Posts Tagged Psychology

Mixed Martial Arts

How, and more importantly why, has this sport over the last fifteen years become so popular that people wear tee shirts showing the splattered winner’s faces and set up viewing parties at home?  One answer that I’ve read explains that it all began in New York city with formation of the something called the UFC, Ultimate Fighting Championships.  But Wikipedia presents a slightly different explanation, one that may be related to the David Mamet film, Red Belt.  It claims it all started in So Cal with the famous Brazilian martial arts family, the Gracies in collaboration with film maker John Milius. 

Whatever its origins, I personally hold it started with the Romans and probably explains the popularity of such weak film fare as Gladiator.   1993 seems to be the beginning of the current phenomenon.  According to the history of the UFC, gathering enthusiastic competitors from all kinds of fighting sports, the spectacles quickly became competitive events fought in an arena shaped like an Octagon.


The octagonal competition mat and cage design are registered trademarks and/or trade dress of Zuffa, LLC and are symbolic of the highest quality mixed martial arts events brought to you under the Ultimate Fighting Championship® brand name.  In 1993, UFC events were the first to feature an eight-sided competition configuration which has become known worldwide as the UFC Octagon™
The UFC Octagon is unique from any other fighting arena because the octagonal shape and structure have become inherently associated with Zuffa and the UFC brand name among mixed martial arts consumers, other mixed martial arts organizations and the national media.  The UFC Octagon is regularly featured on UFC Pay-per-view events, UFC® Fight Night™ and The Ultimate Fighter® reality TV series.  The UFC Octagon creates a neutral arena to showcase the skills of UFC mixed martial arts athletes. The UFC organization has established a reputation for providing the maximum safety to the fighters with commission approved ring structures, canvas, and all safety padding and fences.  Zuffa makes major investments to ensure the safety of competitors in the UFC Octagon — as a result, when people see the Octagon they associate it with the reputation and quality delivered only by Zuffa at UFC events.  
Add Las Vegas, males aged 18-34 and their companions, to beer drinking, football loving, and bet craziness and real Americans have apparently found their match.  Fight clubbing, clamoring for more wars, as long as they don’t actually have to enlist, the current followers of this sport brook no interference to their “god-given” right to watch other people beat themselves into bloody unconsciousness.  And then they sit idly by, as Micheal Vick is sent to jail.
What is it in our psychological makeup that somehow does see this violence for what it is?  In this dissertation, I found the following to be of interest:
Ernest Becker is a psychologically oriented anthropologist who focuses on fear of physical death as the mainspring of human behavior. He sees himself as continuing to develop Jung’s idea of the projection of the shadow, but he very emphatically argues that this shadow that is projected is a rejected awareness of one’s mortality. Because human beings are animals, we are mortal. But we also have highly developed brains that give us an ability to be self-conscious and to anticipate the future. We can see that death is our eventual fate, but because we are animals who are basically narcissistic, we want to be immortal. This clash between what we want and what we know is coming overwhelms us. It disturbs us so much that we invent all sorts of personal and social lies in our efforts to somehow pretend that we are immortal. One of the lies we tell ourselves is that if we can triumph over our enemies, we can rise above the limitations of our condition. We can project the shadow, that awareness of our mortality that we have repressed into our unconscious, onto the enemies or the scapegoats we attack in an attempt to prove that they will die and we will not. At root, violence against others is an effort to avoid facing one’s own mortality with existential honesty and courage.
Which brings to mind the film Rollerball and the conflict between the Oligarchs who run/own the games (See Las Vegas) and the players like Jonathan E who enjoy the competition for its own sake.
Am I getting anywhere with all of this?  Will any of what I think change the yearly income of millions this pay-per-view event earns or shift the viewers to whom I appeal for rationality to another choice?  Probably not.  Do I wish someone would comment on my original question?  Most def.

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Weekly Tags

I travelled outside the box this week.  A little art, some pop psychology, a couple of chart makers, and a self help guru that comes off sounding like a freak.  But it was, as usual, elucidating to say the least.

This first one puzzled me no end.  I couldn’t find an about page but it appears to be a blog about the egocentric meanderings in the lesbian life of its author (ess) and how it is connected to Jane Austen except through a life lived separate but equal I can only guess.  The pictures and attitudes are great though.  Invigorating. 

 Second on my week’s list is this rather odd and disbelievable blog that purports to be by being the port of disinformation.  A tool from what little I understand about the term of those of the political persuasion who want to confuse you with the wrong facts at the right time.  Gee, sounds perfect for our times.  Alls I know is there seem to be plenty of variations on the theme.

 Excited is the word for this third find.  Excited to find a mind that creates through pictures and words.  Excited to find another poet and one who uses the web exclusively.  Excited to think that maybe this time through this link I’ll find others who want to explore thinking through pictures and words.

Last, but not least, on this week’s list is this aforementioned weirdo.  Steve Pavlina is his name and I happened upon his blog by tracing a link at the Millionaire Mommy Next Door blog.  Direct to the point of being rude but certainly unafraid to say what he thinks, that’s how I’d characterize him.  Still, in the words of T, he’s a weirdo.

And that’s it folks, the week that was.

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Am I ready to be frugal because it is patriotic?

After watching the two debates on ABC, it strikes me that both Democants and Repugnants seem sure that in order for our next President to succeed we the American people are going to have to make sacrifices.   The frugal kind.  Not so I as an individual will learn to spend less and earn more but we as a whole country.  It looks like we are going to be asked to:  Cut our use of private transportation for the good it will do the country and the world.  Build and buy locally first and globally second for the way it will repair our economy.  Spend more on the science of energy and expect more effective results to achieive a healthy environment.  Become savers instead of borrowers to help create a more valuable dollar.   And to help balance the budget by doing more voluntarily, communally, and with a constant thought for tomorrow. 

It may be that both sides are beginning to see that for the U.S. it really does need all of us  involved to enter into the real warThe one against ourselves, our selfish selves.  We really do have the ability to do this.  Our parents parents did it in the Second World War but there they were fighting together against a common enemy. 

Here today the Repugnants think the enemy needs to be confronted outside the country first and possibly last.  They seem terrifyied by the possibility that another 9/11 is just around the corner.  In fact, one commentator asked the candidates on the Democant side what they would do in the event of a nuclear strike against the US.  I imagine so that the viewers could see how the Democants would respond when the Repugs come after them in the general election with the same question. 

The Democants see the enemy as within the country in the guise of poor healthcare, deficient schools, tax loopholes for the rich and corporate, and an overweening and overfunded military complex.  Well maybe that lasts one is mine, but you see my point. 

They have two different enemies in mind.

In personal finance we have learned, are learning, and will continue to do so (as long as there is still an internet) that managing money frugally means living with enough and enjoying the process.  The question is, is the American consumer/voter able to be convinced that living on less is really the only way to win the real war?  And will the Demos and Repugs be able to come together after this election and make it happen?

For more fun, check these out:

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The Opinion of others . . .

wins the day in Iowa.  Barack Obama and Mike Huckabee make a fascinating pair.   One hopes they can stay true to the people they now appear to represent.  Meanwhile, amidst the rising food/fuel/insurance/entertainment costs of living that normally hold us in thrall, we can look at this coming election and enjoy each side for its achievements.  The Repugnants wanted Christian Conservatism and that’s what they got.  The Democants asked for  a chance to stand up for Liberal and Progressive beliefs and guess what, that’s what they got.  I actually like both of these guys though I still worry about the secret agendas or rather split agendas that both may have that filter their decisions through religious or racial screens. 

I think Huckabee is too Christian for my own good.  And by that I mean, he will make decisions for me for my own good whether I want him to or not, just like Bush has.  Huckabee is more intelligent in his speech but I see the same insane stubborn christianity behind his eyes. 

Obama has spoken of using whatever and whomever it takes to work on our common concerns.  Mention of Schwarzenegger in his cabinet, a definite time line for ending the war, and an agenda for meeting with our friends and enemies on the international front speaks to a mind that wants change and peace.

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