This article is kind of an inside joke – but the group of insiders is large, consisting of most everyone who has read The Iliad. (Not to be confused with The Idiot which is a Russian Novel). This time my story starts with viewing an article about the change in administrations, and comparing the treatment to Achilles’ treatment of the “trash-talking Trojan warrior Hector.”
About 30 years ago, I was talking about social norms and social change in a Libby classroom of Flathead Valley Community College. Somehow I drifted to the happenings of the Trojan war a little over 3000 years ago, without remembering that Montana’s Troy is a few miles west, and downstream of Libby. I mentioned the kidnapping of Helen of Troy – who, before being kidnapped was Helen the Mycenaean. Then I explained how Achilles tied Hector’s body to the back of his chariot and dragged the corpse around Troy for a couple of days – and, while this was unusual enough to be reported, it wasn’t so unusual as to rouse any of Achilles colleagues to help it – it was on the border of being socially acceptable.
I thought I had made my point, when a young woman in the back of the class addressed me: “Mr. McCurry, I’ve lived in Troy all my life and I don’t remember anything like that ever occurring.” Sometimes what seems like a great example misses the point.