Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Great God Pan is Dead

When watching the news last week, I saw the headline "Olympian Dies" and I immediately thought: "A god is dead?" Then I realized that they were of course referring to the Olympic athlete, the luger who died on the Whistler track.

How silly of me; gods can't die, unless it's their role to be dying and reborn gods (usually fertility or agricultural deities). The word of Pan's death was probably a misunderstanding referring to Tammuz's death. And yet…

What's going on these days, what meme is afoot, that the Greek gods are parading all over pop culture of late? Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief opened in theaters the same day as the start of the Winter Olympic games, although the series of books has been out for a few years now, burning up the kid lit bestseller charts. But here come the trailers for April's release of the remake of Clash of the Titans. This time, it appears that Perseus is fighting to just be a mortal, to be left alone by the gods. The kids in the Percy Jackson books want to meet their true parents -- the gods -- and learn kewl powerz, but Perseus wants none of it, probably because of the strings attached to being a hero in Greek myth -- you become a set piece in the gods' dramas. In our ego-ascendant era, that's not acceptable. The gods have to die to make way for us.

Perhaps we should keep watch for what other forms the gods are appearing in at present, and what their game is.