The Erotic Disposition of Homer’s Bowling Ball.

Homer Simpson

Believing there is a code to be cracked is of course much the same as believing in the existence of some Big Other: in every case what is wanted is an agent who will give structure to our chaotic social lives. – Zizek

Our attraction to figuring things out stems from the erotic drives within us all. Freud speaks of the id which part of the fundamental core within our erotic drive. What is the Id?

THE ID (‘It’): functions in the irrational and emotional part of the mind. At birth a baby’s mind is all Id – want want want. The Id is the primitive mind. It contains all the basic needs and feelings. It is the source for libido (psychic energy). And it has only one rule –; the pleasure principle: ‘I want it and I want it all now’. In transactional analysis, Id equates to “Child”.

If we see life as system, then we think we are inherently drawn to the space of tinkering with something we think is broken and something we have come to believe is merely mechanistic. Existentialism at its basic level is driven by the core of the Id. Expending ourselves over a part-object struggle is something we think we need to be committed to.

What struggle do I speak of? I am speaking into the angst of our beings, the questions that haunt us: Why am I here? Who am I? What is my purpose here? I refer to them as part-objects because they are truly things that seem to leave when we think we’ve cracked the code, but much like the Cheshire cat in Alice and wonderland they return when we least expect them to or maybe even want them to.

Maybe I can posit something here. Maybe we’ve moved beyond the ‘Why I am here?’ Phase of global identification. It does seem the world is more in tune now more than over with its purpose, but maybe now we seem to be more ontologically wired in our enquiry. What does this mean?

Ontology is the study of being.

In its simplest terms: “ontology deals with questions concerning whether entities exist or can be said to exist, and how such entities can be grouped, related within a hierarchy, and subdivided according to similarities and differences.” Ontology is enquiry into being. But I would also say isn’t much different than existentialism. ontology is less caffeinated.

Let’s get back to cracking the code.

If life is a code we’re meant to crack, then the irony is how do we know when we’ve cracked it? And when you find the code, does that mean that code should work for me to? Because if your code is meant to work for me, and one-size fits all than most likely we’re a cosmic hoax with go-go gadget insides. Let’s dig a bit deeper. The consumer promise hidden behind the one-size fits all is the reality or non-reality showcasing the differences between all of us.

safe

In its terminology, it represses the truth, which is, that we are all different and one-size truly doesn’t fit all. In fact, i’m sure this has happened to most of us at one or another where we’ve entered into the marketplace wanting to make such a purchase and then we find the one-size doesn’t fit all. The perverse intention is to make it seem we all have the same size hands, heads, and other appendages. That in our excess, what lies outside of our torso ( the limbs represent the excess) is exactly same as the person standing next to us.

But we know this isn’t true.

Yet, we purchase in the hope that the idealistic notion can be true. That one day we can all be the same. This is the obscene gesture within a lot of multiculturalism today, it tries to assume that everyone should be treated the same, but in reality by higlighting the cause of the ‘downtrodden’ we exalt their plight above everyone else’s. Although this may not be the intention, we must look at other possible alternatives rather than destroying the very objective we seek to uphold.

There is a portion of scripture in the Bible that hilights an important point about society today.

Jesus’ friends are a bit apprehensive about their encounter with some other people who seem to be talking about jesus but aren’t hanging out with him or others. Some versions call them ‘the other disciples’. The disciples are almost in childish fashion ‘tattle-tell’ on these rogue followers of Jesus.

And basically Jesus tells these trepidacious disciples to leave them alone. If there for him then that is a good thing. It seems to be in our nature to want to force a ‘one-size fits all’ on those we meet. In fact this is the ghost of the Id, this is the childish aspect of our being.

Where our fear of being alone takes over.

In this moment, it is not merely a weak selfish moment categorized by a possible fear of social abandonment, but rather it is driven by eros. the Greek word for erotic love. A tempetous self-driven kind of love that, in the end, only benefits the giver rather than the receiver.

This is much like Homer Simpson who purchases for Marge a bowling ball with his name on it. The paradox,as I am sure you can see is that Homer is not driven by a selfless love, but a love that only benefits himself, and in so doing solidifies this erotic type love by insisting that Marge receive a gift that has been clearly purchased solely for his benefit.

When we assert that our code should fit everyone else’s this is the gift under the guise of a gift.

Although on the surface our intentions might be white as snow, at the core the pleasure principle is driving at the wheel, we are merely the shotgun passengers. The way to move forward is to take the shotgun we hold and kill that aspect of ourselves that drives us to purchase ‘bowling balls’ for others. When the bowling ball may not clearly be the best thing for them.

Short term mission trips or short terms overseas development tend to pride themselves in helping others. But in the end, do more damage than good. The missionaries of old were white, had money and were somehow linked up with God.

This belief was so pervasive, that those who participated in such things were almost treated like gods.

Overseas development shout from the mountaintops of sustainability and transformational momentum, yet the after-effects tend to be short-term and not what the indigenous population need. These types of trips are driven by the id. they are erotic gestures. They are a ‘bowling ball’. They do damage under the guise of help.

I think maybe we can learn from the professional bowlers, who, when their balls get old and worn out, throw that one away and get a new one. The examples are endless here. But the ideology of one-size fits all hurts people under the guise of helping them. What we can do is to foster a safe space for their discovery, a space where we don’t guide their journey, but simply enjoy it with them.

About George Elerick

George Elerick is a widely sought-after speaker, activist and cultural theorist. He lives in England with his wife and two children. He and his wife run Cross Culture Consultancy (http://www.crosscultureconsultancy.com): A webinar & in-person speaking-based platform to discuss, apply & innovate new methods to respond to some of the world's biggest issues.

George majors on cultural engagement, pop-culture, postmodernism, theology & others. Deborah majors on human rights, gender equality,domestic violence, social justice issues and more. They are available for booking! He has a book out entitled 'Jesus Bootlegged' and has another on the way: Jesus and the Death of Church.

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