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OT - The diminshed role of the mythic hero in the post-modern west
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 20 January, 2021 12:22PM
This is clearly off-topic, but a while back we made a stab at trying this out, if a forewarning is given, and the people in CAS are good, independent, imaginative thinkers, so...

For quite a while I've felt that there's a sort of cultural archetype that in a sense is universal, but seems to me to be more pervasive in modern western nations than in modern eastern ones, with the possible exception on the nations culturally in the sphere of India, which remain closer to the western model of the individual. This is the idea of the hero, a mortal with abilities that far exceed the norm, and to whom humanity feels a closer kinship than to the divine. Not truly demigods, but humans, with human frailties and motivations.

We're aware of mythical heroes, but I'd like to explore how the concept of the hero--a super-endowed human--has bled into modern life as the sports hero, the philosophic/ideological hero, and as in the case of the arts, the aesthetic hero. We might discuss how the role of the hero as the opponent of the divine, or the intermediary between the divine and the mortal, has evolved in the post-modern, when the concept of the divine, and its recognition, has radically diminished.

In short, when the divine was widely accepted as fact, the hero was an intermediary--a sort of ambassador to the divine, in some cases expressing human rebellion at divine law. Rather like the evolved role of eldest son in a patriarchy. But now, with a denial of the existence of the divine, the hero can no longer be a clear intermediary to the traditional authority figure(s), so what now is his role?

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"Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. But give a man a boat,
a case of beer, and a few sticks of dynamite..." -- Sawfish

Re: OT - The diminshed role of the mythic hero in the post-modern west
Posted by: Cathbad (IP Logged)
Date: 20 January, 2021 01:11PM
Well, you have a lot of superhero movies, so I guess (on one level) the popularity of the hero is undiminished, but I hear what you’re saying. The focus today is on the individual discovering he or she is exceptional, then trying to put their powers to good use. But even the heroes of old could be a pretty questionable bunch, divine origins notwithstanding. Cuchulain was the son of Lugh, the principal god of the Celts, yet the stories about him are a celebration of his skill rather than of his code (ie, he doesn’t seem to have had one).



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 20 Jan 21 | 01:11PM by Cathbad.

Re: OT - The diminshed role of the mythic hero in the post-modern west
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 20 January, 2021 01:43PM
Cathbad Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Well, you have a lot of superhero movies, so I
> guess (on one level) the popularity of the hero is
> undiminished, but I hear what you’re saying. The
> focus today is on the individual discovering he or
> she is exceptional, then trying to put their
> powers to good use.

Hah!

The democratization of hero-hood! Indeed, that seems post-modern, at least as regards the prioritization of individuality over collectivism in the west.

I think you're onto something...

> But even the heroes of old
> could be a pretty questionable bunch, divine
> origins notwithstanding. Cuchulain was the son of
> Lugh, the principal god of the Celts, yet the
> stories about him are a celebration of his skill
> rather than of his code (ie, he doesn’t seem to
> have had one).

Then that's like most Irish, right?

No insult intended, just sayin'...

Some of my very best friends have been of Irish cultural background. :^)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. But give a man a boat,
a case of beer, and a few sticks of dynamite..." -- Sawfish

Re: OT - The diminshed role of the mythic hero in the post-modern west
Posted by: Cathbad (IP Logged)
Date: 20 January, 2021 03:36PM
Ouch! I guess whatever gets the job done, right? (A useful attitude politically, if nothing else).



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