Friday, March 20, 2009

Another of my first views of Kali: Ray Harryhausen's

A couple of months back I did a few posts on the goddess Kali and the places I'd first encountered her. I completely neglected perhaps the very first time I saw her. As a kid I was a big fan of the Golden Voyage of Sinbad. I loved Ray Harryhausen movies when I was a kid, and will probably eventually do a post on Harryhausen himself. The reason that I bring up the Golden Voyage of Sinbad was that I believe the first time I saw a representation of Kali was in this move. It was on basic cable when I was ~5 years old. If I recall correctly, she was a statue of the goddess that came to life to fight Sinbad.
(As a side note sci-fi geeks will be thrilled to know that the evil magician Koura was played by Tom Baker of Dr. Who fame. )
Though Kali's appearance in this movie did not follow the traditional mythos, I do not feel that her appearance should be seen as offensive.
Enter Heidi Klum and Seal. That couple has some of the greatest Halloween parties around. A few years ago when she was pregnant, she was the apple that tempted Eve with the serpent wrapped around it. Seal obviously had to dress as Eve. A very clever couple's costume (if a little sacrilegous). They seem to have some great ideas for halloween costumes. Last year they decided to dress up as Kali and Sinbad from the Golden Voyage.

Their costumes raised the ire of many Hindus who didn't feel that one should make fun of their goddess in such a way.
If Klum's costume was offensive, then it's inspiration in the Harryhausen movie should be seen as offensive, but generally it is not seen as offensive. I feel that some people have no sense of humor when it comes to sacrilege. If you want to be offended by a representation of Kali take on Jack T. Chick. His comic on Kali that I posted on earlier is much more offensive.
I believe that part of Halloween should be offending the fundamentally religious anyway. Dress like a pregnant nun accompanied by the Devil.
(as a side note: I believe that whoever designed these costumes did an excellent job.)

The Harryhausen movie was probably my first encounter with Divine Mother Kali, and it was interesting to me to see that that image is still influencing others much less geeky than me.

My posts on Kali.

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