A3Writer: November 2017
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Monday, November 27, 2017

M³ Wow Samson Is so Stupid

            We knew from the riddle that Samson thought he was smarter than he actually was. It’s not until this moment, however, that we realize the depth of Samson’s stupidity. Not once, not twice, but count ‘em, three times does Delilah ask for Samson’s secret. She’s not even subtle about it, with a casual “Please tell me what makes your strength so great, and how you could be bound, so that one could subdue you” (Judg. 16:6).
            She’s not using any subtlety whatsoever, and we can only guess as to why. Personally, I envision it as Samson is too stupid to understand it in other terms, so she has to be direct. The thing is, he lies to her the first three times. And each time she asks him the question, he miraculously wakes up in those conditions. It’s a complete coincidence! /sarcasm.
            And she persists until Finally, after she had nagged him with her words day after day, and pestered him,” he gives in. Why? Because he’s an idiot. It would be one thing to have her ask it once and him lie about it, but after the first incident where he ends up bound by bowstrings, you’d think he’d do the mental arithmetic to figure out Delilah was working for the bad guys.
            Anyone possessing even a modicum of intelligence would have stopped and said, “she might be up to something. Maybe I should leave.”
            Instead we have Samson falling for the same trick time and again. And, chances are, that the circumstances under which she’s asking the question are the same each time. See, the pattern goes like this: She asks the secret, he tells a lie, she follows-up and binds him, she yells that the Philistines are upon him (which they were since they hid), and Samson kills them.
            Now, the first two times it doesn’t say he was asleep, but it would be pretty weird for him to simply allow her to tie him up while he’s awake. The third time gives us the instance that is most likely. He was asleep when it happened.
            But how did he get sleepy? Well, chances are that because he loved her, they engaged in some intimate activity that left him sleepy afterwards. He was probably so drowsy that it was pretty easy to get him to talk, too. And while Delilah is not a prostitute, she has no qualms about using Samson’s love for her against him, and she probably used sex as a weapon as well. Samson loved her, but she never returns that love in word or deed. But there’s really no reason for her to do so. The story clearly states that Samson fell in love with her, and given Samson’s penchant for breaking covenants and taking what he wants, she could very well have just been another object that he desired.
            The only other thing we know about Delilah is that she disappeared. After turning over Samson, she is out of the story, persona non-grata, Lady Not-appearing-in-this-story. It’s not surprising, but it is noteworthy, especially since a movie version of the story had Delilah fall in love with him and stick around when Samson brought the house down, but that’s next week.
            Oh, and Samson has now broken his Covenant with God, which is a drop in the bucket compared to everything else he’s done.



Friday, November 24, 2017

F³ Priorities

            “Just so. Are you sure we can’t leave this wee room and get a pint? Talking’s thirsty work.” Michaleen licked his lips.
            “I’m here with people, as you know. I don’t even know where the nearest bar is.”

            “Don’t know where the nearest!—you don’t have your priorities in order.”

Monday, November 20, 2017

M³ Delilah Unleashed

            Having had his fill of murder, Samson takes off “to Gaza, where he saw a prostitute and went in to her” (Judg. 16:1) to drown his sorrows after murdering Philistines. I choose to believe that murder made him depressed, because if it excited him to the point he needed female companionship, this is one disturbed individual (well, more disturbed than we’ve already gone over).
            Now, to be clear, this prostitute is not Delilah. He meets Delilah afterwards. In fact, it makes a point of saying “After this he fell in love with a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah” (Judg. 16:4). The prostitute was in Gaza, he went to Hebron after that, then into the valley of Sorek. Nowhere does it mention that Delilah is a prostitute. The story goes out of its way to introduce her as a woman with a name.
            Furthermore, the lord of Philistines offer to “each give [Delilah] eleven hundred pieces of silver” to discover the secret of Samson’s strength (Judg. 16:5). The nobility do not treat prostitutes this way. If she was a common prostitute, they would have threatened to kill her if she didn’t cooperate, as was done to Samson’s wife. Clearly, then, Delilah is something different.
            The amount of money they’re offering her is staggering, which is both a show of their desperation, confidence in her ability to get the information, and a clue that Delilah must have a certain status among the lords.
            Sadly, the only other information we have about her is how she manipulates Samson, which is next. Oh, and btw, we can add adultery to Samson’s list of broken commandments.



Friday, November 17, 2017

F³ A Vicious Retort

            I nodded slowly, looking over the notes one more time, wondering as to how stupid I was going to be. “My Lady,” I said softly.
            Pretty damn stupid, apparently.
            “You asked for my discretion, and you have it. I cannot help you, though, if you do not share all you know.”
            “I have told you all that you need to know.”
            “Respectfully, my Lady, you have not.”
            A fist seized my shirt, and the man, whose name I still didn’t know, hauled me to my feet. “You will not decide that, peasant!”
            I nodded. “Then I cannot help you. I bid both of you a good day.” I adjusted my hat.
            The man released my shirt, growling, “Coward,” under his breath.
            “Dickless,” I growled back, gratified at the utterly blank, confused expression on his face.



Monday, November 13, 2017

M³ Revenge Is A Dish Best Served by Whoopin' Ass

Revenge Is A Dish Best Served by Whoopin’ Ass

            Samson’s Revenge by fox doesn’t go unnoticed by the Philistines. So they kill him!
            No, sorry (it might have been better that way).
            Instead they burn his wife (ex? It’s kind of unclear given Samson’s reaction) and her father.
            Samson takes this as a slight against him, promising “will I be avenged of you” which is about as B movie villain as you get.
            Oh, right, he’s supposed to be the hero. Sorry, my bad.
            So he started slaughtering them. And the Philistines went up against Judah, slaughtering them. At which point the tribe of Judah wants a time out. The logic of all of this is that the Philistines don’t believe they can take down Samson, so they’ll just continue hurting other people to get to him, and it works as Judah “will bind [Samson] fast, and deliver [him] into [Philistine] hand[s].”
            When the Philistines got him, though, he broke through his bindings picked up a trusty jawbone, and “slew a thousand men.”
            Samson is good at killing people. We already knew that, but he’s definitely kicked it up a few notches since losing his wager. He’s graduate to outright murder, and has even brought more misery to his own people by provoking the Philistines into an attack. Yes, he is killing Philistines, but it’s not really deterring them much. There’s no talk of any kind of withdrawal or lessening of the occupation of Israel. If anything, the Philistines are more intent on making the lives of the Israelites miserable as punishment for Samson’s actions.
            It should also be noted that Samson is just killing Philistines, and not necessarily Philistine soldiers. We’re not told it’s a Philistine army, and the place where Samson sets about killing is not remarked in any way except by the name Samson gives it: Ramath-Lehi or “Jawbone Hill.” Was this a Philistine outpost? Was it a rest stop in the wilderness? We don’t know, but it became a mass graveyard thanks to Samson.



Friday, November 10, 2017

F³ A Short Message

            “And of course,” Geoffrey resumed, “you remember my companion, Sir Sam! Without his keen aid, all would have been lost!”
            I went down on one knee, which protested after the long ride, but I hid the wince behind my bowed head.
            “Rise, Sir Sam,” King Gregory said.
            I pushed up, but it was a real effort convincing sore muscles it was worth it.
            “You have been gone for many weeks. We began to worry when we heard no word of your journeys.”
            Huh. Should we have sent messages back? Can we send messages back? It’d be like Pony Express, wouldn’t it? I wonder if they have regular couriers between kingdoms or something. I could use that to send word back to Henry’s kingdom. ‘Dear King and Queen, your son was an asshat and got himself killed. Bygones, Sam.’



Monday, November 6, 2017

M³ Retribution by Fox

            After Samson’s stunt with murdering people to pay off a wager, and being thoroughly ticked at his wife, he’s MIA for a while. When he comes back, his wife has been given to someone else, but dear old dad-in-law tries to placate Samson with a younger, prettier daughter. But Samson is still ticked off, and decides to get revenge in his own particular idiom.
            He catches 300 foxes (I don’t know, from Fox City, I guess), and then ties a pair of them together by the tails, and turns them loose on the countryside. Oh, did I forget to mention he also tied a burning torch to them, too? Right, so 150 pairs of panicked foxes go tearing through the crops of the Philistines.
            First, his method of revenge on the Philistines is a bit excessive. He disappeared, but still has to take his anger out on them, but this is nowhere near equitable. It’s like setting off a nuclear weapon for stealing a bike. It’s also aimed at the wrong people. While the wealthy Philistines will feel a little bit of sting to their pocketbooks, it’s the peasants that will suffer. They won’t have any food. Lastly, this will not convince any of the Philistines to withdraw from Israel.
            Secondly, this is just one more example of Samson’s cruelty. The guy has no conscience whatsoever. Even though foxes were seen as a nuisance, the cruelty is apparent. Samson is not a good person by any stretch of the imagination.
            Why is this guy considered a hero, again?



Friday, November 3, 2017

F³ Returning Heroes

(I am once again doing NaNoWriMo, so instead of our regularly scheduled F³, I will be posting bits of what I’m writing just to keep me on track. Hopefully, I’ll actually finish off a couple of WIPs [that’s work in progress to those of you not in the writer trade].)

The castle town erupted in cheers as Geoffrey rode in and waved to his subjects. Sarah beamed with radiant smiles and waved, too, from her perch behind him. Geoff’s horse pranced; not to be outdone, Ranger did the same, milking in all the adoration as if it belonged to him. I nodded and gave a few waves whenever someone yelled out a “Shamus!” or “Sir Sam!” It was all for show; I was giving ground in my fight against fatigue. My body and mind felt the weight of the journey, and now that we had made it to relative safety, I needed rest, and soon.
            Shower. I would kill someone for a hot shower and Old Spice bodywash. And food. I need some good food. Pizza. I really could use an extra large pie with pepperoni and mushrooms. God, I think I can actually smell it. Melted cheese and wood-fired dough. My mouth is watering.
            And then I realized I wasn’t remembering. I really did smell pizza. In one of the shops lining the main boulevard to the castle I saw a man holding up a pizza on a wooden board. It was sliced sausage instead of pepperoni, but it definitely was a pizza. I tried to edge Ranger that direction, but the crowd kept us corralled.
            I waved at the man, but he wasn’t looking my direction, his eyes on the prince ahead of me.
            “Hey! pizza man!”
            He didn’t look.
            “Hey! You with the pizza!”
            A boy next to him caught my wave then looked up at the man, then tugged on his shirt and pointed my way.
            The man saw me, and waved. “Sir Sam! Bringer of pizza!”
            “How much?” I pointed at the pie.
            He laughed and pointed at the pie, too.
            “How much?” I yelled, almost turning around in the saddle.
            He pointed at the pie again and then waved, not hearing me.
            Fuck!
            My stomach growled in agreement.