As regular readers of Goat Rope know, I've been following Massey's Upper Big Branch mine disaster from Okinawa, where I've been studying karate at its source. I've been hoping against the odds for a final bit of good news, a last minute rescue, but that is not to be. As the Charleston Gazette reports, the final four miners have been found dead.
I should probably be a better person than this, but I can't help thinking about the ancient Greek goddess Nemesis, who represents retributive justice. Her task is to punish excess, hubris and arrogance. When I think of hubris, I think of the trail of excess that led to this chain of events. If, as I suspect, corporate negligence contributed to this mass slaughter of working people, I hope that she flies swiftly.
Surfing the web, I found this poem to her by the 2nd century poet Mesomedes, which I am quoting purely for educational purposes and to promote a greater appreciation of classical studies:
Winged Nemesis, turner of the scales of life,
blue-eyed goddess, daughter of justice,
who, with your unbending bridle,
dominate the vain arrogance of men and,
loathing man's fatal vanity, obliterate black envy;
beneath your wheel unstable and leaving no imprint,
the fate of men is tossed; you who come unnoticed,
in an instant, to subdue the insolent head.
You measure life with your hand,
and with frowning brows, hold the yoke.
We glorify you, Nemesis, immortal goddess,
Victory of the unfurled wings, powerful, infallible,
who shares the altar of justice and, furious at human pride,
casts man into the abyss of Tartarus.