“…what the [current spate of Olympic] mascots have in common: the aggressive, predatory and rapacious traits of the creatures they represent have been eliminated.”
Said traits have been transferred to capitalism – the game of the age.
“Ancient Games had their origins as somber celebrations of death….Part of the reason the ancient Games were so uncompromising and often violent has to do with what was at stake. The Greeks, for the most part, had no heaven; with some notable exceptions, good and bad all went to the same gray, characterless, drizzly underworld after death, and that was that. In the absence of a post-mortem reward for moral goodness, the one thing you could strive for was immortal fame — doing something so glorious that men would talk of you in years, centuries, millenniums to come. ”
“And so, whereas today’s Olympic committee prefers to ”celebrate humanity” (an official slogan of contemporary Olympiads), the Greek athlete wanted only to be celebrated himself; it was his one ticket to immortality.”
This reminds me of my conversation with Ingrid last night when I got so passionate about
This reminds me of my conversation with Ingrid last night when I got so passionate about the two threads/strands of existence that keep driving me to bang my head against the wall of my failed relationship. One is becoming more “me” – more “Steph”, in keeping with the Jewish Rabbi Susya: “God will not ask me why I was not Moses. God will ask me why I was not Susya.”
My biological and genetic inheritance, socialized upbringing and social/status positioning is the ground from which I work to become, from which everything I do is becoming. This is true (I believe) for every person, regardless of what we think about an afterlife, the possibility of reincarnation, even nihilism. We’re embodied now, and every moment counts. So, struggling through this agonizing process of trying to understand, own, and come to grips with the consequences of my communicational and relational pathology in intimate relationships is a way of expanding the choices, possibilities, and dreams I have of becoming more myself.
The second theme is the larger scale of humanity as a group. 🙂 We are all tied to each other as a species; we are bounded. Can we say Bush is inventing terror alerts for his own political gain? Certainly there is massive evidence to support this. Does it mean that there are no current threats? Of course not – in fact, it may well serve the purposes of Al Qaeda to promote Bush’s re-election, because they can trust (such as it were) his commitment to escalation. Have they coordinated this as part of a conscious plan? Probably not, but the absence of conscious deliberation doesn’t negate the consequences of such conjoint action.
This is what motivates me (in part) to “break the rules” and engage in conversation (or at least try to) with members of the extended family – the grandparents, a brother and sister-in-law – and even friends who have clearly chosen sides. Of course I’m going against norms! Just because certain practices have become standard or typical doesn’t make them ethical. I don’t think I’m advocating an “end justifies the means” stance, but rather, the “means are the ends”. Of course, what I’m apt to learn is that we have different values about what is the desired “end” (I’m speaking of which relationships, and in what forms, get validated and honored and which ones don’t). Based on what folks (family members) have said, I don’t think this is the case, but my insistence on clarifying not only what the end is but how we are going to get there, coupled with my critique of methods and practices that I think contradict arriving at the supposedly shared end-goal is itself a communicative and relational strategy that the family appears to reject.
Hence, oppositional discourses which feed and support each other’s separate, bounded continuation. I keep looking for bridges….I actually perceived, for the very first time the other night, how NOT talking openly about something problematic could SERVE the relationship. Too bad I’m such a slow learner. %-/
Quotes from The Way We Live Now: What Olympic Ideal?