Tuesday, November 21, 2006

What are we really watching?

I read an article about the TV drama Heroes this morning (here's the link but don't read it if you didn't watch last night's episode) and it reminded me of Joseph Campbell's "secret cause." Campbell once said that literature, art, music becomes successful when it connects with the "secret cause" we all instinctively recognize and remember--and long for. The secret cause is not about the particulars of a show or creation but rather about what they elicit in us, the energies, desires, memories deeply held in our being that are awaiting recognition.

This paragraph in the article fascinated me: "As any geek worth his or her eight-sided dice knows, science fiction is always a blatant metaphor for something human and real. For example: “Star Trek” (social morality), current “Battlestar Galactica” (current political climate) and “X-Men” (racism/bigotry)."

Do you agree with that idea? I had never connected Star Trek with social morality! To me most of the stories seemed to be able the triumph of good over evil; the struggle and responsibility power brings; the division between logical and emotive worlds. But social morality? I'm going to have to go back and watch some of those reruns!

I'd be interested to hear what some of you think about that, if you'd like to leave a comment.

[btw, Happy Thanksgiving!]


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