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Imagineering myth

America as a country might enjoy just its third century of Independence. But culturally, its even younger. Historically even more so. Unlike other civilisations, which stretch across millenniums and are rich culturally, the natives of this country had hardly anything to tell their children. They had a tough time in wiping out any signs of resemblance to their imperial masters and were busy in resetting every single thing that related them and went about meticulously in changing everything to opposite, right from the way they drive to their door knobs to switches and the very basic current voltage. They were always at war with England claiming every single invention with a American patent in response to English. As much interest they showed in expanding geographically by purchasing lands from so many countries, they hardly showed any in their own history, may be covertly but never in open. The one thing that they were never able to change was that their history began with banished convicts. Its no small deal that, those were the very people who built this entire country, brick by brick into what it is today. Still, absence of history means, how much ever you grow, it never quite attains that regalia. Much in contrast to our own country, which still passes muster, just by relying on its past glory, this nation is brand new when compared to others. Meaning, they never had any time for myths and legends.

The powers to be realised this soon and assigned this task to their comic writers, who went over drive and created their own set of heroes and myths about them. That, Arguably the biggest movie machine in the world, in terms of reach and clout at least, Hollywood, solely thrives, by reinventing itself with one super hero release at least per year, is no mean support for this argument. The amount of effort that goes into creating each comic character is tremendous. There is so much research happening behind each story that is getting churned out, with each episode launching in a new villain or a new dimension to dark side with the heroes being armed with newer and weirder weaponery. Infact, many of the modern day weapons owe their origins to the comics. Such is the power of US in today's world that, as many Indian kids know about Superman and Spiderman as Ram and Hanuman. In fact, like a weed which slowly destroys the main plant by sucking off its nutrients, there is a calculated attempt in wiping the world off its rich and diverse heritage in the name of Americanisation. I've nothing against American culture. In fact, i am amazed at the way, they are so unique and independent and proud of their "limited" heritage. As much as we worship our Krishna and Ganesha, there are crazy followers for Batman and Superman. Goes on to prove that, ever person needs a hero to worship, how much ever tough they be or wherever they hail from. The great divide does little to change that aspect. The people on this side of the world may not  kill each other or destroy monuments fighting over phony supremacy of whose cult is mightier. There may not be bloody partitions based on the followers of Superman or Batman.

But the craze is as real as it gets.

P.S: This post might be a repeat of what i've been voicing out in many previous posts of mine. But i have a growing feeling inside that this is one topic, i would want to revisit more, as and when i've more inputs to share #Notetoself :))

Comments

Ramesh said…
Wow. That is a unique perspective. America living its yearning for myths and legends through comic heroes. Never thought of it that way.

Gilsu - Your American experience might be a book in the making. You have unique perspectives.
Asha said…
@ Ramesh, Aarti, RS .

Ivaroda veetla konjam solli vaiyunga..

Paiyan romba marittar...

Post full englishla adhu oru periya change + ivarukku nothing against American culturaaam.. so paiyan engeyo poraar,namba indian culture vittatu.

seri ippo konjam seriousa commentikkren...

I second Ramesh's thoughts. that's a good perspective and quiet a aha moment for many of us.never knew this side of them. Calls for a book release soon.

but micchatha sonnenga parunga... there is no fights or division due to cultnnnu ... humanity divide panrengala racism moolama... that is division danay.. apprum renden gettana ellam campus killings panraday....dannikku deeni ellam seriya daan pocchu..

But i admire the way they exhibit their history for a few dollors by showing all the kallu,mannu and learning from their own history like the 1930's great depression, vietnam war etc.. There is lot of respect for subject like humanities there.
Aarti said…
Wow, who would have thought.. very interesting....

btw, as Asha said, konjam kavalai the happening.... enna achchu intha pullaiku america poyinnu.... hmmm...
RS said…
Gils, engeyo poiteenga. As Ramesh and Asha points out, Unique perspective indeed.

Regarding preserving whatever little they hold, I think it is a trend in the emerging cultures- Singapore, although such a small country, is preserving whatever remains of its most recent past-tagging in the name of history. Maybe, India's history is so vast that we have lost the interest in bottling/preserving her up.

PS: Recently, I was shocked to hear from an Indian friend of mine that she did not know who 'KARNA' is! Irrelevant, but your post reminded me of that....
gils said…
@thala:
booka..neenga vera...post podavay podhum podhum nu aaiduthu..book adikara alavukelam discipline kedayaathu..but it wud be wonderful to get one done..
gils said…
@asha:

lol :D onnum maaraleenga..enaku intha oorla pudikaatha vishayam egapatathu undu..irunthaalum..i love their uniqueness..it takes tonnes of planning..willingness of a nation full of people and courage to go against the world...athu ivangalta neria iruku..and as for the gun culture and racism..intha oorla predominanta teriara matter athaan..enna..they are so scared of it..namma oorlayum racism neria irukku..but we dont look at it that way or give a damn about it..but inga there are groups which are dead against racism and lot many who covertly follow it. not trying to defend them..but point is..people are aware.
gils said…
history showcase panratha soneengalay..semma pointu..they see the potential in even small kallu mannu..which are hardly few decades old..namma oorla paarunga..1000's of year old stuff are left rotting :( athelaam thaan sogama iruku..the private sector takes so much active interest in making money and also showcasing history as tourist attraction..namma oorla :((
gils said…
@rt:
lol :D:D yeah yeah :D:D

@athivasi:

karna yaar teriaatha!!!! yaarunga athu??
Avada Kedavra said…
agree agree :) But people here love superheroes much more than anywhere else..We should start making more movies on Indian heroes too (I mean mythological).
gils said…
true..but i guess we are way too much soaked in our mythologies to accept them on screen!!

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