Author Topic: DOCember Group Marathon 2015  (Read 14077 times)

oldkid

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Re: DOCember Group Marathon 2015
« Reply #120 on: February 16, 2016, 07:07:29 PM »
Just today, in hearing the doc Amy mentioned again, I came to an understanding of why I feel Amy is a superior doc and Senna is less so, and in this realization comes my enlightenment of why I don't particularly like sports.

I am okay with competition, but I am not okay with it as a lifestyle/occupation.

I understand that competition is inherent in both sports and entertainment.  There are only so many dollars out there, and somebody has to get them, and... well may the best performer win.

But a singer or an actor is not the locus of competition.  Their job is to be the best performer they can be, without directly opposing another performer.  In fact, usually the best performances come when they work in cooperation with another performer.  Even if they seem antagonistic on screen, in reality they are rooting for each other, because the better one performs, the better they do.

An excellent example is Amy and Tony Bennett singing together.  She worshiped him and he deeply admired her and they weren't in opposition in any way.  They both worked hard because they knew that together they could make a great song. 

Yes, there is competition in entertainment, in movies and in song, but it isn't glorified.  We wish it would get out of the way, because it's standing in the way of true talent.

But Senna is really about a competition which led to an antagonism between Senna and Prost.  They believed that the other was cheating, that they didn't understand the hidden "rules" of the game, and the anger built over the way they played.  That anger is seen in their performance, in their action.  And that is inherent in most sport (gymnastics and some track events are different, more personal).  Again, a little competition to spur the blood isn't a bad thing.  But to base the whole performance on it makes it shallow, leading toward anger, and just frustrating to me.  I just want excellent performances, not drama built upon a bad structure.

Yeah, I hate partisan politics too.  It all irritates me.

Again, enjoy your sports.  I don't have a moral objection to it so much as a personal objection.  But now I understand what that objection is.
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

verbALs

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Re: DOCember Group Marathon 2015
« Reply #121 on: February 17, 2016, 12:07:41 AM »
Most sport is a cooperative team experience and the level of support and understanding is at a similarly intense level to anything in art. The competition only spurs a team on to higher level of comradeship, support and teamwork. The best teams operate on telepathic levels of human understanding. So how does that reconcile with your PoV?
I used to encourage everyone I knew to make art; I don't do that so much anymore. - Banksy

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Re: DOCember Group Marathon 2015
« Reply #122 on: February 17, 2016, 12:40:21 AM »
Yeah, the sheer joy of the teammates is transferred to me when I watch, for example, the Warriors or the Spurs or my own Celtics play together. They're having fun, I'm having fun, dunks happen. Sports!
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oldkid

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Re: DOCember Group Marathon 2015
« Reply #123 on: February 17, 2016, 01:00:57 AM »
Most sport is a cooperative team experience and the level of support and understanding is at a similarly intense level to anything in art. The competition only spurs a team on to higher level of comradeship, support and teamwork. The best teams operate on telepathic levels of human understanding. So how does that reconcile with your PoV?

This
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1ongwLFwKs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wYcMnxkc0o

How often do you get interviews like this with non-sports celebrities?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umYJjZuUY9Q

It's not enough to have a top ten hockey fights.  Top ten in one month?  As much as the Grammy's drama was, no one thought to fight.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqtb4uzM2oU

Basketball too
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7D360bsKrw

You can say that there is cooperation.  But competition is what rules.  Anger and violence is the result.  In public, not in back rooms.  No thanks.
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

verbALs

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Re: DOCember Group Marathon 2015
« Reply #124 on: February 17, 2016, 02:11:16 AM »
Examples of incredible bravery, friendship, mutual respect, joy?

But if you find no enjoyment in watching sport then even dumping the thousands of clips I could use as examples; you probably wouldn't see what any sports fan would see.

But that's only watching. Only. It is nothing compared with participating in sport. And describing that to someone who doesn't have that experience would be the same as trying to describe colour to the blind or sound to the deaf. That's not hyperbole it really is a sensation you have to experience to begin to understand.

Your reaction to anger and violence in clips is a good example. It isn't surprising that your reaction is so hostile but from my PoV how could you be anything but hypercritical from such a distance. The world you ascribe to is an ideal. That isn't the world that exists. You actually know this through your work as well but this is a world of hostility and aggression and you have probably seen it first hand because you have been out in the world. A little like the discussion of violence in movies it's a subject that needs understanding to have any chance of handling. Standing at a remove from it won't contribute anything in solving it.

That's the big picture but the ability to cope with stress is a proven survival instinct. Exposure to stress as long as it isn't prolonged is known to be beneficial to mental health. Radio 4 told me this yesterday.  ;) common sense says that one handles difficult situations better if one has experience of it. Further more important human qualities like good leadership can be learnt through team sport. The phrase "Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton" is something I heard yesterday. Now you may not like what lies behind it but the alternative to facing Napoleon or Hitler or Islamic State and defeating him was far worse. A revulsion of hostility is extremely laudable but wouldn't help much next time a Bataclan occurs. Would it?

Finally, there is no artifice in those reactions you see. Acting is fake. You want to see real emotion? Don't go to the cinema. Go to a game. If you simply don't like it, I can appreciate that attitude. But it's a lock the door and keep away from the world attitude. That's perfectly fine and at our age, we deserve the calm that brings. Personally attempting to deal with everything life has to offer and being able to see the good within the bad feels like a much more immersive way to live. Snort life. Live with passion.

I also wish I hadn't damaged my Achilles' tendon so badly that I can't continue to play. I was killing myself trying to play and I knew playing football again would push me that hard. I was out of my head pushing myself in a way that nothing else could make me do, just for the joy of the game. The drive that trying your best for a team, not letting people down, gives you. And all you have to do is step on to a playing field to get it.

Sport is on the edge of human endeavour pushing out all the time; actually pushing out who we are as humans. It also means it pushes the risks people take. The risks of concussion injury or drug abuse have to dealt with properly. They might fundamentally change those sports because those risks have to be managed. Sportsman will ignore risks that might cripple them or kill them. They need support and duty of care. Just like Senna hitting the barrier. It has to change. Those problems are far worse than someone having a rant. Stop boxing? Stop heading a ball? Fine but dealt with from a position of understanding and compassion. Not from outside because you don't like angry people. The ability to understand even those aspects of life you have little experience of would be of more value to me than standing in judgement from outside. The risks of sport are inherent to the human achievement involved. Remove that edge of a knife risk and you arent left with much entertainment excitement or endeavour.

Nobody thinks uncontrolled anger is cool or a good thing. Understanding where it comes from is very important. Which is difficult from a distance.
I used to encourage everyone I knew to make art; I don't do that so much anymore. - Banksy

oldkid

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Re: DOCember Group Marathon 2015
« Reply #125 on: March 06, 2016, 11:27:04 AM »
I, like all of my generation, were forced to participate in sports.  I was never good at it and never appreciated it.  The only sport I tolerated was volleyball, but I would never watch it.  So you make a good point. I could never appreciate sport films because I have never appreciated or really fairly participated in sport of any kind.  But my lack of participation has more to do with my lack of interest, not the other way around.

I am pretty good at stress.  I live with it everyday.  Unfortunately, there is no such thing as balance when almost everyone I know is struggling to survive.  Is cinema fake?  Good, that's what I need.  For a couple of years my wife addictively played Sims, and I joked that it was because at least in her computer she could control the outcome and have a clean house.  But that's kinda true.  In a work where the majority of people are constantly abused, stolen from, attacked and emotionally and physically broken, where funerals are a regular event, I need to spend some time with drama knowing that the outcome isn't real. 

I also won't bore you with my pacifist ideals, or how the training one receives in sports or boot camp are just the wrong kind to make the world a better place.  But you get the idea.
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

verbALs

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Re: DOCember Group Marathon 2015
« Reply #126 on: March 07, 2016, 02:27:21 AM »
I do understand your position if sport didn't bring you any positive experiences, and this is only exacerbated by being forced to participate at an early age. I can remember the only time we were asked to play another game, rugby. It only lasted half a session before the teacher took us back to playing football, because we hated it so much. So I can't remember ever playing any full contact. I was fairly terrible at basketball but because of the position of responsibility I had playing football the sports teacher put me in that ball carrier position (whatever that's called). Again, I resented the hell out of it, and having to play at all, so basketball is a mystery to me, as well. "What a rubbish game. Why play that?" Now I could extend that across any sport to understand your position. But it also helps me understand how alien and alienating sport can be without any positive experiences.

It becomes a difficulty of communication then. Someone could explain the charms of opera or ballet but I don't think I'd ever be able to "feel" their joys however good the explanation is. When you compare sport training and boot camps, I guess that emphasises the brutal physical aspects they might share, but sport is about restrained aggression. Again I would go back to your own experience that you mentioned. You know what aggression looks like, and you have probably had people, in a bad mental way, screaming into your face. It's not nice, and shouldn't be condoned nor celebrated, and that isn't the point. It is an advantage to be able to handle your own feelings in a situation like that; get past the outwards displays of aggression, see the strain the person is under so that you can help them. Handling pressure so that you can perform skilfully is one side of it. Channelling aggression to control it into a useable physical effort. Not overreacting in any situation is a useful skill, something beyond sport. So I can't agree that there is no part for aggression, because that, I'm afraid is life or part of life. How you personally control yourself in the face of aggression is as important to know as how you act in any emotional situation. I could recall times when I went too far aggressively in a game, but then I can recall times when I kept my head in the face of horrible intimidation (city life I'm afraid). So what that gives you is an appreciation of knowing where the boundaries are or how to find them (I'm a great believer in knowing the limits in any situation). Like I said before its not a matter of seeking confrontation, but I know its out there, and its not entirely a surprise when it appears. Not throwing your toys out the pram as soon as it happens......well you need to experience it to know how to do. Life skills are practised, not read in books.
I used to encourage everyone I knew to make art; I don't do that so much anymore. - Banksy

oldkid

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Re: DOCember Group Marathon 2015
« Reply #127 on: March 07, 2016, 08:04:26 PM »
Under the terms of "channeling aggression", my "sport" is stepping into dangerous situations and easing conflict, called "peacemaking."  Among the poorest of my nation (as any nation, I would think), it is a full time job and I train others to do it-- to ease conflict without violence or weapons. 

But I do have one ace up my sleeve that I can't seem to train others to do, which is to use my voice in anger or pseudo-anger to force people to calm down and to listen to me.  It is the voice some fathers use to bring their children under control.  That is channeling aggression.  There is anger, possibly real anger, but it is disciplined toward a positive goal. 

I have a hard time connecting that fully with sport, but I have an inkling of what you're saying.
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

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Re: DOCember Group Marathon 2015
« Reply #128 on: March 08, 2016, 12:08:24 AM »
I'm glad that you acknowledged the point I was making. Not that aggression or anger is a necessary evil. Nothing so crass. That aggression exists in the world and having the experience to handle or channel it, is a necessary part of being out in the world. As an example, I want my kids to be successful in whatever ways they choose to be (and I am fascinated watching them navigating their choices). I know that at some point they might meet aggression or anger. I understand that if they have no understanding or experience of it that they might retreat from the situation. Someone in fact might see their reticence and take advantage of them very easily or, even worse, they might react too strongly the other way and act in an uncontrolled aggressive way themselves. My son took a very academic route through school so I saw that the part that sport can play wasn't available for him to learn from. So it concerned me. Then at university he took up tae kwondo to black belt level and to me it was like a piece of jigsaw puzzle. The part that control of aggressive feelings is a natural part of Martial arts seemed like the perfect tool and his assurance out in the world is plain for me or anyone else to see. I can see in one of my daughters a little less assurance so that emotional situations make her emotions swerve a little too extremely and you feel like you are waiting for her to get herself under control before you can help her deal with situations properly. Until that emotion is handled you are somewhat wasting time before you can move on, in life. Nothing much good comes from anger.

If I see blank statements where being good isn't only a preference but the only thing it makes me nervous. It doesn't reflect the world. I didn't have to ask you if you experience this less than nice world on a regular basis because it's obvious that doing such a thing as you do (which is amazing) means you'll see it all the time and your ability to handle it means you can stay out in the world and operate effectively to help people. I felt the comments about aggression and not wanting to see it might come from not wanting to have to watch it at home. You want a break from it.
I used to encourage everyone I knew to make art; I don't do that so much anymore. - Banksy

oldkid

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Re: DOCember Group Marathon 2015
« Reply #129 on: March 17, 2016, 04:27:19 AM »
It's more than just wanting a break, it is seeing that aggression as the source of what is really wrong.  Now, sport, from what I hear you say, can be a means of disciplining, channeling that aggression.  Perhaps providing a positive output.  But I see too many cracks in sport, whether it be the overly competitive parent or the abusive coach.  On the other hand, I find it amusing to think that the silly, and generally innocuous competition between different fan groups (in our state the major rivalry is between the Beavers and the Ducks-- really?) might be letting off some steam that might instead feed into, say, politics.  There is certainly more bitter competition there than is necessary.

But I am offended by the play of partisan politics as much as by aggressive competition on the field.   Actually offended.  It turns my stomach.  And when I see it in myself-- as I do-- I am disgusted by my very nature.  It is a wrong.  I can't see it in any other way.  To pour more energy into it seems disgusting to me.  On the other hand, as I said above, better sport than politics, if the choice has to be made. 

I'll take my aggression out chanting pointlessly for the poorest and getting arrested for it, I guess.
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

 

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