An Eternity with Salt

Know who’s beyond hubris? Donald Trump.

The ancient Greeks wrote plenty about mortals who exceeded their capacities, who flouted the will of the gods. Puny humans failed heeding omens. They paid dearly. Through these fables it was hoped mankind gained lucidity and humility.

Those lessons were lost on the real estate fraud. That is if he ever bothered attending the lectures.

Der Trump would astound the ancients. Replete with arrogance, ignorance and myopia, as the real life figures they drew upon then exaggerated into dramatis personae, the swine currently soiling the Oval Office exceeds all known self-grandiosity.

At their most vile and venal, even the Greek deities residing high in Olympus exhibited less mendacity than Der Trump. Gods as they were, dramatists larded them with human foibles. All to make them more relatable to audiences. Who wouldn’t want to be favorably compared to Zeus or Athena?

And if a deity could feel and express attributes like jealously, passion, conscience, then perhaps those all-powerfuls above – and below – could hear pleas with leniency and grant favors.

Piker as we clearly know him, no one should doubt Der Trump sees an empyrean image in every reflective surface he passes. Indeed his beady eyes need checking.

Strophe and antistrophe characterized a good piece of ancient Greek drama. Broadly simplifying both items of stagecraft, see them as two parts of an ode – a lyric poem written in an elevated fashion. The strophe presents a point; its antistrophe rebuts it. Often there were choruses upon the stages of the amphitheaters. Not the singing kinds we primarily understand them as but cohorts of vague players who commented on the theme being staged.

Sometimes while opining, whole groups treaded across the stage as they spoke. And upon completion the opposing voices would then ferry themselves across to the vacated side while speaking their minds.

Imagine this as debate visualized.

Plenty in this explanation has been excluded and zoomed over. But why get bogged down and have eyes glaze over?

Who can listen to Der Trump and hear “elevated” in his Queens mook speech patterns? Yet he is a foul windbag, no? One full of inexhaustible, misguided, and unsupported self-created odious strophe material. The ode analogy may be faulty in his case because he never relents to permit contradictions.

Easily disproven and invalidated as they regularly are, he refuses hearing his points of view impugned. He sees himself as unassailable. Rather insecurity has rendered him self-protectively deaf. Were he ever to acknowledge his own angles being unsustainable, the rigid image he believes projected would crumble. Doubt would slip into the mush forming his mind. And to someone as weak as the short-fingered vulgarian, should he be proven wrong about one aspect in what others may he have erred?

A vile pig like Der Trump cannot be introspective. There’s nothing in him which can be searched. Only scoured.

The ancients couldn’t have envisioned such an abomination as Der Trump. Unlike the persons redeemed or exiled in their works, Der Trump is hopeless. Selfish a swine as he is he can’t imagine ever renouncing himself should it benefit another or the community.

If he possessed just a jot of insight, perhaps the Greeks could’ve fashioned him into a tragic figure. A completely reprehensible one but tragic nonetheless. Otherwise they would struggle futilely to unearth one facet granting him the empathy necessary to be truly regarded as lamentable.

Even the agonies of Richard Nixon got shaped into a tragedy of sorts. But Nixon, a man overtaken by political instincts and brought low by them, wasn’t a traitor and criminal like Der Trump. Nothing mitigates betraying one’s own country as has Der Trump.

Maybe that’s the swine’s tragedy – there’s nothing in his character, loss of nothing in closest proximity to him can inspire poignancy on his behalf. He loves only himself to the exclusion of all others.

What won’t he give or do, who won’t he deliver in order to preserve himself?

Writing this I considered some of the worst conduct contained in Greek mythology. Although there’s no shortage of examples, the two most offensive incidents may involve parents and children. Agamemnon and Medea.

Doubtlessly as we all recall from The Iliad, the Greek general Agamemnon commanded an army whose transport ships were stalled in becalmed waters. In order to gain favorable winds for his fleet to sail against Troy, Agamemnon yielded to the goddess Artemis. She demanded he sacrifice his beloved daughter Iphigenia. The exigencies of war and maintaining the esteem of his troops let Iphigenia’s blood stain her father’s hands.

While no war burdens America, who can’t see Der Trump forfeiting children for some personal purpose? Oh. None of his. At least not yet. But let him get cornered … Strangers’ children. Isn’t he promoting the reopening of schools during this pandemic time? Despite doctors’ and epidemiologists’ recommendations otherwise, the swine finds no problem shoving the innocent into the unknown.

Like Agamemnon, Der Trump obeys inhuman directives. His own. To him, children filling classrooms indicate the sort of normalcy that ought to convince gullible Americans all is right with our sick land. And given his disregard of health can safety be far behind? He’ll reason our nation should restart its economic pace so he can resume campaigning on illusory prosperity.

Yes, a certain percentage of students may succumb, but Fox News is the sort of propagandist which will emphasize robust economic indicators over grieving parents.

Tucker or Lil Hannity would be naturals to chortle to all the dopes watching in less dynamic America and inside too many police precincts throughout the country that “Susie and Johnny had go toes up in order to continue the market’s gains.”

Thinking about it, Der Trump is quite akin to Jason. Yes, the Argonaut. He was Medea’s husband.

Like Clytemnestra, Agamemnon’s wife, a spouse who also took her vengeance, Jason’s actions compel the horrors executed by Medea. In myth what perfidies hadn’t she perpetrated to acquire him? In the end, Jason’s betrayal of her exceeded all which Medea had precipitated during for him and along his rise.

From antiquity there is a fine description of Jason. It also befits Der Trump. “… And he thought of ambition only; never of love or gratitude.”

Too bad Clytemnestra and Medea only existed in myth. Two determined women conscious how a swine like Der Trump had wronged them could’ve inflicted upon him the sort of revenge we today might regard as “splattery.”

Finishing with this myth and modern man post, we’ll let Moira, Fate, consign the real estate fraud to his proper depth of misery.

As the ancients would insist, Fate is usually unalterable. My favorite example of this is Appointment in Samarra. Both the fable and the eventual novel John O’Hara based it on. In the former, a traveler visiting town learns Death seeks him. Intending to avoid Death, the traveler leaves for presumed safety in another place, in Samarra … where he crosses Death who hadn’t expected to meet him there.

As the saying goes, “One cannot escape fate.” Here’s the reward Der Trump should receive:

Once the swine has slipped our coil, his wretched soul is dispatched to Hades. There, Minos, Rhadamanthus, and Aeacus judge him abysmally deplorable. Hey! Just like those of us aboveground. See how the immortals share our sentiments?

Der Trump’s torment has been designed to atone for his earthly misdeeds.

Hades’ judges bind him, pack Der Trump’s mouth with salt then place him in a broiling glade offering abundant water. Spit out the salt as he does, the mineral replenishes itself immediately. The swine’s only respite is immersion in nearby mouth-cleansing pond. That will also slake his considerable thirst.

But such is impossible. A lifetime of careless indulgence has left Der Trump fat. His girth leaves him inflexible. Nearly immobile, he also cannot bend.

Nor can he simply pitch forward into revivification. For a man who failed upwards throughout his life, Fate has determined in death he may not fall forward and avail himself to readily accessible relief.

The ancients shall have devised a perfect hell for a most deserving sinner. An endless one.

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