Tuesday, January 02, 2007

I Blame Peter, Paul and Mary

When you have small children, you enter a different culture. One of the features of this culture that seems worse this time around is the plethora of cutesy dragons. Maybe it is specific to boys -- their pajamas seem to have nothing else.

The old fart in me wonders how this generation is going to be able to have the same reaction I did when I first read The Hobbit and the fearsome Smaug finally appeared. Dragons are supposed to be scary, but I can't imagine that popular culture has created a sinister dragon since 1959.

It was their scariness -- and therefore misunderstood "otherness" -- that made sense of the friendly dragon theme in the first place. But the self-reflexive parasitical nature of this kind of counter-culture ultimately undermines itself, just like Cardinal Ratzinger said it would. Who's scared of dragons now?

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