Monday, May 08, 2006
I belong to Tribe and am part of a few communities that have sparked my interest. Through one of the discussion threads I evidently sparked an interest from a young woman who recently moved from Finland to Pennsylvania. On her bio she states that she lives in the old way, eschewing mass produced goods and making her own, everything from mead to cloth to felt, etc. I do find it interesting that someone who says she lives in the ancient Viking traditions has electricity, a phone and a computer that lets her tell people about her life and livelihood. Of course, she could just nip off to the library and use their computer, but that seems to me at first glance to defeat the purpose of living in the ancient Viking traditions. I don't think the Vikings had computers or electricity or telephones, or broadband for that matter. Talk about bringing the best of the old to the rest of the world by the best of the new.
What makes this particular juxtaposition of ancient ways and new is the latest Doctor Who episode I just watched, "The Girl in the Fireplace". I have to admit that I am beginning to see charm in David Tennant, the latest incarnation of the Doctor. At this rate, I may end up liking him quite a lot. The real charm, however, isn't in whoever is playing The Doctor this time around, although that is a big plus, but the writing. The current team of writers on the show have taken bits of old episodes and crafted a new and visually stunning body of work that is going to be hard to beat anywhere else. I do so enjoy Stephen Moffat's writing as he combines intelligence, style and an attention to the details that is quite wonderful, and is so readily apparent in the latest of The Doctor's trips into time and space.
To give the exquisite and intelligent Madame De Pompadour a sensibility about time and space and the wonders of the universe is not quite as far fetched as it may seem. She was truly a marvel of her age, a true priestess of the goddess, who was queen in all but name, and worthy of the title and the fame. She was and remains a model of intellect and beauty that would still capture any man's heart and soul were he flesh and blood, and that includes time lords.
There is a lot of interesting and titillating writing coming out of the UK these days that makes me wonder what is in the water or the food or the air that fosters the likes of J. K. Rowling and Stephen Moffat. On the lighter side, a came across a little of the wizarding world while trawling among the muggles and found quite a bit of titillation that explains a thorny Rose's interest in Severus Snape. She must have known ahead of time that he was carrying a substantial wand. I'm certain it's just photo shopped, but it's very, VERY well done.
I like this new sensibility that blends the old and the new, preserving the best of both and creating a new harmonious symbiosis that changes the ideas of what is and isn't worthwhile. It may seem that Harry Potter and Doctor Who have little in common, but look again. The ancient beliefs and practices of the wizarding world, which in a way legitimizes alchemy, which gave rise to science and medicine, and placing it all in the midst of a blind modern world is quite allegorical in its views. In some ways, we in our technologically fueled reality devalue the work of the ancients, believing we have reached the height and power of man's intellect in our mechanical technology, while all around us, though we seem not to have eyes to see, there exists another world fueled by the strength and discipline of the mind, a world of magic and wizardry where the boundaries are only hampered by imagination. In many ways, technology is the externalization and mechanization of imagination that may well stunt the growth of the mind and diminish its power and reach, but with characters like Harry Potter and Doctor Who it is possible to see the correlation and maybe even reach a point where the two become one in a special and lasting symbiosis that will propel us through time and allow us to see that there is really nothing new, just the original truths and realities in different packaging.
It is time to take a new look at the old world and see what we have been taught to disregard with unseeing eyes and narrow minds.