But while the world has not ended, a gorgon may be upon us! Gorgon? Yes, if you are not aware, or do not recall what a gorgon is,
The Gorgons were two monstrous sisters whose bodies were covered with impenetrable, grey, foul-smelling scales, and whose hair was made up of living snakes. And the description just gets worse from there; they had hands made of brass, tusks erupting from the sides of their mouths, sharp venomous snake’s fangs and climbing up on the gross-factor, they both had scraggly, unkempt beards dangling down from their scaly chins. Yep, beards. Hanging out of their mouths were black, lumpy tongues that spoke of death and rot. And just when you thought this vision of pure slimy grossness couldn’t get any nastier, the sisters had slitted, yellow snake’s eyes that could turn any living being into stone just by making eye contact with them. Makes even the worst wake-up-get-ready Monday look pretty good when you think about what the Gorgons had to work with!
The most famous gorgon of course, was Medusa. She had been a beautiful young priestess in a temple dedicated to Athena. But Poseidon fancied her, and being a god, he thought nothing of forcing himself upon her, thus defiling the temple. Athena was furious! Apparently, she felt that the young priestess was to blame for this defilement, and so she turned the young girl into, yes, a gorgon, and deposited her on a deserted island. Indeed, Athena had quite a temper! Medusa hung out there, gaining quite a nasty reputation for her deadly stare, and for rarely cleaning the place. Later, Perseus would find a use for Medusa’s head and so he lopped it off and deposited in a sack that he carried around.
I go through this history to provide some background to Donald Trump’s recent press conference and subsequent tweet. At his press conference, President Trump lost his mind. He thought he was in control. And his obviously misplaced self assurance made things much worse.
What caused this? My own theory is that as he got started, Trump had a vision. The vision was that gorgons were returning to life. They were coming to claim him! They are the press! Looking into their eyes would be the kiss of death. And so, he reasoned, one must deflect and demur, dodge and parry! One cannot be honest! Ever! And with these thoughts foremost in his mind, Trump behaved in a most peculiar manner. Again, he thought he was being clever. He thought that the audience would see that the room was full of gorgons. But to those not aware of his inner torment, and not aware of the gorgons before him, Trump looked quite mad..
BTW, this is a rather historic moment. Historic because Donald Trump belongs to s rather historic group of people . Donald Trump belongs to that segment of society who believe that modern capitalism has no dark side. They want their unlimited energies to be unleashed! There is nothing to fear! There is nothing to fear, especially, when republicans control all levels of government!
As Sir Kenneth Clarke informs us, this energetic attitude was germinated in 17th century Holland, and with the restoration of Charles II to England. it took root there. Science and poetry had not yet been estranged from each other. European man saw no limits to his scientific, and industrial potential. He was full of curiosity and ambition. This led to the industrial revolution, and heroic materialism, and eventually to Donald Trump. Donald Trump believes in the ascendancy of this group!
But then suddenly Trump had visions of gorgons besieging him! He lost it during an important press conference. That night, he tweeted that the press is the enemy! He is quite sure that the press are gorgons returned to afflict us all! To ruin the wonders that his brand of crony capitalism could create! We all must be warned!
But there is a deeper level still to Trump’s thoughts. He is only dimly aware of this deeper level as he stares approvingly in the mirror. The deeper level whispers to him that he was the maiden in Athena’s temple. He has become the gorgon, Medusa. And worst of all, Perseus is coming.