Monday, November 05, 2007

Of Heroes

It is not to the cliched overweight-actor-past-his-prime-running-around-trees-with-a-girl-young-enough-to-be-his-daughter description that I talk about. The reference is to the greek myth of a demi-god.
Scenario 1 : Villian X decides he wants to "RULE THE WORLD"
Proposed Solution : "Oh, I'm a mere mortal! This business of saving the world is not meant for ME!. You need to clean up a place, bring in the gods, old chap."
Actual Effect : Big dude turns up at prescribed place with weapon of choice, mouths the greek equivalent of "kutte, kamine, main tera khoon pee jaaonga!" and vaporises / inters / sends to hell / turns into animal / curses said villain. Has a regular day in the office, in other words.
Side Effects : No sooner have you invoked a god to do the needful than you have made his adversary an equal, a near-match, by association.

The regular fights, man could take care of. The really big ones, you could depend on one or more gods to do the needful. What do we do about those in-between disagreements? You know the ones : larger than pillow-fights but smaller than a holocaust!

The greeks were pretty smart peoplle, eh? The saw the problem and built the work-around. Horses for courses, as it were. Well, Heroes for courses at any rate. Split the responsibility between man and god.

Suited the Gods fine, all they had to do was fornicate. Usually it was Zeus who rose to the occasion. (pun most definitely unintended) Suited the humans even better. Mortality was a bad deal and if you didn't get screwed by the neighbour you would be by the income tax department. Why not by a God? At the very least, you got into a position where your name was written down in a book for scholars to mug up before they wrote their exams. If you got screwed by the right God, you might even get a painting. Of course your nose would be made too long, your cleft lip replaced with a pout, your privacy would be invaded for cinematic effect. But look on the bright side. Until this dude grew up to normal height and took on the villian, you had one hell of a farm-hand to help you.

History does not record what the heroes felt. Wise decision come to think of it. They probably might not have said anything that you might want to tell your children. Just imagine telling the story of Hercules to your grandchild.

GrandPa: "And then Hercules had to clean up the kings stable."
excitable kid : "And what did Hercules say?"
GrandPa : "He said, 'I'll clean the horse with water redirected from the river, but i'll be damned if the king expects me to lick his ass"

Enlightening, of course, but not the kind of thing you might want to teach your grandchild, perhaps?
So this is where I come in. NO, you pervert. Not THAT! I come in here to tell you what the heroes thought! Or must have thought. Well, would have thougt. Okay FINE, "could" have thought.
Imagine filling out a job application

Position applied for : Hero
Job Description : protector, defender, guardian.
Typical tasks : Hunting and Skinning animals, clean stables, flick horses from neighbour after cleaning stables, find forbidden fruit.
Required Skills : Courage in the face of danger / adversity. Willingness to sacrifice self.
Martial and Moral excellence would be viewed positively.
Myth-Buster Section : No princesses will be made available on completion of said tasks. Compensation package will be industry standard and paid in cash only.
Immortals only need apply. Please bring birth certificate for verification at the time of interview.

Like every other job around, the position is titled stylishly, the job description is nice, the qualifications are just aout impossible to fulfil and the work that you really have to do either sucks or stinks (possibly both). Nobody tells you how to do these things. At best, you can get a map maybe even an Atlas, but that is about all the assistance you will receive.

The only reason anyone applied at all, i guess, is the fact that after the first few trillenia, immortality starts to lose its charm.

Oh, incidentally, I started off trying to say something radically different. I'll give that shot sometime later. For now this stands. I apologise for the puns.