The Title “Mass Muses”:
As I was narrowing down my options for titles, I noticed each of my 3 finalists featured the word “muse.” I love this word, despite its somewhat controversial depiction in the Greek myths (as discussed further below).
The origin of the word stems from the Greek myths…I admit I am no expert when it comes to mythology. Off the top of my head I know Poseidon is the god of the sea, Zeus is like Thor but with lightning, Hades is the god of war, and I had a massive crush on the goddess of beauty Aphrodite. I bet if I thought REALLY hard and mind traveled back to 7th grade I could remember more. But honestly, I’d rather just leave the mythology talk to a history writer.
“In Greek mythology, the nine Muses are goddesses of the various arts such as music, dance, and poetry and are blessed not only with wonderful artistic talents themselves but also with great beauty, grace, and allure. Their gifts of song, dance, and joy helped the gods and mankind to forget their troubles and inspired musicians and writers to reach even greater artistic and intellectual heights.”Mark Cartwright, Muse Definition, American History Encyclopedia (2012)
Honestly… I think the Muses’ origin story somehow made me more gay? Anyone else?
On the surface, the story of the nine muses in the Greek myths seems like a great, empowering story for women. However, the typical tales, like the one told above, leave out some very important details. Details that have tainted the term muse in the eyes of many feminists like myself. I think its time we redeem and properly enhance the term.
IMPORTANT CLARIFICATION AND DISTINCTION:
The difference between my muses and the ones in the myths are that my muses actually GET PAID for their ideas, as opposed to being exploited for their creative genius and hung out to dry. Put very simply, here’s what the previously-cited definition of muse left out: the nine goddesses in the myths came up with every great artistic idea and the gods exploited those ideas as if they were their own. The goddesses never received retribution or real artistic credit, just exposure, which is absolute bullshit.
With that being said, if you’re going to use someone else’s work as ‘your muse’, you better be supporting them financially (ex. streaming the music or attending a concert, purchasing the products, renting the films, etc.) and crediting them diligently. It is beyond disrespectful and horribly unethical to exploit a creator for their work just to publish a story or gain some [undeserved] attention for yourself. I’m so sick of coming across sites that aren’t including proper links to the work they are referencing, crediting the original publication/photographers for the photos they’re using, or citing the interviewers who obtain the artists’ initial statements. Unlike so many entertainment industry-focused publications, MassMuses is dedicated to diligently crediting great works of art through the proper usage of permalinks, while also playing a part in enhancing the careers of the creators themselves. It’s so easy to do, and MUST be done.
Moral of the story:
GIVE CREDIT WHERE IT’S DUE, MONETARILY AND IDEALISTICALLY — DON’T BE LIKE THE GREEK GODS IN THE MYTHS. SUPPORT, DON’T EXPLOIT YOUR MUSES.
In the myths, the goddesses were the muses. For me, my muses include not only the arts that these previously-exploited goddesses represented, but also people, places, and phrases which have caught my everlasting attention. These people, places, phrases, music, poetry, film, etc. are what allow me to escape — escape my troubles and my doubts. Each inspires me to reach higher artistically and intellectually, just as the nine goddesses did for the gods [though we do one better than the gods and actually give full credit where it’s due]. Each serves a specific and individual purpose in making me the person I am today.
A Blog of “Muses”:
Mass Muses features a mass compilation of muses which inspire me and allow for my artistic and intellectual escape. From film to music to photography to my beloved fellow gays…each of the categories of this blog represents one of my muses. And the full compilation of my muses plays a vital role in shaping my individuality and personal forms of self-expression.