God is Good, But Not THAT Good

Here’s a story I found inside another story
written by a dude named T.H. White
(this is not the first time I have stolen a myth
from inside someone else’s book
in fact, it’s probably the reason you know about me.)
Anyway, this story is about how God is a capricious asshole
oh wait
THAT’S EVERY STORY.

Anyway in this story there are two dudes
one of them is a prophet named Elijah
and the other one is a Rabbi named Jachanan.
For some reason they are hitch-hiking across the middle east together
presumably because holy dudes have a lot of free time
and talking about god
is a great way to get people to let you crash on their couches.
So they show up at this poor dude’s house
and I mean this dude is seriously poor
he doesn’t have netflix or anything
just one cow, a wife, and a debilitating case of acute generosity.

Like for real
when this godly duo rolls up on casa de poverty
the poor guy runs out like “HOLY SHIT, VISITORS
HERE, DRINK ALL MY MILK
EAT ALL MY BUTTER
FUCK MY WIFE, I DON’T CARE.”
and Elijah is like “Wow man, thanks.”
Then in the morning, the dude’s cow dies.
Bummer.

There’s no reason to stay at a cowless house
especially if it doesn’t have netflix
so Elijah and Jachanan leave and keep on hitchin’
until they end up at this super rich dude’s house
and they’re like “Aww yeah
time to roll up on this dude’s posh-ass doorstep
hand him some leaflets
and spend the knight drinking caviar champagne in a jacuzzi made of blowjobs
dude I LOVE being religious.”
but the rich asshole who owns the house is like “RELIGION?
BAH HUMBUG.
YOU GUYS CAN SLEEP WITH MY HORSES”
and let me tell you
this dude’s horses do not sleep in a jacuzzi full of blowjobs
they sleep in a stable
and the stable
DOESN’T EVEN HAVE NETFLIX.
It’s the worst.

So in the morning, Elijah goes to the rich dude
and he’s like “Hey man,
thanks so much for sticking us in your shitty horse house
you know what?
I’m gonna do you a solid.
I’m going to hire a mason
at my own expense
to repair that crack in your wall over there.”
and the rich man is like “HELL YEAH, SCORE.”
And then they leave.

But Rabbi Jachanan is like “What the fuck, Elijah?
I’m tired and sore
I smell like horse shit
and I am WAY behind on all my shows
largely thanks to that asshole
and you are paying for his fucking home decorating?
Dude, what gives?
Why does this guy get a new wall
while the poor dude has to bury his cow?”
and Elijah is like “Shhhhhhh”
and he does that think where he presses one finger to Jachanan’s lips
and sorta smushes them in a gross way
long after the rabbi has stopped trying to talk
he just keeps rubbing his finger on those lips
like they are the world’s tiniest fleshiest violin
and his finger is the bow.
but then finally he’s like “Listen
That poor dude from before?
His wife was scheduled to die that night
but God was so grateful for his hospitality
he killed the dude’s cow instead.
And that rich dude’s wall
has a fucking treasure chest hidden inside it
if he fixed the wall himself, he’d find it.
He doesn’t deserve that treasure
so boom, I fixed the wall.”
And the rabbi is like “Okay
I mean, that’s a little better
but couldn’t god have just not killed the cow OR the wife?
why did one of them have to die?
Couldn’t he just kill the rich dude instead?
Couldn’t he kill the rich dude and then teleport the treasure out of his house
and into the poor guy’s house?
Is it possible
that God
is just really fucking lazy?”
and Elijah is like “Dude, not so loud!
The big man is a fucking psychopath
did you hear about what He did to Job?
don’t let Him hear you saying that shit!”
and Jachanan is like “Oh, ok, I get it.
I mean HAHA, GOD WORKS IN MYSTERIOUS WAYS AM I RIGHT”

So the moral of the story
is if somebody doesn’t let you crash at their sweet pad
just bust up all their walls with a hammer
even if you don’t find treasure
you will have fucked up their walls and that’s fun.

The end.

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Kullervo Dies Finally

So Kullervo just banged his sister so hard she killed herself
and now he’s looking for a distraction
because that’s not the kind of thing you want to dwell on
so he’s like “I KNOW
I’LL KILL UNTAMO

THE DUDE WHO CHASED OFF MY PARENTS
AND THEN TRIED TO RAISE ME
UNTIL I KILLED LIKE EVERYONE IN HIS HOUSE.”
and his mom is like “No dude, don’t do it.”
and Kullervo’s like “I GOTTA”
and his mom is like “why?”
and he’s like “BECAUSE OF REASONS.”

So he goes to all his surviving family members one by one
and asks them if they’ll miss him while he’s gone
and his dad is like “No, fuck you
you destroyed my boat and my nets and fucked my daughter to death
you are basically the worst.”
and his brother is like “Yeah no, seriously fuck you”
and his surviving sister is like “Yeah, please leave
before you accidentally have sex with me in a sled you creeper.”
and Kullervo is like “FINE
I DON’T NEED YOU GUYS ANYWAY
I’LL MAKE MY OWN FAMILY
OUT OF SNOW AND BRANCHES AND BERRIES AND SHIT
I’M A WIZARD
BUILDING A FAMILY IS TRIVIAL.”

Then he goes to his mom and he’s like “Hey will you miss me?”
and she’s like “WHAT?
OF COURSE!
I LOVE YOU, SON
DESPITE THE FACT THAT YOU HAVE EXCLUSIVELY DONE TERRIBLE THINGS
FOR YOUR WHOLE ENTIRE LIFE
I AM SOMEHOW DOOMED TO NOT WANT YOU DEAD
IT IS A SPECIAL, LONELY HELL FOR ME.”
And Kullervo is like “Awesome, thanks mom.”
Then he leaves.

So he’s riding over to Untamo’s place
and a messenger catches up with him, like “Hey, your dad’s dead.
You should prolly go home and bury him.”
and Kullervo is like “HAHA SUCKER.
Nah I’d love to but I really have to go murder this other guy.”
and then another messenger comes and is like “Your brother is dead.”
and Kullervo is like “LOL”
and then another messenger comes and is like “Your sister is dead.”
and Kullervo is like “THAT’S WHAT SHE GETS FOR NOT HAVING SEX WITH ME
AM I RIGHT?
HIGH FIVE.”
But that messenger just leaves him hanging
and then ANOTHER messenger comes
and is like “Dude, your mom is dead.”
and Kullervo is like “Oh shit, SERIOUSLY?
You mean, the one person in the entire goddamn world
who doesn’t think I’m an asshole
is now DEAD?!”
and the messenger is like “Well if it’s any consolation
she also thought you were an asshole
she was just forced to love you because motherhood.”
and Kullervo is like “BALLS.”

But he still REALLY wants to kill Untamo
so he prays to Ukko for a sweet sword
and Ukko is like “sure dude,
have a sword.”
And then Kullervo shows up at Untamo’s place
kills everyone
burns down all their houses
and leaves.
I’ve just spent more lines describing that battle than the original does.
It’s really not a big deal, apparently.

After all that murder, Kullervo’s like “Welp, better go home.”
So he goes home
and BIG SURPRISE
his house is emptier than the bowels of a die-hard laxative addict.
Seriously I have no idea why he even went home
those messengers straight up told him his whole family was dead
what, does he not trust those messengers?
I mean … I guess messengers have fucked up before.
Probably a smart move on Kullervo’s part, to be honest.

But if it is, it’s the only smart move Kullervo makes
because then he wanders off into the forest
with the magic sword Ukko gave him
and he’s like “Hey magic sword
you can talk, right?”
and the sword is like “Yeah, duh.
I’m a magic sword.”
and Kullervo is like “Cool, cool.
Would you mind stabbing me in the heart and drinking all my blood?
I’m just not feeling great right now and I think that would help.”
and the sword is like “Well, suicide is never really a solution to anything
but you did just make me kill like a thousand innocent people
so I’m okay with it.”
and Kullervo is like “Okay, rad.”
then he stabs himself and dies.

So, the moral of the original story
is actually good enough
that I’m going to reproduce it here:
don’t raise your children badly
(I mean, that’s a given)
but also
don’t give them out to strangers
especially if they’re wizards.
Seriously, who just goes around passing out wizard babies?
A wizard baby, properly husbanded
can be the jewel of any farm
but handled poorly
they just become big screaming piles of poop and incest
sort of like a Tamagotchi
OF MURDER.

THE END.

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Mountains are Jerks

So when last we left Kullervo
he had killed his shitty hostess
at the house that he was sent to

by his shitty foster parents
who were terrified of wizards.

Now he’s walking through the forest
and he’s feeling kind of lonely

no you know what, fuck this meter.

Kullervo’s like “Boo hoo, I have no friends.”
YEAH GUESS WHAT, FUCKBELL
YOU KILL EVERYONE YOU MEET
THAT’S A VERY BAD WAY TO MAKE FRIENDS.
But then this chick rolls up like “Hey boy why you cryin?”
and Kullervo is like “Uh … uh … for MANLY reasons
like, my foster dad Untamo killed my real parents
and now I’m going to kill HIM!!!”
and the lady is like “Dude, chill
your parents are still alive.”
And Kullervo is like “OH SHIT, WHERE?”
and she’s like “Thou must journey through the forest,
Hasten to the river-border,
Travel one day, then a second,
And the third from morn till even,
To the north-west, thou must journey.
If a mountain comes to meet thee-”
and he’s like “Fuck it, I’ll just google map it.”

So he gets to this little fisherman’s shack
where his parents live now because they’re hiding
and he’s like “Hey mom I’m your son what’s up?”
and his mom is like “OMG KULLERVO
BOY AM I GLAD TO SEE YOU
I was pretty sure you were dead
and your sister is definitely dead
so that was 2 dead kids and I was bummed
now it’s fine though.”

But Kullervo doesn’t think it’s fine
he’s like “Hold up, what happened to my sister?”
so his mom’s like “Well she went out to pick berries
up in the mountains
and then she didn’t come back
so i went out looking for her
and I was yelling and yelling
and the mountains were finally like ‘bitch stop yelling, she’s dead.’
so … there you go.”

But this is Finland
Misery is the national currency here
Kullervo doesn’t have time to grieve
he’s got to WORK.
His dad’s a fisherman, so he decides to help out with that
they go out on a canoe
and Kullervo’s paddling
and he’s like “Okay dad
do you want me to paddle like a wussy geezer
or do you want me to go FULL THROTTLE?”
and his dad is like “What are we, girl babies?
this boat is built to withstand paddling forces
of up to 200 Booyahs
you couldn’t break this boat with your paddling
if each of your arms was a Hercules made of other, tinier Herculii.
FULL THROTTLE, SON.”
So Kullervo takes him at his word
and paddles that boat to fucking pieces
and his dad is like “Wow, you’re terrible at boat
how about you scare fish into my nets instead?”

So Kullervo is like “Okay, dad
do you want me to scare fish like a grumpy toddler
or do you want me to go FULLLLL THROTTTLLLEEE?”
and his dad is like “WHAT ARE WE, BABY INFANTS?
FULL THROTTLE, SON.”
And Kullervo is like “Wow, okay
really thought you would have learned from last time.”
And he scares those salmon so hard
they tear up all the nets
and then pulp themselves into meat salad
just to escape Kullervo’s wizard hands.

So Kullervo’s dad is like “Son
you are an enormous, terrifying disappointment.
The entire beach is now a saltwater and fish smoothie
and it is all your fault.
How about this:
how about you run my taxes down to the post office for me.
Do you think you can do that?”
and Kullervo is like “Do you want me to do it like a pile of wet mice
or do you want me to do it -”
and his dad is like “A pile of wet mice is fine. Just go.”

So Kullervo goes and mails his dad’s taxes
and on the way back
he sees a hot chick in snow shoes
so he pulls up in his sweet sled
chrome sleighbells
20″ dogs
and he’s like “Hey girl
you need a ride?”
and she’s like “Go to hell, creeper.”
and he’s like “FINE” and peels out.

But then half a mile later
he runs up on ANOTHER hot chick in snow shoes
and he’s like “Hey babe
need a ride?”
and she’s like “Ew, go to hell.”
and he’s like “FINE!!!” and peels out again.

But then, half a mile later
he rolls up on a THIRD hot chick in snow shoes
and he’s feeling lucky so he’s like “Hey tootsiepuss
need a ride?”
and she’s like “Ugh, gross. As if.”
and he’s like “WHAT THE FUCK, COME ON.
I’M A WIZARD AND MY SLED IS LEGIT.
HERE, LET ME SHOW YOU”
and he grabs her and drags her into his sled
and she’s like “WTF DUDE THIS IS ASSAULT”
and he’s like “OH IS IT?
WHAT IF I SHOW YOU … ALL THIS TREASURE I HAVE?”
and she’s like “Oh
dang
suddenly I’m into you.”
Then they have sex.

So these two terrible people finish banging
and get back to calmly sledding across the Finnish tundra.
But the calm does not last
because the lady turns to Kullervo and she’s like “Hey
this might be a weird question
but who’s your dad?”
and he’s like “Kalervo.”
and she’s like “OMG ME TOO
I’M YOUR LONG LOST SISTER
I got lost in the woods one day
and I kept yelling for my mom
(WHOOPS I MEAN OUR MOM)
and finally the mountains were like ‘bitch stop yelling no one’s coming.’
And I’ve just been wandering around ever since.
Anyway, gotta go kill myself for having sex with you now.
Thanks for the orgasms I guess!”
and Kullervo is like “Wow I really fucked the dog on that one
and by the dog I mean my biological sister
that is just the worst.”

So basically
if Kullervo hadn’t forced a random woman into his car
dazzled her with riches and then had sex with her
he wouldn’t have done incest to his sister
and she wouldn’t have thrown herself into a fucking lake
which makes this story one of the earliest fables
to caution against street harassment.

Thank you, goodnight.

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Jason and the Argonauts, but BETTER

So today I’m gonna do something a little different
like, instead of telling you a book
I am going to tell you ABOUT a book
which I will then expect you to READ.
This book is called Jason and the Argonauts
and it was written by Apollonius of Rhodes
(although when he wrote it it was called the Argonautica)
and it is a story about a boat full of jerks
sailing around and stealing things.
I did a run-down of it a while back if you’re interested.

But Apollonius wrote his book wrong
as in, not in English
so for many years now
dudes have been trying to fix his mistake
with varying degrees of success.

ENTER AARON POOCHIGIAN
this dude JUST CAME OUT with a new verse translation of this amazing book
like seriously, a week ago.COVER SO SWEET
But before he did that
he sent an advance copy to ME
to READ.
And at first I was like “Reading? What?”
but then I was like “HOLY SHIT
WHY DID NOBODY TELL ME
READING IS AMAZING.”
You see,
part of the reason I do what I do
is because most translations of ancient texts
are MAD BORING
like, they use archaic words
they demonstrate a great love of ancient Greek, but no love for English
and they’re generally just really hard and painful to try to understand
so I’ve tasked myself with making translations of the translations.

But get this:

AARON POOCHIGIAN’S TRANSLATION NEEDS NO TRANSLATION.
His English is modern and playful
he does it all in solid iambic pentameter, basically to show off
he BOLDS ALL THE NAMES OF THE HEROES in the opening catalogue
just to make it easier to read, and because he’s a nice guy
and most importantly
he genuinely seems to LIKE this poem!

My copy has a bookmark on pretty much every page
because of some awesome line or hilarious image
but let me pick a page that I think perfectly illustrates Poochigian’s chops:
The beginning of Book 2

Okay, first let’s take a look at how R.C. Seaton translates this
in the Loeb Classics edition:

“Here were the oxstalls and farm of Amycus, the haughty king of the Bebrycians, whom once a nymph, Bithynian Melie, united to Poseidon Genethlius, bare the most arrogant of men; for even for strangers he laid down an insulting ordinance, that none should depart till they had made trial of him in boxing; and he had slain many of the neighbours.”

Okay, that’s fine, that’s fine.
Good effort, R.C.
But let’s see how my man A.P. does it:

“Haughty Amycus, the Bebrycian king,
Kept farms and cattle paddocks near the shore.
Begotten by Poseidon Patriarch
on a Bithynian Nymph named Melia,
he was the most obnoxious man alive.
It was his savage custom to permit
no visitors to exit his dominions
until they met him in a boxing match,
and he had beaten many of his neighbors
to death.”

Right?
RIGHT?
See, Poochigian’s gift
is that he knows when to deviate from a word-for-word translation
in order to give you the SENSE of the original poem.
The result is something that sounds like Apollonius’s actual voice
time-warped into the present day.
Obviously I am a fan of this.

So if you skipped reading this book in college
or you’re a college professor trying to keep your students from skipping this book
I highly recommend this translation
and not just because A-dogg sent me a free copy.
Let me put it in his words, from the translator’s introduction:

“For as long as I have known the Ancient Greek language, I have been certain that Apollonius is a great poet, and that Jason and the Argonauts is a great epic. This translation, a labor of love, is an attempt to convince Greekless readers that this is true.”

He sure as hell convinced me.
I think you should give him a chance to convince you.

In case you missed it, here’s the link to the amazon page for the book again.
You don’t have to buy it on Amazon, but it’s better than not buying it at all.

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