Author Topic: Modern myth and legend  (Read 2709 times)

Samuel

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 953
  • geology rocks
Modern myth and legend
« on: December 01, 2015, 02:50:00 PM »
I expect many of you, like me, love a good yarn. Since I was a kid I've loved ancient Greek myths and Norse legends, that sort of thing, and while these are all 'just stories' I would hope that most of us can recognise that they are an effective means to convey truth. Not literal truth as in facts but something more elusive about the nature of people etc. Storytelling is a powerful medium for communication.

But, one thing myths and legends have in common is that they are all really old. I think it would be great to have a modern set of 'myths' that convey meaning and truth relevant to today's society.

I don't have one of my own, but I can adapt something I heard from a pro story teller recently...

Title: The story-telling dragon

A shepherd girl from a small coastal village befriends a sea monster that lives in a cave in the cliffs. It tell long and wild stories about ancient times. One day the village story teller dies and the shepherd girl invites the monster to come to the village fire and become the new storyteller. The monster accepts but to begin with the people fear it and want to kill it. The girl defends the monster and the villagers learn to love stories it tells - tales of landscapes and lifeforms that vanished millions of years ago. Years later the monster has told all its stories and returns to its cave, where all that remain of it are its bones that are embedded in the rock. The villagers continue to tell its stories to this day.


Fossils, geology, the ancient earth... brilliant
A lot of people don't believe that the loch ness monster exists. Now, I don't know anything about zooology, biology, geology, herpetology, evolutionary theory, evolutionary biology, marine biology, cryptozoology, palaeontology or archaeology... but I think... what if a dinosaur got into the lake?

BashfulAnthony

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7527
Re: Modern myth and legend
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2015, 03:55:24 PM »
I expect many of you, like me, love a good yarn. Since I was a kid I've loved ancient Greek myths and Norse legends, that sort of thing, and while these are all 'just stories' I would hope that most of us can recognise that they are an effective means to convey truth. Not literal truth as in facts but something more elusive about the nature of people etc. Storytelling is a powerful medium for communication.

But, one thing myths and legends have in common is that they are all really old. I think it would be great to have a modern set of 'myths' that convey meaning and truth relevant to today's society.

I don't have one of my own, but I can adapt something I heard from a pro story teller recently...

Title: The story-telling dragon

A shepherd girl from a small coastal village befriends a sea monster that lives in a cave in the cliffs. It tell long and wild stories about ancient times. One day the village story teller dies and the shepherd girl invites the monster to come to the village fire and become the new storyteller. The monster accepts but to begin with the people fear it and want to kill it. The girl defends the monster and the villagers learn to love stories it tells - tales of landscapes and lifeforms that vanished millions of years ago. Years later the monster has told all its stories and returns to its cave, where all that remain of it are its bones that are embedded in the rock. The villagers continue to tell its stories to this day.


Fossils, geology, the ancient earth... brilliant

Puff, the magic dragon, lived by the sea...      ???
BA.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.

It is my commandment that you love one another."

Jack Knave

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8717
Re: Modern myth and legend
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2015, 08:03:42 PM »
Aren't our modern myths Star Wars etc.....?

One of the reasons for myths was to bring together the tribe, to find common ground in their culture and lifestyle etc. We don't have much of a culture like that anymore which is why myths in these community configurations don't exist any longer. However, when strangers meet and find they have a common interest that seems to create an instant friendship and bond.

Outrider

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 11060
Re: Modern myth and legend
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2015, 10:24:19 PM »
Aren't our modern myths Star Wars etc.....?

One of the reasons for myths was to bring together the tribe, to find common ground in their culture and lifestyle etc. We don't have much of a culture like that anymore which is why myths in these community configurations don't exist any longer. However, when strangers meet and find they have a common interest that seems to create an instant friendship and bond.

I wonder if people looking back at us will view our film adaptations of the likes of Noah and Thor as homages, retellings or f they'll think people believed these... we presume the ancient Norse believed in Thor, we presume the ancient Jews believed in Noah - maybe they knew they were just archetypes for the story and the people that followed them fell for it...?

O.
Universes are forever, not just for creation...

New Atheism - because, apparently, there's a use-by date on unanswered questions.

Eminent Pedant, Interpreter of Heretical Writings, Unwarranted Harvester of Trite Nomenclature, Church of Debatable Saints

Rhiannon

  • Guest
Re: Modern myth and legend
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2015, 09:23:19 AM »
Puff, the magic dragon, lived by the sea...      ???

You know that's a tale of the loss of innocence and the ability to believe in things that others say are just fairy stories, right?

horsethorn

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12132
  • Anomalographer
    • "We are star stuff. We are the universe made manifest trying to figure itself out." (Delenn, Babylon 5)
Re: Modern myth and legend
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2015, 10:07:04 AM »
Aren't our modern myths Star Wars etc.....?


Isn't there a scene in one of the dragon-related post-apocalyptic movies from a few years ago, where the adults were doing Star Wars as a play, to educate the kids?

ht
Darth Horsethorn, Most Patient Saint®, Senior Wrangler®, Knight Inerrant® and Gonnagle of the Reformed Church of the Debatable Saints®
Steampunk Panentheist
Not an atheist
"We are star stuff. We are the universe made manifest trying to figure itself out." (Delenn, Babylon 5)

Udayana

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3434
  • βε ηερε νοω
Re: Modern myth and legend
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2015, 10:57:38 AM »
"Reign of fire" I think.
We didn't start the fire...

Udayana

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3434
  • βε ηερε νοω
Re: Modern myth and legend
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2015, 11:03:11 AM »
Star trek (TOS) is also myth making, also hhgttg, LotR, various Westerns, films or series. There is a lot of story telling and relating history as narrative, some things eventually become myths and legends, most don't.
We didn't start the fire...

Samuel

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 953
  • geology rocks
Re: Modern myth and legend
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2015, 12:52:39 PM »
Aren't our modern myths Star Wars etc.....?

One of the reasons for myths was to bring together the tribe, to find common ground in their culture and lifestyle etc. We don't have much of a culture like that anymore which is why myths in these community configurations don't exist any longer. However, when strangers meet and find they have a common interest that seems to create an instant friendship and bond.

That's interesting Jack, I hand't thought of that before.

A lot of people don't believe that the loch ness monster exists. Now, I don't know anything about zooology, biology, geology, herpetology, evolutionary theory, evolutionary biology, marine biology, cryptozoology, palaeontology or archaeology... but I think... what if a dinosaur got into the lake?

Rhiannon

  • Guest
Re: Modern myth and legend
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2015, 06:12:28 PM »
That's interesting Jack, I hand't thought of that before.

And people do form tribes around the modern mythologies.

Rhiannon

  • Guest
Re: Modern myth and legend
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2015, 06:18:58 PM »
I expect many of you, like me, love a good yarn. Since I was a kid I've loved ancient Greek myths and Norse legends, that sort of thing, and while these are all 'just stories' I would hope that most of us can recognise that they are an effective means to convey truth. Not literal truth as in facts but something more elusive about the nature of people etc. Storytelling is a powerful medium for communication.

But, one thing myths and legends have in common is that they are all really old. I think it would be great to have a modern set of 'myths' that convey meaning and truth relevant to today's society.

I don't have one of my own, but I can adapt something I heard from a pro story teller recently...

Title: The story-telling dragon

A shepherd girl from a small coastal village befriends a sea monster that lives in a cave in the cliffs. It tell long and wild stories about ancient times. One day the village story teller dies and the shepherd girl invites the monster to come to the village fire and become the new storyteller. The monster accepts but to begin with the people fear it and want to kill it. The girl defends the monster and the villagers learn to love stories it tells - tales of landscapes and lifeforms that vanished millions of years ago. Years later the monster has told all its stories and returns to its cave, where all that remain of it are its bones that are embedded in the rock. The villagers continue to tell its stories to this day.


Fossils, geology, the ancient earth... brilliant

I love story-telling; one of the best I went to was one focussing on the stories of the Essex witch hunts interlaced with East Anglian folk stories. Not a modern myth by any means, sorry Sam, but nevertheless one of my favourite folk stories here.

http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/authors/jacobs/moreenglish/buriedmoon.html

Jack Knave

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8717
Re: Modern myth and legend
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2015, 07:10:50 PM »
I wonder if people looking back at us will view our film adaptations of the likes of Noah and Thor as homages, retellings or f they'll think people believed these... we presume the ancient Norse believed in Thor, we presume the ancient Jews believed in Noah - maybe they knew they were just archetypes for the story and the people that followed them fell for it...?

O.
If they do their homework they will know that they were done to say something about our time and about us. People don't do things for anything else except to express something about who they are and/or their situation in life and society, whether they know if or not. Some of the things are immediate commensal issues and others are more magnanimous, collective and archetypal in their needs. We have the endless comic book characters and the films, plays and novels about history, the future and the big questions of our age.

When I wrote my post in reply to this thread I thought about the gang in the The Big Bang Theory comedy programme. With all their education and know how and academic achievements at the cutting edge of science they still unconsciously feel totally unfulfilled and pine for something that has vitality and life in their lives.

Jack Knave

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8717
Re: Modern myth and legend
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2015, 07:15:25 PM »
Isn't there a scene in one of the dragon-related post-apocalyptic movies from a few years ago, where the adults were doing Star Wars as a play, to educate the kids?

ht
I wouldn't know my movie watching stopped a few decades ago.

If they did then they were teaching them the wrong thing as the way the third one ends is all wrong.

Jack Knave

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8717
Re: Modern myth and legend
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2015, 07:18:16 PM »
Star trek (TOS) is also myth making, also hhgttg, LotR, various Westerns, films or series. There is a lot of story telling and relating history as narrative, some things eventually become myths and legends, most don't.
HHGTTG - Brilliant!!!......series.....film not so hot.

Jack Knave

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8717
Re: Modern myth and legend
« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2015, 07:25:31 PM »
And people do form tribes around the modern mythologies.
Yes, conventions and all that. And they dress up in their favourite characters just in the same way medieval man dressed up as devils and other characters and ancient peoples as animals and the like.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2015, 07:28:00 PM by Jack Knave »

Bubbles

  • Guest
Re: Modern myth and legend
« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2015, 06:54:24 PM »
You know that's a tale of the loss of innocence and the ability to believe in things that others say are just fairy stories, right?

No, I thought it was just a nice story about the friendship between a boy and a dragon  :(

People have even speculated it's about drugs.

The writer intended it to be about a boy and a dragon.

Quote

"My poem was directly inspired by a poem called 'A Tale of Custard the Dragon,'" published by Ogden Nash in 1936. "Pirates and dragons, back then, were common interests in stories for boys. The Puff story is really just a lot like Peter Pan.”

He says one of the worst incidents of “the question” occurred years ago when Lipton was being deposed in a lawsuit in which he was not a litigant, but simply testifying on behalf of an inventor. He says a lawyer grilled him with questions, including asking about Puff and its meaning despite the fact “that it had nothing at all to do with the litigation.”

Though “the question” used to so annoy Lipton that, for a while, he tried to distance himself entirely from Puff, he says now, at 74 years of age, he’s lightened his attitude. “I’ve gotten somewhat softer or less irritable. Now I don't care. I mean, there are various ways to handle it. When people ask, I can let them hang. Or I can help them.”

He attributes the creation of "the myth" to (now deceased) journalist Dorothy Kilgallen, a New York newspaper columnist. According to Lipton, she wrote a column saying "Puff" was about drugs, which was quickly picked up by Newsweek, who then called Lipton for an interview. “She started ‘the myth.’ But if she hadn't done it, someone else would have,” says Lipton.

Despite 52 years of categorical denials, Lipton says he thinks it’s unlikely that either “the question” or the drug perception will die. “Fifty years ago, I could not have imagined we'd still be having this conversation.” The only reason it remains a point of contention with Lipton is that he’d like to see the story of Puff turned into a feature film. “It's not a good thing because it's prevented my dramatic exploitation of the property. It's inhibited it. There are some people for whom that would be a stumbling block.”
http://www.laweekly.com/music/the-man-who-wrote-puff-the-magic-dragon-swears-its-not-about-drugs-5365040


« Last Edit: December 05, 2015, 06:58:50 PM by Rose »

Rhiannon

  • Guest
Re: Modern myth and legend
« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2015, 07:15:20 PM »
Er, yes, it's the story of a boy and a dragon. And when the boy grows up he thinks Puff was just make-believe and so he stops going to see him, and so the dragon is left alone.

Nearly Sane

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 22867
Re: Modern myth and legend
« Reply #17 on: December 05, 2015, 07:21:29 PM »
Er, yes, it's the story of a boy and a dragon. And when the boy grows up he thinks Puff was just make-believe and so he stops going to see him, and so the dragon is left alone.

And links to Peter Pan as that is about only being able to stay in Neverland never growing up. So the writer's comments this up.

Bubbles

  • Guest
Re: Modern myth and legend
« Reply #18 on: December 05, 2015, 07:24:43 PM »
Oh well! I think I prefer my version, but never mind  :-[


Bubbles

  • Guest
Re: Modern myth and legend
« Reply #19 on: December 05, 2015, 07:28:25 PM »
I like this article on modern myths.

I have heard the one about someone giving a lift to a ghost before, they circulate on the Internet now :D

http://hubpages.com/education/Modern-Day-Fairy-Tales-Urban-Legends

We used to have one ( a ghost) on a certain local road, where someone was killed,  very similar. People gave the ghost a lift not realising, then it disappeared when they were driving along......talking to them.
They look, to find them gone.

That wasn't spread by the Internet though, because it was before the Internet.

Urban myths.

:)
« Last Edit: December 05, 2015, 07:32:07 PM by Rose »

Jack Knave

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8717
Re: Modern myth and legend
« Reply #20 on: December 05, 2015, 07:31:49 PM »
Er, yes, it's the story of a boy and a dragon. And when the boy grows up he thinks Puff was just make-believe and so he stops going to see him, and so the dragon is left alone.
And the moral of the story is...... :)

Bubbles

  • Guest
Re: Modern myth and legend
« Reply #21 on: December 05, 2015, 07:33:09 PM »
And the moral of the story is...... :)

Don't break your dragons heart, and that dragons are real!!!

Dragons need luv too  :-*
 ;D

Jack Knave

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8717
Re: Modern myth and legend
« Reply #22 on: December 05, 2015, 07:40:32 PM »
Don't break your dragons heart, and that dragons are real!!!

Dragons need luv too  :-*
 ;D
OK. Dragons aren't real so what does it represent?

Nearly Sane

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 22867
Re: Modern myth and legend
« Reply #23 on: December 05, 2015, 07:42:04 PM »

Bubbles

  • Guest
Re: Modern myth and legend
« Reply #24 on: December 05, 2015, 07:45:59 PM »
OK. Dragons aren't real so what does it represent?

Why does it have to represent anything?

I used to think it was quite a sad song.

Why not just enjoy the story? Rather than analysing it all.

I like LOTR but don't need to interpret it like some do, I just enjoy the story  ;D

Or what I think the story is  ;D