As spring continues apace, it’s time to continue our mad march through the many dizzying interpretations of rebirth. There’s one for everyone ;)
The name given to this period of enlightenment in Europe literally translates as rebirth. The renaissance was seen as a time of intellectual and artistic awakening, a rebirth of ancient Greek and Roman culture following the uncouth middle ages. Make no mistake the church was still powerful but learning and academic inquiry boomed. And while there was still far too much Christian imagery hanging on walls, this was a time for innovation, creativity and a rise in the prestige of artists. Great artists were now recognised and applauded for their unique and individual talents able to create the pieces they desired rather than being called on to order like an artisan section in the Argos catalogue. Of course this created some serious rivalries, jealousy and corruption but we wouldn’t recognise history without that.
The genre of rebirth is ubiquitous in film and literature. This theme was just too tempting for writers when they create interesting characters that the literary world over indulged and now this genre feels a little hackneyed. Charles Dickens created the archetype in A Christmas Carol. Everyone knows the story of Scrooge, a thoroughly unpleasant chap who thanks to some ghostly intervention does a complete turnaround. From kicking Tiny Tim’s crutches to practically adopting his whole family, Scrooge undergoes that magical transformation from evil twat to cuddly hero. Clearly this tradition is not dead no matter how overdone because Marvel and DC are currently raking it in with a plethora of origin movies that sees many transformation plots. Though to be fair comic books often do a reverse rebirth with characters such as the nasty Reverse Flash.
Consumers Jumping on the Zeitgeist
The comic book industry also exemplifies another type of regeneration, the commercial rebrand. A while back DC brought out a new series of old heroes actually entitled ‘Rebirth’. They produced a whole slew of comic books regenerating the stories of their many super heroes and villains.
We see this frequently now, reboots of old merchandising trends from 70’s flares to 20’s speakeasy bars. If it wasn’t trendy previously, don’t worry it will be ironically hip a few years from now. Genuine vintage is the gold standard of this materialist rebirth despite the mouldy smell and granny tea stains. Rebranding is a mega-bucks industry and few companies can afford to resist constant rebooting. After all it’s not like there is an environmental crisis going on – sure we can afford to rip up signage, packaging and all things related to branding every couple of years.
Sexual Awakening and Biology
“Birds do it, Bees do it. Even educated Fleas do it.” Sadly it seems people are not doing it in the spring. The common idea that Spring Madness brings out the lustful beast in us is a tall tale. Scientists, those lucky ones that study our mating habits rather than stick insects’, found that spring is not our sexiest season.
So why this belief? According to sex boffins we are more aroused because of the energy, excitement and feelings of well-being that come as the days get lighter. We are more social venturing outside and soaking up life-affirming vitamin D. And let’s not forget the erotic messages we send out when we strip off those duvet-style coats to reveal skin. It’s become an in-joke that the British whip off tops, wear skimpy shorts and frantically clean the barbeque at the merest glimmer of sunshine so desperate are we to see the end of winter.
Yet, while we may desire it more, we are not doing it more. Is it the pasty, goosebump skin revealed from under the winter layers? Is it the crappy weather that still disappoints?
Research shows women are most aroused in the summer. Heat hits the g-spot for the double X-chromosomes while men are raring to go in the winter, not needing heat to get hot to trot. It seems a biological design fault to make one sex randier than the other at different times of the year but, frankly, it’s a revelation to discover that there’s a season when men are less randy. You learn something new every day.
People may not be as busy as bunnies, but bunnies are doing what they do best and rebirth has its most literal meaning when applied to nature in spring. Nests are made, eggs crack open and fabulous fur babies romp across budding new flowers. It’s a cavalcade of sex, birth and tiny fuzzballs.
Perhaps spring is the promise of good things to come. Early flowers bud and bloom and the long dark days are giving way to the sun but the full potential of summer is still too far away.