Hockey has given me reason to hate people I otherwise wouldn’t hate, it has sort of made me a bit more of a cynic. I mean that the way people act on ice annoy me, the way that they don’t look up, the way they are all focused on the wrong things. And just their conception of the game, how they understand it, what they think is important — no understanding of the more subtle — or even the rudimentary — aspects of teamwork — anticipating, for example, where your teamates are likely to be, where defenders are, what the ‘safe’ plays are, what the unexpected plays are, positional advantages, and so forth.

But the single point I want to make is that I almost consider how somebody plays hockey their “true selves”. Everyone is mostly the same in a brief chat, it’s hard to judge somebody, but with hockey, it’s like you can see all their fantasies — their subconscious even, like something they don’t know. Somebody may be all about world peace and helping the poor in talk but when they don’t show a bit of teamwork then I think to myself, “aah, this guy thinks he can fool us all, he thinks he has this dark inner self or something.” It’s like priests of those African megachurches or something, someone who speaks constantly of altruism but doesn’t even grasp the barest concepts. Or maybe, you see how they are obsessed with the appearances and not with how things work — or too obsessed with technics and not with the system — or someone who thinks too highly of themselves in general.

I want to seque into victory here. The hockey example was intended to demonstrate the … general hypocrisy of the population, which they themselves may not fully realize — or at the very least, have not theorized. We were born hypocrites. Our sense of victory is pro-spective and virtual. The virtuality of the world, that sense of freedom there, the power of the mind, is one of the first (and not the last) things we understand. That’s what I understand with hockey — the way in which people strive to be who they are, their faith in this virtuality — and their lack of … what can be called technical, analytical, stragetic thinking, or whatever. Hockey seems like a moment of truth for me because I can see the failure of all that idealism — it’s one place where self-help strategies won’t work. It’s like the reason why America is failing or something.

Actually, not just America but the world over — it seems a part of our human condition — virtuality, “faith” in all the wrong things, and this “dark inner self”. We are never committed to the world, because we believe in the power of ideas to form ourselves, to bootstrap ourselves. And their is no culture that is fundamentally more grounded than another culture. We preach to others, and in doing so we form ourselves, but when this process fails, we withdraw inward, to our dark selves.

Virtuality, then, is the first thing we know.

II. Semi-Spontaneous

In contrast to virtuality, which we associate with idolatry, hypocrisy, and the dark self, I propose the spontaneous. The spontaneous is that which arises spontaneously in our world, in our prosaic world (and not our virtual world). Yet it is not entirely prosaic, since that would settle us into a well know opposition or impasse, the distinction between reality and the imaginary or something. No, the spontaneous is that which arises spontaneously in the prosaic world, it is the ghost — something emphatically not virtual:

and the fog comes up
from the sewers and
the dark

The entire question however is this semi-, by which I mean, I want to the two elements: the one uncomitted, virtual, and powerful, the latter weak, prosaic, and spontaneous…




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