Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Eros and Thanatos

I met up with quite a few of my peers from the old days back in Wales over the Christmas and New Year break. Satisying as it was to note that I was probably trimmer and more limber than is average for my contemporaries, I couldn't help but notice, as we were drinking in rounds, that I certainly conistently put more booze away more quickly than average as well.

I therefore call upon you to witness to the fact that I am giving up the demon drink for January.

Prodnose: That's not very erotic.
Welsh Born (with considerable dignity): I beg your pardon.
Prodnose: The news that you are going on the wagon for a month; what has Eros to do with it? Your title is a come-on hinting at carnality.
Welsh Born: Dunderhead! According to Sigmund Freud, humans have a life instinct - which he named 'Eros' - and a death drive, which is commonly called (though not by Freud himself) 'Thanatos'. This postulated death drive allegedly compels humans to engage in self-destructive acts. I used the title, a tad melodramatically I'll grant you, to compare and contrast my daily habit of training and then undoing my good work in the pub. Better people than you enjoy these classical references. Did you think I meant country matters?
Prodnose (looking like a fool): Uh no. I mean yes. I see.
Welsh Born (protesting too much): I suppose I could have used Apollo and Dionysus in the sense that Nietzsche uses the terms Apollonian and Dionysian in The Birth of Tradgedy: Apollo, as the sun-god, represents light, clarity, and bench presses, whereas Dionysus, as the wine-god, represents drunkenness and ecstasy.
Prodnose et al: ZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Welsh Born (astride hobby horse): The Dionysian, which corresponds roughly to Schopenhauer's conception of Will, is directly opposed to the Apollonian, which corresponds to Schopenhauer's principium individuationis ...........................

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