Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Cultural Influences on The Writer

There are two very powerful cultural influences that, above all others, have influenced me as a writer, artist, and human being.

Their names are: Mom and Dad.

*grin* Hi, Mom. *wave* Hey, Dad.

Let me show you, my dear blog readers. It's kind of cool. And weird.

This, friends, is a sample from my mom's world. It's a scene from the wonderful film, THE SOUND OF MUSIC. Note for those of you who have not seen this: this scene is set in an Austria that has recently capitulated to Nazi Germany,

I love this song. I've been singing it since I was a kid. My momma raised me right.

I don't know if my dad has ever sat through this movie. Maybe. He has a really hard time with my mom's taste in cinema. Old musicals just don't do it for him. But I love it.

This is a small sample from my dad's world.

My dad is so cool, HE CAN WATCH IT IN THE ORIGINAL JAPANESE AND UNDERSTAND IT. I remember one time he had it an old VHS version on in the basement, and we watched a little bit of it, and he translated it to us as it played. Granted, I did not appreciate how cool that was at the time. I got kind of bored with not understanding what was going on. Not sure why, but we didn't finish.

It was only later, in my teenagehood, that I got to watch this movie in English and appreciate the awesome imagination and incredible vision of the Anime master, Hiyao Miyazaki.

My mom hates this movie, by the way. Gigantic bugs just don't do it for her. Dad mostly watched stuff like this with us kids when mom was a) out of town or b) in her sewing room. But I think they - giant bugs, that is - and the world that they belong to are pretty sweet.

Some days I wonder how these two people managed to find each other and get married. But they did. And they had us kids. And while they don't understand each other's taste in storytelling, cinema, music, television shows, etcetera etcetera ad nauseaum, ad infinitum... they love each other and allow each other total freedom to be THEMSELVES.

Thus, the freedom for me to write a love story about a couple of ballroom dancers, then turn around and write a story about a revolution in another world. Couldn't've happened in a family where you had to be a certain way.

Although... I think Mom still makes fun of dad sometimes for being a hardcore Speed Racer fan. Hardcore meaning that he's seen and owns EVERY SINGLE EPISODE of the old cartoon, and he got EVERY SINGLE JOKE in the movie made by the Wachowski brothers.

And you know what? We, his children, got them too. We still toss Speed Racer jokes back and forth in my family fairly often. Even mom, sometimes.

Tell me. In the comments. What are your cultural influences? And you earn extra bonus points if you can give me a recognizable Speed Racer joke.


  1. That is too funny. I have often thought that about my parents. How did these two people find each other and decide they should get married? I can think of absolutely nothing they have in common other than they got married and had children. I wonder if my kids will think the same about me and my husband?? We do love a lot of the same movies, music and "nerd stuff" (as my husband puts it) so I think we may have a head start there.

    1. That whole 'opposites attract' thing kinda seems to ring true, doesn't it? :)

  2. Sounds like you have pretty cool parents. My parents are pretty cool too. We didn't really watch a lot of TV and never had cable or anything... but my dad read the LOTR series to us twice and The Chronicles of Narnia, so maybe that's why I like fantasy so much.

    1. That is some dedication on your dad's part. Wow. I love both of those series... and I also know how long they are. What a good dad thing to do, along with the no TV thing. Books (to be trite) are way better anyway.