Jeez!! What a spiteful woman Inanna is! I s’pose that’s the kind of gal that end up being the goddess of sex and war. Well, how does this all end? Surely a girl like this flips and flops a bit about what they want? Maybe Dumuzi stays dead forever? I’m glad she’s back anyhow, the world was missing having sex … and war … hmm, strange dichotomies in action here.
One of the things that the Long Weekend looks at is the link between past mythologies and the present. Loosely speaking this echoes Jung’s concept of the archetypes and how they relate to structure of our psyche today. One might say that the idea of the Cultural Complex is the logical extension of this idea only it is as applied to a larger group of people, i.e. cultural groups and their behaviours. I shan’t go into this too much since greater minds have covered this in a few other places and I’m not a great person at explaining stuff like this in words … which is why I made a comic instead. The original essay of the Long Weekend in Alice Springs was contained in a book called The Cultural Complex which has numerous essays from all around the world. Each of them explores this idea in different ways, tries to articulate what it might mean for the modern world etc.
The idea goes some way in trying to explore why some culturals/national groups behave in certain ways. Historically it was not a well-covered concept. Jung postulated the idea but his example at the time was controversial – Wotan, the Germanic name for the Norse god Odin, and his possession of the German psyche in the rise of Nazism.
- “Wotan is a restless wanderer who creates unrest and stirs up strife, now here, now there, and works magic. He was soon changed by Christianity into the devil, and only lived on in fading local traditions as a ghostly hunter who was seen with his retinue, flickering like a will o’ the wisp through the stormy night. In the Middle Ages the role of the restless wanderer was taken over by Ahasuerus, the Wandering Jew, which is not a Jewish but a Christian legend. The motif of the wanderer who has not accepted Christ was projected on the Jews, in the same way as we always rediscover our unconscious psychic contents in other people. At any rate the coincidence of anti-Semitism with the reawakening of Wotan is a psychological subtlety that may perhaps be worth mentioning.”
excerpt from “Essay On Wotan” By Dr. Carl Gustav Jung (1946)
Understandably enough, the idea became somewhat stigmatised and has not really been expanded upon until very recently with the 2004 book The Cultural Complex. The introduction to this book by editors Tom Singer and Samuel Kimbles suggests that the end of the dual superpowers of Communism and Capitalism, the collapse of a binary world view after the fall of the Berlin Wall, has led us to recognise the diverse cultural conflicts that exist across the planet.
“Much of what tears us apart can be understood as the manifestation of autonomous processes in the collective and individual psyche that organize themselves as cultural complexes.” (T Singer and S Kimbles, 2004 from the Cultural Complex)
The story of Inanna’s descent into the Underworld is hinted at in the structure of the essay of Craig’s and I felt that it could be an excellent addition to the story in translating it into comic form. I felt that it would better set the scene for certain ideas that get explored later on, particularly in the second chapter – Saturday.