Old Gods and New Looks

My friend and I were talking about hot guys quantum physics when he brought up this idea about how even the Olympioi might not be exempt from changing fashion trends. They may be eternal, deathless powers, but who says they can’t change their wardrobe every thousand years or so?

There’s Hêphaistos, for example. We all know that the God of smithcraft and metalwork was seen by the ancient Greeks as a sooty, unattractive* cripple thrown down from Olympos by his own mum, but if he’s been able to help us invent printers and computers and iPads (by Hermês’ request, I assume), why can’t he reinvent his own image? Why, I’m sure being married to Aphroditê for all these years has taught him something about looking good.

The old fugly, lame Hêphaistos just before he got married to Aphroditê...

The old fugly, lame Hêphaistos just before he got married to Aphroditê…

Hêphaistos after getting married to the Goddess of beauty for thousands of years.

Hêphaistos after being married to the Goddess of beauty for thousands of years.

Who says technology can't be sexy, eh?

Who says technology can’t be sexy, eh?

In our conversation, my friend goes on to say:

Technology nowadays is increasingly becoming more aware of how it looks, how it feels and in the broad sense, how it operates and is operated in the human world. Industrial design never used to be a “thing” or a field prior to the early 1900’s. But it became clearer over time how necessary it was for technology and products not to just work, but to be usable by many people. The whole point of industrial design is to streamline the form and function of a product, always with the thought that it’s humans who will finally end up using the product. An good example would be the evolution of Apple products, one of the few companies who are very particular with the design of their products:

From: alphabytesoup.wordpress.com/

From: alphabytesoup.wordpress.com

You can see it going from the clunkier products to its current incredibly minimal and sleek design. It lost its wires and the computer tower, compressing most of it inside behind the monitor. Aesthetics is keeping in mind that how you are communicates a message, and that this message is going to be received by human beings, now.

Now, I don’t own any Apple products and neither does he, so this isn’t me trying to sell you Apple on a devotional blog. If you think about it, though, Apple changing itself from fugly to fabulous could be exactly how the God of techies changed from hobo to hunk.

[*Despite the subjective nature of human beauty, I’ve decided to work with the more popular ‘Western’ ideas of attractiveness in this post.]

Musings on the Gods and Oneself

[This was written more than two years ago by my friend, the seerapist, who has grown so much since then. I’m very happy for him. May Apollôn and Dionysos continue to bless him.]

I’m reading about Apollo in several blogs and they say he’s a possessive god. I kind of agree, but he’s possessive not in the sense that he doesn’t want to share, but maybe in the sense that he has to be very meticulous about the things he owns, like keeping an heirloom piano in tune and keeping it totally free from dust. Or maybe like a coach who wants to keeps his atheletes always at top performance. I feel it’s like:

“Are you done sulking?”
“Good. Now get back to work!”

I don’t really experience Hermes as close as I do Apollo and Dionysus (close enough to touch; Apollo by fire, Dionysus by madness), but he’s always in the background, and he’s always doing big things for me even if we don’t really touch. I think it’s inevitable that my friend who introduced me to paganism (a big Hermes-boy) and I would interact, since these three gods have something of a close relationship.

Athena comes and goes. It often feels like Apollo calls her for me.

Athena: Okay, what do you need?
Apollo: Look at that boy. You’re more suited to teach this next topic than I am.
Athena: Alright, alright, I’ll handle this one.

Ares also comes and goes. Again, it feels like Apollo calls him for me.

Apollo: He’s being pathetic again. Do you mind?
Ares: It would be my pleasure.

It’s almost like Apollo’s prepared a course outline, and I’m a student in his school.

Though sometimes Dionysus comes to me with Ares. That’s when I have my weird bursts of anger. Very dangerous stuff.

Aphrodite and Eros. They don’t talk to me often, and I don’t communicate with them often. We’re not close now, but I’m very sure they’ve left their fingerprints on me. I feel like there’s something of them in me. Like a present from godparents or something.

A Mad Light, December 2011