For some reason at the moment, TV seems to be doing a lot of re-runs of movies which should probably have never been shown in the first place. About a week or so ago I found myself watching “The Last Starfighter”. Which was fine except for the plot, the special effects and the acting.
It did get me thinking though, about the idea of heroes. The whole idea of the movie is that a select few are destined to be, or good enough to be, starfighters and we have to rely on them to save us from an evil alien overlord. Being possessed with absolutely no physical prowess or hand eye coordination myself I can sympathise with the idea, but from a philosophical point of view it’s particularly abhorrent.
While the fact that each of us is better at somethings than others, from a social contract point of view we all have a responsibility for the upkeep of our society, for the protection and care of our planet. We should be able to save ourselves and we have an obligation to try regardless of our level of talent. I’m not saying that people should never be able to ask for help, obviously they should. There are some tasks, some things which are too big for people to overcome on their own. I think one of the reasons society formed was the ability of the group to achieve more than the individual. That doesn’t mean we should rely on heroes, that we should wait to be saved without taking any action to save ourselves. Yet still we perpetuate the myth that it is the role of someone great to come and save us (a starfighter, the Avengers, Superman etc.).
Perhaps I am reading things wrong and these stories are supposed to inspire us to act, to be the hero, rather than render us helpless. I don’t know.
Either way…in the event of an alien invasion I expect you all to be out there having a go.
It’s a rainy, gloomy day today. But I am staring to feel that I am getting into the swing of things. Cutting back on the amount of sugar I’ve been eating over the last couple of days really seems to make a difference to the amount of energy I’ve had and the quality of sleep I seem to get.
I managed to read a little bit this morning and I have to say that it is getting a little weird, and I am having difficulty untangling the argument. I think what Sartre is saying is that there is a way of being that is graceful, where you reveal yourself as a free other without revealing yourself as body, and there is a way of being that is obscene. Not obscene in the rude sense, but when you are all body and no freedom, when your body is there as an inert object, you are obscene.
Now sadism is trying to turn someone from graceful to obscene, to take their freedom from them and make them an object.
A bit of background – according to Sartre when we relate to the other in love, we establish ourselves as self through physical contact with the others body. Their body and freedom allows us to know our body and freedom. The relationship is reciprocal, while we know ourselves through them, because we are touching them they can know themselves through us.
According to Sartre, sadism is different because when we are sadistic we try to know ourselves through the other by touching them with objects. We are removing the reciprocity. Hence we make them merely tools for our use.
The main problem with this is that it is a very narrow definition of the term sadism, which can also be used more generally to mean cruelty or getting pleasure from causing pain. Can you be sadistic with your hands? I’m inclined to think you can be. And if so Sartre’s argument falls apart.
On a cheerier note I did manage to finish a block yesterday, and I have been doing loads of cutting out. I am trying to get a whole load cut out so I can have a mammoth sewing session on the weekend.
428 No name 4 patch
I am starting to feel like a student with a big assignment. One you know you should really get started on because the deadline is getting ever closer, but you just can’t seem to find the motivation. The weird thing is I was never like that when I was younger, I was always the student with the project plan and millions and millions of lists.
Not that I am not doing stuff – I am. I have been steadily reading the book. Now Sartre is discussing relationships with others, which I am finding a bit dreary. The idea of love being just the attempt to found our own being is a bit depressing. I’d like to think that you can actually know another person and like them for who they are.
Blocks are also being sewn at a very slow and steady pace. I am almost up to 600. Lots to show off today, because I haven’t posted in so long. The most time-consuming thing at the moment seems to be the redrafting of blocks to make them into 4 or 8 inch blocks. In the interests of speed I might just have to start cutting them at the size they are in the book. I would end up using so much more fabric and end up with loads of different sized blocks, but I suppose I could just make loads of sampler quilts when I am done.
I had such a plan for this evening, I would whip up a minestrone soup with all my left over vegetable and then get on with my evening. I keep forgetting how much work fresh vegetables are. What with the peeling, and chopping and such. I was so busy chopping I missed the show I wanted to watch on TV. At least I should have enough soup to last me for lunches for the rest of the week.
I am making a steady pace of the reading. At the moment the book is looking at ideas about how we know about our own bodies. Sartre’s general idea seems to be that we know they are the is a relationship of instrumentality in the world that refers us back to ourselves. By relationship of instrumentality I mean that things refer to other things because of their uses. So a needle leads us to a thread, a hammer to a nail etc. All of which eventually leads us back to us.
Blocks, I am doing okay too. Got quite a bit done today on the train. But I did have a really easy block – the spider’s web one.
394 4 Colour Domino
397 Streak of lightning
409 Arbor Wind
908 Spiders Web