, most Americans no longer know anything about Mount Olympus and the Greek gods anymore. We’re hardly mentioned in history books. All you hear about are the great philosophers Aristotle, Socrates and Bob Hope. The only time you hear about Poseidon, for example, is that terrible movie about an upside down ocean liner. That’s no way to treat us gods.

Zeus: Believe me, they’ll know who we are soon enough when the hurricanes die down, the wildfires stop, the pandemic goes away and the earth’s atmosphere is clean. There’s much to be done in America. Just consider the remaining option — that America becomes a colony of England once again. If that happens we may as well kiss Mount Olympus goodbye and settle in Cape Coral. We must persevere. We must make Americans aware of our powers and our role in their lives. We’ll need one majestic miracle to make them believe in us again.

Poseidon: I’ve got a miracle I’ve been wanting to try for many centuries. As god of the seas, I’d like to part Lake Michigan and have the U.S. Supreme Court justices walk through. And each justice would wear a T-shirt saying “Go Greek Gods.”

Zeus: Now you’re thinking, Poseidon. Do it and I’ll give you additional powers, such as becoming the god of blackjack.