Friday, July 31, 2009

Xena, Buffy, Sarah Palin: Revenge of the Wolf Girl

By Bernie Quigley

- for The Hill on 7/31/09

Anyone who lived in New York City in the mid-70s will recall the odd notice every day on page two of the city edition of The New York Times right above the Brooks Brothers ad. It was put there by a sincere group of Hasidim, bearded old world Jews who had arrived from Russia not long before. Should Jews settle in one place or travel throughout the world it asked. What is God’s will?

The argument is the oldest and most elementary in the tradition. Should we travel and live like the hunters and gatherers of old, or stay put and farm? Hunters were a moon-based culture long since displaced by time. The Hasidim, as I understand it, still use a lunar calendar. Farming is a sun-based culture. The question was should we live by the ways of the moon as the old tribes did when the women synchronized their menstrual cycles so as to have them occur all at once in the full moon when the men were away on the hunt, or live in the sun and build tall all in the same place, as we build tall today in New York, Chicago, Dubai, Singapore.

Building tall in one place might be seen in our day as being environmentally imperfect. Even fatefully flawed from the beginning. Only the Sun King would build such a narrow, vulnerable, fragile and inadaptable society. Those who lived by the moon knew the earth’s heart because the moon is daughter to the earth. It might be said that the earth cannot be free again until the moon’s daughters come back. That is precisely the crux of the rabbinical riddle in The New York Times; to live by the ways of the moon or those of the sun.

Could be that which is breaking Wall Street; the return of the moon’s daughters. When the bell actually broke on Wall Street last fall on the morning the Dow hit that number storied in the occult, 777.7, was only a day or so before that the huntress, first daughter today of the moon and forest, arrived here in the lower 48 and took to the podium with John McCain. Nothing strikes to the heart of a staid agricultural megatropolis as a free, beautiful woman with a hunting rifle. She is feral anima, the enemy unseen by Big Nurse in the Cukoo Nest; the wolf girl actively at war with the Corporation Mother in Hayao Miyazaki’s masterpiece, Princess Mononoke.

But it could have been seen coming in the pop culture which is only the dream of the wider corporation culture. Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, - they call her The Slayer because she comes with a sword - was a dead serious venue. She came into the night as a destroyer but not one who wanted to destroy the corporate culture or be any part of it. She came at first to protect her sister, a child, from sexual abuse. She came to take the night back from predators. The adults, in this series were much like those in Twilight – a horde of city-bound automatons; not that far from the undead themselves. Indeed, there was often no clear distinction between living and the dead, and those psychically alive lived in secret. But Buffy came with a sword delivered to her by the Earth Mother herself: In the last episode, she appears from behind a veil as Buffy pulls a sword from a stone. “You pulled the sword from the stone,” she said. “I was the one who put it there.”

Likewise Xena, Warrior Princess; hunter, gatherer, head buster, heart breaker, moon mother incarnate.

And this is the difference with Sarah Palin. And this is why corporation women hate her. She does not want to work as an employee of the Sun King or serve in any capacity in his realm. She does not want to be an op-ed columnist for The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal. She does not want to be a chaired professor at Harvard or Duke or Berkeley or a Judge or a Vice President of Hewlett Packer. She already has everything she has ever wanted. Like Buffy, she wants to protect her daughters and live quiet under the moon and near to the wolf on the edge of the forest with them and with her Indian husband.

To understand Sarah, look to Bella, whose best friend is kin to the wolf. It is essential in understanding the turning of the times (and consequently the century and possibly the millennium) to recognize that the same contempt that was shown to Palin eight months ago was also shown to Twilight, the book and movie as well. They represent a turning of the generations and as William James wrote, all institutions move to create their own orthodoxy and destroy the original, the new, the next generation. It will ruin everything. In the Academy Awards last, Twilight was barely mentioned and the papers like The Washington Post loaded up with erstwhile professoriate proclaiming them un-deconstructivist, etc., etc. etc. – certainly not like we were back in the Seventies.

The press was still waiting for Harry Potter to kiss the girl. Then this happened. Seven months on the world started catching up. Twilight won most all of the MTV awards and today it is impossible to pass a check out stand at the grocery without a look over to Robert Pattisson’s hypnotic green eyes on Kristin. Five million have already watched them kiss on You Tube. And unlike Harry and what’s-her-name in their new movie, they seem to have learned how to do it pretty well.

The age is upon us and it takes its first sensibilities from a new moon. It will be a generation what has learned to love the moon and live under it, not fear it and oppose it, reversing a course of 200, 400, possibly 600 years in the West.

Something is happening here. We are beginning to think about the moon again. And we plan to go there again in 2020. And the question we should ask today is the same that the Russian rabbis asked us to think about in New York back the mid-70s: How will we go forward, building more upon more, floor upon floor, with the sons of the sun or traveling again to the forest with the daughters of the moon?


Goethe Girl said...

I liked the association of Sarah Palin with Xena, etc. SP seems like a wonderful, beautiful "package" of conservative ideals, but there is something mythical, primordial in the associations she evokes, which you have touched on. The silent family beside her, too.

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