[lit-ideas] Re: Sunday waffle...

  • From: Ursula Stange <Ursula@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 04 Jun 2005 13:28:38 -0400

Andy Amago wrote:

How do you describe
a society that says it's good he died at 24 because now we can worship his
eternal youth.  Or the fact that Porsche sales went up after he was killed
in one.  Not down, but up.  And that's just one tiny example of values that
are twisted beyond belief, then coveted.  Explain that to me without using
the word stupid.  

US:   It's called love, stupid.  (Sorry, Andy, just playing with the 
words -- nothing personal meant.)  It's called yearning and 
identification.  If women bought the Porsches, they wanted to feel what 
it felt like to ride in one.  If men bought them, they wanted to impress 
the girls who wanted to feel what it felt like to ride in one.  Thus the 
world turns.

Alternative answer:  it's called mythology.   We want to ride in a 
Porsche because then we partake of the magic.  The story of the young 
hero who chooses a different path is a powerful one.  (And Christ 
himself couldn't have held an audience if he'd gotten old.)   The story 
of Christ is instructive because we see that many are called but few 
have to answer.  The fact that he turned the other cheek and did his 
father's bidding means that we don't have to.  His doing it is enough.  
We just have to point and say, "yeah, like him" and go our merry way.   
So James Dean died for all of us and we can grow old and fat and lazy 
and greedy, all the while saying, "yeah, like him...."  And if we're 
riding a Porsche while we say it, so much the better.
Porscheless in North Bay
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