"What is the meaning of this?" said Superman as he strode into Lex's office, holding a Metropolis Journal in his hand. On the front page, it had a picture of a masked man surrounded by policemen and a picture of Superman with the headline, "One and the Same?"
Lex Luthor smiled, glad that his ring kept Superman from getting any closer. "My secretary used to work for a bank. She told me a story about how one day a masked man rushed in and robbed the place. The same man stood in front of dozens of police officers who fired on him only to disappear. I found that rather intriguing."
Lex stood up and noticed that Superman actually had to take a step back to avoid the effects of his ring. "Once there was a magnificent weaver named Arachne. Everyone marveled at what she could do and so amazing was her talent. Eventually, they asked if she had been taught by Athena herself, goddess of weaving. Arachne declared that her talent was her own and that she was her equal."
"Now Athena heard this and was irritated. She visited Arachne in the form of an old woman and chastised her for her for her pride in her abilities."
"However Arachne declared that she would gladly have a contest with Athena to see who was the better weaver and that if she lost, she would pay the consequences. Athena took off her disguise and showed who she really was. Arachne, however, refused to take back her word. She fully believed in what she had said even though everyone around her shook in fear and bowed towards the great goddess."
"They sat at their looms and started weaving. Athena drew a picture of how she had won the city of Athens from Poseidon. She also wove in the various incidents of mortals going against the gods only to be punished. It was all about the glory and power of the gods."
"However, Arachne decided to show the sins of the gods. She wove a tapestry of Zeus' various infidelities: Leda with the Swan, Europa with the bull, Dana and the golden rain shower. Even Athena had to admit that it was a flawless work and true-to-life though the subject matter angered her so much that she tore up the tapestry with her own hands and wrecked the loom."
"The myth ends with Athena turning her into a spider after Arachne hanged herself out of shame and guilt."
Superman frowned. "So, the moral of the story is to respect the gods."
"True, but I prefer to look at it as a story about how a goddess throwing a tantrum that a human drew a picture of how sinful and hypocritical the gods were and found that it was just as clear and flawless a picture as her portrait of her great deeds and abilities. As for poor Arachne turning into a spider, well, notice that the spider continues to weave and that there are now millions of spiders around the world."
"They won't believe this," said Superman.
Lex smiled. "Well, I'll just have to keep spinning, won't I?"
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