Thursday, October 30, 2008

What is the opposite of fear?

I had to google this question. There really is no word that is the opposite of fear, if fear is used in a general sense. Courage may or may not be the opposite of fear. It's a dictionary antonym, but one can be fearful and courageous at the same time, so I don't buy it.

Come to think of it, all emotions are like this. Our language is so inherently dualistic that we don't believe this is true. One either loves or hates, likes or dislikes, approves or disapproves (etc. ad nauseum). But, it's not either/or. There is always both and sometimes they occur simultaneously.

I decided to post, not to discuss language, but to rant a bit about my evening. I was somewhat disturbed to see that there was not one Obama lawn sign between the 18 miles from my house to the town where I was going. There may have been twice as many McCains signs as last week. I'd guess that at least half the houses on this road now have these signs up, and that's a lowball estimate.*

I heard a well-spoken woman state unequivocably that she suspects Obama is secretly in league with the Taliban.

I was told by someone who knows everyone that Obama signs are disappearing in the night on every rural road around my area, and that most people are sick of replacing them. Shock was expressed when I stated my sign is still intact, after three nights.

Then I idiotically listened to Sean Hannity on the radio, where I heard Rudy Guiliani state that the Obama campaign was waging dangerous class warfare. If anyone is doing that, it's McPalin.

And to top it all off, as I was trying reassure myself that things are going to turn out alright, I get online, only to read that McCain said today, about Joe the Plumber, that he is “an American hero, a great citizen of Ohio and my role model.”

Are the good folks of Canton, Ohio really lapping this stuff up?

So, I'm nervous.

Listening to Hannity, Limbaugh,Glenn Beck and the rest of the hate mongers on talk radio or TV, I am increasingly appalled. I used to listen to this stuff for entertainment. Well, that was then.

Now? I can't understand why people choose fear and hatred over whatever the opposite of fear and hatred is. The opposite of hatred is love, and perhaps that's what the opposite of fear is, too. Hey, all you radical Christianists (who are not reading this, I would imagine), what do you think Jesus would say? What happened to "love thy enemy"? And I know that there's something in the bible about not speaking ill of others, but I can't place it right now.

I know I'm a bit over my limit of ethical boundaries, given posts like this one. But what's it driven by? Fear.

Case closed.

*Yes, I've been told that lawn signs don't win elections.

Image note: Hmm. Picasso again! Read this short bio to learn more about this simple drawing. It's got an intriging history.

I wanted to use an image of the "dove of peace" but by page four of google results, I got sick of looking at ugly new-agey art. Hence, Picasso. Maybe I should rethink my attitude towards him.


Anonymous said...

Julie, you're making me nervous too:)
Let's talk about something else...
Positive, to be sure. I hate to sound too dramatic, but for the first time in years, I feel like this is a very crucial time, so many things hang in the balance, fate of the country even. In the large sense we've painted ourselves into the corner and will have to change almost drastically to survive and prosper.
We need the right person for that huge job. And McCain ain't that person.
I just can't wait for this suspense to be over and take a deep breath and be able to sleep soundly at night again.
Strangely enough, I perceive Picasso as a very flexible artist, in spite of cubism and the visial associations of cubism. The way Picasso treats things and concepts is very fluid and full of life and that's what I like about his art.
P.S. If I transcribed the word verification nonsensical word into Russian, it would mean *please, touch* I think it's a good omen:)

Julie H. Rose said...

Nika, I agree with everything you wrote.

На 4 ноября, может быть, мы, наконец, см. положить конец политике страха и ненависти.

Did that make sense?

And I also agree with your assessment of Picasso, though I can't find the heart in his work. Maybe it's me. I ought to look harder or find out what's blocking my view.

Anonymous said...

Wow, is that yoru high school Russian kicking in? I'm impressed:)
Yes, let's put and end to it, it's high time we did.
It's funny you used a phrase "blocking my view" in regard to Picasso's work. Blocks, get it:)
By the way, that Lovers painting that you used the other day is not bad, it's perfect in the way. Maybe I should explain how, when I get that blog thing together...

Julie H. Rose said...

If you haven't guessed, that was courtesy of Google translator, which I just adore.

There's a post on here somewhere that's entirely in German.

All I remember, and we had a good laugh over this, is Карандаш на стол!

Which is a lie: It's Есть две ручки на моем столе. But of course, I don't know if that's been correctly translated!

I'd love to know why you think "The Lovers" is a good painting. You can always leave a comment on that post! Thanks for making me think, Nika.