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Thursday, April 07, 2011

Gladiator Therapy

Your boss, co-worker, telemarketer vs. poor persecuted you.

If the world has got you down, you can just escape your problems by mentally escaping to fun and fictional worlds where justice was as swift and sure as a good whack to the head. That is, why talk things through when you can run things through, or at least do it mentally? If you can't cut off the source of your problems, at least you can cut the heads off of the people who caused them for you. That's the healing power of a healthy imagination. 

What's the value of forgiveness, love, and understanding when all it gets you is a perpetual reduction to psychological burger meat? I for one would rather be doing the slicing and dicing rather than suffering a death of a thousand unkind cuts Obviously, running amuck in the city center with a thousand round a minute nail gun like you see in video game shooters is not quite practicable. That leaves us with our imagination to get things done. Nevertheless, no matter how vivid your daydreams, it still needs some Hollywood special effects, or better, Hollywood hyperbole! When you mix grand characters with grander emoting, there's no telling what you can do in the fever pitch of your delusions. That's positive thinking with a real bite to it! It's also a whole lot more satisfying than merely repeating to your self 'I know I can, I know I can' like the little choo-choo that could. Thus, rather than engaging in wussified 'love your inner child', 'think happy thoughts'' therapy forced upon you by your effete psychotherapist, why not go for the gusto and engage in the type of self help ancient Roman Gladiators used to get by from day to day? When you merge positive thinking with the imagery of an axe to the head, that's not just psychology, that's entertainment!

For example, who can forget that epic scene in the movie 'Gone with the Wind' when our heroine Scarlett O'Hara realized that when the evil Yankees burned her plantation down, she was inadvertently placed on an all turnips, all the time diet. Declaiming that she  would get through all this if she had to beg, borrow, or steal, one heard her cry with her figure silhouetted against a crimson sky to the swelling of massed violins. "As God is my witness, I'll never be hungry again!!"  Who among us hasn't taken this as an emotional rallying cry to ask our boss for a raise, take a course in accounting, or at least raid the refrigerator? 

I'll never be hungry, fat, bored, overtaxed, etc. again!

Or when the Romans asked where Spartacus was because they were 'cross' with him, or when Henry Bailey lost his money for his Building and Loan, wasn't it just as inspiring to know that your friends will come through? Cinematic metaphors are just the ticket to get you up for a difficult day, or suggest that when the rubber hits the road, your friends or your guardian angel will hold you up.

When the chips are down, it's good to have friends!

Gladiator Therapy Exercise

As an exercise in Gladiator Therapy in action, pick a motion picture where you have a hero persecuted by some evil folks, and who triumphs or at least dies heroically in the end. We'll use naturally the movie Gladiator as a case in point, although films like Rambo, the Terminator, and the Wizard of Oz may also be used. The film opens up with a real swell battle scene where you and people you like (e.g. your bowling league, U.S. Marines, Florida State football team) are up against some awful barbarian hordes (e.g. your irritating in-laws, North Koreans, Internal Revenue Service, University of Miami football team.) 

Your bowling league, US Marines etc. (above)  vs. your irritating in-laws, French people, etc. (below).

You and your pals of course kill them all in a bloody battle, but you are betrayed by a usurper to the throne, who takes your easy chair, your corner office, or your bank account. As he thinks he's got you down for the count, you retort thusly: " I am the follower of: George Bush, FSU sports, almighty God, almighty dollar, etc. You have killed my family, taxed me, bored me, etc. and in this life or the next I WILL HAVE MY VENGEANCE!"Then you kill him, assassinate his character or something like that. Of course you probably won't do these things, but for now it sure feels good that you can cinematically portray the comeuppance of your enemies! Just take one movie a day and a little bit of  positive play acting, and soon you'll be emoting with satisfaction as you portray your enemies being chopped to bits, obliterated by cannon fire, or having bad hair days. Thus your bad emotions will be purged, and you will be able to whistle while you work, and happily skip and saunter through your day, oblivious to any care in the world!

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