Give it a listen.
Give it a listen.
If you were asked to name a god, odds are you’d immediately cast your mind back to ancient Greece and suggest Zeus, or Hades, or even Athena. Let’s be honest, Athena was probably the most clued-up ancient deity (and you would hope so, being that she was the goddess of wisdom and all), and spent a lot of time solving problems and outwitting the male gods. Similarly, you’ve probably heard of the huntress Artemis, Demeter, the goddess of the harvest and obviously Aphrodite, the goddess of love (who, incidentally, was created when the god Uranus’ severed manhood was thrown into the ocean. Aphrodite emerged fully-formed from the sea-foam. Bet you didn’t know that!). But somewhere along the way, sadly, many of the other savvy Goddesses got lost in history and now we increasingly remember them as either victims or harlots (think Helen of Troy). So here are my Top Five Badass Greek Goddesses That the World Should Remember:
Gaia is basically a Greek representation of the ultimate Goddess, Mother Earth (you’ve probably heard her come up in Paganism, and in annoying tampon adverts). She is, in Wikipedia’s words, ‘the great mother of all: the heavenly gods, the Titans and the Giants’. By this justification Gaia is the root of all human badasses, from Johnny Depp to Joan Jett, so is definitely deserving of the title.
Way before she became a popular clothing brand, Nike was the embodiment of strength, speed and victory (and is, it is thought, the subject of the Louvre’s beautiful ‘Nike of Samothrace’ sculpture). One of the few Gods to retain their wings during Greece’s Classical period, she was said to have zipped about battlefields rewarding the victors with greatness. Badass.
Okay, so you probably have heard of Zeus’ wife Hera, goddess of women and marriage, possibly from Disney’s Hercules. But trust me, that incarnation is as different from the Hera of legend as Britney is from Buffy. For a start, she hated Heracles (to use the original Greek spelling). HATED him. This was mostly due to the fact that Zeus had conceived him with another woman, one of many. At one point she was so fed up with her philandering husband that she IMPREGNATED HERSELF and gave birth to a son, Hephaestus. This, in itself, is badass.
Nemesis not only has a badass name, but is also the goddess of revenge, punishment and other general badassery: you don’t want to get on her mean side. Sure, she’s not the most likeable goddess and I’m definitely not encouraging you to smite down anyone that incurs your wrath or anything, but let’s face it: she is most definitely a badass.
It seems a shame to me that mythical ladies such as these have faded from our collective consciousness- stories of their gutsy exploits gave way to the not-half-as-epic European fairytales such as Little Red Riding Hood and The Frog Prince, which paraded the virtues of loyalty (only on the woman’s part, really) and virginity (again, seems like they just thought it should be a girl thing) over independence and courage. But if you remember just one thing, make it this, guys: you are all badasses.
OK, I don’t need to tell you that David Bowie is a brilliant musician, responsible for songs such as Life On Mars, Ashes to Ashes, Fashion, Changes and Heroes amongst many others. I also don’t need to mention that he is a fashion icon, or that he has straddled so many genres over the past 50 years that he has inspired everyone from Lady Gaga to Franz Ferdinand. And of course, most importantly, I shouldn’t have to say that without him we would never have seen Heath Ledger strut his stuff to Golden Years in A Knight’s Tale. He’s an icon.
And now he has returned! How he managed to record a new album after a ten year absence without anyone twigging on I have no idea- just when the world had finally accepted that he had stopped making music and rumours about his health circulated, he just swept in and casually dropped that The Next Day would be out in March and that we could buy his latest single on iTunes, the whole shebang, and promptly flounced out again. WHO DOES THAT? David Bowie does that. Personally, I’m intrigued as to what ‘Dancing Out In Space’ and ‘(You Will) Set The World On Fire’ will sound like (because if they’re anything like their titles they will be EPIC).
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to pretend that I’ve listened to all 24 of his previous albums, and in that sense you might wonder why I’m excited about one more when there are so many I already have to discover. Well, other than the Batman-esque notion that he’s back to save the music world from the clutches of autotune just when we need him most, I’m curious to see how he’s changed as an artist since his last release. He’s now turned 66 (that’s old enough for free bus travel!) and it looks like this time around we’re getting the chance to see his nostalgic side- listen to his new single Where Are We Now? and be instantly transported to his heyday in Berlin, sitting and watching the world go by. Imagination is a powerful thing, and something I don’t think you necessarily get from the millions of songwriters Rihanna has behind her.
It remains to be seen whether a new generation will finally be able to see him perform live, as emergency heart surgery resulted in the final 14 dates of his last tour being cancelled, but the world waits with baited breath.