I Blew A Fuse In My Personality

My Cinema Buddy invited me around to dinner on Saturday night to watch some movies in her house. It turned into a rugby education lesson for me and her housemate joined us. I do not object to either. The rugby gets a little more interesting when you have a metaphor through which to understand it. It simply isn’t as much instant fun as basketball and soccer. It’s a halfway house from those universal sports towards the crickets and baseballs of the world.

Ireland won The Triple Crown and a certain type of person is very excited about this. It turns out that the Triple Crown is kind of a best loser’s award. Of all the people who didn’t win, Ireland was the best. Or least worst. We beat England, Scotland and Wales and so we win the Triple Crown. France however, won the actual tournament, the Six Nations and they did something called a Grand Slam which means they beat everyone. Italy should win some kind of medal equivalent to the school pageant “Costumes Obviously Made By The Child With No Help From Parents” medal. They are the rugby country that come from a broken home and seem to be malnourished. They are the definition of whipping boys.

I didn’t think there were any Protestants in Italy, so how can they have a rugby team?

Seriously though, it’s a game created by the upper classes of the British Empire at their imperialist height (and might). As such, it is a military battle as opposed to a game. Its all about territory and giving away a certain amount of territory or initiative now in the hope of gaining more later. Its also like war in the sense that the initial conditions of a play define what can be achieved in the current battle. Now that I have some kind of an understanding of the goal of the game I can make some stab at enjoying it in the future.

Cinema Buddy’s housemate is doing the MA that I most want to do in the world and I think I will do in a few years time. She is also a healthy chunk older than me so she knows many things which I have no idea about. We were talking on Saturday night about CS Lewis’ idea that we always have to make ourselves vulnerable to rejection and grief if we are ever going to enjoy acceptance and love. His little slogan on this was something like, “No-one can have the pleasure of love without risking pain”. The context of this conversation was that as people get older, (particularly men), they sometimes slip into a rut where they simply don’t feel anything.

Their mostly natural fear of commitment goes unchallenged to such an extent that they don’t even risk committing to emotion. Argh. Terrifying.

So I have been thinking about this since Saturday night and I have decided that once again, Lewis is right. Wholeheartedly, again and again, we must risk rejection, (responsibly of course), for the potential pay-off of love or pleasure or joy or satisfaction.

I also got to thinking that this extends to the world of the intellect- of being right and wrong. The path to any kind of truth is a narrow one and is littered on all sides by falsity and lies. Its also got a bunch of people who have given up at various stages who are all to happy to mock and deride those still in the race, like twisted supporters at an inverted Tour de France.

To ever be right, we have to perpetually, again and again risk being wrong. You will make mistakes. You will make a fool of yourself. You will be arrogant and ignorant and much too much like an ant for your own liking.

Even the sharp pain of being shown up for a fool or of realising that you are shooting your mouth off, is a catalyst to moving closer to being right. I have been dwelling on what the Cinema Buddy’s housemate said (I need a zoomtard label for her) because I have seen people sometimes clam up for hours on end rather than make such a tawdry error as to be passionately wrong on a topic.

As I see it, the passion is an essential ingredient in the recipe of truth. To be a great student, one needs to be willing to make mistakes and make big ones at that. Applying the proverb about “Better to keep your mouth shut for fear of being foolish rather than opening it and removing all doubt” as a rule is a mistake. All proverbs contain a kernel of truth but not a rule. That is why they are proverbs. To quest to find truth, if it exists, certainly won’t be successful down the pretty pink flowered country lane of proverbs.

Its too easy a path and yet ultimately a self-defeating one.

To be right, one has to grapple with the prospect of being wrong. One has to be willing to be wrong and most importantly, to change when they realise that they are.

-Your Correspondent, Pretentiously addressing people

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