Land in the Sky: The Public Lands

All the big shot Greek gods—Zeus, Hera, Athena, and the rest—live up on Mount Olympus. But there is one god who never bothered making the ascent and instead remains on the down-low. His name is Hades, “Lord of the Underworld.” No altars or temples have been erected in his name. Why bother? He’s one god who is everywhere and requires no special attention. He’s a renowned host, most generous, and all who enter his House, with a few notable exceptions, are treated so well they never return. Hades touches more lives than all the rest of those gods put together.  His nickname, “Pluto”, means riches or wealth. And indeed his realm is the great commonwealth of humankind.

Yet lately there has been talk, in certain circles in the far American West, of privatizing the Commonwealth of Hades, of returning his lands to mortal authorities and landowners. “Wealth,” say these activists, “generates from the earth, from the lands and the resources.” Who can argue with that? And so a small group of these mortal patriots  laid siege to the realm of the dead. “This refuge,” says their leader, “it has been destructive to the people of the county and to the people of the area.” On the other hand, there are those who say these activists are in fact militants, or even worse, terrorists. “We are not terrorists!” say the mortal patriots. “We are concerned citizens and realize we have to act if we want to pass along anything to our children.” The mortal patriots issue their statements from a place whose name means “misfortune.”

Hades the Generous just shakes his head.