The Seven Sages: Bias, making fun of life, banning the word ‘bossy’, and The Get Over Yourself! Handbook on Cheating and Betrayal arrives!

Almost a year and a half ago, before the publication of my book, How High Should I Jump, I was engaged in a fun and insightful study here on this blog of some of History’s Most Memorable Women.

I can’t recall how many women I profiled before having to drop the effort and attend to my book, but I enjoyed doing so and the feedback I received was itself memorable: ‘We want more!’ While never being able to return to the study, I have thought long and hard about bringing various elements from the Classical and Pre-Classical Ages forward for examination today in my typically non-scholarly, deeply- opinionated style. After appearing at the Menz Werkz Conference awhile back, and seeing the real thirst for information from that period of our civilization, I knew I had to sporadically offer these Nuggets From Antiquity in a manner which you can both understand, and enjoy.

Therefore, let us embark on a 7 week journey, friends, back in time over 2600 years ago to the Eastern Mediterranean, from the marshes of Egypt to the shores of the Black Sea, where we shall seek out and converse with, one by one, the Seven Sages of the Ancient World! Yes, let’s forget fawning at the feet of Obama or waiting for the next, new witticism from the genius, Lindsay Lohan, in favor of the brilliance which made these 7 men legends not only in their time, but for all time. OK, you can go seek out Kim Kardashian for her insight, but for my money, I want to hear what Bias, Chilon, Cleobulus, Periander, Pittacus, Solon and Thales have to say.

Now, before I start waxing euphoric over these Dead White Guys, I must add that we have very little information and almost no known writings from these giants, so we’ll have to rely on hearsay and gossip and whatever we can glean from wherever we can find it, but these remarkable men made such an impact with their wisdom and generous behavior that their reputations spread far and wide.

There’s a great story about they came to be known as the 7 Wise Men. Upon her return from Troy, Helen carried a golden tripod which had been given her, but when she came close to Sparta, she grew disgusted with her impending slavery and dropped it in the water near Miletus. Many years later, some fishermen found the glimmering, pure-gold tripod in their nets and immediately knew this was no ordinary find, so they took it to someone who might know more about it and, importantly, whose it might actually be. Now, legend diverges on this point: was it first brought to Solon, or Bias, or Thales? No one really knows but what did happen was, the first of these wise men saw its significance and also recognized there was no way to fairly adjudicate the issue of ownership, so he said, “Hey, send it to Solon (or Bias or the next of the 7) and see what he says.” The tripod was sent to one after the next of the 7, each claiming he couldn’t properly determine ownership but the next of the wise surely could, until it came (again?) to Thales, who finally said, “Let’s give it to Apollo,” at which time the tripod was set up in his temple, and was ultimately lost to antiquity…if it ever really existed!

Let’s look at them one at a time.

Bias of Priene is noted for his statement, ‘Most men are bad’, which came as a result of his life as a legislator and seeing how corrupt and self-oriented most men were. He was noted, as all the sages were, for his integrity and general goodness, once paying a ransom for some women who’d been taken prisoner and, after educating them as his own daughters, sending them back to their fathers as educated, independent-thinking women. Bias, in his 90’s, actually died while in the act of defending a client, when, after finishing his speech, he leaned against his grandson, listened to the opposition and, the judges deciding in his client’s favor, then expired.

There are few actual statements which we can credit to Bias, but my favorite remains, “Gain your point by persuasion, not by force.” Yeah, I get you there, friend: make sure your position is sound, and forget threatening anyone to win your point. Bias, like all the 7 Sages, was the polar opposite of a tyrant, employing reason and common sense while never favoring the party of the wealthy. Love this guy!


Speaking of the Menz Wrekz Conference, here’s an email from Lynn:

“…and you said something at the conference very cool but I don’t remember it all, can you repeat that quote from that philosopher about putting up with life, and tell me who it was?”

Sure, Lynn, you’re talking about my mentioning Seneca, the great Latin Stoic; here’s the actual quote, though if you recall, I scrambled/paraphrased it that evening:

So we should make light of all things and endure them with tolerance: it is more civilized to make fun of life than to bewail it.”

‘Make fun of life’, Lynn, that’s the key to deflating the intensity of our reactions to our so-called ‘problems’. Lighten up, man, take a broad, clear look at the full scope and struggle of humanity and see where you and your ‘issue’ actually fits, and, if you recall, Lynn, I was firm in my belief that you particularly NOT indulge the temptation to claim a ‘panic attack’, one of the most specious terms of the New Age I have ever heard and one I find not only ridiculous but fucking offensive. Don’t mean to single you ought but

Yeah, offensive, since some people must deal with degrees of anxiety on an hourly basis that would overwhelm any of us soft, emotionally-emaciated Americans. No, I don’t buy the whole ‘panic attack’ school of behaviorism, and you shouldn’t either. Yet another normal human condition which is now treated by drugs, experts and therapy. F U!

Learn to laugh at your troubles and those of others while being sympathetic and sincere in your caring for their suffering. We are intelligent, civilized beings; let’s show our love and respect to and for Life, rather than complaining of its conditions and turning to others for things we must deal with ourselves.


This week’s MiltnMia Show podcast episode is now live and it’s a hot one:

Censorship and banning the word ‘Bossy’

All this controversy over the word ‘bossy’ strikes me as a lot of hot air over nothing. If anything, by calling attention to it, the term becomes empowered, and oozes out of the grasp of those who’d wish to kill it.

I consider myself to be a radical feminist, in that, I want to see the entire world -and not just American men– treat women not as pieces of property but as legitimate, free individuals. Sadly, for a small group of purported ‘progressive’ feminists to focus on censoring language instead of pushing for real reforms in the Middle East, say, where women remain the property of their men, only serves to makes those loudly calling for banning yet another word look like the petty tyrants they appear to be while ignoring what should be fought over.

Here’s the link at ITunes:!-milt-n/id796661531

If you don’t have an ITunes player, you can hear it directly on TuneIN:


In the next few days, we’ll be completing The Get Over Yourself Handbook on Cheating and Betrayal, which you’ll be hearing quite a bit about in the coming days, oh yeah! But in the meantime, and in the words which the 7 Sages universally shared, go enjoy life!

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