Signs & Portents

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Pagan News Beagle: Airy Monday, June 15

Who says pop culture doesn't matter? This week for Airy Monday we took at the ways that pop culture, society, and religion all interconnect. Read about the connection of Mad Max: Fury Road to the Morrigan, popular subversions of fairy tales, and how the political intrigue of ancient Greece compares to Game of Thrones. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

One of the biggest movies to debut this year so far has been Mad Max: Fury Road, a post-apocalyptic thriller that serves as a largely stand-alone sequel to the earlier 1980s trilogy. But what does it have to do with Paganism? According to Asa West, writing for Patheos, plenty including a comparison between the film's deuteragonist Imperator Furiosa and the Celtic goddess the Morrigan.

DC Comics character Wonder Woman's long had associations with Greek mythology, but is it possible she actually had a spiritual predecessor? Perhaps not, but this vase from ancient Greece, featuring an Amazon wielding a lasso certainly merits some interest. Read more about the find at Discovery.

With Disney's recent renaissance and the popularity of movies like Snow White and the Huntsman or Maleficent it's clear that princess are back in. But need such stories always follow the same formula? io9 takes a look at some of the best stories to parody, subvert, or criticize classic fairy tale princess tropes, from the graphic novel Fables to the web comic Fox & Willow.

Game of Thrones just finished its fifth season, with as much political intrigue, dynastic squabbling, and violence as usual. But how much of its representation of history (albeit through the lens of fantasy) is accurate? This article from National Geographic takes a look at some of the real-life drama behind Alexander the Great's family, recently brought to attention by excavations of a mysterious tomb in Greece.

Lastly, feminist and pop culture website The Mary Sue takes a look at what makes the new Ms. Marvel so important. A teenaged Muslim superheroine from New Jersey, Ms. Marvel (aka Kamala Khan) has proven one of Marvel's most popular new characters and a major success story for both female characters and those representing ethnic minorities.

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Aryós Héngwis (or the more modest Héngwis for short) is a native of the Pontic-Caspian steppe, born some 5000 years ago, near the village of Dereivka. In his youth he stood out from the other snakes for his love of learning and culture, eventually coming into the service of the local reǵs before moving westward toward Europe. Most recently, Aryós Héngwis left his home to pursue a new life in America, where he has come under the employ of BBI Media as an internet watchdog (or watchsnake, if you will), ever poised to strike the unwary troll.


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