Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day 2010

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

how to get over hero worship...

i suffer from hero worship--as do, i know, many of you. It can strike in many forms. What follows is just a sampling:

extreme ambition at work, to please the BOSS.

extreme ambition in a relationship, to please a LOVER.

extreme, almost blind devotion to a MENTOR.

extreme idealization of FRIEND or FOE.

So, how do we get over it? And should we? The first step is to realize that BOSS, LOVER, MENTOR, FRIEND/FOE are all forms of the IDEAL. And when i say this, i'm not talking about ideals in the context of morality. i'm talking about putting any person, place, thing, or idea (any NOUN) on such a high pedestal that in life, you are measuring yourself, your success or failure, everything, and everyone else against this IDEAL.

It may even be said that, as ideas/constructs go, LOVE and RELIGION are the ultimate IDEALS.

We must of course ask: what does the mind do, or what may its use be, that does NOT have an interest in the kind of structure that IDEALS provide? Now, there are lesser forms of structure that we often utilize, in order to mask the tension that comes from taking full responsibility for our own consciousness. The most obvious example is, of course, TV (Csikszentmihalyi).

But what purpose does the IDEAL serve? Perhaps it may be as simple as structure + hope, insofar as the knowledge that Man is put on this Earth in order to "perfect" himself. Isn't that a bit simplistic, though? On an intuitive level, it may sound correct, and you may stand back and say 'that makes sense.' But isn't it scary to think that all of our motivations stem from so simplistic a source? We go to college because we're SUPPOSED to. We get married because we're SUPPOSED to. We have kids when the IDEALS we've chosen dictate to us that we're SUPPOSED to.

Perhaps it's good, perhaps it's bad.

Now let me ask this... does a deep and abiding character flaw negate otherwise
**CLICK ON ME**extraordinary genius in the IDEAL, in the HERO whom we worship? One may suppose that judgement/genius is fluid, and thus one area flows inextricably into the next, likely tainting something which on its own would have otherwise been perfect. That being said, might it be that genius is 'modular' in the brain? That it is perfectly segmented and thus should be revered strictly on its own merits? Or, are we as subjective perceivers of genius somehow askew in our own ideas (i.e. why did only 50% of the population report liking Infinite Jest)?

Is having an "Ideal" to measure oneself against good or bad? Is it good, in that it prevents some form of seriously flawed mentality by mere virtue of its structure, which is implanted on our psyches early on? (Real men don't act that way). Or is it bad, that it prevents outside-the-box thinking? (Why shouldn't a man or a woman act however they want, so long as it doesn't hurt anyone else?)

Does the human mind really crave structure?
Or are we **CLICK ON ME**looking for easy answers?

Let's assume the IDEAL is bad for you:

How would you raise a child with morality, but without the IDEAL in the sense of a personage to measure their life's successes or failures against? (We point kids to Santa Claus, to the Easter Bunny, to Mother Theresa, even to the stereotypical version of a "perfect" high-school boy or girl.)

No TV comes to mind. The stereotype is a common occurrence on television. It is, on the other hand, anathema to writers. But... that's my answer to everything nowadays.

Read more and watch less TV!