SAY NICE THINGS ABOUT DETROIT!
Are the Tigers going to win the World Series? I hope so BUT this is a quick hit about the metaphor their win over the Yankees represents to me.
The last time the Yankees and Tigers played in the playoffs, the Tigers sent them home. With the hard times that Detroit has gone through and how the other 97% have had to suffer as the rich and insulated from the economic pressures that have crippled our country (much like how the Yankees 'cripple' baseball by overpaying market value for ball players have done with baseball), I think the Tigers showed how possible it really is for the country to climb from the depths of near-record lows (the Tigers 2003 season) to make it back to not only respectability, but to simply succeed. The manager for the winners even spoke to how special it was to win the series in New York, not to be disrespectful or anything, but when you look at the Yankees and what they represent, it made the victory a little bit sweeter.
No matter where I go or what I become, I will NEVER lose that part of me, what makes me a Detroiter. If you get in the path of someone from the Motor City, they aren’t doing it to be mean, but you will get shoved aside! And if you don’t like it, a punch in the mouth, because I want you to get out of my way! Has nothing to do with being ‘hard’ or even violent. It owes more to determination and a fearlessness that are great qualities to have if you really want to get what you want out of life.
A lot of the beating myself up is done to prepare me for the challenge of whatever lies ahead. It takes courage to approach a daunting task being fully aware of what you are facing (because when ‘you know the environment’ sometimes you can get ‘quiet’ and let things cow you) and still ‘man up’ and not only get the job done, but to excel. Go Tigers!
THE ABSTRACT ORIGINAL
I think one of the reasons that societies and cultures (but not in mircro-cultures; there is a different kind of form to the weeding out process in the smallest groups) within them respond with the ‘tall poppy syndrome’ is fear. When first facing something different and unfamiliar, reductive thinking takes over and ‘poof’ the alien behavior or philosophy is nearly instantaneously demonized.
The symbolism of the aphorism is to compel how one behaves, to control the individual. I am so from the Groucho Marx school in that I tend question the motivations that may be behind groupthink. Whenever I find myself in a crowd or agreeing with an populist opinon, I have to ask myself if I am here because I chose to be here or am I here because I am following the herd. My alternative reasoning really began as a small child, when I found myself wishing that I could speak ‘en francais’ watching ‘Sesame Street’ coming out of Windsor. I wanted to go to McGill University and live among the Quebecois… *sigh*.
Back on the ranch… it was as a child that I remember being alienated among peers, so I knew that if I did not think differently (which I so refuse to believe that I do) I knew that I saw the world differently from my peers. I have continued to diverge from crowded paths to paths with less and less traffic until I came upon a path with almost no traffic at all.
This is a universal qualifier, this ‘almost’ to anything. Sir Edmund and Torzig Nortegay are the first cats recorded to have summit Everest and Sir Roger Bannister is the first one that is universally accepted of breaking the –minute mile, but can we be certain that anyone are the first or only of anything else? That is why I bristle when people modify their opinions of me by indicating that ‘black, men, or any other group’ don’t think or do anything that I think or do. Someone has come this way before, or it could be said that ‘I am not the only one who shop at Sears’! And if you haven’t or think that all Sears are exactly the same, then you really should get out a LOT more!! I don’t have the ego to think I am so unique to the point that there isn’t another person ‘like’ me in my building, much less in the world.
Among the qualities that I know that I look for, and must be present in any potential ‘Ms. New What’s Happenin’, is their willingness to continue to evolve. Evolution and growth is a on-going process so I don’t expect that anyone is going to be a finished product as I know that I am far from being ‘finished’ myself.
Another ‘block’ in the foundation of my character is F. Scott Fitzgerald’s quote about 'the test of a first-rate intellect. This is how I balance my own person contradictions with my actions and continue to go forward in life. But it is not enough, or so I think, to come to the things and hold them dear to you in the face of disagreeable evidence. You have to also seek out the things that you disagree with in order to proof what you believe. Otherwise, I don’t see how you can be confident of anything and maybe that is why insecurity eats away at so many people. Just a thought, but when I think about it, it explains why some people are single and having difficulty finding ANYTHING that they want in their lives, let alone the love they desire. I guess that is ANOTHER thought that I ‘just’ had.
One of the most complicated relationships that I have in my life is the one that I have with Morrissey. ‘This Charming Man’ was the song that I sung through high school even though my female classmates (like Jenny, for instance) found me far from ‘charming’. What I don’t understand is how did ‘How Soon Is Now?’ come to replace it as not only as my fave Smith’s song, but to become an anthem for me and my love life? Part of my draw to ‘Charming’ (and yes, I do too know what the song is about!!) was how it fit my snarky approach to life. I rather liked that I was going against conventions and that I liked myself without the need for validation. It did not matter that no one thought I should be trying to do whatever I was doing… that I thought I could do it was enough and also is representative of my confidence. Then he had to go and start talking!
Morrissey always had peculiar things to say about his fans and the music industry. In the 90’s he went solo from the band and started really talking nonsense! And I was not bothered by his sex life and cultivated ambiguity of all that, but when he got political…
You’ll have to do your own research about that. What got to me was how some of what he stood with was of such a direct opposite to what I believed and I wondered how I ever got into him in the first place and not know this? Plenty of answers to that question but it did cause me to remove him off his pedestal in my hall-of-fame. When it came down to it, I could stay appreciative to his music much in the same way Mark spoke about his appreciation of movies that may be a little questionable. But I was not going to be able to remain a member of the Morrissey superfan club because of his beliefs.
I guess (no, I know) that conflict is a part of life. One of the reasons that I believe in my ‘Nietzsche-ism’ has to do with cats like Red, from ‘That 70’s Show’, Sonny Liston and to some degree, Mike Tyson.
The reason that made the three of them able to navigate through conflict so effectively (and they were all ‘canceled’ to one degree or another) is that because you KNEW where they were coming from, it made things a lot more simple, no matter how complicated it may have appeared on the surface. That is the beauty of being direct… it isn’t that you are simplifying yourself as much as you force things around you to become simplified. You don’t have to ‘see’ everything as a nail as much as things around you begin to see you as a hammer. I don’t want to be surprised but I don’t mind surprising you! When I was an amateur boxer, I loved it when I would finish and people I would hear people say that they didn’t expect me to ‘box’ i.e., display finesse skills, to go along with my punching power, of to hear someone say, “He may be small, but he is strong like bull!” That is because they anticipated how I would fight based on what they either saw at a glance or by reputation.
My knowing what I do gives me insight on what YOU may do, and that is how I go to work. But this has broken the ‘speed limit’ so I am going to end right here… later (and thanks for the insightful comments the other day!!)