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Reply To: The Antlered Child,” with Mythologist Joanna Gardner, Ph.D.”

Dennis Slattery

    I was informed by both Joanna’s response to my Hannah story and Norland’s references to Ehrenreich’s Brightsided.

    What a time in history to see the variations on a theme called Reality today. In reading the new graphic version of Timothy Snyder’s On Tyranny (2021), I see that he referenced Vaclav Havel’s 1978 essay and subsequent book, The Power of the Powerless (1978). I took the short route and read several pages of the essay on-line. In his critique of the Soviet Propoganda machine, he hones in on the qualities of ideology; it takes one only a few minutes to draw comparisons with our current dodging of a shared reality, a shared mythos. “Ideology is a specious way of relating to the world. It offers human beings the illusion of an identity, of dignity, and of morality while making it easier for them to part with them. . . . It is a veil behind which human beings can hide their own fallen existence, their trivialization, and their adaptation to the status quo.”I hear Norland’s critique haunting Havel’s description. I also hear Joanna’s distinction echoing here as well.

    Is it a great lie we are suffering from; ok, but it is also a great cover-up that, perhaps Brightsided is a conveyor of.

    Thank you both; so enjoyed learning from your observations and insights. Norland, I read your blog; what a world you entered when you showed up to the San Diego dreamland. My warmth to you both.