Sunday, January 28, 2018

TFBT: Chapter 3; Nostos

This chapter starts with a discussion of Odysseus and Telemachus, father and son, both returning to Ithaca and meeting a the hut of the swineherd Eumaeus.  When the son approaches the hounds “fawn on him, not a growl as he approaches.” In sharp contrast to the reception given Odysseus by this famous dog  Argus, by this younger pack he is almost “torn apart and eaten”. This being a ritualized death generally reserved for Theban princes (and the poet Euripides). 
As I mentioned before, the academic son does not seem to like his Father too much and begins telling us about the alternate father figures he picked in his teenage years.  He calls them mentors. Two different “music” teachers and a clearly gay couple who took them under their arm(s). In this way the classicist compares himself to Telemachus and Eumaios who had “been a father figure to Telemachus his whole life”.   When they meet; 

Eumaios sprang to his feet, and the bowls in which he was mixing wine fell from his hands, as he made towards his master. He kissed his head and both his beautiful eyes, and wept for joy. A father could not be more delighted at the return of an only son, the child of his old age, after ten years’ absence in a foreign country and after having gone through much hardship.  He embraced him, kissed him all over as though he had come back from the dead,” 16:12-21 

Odyssey reveals himself to Telemachus shortly thereafter creating quite a scene.  The son asks the father what he thinks of the scene and the father admires Odysseus ‘ self-restraint.  “It must have been hard for him to have to sit there watching while his own son acted like that other guy was his real father.” The implication being the father was hurt by the son’s fondness for these other men, but maybe it was something else.
Earlier the son shares that his father had some experience with homosexuality and we had just heard, “My parents cultivated this man as a friend , I suspect to make a show of how much they trusted him, since back then it was not necessarily the case that parents would let their adolescent children spend unsupervised days with music teachers who were known to have roommates.”
In my opinion the self restraint the father shows is not watching his son treat other men like a father but rather worrying that some of his son’s “mentors” might have kissed his head, both his beautiful eyes, embraced him and kissed him all over .  (The things parents have to do for their children!)

The restraint of Odysseus in the recognition scenes is much discussed in this chapter, particularly by the students, whose heart is made of “horn or iron” and his favor inhuman. Thanks inhuman is a good word, it reminds us of the gods, who are not humans and Artemis’ statement in Hippolytus that gods don’t cry.  The notion in the classroom is that Odysseus learned to hold back, he is no less longer the impulsive youth that charged head of his older uncles and got gored in the “thigh”.  I wonder if Monro’s Law does not color Odysseus' passionlessness in the reunion scenes. Monro pointed out that the composer of the Odyssey, knew well the Iliad.  Is this stoicism on Odysseus’ part to contrast him with Achilles famously impulsive behavior and epic passions

Saturday, January 27, 2018

TFBT: The Apologies

I am reading and enjoying, “An Odyssey, A Father, A Son, and an Epic” by Daniel Mendelsohn. Chapter II is “Apologoi” not apologies.  Oops.  The author translates the word from the Greek as Narratives; Books 9-12 of the Odyssey. “A title that underscores Odysseus ‘wondrous way with words, his sly expertise as a raconteur and fabulist”. That’s a nice euphemism!

The boys find themselves adrift on the sea with a boat full of enthusiasts following Odysseus’ travels across the Mediterranean.  The son suddenly realizes that the other guests like his students had come to know his father as this song-singing old gentleman; affable and entertaining.

Mendelsohn continues retelling tales from the Odyssey. He does a remarkable job of explaining the whole incident in Polyphemus’ cave with outis, metis and “My name is Nobody.” (Hey!  I just got that!  Movie of the same name: 1973, Terence Hill and Henry Fonda. One of my favorites as a kid.  Only took 45 years for me to make the connection. )

When debating rather to take the strenuous hike to Circe’s supposed claustrophobic cave, the father says they have to go.  Because it is seven tenths of the story.  (Seven of the ten years homeward were spent here.)  Love that logic.  That’s why I bought the book.  When the younger man admits his extreme claustrophobia his father says “It will be okay, I will hold our hand all the way.”  That night over drinks the cruise’s social director says to the younger man, “So you survived?” referring to the claustrophobia he mentioned to her.  Before he could say anything his father says his son held his hand all the way because at his age he was worried about falling.

The author points out that the “Nekyia”, the journey to Hades, happens halfway through the Odyssey.  “In order to move into the future, we must first reconcile ourselves with our past. “ He compares the rites there to “the best horror movies”, something I might have noticed once in my youth.  Father and son visit the place where Odysseus and company sailed into the underworld at the Phlegraean Fields.  This is the place where the gods, goddesses and demi-gods slaughtered the giants.

Discussing the fall of Icarus;

“Yes, I said, smiling, It’s about hubris, about the foolishness of challenging the gods.”

He gave me an amused look.  “I think it is about the foolishness of challenging your father!”

The father and son have a conversation about homosexuality.  Apparently the son is openly gay and is surprised to find his father “has some experience in this area”; when the father was in high school a gay boy had been fond of him.  No telling yet what this has to do with the Odyssey.

His students note “dark parallels” between the adventures Odysseus relates to the Phaeacians and the early adventures as related by Homer. As if “the stuff he’s telling the Phaeacians is totally made up.”  I personally have been a big supporter of this notion his Kevin McGrath pointed out in a lecture that something like 80% of Odyssey is told by Odysseus.  I like this argument because it explains away Achilles comments in Hades.  Plus Odysseus lies constantly and consistently throughout his adventures; it seems improbable plot-wise and impossible based on his characterization throughout classical literature that he could tell the truth and nothing but the truth for that long a recitation. My hero, Jenny Strauss Clay is also a character in the book, she points out Homer’s comment at 8.447, something about a knot Odysseus learned from Circe.  That seems to kill the students argument that Odysseus made up his adventures with Circe.  All it proves to me is that she taught him a knot. Everything else is still up in the air.

Towards the end of this chapter father and son discussed death. As if Odysseus return is a kind of death, the end of the adventurer Odysseus who is now the old king of a petty realm. The father does not fear death so much but the diminishing that so often precedes it for the elderly: ill-health and dementia.  (Things the reader knows will happen to the father.) I read this discussion this morning, but yesterday, my dance partner and I were the entertainment at long term at the hospital.  A nurse helped a ninety-one year old woman up out of here wheelchair so she could “dance” with me.  Another elderly woman agreed to country swing with one of the nurses and ended up leading! There were people there who had no idea who we were, what we were doing or saying.  But in response they smiled in pleasure at us.  Pleasure and smiles are worth living for.









TFBT: Xerxes' Desire of the Tempe Gorge

I have been thinking about Maria’s response as to why Herodotus fails to mention the famous beauty of the valley of the Tempe.  Her response is brilliant! Xerxes’(hence Herodotus’) sole interest in the Peneus was its strategic value. So Herodotus’ discussion of the prehistoric Boebean Lake is not a digression but an example of Xerxes pondered strategy.  
And yet if a reader sees Xerxes as awed by the location it is a subtle reminder that it is the most beautiful place in the world.  And when reading “A number of rivers pour into this vale, the most notable of which are Peneus, Apidanus, Onochonus, Enipeus, Pamisus. “ some might think of Leto trying to birth her twins there and the sacredness of the place to Apollo.  So, Herodotus presents these subtle acknowledgments without losing his line of logic or story line.  

A small aside here. I find it interesting that damning the river was the idea of both  Xerxes, King of Persia and Ares, God of War. (Callimachus, Hymn 4 to Delos )


Saturday, January 20, 2018

TFBT: The Telemachy

“an impenetrable purple that is the color of wine that we refer to as red but the Greeks call black.”

I am currently reading "An Odyssey: A Father, A Son and An Epic" by Daniel Mendelsohn.    After the longest introduction (Proem) I have ever read, the story starts with a section called "The Telemachy"
The two main characters are a former engineer who worked on secret government projects at times turned mathematics professor, now retired.  The other characters is his son with a Doctorate in Classical Studies.  The father audits his son’s “Odyssey 101” class.  The author doesn’t seem to like the old guy too much which makes the father a rather appealing character  to some readers.  The father is used as the author’s pragmatic foil in the class room discussions of the Homeric Question.  Mendelsohn does a great job of retelling the stories in the Telemachy and other pertinent tales.  
They are great retells and accurate.  But every time if feel like he leaves a like something out. He complains about the long and strangely detailed story of Odysseus slaying a stag on Circe’s island without addressing the little mentioned concern with the “great, high-horned stag”.
He illustrates  the ancient greek tales with everyday examples from the main characters’ family and childhoods.  The things he doesn't know about people!   But the writing is beautiful and excellent.
About Telemachus’ visit to Sparta, Mendelsohn has a comment of “scathingly brilliance.” (Apologies if I misquoted the phrase.)  Absolutely brilliant!  So, the stories the author tells are probably the ones that best support his insight into the Telemachy.  You gotta read that chapter! Next chapter is the Apology. 

Friday, January 19, 2018

TFBT: The Cambridge Companion

For Christmas I received a copy of “The Cambridge Companion to Greek Mythology “ edited by Roger D. Woodard. Contributors include My hero Greg Nagy, the famous Richard Buxton Claude Calame, Jenifer Neils, Ada Cohen and others.  Wonderful book!  A wonderful book for those uninitiated in the mysteries of Greek myth, starting from Homer and running to myth in modern film.  Not just the myths but the history of the science of mythology.  
Below a few text with insights or very quotable quotes; 
As Hoffner notes the struggle for the throne in the Hittite accounts pit two fundamentally different types of beings against each other - celestial gods against netherworld gods...On the other hand there are the Titans Hesiod identifies them as earth-born - chthonian - the Titans who will become denizens of the Netherworld after being vanquished by Zeus.  “ Woodard  
To create a dsemon of subhuman intelligence the artist would surmount a human body with an animal head, as in the case of the canonical Minotaur...A female wings ould be...a onster if given an ugly or leering frontal face (Harpy Fury Medusa)...Most of the canonical the mid-seventh century and continued relatively unchanged thoughout classical art and well beyond.” ( Neils)  What does this tell us about river gods, Oceanus and the Old Men of the Sea who are often represented with horns of some sort?
Page 293 Neils suggests a small winged figure could represent sleep hovering over a character on a vase.  Based on Nagy  I would have expected this to represent the soul of the deceased warrior.
“A case in point is the elixir of immortality that is offered by Athena to one of the Seven that marched against Thebes Tydeus while in Etruscan art is is depicted as a jug held by Athena the Attica vase painter invents a personification labeled Athanasia , a young girl whomm the goddess leads by the hand to t he mortally wounded warrior.  “ Neils.  Just saying Callimachus uses Athanaia as an epithet of Athena twice in the Bath of Pallas
After 450(BC) a significant shift occurs from depiction of hs Heracles) laborsand other adventurres to the hero’s apotheosis and his appearance in the company of The Olympian agods.  In the fourth century the favor themes are the apples of the Hesperides and his initiation into the Eleusinian Mysteries.” ( Neils) All the latter are symbols of immortality,  Just saying the people of Marathon were the first to worship Heracles as a god (Pausanias) and Heracles aided the Greeks at the battle of Marathon 490 BC

TFBT:January Quotes

“Bad manners makes the Gods angry and your hair falls out. “.  Maya M

"When I happen to agree with Graves, I search where I am mistaken :-)  Maya M

“ no man who has unsparingly thrown himself into political-life [politeiā] trusting in the loyalty of the democracy [tà tou dēmou] has ever met with a beautiful death. “(Pausanias 1.8.3)

D'Artagnan: [reciting from memory the letter Richelieu wrote giving Milady de Winter permission to kill Buckingham, d'Artagnan and Constance, as Richelieu reads the actual note which D'Artagnan has handed him] "By my order and for the good of the state, the bearer has done what has been done." 
Cardinal Richelieu: Hm. One should be careful what one writes... 

“Unfixable force of chaos” Lethal Weapon

“god-like Homer” Aristophanes Frogs 1032

“You exhort me in vain as if you were talking to th ewaves.”  Prometheus in Prometheus 

"In later Greek art the figure moving to the right or auspicious side is usually the winner” Jenifer Neils
"The lame Hephaestus is seldom depicted with a deformed foot; only his riding of the mule alludes to his disability “ Neils

"It was there, near the Atlas Mountains that the goddess Hera had planted the tree of immortality, which bore golden apples.“  Ada Cohen

“Palm (trees) might serve to underscore a distant exotic place.”  Cohen

“As Lincoln reluctantly admits scholarship to be itself a form of myth” Cohen

Saturday, January 13, 2018

TFBT: Pausanias 1.16.1+


Greg Nagy presented great insights into “A sampling of comments on Pausanias: 1.16.1–1.17.2 “  Part of the article was about “the marble metopes of the Parthenon.” He adds some socio-political interpretation to them.   

I would like to give an additional layer of allegorical significance to the metopes.  

The Centauromachy, the battle of the Lapiths and Centaurs, is displayed on the south side.  It is the riot that broke out at the wedding of Hippodamia.  The Lapiths were a Greek tribe; the Centaurs were half-men/ half-horse.  Almost universally the symbolic interpretation of the Centauromachy it the victory of man’s higher self over our beastly nature. Sort of like Plato’s two horses.

The Gigantomachy was the Battle of the Gods and Giants.  Shown on the east side.  The gods in question were the Olympians, Athena’s clan.  The Giants  were the Earth-born sons of Gaea (Earth ) sired by the split blood of the sky-god Uranus.  The people of Athens considered  themselves autochthonous, that is born of the earth;  the local soil.  It is hard to imagine them cheering on the destruction of their earthly brothers unless the symbolism  of  the Gigantomachy is the victory of Order over Chaos

On the North side is the Trojan War, which is the kick off point for the great “East is East and West is West “ divide.  (Plus the Athenians were the only ones not accused of atrocities the night Troy fell.  Theseus’ sons were busy looking for their grandmother Aethra. )

Finally, on the North the battle between the Athenians and the Amazons. The Amazons were warrior women from the far edge of the Black Sea.  If the significance of the Amazonomachy was men over women, it would be Greek women.  I would suggest that in addition to Greg’s proposal that a different level of symbolism sees this as the defeat of the “Other”. Here the forces of Chaos are represented by  barbarians who are women, is there any possible group full of such otherness for the Athenians

The Titanomachy, was not represented on the Parthenon. It was the war between the Olympians and another divine clan called the Titans.  I don’t know what the allegorical significance would be. Suggestions?

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

TFBT: Choruses of Young Women in Ancient Greece

I am looking forward to reading this book. from Claude Calame: Choruses of Young Women in Ancient Greece   (Currently I am reading "The Cambridge Companion to Greek Mythology." Calame has a piece in the collection I really enjoyed, "Greek Myth & Greek Religion". )
Choruses” has a rather jam-packed technical introduction.  I hope to follow up with the text where maybe some of the topics in the introduction at followed up on.  Specifically:  

  • "Aotis as a very hypothetical goddess of the Dawn sometimes identified with Artemis or with Aphrodite" This is an interesting idea.   I read some papers on the Eos/Aphrodite connection ages ago.  It adds some insight to their sons(s) Memnon's and Aeneas' adventures at Troy. Upon further research “very hypothetical” is accurate.  Apparently the theory that there was proto-IE goddess of the dawn name Hausus or Heusos, hasn’t worked out to anyone’s satisfaction.  
  • I have never read about a Spartan cult of Aphrodite-Hera?
    • “An old wooden image they call that of Aphrodite Hera. A mother is wont to sacrifice to the goddess when a daughter is married.” (Pausanias 3.13.9) 
  • 1.1.5 homosexual - Sappho at Lesbos - Alcman’s chorus of young girls.  I wonder if Sappho doesn’t have way to much influence on what we think about teenage girls in Ancient Greece?  
  • What is Marxist criticism?  I assume this is some sort of literary criticism  
    • “Marxist literary criticism is a loose term describing literary criticism based on socialist and dialectic theories. Marxist criticism views literary works as reflections of the social institutions from which they originate.”  (Wikipedia)
  • "Archaic "literature" is never gratuitous, nor does it have the critical dimension of Alexandrian or modern poetry; it is always subject to the demands of the civic community for which it exists; it has to be understood as a social act."  Really?  Ever story in the Iliad reflects an associated ritual?  
  • "But since Spartan history has been so idealized and deformed"   What?  
  • “Ethnological and anthropological research offers the philologist a very precious instrument to interpret”. But shouldn't we be careful about this tool for literary criticism and close readings?

 In Chapter 2 Calame actually talks about choruses and points out that most chorus of young girls represent Artemis’ troop of Oreads.  She also acknowledges, Apollo’s Muses, the Nereids and the Oceanides the accompanied Persephone.  (I got to thinking that some of them were the naiad daughters of Achelous who were turned into the sirens who accompanied her in Hades.)  A couple of her examples caught my eye.

“The Corinthians, forbidden to take the suppliants from the temple by force, tried to wear them down by starvation; but the Samians lifted the Corinthians' siege by instituting a festival in which choruses of maidens and ephebes carried sesame cakes and honey to the goddess; the children from Corcyra hid the food and ate it and were thus saved. This ritual was performed regularly thereafter.”

“After having danced and sung (παιδιὰν καὶ τέρψιν), they wanted to honor the goddess with an offering in place of a meal, and they offered her salt. The following year, the offering was not repeated, and the young people suffered a visitation of cosmic anger (μῆνις) and an epidemic (λοιμός) sent by Artemis. Since then, the offering of a meal was regularly made.”

Both these ritual represent a phenomena I call Once and for Always.   Jenny Strauss-Clay (The Politics of Olympus, 1989) concludes that the opening scene of the HH to Apollo “portrays both the first epiphany of the new god on the threshold of Olympus and his eternally repeated entrance into this father’s house…as he did the first time and as he will forever.” Particularly in the salt ceremony above, what men saw as temporary, the gods saw as eternal.  And what a difference perspective made in this case.

I was trying to think of other chorus, but most do seem dedicated to Artemis.  I found this one;

"Maidens, one Nymph of old in Thebes did Athanaia (Athena) love much, yea beyond all her companions, even the mother of Tiresias, and was never apart from her. But when she drave her steeds …often did the goddess set the Nymph upon her car and there was no dalliance of Nymphs nor sweet ordering of the dance, where Chariclo did not lead.  (Callimachus, Hymn 5 Bath of Pallas 56 ff)

Monday, January 8, 2018

VftSW: Lympias

Writing about Julie C the other day got me thinking about “lympias”; Pilipino eggrolls. I made some at the party Julie and I attended.

My brother and I use to cook them up as hors d'oeuvre at parties. (Eventually, we discovered we could cook them ahead of time and warm them up in the oven.  As in the picture.)  It was so frustrating.  It took hours and hours to make and they were gone in seconds.  Once the first batch was ready, we would scoop them out of the grease, load them into the bowl and send some little cutie off to the buffet table with them.  She never got, literally never took a step, just turned around and they were gone.  Towards the end of the second batch people would start snatching them out of the boiling grease with their bare fingers!

Usually we’d cook them up about an hour into the party.  So at that party I attended with Julie C, I was thinking it was about time to cook them up.  I wandered into the kitchen and found three really stoned guys.  “Wow, man.  I don’t know what these are but they are really good.”  “Well, if you like ‘em now just waiting until I cook them.”  I don’t know if you’ve made lympias, but eggroll skinned that have been wrapped around raw hamburger and stored in the refrigerator for a couple of hours do not look appealing.  I’ve seen wood maggots on the fireline that looked more appetizing!


VftSW: Last Summer

Walking Derby this morning I recalled something that happen last summer.  Whenever we go out for a walk there is never anything interesting within the 7ft radius defined by the length of my arm and her leash.  No!  She always wants to investigate something just beyond the end of her leash.  And in the process tries to drag me into the ditch.

So last summer we went for a stroll.  We stopped at a wide spot in the road, an intersection actually.  This is where she usually does her business.  As usual she couldn’t find the perfect spot.  The ditch was over-grown with berry bushes.  So in addition to trying to drag me into the ditch I was getting pulled into the thorny bushes.  As we played tug-a-war, I heard a car pull up behind me and a door open.  As I turned to look, Derby poked her head out of the bushes to see what was happening.  “Oh, I didn’t see the dog.”  She explained.  She thought I was having a seizure.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

TFBT: Thucydides on the Trojan War

The Kosmos Society is welcome again Jeffrey Rusten of Cornell University, Department of Classics, for a CHS Online Open House on Thucydides on Early Greece and the Trojan War.  The event will be streamed live on Thursday, January 11, at 11 a.m. EST, and will be recorded.  You can view the event on the CHS YouTube channel.

For the Open House Professor Rusten invites us to think about and discuss the following questions:
·      How does Thucydides approach the Iliad and think it has historical value?
·      Is his analysis flawed in any way?
·      Is it anachronistic?
·      Is it in any way modern or “scientific”?

I would remind the reader that the Ancient Greeks thought of The Iliad as history.  It was used in court cases.  Thucydides seems to step back and forth across the line of it being fiction or not.  Some of his analysis conforms to similar discussions and his style and analysis is very similar to what I have seen modern scholars do.  He also makes the mistake occasionally of judging bronze age warriors and their civilization by “modern” standards. Specifics below.

 (1.1.2) “And (the Peloponnesian War) was in fact the largest mobilization by Greeks as well as a considerable number of non-Greeks, extending over virtually the entire population. (1.1.3) Preceding ones, including those of the more distant past, although impossible to determine clearly after so much time, were probably not important either as wars or anything else.” Weren’t the Persian Wars (499 – 449 BC) before the Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC)?

1.2.5) “Attica on the other hand, because of its barrenness remained free from factions since the most distant past, and had a stable, unchanging population.”  Didn’t Athenians brag of being the only autochthonic population in Greece?

(1.3.1) “I think Greece’s past weakness is demonstrated especially by the fact that, prior to the Trojan War, Greece probably did not unite in any common venture.”  Theban Wars?

(1.8.1) “The island populations were pirates as well, evidently Carians and Phoenicians, because these had settled most of the islands. There is proof: when Delos was purified by the Athenians during this war and all the graves of the dead on the island were removed, more than half were revealed to be Carians  Interesting, have to learn more about the Carians.

1.9.1) “Agamemnon collected his expedition not so much as the leader of suitors constrained by oaths to Tyndareus in my opinion, but as the preeminently powerful man in Greece at that time;”  I thought that was what everyone thought.

(1.10.4) “He has written that out of 1200 ships those of the Boeotians had 120 men each, those of Philoctetes 50. In my opinion, he is showing the largest and smallest crews, since there is no mention in the Catalogue of Ships of the size of any other ships…(1.10.5) If one contemplates an average between the largest and the small ships it becomes clear that those who went were not many,  1200 x (120+50/2) = 102,000.  Hundred thousand plus fighting men seems like “many”.

(1.11.1) “The reason was not so much a lack of manpower as a lack of money. Because of inadequate provisioning they not only led too small a force to live off the land while fighting, but even when they had won a victory after landing (because otherwise they would not have built the fortification for their camp) they obviously were unable to use their full fighting strength, but took up farming in the Chersonnese and piracy…”  Well this is all wrong. Piracy is mentioned off-handedly throughout the epic and I don’t’ recall anything about farming.  Plus they were only three days from home.  T.’s statement is a famous problem for scholars, since In Iliad 7.382-482 this fortification was built only in the tenth year of the war, as the result not of a victory but a military setback.

(1.11.2) “they would easily have taken the city by winning an open battle … or else by blockading it with a siege they could have conquered Troy with even less time and trouble.”  Well there is a little armchair quarterbacking about the open battle strategy.  As to the blockade idea, this  is an example of the present judging the past by current standards, because it appears from the text of  The Iliad that siege-craft hadn’t been invented yet or that the Greeks had no experience with it.


Wednesday, January 3, 2018

VftSW: God Bless Julie C

Back in the college days I had a good friend named Patty.  She and I shared a birthday. It was like double the gifts, double the parties, double the dinners, a week of “non-stop wine, women and cootchie cootchie coo!”  Time passed. I graduated and went on my way. 

Years later I am back in town for our birthday week.  Of course, like me, all my friends had graduated and moved away.  Patty on the other hand had been a working-girl as were most of her friends, so they were still all there.  They were all really nice people most of whom I knew from the good old days, but after a while I tired of telling the same introductory stories over and over again.  I went and sat down next to Julie a great friend to me and Patty. 

Julie was sorting thru the pile of record albums on her lap figuring out what to play next.  (Record albums at a party!  How old am I?)  We picked one out.  She vacated her seat and squatted to place the record on the turn table at the end of the couch.  As she did someone plopped down into her spot next to me; an acquaintance of Patty’s.

“So, Bill I noticed that pretty much everyone here at your birthday party is a friend of Patty’s and not friends with you.”

I did not know what to say to that.  Julie did.  She’d risen from the record player to find someone in her seat and belittling the birthday-boy.  Towering over the seated guy she says, “Well, you know how Patty is, she likes everybody.  Me and Bill not so much.  The people we like: we like a lot.  Everybody else, we just spit on.”   

God bless Julie C.