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Reply To: Incarcerated, But Not Imprisoned,” with Mythologist Dennis Slattery, Ph.D.”


    Oh Dennis; I so loved your op-ed on “Lying and Violence” and what the role of the artist can play in dispelling it’s negative effects:

    ” The place and power of the arts, including writing but not limited to it, is that they have the power “to vanquish lies.”

    I think in many ways this speaks to very heart of much of the intimately personal and outwardly social suffering we see and experience in much of today’s modern world. Indeed these eternal truth’s keep surfacing again and again as powerfully resonant recurring themes that break through the veil that so often imprisons us all in whatever form they make their appearance. And whether it’s the schoolyard bully or the political lie uses coercion through the rhetoric of intimidation and through the vehicle of the lie to promote their cause. How many young boys and girls have been manipulated and minimized and made to feel less than who they are by the facade or mask of the machismo persona of a bullying male or the social shame for a young girl of the embarrassment of not being feminine enough. And is this constant recurring theme not reflected through art when we see Michelangelo’s “David” with his slingshot and “steady gaze” at the bully Goliath  “knows” he can vanquish him?; (do we not see this very same archetype) in every Western where the hero has to rise to the occasion to meet his foe?; or when we see the Statue of Mother Mary holding the broken body of Jesus in her arms – (do we not feel the pain) of every mother who has ever born a child? (So very well said Dennis!)  Yes; art reminds us of these eternal themes that the lie intends to cover and only truth through these various forms can reveal. The song; the written page; the paint brush on canvas or the sculpture’s chisel on stone all are vehicles to break this spell as you so insightfully point out.

    And if I may be permitted; it is also why I think what you are doing is so vitally important; because in these confusing and emotionally challenging times I don’t think there is anything more important than to help someone find their voice so they can speak their truth to a world that so desperately needs to hear it!


    One last word for those not familiar with Dennis’s page. Although the link to his site has already been listed in a separate discussion I will leave it here as well. (I check it regularly because he always has something I like reading about and his painting is fascinating as well. You may like them too as you explore other areas of his site.) Dennis Slattery’s blog