Sunday, October 17, 2010


It's already been long time that I did post something else than just the pictures of weekend parties at T.R.A.C.S., Sweetgrass and Open Minds. Not that I had no inspiration but real life, my social live at Second life and work at Second Life took time too. Already I was glad that I could publish the pictures of the parties.
This article about Ganymede was already sometime in my head so I am glad I can finally publish it. So what's about the name Ganymede?

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, Ganymede most often refers to:
  • Ganymede (mythology), Trojan prince in Greek mythology
  • Ganymede (moon), Jupiter's largest moon, named after the mythological character
  • Ganymede, Ganymed or Ganymedes may also refer to:
  • Ganymedes (eunuch), tutor of Arsinoe IV of Egypt and adversary to Julius Caesar
  • Ganymed (Goethe), a poem by Goethe
  • Ganymede (band), a 2000s American band
  • Ganymed (band), a 1970s Austrian disco band
  • 1036 Ganymed, an asteroid
  • Ganymede, the name used by Rosalind when she is disguised as a man in Shakespeare's As You Like It
  • Ganymede, the servant of the sculptor Pygmalion in the operetta Die schöne Galathee by Franz von Suppé
  • Ganymede, the name of the 2008 annual project release by the Eclipse Software Foundation

And there is Ganymede Gynoid a Second Life friend.

Avatar Name: Ganymede Gynoid
Birthday: 2007-03-20

Ganymede or short Gany, as most people call him, is a resident of Sweetgrass. On his profile you can read:
Sweetgrass is my homeland, a gayfriendly community where I rent a house. My best friends are Norbie Rossini, Karl Huet and Slim Lednev and I am happy when I help them to make Sweetgrass the most beautiful place in Second Life.
Sweetgrass ist meine Heimat, eine gayfriendly Gemeinschaft wo ich ein Haus gemietet habe. Meine besten Freunde sind Norbie Rossini, Karl Huet und Slim Lednev. Ich bin froh wenn ich ihnen helfen kann Sweetgrass zu dem wunderschönsten Platz in Second Life zu machen.

Gany and I became friends on Friday February 19 2010 at an Open Minds party. First we had more businesslike chat but when Karl's account suddenly was frozen and later was terminated we talked more often and we did learn more about each others real life. One time he told me he would go visiting Groningen (my hometown) as he does very year. After he came back he told me something about a student fraternity named "Ganymedes".
So that was what made me start some research.

Ganymedes, the only LGBT student association that is active in the city of Groningen, was founded in December of 2008 to organize activities and drinks that would cater specifically (but not exclusively) to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered members of the student body. At its core, Ganymedes allows these students to meet on a regular basis, and in this and many other ways, Ganymedes is similar to the Gay Straight Alliances that have flourished at college campuses in the United States and elsewhere.

At Ganymedes, LGBT students (and their friends) talk, eat, drink, and hang out. Although some of our members have been out of the closet for years and join for fun and laughs, other students have found in Ganymedes a supportive environment for coming out, as well as a stepping stone into the gay scene.

And that intriged me and wanted to know more about the name and the meaning behind the name. I love mythologie and I always said I know a lot about it but when I met Gany for the first time the name Ganymede did not ring a bell. Not even sure if it would spelt the dutch way as the student association, Ganymedes. But I did remember the story. 
Ganymede the Story

Erichthonius, the first to ever harness four horses to a chariot, was the richest of mortal men. He had a son named Tros, lord of the Trojans, and to him in turn were born three unblemished boys: Ilus founder of Ilium, Assaracus, and god-like Ganymede – the handsomest ever born of the human race. Tros loved Ganymede from the bottom of his heart and set guardians and tutors to watch over him as he wrestled, or rode to the hounds, or swam through the crashing, dragging breakers of the warm Mediterranean. One day, looking down from his throne on Mount Olympus, Zeus spied Ganymede up in the meadows of Mount Ida, chilling with his friends under the watchful gaze of his aged tutors. Instantly, the King of Heaven flamed with love for the young Trojan’s thighs. Zeus shook himself once and turned into a powerful eagle. Straightaway he swooped down upon the world of men. Casting shafts of lightning every which way, he whipped up a fierce tempest turning day into night. Under cover of the storm the majestic eagle pounced and tenderly seized the boy in his talons. The aged guardians reached out to stop him, the hounds barked madly. Paying them no heed, the god and the boy rose up higher and higher and vanished into the blue.In the blink of an eye the two arrived in Olympus. The eagle folded his wings, shook himself once and turned back into a god. He took
Ganymede to bed and then appointed him cup bearer. But to make room for him, Zeus had to chase away Hebe, Hera's daughter and his, who served the drinks at the divine feasts. Clumsy, he called her, claiming she once stumbled. Hera saw it all and went insane with rage and jealousy.
All the other gods rejoiced to have Ganymede among them, for his beauty filled them with delight. And Ganymede thought pouring nectar to the immortals was mad cool, and when he filled his lover’s cup he made sure to press his lips to it first, giving it half a twist as he placed it in Zeus’ hand. Back on Earth, Tros' heart was filled with cruel sorrow, not knowing where the divine tempest had taken his son. He cried endless tears. Even Zeus was moved by his pain. He sent down Hermes as messenger, who let Tros know his boy was now among the gods, immortal and forever young. Zeus gave Tros in exchange for his son a pair of white prancing mares, deathless and able to walk on water, the very same that carry the immortals. Tros’ heart was filled with joy and he drove his new horses as fast as the wind.
Hera, besides herself, vented her rage by destroying the Trojans. But Zeus, grateful for Ganymede’s love, made a place for him among the stars as Aquarius – the Water Bearer. There he still stands, smiling, pouring nectar and shielded to this day by the wing of the Eagle constellation. 

Ganymede the Name
In Greek mythology, Ganymede, or Ganymedes (Greek: Γανυμήδης, Ganymēdēs). The boy's name was derived from the Greek words ganumai "gladdening" and mêdon or medeôn, "prince" or "genitals." The name may have been formed to contain a deliberate double-meaning. For the etymology of his name, Robert Graves' The Greek Myths offers ganyesthai + medea, "rejoicing in virility". The word "catamite" (boy kept by a pederast) is derived from Ganymede.
One of the moons of Jupiter is named after him, and was discovered by Galileo Galilei.
Ganymedes also received a place amongst the stars as the constellation Aquarius, his ambrosial mixing cup became the Krater, and the eagle Aquila. Ganymedes was frequently represented as the god of homosexual love, and as such appears as a playmate of the love-gods Eros (Love) and Hymenaios (Marital Love).

Ganymede the Symbols
Ganymedes was depicted in Greek vase painting as a handsome boy. In the abduction scene his attributes were usually a rooster (a lover's gift), a hoop (a boy's toy), or a lyre. When portrayed as the cup-bearer of the gods he is shown pouring nectar from a jug. In sculpture and mosaic art, on the other hand, Ganymedes usually appears with shepherd's crock and a Phrygian cap.

Ganymede the Myth and Homosexual love Ganymede is identified as part of the earliest, pre-Hellenic level of Aegean myth. Plato's Laws states the opinion that the Ganymede myth had been invented by the Cretans– Minoan Crete being a power center of pre-Greek culture – to account for "pleasure against nature" imported thence into Greece, as Plato's character indignantly declares. Homer doesn't dwell on the erotic aspect of Ganymede's abduction, but it is certainly in an erotic context that the goddess refers to Ganymede's blond Trojan beauty in the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite, mentioning Zeus's love for Trojan Ganymede as part of her enticement of Trojan Anchises.
The Argonautica of Apollonius of Rhodes presents a vignette (in Book III) of an immature Ganymede furious for having been cheated at knucklebones by Eros. Aphrodite then arrives and chides her son, Eros, for "cheating a beginner." The Roman poet Ovid adds vivid detail - and veiled irony directed against critics of homosexual love: aged tutors reaching out to grab him back with impotent fingers, and Ganymede's hounds barking uselessly at the sky. Statius' Thebaid describes a cup worked with Ganymede's iconic mythos (1.549):

"Here the Phrygian hunter is borne aloft on tawny wings, Gargara’s range sinks downwards as he rises, and Troy grows dim beneath him; sadly stand his comrades; vainly the hounds weary their throats with barking, pursue his shadow or bay at the clouds."  Tros grieved for his son. Sympathetic, Zeus had Hermes deliver a gift of two immortal horses, so swift they could run over water (or perhaps the gift was a golden vine). Hermes also assured Ganymede's father that the boy was now immortal and would be the cupbearer for the gods, a position of much distinction. The theme of the father recurs in many of the Greek coming-of-age myths of male love, suggesting that the pederastic relationships symbolized by these stories took place under the supervision of the father.

Ganymede in Art
Ganymede is located in the poetry and the visual arts as a symbol of male beauty and homosexual love. In art Ganymede is most often depicted with the eagle and is sometimes accompanied by a dog. Since antiquity Ganymede has served as an artistic expression for homosexuality. The ancient popularity of the homoerotic myth is apparent by the frequent vase depictions of Zeus giving Ganymede a cockerel, a common gift to youths from older male admirers. The theme also appears in ancient statuary, where Jupiter lovingly embraces the Phrygian youth.

The myth becomes less common in the Middle Ages, but still occurs in literature, manuscript illumination, and sculptural decoration as a subject of censure, warning viewers not to follow the sinful ways of the pagan immortals. In the Renaissance, the figure recovers its earlier popularity through the Italian humanists. While they sometimes turn the myth into an allegory of the soul's ascent toward Heaven, as in Alciati's Emblemata, it most often serves as a symbol of male homosexuality, particularly of pederasty, the love of an older man for a youth.

Ganymede's homoerotic tradition flourishes at this time in the art of Michelangelo, Correggio, Parmigianino, and Giulio Romano.
However, by the mid-sixteenth century, reformers in the Catholic Church begin to frown upon mythology and nudity in art. As a consequence, Ganymede's popularity begins to wane. There are depictions of the youth in seventeenth-century Italian art, such as Annibale Carracci's Rape of Ganymede (1596-1600) and Pietro da Cortona's Planetary Rooms (1641), but they appear with less frequency and most lack any homoerotic charge.
While Ganymede also appears in Dutch and English art of the time, in such works as Rembrandt's The Rape of Ganymede (1635), Rubens' Rape of Ganymede (1635), and Inigo Jones' Coelum Brittanicum (1634), and continues to be depicted in French art into the early nineteenth century, the allegory never again attains the notoriety it enjoyed in sixteenth-century Italy.

There is made a lot of art showing Ganymede and when you Google you will even find more. You may even find some modern versions as this one Budweiser.

There is one artist I have specially to mention. Or better two artists. Pierre & Gilles

Pierre et Gilles, Pierre Commoy and Gilles Blanchard, are French artists and romantic partners. They produce highly stylized photographs, building their own sets and costumes as well as retouching the photographs. Their work often features images from popular culture, gay culture including porn (especially James Bidgood), and religion.
Pierre et Gilles form a couple, an entity whose work is inseparable from their life and everyday universe.

They create portraits of stars and unknowns in unique hand-painted photographs, through an established process:
- they first draw a sketch of the work they have imagined together, according to the model and the role they want him to play;
- they conceive the entire production from the set made with carefully selected materials and accessories, 
collected worldwide during travels or shopped all around. They also realize the lighting in order to animate and magnify the subject by a play of angles and filters. They select or even realize themselves the costumes, make-up and hairdressing, sometimes with the help of the best specialists;
- Pierre photographs the scenery they have imagined together. Gilles then paints the unique print with successive layers of paint and glaze, exceeding reality. It results in a unique, perfectly aesthetic image that definitely cannot be done by any kind of digital software;
- finally, they conceive the specific frame that is an integral part of the work. Actually, they consider the frame as the extension of the image's universe ;

Everything is considered in order to achieve an aesthetic perfection and a vision of an enchanted world, corresponding to their dreamed reality. As they state: "This is a little bit of photo, a little bit of painting. There is the idealization of the sopped moment; Gilles with his brush can go and go back, and there is no time limit."
Their own universe always shows the same reoccurring idealized set of themes: stars and unknown friends, sailors and princes, saints and sinners, fairy paradises and lowest depths, popular iconography and magic, all mixed together in a world of love and grace. 

And these are the ones they made of Ganymede
 This last one did give me the idea to ask dad (Echo Douglas) to make a picture with my friend Gany in it and a great job he made of it.

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