Monday, August 22, 2011

Yeah, I've read Antigone before by Sophocles. This time something is obvious that hasn't been before.

Antigone is daughter of the gone, exiled king Oedipus, yes, that Oedipus. His marrying his mother all unknown to himself is why he's gone, and also killing his (he didn't know it was) his father.

That's all unusual, but more usual is the two sons fighting over who gets to be king now. The younger one wins the getting the residents and elite to like him campaign. Then the older brother attacks the city with seven friends and their armies (seven against Thebes) and the older brother loses again.

The old guy relative who ends up being king, Creon, decrees that the winner brother, defender of the city, will get full honors at his funeral, and the losing brother won't have a funeral and won't be buried, but left for the vultures to feast on.

Antigone, the sister of both these men, defies the king's order and covers the older brother's body with dirt--a symbolic burial that might help some with the carrion bird problem. Creon orders her death.

Creon's son is her fiance--small world and they keep marrying close. He says to dad, good thinking, I obey, but I hear in the streets people muttering that it's wrong to kill a sister for just wanting to marry her brother.

This point in the play is when I thought the thought I hadn't thought before. Obviously, everyone in town, or a lot of them, who thinks his body deserves respect regardless of the late fighting, because we're all humans and worthy of respect, all those people should throw dirt on the older brother's body.

You can't stop us all, they should say with that action, rather than just muttering in the street.

The reason that thought came automatically is I'm reading Antigone during Arab Spring going into Summer, during a series of often amazingly non-violent uprising against long-time tyrants.

Of course, you do it as a group. Antigone asked her sister to join her and her sister said she wasn't strong enough to stand against the state.

So not being able to get two, Antigone did it as one.

I just read a biography of Sandy Koufax, a very good pitcher, who was on the same baseball team, the Dodgers, as Don Drysdale, a very good pitcher. One year, before players as a group had any rights, back when they were stuck on the same team forever if the team wanted them, those two players held out and didn't sign contracts, together.

Ultimately, Drysdale, who had a family (Koufax didn't yet) caved.

The man who ultimately organized the players' union said that was very helpfull in organizing, which he was starting to to right then. He said if the two best pitcher can't. . .

Together, in a group, the odds increase in our favor.