Helen of Canberra

…from the quill of Antisthenes the Younger

We do not know what Helen of Troy looked like, but allegedly “her face launched a thousand ships”. Perhaps. Chris Marlowe in Doctor Faustus was waxing lyrical, as was his want, but sober Herodotus, much closer to the action, described the incident, which coincidentally made Homer and Schliemann famous, thus:

 … Paris, the son of Priam, was inspired … to steal a wife for himself out of Greece, being confident that he would not have to pay for the venture any more than the Greeks had done. And that was how he came to carry off Helen. The first idea of the Greeks after the rape was to send a demand for satisfaction and for Helen’s return. The demand was met by reference to the seizure of Medea and the injustice of expecting satisfaction from people to whom they themselves had refused it, not to mention the fact that they had kept the girl.

Thus far there had been nothing worse than woman-stealing on both sides; but for what happened next the Greeks, they say, were seriously to blame; for it was the Greeks who were, in a military sense, the aggressors. Abducting young women, in their opinion, is not, indeed, a lawful act; but it is stupid after the event to make a fuss about it. The sensible thing is to take no notice; for it is obvious that no young woman allows herself to be abducted if she does not wish to be. The Asiatics, according to the Persians, took the seizure of the women lightly enough, but not so the Greeks: the Greeks, merely on account of a girl from Sparta, raised a big army, invaded Asia and destroyed the empire of Priam.

Not too romantic, but likely to be more realistic account of the origin of Trojan War, the one immortalised in Iliad. There were other Trojan wars, of course and there is no Troja today.

Whether it was the face or some other part of Helen of Troy’s anatomy which gave rise to that famous naval invasion and lengthy siege we do not know. Nor do we know what her face looked like. Unfortunately, we know the face which in recent times launched thousand boats, and is likely to cause greater human suffering than some silly slut of Sparta. It is not a pretty sight.

Since 2008, when Julia Gillard and her sidelick Rudd decided abandon the protection of Australian borders, more than 600 boat people were lured to their wet graves. In December 2012, another about 95 victims of Labor policy drowned off the coast of Java. Julia’s accomplice and sister in faux compassion, the Greensparty Senator Sarah Hanson-Young thoughtfully commented, “Tragedies happen.”

Those tragedies, not simply ordinary inevitable maritime accidents, which happened, are happening and will happen at least until the Federal election are the direct responsibility of Julia Gillard and the obedient yes-persons in her government. It would be nice, but unrealistic to think that when the expected class action by victims’ relatives and dependants is instituted, the defendants would be her and her cohorts, rather than Australian Government and thus the long suffering taxpayer.

Last year a refugee advocate Paris Aristotle told a parliamentary committee in Canberra, “At the current rate of arrivals, we could see upwards of 25,000 to 30,000 people coming (in 2013)“. A survey last year by the Immigration Department revealed 85 per cent of people we accept as refugees live on Centrelink benefits in their first five years here.

Troja was defeated from within. Wiser men cautioned against allowing the obviously suspect Greek “gift” in, but greed and stupidity prevailed. The ostensibly withdrawing Greeks outside the walls were no friends of Troy and there were no friends of Troy in that wooden horse; only unauthorised arrivals. At the opportune moment they emerged, murdered the dispirited defenders and imposed their own order. It is not much of a consolation to know that old Trojans were as stupid then as we are now.

 There is no Troja today.

About Antisthenes

A Greek philosopher, a pupil of Socrates. Led a revolt, with Diogenes, against the demands of the city-state and the sophistication of life. Accepted the interrelation of knowledge, virtue, and happiness; and sought the ideal condition for happiness in return to primitivism and self-sufficiency. Rejected all social distinctions as based on convention, scorned orthodox religion as a fabrication of lies, and studied early legends and animal life in order to arrive at a true understanding of natural law. The individual was free and self-sufficient when he was master of his passions, secure in his intelligence, impervious to social or religious demands, and satisfied with the poverty of a mendicant. Needless to say, a person who on the Fog of Chaos adopted the Athenian philosopher's name has nothing whatsoever in common with him.
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