Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Mythic Proportions & Lupercus

On January 30th I posted about the Mythic Proportions of the New Orleans Saints.
Yesterday there were 2 articles in the Times Picayune newspaper about how the football team had shown that while New Orleans has a complex racial history this amazing football team and season has shown that we can and do have Racial Harmony in the Who Dat Nation.

There was one article on the Front Page
Here are 2 excerpts:

"Is it an illusion? Of course it is; it's a sporting event," he said. "But if this sense of optimism and unity is this universally shared, it's a powerful illusion and maybe it's not entirely illusionary."

"I say, enjoy the feeling, enjoy the moment and understand that if we want to feel this way for a long time, it will take a lot of work, sacrifice and compromise after the Super Bowl," he said. "One thing for sure, it's a good taste of what community feels like."

There was another article in the Sports Section. Here are a few excerpts:
"If you spend most of your professional life writing about games people play, you also will spend plenty of time listening to friends asking: Why?"

"Walk down any New Orleans street and look at the smiling faces, the Who Dat fist bumps, and you'll know this is why sports are relevant. It has the potential to touch and unite an entire community unlike anything else in our culture."

"This wasn't just a victory lap for the sports fan. It was a cathartic scream, a cheer, a dance, a hug, a high five, chest thump, fist bump, a lay-on-the-lawn-and-kick-my-hands-and-feet-in-the-air-in delirium. It was a community feeling not just of overwhelming joy, but the release of mountains of frustrations, disappointments and sorrows that had nothing to do with football."

"And during that moment, when everything else escaped, when the entire city was cheering and crying together and letting it all go, something very, very nice was left behind. Suddenly, we were all family again."

OK, since it is Lupercus, let's stop and think about this a minute. Wild Catharsis. Letting it all go. Done, like wolves howling, in a group and driven by God energies blending with Goddess energies to create community.

And as quoted by 2 'outsiders' doing a documentary, just so you know this isn't all local navel gazing.
"In fact, we actually saw people coming together over something as, in some respects, weirdly irrelevant as a sports team," he said. "But maybe that's what it takes, that sort of oddball thing to bring a town together.

"And it was very, very real. We were witnessing this cathartic moment of unity, and that was a cool thing -- and it remains a very cool thing. This football team accomplished this very cool thing."

And this folks is what myth and ritual are all about. This is what our stories and rituals done in the company of others should be all about. Our myths and rituals should seek to reach deeply into the human psyche and bring people together. The Sports Section article also speaks to why it is important to repeat rituals regularly whether every Full Moon or annually.

"I'm not saying this solves all the problems, but I believe it will bring people a step in that direction. Wherever they were before, they will be a little bit higher, a little bit further along the road than they were before the game -- and they'll stay there."

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