Greek mythology tells us of Sisyphus, a King punished by the ancient Gods to forever push a boulder to the top of a mountain. Once at the top it would roll back down, and he would be forced to start again.
Pretty stupid if you ask me. You'd think after the first couple of times he'd say "You know what Zeus? Fuck you. This is pointless. I ain't pushing no boulder no more. It's staying right the fuck where it is. You want it at the top? You do it you big beardy cock. This is the very definition of futility".
"No" would say Zeus. "This is the definition of a Sisyphian task. I have named it especially for you, and from this day forth, anyone who finds themselves in an endless task will for ever think of you."
"No" would say Sisyphus "From this day forth they will most likely think of the Forth Bridge, and the endless task of painting it".
"If that is so, it is because they are uneducated wankers, with no knowledge of Greek mythology" Zeus would reply. "I believe man will always remember your name, and the toils it suggests".
"Prove it dickwad.."
"I will! In 3000 years time, when work is done by machines powered by lightning, and the sky's are filled with rain even in the middle of summer, I shall pick a man and a task, and see if he remembers you.....now back to your boulder monkey man."
*****cue lots of wavy lines to signify the passing of time*****
Cheers for that Zeus.
Every day when I feel like I'm seeing light at the end of the tunnel, of the bottom of my pile of papers, someone drops another stack on top, and I'm back staring at the computer screen, repeating the same action over and over.
It may not be a back breaking, blister breeding boulder, but I have worn a little hole on my wrist from the same repetitive movements with the mouse.
And when I look at that wound, I think of Sisyphus.
But not because I am not an uneducated wanker. My knowledge of Greek mythology is rudimentary at the best, but I do remember Sisyphus. Not because I studied it at school, but because I was fortunate enough be exposed to the fantastic 'Ulysees 31' as a child.
An early 80's Franco-Japanese anime series, it transposed the story of Ulysees/Odyseus to the 31st century, where our brave hero travelled the Universe in a spaceship with only his irritating son, a blue alien, and a little gay robot for company. The rest of the crew being dead, and hanging around in suspended animation until he can find 'the Kingdom of Hades'.
Each week he would encounter another character from Greek mythology, all whilst dressed like one of the Bee Gees in a space suit. And thus my education in 'the classics' would be complete.
In Episode 5 (of 24), he met the erstwhile Sisyphus. I know this as FACT because Mrsslippy managed to find the boxset on ebay last year. For those of you who have never seen it, or it is just a distant memory, you're in for a treat. Here's the entire Sisyphus episode courtesy of YouTube.
So next time you think you're stuck with a never ending task, just sing the theme tune, and everything will be alright.
Altogether now, Ulysees, Ul-y-se-ees. Soaring through all the gal-ax-ee-heees....