We all read, studied, and learned about the 12 Greek Olympian Gods and the rest of their dysfunctional pantheon of miscreants, mischief-makers, and scoundrels. Now don’t look shocked. When we were young we read about Zeus, Hera, Apollo, Athena, and the rest of the gods and half-gods and the stories were nice. They even made a Disney movie about Heracles (it’s not Hercules!). As we got older and studied them more, we came to learn that the Ancient Greeks had given their gods human qualities of jealousy, anger, pettiness, resentment, and other wonderful qualities of the human race… in other words, they weren’t perfect and that’s what made the stories interesting.
But how would the Greek gods of the past stand up in today’s society?
Take Zeus. He was always cheating on his wife Hera. He turned himself into all types of animals and birds just to have a little fling with a human woman. Not today. Zeus would have so many paternity suits and child support cases that his photo would be plastered on every daily newspaper in the country as a most wanted for past due child support. Not to mention that Hera was not only his wife, but his sister! I think there are laws in every state, except Alabama (only kidding Alabama!) against that. So their kids are not only brothers and sisters but 1st cousins… whoa!
And Hera was not any better. She was a revengeful one but instead of taking her fury out on Zeus for his infidelities, she went after her rivals, including her children. She placed two serpents in the cradle of Heracles. She had Io guarded by a hundred-eyed giant. She tried to prevent the birth of Apollo. Sneaky Zeus would just hide his illegitimate children or change them into animals.
But if Hera lived today, she would hire a private investigator and the most expensive divorce attorney money could buy and drag Zeus through the court system. She would have her revenge though – financially, maybe even taking Zeus’ bolts of lightning in the equitable distribution of marital property! Poor Zeus – what would he be without his lightning bolts? Just another Greek god.
Then there is Apollo, the god of healing who taught Man medicine. Really? In today’s world he better have his medical malpractice insurance paid up to date and depending on his area of practice, that could be very expensive, not to mention Obama Care – okay, we won’t mention Obama Care, except that Apollo would probably still be on the website trying to put in his information.
Apollo was also the god of music. Back then he would just prance around with his buddy Orpheus strumming on his golden lyre and singing the Homeric poems. Today, he would have an agent, promoter, personal assistant, stylist, bodyguard, a slew of lawyers, and an entourage of hanger-ons and other parasites. His entertainment contracts would be about 50 pages long with provisions prohibiting brown M&Ms, or, no burnt koulourakia. In the end, he would probably be indicted by the Feds for tax invasion and the IRS would seize his golden lyre and auction it to pay off the taxes. Then he and Willie Nelson would go on a throw-back world tour to raise money to pay the balance of their taxes due.
One of the most popular gods was Athena, the favorite of Zeus, who was born fully armored from his forehead (I think only Greek-American magician Criss Angel could pull that off today). It is said that Zeus, after laying with the goddess, Metis, feared that she would conceive and therefore placed her in his stomach. Too late – she conceived. Zeus then had an enormous headache and Prometheus cleaved Zeus’ head with an ax and Athena popped out!
Hmmm… makes you think. Zeus’ daughter, Athena, gives her father an enormous headache. For those of you who have daughters, is this really far from the truth? Athena probably came out with her hand on her hip and saying, with a whiny voice, “Daddy, Hermes is taking me to Greek night in Philly, I need money for a new dress. Daddy, Artemis got a new Michael Kor handbag. Can I have one too? Daddy, my credit card hit its limit, I need to by new sandals to go with my new chiton. Can I have yours? Daddy, stop posting on Facebook photos of me when I was a kid… you’re embarrassing me!” No wonder Zeus had a headache. Us fathers understand completely!
That brings us to Hades, the god of the Underworld. Hades was the older brother of Zeus and Poseidon but he got the bottom of the heap – the dead. He must’ve been a little upset with that, wouldn’t you? The story goes that he got his wife, Persephone through trickery and violent abduction. I guess if you hang out with the dead, how else can you obtain a wife?
Can you imagine if Hades was in the modern world? He would be at a bar trying his best to pick-up a woman. “Come on, honey, my place is oceanfront – well, molten lava.” “You love dogs. I have a dog, Cerberus, a 3-headed hellhound, but he’s so cuddly.” “You see dead people? Ha ha, so do I, I always see dead people!” “I get so depressed. My father always loved my younger brother more!” Nice try Hades. You should have stuck with “What’s your sign?”
We didn’t even mention the fact that Zeus and his siblings made war on their parents, the Titans. Nice family. If the Ancient Greek gods existed today, they would certainly have their own reality show. So instead of “Keeping Up With The Kardashians,” it would be “Keeping Up With The Olympians,” or better yet, just “Release the Kraken!” (I always like saying that).
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