Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Swearing in the Puer

Well, here we go. America, having hitched its wagon to a puer, now gets what it so richly deserves, seeing that we must live with the consequences of our actions and decisions. Wait! Wait! But that is exactly what we wanted to get away with/from by electing the Big O!

Sorry, America. Oh, and by the by, you did know, didn't you, that Hopy Change-Day also brings its shadow, too? No?
The shadow of the puer is the senex (Latin for "old man"), associated with the god Apollo--disciplined, controlled, responsible, rational, ordered. Conversely, the shadow of the senex is the puer, related to Dionysus--unbounded instinct, disorder, intoxication, whimsy. (Marie-Louise von Franz, James Hillman)

Like all archetypes the puer is bi-polar, exhibiting both a "positive" and an "negative" aspect. The "positive" side of the puer appears as the Divine Child who symbolizes newness, potential for growth, hope for the future. He also foreshadows the hero that he sometimes becomes (e.g. Heracles). The "negative" side is the child-man who refuses to grow up and meet the challenges of life face on, waiting instead for his ship to come in and solve all his problems.

"For the time being one is doing this or that, but whether it is a woman or a job, it is not yet what is really wanted, and there is always the fantasy that sometime in the future the real thing will come about.... The one thing dreaded throughout by such a type of man is to be bound to anything whatever."
So, good luck with that four year thing. Remember puers and puellas don't like to be bound, say, by unborn children – such a drag on my freedom. Oh, and one more thing. My guess for today is that the inaugural "Festivity" will play-out nearly all of the sacrificial preparation, frenzy, exorcising scapegoating, and denouement so well explicated by René Girard's mimetic theory. But not on center stage - where the ever-smiling puer holds court - but off stage: at the over-crowded Metro stations, along the edges of the Mall, where lurking self-appointed "priests" of the primitive sacred will feel the call of the old gods of blood and mayhem.

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