Not sure if you can generalize to all humanists that we don't like fantasy but speaking for myself, I think there is a distinction between TV cartoons and mythology and fantasy,even though they often are used interchangeably.
Just as I am discriminating in my taste of food (I'll fit your stereotype of a westerner who dislikes spicy food
), movies and books, I equally demand a high standard for TV programs. As you've likely guessed, I watch little to no TV. Why? Because it's mostly crap!
"If'its not Scot'ish, it's crap!" - oops, sorry... a little Mike Meyers sneaking out there...
Agreed, that cartoons (at least what I've been exposed to) are typically fantasy but have naught to do with mythology, although some crossover does, of course, occur. Personally, I do like all of the above - sometimes I even enjoy a good escape via television or book, but that doesn't happen often these days as life keeps me fairly busy on the reality side of the universe (i.e. it's taken me a couple months to read a single fantasy book - granted, I'm not a fast reader).
Not much has changed in the last decade in terms of improving standards so if I were to have children now, I wouldn't even get a TV until they were significantly older. We'd be outdoors or reading together. Any cartoons, if I were later persuaded to get a TV, would be vetted first and what is most likely is that I would watch the cartoons with
my kids and talk about what they were seeing and how that translates to real life. Thinking comes first. Escapism much later. Running away from reality(our uncomfortable thoughts, pain, boredom etc) doesn't make reality ultimately disappear; we're here for a very short time, might as well face it all.
This is a concept that I'm working to incorporate myself - learning to embrace all of life, not just the warm-fuzzy parts, but the course, abrasive, and uncomfortable bits too -- it's all a part of our one chance at existence and so I (intellectually, right now) feel that it should all be embraced in all it's glory *and* all it's distress. I suppose a part of my predilection for 'going to my happy place' is a limited ability to cope with pain and suffering, be it direct or observed, and so this - i suppose - gives me an idea of where I need to "work-out" my psyche (sp?) in order to strengthen my character and get all there is to be obtained from this short life... (thanks for the thoughts!)
Marian wrote:Fantasy is one tool in which mythology can be transmitted but the same can be said of story-telling and poetry for example. None of these have to be irrational or ineffective depending on their ultimate aim ie. teaching people to think.
One could think of religion, say xianity, as just a series of stories transmitted through the bible but I have to look at why they were created and perpetuated to understand there's more to the picture in terms of controlling people, having them turn away from conscious, rational thought etc.
My favourite fantasy series is: Forgotten Realms -The Legend of Drizzt by R.A. Salvatore. It incorporates a commentary about conformity, ostracism, life choices and morality into a terrific storyline with wonderful imaginative characters.
Good books! Where did you stumble into those?
I feel that story-telling and mythology (as story telling, not as religion) are indeed very useful -- they incorporate ideas into the 'language of life' that allow us to share and connect with others with a -- shall we say, efficiency... Language is terribly lacking, really, for all that it's done for us; words and sentences are so easy to read out of context, but as you build higher and deeper layers (i.e. mythology) you are concentrating the base notions into clearer and clearer concepts. Therefore, if I speak of Romeo, Sisyphus, or the like, I can be communicating about certain life-notions in a fairly consistent way...
oh shoot - I'm out of time! by for now!