Truth And Consequences

Many, including former vice-president Cheney, have raised the question of whether the actions of President Obama show incompetence or malice. Have we considered the possibility that Obama is simply destined by the gods to destroy us, as Carthage was destined by the gods to be destroyed? In the Aeneid, Virgil tells us that the Trojan God Aeneas, instructed by his mother, the goddess Venus, to found Rome, was shipwrecked by a storm onto the North African shore, where he met and fell in love with the founder and Queen of Carthage, the goddess Dido. Venus, however, commanded Aeneas to fulfill his destiny, and he left Carthage, where a vengeful and abandoned Dido placed a curse on Rome, declaring that Rome would find eternal war. So Virgil blamed the destruction of Carthage on the gods, which made sense to the Hellenic world of Augustus. A few years after Virgil sat down, pen in hand, a Roman governor washed his hands and asked rhetorically, “What is truth?” Do we know for certain what the truth is? Can we know for certain what the truth is? About anything?

Aeneas, truth and Dido
So just where does a guy go
To get the truth of this and many things
From conquest and invasions
Historical evasions
And words and deeds of cabbage and of kings
Are gods of old still with us
Their stone gaze monolith us
And we all at the mercy of their whims
It’s certain that such scenes were
As real as the Hellenes were
And sung in temples to Augustan hymns
But if we all are destined
To have our free will questioned
I much prefer the gods to be my own
The cold, dark northern forest
The night sky filled with star mist
With Wodin sitting on his pine bark throne

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