Snakes…why did it have to be snakes?

“Asps…very dangerous…you go first, Indy.”

They are, of course, garter snakes, and not at all dangerous. A video at National Geographic explains why the snakes are in Manitoba at the Narcisse snake pits in such numbers. Think Maslow’s hierarchy–shelter, food, and sex.


Where did I put that MacGuffin?

Ace has a brief essay here about the MacGuffinization of American politics.

A Macguffin is the object of pursuit of the Hero (and the Villain) in a movie. According to Alfred Hitchcock, it doesn’t really matter what the McGuffin is, just the pursuit by the Hero of the Lost Ark, the Shankara Stones, or the Holy Grail.

Ace tells us that, to the liberal media, politics has become the story of the triumphs and travails of The One, not the actual policies or legislation in question. His essay is an insightful look at the media’s lack of interest in the problems of Obamacare, for example, but the keen interest in how Obama feels about it.

Note what they’re not talking about: America. Policy. The economy. Obamacare. Actual live political controversies and possible programmatic responses to the difficulties we face (many of which Obama has caused himself, or made worse).

No, American politics is now merely a MacGuffin, an important-sounding but ultimately inconsequential and disposable plot device for holding interest in the Hero’s Journey.

Ultimately the only thing that matters is the Hero itself. It doesn’t matter why the Hero Barack Obama wants the Lost Ark of Sensible Gun Control, or the Shankara Stones of Comprehensive Immigration Reform, or the Democratic Holy Grail of Affordable Health Care. These are very minor details and only matter to the extent the Hero exerts himself to achieve them.

The viewers of this film don’t really care about these things, but only Obama’s frustration at being denied them, or his joy in attaining them.

Read the whole thing.