Discussion in 'Fantasy / Horror' started by Gary Wassner, Feb 12, 2005.
Both. The one who holds on lacks flexibility to change; the one who pulls lacks sensitivity to custom. Both want it their way.
Or, the one who holds on is drowning and the one who pulls is a murderer.
Same words, such different meanings.
Such a simple statement with a profoundness unrivaled.
My opinion, the one who holds on. Some things must be let go and one must determine when that time is. If someone is pulling in an attempt to pull that person along and the holder-on is unwilling to let go...snap.
But this is all dependant on the situation. Some things are worth holding on to. Change is good, but not always benifical. Forcing change where none is needed can cause devistating effects. ex. Russia trying to become a capatilist society over night. But that was more of a shove off a cliff than pulling on a string.
Life is change. Isn't that so, by definition? Time stops for no one.
But there is another side to this statement that you both overlooked: Breaking the thread might be the best possible thing to do.
This is the difficulty in your question in the fact that it is subjective. Each side could be argued in general terms, but until specifics are defined, you cannot make a clear call either way as to which would be best. Even should both sides be described in great detail, you could still end up with a subjective decision to make. Both good or both bad, but you must choose.
From a different angle...
Perhaps the thread's creator should also take some responsibility...was it strong enough to start with, or conversely, was it too strong?
The thread breaks because it's tensile strength can no longer resist the resultant force applied to it.
No point in trying to blame anyone for it (other than the manufacturer of the thread).
Oh, good! I was concerned there for a minute we were going to put all the lawyers out of business. At least the manufacturer can be held accountable for the improper use consumers made of its product. Now, they can put a warning label on the package that this thread is designed to tighten your shoes but if you persist in dangling by this thread over the rim of the Grand Canyon, it could be dangerous to your health.
We are so taken with the idea of cause-and-effect, we must assign blame (cause) to everything. When it rains on the days weatherforecasters see only the probability of sunshine, we do not want to hear about the foundations of chaos theory; we want to sue the weather forecaster.
The situation of the thread of is analogous. We must bring a bias to the problem of the thread because the wording of the question expects blame to be assigned as if snapping the thread was either good or evil. If a moutain lion eats the person wandering the mountain path on their own, is the moutain lion evil? Was the person responsible for the mountain lion's act by putting ireesistibloe temptation in its path so that the person is evil? Was it the devil's fault? Or is it god's fault because she made mountain lions aggressive and hungry? Or is it a blameless situation?
Brilliant answers, all of them! What's so interesting about them, and this is partially why I posed the question to begin with, is how differently each person views the situation.
Erebus, I particularly like the double entendre in your response. It was so subtle, but also so provocative. I do hope you meant it to be read that way? How could it have been too strong? And judging from the responses, it was certainly strong enough.
So Maus, define your terms. Everything needs defining. Some words are clear and some meanings are clear, at least we think they are, until we dig a little deeper into them. What kind of decision is not subjective anyway? Despite the greatest efforts to be objective, one can never separate their perception and analysis from who they are and where they've been.
Joe - Responsiblity is the issue! Do you write in the passive voice as well?
Hereford - Do you think the thread just wore out by itself? Is anything in this world so detached from all else that it is not affected by what is happening around it?
I am surprised that no one said that holding on is just another way of pulling without the guilt.
We have a grieving widow on one end -- she wants to stay at home and be left alone. On the other end we have friends and family who want to see the widow leave her home and resume her life as it was.
Who are we to say what is best? To break the thread, or to hold on?
Conversely we have the 'Dark Overlord on one end trying to pull a crumbling society into the modern world or technology and the band of rebels/good guys trying to keep the world simple and honest.
Again, Who is right? Do we break ties with the past and progress or do we struggle to maintain our ferocious grip on the past in a desperate attempt to keep it with us?
Be it Epic fantasy or real life, the thread can be ambiguous. Even if we define both sides in the end it's a subjective call for the viewer to decide which side is right and which is wrong. Both have very strong arguments for wanting to pull or hold on.
Could a person isolated from the thread be pulling for both sides at the same time?
The one holding would have to be pulling with as much force as his counterpart, so technically they are both pulling.
No. I just try to eliminate the emotional/philisophical element from the equation as it tends to cloud the issue, especially considering the vagueness of your question.
It was deliberately phrased to be "open to interpretation", I'm just not falling for it, as the answers wil tend to be as subjective as the question.
What about the tensile strength of the thread itself?
Every thing we say and do is subjective. That doesn't stop us from speculating.
Can you separate yourself from the thread? If you let go, where does that leave you? Isnt' that how one finds nirvana? Maybe we've been looking at this whole question incorrectly.
Joe, don't get cynical on me now! And you are just inserting your own emotional mind set to the equation here. Cynicism is the result of an emotion just like all the rest. If you are skeptical, you are so for a reason. Do you think it's not psysiological and/or psychological at least in some part?
Perhaps we need to consider who created the thread as well. Did the holder create it by reaching out then pulling back or did the puller create it when no thread was desired in the first place.
I disagree that all things are subjective. If I don't eat, I'll die. That's a simple, cold, hard fact. If I wallow in sorrow in my house, I may linger for many years in my own silence. Who's to say I'm wrong? Again we may come back to the creator of the thread in the first place.
Hmmm, I would say it depends on the nature of the person pulling and the nature of the person holding.
See, this is my example.
At the weekend, my girlfriend had a cuddly toy, which belonged to her sister. Her family have just bought a new boxer puppy and it snapped its little teeth around the leg of the toy and refused to release it. The toy began to rip and my girlfriend shouted at the dog to stop pulling, as she held it, and watched as the leg was ripped away.
I said that it was my girlfriend's fault for holding onto the toy, the dog was just being a dog, it's in its nature to do that...
So again, I think Gary's question is down to perception, nature and can never have a definitive answer, instead, the answers simply reveal truth about the person answering.
Skepticism is just my natural defence mechanism.
I just get the feeling, (after checking out some of your threads) that this is all part of a personal project where you are sitting at home making notes and ticking boxes based on people's responses, in some sort of Jungian social/psychological experiment.
I blame Bakker. He got to you didn't he?
Exactly. We're being used as guinea pigs!!
Nah, I think Gary has been sorting through boxes (making room for his beautiful looking new books in his office) and he found his old notes from when he taught Philosophy...
You can just imagine him laying these questions on his students and the arguments that ensued!!!
A most interesting and delicious thread indeed (pardon the pun), served with a remarkable smorgasbord of responses, thoughts and opinions.
I did intend my previous post to read as it does, Gary. So glad you liked it.
So, if Juzzza's suggestion is correct, when do we get our scores?
Adding to Bartlett's compilation:
Screw scores, I think Gary is handing out medication
Separate names with a comma.