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Inspirational Reads

Friday Morning Latin Lesson, Vol CXI

February 12, 2016

I swore that I wouldn't fall back into the same traps of rehashing ancient legends, tales and history when I fired this thing back up, but then I trotted out the falling down the stairs story that I had already told about Betsy Hagar.  I guess this is just lazy writing.  Welcome to the rest of the Internet, Jenks!

I know that today isn't Valentine's day, but it's this weekend and no one reads a this blog ever on the weekends, so I thought I'd also fall into the old habits of writing about saints on their feast day.  I mean, when it comes to lazy writing, go big or go home.

Or just don't write at all.  Looking at you, 2015!!!

Anyway, on Sunday, the calendar page flips over to a gigantic pink heart and a box of chocolates and a giant Vermont teddy bear--no, NOT Bernie Sanders.  We're talking about an ungodly huge stuffed bear that is sure to get your female counterpart to cross her legs at the knees forever while she stares icy daggers at you with every chance she gets.

Speaking of ungodly...

One of the symbols of Valentine's Day is Cupid, the Roman god of erotic love.  He is the son of Venus, and depending on who you ask in Rome, you will get a different answer as to his father's identity.  If we follow the Greek tradition, Eros (Cupid's "Greek counterpart) just sort of arose from the Chaos at the beginning of it all.  Some people will tell you that Mercury is the father (hence the wings), others insist Vulcan is the father because he was, after all, married to Venus.  Still others prefer to insist that Mars is the father, because there is a certain beauty in describing love as being both erotic and warlike.


In Roman traditions, Cupid is a beautiful youth with a quiver of arrows at his belt and a bow at his side.  He's deadly accurate with those arrows, too:  one shot of his golden-tipped arrow and you're doing things you never thought you would ever do.  Cupid's arrows are very much like tequila.

However, Cupid gives and Cupid taketh away.  In addition to his golden-tipped love darts, Cupid could also fire off lead-tipped projectiles that would turn you from being a wanton and love-filled youth and into Grumpy Cat, but with less personality and more bitterness.  Essentially, me.

Cupid's most famous myth is the one where he is sent to destroy the beautiful Psyche, but in a somewhat ironic twist, Cupid falls in love with the mortal and ends up not killing her.  Psyche is pretty fucking hot, and this makes Cupid's mom, Venus, upset and thus dispatches her son to do her dirty work.  Instead, once Cupid sees Psyche, he wants her immediately and we get, as is usually the case, a case of divine kidnapping. Nothing says love like stealing your girlfriend from her home and locking her in a dark room (no, seriously...don't do this).  According to the legend, Cupid spirits Psyche off to his palace where he keeps her in a dark mention of whether he lured her into his chariot first with candy or went strait to the chloroform.  At night, he comes to her (and probably on her), telling her of his love for her, but she can't be allowed to see him (because then the jig will be up as she would instantly recognize him as Cupid).  Concerned--and here is where her sisters, jealous that Psyche is getting some godly dick--Psyche sneaks a lamp into the room while Cupid is asleep and she lights it, discovering that her lover is Cupid.  In her excitement, she spills some oil on him, burning him awake (I'm sure he would have preferred a blow job), and, seeing that Psyche now knows his godly identity, Cupid flees.

No. Psyche. With an 'e' on the end!
Psyche goes off to search the world in order to find Cupid, but she can't, so she implores his mother--the one who wanted her dead in the first place--to help.  Yeah.  This is going to end well.  Being that she's a psycho jealous bitch, Venus tortures Psyche, sending her on impossible tasks that she somehow manages to complete.  Finally fed up, Venus sends Psyche into the Underworld to retrieve some of Porserpina's beauty with the instructions not to look at it.  As Admiral Ackbar once said:  IT'S A TRAP!  Curious to see what this beauty is, and perhaps to use a little for herself, Psyche does not heed Ackbar's warning and instead peeks in the box and is condemned to eternal sleep.  Cupid "stumbles" on her in the wild while she is out cold and feels her up revives her, sealing the sleep back in the box.

Impressed by her perseverance, Jupiter decides to deify Psyche, that way she can wed Cupid as an equal and not have that whole immortal/mortal dynamic that plagues so many other couples in mythology and tragic literature.

Wait.  What?  Jupiter didn't just say, "Nice job, kid?  Here's my dick!"  Huh.  Will wonders never cease?

Anyway, this is a story about how love conquers all.  Or maybe it's a story about how we kind of lose our minds when we're faced with love.  Or just a nice set of boobs (you know who you are).

With that in mind, here's this week's Latin phrase:

Amare et sapere vix deo conceditur.

"Ah-mar-aye et sah-pair-aye wicks day-o con-kay-dee-tour."

Even a god finds it hard to love and be wise at the same time.

It wasn't until some time after Alexander the Great died and before the Roman Empire rose to power in the Mediterranean world that Cupid went from being a handsome youth to the chubby little spanker we know him as today.  As his symbolism for both Heavenly and Earthly love began to be translated over into Christian mythology, Cupid became more of a cherub type image, and that's how he persists today, morphing into a more cartoonish caricature of himself.  If that's possible.  Unfortunately, Psyche hasn't followed along with him, and so Cupid has become associated with a sort of cruel prankster who enjoys seeing people fall in love with the wrong partner.  His most famous modern namesake is the "dating" site OKCupid, whose abbreviation (OKC) always makes me think of the Thunder and Kevin Durant.

Wait a minute...Kevin Durant is deadly accurate shooting, as well.  Holy shit, guys!  Kevin Durant is Cupid!!!

Happy Valentine's Day!


Ellet said...

I haven’t even read the post yet, yet need to post this comment because I’m THAT excited that you’re back and blogging a little more! I have been waiting patiently, never leaving your feed. Also, this is Wynn speaking, ya know, that one that stopped blogging on Chronicles of Wynn years and years ago.

Frank Irwin said...

I haven't read his comment, yet, but when will Wynn get back to the Chronicles of Wynn? That would be such a win!

MJenks said...

Two comments on my blog? Holy shit! I think I died and went to heaven!

I've missed you, too, Wynn. I get to torment Frank all the time, though.

And more Chronicles of Wynn WOULD BE so much win!!!

Ellet said...

OMG, I’m HONOURED that you even remember me! Believe me, I have thought about it! And now I certainly will again, that can be said!

Wynn said...

You know what, let’s try this. You might want to read up on what’s actually happened. Life’s come full circle, ya know. Also, yes, I did start up my blog again when I realised everything turned to shit, hah!

Also, be a doll and like change the name of the previous comments, because that would be just super for me and my sort-of-guarded anonymity! :D