The Power of Moly

The Power of Moly

How Homer teaches us to embrace the unknown

My very first article concerned the way Homer invited his audience to feel sympathy for the cyclops Polyphemus in The Odyssey. In the Circe episode, the mysterious substance called 'moly' offers Odysseus a chance to make peace with the unknown, unlike the encounter with Polyphemus.

While on Circe’s island, Odysseus needs protection from her magic after it is reported that she has transformed some of his men into pigs. Conveniently, the god Hermes appears at just the right time, before Odysseus goes to confront Circe personally. Hermes gives him an herb called moly that will allow Odysseus to resist Circe’s magic, telling him only that it is “dangerous for a mortal man to pluck from the soil but not for deathless gods. All lies within their power” (line 339-41). It’s unclear if Odysseus had to eat it, mix it in a drink, or if he just had to stick it in a pocket (assuming he had pockets), nor do we know how Circe missed the fact that he had the magical root on him. The important thing is that it works, canceling out the effect of the potion that would have changed him into a pig. As mentioned before, Circe is unaware of the presence of moly and exclaims that Odysseus has “a mind… no magic can enchant” (line 365). It could be that moly just had a placebo effect on Odysseus, that it only had an effect on him because Hermes, a god, said so. Who was Odysseus to argue with him? It could also be the fact that Hermes prophesied to Circe that Odysseus would come to her one day, and whatever the gods say will happen usually comes to pass in these stories.

Hermes giving Odysseus the moly

Readers get a basic idea of how moly is used, but there is no definition that adequately captures the symbolic nature of the word. The Oxford English Dictionary, usually an authoritative text in such cases, only defines it in literal terms as “a fabulous herb with magic powers”, as “a mythical herb white flowers and black roots”, and “a southern European plant related to the onion. These definitions bring us back to the symbolic meaning of moly. Odysseus would rather not use violence against a woman, and Circe’s magic isn’t working on him, so they are forced to try and find an understanding. This prompts Circe to invite Odysseus to “mount [her] bed and mix in the magic work love – we’ll breed deep trust between us” (lines 371-2). It should go without saying that they have chosen to make love and not war. Homer could have been making the point that violence is not always a viable solution in encounters with the strange and foreign, as it was in the case of Polyphemus, with whom humans could find no understanding. In the case of Circe, the unknown is dangerous, but a person can learn to embrace it, and even love it.

The Odyssey turns into a commercial for Axe body spray

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Dear Shondaland, You Made A Mistake Because April Kepner Deserves Better

"April Kepner... you're not average"

I'll admit from the first time we were introduced to April in Season 6, I didn't like her so much. I mean we hated the "Mercy Westers" in the first place, so how could we see the potential in the annoying, know-it-all resident that was trying to compete with our beloved Lexie Grey.

But then, we saw her come face-to-face with a killer and thought maybe she had potential.

We then saw her surprise everyone when she proved to be the next trauma surgeon in the making and we were intrigued.

Notice how none of these stories had anything to do with Jackson Avery. Not that we didn't love her with Jackson, but for whatever reason you've chosen to end their very popular relationship. Suddenly, you think that April is not worth further exploration but you've forgotten one simple thing. We fell in love with her before "Japril" was ever in the picture.

We love her because her story was unlike the others and she had one of the best character developments on the show. She wasn't damaged like Meredith Grey or Alex Karev who have been on their journey to become all whole and healed, but she still had to fight hard to be taken seriously. Her story has so much potential for future development, but you've decided to throw it all away for "creative reasons."

I'm sorry, but there's nothing creative about doing the exact same thing you've done to all the other characters who have left the show. We've endured the loss of many beloved characters when you chose to write off George, Henry, Mark, and Lexie. We even took it when you did the unthinkable and wrote McDreamy out of the show - killing off one half of the leading couple. (WHO DOES THAT???)

But April Kepner? Are you kidding me?

She may no longer be with Jackson, but she was so much more than half of Japril. While most of us hate that Jackson and April are over, we probably could have dealt with it if April was still on the show. Now they're done and you think there aren't any more stories to tell about her character. Why? Because she'll just get in the way of Jackson and Maggie?

How could you not see that she was way more than Jackson's love interest?

She's so much more than you imagined her to be. April is the headstrong, talented trauma surgeon no one saw coming. The farmer's daughter started off an ugly duckling who became a soldier because she needed to be one and turned into one big beautiful swan who constantly has to fight for her coworkers and family to see her as such.

She's proven to be a soldier and swan on many occasions. Just take giving birth to her daughter in a storm on a kitchen table during an emergency c-section without any numbing or pain medication as an example. If she wasn't a soldier or a swan before, how could she not be after that?

Yet, you - the ones who created her - still see her as the ugly duckling of a character because she always had to take the backseat to everyone else's story and was never allowed to really be seen.

But we see her.

She's the youngest of her sisters who still think of her as the embarrassing little Ducky no matter how much she's grown.

This swan of a resident got fired for one mistake but came back fighting to prove she belongs. Not only did April Kepner belong there, but it was her talent, her kindness, her strength that made her Chief Resident. This simply wasn't enough for Dr. Bailey or her other residents so she fought harder.

She endured the pressure but always ended up being a joke to the others. When she was fired yet again, your girl came back a little shaken. She doubted herself, but how could she not when everyone was against her.

Despite everyone telling her she couldn't, she did rise and no one saw her coming because she remained in the background. She went off to Jordan broken and came back a pretty risky trauma surgeon.

We've watched for years as she was handed promising stories that we never got to see fully develop because she was in the background. We never got to see her rise. We get the beginning and the end, but hardly ever the middle.

I thought we were finally going to have an amazing story arc in season 11 when she loses Samuel, but what did we really get? Two or three episodes of her coming to terms with the loss of her baby and then April's disappearance from the show while she's grieving off screen so that Dr. Amelia Shepherd can shine her first season on the show. Where is April's life-changing surgeries? What does April get? She's background music.

Now what?

It's season 14 and we finally get the story we've been waiting 9 years for! We get Dark April and her crisis of faith. A story arc all Christians can appreciate. Here's the chance for real character development in the foreground, but wait...

Before her story is even wrapped up, you announce that this season will be her last. So we're forced to realize that the only reason we're getting this story now is that you're writing her off.

No matter how you end it, it's not going to do her story justice. If you kill her off to end her crisis of faith story, you're not reaching the many Christians who watch the show. If you have her leaving Seattle and taking Harriet with her, you didn't know April. If you have her leaving Seattle and abandoning Harriet, you really didn't know April. So anyway you choose to end her story, you lost out on one great character.

You messed up.

Both April Kepner and Sarah Drew deserved better.

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9 Must-See Films Of Summer 2018

6. "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom"

We wait all year for summer. It's a season of fun, sun and relaxation. The days are long, the weather is amazing, and it's a welcome break from seven months of hard work at school. In addition to the amazing weather and the plethora of activities that good weather allows, summer is also a prime time to see movies. Winning the summer box office is like winning the Super Bowl in Hollywood. To bring in the big bucks, the major studios fill theaters with blockbusters, superheroes, and sequels. Add to that a few children's movies aimed at older audiences for nostalgia and to bring in young kids who have the summer off from learning, and it's a recipe for economic success. Lucky for us viewers, most of these movies that are aimed at our wallets are actually really enjoyable to watch. This summer of 2018 is dominated by superheroes and nostalgia. Here is a list of 9 must-see films you should check out when you need an air-conditioned break from the summer sun.

1. "Avengers: Infinity War"

The third installment in the Avengers series and 19th Marvel Cinematic Universe film overall, "Avengers: Infinity War" is 10 years in the making. The latest installment will bring together all your favorite heroes from the Avengers to the Guardians of the Galaxy to fight a new threat: Thanos. This superhero extravaganza is not to be missed!

Catch "Avengers: Infinity War" in theaters on April 27!

2. "Deadpool 2"

2016's "Deadpool" took the world by storm as the first R-rated superhero film. Ryan Reynolds was perfection as the wise-cracking, fourth-wall breaking vigilante, and since the first film fans have been begging for a sequel.

Make sure you see the "Deadpool" sequel in theaters on May 18!

3. "Solo: A Star Wars Story"

This film, like its predecessor "Rogue One," is intended to be a stand-alone film in the larger Star Wars universe. This installment is set before the events of "Episode IV: A New Hope" and details the events in the lives of Han Solo leading up to the film. It is being marketed as a "space western" and will feature favorite characters such as Chewbacca and Lando Calrissian.

"Solo: A Star Wars Story" hits theaters on May 25!

4. "Ocean's 8"

This heist-centric film takes the famous "Ocean's 11" and gives it a progressive twist: the film features an all female cast including Anne Hathaway, Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, and Helena Bonham Carter.

"Ocean's 8" comes to theaters on June 8!

5. "Incredibles 2"

I did my waiting... fourteen years of it! The "Incredibles" was released by Disney-Pixar in 2004, and since then we have waiting (rather impatiently) to get a sequel to one of the best films Pixar has made. All I can say is, someone had better get Frozone his super suit because he's going to need it.

This long-awaited sequel comes to theaters on June 15!

6. "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom"

Just when we thought we couldn't get enough Chris Pratt, he thankfully gives us another movie. After he will appear in Infinity War in April, Pratt's sequel to "Jurassic World" will come to theaters nearly two months later. This time around, Pratt is going to need to save the dinosaurs from the island's imminent destruction.

Catch "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" in theaters on June 22!

7. "Ant-Man and the Wasp"

Two superhero films isn't enough, we have to hit the trifecta! This film is another direct installment into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, following April's "Infinity War". It is set after the events of "Captain America: Civil War" and serves as the sequel to 2015's "Ant-Man" and has the honor of being the MCU's 20th film.

Catch the latest MCU installment in theaters on July 6!

8. "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again"

I apologize for the theme song of the iconic 2008 musical now being stuck in your head for the rest of they day. The romantic-comedy musical will star Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried, Lily James, Colin Firth, and Cher. I think the title says it all: "Here we go again..."

See this new musical in theaters on July 20!

9. "Christopher Robin"

If you thought you were sentimental about "Incredibles 2," this film is a true throwback to your childhood. This life action film by Disney brings back all your favorite childhood characters from the Hundred-Acre Wood, including Winnie the Pooh himself! This time, Christopher Robin is all grown up and Pooh and his friends have to help the childhood playmate to regain his sense of imagination.

Make sure you see "Christopher Robin" in theaters on August 3!

These aren't the only films coming out this summer, just some of the biggest tent-pole films and ones that I am most likely to see. Be sure to check out these films and more in theaters this summer!

Cover Image Credit: Baltimore Sports and Life

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