Lunchtime Photo

In Greek myth, Persephone was the daughter of Demeter, goddess of the harvest. Hades fell in love with her from afar and—correctly judging that Demeter would never consent to give her up—eventually kidnapped Persephone to become his wife and queen of the underworld. Demeter was distraught, causing the harvest to fail disastrously. Finally, in order to keep everyone from starving, Zeus persuaded Hades to let Persephone leave, but Hades first offered her six pomegranate seeds to eat. For some reason, Persephone went ahead and ate them even though she knew that if she ate anything she’d have to stay in the underworld. This led to some god-level negotiations, and long story short, those six seeds meant Persephone had to spend half of every year in the underworld and half the year with her mother, which is why we have seasons. Or maybe a third of the year in the underworld. It depends on who you believe.

None of this makes much sense. Why did Hades care if everyone starved? Seems like it would be good for business. Why did eating anything mean Persephone would have to stay in the underworld? And having carefully not eaten anything during her captivity, what caused her to lose her mind right on the brink of her departure and eat the pomegranate seeds? Are they really that irresistible?

Beats me. But I learned this in fourth grade and it’s everything I know about pomegranates. I’ve never eaten one, but I guess the takeaway from the myth is that they must be pretty tasty indeed.

September 26, 2018 — Irvine, California

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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