Nota Bene #124: I'm a Doctor, Not an Engineer

“I don’t believe in this fairy tale of staying together for ever. Ten years with somebody is enough.” Who said it? Continue reading

Nota Bene #119: Think! It Ain't Illegal Yet

“My wife and I were happy for twenty years. Then we met.” Who said it? Continue reading

Following bliss: Joseph Campbell, myth and living the authentic life

nullToday we’re putting Joseph Campbell (1904-1987) on the masthead. Chances are that you already know all about his thought and work without realizing it. When George Lucas wrote the first few drafts of Star Wars, it was shaping up to be standard, 70’s sci-fi action schlock. Then he put the screenplay aside to settle and re-read Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces. That changed everything. Sculpting his imaginary galaxy around the skeleton of Campbell’s monomyth thesis produced a set of films that took a generation by storm and still reverberates through popular culture. Continue reading

Hobbits, wizards, and storm troopers: the future of fan art

gollumposter2by Josh Catone

This past weekend saw the online release of the first non-spoof, fan-created film set in the Lord of the Rings universe. That by itself is fairly unremarkable, but a number of things set The Hunt for Gollum apart from your standard fan created fare. It’s long (about 40 minutes), it has better than average acting and writing (think direct-to-DVD caliber), it features incredibly high production values despite a meager £3,000 budget, and it is based on canon. That last bit especially, had some wondering if Gollum would run afoul of rights holders at Tolkien Enterprises.

Where most fan art uses original characters and story lines, The Hunt for Gollum‘s writer and director Chris Bouchard based the script on appendices to Tolkien’s original work. That the film uses Tolkien’s actual story could have spelled trouble for the entire production. There are two understood rules in the world of fan art: don’t use official material (like logos, music, and to a lesser extent known characters), and don’t try to make money off your creations. Continue reading

Sundays with Uncle-God Momma: Sita sings the blues

Myth serves as an individual path into the collective unconscious.  It is a means to attain at-one-ment with the greater forces that affect the individual life.  That is, it informs life by putting it into context.  We often disdain myth because it generally portrays less than perfect gods (and goddesses), whereas what we call religion rests on an assumption of divine perfection.  How quaint it is to see the Springeresque antics of Zeus chasing women and Hera chasing Zeus, no wonder the Olympians fell out of favor to be replaced by a single, all-seeing, all-knowing God of perfection.  But which set of beliefs would do an individual more psychological good when faced with infidelity?

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