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Can The Swastika Be Rehabilitated?

+3 votes
Feb 5 in Society & Culture by Virginia (7,565 points)

This is actually a followup question to one Dan asked last autumn...

The swastika is very ancient in Eastern religion/philosophy, its meaning profound and beautiful. So some folks in the West are trying to reclaim its original meaning now, I saw in this article below. 

But the writer of this piece says NO, the wounds are too deep; only the Jewish people can determine now whether the swastika original symbolism will ever be restored in the West. 

So, what do you think of efforts like this? Free swastika tattoos, can such attempts work?

6 Answers

TheOtherTink Feb 5

(If you don't have time for the whole episode, start at 40:00)  :)

O'Tink, I did watch from 40:00 on...and it's very interesting the writers of this series should try such a story...where the swastika turned out to be a symbol of protection for the elderly man from India...

Yes, Virginia, that gets explained, starting at about 28:30.

Tink, I did end up watching the whole episode. I was never interested when this series played in the Seventies, but it holds a really good sense of humour!

My sister and I watched reruns of the Kolchak series as teenagers.  We were spellbound!  :)

Tink, on Wikipedia I found a representation of a rakshasa; I did not see much explanation, but this does seem similar to old Hindu/Buddhist style art...


Yes, and it's reasonably close to what they used in the show.  They always did an excellent job of researching their supernatural creatures.  :)

Tink I noticed the show's writers had done their research in portraying the rakshasa, while elaborating a bit for the sake of a good story...

I had always assumed Kolchak was more just detective on the order of Baretta, but now from your comments I see the slant was different. Kolchak was a reporter, and must have run into lots of supernatural beings. I actually ended up searching out another channel for that episode, one that did not cut off so much of the picture with zoom, and now I may see if the channel posted more episodes... :) yes "Horror In The Heights" was enjoyable!

Yes, Virginia, those episodes are hilarious.  The recurring theme is that Kolchak always tracks down a supernatural creature of one sort or another (over the objections of his irascible boss), but then in the end loses his evidence and can't write a credible story about it, at least not for the respectable wire services.  :D

Ha ha, variations on the same theme! I was surprised in the end when they actually brought the story to imply the rakshasa was "real"  but liked it because of its archetypal quality, as the original Hindu/Buddhist rakshasa developed as a representation of our subconscious fears/rage to be overcome! (Parallel to 'slaying the dragon,' or Perseus slaying the Medusa, in Western mythology...)

Oh, yes, Kolchak's creatures are always real... they really kill people, and the police and/or politicians either try to cover it up because they are baffled, or try to ascribe the murders to natural causes (like rats in 'Horror in the Heights').  But Kolchak always uncovers the truth, destroys the creature with a combination of good research and luck, but then loses his evidence.  :P

Aw-w-w-w, truly a hero (bit bumbling :silly:) after my own heart :kissing: ... I see this Spanish Moss is a full episode, ima save it for later, prolly one of your favourites, prolly give it a go!  

And noticing this episode begins same as the Heights Horrors...Kolchak coming in with his strange little whistling...quite dear! ;)  <3

* * *

One Hr. later - truly enjoyed this episode also, and yes Père Malfait is apparently also a well-known swamp entity in LA and even throughout the South! The humour is wonderful, quite subtle, well done by Darren McGavin who never reacts to all the putdowns he gets and then he always turns out "right"... 

Captain: "I'm going to pick you up and throw you down the elevator shaft!!! Kolchak: "What happened to your group therapy and the I'm Okay/You're Okay, Captain? Yelling: Well the people in Group Therapy never told me I would ever meet someone as un-okay as you, Kolchak!!!

Glad you enjoyed it, Virginia.  :) <3

Fuzzy Corona Feb 5

Try again in another 100 years

Sounds about right, ty Fuzzy Corona!

Hopefully a day will come when supporting Nazism is as self-evidentally absurd to everyone as rowing up in longboats and pillaging the English coast is now, but recent events have shown that today isn't it

...and that hopeful day, Fuzzy Corona, until then, that will probably be the time the swastika can finally reclaim its original meaning...

Rooster Feb 5

No, I don't think so. At least not in our lifetime. The Native Americans also used a form of this symbol but the Nazi's have forever linked it to them and it represents their evil.

Virginia Rooster Feb 5

Rooster I would have to agree, not in our lifetime...

Marianne Feb 5

Virginia, I see still so much sorrow and bitterness in many countries about the horrors of wars and mass murders perpetrated under the sign of the swastika (though an ancient, sacred symbol of spiritual principle in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism) and also another rise of violent neonazi and similar extremist groups in our times, that I have serious doubts about a rehabilitation in a nearer future.

Virginia Marianne Feb 5

Marianne, that is a great concern I think, that any efforts to rehabilitate the swastika could encourage the extremism.

* * *

Your last link was especially interesting...the complexities of the involvement of India in WWII, I found this! "After the end of the war, India's emerged as the world's fourth largest industrial power and its increased political, economic and military influence paved the way for its independence from the United Kingdom in 1947."

Marianne Marianne Feb 5

Yes, Virginia, I have the impression that humanity has still a long way to go, as old, narrow-minded mentalities are very hard to change. It will take time.

Kninjanin Feb 5

It will be rehabilitated. 

Virginia Kninjanin Feb 5

I hope so Kninjanin, thank you.

Fuzzy Corona Feb 7

God the people that article's talking about is so fucking stupid; the only people who are going to get a swastika tattooed onto them are Nazis. They are then going to go out and do Nazi things. Therefore deepening the association with Nazis, though not by much because in the 21st century, despite any meanings it my have had in the past, the swastika is a symbol for Nazis.

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