Former Vassar schoolmate, talented artist, and the man who took over the reins from this author as Vassar College Ultimate Frisbee captain, Curtiss Calleo, sent along this Survey on Fear back in March…
When you were a child, what do you remember being most afraid of? How did you overcome your fear? Did you ever overcome it?
Stage fright. I overcame it, first by asserting my voice in college as an outspoken member of a couple club-level sports teams (Ultimate Frisbee and Ski) I became captain of, and then later on by forcing myself to act while living in Prague during the early 90’s. Not a very good actor, but I did manage to overcome that fear to a degree. Still, I am one of those odd types who craves to have one’s voice heard, but prefers to operate behind the scenes. Recently, forced by the fact that no one else is doing it, I am making my voice heard within the blogoshpere in a more overt front and center manner.
What are your biggest fears now? Tell us how they manifest themselves…
My own country’s blindness to it’s own flaws that threaten to destroy us and the world. Manifestation? Fight! I am writing my ass off and trying to create a bottom up sideways, grass roots internet-enabled capitalistic alternative that values “Democracy of Touch” on a par with “Democracy of Pocket”. Individual agency is where it all begins. Nothing changes because we don’t believe it can and do nothing. Self fulfilling prophecy.
Are you afraid of terrorism? Tell us when and where you are afraid, how, etc…
Yes. I live in NYC, ground zero for dirty bombs, biological attacks or worse. The current Administration has made me feel less safe and I want them the heck on outta here. I would also think two or three or four times before taking a trip to the Middle East these days.
Please write a brief reaction to these quotes:
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”
No, WE have many things to fear. Illegal detention, wiretapping, global warming, Jungian shadow projection of our worst flaws upon the other that allows us to always blame the other guy…
I, on the other hand? I only have fear to fear. And that’s the problem. A whole lot of I’s relying on WE to do the something’s they never do themselves and then wonder why nothing changes.
“There would be no one to frighten you if you refused to be afraid.”
There’d be many things to frighten you, you just wouldn’t be afraid, which might be kinda dumb. You might end up dead.
We NEED to be afraid sometimes if only to protect ourselves or the ones we love. When was the last time, for instance, that you, as a white guy, Curtiss, walked through East New York late at night by yourself? Hung out cattishly upon a hot stove? Walked past that guy with the gun pointed at you?
But to be afraid of bogeyman’s of our own making? Ones that we actually create by giving encouragement to those who would have us fear them? That’s a different story altogether.
“Anyone who trades liberty for security deserves neither liberty nor security”
Yes and No. That’s a broad statement. Suffice it to say that, as per the question above, sometimes it’s okay to trade the liberty to hang out in a burning building for the security of getting yo a$$ outta there. But again, as per the above question, to trade liberty and security for hegemonistically “framed” threats to our well-being cynically propagated by our own leaders to suppress dissent, yet ungrounded by any reasonable measure of emotional, spiritual or bodily rational risk/reward analysis? You tell me? It’s as silly as all those folks who won’t fly only to hop into a car to pick up a loaf of bread 2 blocks away.
You must trust and believe in people or life becomes impossible.”
Hmmm. I see a lot of alive people out there without either trust or belief. Seems to me that statement needs to be addressed on a case by case basis. That said, I believe that belief in people and life is the only route to a better world than we currently occupy and is the difference between man, animal and inanimate.
The ancients anthorpomorphized the universe and ascribed intention and will to it in order to empower themselves. Why? Because that is the route to the possibility of a better world in a universe of “good” and “bad” alike indifferent on a collective level to the indvidual spirit. Speaking only for myself, I prefer death to lack of trust and belief and believe myself not alone. Choose trust and belief over cynicim and despair and you have already changed the world if only because you have changed yourself. As far as that goes, it’s not that “life becomes impossible” without trust and belief but that a better life becomes impossible.
View Venezuelan Lida Martinez’ portraits and more on Flickr.
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