2001: A Business Odyssey

Hits And Myths

Fear may, in fact, be a critical factor in understanding where this market has been--and where it's going. Fear--of the unknown, of the inexplicable, and of the weird--once sidelined this market. Now, fear seems to be giving way to curiosity, and the market is not only growing but lightening up.

Take, for example, the use of tarot cards to "read" the present, past and future. You could spend hours explaining their mystical workings. But Apple, who does tarot card readings, exclaims jokingly, "I don't know how it works!" She reports, however, that the cards frequently offer uncanny insights.

Is it scientific? Provable? It doesn't have to be. It's interesting. Maybe it's even magical--and, if nothing else, it's entertaining.

Just look at the multitude of upcoming entertainment choices that will take us back to our mythological past. Over the next year or so, we'll revisit Homer's Odyssey (via an NBC miniseries), Hercules (in both syndicated TV and Disney movie versions), and King Arthur's Camelot (in TV shows and an animated film).

Additionally, New Age Retailer's Lucky reports dawning interest in a "goddess movement." Also hot: Native American animal totems.

The common theme here might be escapism. Losing yourself in the contemplation of an ancient myth or mystical charm is a great way to forget about the daily commute, schoolyard bullies or income taxes.

Yet, as Apple points out, there may also be a spiritual component. "People are fascinated by the connectedness--that stories from other times still have meaning to us today," she says. "It's evidence that we may share a collective unconscious that unites us all."

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This article was originally published in the December 1996 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: 2001: A Business Odyssey.

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