Monday, June 04, 2007

Just Ask Yourself: What Would Ashton Kutcher Do?

It's official. Last final is in the past and my flight is days away. Now I just need some serious sleep. And I really must pack. And clean my room. Check out one of my all-time favorite poems, by William Cartwright on platonic love. I can't believe I took my finals going on about 2 hours of sleep in the last 48 hours. I hope my essays didn't come out sounding as hopeless as my last blog post. Oh, don't be silly Ted: you aced 'em! Fasshiz


Anonymous said...

what is this poem really saying? that as he got older he realized there is no real love, only physical. or that the infatuation of youth is not real and lasting love?

Teddy Douglas said...

First, i'll congratulate you on commenting. Thanks for that. Next time, you can even leave your name. I hope there will be a next time. Ok, if you feel better you don't have to leave your name.

The poem is about the method of teaching in ancient Greece, where a wise and learned teacher would form an extremely close relationship with his students and convey the depths of his knowledge to them. The relationship was symbiotic, as the mentor would also benefit form the enthusiasm and spirit of the young, which would in turn enhance his own dedication and study.

Often, the mentor would have a sexual attraction to his beautiful young students in the flower of their youth. Homosexuality was common in ancient Greece. However, it was expected that the mentor channel his love into productive teaching of the students and providing them out of love with the best possible education.

This pretty picture was the ideal, however, Cartwright pokes fun at it and suggests that such platonic love does not actually exist and the sexual attraction can be satisfied only by sex and not merely by imparting knowledge.

So I guess your first option is closer to what he meant - not that there is no real love exactly, but that love cannot reach its consummation without the sexual act. Anything less may be positive and fulfilling and productive, but always somehow lacking and deficient until the physical aspect is included.

Seeker of Truth said...

where do you see any reference to ancient greece. why can't the simple meaning be of youthful infatuation that thinks its aphysical but isn't or a broader statement on all love. the 1st approach is definitely a truism, which he presents very poetically, the 2nd would just mean that he personally never experienced a deeper love so he can't imagine it.
Why do Gays interpret everything so Homocentrically.

Teddy Douglas said...

OMG!!! Thank you Seeker, I read this poem slowly and lovingly many times and saw much meaning in it but somehow overlooked your interpretations completely. These are also valid possibilities and open up a whole new avenue of interpretation.

Schocked at your myopia said...

You sound like the liberal professors that apply their fantasy world to interpret perfectly normal poetry.Why would it cross your mind that he's referring to some ancient world when most of the world goes through regular M-F teenage infatuation. I guess when you wear tinted glasses the whole world looks pink!The Gay establishment really puts blinders on your world view, its like the tobbacco companies, if people would think a little.......

Teddy Douglas said...

Will you shuuut uuuup! (ttto "are we there yet" w/beverly hills girl accent). I don't really mean that, speak your mind.

It isn't blinders or the "Gay establishment" (like there is such a thing). Certain elements of the poem suggest such a reading. I.e. the title "platonic love". Although modern language may have corrupted Plato's meaning, the term was meant to refer to the type of relationship I described.

Then, "strict down-looked men who yet in closets eat" almost certainly refers to supposedly celibate clergymen who secretly break their vows. However, the term "in the closet" today refers to homosexuals who won't admit it. SO eating in the closet instantly brought to mind gay sex. Although I don't know if the term "in the closet" was around back then (I actually thought this poem might be the source of the phrase), if the recent catholic clergy sex scandals are any indication, Cartwright's strict down-looked men in closets may well have fed on little boys.

And what has this to do with teenage infatuation bichlal - teenage infatuation doesn't purport to be interested in soul over sex.

And go liberal professors. Yah. I may be one of those one day.

And the whole world is pink, f*you, go put on your glasses, and what has pink to do with anything here, and disregard this paragraph, i wrote it because it was easy.

Truth? said...

I hope you base your research on more solid grounds. and express it more politely!
Platonic is used to mean non-physical, check the dictionary.I like your thought that the closet might originate here but theres no reson to beleive that's what he meant. teenagers think they are connecting with souls and experiencing true love, how many are ready to die for it, so his comment that its all passing and really propelled by physical is really incisive. at the same time , there can be a real , long lasting deeper love. I don't know if he's negating that also.

I stick with my usage of "tinted glasses and blinders"

Teddy Douglas said...

Platonic is used to mean non-physical! Bingo! That is exactly how I read the poem: As a criticism of the concept of platonic love. (I get this idea from the title) Cartwright says that although people may profess a pure non-physical love (think David and Jonathan), there is inevitably a physical element.

Last try said...

I like your blog because I found it intellectually honest but this is a total misreading. the strict men are just an example. its talking when he was foolish which implies young. what you should get from this very deep and incisive poem is how physical blinds you and you think its spiritual