Saturday, August 13, 2011

HP Lovecraft: Mayan cosmonaut.

Okay, not really.  That statement would hack off Lovecraft, I think, but I'd hope he'd laugh. 

Here's a quote from an excellent interview on BoingBoing by Maggie Koerth-Baker with John Hoopes, an authority on ancient Mayan culture and one of MKB's former professors at the University of Kansas. Think the 2012ists are crazy? You're right, and here's why. There's more to it than you think.

My interest was piqued with the following quote:

[T]he most recent research I’ve been doing, and I haven’t published on this yet, but I’m finding links between the work of H.P. Lovecraft and influence of that on 2012. Michael Coe was a huge Lovecraft fan, even. I’m working on a manuscript on that right now. But Lovecraft is at the root of a lot of the ideas here, like the cycles of destruction, for instance. That’s not Mayan, that’s Lovecraft. Lovecraft himself had a lot of skepticism and felt that spiritualism was appropriate for fiction but didn’t believe any of it in everyday reality, and he kind of used his fiction as a way to mock those beliefs a little. But now that’s being used as reality.

Whenever I read items like this interview, I am first grateful that there are still rational thinkers out there. I'm also concerned about how to change culture so that there's less crazy and more sane, with more sane being better critical thinking. I admit, I could've done a better job of teaching critical thinking when I was a university instructor; it's a hard task to take on, and it requires at the very least cooperation from students, with the best ones being the ones who change their process. 

So can this task be done? Can we make people into better citizens? Accusations of racism and classism fly when the term "better" comes out. But there has got to be a "better," because otherwise we are doomed to the lowest common denominator.

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