Monday, August 03, 2009

idols and memorabilia

You can tell a lot about a person or people by who their heroes are; by who and what they memorialize.

I stopped in a Taco Bell in Louisiana the other day, and a few Saints and LSU jerseys were framed on the wall. A local sports team's trophy sat on a shelf. That marks a culture that's long been free of war (at home) and other great struggles, allowing them to focus on entertainment.

In San Antonio, one restaurant has pictures of Pancho Villa and Santa Anna. The salute to old enemies of Texas is especially striking because nobody thinks much of it, marking a culture with strong ties to Mexico.

Another Texas town used to have a bar with a fantastically long rifle hung on the wall, and letters beneath it saying, "This here rifle once killed thirty mescans in one shot." It symbolized a people's pride in winning their independence in battle over a century ago, even though that independence had long since passed.

Some cities have statues of warriors. Others have statues of poets, philosophers, or politicians. Some choose to celebrate history over a thousand years old, while others focus on the recent.

Some persons hang pictures of relatives and ancestors. Some exhibit love for their parents or grandparents culture, rather than their own. Others fill their homes with glimpses of distant lands because they'd rather be anywhere than home.

More could be done in games to define settings and characters through objects.

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