War and Armageddon

There is a part of me which thinks that if humans want Armageddon so very badly, they should stop pissing about and get on with it. Then we shall finally know who is the fucking winner!!

 

That until the basic human rights
Are equally guaranteed to all,
Without regard to race –
Dis a war.

That until that day
The dream of lasting peace,
World citizenship
Rule of international morality
Will remain in but a fleeting illusion to be pursued,
But never attained –
Now everywhere is war – war.

 

Am I a Winner?

Some people are more than a little obsessed with winning especially if that means beating someone whom they consider to be a rival. As far as I can tell they get off on it. They have a compete against mentality. Others want to be top dog in the wolf pack, so they have a tendency to snarl and growl. Some are constantly planning and making up strategies of all kinds so that they can be victor, winner. Being goal oriented they want to know where they stand in the rankings. Much of the modern world is results oriented and the football manager turnstile rotates on a regular basis. Maybe we are back to my least favourite things, metrics and top-trumps-world.

When I was very young, I used to play chess and Risk. When I had beaten my father once at chess, that was it, I was bored. I found out that to win at Risk the best strategy was not to be obsessed with winning. I used to do competitive sport, rugby and middle-distance running. Back then there was not this utter obsession with winning. I don’t know if it is a modern phenomenon or not, but I suspect that the winning mind-set has taken hold more of late than before.

Now here is the weird thing, I have from time to time had the notion that other people have wanted badly to beat me. When it has never occurred to me that I want to beat them. It is a weird feeling.

When I was a student I was messing around sparring with a flat mate. He got annoyed and kept rushing onto a mae-geri (front kick), he got so obsessed with beating me that he lost the plot. I noticed that he had lost it and for self-preservation purposes I had to keep him at a distance. In the end I had to nearly choke him out so as not to come to harm myself. He needed to calm down. For whatever reason he had gone red-mist. He had forgotten that it was meant to be some fun.

Now if you look on the internet you can find a whole bunch of stuff about how to be a winner. There is a business in results and being #1. You can get plenty of coaching about how to win. Nobody mentions the price of victory.

I guess each of us will have our own orientation towards winning.

Having cued this up:

Do I like winning?

Have I ever become obsessed about beating a rival?

Is it possible that I have lost perspective because of my must-win mind-set?

If I lose does the Milky Way implode?

Entirely the Wrong Battle

Your victory
Was so complete
That some among you
Thought to keep

A record of
Our little lives

This song has been playing in my head, on and off, since we started watching the second series of True Detective and it speaks to me. It says many things.

Over the course of my life I have perceived, on very many occasions, that certain individuals have wanted to “beat” me in some way or another. It has become personal and they want to score points, “win”, get one over on me, and even destroy me. Just so long as they come up “victor” and I come out the “vanquished”. I have looked at this in a detached way and insofar as I can tell my perceptions were and are accurate in this respect. And in many cases, they have had their victory. As a consequence, I am now powerless, there is virtually nothing I can do on the physical plane and even were there, I am now disinclined. Many of these situations were very petty.

How people treat you is their karma, how you react is yours.

I am not a big fan of contention. I am even less of a fan of bickering, squabbling and arguing the toss for the sake of the toss. I am not fond of “tossers”. I know I should be compassionate to all beings but hey, I am not perfect. As a rule of thumb, I walk away.

I suspect that in many cases these individuals were fighting entirely the wrong battle. Instead of looking at themselves they sought to have a go at me. Maybe I was, at least temporarily, enemy #1 in their eyes, minds and hearts. Angry people don’t see so good. They can damage that which they need.

Having cued this up:

Have I ever wanted badly to “beat” another being?

Did this desire, to an extent, consume me?

Was I satisfied when I won?

Is there a nanoparticle of chance that I was fighting entirely the wrong battle?

“Scoring Points” Tunnel Vision

There are some in the world who want to “win” so very much that it can overtake them. This is especially the case when they develop some weird and sometimes all-consuming rivalry. By whatever means they must “score points”, beat and otherwise outdo their rival. It can become a raison d’être for them. In that tunnel vision they are perennially alert for point scoring opportunities. Somehow this makes them feel bigger, better and cleverer or more cunning. They may not tell anyone about this ambition which drives them. And so, in the narrow focus of tunnel vision all they can see is some imagined “victory”, to achieve this pretty much any collateral damage is allowable. They may even cut their nose off to spite their face, if this gains them a few precious “points” at the expense of another.

It may not occur to someone with this dis-ease that the person off whom they are scoring points isn’t keeping a tally and, in any case, does not give a shit about points. This kind of rivalry and pissing contest behaviour can be found on all sides. Out comes the cock and; “look how far I can piss up the wall!” Both men and women play this scoring points game. It is often very petty.

They want to “win” so bad that you can smell it on them. It can cause them many problems in life.

Having cued this up:

Do I recognise this point scoring game?

Do I play it myself?

What does it achieve?

Who or what is keeping a tally of the points?

Are they real?

Winning and Victory

From Wikipedia

“A Pyrrhic victory is a victory that inflicts such a devastating toll on the victor that it is tantamount to defeat. Someone who wins a Pyrrhic victory has been victorious in some way, though the heavy toll negates a true sense of achievement or profit.

Etymology

Pyrrhic victory is named after king Pyrrhus of Epirus, whose army suffered irreplaceable casualties in defeating the Romans at the Battle of Heraclea in 280 BC and the Battle of Asculum in 279 BC, during the Pyrrhic War. After the latter battle, Plutarch relates in a report by Dionysius:

The armies separated; and, it is said, Pyrrhus replied to one that gave him joy of his victory that one other such victory would utterly undo him. For he had lost a great part of the forces he brought with him, and almost all his particular friends and principal commanders; there were no others there to make recruits, and he found the confederates in Italy backward. On the other hand, as from a fountain continually flowing out of the city, the Roman camp was quickly and plentifully filled up with fresh men, not at all abating in courage for the loss they sustained, but even from their very anger gaining new force and resolution to go on with the war.
— Plutarch, Life of Pyrrhus[1]

In both Epirote victories, the Romans suffered greater casualties but they had a much larger pool of replacements, so the casualties had less impact on the Roman war effort than the losses of King Pyrrhus.

The report is often quoted as

Ne ego si iterum eodem modo uicero, sine ullo milite Epirum reuertar.
Another such victory and I come back to Epirus alone.
— Orosius[2]”