Monday, 23 November 2009

Who's Who?

Whether it was written by the Earl of Oxford or William Shakespeare, Act I Scene ii of Julius Caesar is a good re-read in these days.

7 comments:

Nick Drew said...

well, but the one-eyed yellow Scotsman is not one to utter the immortal words of Act 2, ii with any credibility

hatfield girl said...

Cowardice is hard to understand because it's such a public act - or at least a publicly perceivable act no matter how hard the coward tries to cloak it. With everyone seeing the contemptible behaviour and the coward suffering so much damage, cowardice isn't to do with fear or failure to overcome fear is it?

It's a stupid act (inability to calculate likely outcomes); it's a contemptuous towards others act (I don't care what you think); it's a short-sighted act (longterm damage for short term gain); it's an unwantedly revelatory act (a flare lighting up an entire personality landscape); most of all it's an act of denial of the self (it wasn't me) - what a thing to claim of one's own acts and beliefs).

I don't think cowards do die often - I don't think they have proper selves, so losing bits of whatever they use as a self is acceptable to obtain something currently desirable.

Cowardice is not the opposite of bravery; it's the opposite of sanity and normality.

Scrobs... said...

Coward: One who, in a perilous emergency, thinks with his legs.

Ambrose Bierce

Nick Drew said...

one is reminded of a T.Blair story

he was due a caning at school, along with half a dozen others all guilty of the same offence; but our hero alone devised some wheedling mitigation and escaped the punishment

(shame on the Master, who should have served up an extra stroke or two - that's how it worked in my day)

now presumably this did (or should have done) nothing for his standing in the eyes of his peers - but it was all of a pattern and somehow did not disqualify him for the Top Job - just as Brown's constant cowardice didn't seem to rule him out as it should

(it's just possible, I suppose, that Blair's behaviour is admired as picaresque ? - but not clunker Brown's)

so: revelatory - yes; contemptuous - yes; stupid, short-sighted ? not so sure

we need all to enforce the just Master's policy - but hey, we don't ! or so it seems

(as to denial of self and acts, we are at the customs-house of Nietzscheland here but I have a desk-full of work to clear)

hatfield girl said...

There is some evidence that cowards come in clusters, or surround themselves with cowards; or, perhaps a powerful and fully-developed coward produces or enhances cowardliness in others. It might be even the default human condition that is opted out of by the determined cultivation of all the virtues. Certainly any list of the virtues excludes their practice by a coward.

Brave? No. Truthful? No. Selfless? No. Coherent? No. Constant? No. Loyal? No. Merciful? No. Beautiful? No.

Cowardice - the big no-no.

Elby The Beserk said...

HG - Quite so on clusters of cowards; it would seem that all of Bush's gung-ho bomb them back to the stone age cadre were all one way or another draft avoiders.

What I do know is that these people sicken me. Cowardice is a lack of humanity, just as fear is a lack of love.

hatfield girl said...

You're right, Elby, they are sickening. They crawl upon their bellies, as religious imagery would have it; or in lay terms, display an irresponsible and fragmented egoism that calls the completeness and robustness of their human identity into question.

Cowards come to bits.