Whiny and Pissy: Ares and Richard Armitage (and me too…)

Whiny and pissy…pretty much sums up my general mood the past week.  It started a week ago Sunday when my sister tried to take some pictures of my kids amidst the fall foliage.  Epic fail.  1. My kids are intermittently rotten.  2.  Given her level of patience, my sister should maybe stick to taking photos of inanimate subjects…they are more cooperative.

The real kicker, the thing that ruined my mood for three straight days, was grading exams for one of my World History intro classes.  There were a number of “A” papers, but there were a whole lot more “D” and “”F” papers.  The most frustrating thing was that the section where people lost huge points was the section that they should have had no problem with if they had bothered to study at all.  I was seriously on the verge of walking into that class and throwing the papers in the air as I announced, “I’m outie!  I doubt you’ll notice I’m gone since you don’t seem to notice much that I say.”  I didn’t of course, but I REALLY wanted to!  I honestly want my students to succeed, and it really troubles me when they won’t even try.  Cue the current mood.

Pissy and Whiny mascots (Pain and Panic from Disney's Hercules) Source

Pissy and Whiny mascots (Pain and Panic from Disney’s Hercules)

Since then, I’ve not had much success kicking the pissy mood and it is a serious buzz kill for some things I want to work on.  Well then, if you can’t beat’em, join’em!  (Maybe it will be cathartic!).

Of the Olympian divinities one emerges as a clear standout when it comes to being pissy and whiny – Ares.   Ares was the offspring of Zeus and Hera, and he was principally associated war. Interestingly, despite the fact that the Ancient Greeks were not exactly peace loving, Ares was nowhere near as important in the Greek pantheon as his counterpart Mars was to the Romans.  Part of this is certainly due to how the Greeks differentiated the nature of warfare.  While Athena, associated with victory (Nike) and the glory that could be achieved through excellence in warfare, was venerated widely, the Greeks were often ambivalent to Ares.  He was recognized as the embodiment of the physical qualities necessary of a warrior, but he was also understood as a dangerous force…representative of the violence and mayhem of warfare.  If that weren’t enough to put people off, his regular traveling companions Fear (Phobos), Terror (Deimos) and Discord (Enyo) would probably complete the transaction.

Ludovisi Ares Source

Ludovisi Ares (Roman Copy of Greek Original by Lysippsos or Skopas)

The story of Ares I remember most comes from Book V of The Iliad.  Ares was tearing through human opponents like a hot knife through butter until he encountered the hero Diomedes (assisted by Athena).  Despite his divine immortality, when Diomedes speared him, Ares immediately ran home to Olympus to tell daddy.  Zeus was somewhat less than totally sympathetic to his pissy and whiny son:

iliad quote

One of Richard Armitage’s pantheon of characters stood out to me as quite reminiscent of Ares in pissiness and whinyness…can you guess?

Somewhat gratuitous skin... Source

Somewhat gratuitous skin…

Yep, Paul Andrews, the character played by Richard Armitage in ITV’s Between the Sheets.  On a first watch it’s easy to blame Paul’s partner Alona for many of his reactions. She *is* a bit dominant in the relationship.  She does question him, she does wonder if any of it could be true.  But even before the ultimate reveal, there is sort of petulant man-child quality about Richard Armitage’s portrayal of Paul that reminds me a lot of Ares.

Paul whines that Alona doesn’t trust him, that she has no faith in him, that she should know that he would *never* do the things he’s been accused of.  (There really should be cheese with all that whine!)  It works…Alona repeatedly puts aside her misgivings and tries repeatedly to fix their relationship.  It’s a credit to Armitage that even with the all the Ares-like whining and pissiness, I was not convinced until the very end that Paul wasn’t a sympathetic character.  Well done with the whining sir!

You know, I think this little foray has cleared me of some of my own whiny pissiness…the test will be class tomorrow afternoon!

7 comments on “Whiny and Pissy: Ares and Richard Armitage (and me too…)

  1. Great analogy to Paul–I only saw snippets of the show on You Tube, but I so wanted him to be a good guy. Good luck with your students!

  2. Leigh says:

    I know what you mean about the students. I once graded an exam that was take-home and open-book, mostly multiple choice and short answer, straight from the textbook. Guess what? Bell curve, with the usual Ds and Fs. WTF!

    As for Paul, if he hadn’t been played by RA, I would have had no patience with the story.

  3. zeesmuse says:

    Oh i hear you. i’ve GOT BTS but i’ve only watched the snippets – time, etc… and I’m not sure what part of ‘the stack’ I want to watch it in.

    And totally understand about students. I’m long-terming an English Lit class and the essay question on their test for TKAM was Who do you think is the mocking bird and why? of course the answer SHOULD be Tom Robinson, but all most everyone of them thinks it’s Atticus! And I do NOT get that! where is the logic???

    (funny. ME trying to teach logic…)

  4. Hariclea says:

    Oh so sorry the students made you feel like that and i feel sorry for them as they don’t know what they are missing out on 😦 I guess it’s down to current day distractions that school isn’t as interesting to them today sometimes… For me it’s hard to understand i was always fascinated by the stories in history and literature.. I love the way the Greeks define Ares and how they delimit them from Athena and also how much the other gods dislike him 😉

    • obscura says:

      It’s a very odd dynamic – this is a great class, with a lot of engaging students. The come to class, they are attentive and interactive and then they either don’t do the written work, or do it really poorly…it’s just weird.

      I guess it reflects their ambivalence about warfare to a certain extent – Ares is definitely not unattractive to some, given the legion of children he generates!

  5. Servetus says:

    good on you for exposing your inner Ares and letting him go. It’s something I need to do more often.

  6. […] elements of Richard Armitage characterizations to those of the male Olympian deities….Ares, Hades, Poseidon, Hermes, Dionysus, Apollo, Apollo, Apollo…as well as a few heroes and […]

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