“Black Panther” opened this weekend to universal praise and massive success at the box-office. It seems to be yet another cultural phenomenon created by the ultra successful Marvel Studios, coming on the heels of one cultural phenomenon after another. And this one may be the most impactful yet.
Today WYT welcomes Jeff Salzman of the DailyEvolver.com for an Integral Chat on “Black Panther.” We both agree, it’s really good, it’s culturally important, but, as I ask Jeff in today’s show… is “Black Panther” truly Integral? Does it come from that place which we, as a society, as a species, are trying to reach? Is it a guidepost to help us get there?
And while we’re at it, what and where is that place? What are the muses on about, anyway? What do the great myths communicate to us? And why do they bring the same themes over and over again for each generation?
Let me summarize a story for you, and you tell me… Is this story brand new? Does it really come from the 1960’s or 70’s? Maybe the Dark Ages? Earlier than that?
Or is it simply eternal?
A King with a mystical origin and a great calling – to raise others up and unify his world through the highest principles – faces the return of a forgotten child, a blood relative with a claim on his throne, and an agenda of destruction born of grievance, pain and hatred. A great warrior who has suffered and knows all about injustice… who wants to lead the kingdom and correct the wrongs of the world his own way. Where does the King – or any hero – find the power to defeat a villain who makes a pretty damn good point?
And are these eternal messages also central to the amazing ten-year roll Marvel Studios has been on? What is it about their films that taps so acutely into our collective aspirations, our past, present, and future? What is it that audiences are so hungry for? And why is this phenomenon happening now?
Let’s talk it over…