Saturday, May 12, 2012

Spiderman's Cave

Your Secret

Turn left, look right, step forward, and think back to a time when the laughter of laughing children made you laugh.  Not of the questions of questionable adults leaving you to ask, why?

You are keeping a kept secret that if lit would ignite the desire to fight a fighter’s fight.  Instead you keep it and weep and cry quietly into the night.

Hell’s bells continue to ring as they have always rung, but still you do not sing the joyous song that’s been sung.

Inside you scream the screamer’s scream causing your heart to burst.  Not caused by frustration, but the lack of love and the ever present feeling of hurt.

Exhaustion makes you want to sleep moments after you’ve slept because the burden of keeping the secret that’s been kept.

You are the dreamer of dreams unheard and unsaid and the seeker that seeks the roads that wind, weave, and bend.

The musician’s music plays.  What you want is willed to stay.  You are the keeper of a kept secret that cannot only darken the night, but can also lighten any day.

-Mikey D. B.-

            We all have a little something to learn from Plato and his Allegory of the Cave, especially when it comes to OUR own knowledge and OUR light that we have obtained in this life.  I had this discussion with a good buddy of mine earlier this week when I found myself practically blind and handicapped as I was recovering from the corrective eye surgery that I had just a few days prior.  The conversation was sparked by me indulging myself in a festivity of movies on Netflix from a lack of ability to do much of anything else of value.  One of these movies was a documentary called Media Malpractice, which explored the media’s role in the 2008 Presidential Elections.  Making a long story short, the director (who, might I point out, was an Obama supporter and a strong liberal advocate) provided loads of evidence and countless examples of how the media not only exalted Obama by hiding his ill facts and glamorizing his noble ones, but how they crucified Sarah Palin by doing the complete opposite, therefore, skewing the information about each candidate to essentially fix the elections.  If you don’t believe me, I highly recommend watching this documentary, Media Malpractice, and at least consider the possibility that it happened.

After I watched/listened to this documentary, I was fuming.  Not because Obama was elected, but because of the hidden agenda the media seemed to have and the malicious practices that were taken to accomplish this agenda.  It was like they were a fat, little five year-old tyrant who stopped at nothing to get their Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.  In my rage, I texted my buddy as best as I could being as blind as I was, about the loathing nature that I had at the moment towards the media.  He agreed and disagreed with my strong opinion.  He pointed out that propaganda has always been around, from Hitler until now, and that there have always been hidden agendas in society.  When he did, I realized that modern media has only amplified and extended the reach of malpractice and propaganda.  My buddy then asked if it was the media’s fault or if it was ours, the people of the United States of America, for believing anything that was placed before us in the 2008 elections?  Do we believe whatever we are told without doing some research of our own; who’s really to blame for the false information we believe?  Plato’s allegory explores just that.

Plato illustrates all of as prisoners in a cave, chained to the floor, and looking at a wall with our backs facing the entrance and the sunlight coming into the cave.  Just behind us and above the entrance of the cave, is a fire that shines on the wall we, the prisoners, are looking at.  Anything that we see on the wall is from the shadows of objects that pass in front of this fire.  Now in front of this fire, there is a walkway with a barrier that other individuals, not us who are chained to the floor, walk behind.  These people have puppets that they hold above the barrier to project shadows on the wall that we are looking at.  Now since we are chained to the floor and can’t turn around to see what is really creating the shadows, we believe the shadows as reality because we know no different.  In simpler terms, we are ignorant.  For example, if the shadow was created by a puppet lion and the puppeteer behind the wall began speaking, we’d believe that a real lion was doing the talking.  Now what if we could unchain ourselves, leave the cave, go into the real sunlight, and see what was really causing the shadows and voices, which is where Plato makes his point.  If we could do that, would we go back into the cave and tell every other prisoner what was going on?  Would we try to explain how the lion on the wall isn’t real but just a puppet and a puppeteer?

Knowledge is power and as Peter Parker’s uncle said: “With great power comes great responsibility.”  What are we doing with what we know?  Are we keeping that secret to ourselves and hording the knowledge?  Are we afraid of Hell’s bells being rung and the opposition that comes from voicing an opinion?  Our opinions may be wrong and we may believe the shadows on the wall, but we never can know truth unless we explore it for ourselves.  I had a professor a couple semesters ago that changed my life by the advice he gave in class on a daily basis.  He told me something that I will never forget.  He said “I’m proud of you and your generation, but I hope you change.  Because if you change, that means you’re learning.  Now go, make mistakes, learn, and make a difference.”  All too often we hold ourselves back from a fear that we have.  Whether that be a fear of the unknown or of our next door neighbor’s dog, it holds us back from exploring the gifts around us.  All too often do we feel inferior to what knowledge that we do have, that we fail to express and act upon it.

Poet John Donne has been praised as a man that has changed the English language with his metaphysical poetry.  Thomas Carew, another poet and writer, compares John Donne to the Greek god Prometheus, and just as Prometheus gave fire and light to man, John Donne gave the light of poetry to man.  He, John Donne, took the English language which was considered inferior and vulgar at the time, and used it to trump the superior languages of Greek and Latin (Norton Anthology Volume 1 p. 1666-1670).  Where are those superior languages now?  Where is the English language now?  If there is one thing that I’ve learned, it’s that complete control of the inferior can shake and crack the foundations of the superior.  We can make a difference, for better or for worse, if we but simply believe and realize that we are the keeper of a kept secret that can not only darken the night, but can also brighten any day.  Our werd will be heard if we but voice it.

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