I saw the new Winnie the Pooh this weekend with my two year old. A part of me was horrified to see Tigger and Pooh in superhero costumes, to see A.A. Milne's work reworked in such banal and contemporary terms. But I realize that things do date, and worse, they drop off the radar entirely, and that my son certainly enjoys the new Pooh and he's the audience. So, is it better to create something lasting or to keep it pure and obscure?
Also, Fiona Avery transcribes a few words from a lecture by Timothy B. Shutt, PhD from Kenyon College, on "The Epic Today." Shutt talks about the cultural longing for epics and suggests their placement/consignment in fantasy worlds has to do with our deeply ironic, post-modern culture. He also asks if we aren't past the age of irony now. The comments on epics being about belief (not necessarily religious belief, but strongly held, unabashed beliefs in notions of honor, glory, morality) remind me of the new Doctor Who (particularly the third season closer). Doctor Who is very, very definitely about belief, and the character is shown to be fueled by belief in an almost divine sense, and thus, fits Shutt's definition of epic very nicely. I am also intrigued by his comments that we are past irony. They caused me to recall David Brin's reaction to critical dismissal of the film, The Postman. Though he allowed it wasn't a perfect adaptation of his novel, he felt that it was a shame that the hope and patriotism couldn't be taken at face value by a cynical media. I'd like to be past irony myself. Certainly, watching my two year old watch Winnie the Pooh, I'd like him to grow up in a world that allows itself to wonder without shame.
Update: Doh! Speaking of "the Epic Today," I forgot all about this.