Camo Armitage?

T’was the night before Thanksgiving Break and all through the campus, not a creature was stirring…not even a grampus (it’s a word – look it up!).  

I suppose that’s not entirely true since I am still here and stirring just a bit…doing some clean up in preparation to take a few days off for the holiday.  I’m actually kind of excited because I’ve officially declined to join the big family Thanksgiving fête on Thursday – for all kinds of reasons.   I feel almost liberated at the thought of puttering around in my PJ’s all day – even while making our mini feast.

Turkey, pumpkin pie and antagonistic family gatherings are not all that are synonymous with Thanksgiving in these parts.  This time of year also coincides with the annual whitetail deer gun hunt.  As such, I was not at all surprised to see four hooves sticking up from the back end of a pickup truck riding down the interstate yesterday.  My personal Facebook feed is plastered with images of hunters and their vanquished prey.  I was only slightly unnerved by all of the cars of hunters parked in fields along the interstate – they know how far they need to stay from the road with rifles right?


Although camo clothing is optimal for hunting, in gun deer season, remaining completely invisible to the deer is less important than being very visible to the other people with guns.  Hence, blaze orange is a required element for all hunters (and anyone else who dares step a toe onto hunting grounds).  It becomes the unofficial uniform of Wisconsin in late November.

All this camo pondering got me thinking about the Berlin Station production (?) pic of Richard Armitage which surfaced this week via Getty Images (this one doesn’t appear available to embed, and I’m not keen to mess with Getty Images this week).  The grey henley, grey hoodie, grey ball cap look with the dark jacket and dark jeans read like a sort of urban overcast day camo.  Perfect for hiding in plain sight in a fast paced cityscape where most people only register as a passing glance…a shadowy glimpse.  Perfect for an espionage type trying to keep a low profile.

As you might expect, Greek myth has its own “camo” stories.  Most of them revolve around the Ἄϊδος κυνέην or “Cap of Invisibility.”  Athena wore it in The Iliad when she came to the aid one of her favorites, Diomedes, as he fought her half brother Ares.  The Ἄϊδος κυνέην made her invisible to Ares so that she could help Diomedes defeat him with out being caught interfering.

Perhaps the most famous myth including the Ἄϊδος κυνέην centers around the hero Perseus.  Tasked with returning with the head of the Gorgon Medusa (she who’s face turns humans to stone) Perseus needed all the help he could get.   He didn’t need the helmet to behead Medusa, depicted below in glorious, if gory, bronze detail by Cellini.

Perseus by Cellini Source

Perseus by Cellini

Nope, that he managed with the help of a special shield and some winged sandals he’d been lent by a couple of helpful deities.  The Ἄϊδος κυνέην came in really handy when it came time to flee from Medusa’s sister Gorgons…seems they were more than a bit put out that someone (who they couldn’t see) had just lopped off their sister’s head!

I’m rather glad Richard Armitage doesn’t have an Ἄϊδος κυνέην – then we couldn’t get a glimpse of the quintessence of quadriceps that simply can’t be hidden regardless of the grey…

Happy Hunting Armitageworld!!