Summary: The statue of the Fearless Girl vs. the Wall Street bull gets rave reviews, ignoring the false and foolish lesson it teaches girls. It depicts a delusion rooted in our history which has bloomed and now dominates our myths and actions.
“People need stories, more than bread, itself. They teach us how to live, and why. …Stories show us how to win.”
— The Master Storyteller in HBO’s “Arabian Nights”.
Should this inspire girls? Do we want to encourage girls and women to fight irrespective of the odds? In countless films and TV shows women say “I can take care of myself” when facing terrors that would worry a squad of Marines. This is quite mad. It is not that many girls learn to disregard the odds. Rather, this gives them inspirational myths that do not work, squeezing out useful myths — and overshadowing useful lessons.
This pretty statue is another example of our Lone Ranger fetish, so deeply embedded in US history. We fantasize about fixing America’s problems by solo efforts, either our effort for that of a superhero. On the rare occasions we do form mass movements for political reform — such as the Tea Party and Occupy movements, we organize for failure by refusing to designate leaders. This did not “just happen.
The harsh truth is that as individuals we are almost powerless before the power of the wealthy and their large institutions. Like buffalo or horses on the Great Plains, we have strength only in groups. It is the lesson of history, we forget and then re-learn at great cost. For example, the Roman Republic was strong — the Fasces their symbol of strength through unity — until its people lost their cohesion. Then they became sheep. All that remained was to determine who would rule them.
Fast forward to the Middle Ages. Medieval peasants were the epitome of sheeple. They did what their monarchs commanded, deferring to the divine right of kings. Both secular and religious leaders told peasants that obedience was their lot in life, and that rebellion against the king was rebellion against God (e.g., Romans 13: 1 – 7). The world becomes a better place only in the indefinite future when Jesus comes.
Eventually the peons realized that together they were powerful, and the world changed.
Cohesion was America’s greatest strength. Successful organizations shaped our history. Militia such as the Minutemen, commercial organizations such as wagon trains, civic law enforcement groups such as the San Francisco Committee of Vigilance, youth organization such as the Boy Scouts, military support groups such as the USO and Blue Star Mothers, the Rotary, the Grange, and countless others. Cohesion, not industrial power, was our secret weapon in WWII — as it was in most of our crises since 1776.
We knew in our bones that the first step to accomplishing anything was to organize.
Now we see this process in reverse. We have power, and a political structure allowing us to exercise that power. So our elites work to convince us that organizing is bad. We are told that the institutions through which we exercise power are bad: unions are bad for their members, governments are corrupt and seldom effectual. Congress is a clown show.
This idiocy has flowed into our mythical heroes. Batman, Spiderman, Robocop — all individuals, loners working without even a team, let alone an organization. They’re fun, but exacerbate our weakness. Organizations are ineffectual or evil — such as SHIELD in The Winter Soldier and the IMF in the “Mission Impossible” films.
This statue could have provided powerful inspiration for girls by depicting a pack of girls with pitchforks facing the bull.
Individual action — no matter how super-empowered — cannot save the America. When we teach that to our boys and girls, perhaps their generation will able to begin the reform of America. Perhaps they will write new myths for their children to pass on this lesson. See real inspirational videos at the end section.
For More Information
- We want heroes, not leaders. When that changes it will become possible to reform America.
- Our choice of heroes reveals much about America.
- Robocop is not a good role model for the youth of Detroit.
- Hollywood’s dream machine gives us the Leader we yearn for.
- The Lone Ranger tells us about America.
- Are our film heroes leading us to the future, or signaling despair?
- Why have our movies become so dark, showing a government so evil?
Examples of real motivational art.
Times of India produced this LEAD INDIA video. The background voice, in Hindi, urges listeners to take the first step and the rest will follow.
These are advertisements by an insurance company, a powerful inspirational message for us all.
Categories: Art, myth, & Literature