Love in the age of equivalence

We’re about 48 hours from the start of the Super Bowl, and one question floating about is who’ll root for Pittsburgh knowing the transgressions of their star quarterback? Plenty of people will overlook Ben Roethlisburger’s off-field issues and wave their terrible towels. Others will just as soon jump off a bridge than pull for him.

There is something worth pointing out…I’m a huge fan of Miles Davis’s music. It’s beautiful, cool and inventive. I say this, knowing full well that Davis treated the women in his life like shit. And lest you think that’s overdramatizing matters, ask Cicely Tyson what’s it’s like to call the cops on Davis–while she’s hiding in a closet. Sometimes the ones we love, hurt us.

I try to be clear-eyed in my like for Miles’s music, and know how he could be toward people. I like stuff from people who aren’t always boy scouts and girl scouts. I think the question is how clear-eyed can I be in my likes, understanding the fallibilities of the human race? And clear-eyed in the faults of myself, as I make my my world through the world? We ask demanding questions of athletes/artists/entertainers/lovers/friends–but do we ask ourselves? Why do we root for Michael Vick? Why do we hate LeBron James? What is it about us?

I don’t have the answers.

Why do we put up with things we know–or should know–are toxic to us? I’ve asked this a million times on these pages–what are we scared of? Are we that scared of each other and ourselves?

We are a walking bundle of complex emotions–even us Stoics ;-)–which is why I’ll continue to listen to Miles. I know there are skeleton in that closet. I don’t pretend they don’t exist. People do crap for the weirdest reasons. And we have to realize that’s the case.


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