Welcome to the Cassandra Society


by John Thompson

Hello friends, and welcome to the Cassandra Society. Believe it or not, many of you are already members, but we don't have dues, a membership roll, or even funny robes and a semi-secret handshake.

What we do have is the same curse bestowed upon Cassandra, a princess and priestess of Troy. She was given the ability to accurately see the future and cursed because nobody would ever believe her. This is what we share, particularly with some of the issues that concern us.

In Homer's Iliad, we see poor Cassandra imploring her fellow Trojans: "No, please don't take that gigantic wooden horse inside our walls, it's full of Greeks!"

The response, inevitably, was "Oh Cassandra, you say the funniest things!". We all know what happened next.

Later, King Agamemnon brought his latest slave girl home with him. "Gosh, it's been ten long years since my wife Clytaemnestra has seen me, but she's going to love my favorite souvenir of Troy!" Cassandra knew what was coming and tried to warn the Greek king that his wife wasn't going to miss either of them, not with her axe. Maybe after weeks of being Agamemnon's new sex-toy, she didn't care enough anymore to make too much of a fuss.

The rest of the tale narrated by the Athenian playwright Aeschylus in his trilogy The Choephoroe, has lots more blood, vengeance, et cetera. In the end the Furies are unleashed and all the pain, misery, and suffering that Cassandra foresaw comes to pass.

In Homer's Iliad, we see poor Cassandra imploring her fellow Trojans: "No, please don't take that gigantic wooden horse inside our walls, it's full of Greeks!"

Our Grandparents were told these tales from the very foundations of literature and drama. The emerging generation seems to have skipped these classics. After all, they have to be sheltered from old 'European Patriarchs' like Homer, Aeschylus, Shakespeare, Kipling, etcetera; usually on the grounds that they are now deemed irrelevant.

One wonders what is relevant to a generation that self-confidently posts YouTube offerings of themselves eating Tide-pods? However, the mysteries of Post-Modernist educational theory are deemed too important for the likes of non-professionals. Timeless truths about the human condition interfere with new truths such as that it is fine to hug a viper to one's heart in the name of diversity and tolerance, and that folly is somehow a form of moral superiority.

It is for us to break the curse of Cassandra. We know that leopard does not change its spots, and an Egyptian Asp is far too dangerous to hug to one's breast. We also know that a Salafist Muslim Brotherhood member is not a proponent of freedom of speech, no matter how neatly dressed he (or she) may be.

Members of the Cassandra Society know there is indeed no such thing as a free lunch; that one must not buy a pig in a poke; and that self-destructive folly is only too real. The problem for us is that how do we teach these things to others?

Sun Tzu reminds us: "Know your enemy and know yourself, and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster." We have many issues to battle and cannot afford many mistakes anymore.

Welcome, friends and colleagues; we have much work to do together.