Nike, Goddess of Victory
by Jeff Goode
copyright © 2003Hi. Remember me?
I'm Nike, the Goddess of Victory.
Ring a bell? Sound familiar?
Of course not. Didn't think so.
You know those shoes were named after me.
After. I was first. Were you aware of that?
Nike, the Goddess of Victory first. And then the shoes.
Much, much later.
But how many people know that nowadays? None.
Half the time they think I'm Japanese.
They think it's a Japanese car company that branched out into shoes.
"We make cars. Cars have tires. Tires have tread. What else has tread?"
You know, I used to be big. Huge. Enormously huge.
What Nike is to shoes today, that's what I was to the whole fucking planet back then.
People forget that.
You've heard of Bacchus, right? God of Wine? Very popular with teenagers.
Popular with adults, too. Unless, of course, you're in rehab.
Not so popular if got liver damage.
How about Neptune? God of the Sea. Mermaids love him. Sailors. Beach bums.
But what if you can't swim?
And hydrophobes? He scares the shit out of 'em.
Not too good with shark bite victims either.
But my thing was Victory.
Victory?! Everybody wants to win. Everybody.
Nobody wants to lose.
My fan base was across the board. Networks would kill for those demographics today.
Everyone worshipped me. Everyone.
Even the other Gods prayed to me.
There was a period during the Trojan war, where I was ranked #1 deity in the world 79 weeks in a row. Let's see Britney do that.
And this was before music videos.
You try to generate that kind of buzz today without mass media.
I was bigger than the Beatles. Way bigger.
I was bigger than God.
But he wasn't called God back then.
He was still going by his Jewish name.
That was a brilliant move, by the way.
When Jahweh changed his name to just "God". Brilliant.
A lot of the others thought it was stupid. Gave him a hard time about it.
It was like when Prince changed his name to that kitchen utensil.
But I knew he was onto something. That kid had a real knack for marketing.
And it worked. You gotta hand it to him.
Overnight he went from being the God of Hebrew dietary restrictions
to being the God of just-being-God. Brilliant.
But that didn't matter because I was the Goddess of Victory.
"Oh, so now created everything, is that it? You're the Master of all Creation?
Well, I'm the Master of all Winning."
Stick with Nike and you can't lose! Ever!
How do you top that?
You don't. You can't beat that.
By definition, you can't beat that.
Victory is mine!!
So what happened??
You tell me what happened.
I was the Goddess of fucking Victory.
You want to know what happened?
I'll tell you what happened:
"Winning isn't everything" happened.
That's what happened.
This whole "It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game" attitude.
What the fuck?
Did anyone see that coming?
I mean, seriously, show me one Oracle that had the balls to predict that losing would become hip and trendy.
So one day you're the Goddess.
Next day you're an aging poster girl for a dead religion.
Just like Farrah Fawcett.
After Achilles made it cool to be a defeatist, that it was it for me.
The Trojans threw in the towel on the whole war thing. Didn't even try to win.
And just like that, I was out.
Who needs a goddess of Victory when winning and losing don't matter?
Unbelievable. "...how you play the game."
This Jesus kid plays a good game.
He's riding pretty high right now with his Eternal Life thing.
Brilliant. He gives them Eternal Life. Just brilliant.
But nothing lasts forever. Trust me on that one.
Someday somebody's gonna come along and say,
"Life sucks. So eternal life must take it up the ass."
And that'll be it.
You put that on enough t-shirts and I guarantee you, 10 years from now, Jesus is packing up his things and moving to Mount Olympus with the rest of us.
I know that's hard to imagine, now when he's on top.
A lot of people want to think it can't happen to them.
But I've been there. I've seen it.
One day you're MC Hammer,
next day it's 10 years later and you're bunking with Emanuel Lewis.
Jesus is just one snappy comeback away from being
nothing but a fancy swoosh on a new line of waterskis.
That's all it takes.
The right slogan on the right bumper stickers and - BOOM - God is dead.
First performed at No Shame Los Angeles on January 17, 2003, by Jocelyn Pryde Hughes.