Athena, Goddess of Wisdom, Delivers a TED Talk


What is wisdom? What is genius? What is creativity?

Wouldn’t you all fucking like to know.

What the hell are you people doing? I take a couple of decades off to “go do me” on Easter Island and I come back to see that THIS is what you’re worshipping? These are your gods now? People on black stages with flesh-colored mics, lazy powerpoints and some half-baked ideas?

Look guys, I get it–simple solutions are seductive. You’re talking to the gal who invented the Trojan Horse, after all. But you have got to stop thinking that watching these alliterative circle jerks actually make you any smarter.

For one, TED’s selection process is jacked. As the Greek deity who represents intellect, inspiration and the arts, I should have a standing invitation to pop in and riff on some stuff whenever I want. The NFL, for-profit colleges, the new season of Naked and Afraid–I can pontificate on literally any topic.

Turns out my official job title as “Goddess of Wisdom” didn’t convince the all-knowing TED organizers to slot me in. There’s “protocol” they have to “follow” to be “fair.” So I filled out the goddamn application.

First question: “Which topics do your research and work experience enable you to speak on?”

Well, TED, here are the topics I’m qualified to speak about, based on just my thousands of years of research: Intelligence, humility, consciousness, most math, the patriarchy, creativity, Montessori education, literally every form of the arts, eloquence, civilization, office conflict mediation, power structures and reiki for productivity.

I also do bitchin’ breakout sessions on truth, justice, and morality for an additional fee.

Put that in your e-cigarette and vape it.

What do you people want to hear about today? If you’re looking for a metaphor, I could certainly “weave” you a talk about Arachne and how I basically created spiders in order to teach that chick humility. I could tackle the justice system, using personal anecdotes from that time I cast the deciding vote in the first jury trial in recorded history. Or perhaps you want an inspiring aside about how I battled Poseidon for control of Athens and won by giving those fools the first domesticated olive tree. BOOM! You wouldn’t have shit to dip your bread in if it weren’t for me. Ya interested in that?

Having studied your false gods, I know that here is the part of the Ted Talk template where I’m supposed to share my origin story to make you trust what I’m saying.

So here it goes: my father Zeus ate my mother Metis when she was pregnant and then I gave him a migraine so bad he begged someone to split his head open. And out I ran, fully formed, ready to drop truth bombs on the world. Did that personal anecdote lend credibility to my un-provable theories and far-fetched premises?

I didn’t prepare a wane PowerPoint, but I did bring this Medusa head with still-writhing snake hair. Don’t look directly into her eyes.

Here’s the lesson of my little speech today: Stop Seeking Wisdom in TED Talks, Assholes. If you want inspiration and the secret to creative genius, I’ll give it to you. Simply send offerings to my P.O. Box in Tampa. The address is in your program. Chocolate preferred, gold accepted.

If you’re sending virgins, be sure to leave air holes in the box.

That’s all my time for now. I’ll be in the ballroom next door leading a “coffee break-out” session entitled, “The Real Housewives of New Jersey: Moral Abominations or Modern-Day Truth Tellers?”

Athena OUT.