Forget About That Corny Corner-Ribbon's Drivel! The Real Secret is HERE Indeed - not over there!

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

if you can't beat them... naaaaah!

Only in baseball can the old cutesy (even if erroneous) phrase "if you can't beat them, join them" become true. And only there should it be applied too... Time and again, in many team sports, we have seen franchises add a player swept up from a rival club - in hopes that he will bring some of that rival club's lustre and winning ways along with him! This year as last year, this practice has taken on ridiculous proportions - with the New York Yankees. Being humiliatingly defeated in historical fashion in 2004 by there arch-rivals, the Boston Red Sox, they seem intent on becoming their adversaries... They have added to their club all three former Red Sox players made available on waivers in 2005 - infielder Mark Bellhorn and pitchers Alan Embree and Ramiro Mendoza. Expendable spare parts for the Red Sox they had all become - dependable though they were in the World Series run, especially in Embree's case. When that didn't work, the Yanks wooed Johnny Damon and even ol' Mike Myers (let his killing spree begin now - in the Yankee clubhouse!) So now the Yankees have them and they are hopeful that these players can do for New York what they did against New York... Don't count on it, Yanks.

The Red Sox have other weapons - they have in fact improved their line-up over last year's team. Alas... even they fell into this fad... trend... lure of adding an enemy's former pawn - they also signed former Yankee John Olerud in 2005. At least he did do better for them than Mark Bellhorn was able to do for the Yankees - but, supreme irony it is too, they essentially switched sides these two... As if the Red Sox and Yankees would be trading players - uh-huh, not anymore! The Sox learned their lesson since the Babe Ruth deal...

It is seen in popular fiction - a LOT. However - the core philosophy here is so wrong. To beat your enemy, you do not have to become him! It appears to be the message sent to all, by many mediums too... In popular fiction nowadays, the only way to tell the good guy from the bad guy is if he refrains at the very end from going all the way in his excesses; otherwise, both could easily be mistaken for one another. Both will cause massive amounts of mayhem and chaos - but the so-called "good" guy is excused because he is, allegedly, fighting the good fight. Heroes, today, are edgy, brash and extremely violent. Gone is the era of the whitebread hero - the role-model for all, law-abiding and always smiling gentle giant of a sort. Today, that does not cut it anymore. To be deemed "cool", the hero has to be as much of a misfit as the "villain" of service is. The mentality is thus that, to defeat evil, you have to become like it - in your demeanor and "attitude" at least. Otherwise, you don't stand a chance of succeeding? That is simply wrong. You see it on TV shows as well as comic-books too - the profiler who "thinks like the psychopath does" - and that is professed to be the only way to stop the latter. No warning comes with the advocating of said process though - thinking or trying to think too much like a demented mind could have adverse effects on your own mind... and soul. Even if you manage to refrain from acting like the twisted freak that you are hunting down - your mind has become sullied. And likewise the heroes of old are tarnished when they start acting a tad too much like their usual quarries - what really differenciates the Batman from the Joker anymore? I'll take my chances with the clown if you ask me... What is so heroic about a Wolverine? Or a brute like Hulk? Even Wonder Woman, once a pacifist come to "man's world" (what an obvious allegory it always was) she had come to bring peace and teach us the way to it... Now, she has become the stereotypical Amazon indeed; one thing she is most definitely not, is a shapely version of Mother Teresa! As for the new crop of, quite-frankly, disturbed characters who can only be called anti-heroes and who would be, were they real, absolutely anti-social to the utmost degree and, most probably locked up... Those are NOT "heroes"! If their "last stand" is to be soon, well, it will not be soon enough...! Popular culture has been twisting things out of their proper shape - rather than serve its alleged primary purpose of "entertaining".

In the real world, becoming like your enemy in order to defeat him is the last thing we really want to do. It should be the last thing we would want to do, certainly... Turnabout may be fair play, but making use of the same deviousness in order to outwit thy foe and prevail simply spoils the fun... and taints the victory. One always wants to "prove" that one's ways are "better" than thy adversary's ways - and the only way to achieve that is by sticking to your own guns... not borrowing your enemy's! Becoming evil to defeat evil would be self-defeating anyway - you win and essentially become the evil that you eradicated. Thus, the evil remains - only in another form, under another name! Great going, bright lights (or is that dimmed lights now?). That is, of course, in the extreme case of "good versus evil" - we all see ourselves as "good" - usually, that is... There are those weirdoes out there who actually prefer to wear the "evil" hat - let them, I guess... To each their own - they will learn... If they live long enough, and the scumbags usually do too, they will live to regret it all bitterly. And if they don't, their reward shall be the appropriate one! The fact is that, today, most conflicts are merely "average niceness versus average badness" or "inane smalltime deviousness versus inane and mild malice" - in those cases, only pride can be evoked as a good reason not to want to "become (like) your enemy" in order to defeat him... There is no sillier cause to defend than that! For pride and vanity are sins, not virtues...

Verily, though, tis but a sign of the times that we live in, folks... Anti-heroes are in - for we are in the age of the Antichrist, not the Age of Aquarius at all, my friends! Blasphemy runs rampant - and heresies such as this are seen as the necessary norm and even "food for thought", for whitebread is corny! What a laugh, for we are not offered whole grain here but truly Soylent Green!
There is no convincing the average brat nowadays that an angel - a truly angelic angel now - could mop the floor with a ferocious brawny mutant ten times out of ten. NO WAY they would say... And why would they say that? Because the angel looks "weak" - in comparison! Appearances; that is all that most people need as a barometer for practically everything. From fruit and veggies you buy at the market to who can be trusted and who cannot be... Well, folks, the following adages are to be believed - it is not fair to compare and appearances are DECEIVING! In many more ways than just one, mind you... Angels don't look like much (especially if you don't see their wings - or if you do but they appear to be Ken dolls or boyband members... or have been, in a sick twist of logic, turned into mutants too) and yet just two of those guys -the genuine kind- wiped out Sodom & Gomorrha, at God's Command. They wield more power than you think... and they have more in their pinky finger than Wolverine does in all of his gruff body - claws included! On the other end - the other extreme; you may trust a charismatic individual only to find out that he is the devil in disguise (the devil being, after all, the Deceiver) *or* you could distrust this poorly garbed, less-than-eloquent and vaguely disturbing person on the street... And then see this person turn into an angel and save you from being run over by a car! That very same person could also simply ask you for change, directions or even rob you, of course... all extrapolation is possible here, sure! My point is - one simply never knows for sure. In order to "know for sure" - one must be capable of making full use of discernment as also to be able to peer into another person's soul... Easier said than done nowadays, when time is simply not on one's side... We no longer take the time to get to know ourselves - how can anyone be expected to bother to know his of her "fellow man"... hmm? That is just too bad; for, in order to "beat them" without "joining them" - we must know who we are first...

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