Monday, February 7, 2011

Food for Thought

This is a very different topic for me and generally I don't put thoughts like this together, so I'm sort of surprised that I came up with this.  Now I imagine that some sociologist would give this a title like Traditional Shamanic Imagery in the Media - An Overview or some other long winded and uninspired title.  But really, this is just food for thought.

This all came about yesterday I was busy knitting and got to thinking.  My son was watching the Simpsons Movie and I realised that there is more to this than meets eye.

Homer, while he plays the fool most of the time, has had some very enlightening experiences.  In the movie, his family leaves him and he's left with nothing.  He is then given guidance from a native elder and has what can only be described as a shamanic experience complete with a dismemberment and a coming back together.  The elder referred to it as an epiphany which could be taken as a matter of semantics.  Homer is torn apart by the trees until he realises that in order to save himself he has to save the town of Springfield. 

This isn't even the first journey he's taken.  In an episode of the show called The Mysterious Voyage of Homer, he eats some super hot chili and wanders in the desert where he see a butterfly and meets a coyote voiced by Johnny Cash.  Now it's been a long time since I've seen this and I can't recall exactly what it was that he learned on this journey. 

A common thread in Shakespeare's work, yes the Simpsons and Shakespeare do go together, is that of the fool.  The fool isn't as dumb as some may originally think.  The fool, usually appears in Shakespeare works as the speaker of the truth.  He or she points out the obvious while those around him/her who are "smarter" can't say it due to social constraints or because they really don't get it.

How else is Homer the "fool"?  He leads the life that many of us crave; he's been married to Marge for over 20 years despite his faults and short comings, has been employed by the same company for as many years, his kids love him even though his parenting skills are less than lacking at points, and he knows that there are lots of things he doesn't know and isn't embarrassed to admit it.  Sounds like he's not nearly as stupid as one may think.

Think that this just stops with a couple episodes of the Simpsons?  Not even close.  Yesterday was the most sacred of sporting holidays with the Super Bowl being shown to millions of people world wide.  Of course with that many viewers, advertising is especially important and pricey.  If you watched did you see this commercial Hyundai: Relax ?   Watch it to the very end.  Hhhhhmmmmmmm. Go find your spirit animal? 

There is certainly something in the air making this very accessible to the general public or is it a insult to traditional beliefs?  Is this good or bad? It isn't my place to judge.  It's just as I said at the beginning...Food for Thought.

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