Theories & Links

Lawrence and Jewett explore Bush's "Rambo delusion"... The US has a national fascination with stories of selfless superheroes who must circumvent the law to save communities with failing institutions and leaders. Translated as an impulse for the world stage, the mythic imperative requires shielding American crusaders in the war against terrorism -- no matter how unpopular they may become.As the United States maneuvers to disable the International Criminal Court, other nations are baffled. Last month, it finally succeeded in gaining from the United Nations Security Council a one-year exemption from any criminal prosecution.

Resources: Superheroes

The American Superhero

Devoted to the work of Robert Jewett and John Shelton Lawrence have who in a series of books have shown that the American heroic ideal, conveyed in formula stories of "the American monomyth," is explicitly anti-democratic and contagious. Crusading loners, attracted by guns, bombs, and the call to destroy evil, act out the premises of the myth with tragic consequences. This book shows how Timothy McVey (the Oklahoma City bomber) and Theodore Kacznyski (the Unabomber) have the courage of the mythic convictions ritually enacted by celebrity stars such as John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, and Steven Seagal.

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