Archive for September 10th, 2021

Long Way

GC Myers-  Symphony of Silence  2021

Symphony of Silence“- Available at the Principle Gallery, Alexandria VA

A people that has remained convinced of its greatness and invulnerability, that has chosen to believe such a myth in the face of all the evidence, is a people in the grip of a kind of sleep, or madness.

–Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses

I was going to write about hubris and schadenfreude this morning. Together they sound like an ill-fated couple from some obscure story in classical literature. And maybe they should be.

Like I said, I was going to write about them and how much on display the two are lately.  The hubris of people who foolhardily believe in their own invulnerability then suddenly discover that there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary. And the schadenfreude of those others who understood that no one is truly bulletproof, perhaps from having their own hubris bite them in the butt at an earlier time, take great pleasure in seeing the absolute certainty of these folks crumble into nothingness.

But to be honest, I am fatigued by the mere though of writing about it. I am bone tired of the hubris I see from those who deny anything that doesn’t fall into what they desire to believe. And I am tired of the schadenfreude, the delight taken in the misery of others, that I see in those who watch these fools stumble and fall, one after the other.

I am definitely tired of my own schadenfreude. Exhausted from it. It’s like watching an endless loop of a guy stepping on a rake that comes up and bangs him in the face. You chuckle at first then, after a few minutes, it becomes sad and pathetic, both for the victim and the observer.

Maybe that’s the lesson of hubris and schadenfreude in their roles as classical characters, that their story always ends up sad and pathetic. Who knows? I am too tired of then already to think any more on the subject.

I’ve already written way more than I originally intended. I was just going to say that I wanted to shut it all out for awhile, maybe take a long ride in the car. Look at things– the landscape, the sky and trees, lakes and rivers– without thinking too much.

Take the long way home.

I was going to use this as an intro to a new Eddie Vedder song, Long Way,¬†that is definitely derived from the spirit and tone of a fine Tom Petty song. Nothing wrong with that. Let’s go with that plan and play the song now.

Give a listen if you are so inclined and maybe take the long way home one of these days. Might help you forget about hubris and schadenfreude.

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