The Tragedy of Young Men

“There’s a huge investment in the Western world in self-destructive young men. We need to have these tragedies acted out for us… because we want to imagine what it must be like without actually having to do it ourselves.” — Joy Division – Under Review (1:04:26).

Consider professional boxing. It has a well-known track record of multi-million-dollar, champion boxers going broke — perhaps the best-known example of which is Mike Tyson. Likewise, according to one estimation, 80% of NFL players go broke three years after within three years of being out of the league. Leaving sport aside, singers and musicians have, as we know, ended up ripped off and/or dead — Kurt Cobain, Sid Vicious, and Joy Division’s Ian Curtis being among the latter group. Continue reading “The Tragedy of Young Men”

Using Your Advantage. Is it Really Unfair?

“Find your unfair advantage” — Marc Ecko.

There are people who have unfair advantages, of course: e.g., parents with money and connections, a psychopathic ability to manipulate others, or perhaps a physical appearance that makes it possible to cruise by on looks alone. (I’m sure you’ve met people in all of those categories.)

But this isn’t actually what Marc Ecko means by “unfair advantage.” In fact, if you read about his career and life, he struggled, took risks, and did the work, going above and beyond his competition. He won out not by finding his “unfair advantage,” but, in fact, by using his fair advantage. He simply made the best of the skills and knowledge he had acquired, over many years.

It’s a curious thing, but people with skill often feel guilty about it — and sometimes even ashamed of it.

Continue reading “Using Your Advantage. Is it Really Unfair?”

Courage and Generosity

“(Wealth) is a consolation to everyone,
although every man shall distribute much
if he will, before the Lord renown be
dealt in his lot” — Old English Rune Poem.

A few years ago, I made a translation of The Old English Rune Poem. Above is the first stanza. My translation is probably slightly different to others. But, here, I’m not concerned with technicalities of language, but what we might learn from the poem.

“Wealth” — whatever we might define that as — “is a consolation.” And I would suggest, that it is a “consolation” for the fact that we are mortal and will no longer experience life as we do now. “Wealth” represents the comforts of life. Continue reading “Courage and Generosity”