We all make inadvertent or unsuitable decisions throughout our lives. It is the real-world hamartia of human character. The problem is, we often realize this all too late; learning from our mistakes as one would say. So naturally an individual learns as they he or she has been taught. Then again, what of those who never learn, or those who are so blind to this fact that they bring about events so avoidable it is laughable? These are the people that you meet for just an instance, say at a party, and then you realize that you are restraining yourself from punching a tooth down their throat.
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Its that annoying feeling you get when a fly lands on your arm, you swat, it flies to your other, arm you swat, and the cycle continues. But these people cannot be swat away into the uninhabited portions of our minds as was done with the humble fly. Left unchecked their social blindness will trigger events whose results are seldom agreeable. This leads to question, Can we stop this psychological pandemic? A man can spend his life searching for a cure or even a treatment, and yield nothing. But he who claims to have unlocked the secret will be praised and worship. Yet in reverse isnt such a claim the result of the disease itself?
A man who claims to have achieved perfection of mind, of ego, isnt that the sort of declaration that is analogous to the very illness itself? I deem such miracles a ruse or fallacy. It is human nature to suffer from the same emotional disease, arrogance. Nothing has changed in regard to arrogance, nor will it ever. The memory of that brisk winter night pierces through my head like the stadium lights had done that same night. It was down to the wire; playoffs or next year. One pass determined that result. No quarterback likes this position; from pee wee to NFL, the feeling is mutual.
So I cannot imagine what Brice Cutter was thinking in the seconds prior to the ball being hiked into his hands, initiating the last and final play of the game, and possibly Brices career. The command was given and the play commenced. Needless to say the opposing teams defense was useless in providing a challenge. The cliffhanger was disposed of and our team walked of the field with thoughts of the state championship on their minds. Sports have a strange effect upon those who partake in its sweet intoxications. They have a strange way of changing a persons mood or even personality.
Win or lose; two words seemingly harmless, but are truly the prime examples of a double edged sword. A player attached his or herself to the game, devotes his or her life to the moment, the one kick, the one hit, the one score. After sitting behind Brice in homeroom for two years strait, Ive grasped such a concept quite tightly. Not to mention that I, being an athlete, have seen such effects amongst my teammates. The same could be said for positions of leadership. Creon, the king and protagonist in the tragedy of Antigone, has forgotten the laws of the gods worshipped by those he rules.
He becomes more concerned with the laws made by man. This is due to the fact that he desires perfect order and reform in his nation. Without his position of leadership his thoughts would have been more clear allowing him to see that a perfect synthesis of mans and gods laws is much more agreeable to the citizens. Regardless, Brice was worshiped. He had taken our team to the playoffs for the first time in years, and the town openly showed their approval. Even Josh Leland my, best-friend-for-ever, anti-everything, companion became interested in owning a piece of Brices attention.
He acquired what he sought. After the game Josh and Brice were going to the local club along with the rest of the members of the student who had half a sense of popularity. Naturally, I went along, not entirely willing however, yet still glad to be doing something. I arrived to an empty club; no DJ, no music. The doors were unlocked, the OPEN sign glowing bright red. It was a ghastly feeling. I had walked to the club in the opposite direction of where most of the kids would be coming from; the after-game party downtown. So I walked towards Main Street, the heart of our citys social congregations.
Sure enough I was greeted to sirens, moans, and screams. The scene of the accident was chilling. Two mangled cars on opposite ends of the road, a covered body on a stretcher, blood on the windshield of Brices car. I knew it was his as soon as a saw the now barely legible word spray painted on the side of his car: PLAYOFFS! The other car was a mini-van. I went pale as I realized that there were two empty car seats and no children running around to account for their emptiness. Brice was being given a breathalyzer test, and then he was placed in hand cuffs.
Then, the most disturbing memory of that night beckoned my eyes towards it; Josh in the remains of Brices car. The fire department had out saws attempting to cut out the metal surrounding his lifeless, mangled body. The next day the chain of events leading up to this premature tragedy were fleshed out to me. Brice, in an act of celebration, had decided to get completely inebriated. On the way to the club he smashed the passenger side of his car into the front of the mini van, instantly killing the mother and her two kids inside.
After the bodies were identified it was reported that the driver of the mini van was Brices mother with his two brothers. They were just returning from a trip to the lake. The resulting impact killed Josh, and incapacitated Brice. He would no longer be praised, he would no longer play football, he would no longer be loved or adored. His arrogance caused the death of a beloved friend and his own mother and brothers. He would be alone because in his mind he was untouchable. Everything was going perfectly for him. He had playoff hopes he had college offers from across the country, he could get any girl he chose.
Yet he chooses to throw it all away by fueling his ego in the temporary thrills of adrenaline. In the allegory of the cave, Brice was watching the shadow of his so called fame, and popularity. His fatal flaw was his arrogance, as was the case with Creon. The fire casting shadows along the walls of the cave is the celebration of the playoff qualifications. The reality he is unable to see is the chance of success if he had merely stayed sober. But even further, one could argue that such a thing as playoffs and the ritualistic celebrations of the playoffs holds no value in the scheme of a persons life.
Such materialistic values as winning and the spoils of victory are all exploits that do nothing to further the ability of an enslaved to see his or her reality; to discovering the truth of what is real. So after analysis it could be determined that Brices love of sports, coupled with his hamartia and his unrestrained celebration all blinded him and led him to see a false reality where he was adored and practically invulnerable. Brice and the situation he put himself into almost parallel that of Creon and his situation in a strange sense of irony. It was Creons arrogance that caused the death of his son, wife, and soon to be daughter in law.
Had Creon just listened to the voice of reason and realized that Antigones actions were done with justification he would have avoided the tragedy that befell him. Had Brice simply stayed sober he would be in the NFL with a wife and mansion buying things for his mother and teaching his brothers how to play football. But such is not the case. Both Creon and Brice suffer from the same emotional disease commonly known as arrogance. Both are presented with their mistakes in a irreversible manner that brings about drastic and afflicting changes to their lives.
Such is the result of unabridged arrogance. The problem is that all suffer from it. However the difference between the arrogance in the Creons or Brices of the world compared to the arrogance in the everyday intellectual man is that the intellectual man can comprehend, deal, and control his arrogance to the point that it is not detrimental to himself or his life. When arrogance becomes a hamartia is when the hero never realizes its there; a silent killer with the most simplistic of cures. Its a tragedy in and of itself.