Strong, bloody violence

from the start and throughout.

No, now Menelaus the great spearman ran him through
square between the blades as he fled and raced aheadtearing into his flesh, drilling out through his chest-
he crashed facedown, his armour clanged against him.

That’s nothing.

Meriones caught him quickly, running him down hard
and speared him low in the right buttock-the point
pounding under the pelvis, jabbed and pierced the bladder-
he dropped to his knees, screaming, death swirling round him.

Some characters have a brief introduction before they die:

Meges killed Pedaeus, Antenor’s son, a bastard boy
 but lovely Theano nursed him with close, loving care
like her own children, just to please her husband.
Closing, Meges gave him some close attention too-
the famous spearman struck him behind his skull,
just at the neck-cord, the razor spear slicing
straight up through the jaws, cutting away the tongue-
he sank in the dust, teeth clenching the cold bronze.

His killer pays him attention like his mother did? What? I was going to say that all these deaths come from one book of the Iliad, but so far they come from one page of the Robert Fagles translation.

Diomedes, aka Tydides, has gone bare-shirt, bare-sark, berserk:

Down the plain he stormed like a stream in spate,
a raging winter torrent sweeping away the dykes,
the tight, piled dykes can’t hold it back any longer…

As a lion charges cattle…

Here is the grief of war-

he ripped the dear life out of both and left their father
tears and wrenching grief. Now he’d never welcome
his two sons home from war, alive in the flesh,
and distant kin would carve apart their birthright.

Here, its joy:

“Now be men, my friends! Courage, come, take heart!
Dread what comrades say of you here in bloody combat!
When men dread that, more men come through alive-
when soldiers break and run, goodbye glory,
goodbye all defences!”

Diomedes attacks Gods!

he with his ruthless bronze was hunting Aphrodite…
gallant Tydeus’ offspring rushed her, lunging out
thrusting his sharp spear at her soft, limp wrist
and the brazen point went slashing through her flesh

She flees to Mount Olympus, where she is instantly healed, but Athena and Zeus mock her.

More death:

bronze splitting his belt and plunging down his guts-

Down they crashed like lofty pine trees axed…

stabbed him right where he stood, the spearpoint
pounding his collarbone to splinters…

deep in the guts the long, shadowy shaft struck
and down he fell with a crash as glorious Ajax rushed
to strip his armour…

The book ends, but the battle continues. Even the Gods are dismayed! Ares cries out,

“Father Zeus,

aren’t you incensed to see such violent brutal work?
We everlasting Gods… Ah, what chilling blows,
we suffer- thanks to our own conflicting wills-
whenever we show these mortal men some kindness.”

Eos and her son Memnon

Cops on the edge

“Strong bloody violence from the start and throughout,” as Channel 5 would say- and I’m thinking-

aww- what about the strong language and the scenes of a sexual nature?

Here’s the “Police hunting for the next victim” scene. That’s odd, as it normally comes at the end of the drama, when the Murderer is arrested. Stretch the tantalising anticipation- they have found her. What a relief! This drama goes with Women’s Problems- here, the cop has personal clashes with the people in the office, the other cop’s daughter is arrested. So, not exactly quotidian problems, but we can relate to teenage daughter in trouble.

After bloody but unbowed stressed hero cops in Shetland and Trapped as in The Killing, Marcella takes it to the limit. She has fugues, during one of which she may have killed someone. She’s really afraid when she finds the body. She’s also obsessed with a particular suspect, who has made a complaint about her- stay away from him, says her superior officer just like so many superior officers before him- but the twist here is that we see the other suspect actually doing a murder. I don’t know how they’re going to end this one.

For a month we had that fortissimo MI LAH DO RAY ostinato advertising Call Line of Duty until in the words of the chief inspector, repeated nightly for that month, “God Give Me Strength”. Then it’s really complex, but it seems that the corrupt coppers are getting away with it. There’s a torture scene and a man dies gargling his own blood. Was it something to do with child abuse? I can’t remember, I am just confused. Yeah, that was it: nice touch seeing a police firearms officer kill a man who had surrendered, then torture his mate, but bring him some sympathy when it’s revealed they abused him as a teenager in a care home.

I have had two fugues, once when drunk, and in both people saw me doing something embarrassing but did not tell me the precise details.

Anyway, two blokes are playing a game where they challenge each other to kill some random person, film it, and put the film on the Dark Web. We start with a witness saying “I thought he was coming back for me, but he just stood there and filmed him dying on his phone”. Ooh, yuck. How extreme will these get? Does it matter? I am still reading The Iliad, and the introduction promises me Patroclus pushing his spear through the face of a charioteer, then pulling him out of his chariot like a fish on a hook. Among other violence. Then, the Greek city states were in a state of constant cold, regular hot war, any sign of weakness inspiring attack.

The world…
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight…

Am I watching too much television, or is it really like that?

Gerda Wegener 1927