Sunday, August 23, 2009

Iliad 9/11

While attending the University of Victoria, I used to send out satirical essays -- well, essays may be too grand a word-- to my friends and family via e-mail (this was from 2003 to 2005, the days before blogging became widespread). While searching through my old e-mails, I came across one of those essays, entitled "Iliad 9/11." Basically, the essay used elements of Greek mythology, particularly Homer's Iliad, to satirize the 2004 US presidential election. So, because I was sick of posting videos, I thought I'd re-post the essay here, unedited.
Hi guys. I thought you might find this bit of news interesting, in light of the upcoming presidential elections.

A parchement was recently discovered by Turkish archaeologists which dates back to the 6th century B.C., the time of the legendary war between Greece and Troy. This parchment sheds new light on what was until now thought to be a settled matter of history.

The document, written in Greek, reveals that after the sacking of Troy, Greek warriors did not find Helen, wife of Paris, nor did they find any evidence that she had ever been in Troy. Moreover, it turns out that the Greek diplomats who were charged with searching for Helen did not find any evidence that she was in Troy at all. This means that the whole basis of the Trojan War was a lie!

It gets better. After the war, which raged for ten years and resulted in countless casualties on both the Greek and Trojan sides, a massive quarrel raged between Agamemnon, King of the Greeks, and Achilles, demigod and veteran of the Trojan War. Achilles charged Agamemnon with going to war on false pretenses, and called the Trojan War "The Wrong War, in the Wrong Place, at the Wrong Time." He also pointed out that, contrary to the official reports made by kings Agamemnon and Menelaus, there was no connection between King Priam, leader of the Trojans, and the kidnapping of Helen. Finally, he chargeed Agaemnon with squandering an perfect oppotunity to capture Aeneas, instead letting him flee, further adding that Aeneas could have travelled as far as Rome or Carthage.

Agamemnon contended that the war was in fact justified. While Greek diplomats did not find evidence of Helen's presence, he points out that king Priam did not allow diplomats access to his private palaces. He then stressed that he was guided by a 'higher power', ie Zeus, to fight against the Trojans, and that the Trojan people are better of now that the 'evildoer' Priam has been removed from power. He ends by questioning Achilles' war record: He has won many commendations for injury in the field, but medical records suggest that his only injury was to his heel!

Achilles, not impressed by Agamemnon's arguments, appealed to the Greeks to proclaim him as their new King. He accepted Ulysses, the handsome, well-rounded, down-to-earth country boy from Ithaca, to be his vice-king, despite his inexperience in politics (Menelaus claims that he never met Ulysses until the very debate chronicled here). He claimed to have a plan to get Greece out of Troy, as well as tackle other Greek political issues. He took a liberal stance on same-species marriages.

Agamemnon and Menelaus also appealed to the Greeks. He urged Greece to stay the course in Troy. He also stressed his belief that marriage is strictly defined as being between a Man and a God. (Women weren't considered 'people' back then. They were considered to be WMD's. Hahahahaha...). He accuses Achilles and Ulysses of being flip-floppers (First Achilles is out of the war, then he's in; First Ulysses tries to avoid the draft, then he urges warriors to keep fighting, then he tries to end the war he supposedly supported). Finally, he sicked Nestor, the aged warrior and staunch supporter of Agamemnon, onto Achilles and Ulysses. Nestors claims were quite exaggerated: "Achilles would wait for approval from Gaul before attacking another nation!", "He would make sure that the Greek army was reduced to fighting with spitballs!"

When Achilles questioned his claim, stating that he couldn't possibly believe that Achilles would reduce the Greek army to fighting with spitballs, Nestor reacted harshly: "I wish this was the age when I could challenge a man to a duel!" When Achilles replied that 6th century B.C. was, in fact, such an age, Nestor lost his nerve and struck Achilles in his heel, killing him. Ulysses, enraged, strung his bow amd, with the help of his son Telemachus, slayed Nestor, Agamemnon, Menelaus, and all the suitors of his wife, Penelope (heir to the Ithacan ketchup fortune). Ulysses then proclaimed himself King of the Greeks.

Thus democracy was born in Greece!

Historians are split on whether this document is indeed accurate, with 50% in favour of the authenticity of the document, and 50% claiming it is a hoax.

What do you think? Send in your vote to Yes if it is authentic, no if it is not. Votes must be entered by November 2nd.

Mmmmmm....that's good satire!


So. . . yay relevance?

1 comment:

AJ said...

Why are you so awesome?

Locations of visitors to this page