We’ve some great discussion and sharing of experiences going here, with reasonable people (including the author of the article I linked to… someone’s got a Google alert out for his own name, I’m thinking. 🙂 ) talking about the aesthetic approach to physical competitiveness and other cool things.
But what does master YouTube think?
In this short clip, we see some of the crud (by which I mean cultural cliches that form the fetid background of our thinking, as elaborated in that most illustrious work Tripe that all the kids are reading these days) that I was trying to cleanse from my brain and/or play with via the previous post.
Just to avoid excess misunderstanding (a little is fine) and to annoyingly talk about myself instead of the video for a second: I think much snarkiness and superiority is a result of deliberately uncharitable readings of cultural phenomena, whether one is railing about Republicans or religious fanatics or New Age “thinkers,” and as long as we keep that in mind, we can have our laugh at others’ expense at only the cost of a little self-loathing. The upside is then instead of being permanently dickish, we can then, if energy is available, turn around and figure out what’s actually interesting/sensible/accessible to sympathy within the phenomenon, like what actual philosophers (like Damon Young) have to say about it that can enrich our lives. My only point here is that these two activities are not mutually exclusive, but on the contrary are, I think, necessary correlates for the engaged and healthy mind.
With that said: in this video, which looks like a preview of the “Best Florida Film at the Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival,” I have learned that (if I see the longer film) I will apparently actually “experience the spiritual and physical development that is a way of life” for these ass-kicking, charming-cobras-with-their-eyes people. However, seeing that longer film is apparently “a journey that takes a lifetime,” so I guess I should block out some extra space on my calendar. If the film is like this preview, then it’s apparently made up of a couple cryptic comments here and there that are proclaimed to be philosophical and then footage of people jumping around.
I’m not ripping so much on the subject matter here (I don’t feel qualified to judge whether martial arts masters whose movements claim heritage in Taoist philosophy actually have any philosophy chops according to the standards of any culture), but it seems like the editor of this clip was high. Case in point: At 1:07, guy talks about it taking a lifetime to develop yourself to be a good human being. Apparently to illustrate this point, said editor then shows clip of guy yelling while punching, dudes battling with sticks, kids doing kata in unison, colorfully dressed jumping guys, and then back to the first yelling guy doing a slo-mo snap kick, and on and on. Am I the only one that sees the non-sequitur here and thinks that maybe the references to philosophy, spirituality, and ethics here are, from a marketing perspective (i.e. how this clip is supposed to appeal to its audience), just pretentious accouterments to an endeavor that is certainly interesting but not especially philosophical?
Another quote: “It is this approach that makes aikido not just another martial art, but a path to spirituality through daily practice.” Really? You’re going to diss the other martial arts in a film that’s also about those other martial arts, buying into some dude’s claim of exclusivity, of “I am so much more enlightened than you for I have found a truly spiritual path unlike those erroneous fools?”