Zeus Grants Stupid Wishes

Image is in the public domain. Artist: Sandro Botticelli. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

In my spare time, I’ve been reading Zeus Grants Stupid Wishes. It’s basically like Edith Hamilton’s Mythology, but more crass and dealing with more civilizations than the Greeks and Norse pantheons. At first I thought the book was a little sensationalized, but then I looked up Aphrodite’s origin myth and realized she really was born from deific dick foam.

So far I’m just into the Greek section, and I’m enjoying the author’s take on things. Actually, he raises a lot of issues I didn’t think about back when I first heard these myths. Like how Zeus is king of the gods but has all this time to go looking for people and things to have sex with. Or how Hera stays married to Zeus despite the fact that every other myth, she’s catching him sleeping around.

Even when the myths aren’t preoccupied with sex, there’s a hefty emphasis in Greek myth on doing really crazy things. Some of it involves epic drinking binges. Others involve granting stupid wishes. It all boils down to one thing: life in Ancient Greece was either one hell of a party, or it was the weirdest place ever.

It could even be both.

Basically, the moral of the story is that if you do cut off the genitals of a deity, don’t throw them into the ocean. Otherwise, you might accidentally create a new deity. Though I guess it might let you start a new religion, and they get some decent tax breaks.