Thursday, February 09, 2006

The Meaning, the Reason.

Some of you may ask, what the heck does "pleonexia" mean? If you look it up on, it'll direct you to a rarely used terms page that describes it as a condition associated with brain cancer. That may sound apt if you concider the fact that I personaly concider our current leadership as a cancer infecting the nerve center of our country, but it has a much deeper, and historicly relevent meaning as well. So, for my first post, I will offer you what I wrote the day I learned this powerful word.

Originally posted on 1/7/2006

I learned a new word today. It intrigued me at first, for the words that surrounded it seemed bound within some literary orbit. Like a star holds planets within its domain, it seemed to wield an undeniable moxie. “Like a bully on the playground”, I first thought, in a lame attempt to pay its scientific measure a more simplistic, easily identifiable status. But the how, and the why, of its strength eluded me. Powerful words, like hubris, and godhead, and names like Caligula and Medici, seemed to require each others support in their task, because alone, they lacked the strength, or the diplomacy to even dare to explicate this word alone.

Then I almost forgot it, ‘till I bore witness as its definition played out before me. And as if standing on some bow facing winter on the North Sea, I relearned another word scantly in use today, trepidation. It all came back to me. The Athenians gave us this word, though today, I wish they’d take it back. Beware he who suffers Pleonexia, ‘cause the suffer is the essence of his wake.

“But there are those who can experience no lasting satisfaction, who must always reach beyond to a higher tier of drives and rewards, of attractions and repulsions. We can easily cite historical figures to illustrate this Promethean impulse. Alcibiades, Caligula, Cleopatra, Tamerlane, Lorenzo de’ Medici, Napoleon,-the Athenians coined the word to designate their insatiable greed for the unattainable, for the moon. Pleonexia goes beyond common hubris in refusing any limits, any horizon. The four drives of ordinary human accomplishments are abandoned in an aspiration to godhead.

Roger Shattuck
Forbidden Knowledge

My favorite news show, hands down, is Countdown with Keith Olbermann on MSNBC. If I miss everything else…. it’s Keith I TiVo before the Daily Show any day (sorry Jon). Thru out modern history, comedy and parody have been the most honest window into the soul of humanity. But tonight’s show was sobering. What really got me was when Keith started talking about the meeting Bush held with our past Secretaries of State. He made a point that out of all of the attendees, they were only allowed to share about 10 minutes to air their concerns over Iraq and such. Not 10 minutes a piece, but total. That’s less than a half a minute a piece, before they were hurried off for the big “photo op” which was the true motive. Then, the segue; 500 telephone intercepts a day, at 40+ seconds a piece totaling 6 hours a day. Add to that bowl of warm crap, the way he disrespected John McCain, and the rest of Congress by signing the anti-torture bill with one hand, and inserting a personal loophole with the other. This cannot be allowed to stand!

From the Devine Comedy, to stand up comedy; from Lincoln to Lenny Bruce, the most direct route to acceptance of the folly of our most embarrassing mistakes is to have a good laugh about it. But what has transpired as of late is far beyond a laughing matter. The truth is out; the time for jest is over. It’s time to fix our mistakes. It’s time for this administration to go.

Check out Keith Olbermann’s 1/6/06 Podcast at for your self if you want to get an idea of how I felt. I couldn’t do it justice here myself. I think you need to experience it yourself.


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