[For this year’s post-Valentine’s non-favorites series, I wanted to continue exploding some foundational American myths. Leading up to one of my favorite crowd-sourced posts of the year, a collective airing of grievances—please add more non-favorites in comments!]
Joanne Baranofsky writes “I never had the opportunity to study Greek myths as much as I wanted in school so I started listening to the podcast “Let’s Talk About Myths, Baby!” Now that I know more, I gotta say that Artemis can suck it. She is the goddess of chastity but she punished Medusa for being a victim of sexual assault in her temple and I’m not about it. Some other stories have been sketchy about her, too, and I expect more from my role models.”
Melanie Mazzarini pulls both these threads together, writing, “Me and my future Holden Caulfield tattoo just gonna drop this meme right here and dip. But first—to contribute—Medusa did nothing wrong.”
My colleague Elise Takehana adds, “I could count on one hand the number of non-anglophone author we read. What’s wrong with reading translated texts? I’d also say it’s a true disservice to assign Dante’s Inferno without some pretty deep lessons on Italian political history alongside it. Language and context!”
My colleague DeMisty Bellinger highlights “Charles Dickens. I want him to be a side note, a footnote, an also-ran. Or—or!—I want him to meet a good editor in the past who wouldn’t be afraid to cut, cut, cut.”
Susanna Ashton writes, “My head nearly explodes when I see or read references to the imaginary presence of willing Black Confederates in the Civil War. Also, the well intentioned nonsense about 19th century quilts supposedly showing secret routes on the Underground Railroad drives me nuts.”
Next series starts Monday,
PS. What do you think? Other non-favorites you’d share?