The Deity Dozen – An ImaginaryAudience with Big Brother 2012
The Olympians are a group of 12 gods who ruled after the defeat of the Titans. All of the Olympians are related in some way. They are named after their dwelling place Mount Olympus.
This is an imaginary scenario of what a programme could be like if the Olympian Family accepted the offer of going into The Big Brother House for 12 weeks to raise their profile in the 21st century. It is imagined that they would do so because they want to prove that they are not old has-beens and that they have a part to play in modern society. Their peacock, owl and dove feathers have been ruffled a bit by the rising popularity of Vampires, Werewolves and Men in Black.
Big Brother thinks, in its infinite wisdom, that Gods and Goddesses should be able to stay in the house and work out their differences as they are made of sterner stuff than us mere humans. It would be interesting as they all bring their special qualities to the house.
The presenter would introduce the event by saying that this show will be different as all will remain in the house until the final show. The public will vote for the winner.
Imagine the launch night. One by one the presenter would introduce them and they would enter the stage through a host of clouds.
The first housemate to enter is Zeus who is introduced as the Alpha Male, the big boss. His luxury item is a thunderbolt which he says he has a tendency to zap people with if they annoy him, which apparently is not very difficult. He punishes those who break oaths. He is married to Hera but is famous for his affairs which should be interesting in the house because there are cameras everywhere.
The presenter says that he would give a bit of background as they did not make an audition video.
Zeus gained his power by fighting his own father, who had been consuming all the children born to his mother, Rhea. She hid the baby Zeus and gave Kronos a substitution, a swaddled stone to swallow instead. Zeus was raised in secret on Crete, and when old enough and strong enough, defeated his father and forced him to vomit up his swallowed brother and sisters, and surrender to Zeus’s power. Apparently Kronos had done almost the same with his own father, Uranus. What goes around comes around. Zeus walks into the house (“Thunderstruck” by AC /DC is played)
The next housemate is Poseidon. The presenter says that you might be able to guess that he is the God of the Sea as there is a sea film named a film after him, “The Poseidon Adventure”. He is Zeus’ brother. The two of them drew lots and Poseidon won a small prize, his share of the world, the sea. He’s a bit greedy as he tries to take over cities.
That should be interesting – being greedy in the house. Poseidon describes himself as moody and unpredictable, one minute calm and the next roaring, just like the sea. His luxury item is a three pronged trident. He is a mover and shaker. He wears a helmet given to him by Hades which makes him invisible but the technology that the Big Brother cameras have means that there will be nowhere to hide for him. (Music, “Invisible ” by Alison Moyet). He is also associated with horses, believed to be seen in the crashing of waves on the shore. He is also believed to be the force behind earthquakes, an odd expansion of the power of a sea god, possibly due to the association between earthquakes and tsunamis in Greece. He joins Zeus in the house (“Don’t make Waves” by The Gossip)
The next to enter is Hestia, a beautiful woman with a veil over her face. She describes herself as The Domestic Goddess. She is sister of Zeus and is modest and focussed on the home. She should be good in the house as we need someone to do the tidying up. . As the goddess of the family hearth she also presided over the cooking of bread and the preparation of the family meal. (“Hey Good Looking. What you got cooking? by Hank Williams”)
Hestia was the goddess of the sacrificial flame and received a share of every sacrifice to the gods. The cooking of the communal feast of sacrificial meat was naturally a part of her domain as she was the goddess of the hearth, or rather the fire burning on the hearth, As the hearth of a house is at the same time the altar on which sacrifices are offered to the domestic gods Hestia was looked upon as presiding at all sacrifices, and, as the goddess of the sacred fire of the altar, she had a share in the sacrifices in all the temples of the gods. (“Eternal Flame” The Bangles)
Then Zeus’ wife and sister Hera enters. This lady describes herself as the protector of marriage so therefore she takes care of all married women. She says that her marriage to Zeus is founded on strife (Is that where trouble and strife comes from?) Zeus may be the God of thunder, but Hera didn’t think him all that hot as he tried to court her unsuccessfully. He switched form into a poor ragged cuckoo, as you do, and fluttered his feathers at her. Hera took pity and snuggled him to her breast. The dastardly devil then reverted to his normal self, Zeus and ravaged her. They got married to cover her shame. So she plots against him and tries to thwart his plans. Her luxury item is a peacock feather and a cow, her favoured animals. Hera is always jealous of Zeus and keeps a close eye on his affairs. (“Stand By Your Man” Tammy Wynette)
Ares, a bearded, good looking man in the prime of life who oozes power and virility is the next housemate. He is the offspring of Zeus and Hera but they are not keen on him. He describes himself as determined and fiery and as always looking for a fight. He is taking a picture of his dog in and he tried to sneak a vulture in but is unsuccessful so it circles over the house. It will be interesting to see what happens because Aphrodite is in love with him. (“Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor)
The next to enter is Athena who is Zeus’ daughter. Her symbols include The Owl, signifying watchfulness and wisdom; the aegis (small shield) showing the snaky head of Medusa.One of her titles is “Grey-eyed”. Her gift to the Greeks was the useful olive tree. The underside of the olive tree’s leaf is grey, and when the wind lifts the leaves, it shows Athena’s many “eyes”.
The presenter says that the curious thing about this lady was that she was never a baby but sprang full grown from Zeus’ forehead in armour. She is Goddess of the City, handicrafts and agriculture. She’s creative and her luxury items include a trumpet, a flute and a pot. She describes herself as ferocious in battle but only to defend the state and home. She does not look for trouble but will jump in to stop it. She’s a strategist and forms alliances with men. She is a practical problem solver. She is the patron goddess of Athens, the goddess of wisdom, a goddess of arts and crafts. She gave Athens the gift of the olive tree, providing oil, food, and wood. So that was a wise choice of a gift (“Fighter” by Christina Aguilera)
Apollo is the next housemate to enter and he is a young man with golden hair curly hair. His hair looks like the Sun itself. He is the God of Light and Music. He taught man medicine. Apparently he cannot lie so is the God of Truth therefore he will be the one who reveals all secrets and who speaks his mind in the house. He started the Oracle at Delphi where it is advised that thou Know Thyself.
One luxury item he is bringing into the house is a Golden Lyre (that’s funny someone who can’t lie will be playing a lyre )and a silver bow, as in bow and arrow, not a bow tie and if he did wear one, it would be a golden one as he is the Sun (the Moon’s symbolic colour is silver you see. (“Here Comes The Sun” by The Beatles)
After Apollo has entered the house the beautiful Aphrodite arrives and the crowd and the presenter are immediately gooey eyed and clearly love-struck. She is the Goddess of Love, Beauty and Desire. Her luxury item is a magical girdle that can compel anyone to desire her. She enjoys pleasure and is creative and sensual. Aphrodite rises from the foam of the waves of the sea, enchanting anyone who sees her and inciting feelings of love and lust wherever she goes. Wherever Aphrodite goes, beautiful flowers bloom and you can hear birdsong. Everyone stands up in honour of her beauty and so did all the audience. All of the gods fell in love with her. She’s a walking aphrodisiac. That is where the word comes from. (“Don’t Cha Wish Your Girlfriend was Hot Like Me “ by Pussycat Dolls)
Aphrodite goes in and the crowd have to be told to take their eyes off the screen, so bewitched are they by the beautiful Aphrodite. Artemis enters wearing a white tunic with her hair tied neatly back, carrying javelin, bows and arrows .She has a lunar crescent on her are brow .She is an eternally young woman, beautiful and vigorous, wearing a short costume which leaves her legs free. To attract attention to herself and draw it away from Aphrodite Artemis shoots a bow into the air which almost hits Apollo’s vulture. Phew the crew are glad that she missed because Ares would have been on the warpath and Animal Rights people would have written in or arrived on masse.
She is a Goddess of the Moon and hunts with silver arrows. Strangely, she is a virgin but presides over childbirth. Also, paradoxically she is hunter and hunted. She hunts things and protects them In appropriate situations. Well who better to protect them than one who knows how to hunt them she says. Her luxury item is her beloved bow and silver arrows. She befriends women and can inspire them to set their own goals and reach them. A very independent lady so how will she react to Big Brother setting the goals?. Hunting High and Low” by Aha)
Next we are introduced to a beautiful golden haired lady called Demeter. This lady is so sad for half of the time because her daughter, Persephone was snatched by Hades, God of the Underworld. Demeter searches for her but cannot find her, so because she has the power, she stops all plant life from growing on the earth. Pan, the Goat Footed God of All Nature spots Demeter in the wilderness and reports her position to Zeus, who then starts negotiations. Ultimately, Demeter gets her daughter for a third of the year, Hades gets her for two third, and Zeus has her services as a handmaiden the rest of the time. Sometimes this is a simpler split, with Mom getting six months and Hubby getting the other six.
She is also known as Ceres and is Goddess of fertility, agriculture, nature and the seasons and all growing things. She is taking a couple of her symbols into the house, a poppy and cornucopia, the Horn of Plenty. She is very nurturing of others so will probably be the mother of the house. Another luxury item is her daughter, Persephone’s golden girdle. (“Mother and Child Reunion” by Paul Simon)
Demeter enters the house and handsome young man wearing a winged hat, winged sandals, and a golden staff twined with serpents’ leaps on to the stage. This is Hermes. He was born in a cave on Mount Cylene in Arcadia to Maia, who had just slept with his father Zeus the night before. Confused.com?
He carries a golden staff, a magic wand that he uses to lull people to sleep. He cannot always promise to tell the whole truth. He is the mouthpiece of Zeus and passes on messages for him. He has the freedom of all thoroughfares and this means he can escort the newly dead to the underworld (“The Wanderer” by Johnny Cash)
The next housemate to arrive is Hephaestus who is the son of Zeus and Hera. He comes on limping as he is lame and also ugly amidst all of the beauty. He is God of the Forge and Fire like Vulcan. He is also the armourer of the gods. He uses volcanoes as his forge. He is actually very kind and peace-loving. He is a brilliant metal worker but he cannot handle his booze and can be crafty and vindictive. You have probably heard of Pandora of the famous box? Well He created her (“Metal Guru” by T Rex)
So, the presenter has introduced them all and they have all entered the Big Brother House.
The cameras would then monitor everything that goes on and clips would be shown on the nightly show.
Imagine that these are some of the highlights that would be shown in the programme:
Aphrodite and Ares have an affair in the house. They are seen by Apollo who cannot lie so Hephaestus, her husband would be told. He would go into the diary room and complain to Big Brother. They would help him by making everyone go out into the garden giving Hephaestus the opportunity to make and attach a net of fine gossamer that was almost invisible which he fixes over his bed.
Aphrodite and Ares would then run into the house whilst the others were in the garden and get trapped in the bed and all of the other housemates and the whole nation would laugh as they were shown entangled.
Hera would storm into the diary room to complain about Hephaestus as she has never liked her son and it is said that she threw him off of Mount Olympus which made him lame. Big Brother for the entertainment value broadcast her complaint about him to the whole house. Hephaestus sneaks into the diary room afterwards and slots extra pieces which he has designed to the chair. Big Brother calls Hera to the room. She sits in the chair and gets locked in for hours.
Hephaestus finds this highly amusing and thinks that he has an ally against Hera in Big Brother so he returns to the diary room when she is released to applaud them for playing their part so well. As a reward for them he tells Big Brother the story of how he secured the beautiful Aphrodite as his wife. Hera, his devoted mother threw him from Mount Olympus, and he fell for a whole day before landing in the sea. Nymphs rescued him and took him to Lemnos, where the people of the island cared for him. He says that there are other versions which maintain that it was Zeus who threw him from Mount Olympus after Hephaestus had sided with his mother in a quarrel. This legend says that Hephaestus fell for nine days and nine nights, and he landed on the island of Lemnos. Anyway, Hephaestus sighs to Big Brother, it is all a bit of a blur but a fact is that it was on Lemnos that he built his palace and his forges under a volcano. So it made him who he was. Even if it was Zeus, Hera was the one he chose to blame because she argued with Zeus which started the whole chain of events. Therefore, he explained that he likes to antagonise her when he can. Big Brother notes that his voice is getting dry and offers him a soothing fruit drink which he accepts.
Hephaestus divulges between large swigs of the drink that he has actually used the chair stunt on Hera previously. He made a magic throne, which was presented to her on Mount Olympus. When Hera sat on the throne, it entrapped her, making her a prisoner. Hephaestus laughed at the memory of how all of the Gods and Goddesses on Mount Olympus pleaded with him to release Hera, but he refused. Hephaestus is slurring his words a bit by now. As he complains jabbing his finger at the camera for emphasis that cunning Dionysus gave him a drink or three or was it five, and when Hephaestus was drunk, Dionysus took him back to Mount Olympus slumped over the back of a mule. Hephaestus released Hera after being given the beautiful Aphrodite as his bride. Dionysus was rewarded by being made one of the Olympian Pantheon.
Big Brother said that they had approached Dionysus or Bacchus as he is also called to be a participant but he was off partying for the summer. Hephaestus said “Yes, you heard that through the grapevine” and starts laughing and falling around the room. Then he looks at the glass that Big Brother had given him and realises that they have got him so drunk that he cannot stand up. A mule is led into the room from a door at the side and some camera crew hoist him onto its back and take him to the bedroom.
He starts talking in a booming voice to the others about how important a God he became and how he was also called Vulcan, hence Volcano and how he made wonderful articles from various materials, primarily from metal. With help from the Cyclopes, who were his workmen and assistants, he fashioned the thunderbolts for Zeus and his sceptre. He made weapons and armour for the other gods and heroes. He gets out of bed and staggers across to Athena, poking her and saying that he made her shield or aegis and for the god of love, Eros, he made the arrows. As Athena pushes him across the room he continues announcing in a drunken slur that he also made that wonderful chariot which the sun god Helios rode across the sky and the invincible armour of Achilles. By now everyone is shouting at him to be quiet as they want to get some sleep. Hermes solves the problem by waving his golden staff over him and the whole house falls silent.
The next morning Apollo trains the housemates to throw the discus and tells them to bend their knees and sweep lower and as you come up to throw, straighten and send the discus upwards like the sun leaps into the sky, the apex on a midsummer morning.
Big Brother organises a foam party for Aphrodite. They are given ambrosia and nectar, the favourite food of their kind and the wine flows. Zeus proposes a toast to absent friends. Bacchus, who is off on a bender somewhere and to Hades who was invited but has gone underground again. “With my daughter Persephone “Demeter says and everyone quickly changes the subject in case the lawn and flowers start withering away.
The Olympians are set a task by Big brother whereby each one has to go into the diary room, watched by the others on a plasma screen and are asked what sort of legacy, brandings they imagine are used in the modern world using their mythology. Big Brother has to tell Hermes to sit down and be quiet as he starts running around the house on his winged sandals excitedly shouting “We’ve got an ology !!”
Hermes sits in the diary room chair and is asked what Apollo represents and how that could be used in modern times. Hermes says that Apollo is the God of light, of masculine beauty and a great lover of music. So therefore, he would expect to see that he is linked to sunlight and maybe music and beautiful male bodies.
Big Brother then shows a clip of the Apollo Theater is a famous music hall in New York. They add that there is also an Apollo Health and Beauty Care. In addition Apollo Studios is a high fidelity music workshop and Apollo Athletic Club promotes an active and healthy lifestyle. Also there is the Apollo space program. Hermes claps his hands in delight as he is correct.
Demeter is then called to the diary room and asked the same questions about Ares. She says that Ares is the Greek god of war so she would expect that he would be used in matters of warfare and anything to do with masculine raw power. Big Brother says that there is a war game that is branded with his name so the assumption is correct.
Artemis is asked about Hermes. She describes him as the Olympian Herald and Messenger God so she would envisage him being used in companies to do with communication and commerce. Big Brother congratulates him and points out that, the FTD flower delivery company incorporates Hermes and his winged heels in their logo. The Hermes Boutique offers high end goods. There is a Hermes Financial Group and Hermes Records. His magical wand called a Caduceus, which was given to him by Apollo is used as a symbol so he is linked to various trades, occupations and undertakings associated with the god. Mercury is the Roman name for Hermes, the Messenger god and that is the brand name of a car model produced by the Ford Motor Company; also, an entertainment records label, Mercury Records.
Zeus is asked to discuss Athena . He explains that she is also called Minerva by the Romans. She gave humans the olive tree so he would expect oil to be branded with her name. Big Brother confirms Minerva Oil Company is an international exporter of fine food products and that Athena isalso used by women’s networking organisations.
Athena is asked to give her insights into how Hephaestus would be used. He says that he is an excellent forger of metal and designer so it would have to be connected to those skills. Big Brother applauds him and says that Hephaestus Holdings Limited is an investment vehicle that was demerged from the former Robotic Technology Systems plc. Vulcan – Roman name for Hephaestus, god of the smiths and the forge; Vulcan Industries is an international manufacturer of steel products.
Aphrodite proposes that as Poseidon is God of the Sea and carries a trident she would anticipate that his name would be linked to maritime enterprises .Big Brother affirms that Poseidon Travel is a common travel agency name; Poseidon Seafood is a national brand of seafood products. Neptune, the Roman version, is often also used by companies, as in Neptune Fresh Lobster Co.
Poseidon considers that as Demeter is motherly and linked to grain and harvest, she would be likely to be attached to granary products and anything to do with nurturing environments and mothering generally .Big Brother affirms that cereal is named after Demeter due to her Roman name Ceres of the harvest and that the Demeter Association of America is the certifying agency for biodynamic farming operations. Demeter USA has established a series of guidelines for biodynamic as well as organic-in-transition-to-biodynamic agricultural practices
Hephaestus was invited to think about Hestia. He says that Hestia represents the hearth, the warmth and glow at the heart of a home which everyone should have. During the time of the original games within the boundaries of Olympia, the altar of the sanctuary dedicated to the goddess Hestia maintained a continuous flame so he could envisage Hestia’s name being linked to home and a domestic sanctuary that people can hold in their hearts wherever they go. Big Brother said that the name Hestia is linked to at least one charitable organisation that offers help to the homeless. They added that her name is used by various businesses within the hospitality industry, like restaurants.
Hestia describes Aphrodite as the Goddess of Beauty and Love and womanly allure. Therefore she is confident that enterprises focussed on beauty and love would refer to her. Big Brother states that indeed, Venus razors are named after the goddess of love and Dove soap- the latter was inspired by Aphrodite’s symbol the dove, and Aphrodite was the goddess of beauty .Venus is the name of a famous beauty product company; Venus International is a popular beauty talent agency; Venus Tan Lines is a swimsuit manufacturer; Venus Razor is a popular women’s shaving accessory; a Venus Beauty Salon is found in most any city or town.
Ares explains that Hera empowers women to be heard within their relationships and within their lives. She encourages women to find their strengths and desires and to cultivate them. Big Brother reveals that the HERA Foundation’s goal is to do the same; empower women to take control of their health by championing this unrecognized threat to women’s health. Hera was chosen as the name for the foundation because she was considered the protector of women and empowered women to stand up for themselves. They add that HERA is also an acronym for Health, Empowerment, Research and Awareness
Then Big Brother gathers all the housemates in the dining room to tell them the results of the task. It is revealed that they passed so have been awarded a prize. They can watch the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics on the plasma screen . But they request that prior to the show, Zeus outlines a few brief details about the original games by way of introduction as the Olympics was their baby.
Zeus, with a faraway look in his eyes reminisces that the first Olympic Games were held in 776 B.C and then games were held every four years in Olympia, Greece. He proudly reminds all present that they were held to honour himself and the other Gods. He continues that they these games held other significance too. Whilst they were on, peace was called throughout the world. The states of Greece would often be at war with each other, and each year before the games were held, runners would run through the states. These runners were called “heralds of peace” and they signified that a time of “sacred truce” had been declared. This truce would be in effect for the entire time the games were on.
He explained that the Games tested manly skills and strength and many were of military origin. The first day of the Olympics was reserved for sacrifices to the gods. On the second day, foot-races were held. The best event was the foot-race of about 220 yards. On other days, wrestling, boxing and the pancratium, a combination of the two, were held. Horse racing was purely for the wealthy because horses were expensive to purchase. The pentathalon included five events: a 200-yard sprint, the long jump, wrestling, javelin and discus.
The Greeks’ goal in life was to be the best. Competition was tough. Winners of the Olympic games were only given an olive wreath, but they became celebrities in their own city-state. They were invited to luxurious parties, could marry the girl of their dreams; and they were sometimes exempted from taxation. The winners were not only viewed as stars, but so were their cities. If a city-state’s athletes won many victories, it showed that its men were strong in battle.
Zeus said that other aspects of the games included the criteria that only free men who spoke Greek could compete, instead of athletes from any country.
Zeus gets very excited talking about the past glorious Games and he stands up and with gestures that start the sky rumbling and the house shaking he replays his fight with his father and how he wrestled and defeated him at Olympia which is why the games were really founded to commemorate that excellent win. Aphrodite starts cheerleading “Go Zeus Go Zeus” and Hera glares at her for flirting.
Apollo suggests that he and Hermes compete in a footrace again and the garden is so small that they can hardly be seen, and pound all the earth up. The god of war, Ares, had previously been defeated by Apollo in a boxing match so challenges him to a rematch.
Indeed there is so much divine chaotic activity that the Met Office deliver a severe weather warning for Great Britain and Europe and the usual critics start complaining about the fact that they had not predicted it 48 hours earlier.
Hera then jumps up saying thatthat she used to have her own Games, the Heraia, at Argos. This was a running contest in which 16 females participated in three races, divided by age. She challenges the girls to a race around the garden but then a voice intercedes
“THIS IS BIG BROTHER. WOULD ALL HOUSEMATES RETURN TO THEIR SEATS IN THE LIVING ROOM IMMEDIATELY. THE GARDEN IS OUT OF BOUNDS UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE”
Whilst the crew repair the garden Big Brother asks Zeus to talk about prize giving at the Ancient Olympics.
He says that all a winner got was a crown of wild olive leaves .But in addition their profile was raised. An area would offer all kinds of additional prizes to any of its citizens who won. These might include front row seats at festivals or even free meals for life. A winner also had the right to erect a statue of himself at Olympia. Poets might also be commissioned to write a poem about the winner. There were no second or third prizes
Big Brother then asks if he can talk about briefly about fire and the Olympic Flame.
In Ancient Greece, fire was highly revered. This was because the mythical god Prometheus stole fire from me, Zeus and gave it to the humans. To celebrate the fact that they now had fire, the Greeks would hold relay races that contained many runners. At the end of each of their legs, one runner would pass a fire-bearing torch to the next runner so that the second runner could then begin his leg of the race.
The Greeks paid such special attention to fire that they had many cauldrons set up that would continually burn. The Greek gods had altars that would often have flames burning in them in honour of that god. Hera, the goddess of birth and marriage, also had a cauldron. And it was this altar that the Greeks would place a cauldron on in which a flame could be lit. A large hollow disc or a mirror called a skaphia would be used to light the cauldron. This would collect the sun’s rays into a single stream so that it could light the cauldron. This flame would then burn for the entirety of the games. It would symbolize peace, purity, and reason.
Big Brother tells them that Olympic flame has been carried by relay torch from Greece to the Olympic Stadium and that with the lighting of the cauldron by the last relay runner the flame is transferred from the torch to the place where it will continue to burn for the entire length of the Games. The flame will be extinguished on the final day of the Games at the closing ceremony.
The Deity Dozen are then shown the Opening Ceremony on the screen.
They gasp at the sights. Zeus is astounded reminding them that their Games were held in his honour and in this the Queen, a female opens them but he was pleased to note that she came out of the sky in that flying throne. Athena says that she wishes that those dogs could have gone too and said that she would not have left them behind.
They laugh as they say that he it seems like Hades himself was there although he must be wearing his invisibility helmet. The electronic musical group Underworld were the musical directors of the opening ceremony. Later “Going Underground” by the Jam was played. They asked if they could take a copy of that song to play to Hades.
Hephaestus is impressed when the Olympic rings appear from a forge representing Britain’s industrial revolution. The five rings seemingly made from molten steel, rose from the ground and came together in a shower of sparks although he said that he could have done a better job.
And so in our imaginary scenario, the Olympic deity Dozen were quite impressed with the Opening Ceremony and were pleased that their names were still being used in modern society to symbolise their functions and aspects.
There would have been lots of interesting conversations and happenings in the house during their 12 week stay there. I wonder who the public would have voted for as the overall winner and also how the others would have reacted. Would they have congratulated the winner and given him/her an olive branch as a prize or would there have been all out war? Who do you think you would vote for? You cannot decide? Well, you can always throw some dice
Websites and references
There are lots more. Research them yourself and also look around you as you go about your daily life. The symbols and related corporate wordings are out there.