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Pondering the South African Memesphere – Looking for the Good in Everything

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Cultural Diversity and Spiderman

May 6th, 2007 · Posted by Who Knows? · No Comments

I have to blog, my mind is milling with thoughts I need to flush out. Writing just one post, might also get the other posts I have in mind, out of my mind for the time being. If not, expect a seriousish post following soon. ;)

On Friday I blogged about a review of Spiderman that I hadn’t actually read. Having seen Spiderman last night, I returned to read her “review”/discussion, and I do quite like it. She does try to hide details, but also sketches out large parts of the plot. It’s hard for me to recommend who should and who shouldn’t read it before watching the movie, but I would like to encourage reading it afterwards. (See the Spiderman 3 review on frederica.com.)

I dislike being too critical of movies, that sometimes just takes the fun out of them. Being a movie critic isn’t my profession, after all. So while I might think about and/or comment about how this movie suffers from “franchise fatigue”, I don’t want to. If you like broad horizons, do take a look at Spidey’s on his last legs, a critical review on Times Online, but make up your own mind. (Why do people associate “critical” with “negative”? Pity… though that one is indeed a negative review. What other word or words could I have used?) I do watch Spiderman for entertainment. While I like that there are some “deeper things” than typical action movies, there isn’t really much pretence. (Don’t get me started on “documentaries”, too many of them are pure entertainment, posing as something else. *sigh*)

Anyway, some interesting cultural differences: Frederica points out that in Spiderman, “There was an invitingly old-fashioned quality to these stories, with a chaste true-love angle, and kisses treated with more respect than complete nudity gets in other movies.” Sweet? Consider now India, as illustrated in the recent (mid April) uproar about Richard Gere giving a Bollywood actress a peck on the cheek. A warrant was even issued for his arrest. In Bollywood movies, you will see sexy dancing and sexual innuendo that might have some Westerners blush. (Am I exaggerating?) However, no actual kissing occurs: public displays of affection is still considered taboo.

Oh, by the way, the thing that made me subscribe to Frederica.com “for later reading”, was a link Steve sent me: Let’s Have More Teen Pregnancy. She makes a case for younger marriage. Give it a chance, she’s a thoughtful person, a very interesting essay! Then we can maybe have a little discussion in the comments?

(Of course, I’m personally quite grateful for the “culture of late marriage” – maybe because I was a late developer, I’ll spare you the reasons and details. It makes interesting food for thought though, to ponder what effect a completely different culture might have had on you. For example, had I not ended up in an all-boys’ school at a time when co-ed might have done me a world of good, what effect would that have had? Good or bad? Not that one course through life is “better”, and another “worse” – people really should look at their past in the best possible light and appreciate how that made them who they are, and how to best apply that in their present, to shape their future.)

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