Mythology

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The following paper was written for my Buddhist Traditions class, led by Dr. Patrick Mahaffey. The original presentation that inspired this paper can be found here. Tintin in Tibet was written in 1960 by Belgian writer Hergé, neé George Remi. The comic features the title character Tintin in search for his friend Tchang, whose plane has crashed in the Himalayas. When the search turns up nothing, Tintin fears the worst. Despondent, he takes refuge in a Buddhist monastery to recover from his grief and his near-death experiences in the mountains. The ageless and inquisitive reporter is the subject of numerous comics spanning over five decades—from the late twenties to Hergé’s death in the eighties. The comics’ popularity is due in part to the comics’ sweeping international landscapes, daring adventures, and Hergé’s expressive artwork; but the character of Tintin is one that draws people in. He is the iconic youth, always optimistic and progressive (as symbolized with the forward and upward style of his hair—an icon in itself). Along with mystery and adventure, the stories express central themes such as tolerance, chivalry, and most importantly compassion. His selfless defense of not only his friends but of the oppressed is an example …

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EElectrocuting dead bodies is fun. Well, the smell isn’t so nice, but hey! They twitch. That’s what matters, right? In fact, this so excited European scientists at the turn of the nineteenth century that they thought electricity must be the Spark of Life. Sound familiar?   One of my favorite novels is Frankenstein, Or the Modern Prometheus by Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin Shelley, published anonymously in 1818, then republished (with edits) under her own name in 1831. It was a landmark piece of work, the first-ever science fiction novel, and a treatise on science, politics, feminism, mythology, religion, … need I go on? Those who know me well know this has been brought up because I’ve been applying for graduate school again, for a PhD in Mythological Studies with Emphasis in Depth Psychology. As part of the application process I needed a ten page writing sample. What better subject to write about than a modern myth that has continued to evolve for two hundred years? After all, science was changing the world and breaking the barriers of superstition. And yes, I’m talking about electrocuting dead bodies. They called it Galvanism. Catchy, isn’t it? Edit: This paper certainly does not reflect the …

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Ah, Starbucks. Named for Captain Ahab’s faithful first mate in Herman Meville’s Moby Dick; cult obsession of my hometown, Seattle; worldwide coffee sensation; provider of my daily happy juice. But I’m not here to talk about my obsession with my Caramel Macciato or my Earl Grey Tea Latté (seriously, guys, “London Fog” was a lot easier to shout over the din of 7am commuters). A lot of people are under the impression that the woman on the Starbucks logo is a mermaid (two tales? Okay, I can kind of the go with that), or a Siren (see right). Unfortunately the bit about the Siren is tragically wrong. Pop culture has shifted our recollection of the Greek myths. A prime example of this is Perseus riding Pegasus. The only mortal to ever ride Pegasus was Bellerophon, son of Poseidon and master of horses. Perseus had the winged sandals given to him by Mercury and therefore didn’t need a winged horse. The only connection the two have is that Pegasus was born of Medusa’s blood when Perseus beheaded her (a result of having trysted with Poseidon back in the day). But I digress. Ahem. Sorry, touched a bit of a nerve there. …

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