Apple Of Discord
The 'Principle Eristic Artifact' representing the powers of primal CHAOS. The Apple in ERIS's eye atop the Pyramid. In German 'The Zankapfel' ("Quarrel-apple") and rarely 'Erisapfel'
Once upon a time, a few centuries before that nice Jewish boy (you know, Carpenter Joe's son) accidentally nailed himself to a tree, Peleus and Thetis were getting married! It was a joyous occasion at the time which got in all the papers. These two crazy kids were all the rage back in ancient Greece. A modern day equivalent might be Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt or Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner. The fact you don't know who Peleus and Thetis are offhand yourself would indicate how much history will remember about their more recent equivalents, but I digress.
After the wedding ceremony, Eris (who crashed the party) revealed during the reception that she had brought with her a beautiful apple that was suddenly desired by many of the other ladies in attendance (including but not limited to Aphrodite who brought the punch, Athena, Hera who brought the dip, and Harmonia who was a dip). Eris announced the apple would only go "to the fairest" individual at the wedding. Naturally, this caused animosity and bickering and beauty pageants and some argue was even the impetus for The Trojan War, although that could have also been caused by the spiked punch at the reception, which was ripe.
NOTE: some historians have reported that Oranges were referred to by the Greeks as an 'Acapulco Apples', ergo, Golden Apples. Humans have been confused by fruit for centuries, and religion doubly so.
ALSO NOTE: This is not the origin of the phrase 'Comparing Apples and Oranges' but rather another strange thread of Discordianism and its uncanny and unfolding hold on history and culture.
Since that day, "apple of discord" is a phrase utilized by some to mean the crux or "core" of an argument; that which instigates a huge violent nothing over a trifle something. For example, at the start of World War One, the proximate trigger for the war was the 28 June 1914 assassination of the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne by a Bosnian Serb. Austria-Hungary's demands for revenge against the Kingdom of Serbia led to the activation of a series of alliances which within weeks saw most European powers at war. The fact you know little about the assassin or his victim offhand yourself would indicate how much importance was placed upon them only to be forgotten decades after the war was over, but I digress.
Admittedly, a more recent phrase has often been utilized as a replacement for the "apple of discord" which was popularized by Alfred Hitchcock in his many movies of the mid 20th century. The synonym in reference is MacGuffin. This is of course, heresy. There is only one apple of discord that takes the form of an infinite multitude of desired trifles. To say an apple of discord by any other name would taste as sweet would be to dare suffer the wrath of The Elder Gods, which I recommend doing only on alternate Thursdays when the creek bed is dry and the antlers take roof. Go tell your mother.
- "An Apple a day keeps Greyface away, until he is hungry."
- "No one says that you made it up."
- Some rather classy 'Apple of Discord' Antiquated Enamel Pins have been developed by Discordia Merchandising for Populous Ephemera