There is a link between athletic performance and emotions (duh). Not just the euphoria of winning, the frustration of loss, or the silly of running 26 miles. I was thinking more along the lines of what chemicals affect pain perception and limits. This, in retrospect rather obvious, revelation came to me when I was simultaneously laughing, PO-ed at being late, and running like the Devil himself was chasing me (although I think in a fair race, he would lap me twenty times). But anyway. I felt none of the usual sharp and dull pain that I associate with running until after stopping. Then it hit me like a wall of squishy, ground bone and meat filled bricks.
I have found an interesting parallel between Lord of the Rings and today’s cosmetic and plastic surgery mindset. The one Ring is a great object of power, but it also preserves and retainst the appearance of youth in those who obtain it. But this comes at a terrible cost, as extended contact thins and stretches the user, inducing disgust and addiction. Eventually the wearer simply fades away into less than a shadow.
Plastic surgery is obviously more available than the One Ring. It does signify power, it controls one’s appearance of age, extending life, beauty, glamour. Even better, it eventually reduces you to a withered husk for a body and personality.
Remember that Smeagol was once very Hobbit-like? That his Precious earned him hatred in his community, and eventual banishment? He was reduced to living in a cave, secluded, old, eating raw fish. That’s what fighting death brings. Misery and poor teeth.
Pardon the wrist slitting subtle reference.
“Friendship divides our sorrows and multiplies our joys”
This statement claims that just by getting friends, your life will get miraculously better, because the more friends you have, the more joyful you will be. I really think this is under explained at best, lies at worst. Tom from Myspace is the first evidence of this. Have you ever seen him smile, truly smile? The image of him in front of the chalkboard doesn’t count.
Friendship is more of a hive mind situation. When I say hive mind, I do not mean the single consciousness most of us imagine. It is not a clean, humanoid, sane, mind. It doesn’t have thoughts, per se. Rather, it is the result of many interactions between sometimes expendable individuals. Society is other people. When someone say “they” or “someone”, “they” are you. And your sister in Indiana. Anyone within the sphere of influence of that particular group is also part of it.
Therefore, yes, friendship divides your sorrows. But it hands it to everyone else you talk to, with a little (vague scatological expletive) on the side for good measure. And by reciprocation, most other people’s joy is also part yours. The overall effect has HUGE potential to drown us in stimulae. No man is an island, said John Donne. But we are. For to be totally immersed would result in having what little individuality consumerism allows for to assimilate into the unit.
A proverb says that as you go down life’s highway, you should stop and smell the roses. I strongly disagree. The human race has fed itself into a positive feedback loop with some very negative results. We are working longer hours, are more stressed than has been known since the medieval ages, and thus so many are in such miserable conditions that if they were to comprehend their situation, (smell the coffee) the few good things would be drowned in overwhelming despair, nihilism, and other unhappy thoughts. I am personally in such a financial situation. I have remained more or less sane and non-depressed (if that’s not a word, it is now) due to the fact I never think about it. If you’re submerged in a swimming pool of molasses, the only things you can do are flail your arms ineffectively or to ignore it. The human race is ridiculously good at doing that.
The next several posts will be from my literature class (I am the author of the text). Enjoy!