Origins of the Magic Carpet
Legend has it that biblical King Solomon owned a huge magic carpet – at least large enough to bring the King’s entourage along. Several hundred years later, the enchanting queen Scheherazade told her husband stories of flying carpets in Arabian Nights. Fortunately, the queen’s storytelling chops ended the king’s practices of summarily beheading his wives after one night.
The Flying Carpet in Western Lore
These Eastern stories have enchanted the West for centuries; flying carpets pervade our popular culture today.
At the end of World War II, the United States turned its aircraft carriers and other vessels into giant floating dormitories, dispatching them to bring servicemen home from far-flung lands. The armed forces dubbed this effort “Operation Magic Carpet.”
Late 60s rock band Steppenwolf rocked the chart with a far-out (and perhaps pharmaceutically aided) “Magic Carpet Ride.” More recently, animated plumbers Mario and Luigi contend with rug-riding enemies in the Super Mario Bros. video games.
While the original Aladdin legend has the bandit using a rug as a getaway vehicle in ancient Baghdad, Disney’s westernized Aladdin whisks his midriff-baring gal Jasmine on a carpet-borne dream date. Sadly, this is not an option for modern sorcerers on the dating scene; in the world of J.K. Rowling’s teen warlock Harry Potter, the Ministry of Magic has outlawed flying carpets.
Category : Trends Posted on January 3, 2011