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more on the nature of Mythopoeia, sort of

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  • Elizabeth Apgar Triano
    So, just a few thoughts. It seems to me that today, mythic power is invested in fitness -- the American battle with obesity and inactivity. That terrible word
    Message 1 of 9 , Jun 26, 2004
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      So, just a few thoughts. It seems to me that today, mythic power is
      invested in fitness -- the American battle with obesity and inactivity.
      That terrible word "cancer" conjures up a power that little else can wield.
      There have got to be, or should be, some carrot-munching, cleats-wearing
      heroes of the moment... ?? (steroid-free, of course) I was chewing on
      this for a while yesterday, but of course, now that I sit at the keyboard,
      my witty thoughts have gone and hid.

      I think, though, that there are things to be extracted from this topic.
      Reading is obviously a sedentary activity. It often seems to me that
      fitness and literary hobbies do not always get along well.

      (I read recently that the mass of the Brood X cicadas was greater than that
      of the American population, even given our, er, large average size. The
      writer of the column was even more blunt.)

      (Anyone thinking of hitting the Route 7 CT/MA corridor tomorrow (6/27), to
      do the antiquing and book sales thing? Stop in at the Clayton's Tag Sale
      and say howdy.)

      Lizzie

      Elizabeth Apgar Triano
      lizziewriter@...
      amor vincit omnia
    • JTHeyman@juno.com
      ... I wonder how much of that mythic quality of fitness traces back biologically to what scientists are discovering about our predispoistion to the healthier
      Message 2 of 9 , Jun 27, 2004
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        "Elizabeth Apgar Triano" <lizziewriter@...> writes:
        > So, just a few thoughts. It seems to me that today, mythic
        > power is invested in fitness -- the American battle with obesity
        > and inactivity. That terrible word "cancer" conjures up a power
        > that little else can wield.

        I wonder how much of that mythic quality of fitness traces back
        biologically to what scientists are discovering about our predispoistion
        to the "healthier" members of the species (including symmetry and
        preferred physiological proportions, such as 0.7:1 for waist:hips for
        women according to some researchers ... I forget the ratio of chest:waist
        for men; I just know I don't have it) and how much traces back to our
        cultural heritage which at one time required leaders to be physically
        "perfect" (such as when ca. A.D. 800 Pope Leo was attacked in the street
        in an attempt to sufficiently injure him so that he could not remain
        Pope). With such a background, "cancer", with its "incurable" history,
        still holds power even when many kinds of cancer can be stopped, or at
        least postponed. It's a word that means this person is not fit to be
        king or pope ... and with our distant Puritan founders here in America,
        it means that God has withdrawn blessings (in a belief system where
        everything was due to God: success, failure and disease).

        As for the "American battle with obesity and inactivity", I don't think
        it's "American", given the way the government operates ... it's up to us
        villagers to fight off the hordes of cookies and french fries and
        pepperoni pizzas on our own because the government seems to be arming the
        hordes.

        (Stopping now, before humor turns into full-bore politics ... pun
        intended.)

        > There have got to be, or should be, some carrot-munching,
        > cleats-wearing heroes of the moment... ?? (steroid-free,
        > of course)

        The thing is, you'd need a hero who wouldn't be in the papers later
        arguing that 10 million dollars per year wasn't enough to live on ... or
        charged with a felony ... or any of the other things that sports "heroes"
        seem to do with increasing regularity. Americans love their heroes, but
        tend not to tolerate heroes who show that they have the same human vices
        that the basest of us have.

        And perhaps all of this is why Aragorn might be more of a hero to
        Americans than Frodo.

        Aragorn was the ultimate athlete in Middle-Earth's terms (ranger,
        warrior, rider, but with the intelligence as well) and his flaws didn't
        stop him from succeeding at his duty (except maybe much later when he lay
        down and died rather than go on as king any longer ... shades of George
        Washington for us Yanks). And, in our eyes, he ends up with one of the
        most desirable women, who desired him (symmetry and porportions among
        those who were the fittest?).

        Frodo endured more suffering, true, but in the end he failed ... and he
        was broken by that failure ... and he was forever marred by that failure
        (the loss of a finger, the loss of physical symmetry). That it all
        worked out was due, in part, to the pity he showed Gollum, showing that
        pity is also a virture. But, very shortly after everything calmed down,
        Frodo could bear it no longer and went to the Grey Havens to pass over
        the sea (to die) without leaving any children. He was (or perhaps he
        just believed himself to be) unfit.

        Like I said, as an American and a male, I am subject to certain
        predispositions and influences that affect my judgment on these things,
        but as far as fitness and mythopoeia, that's where I'm coming from.

        I now await those more learned and wiser to correct the flaws in my
        statements. <grin>

        ~ JTHeyman

        ________________________________________________________________
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      • Carl F. Hostetter
        ... Oh, right, it s the GOVERNMENT that forces people eat junk food! And here I thought it was the Devil....
        Message 3 of 9 , Jun 27, 2004
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          On Jun 27, 2004, at 12:29 PM, JTHeyman@... wrote:

          > it's up to us villagers to fight off the hordes of cookies and french
          > fries and pepperoni pizzas on our own because the government seems to
          > be arming the hordes.

          Oh, right, it's the GOVERNMENT that forces people eat junk food! And
          here I thought it was the Devil....
        • Berni Phillips
          From: Carl F. Hostetter ... And the difference is....? Berni
          Message 4 of 9 , Jun 27, 2004
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            From: "Carl F. Hostetter" <Aelfwine@...>
            >
            > On Jun 27, 2004, at 12:29 PM, JTHeyman@... wrote:
            >
            > > it's up to us villagers to fight off the hordes of cookies and french
            > > fries and pepperoni pizzas on our own because the government seems to
            > > be arming the hordes.
            >
            > Oh, right, it's the GOVERNMENT that forces people eat junk food! And
            > here I thought it was the Devil....

            And the difference is....?

            Berni
          • ravenduongladash
            ... french ... seems to ... And ... It could be suggested that the Government is in fact *more* evil than the Devil :-) caio Graeme
            Message 5 of 9 , Jun 27, 2004
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              > > > it's up to us villagers to fight off the hordes of cookies and
              french
              > > > fries and pepperoni pizzas on our own because the government
              seems to
              > > > be arming the hordes.
              > >
              > > Oh, right, it's the GOVERNMENT that forces people eat junk food!
              And
              > > here I thought it was the Devil....
              >
              > And the difference is....?

              It could be suggested that the Government is in fact *more* evil than
              the Devil :-)

              caio
              Graeme
            • Elizabeth Apgar Triano
              Very nice, JT, thank you. It does seem that athletes (like actor types) tend to, hmm, rise beyond their level of competence? There is like this grey area
              Message 6 of 9 , Jun 28, 2004
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                Very nice, JT, thank you.

                It does seem that athletes (like actor types) tend to, hmm, rise beyond
                their level of competence? There is like this grey area between doing what
                is right and sharing information... and getting too "political." Perhaps
                once anyone gets famous, it gets ten times harder to do their good work.
                The late Gayle Olinekova, who was an athlete, then wrote some books on
                fitness, became a chiropractor, then died of breast cancer, is my favorite
                fitness guru type. She was never famous enough to have every little foible
                magnified, but did well enough for her books to reach at least some other
                people. Perhaps it is the local heroes, the Scout leaders and youth group
                leaders, reading teachers and such, that we should consider. I bet they
                have been treated in books too. I'm just a decade behind in my reading.
                And I know this doesn't sound as mythopoeic as a dreaming forest, but I
                think that health really is our modern mythic setting, in a way.

                I think you are onto something with the survival part, and I think that has
                been treated in a few books that I've seen advertised, but I don't know how
                well. I don't know what has been done with cancer. Good post. Thanks.

                Keep it coming, gang, and nobody else is making us eat those french fries,

                Lizzie

                Elizabeth Apgar Triano
                lizziewriter@...
                amor vincit omnia
              • WendellWag@aol.com
                In a message dated 6/28/2004 8:56:37 AM Eastern Daylight Time, ... I think it should be recognized that we re all behind in our reading. It s easy to get the
                Message 7 of 9 , Jun 28, 2004
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                  In a message dated 6/28/2004 8:56:37 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
                  lizziewriter@... writes:

                  > I'm just a decade behind in my reading.

                  I think it should be recognized that we're all behind in our reading. It's
                  easy to get the impression that because we can pontificate on a variety of
                  books that we're up to date on all the fantasy that comes out each year. I
                  suspect that only a few of us even make an attempt to stay up with most current
                  fantasy. I suspect that most of us are reading only a few recent favorite authors
                  and are still trying to catch up with all the older fantasy that we never got
                  around to reading.

                  Wendell Wagner


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Lisa Deutsch Harrigan
                  So many books, so little time. Where is Hermione s Time Turner when we need it? says the lady who still hasn t read past book 3 of the Harry Potter series (Got
                  Message 8 of 9 , Jun 28, 2004
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                    So many books, so little time. Where is Hermione's Time Turner when we
                    need it? says the lady who still hasn't read past book 3 of the Harry
                    Potter series (Got to get it done before the movie come out!). Also
                    have this pile of Neil Gaiman books...

                    Mythically yours,
                    Lisa

                    WendellWag@... wrote:

                    >In a message dated 6/28/2004 8:56:37 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
                    >lizziewriter@... writes:
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >>I'm just a decade behind in my reading.
                    >>
                    >>
                    >
                    >I think it should be recognized that we're all behind in our reading. It's
                    >easy to get the impression that because we can pontificate on a variety of
                    >books that we're up to date on all the fantasy that comes out each year. I
                    >suspect that only a few of us even make an attempt to stay up with most current
                    >fantasy. I suspect that most of us are reading only a few recent favorite authors
                    >and are still trying to catch up with all the older fantasy that we never got
                    >around to reading.
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                  • dianejoy@earthlink.net
                    Not to diminish this theme (which is intriguing), but presumably, heroes must be healthy enough to survive all those adventures. It s difficult to believe
                    Message 9 of 9 , Jun 30, 2004
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                      Not to diminish this theme (which is intriguing), but presumably, heroes
                      must be healthy enough to survive all those adventures. It's difficult to
                      believe that someone who needs to climb mountains and walk for miles to
                      accomplish something has a physical weakness. Of course, if the person
                      manages to do it despite a weakness, they're all the more heroic. Which is
                      one factor that makes the Special Olympics and other events like them so
                      inspiring. ---djb [the One Eyed Jane of North Bend]

                      Original Message:
                      -----------------
                      From: Elizabeth Apgar Triano lizziewriter@...
                      Date: Mon, 28 Jun 2004 08:55:10 -0400
                      To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: Re: [mythsoc] more on the nature of Mythopoeia, sort of


                      Very nice, JT, thank you.

                      It does seem that athletes (like actor types) tend to, hmm, rise beyond
                      their level of competence? There is like this grey area between doing what
                      is right and sharing information... and getting too "political." Perhaps
                      once anyone gets famous, it gets ten times harder to do their good work.
                      The late Gayle Olinekova, who was an athlete, then wrote some books on
                      fitness, became a chiropractor, then died of breast cancer, is my favorite
                      fitness guru type. She was never famous enough to have every little foible
                      magnified, but did well enough for her books to reach at least some other
                      people. Perhaps it is the local heroes, the Scout leaders and youth group
                      leaders, reading teachers and such, that we should consider. I bet they
                      have been treated in books too. I'm just a decade behind in my reading.
                      And I know this doesn't sound as mythopoeic as a dreaming forest, but I
                      think that health really is our modern mythic setting, in a way.

                      I think you are onto something with the survival part, and I think that has
                      been treated in a few books that I've seen advertised, but I don't know how
                      well. I don't know what has been done with cancer. Good post. Thanks.

                      Keep it coming, gang, and nobody else is making us eat those french fries,

                      Lizzie

                      Elizabeth Apgar Triano
                      lizziewriter@...
                      amor vincit omnia






                      The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
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