Saturday, April 10, 2010

Love And Hate, So Close Together

Here's a cool game, in which mean and women participate—and that in a country where you'd kind of expect some traditional gender inequality—and it seems like it's one where the girls can actually win. It's called Kyz Kuu ('Girl Chasing'), and they play it in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, two former Soviet Republics. Kyrgyzstan is in the news right now, because there's some serious social and political upheavals going on.

Saving time by quoting Wikipedia:

A game is usually conducted as follows. A young man on horseback waits at a given place (the starting line). A young woman, also mounted, starts her horse galloping from a given distance behind the young man.

When the young woman passes the young man, he may start his horse galloping. The two race towards a
finish line some distance ahead. If the young man is able to catch up to the young woman before they reach the finish line, he may reach out to her and steal a kiss, which constitutes his victory.

However, if the young man has not caught up to the young woman by the time they reach the finish line, the young woman turns around and chases the young man back to the finish line. If she is in range of the young man, she may use her
whip to beat him, which signifies a victory for her.

Since I love riding horses, though I haven't had much of a chance to do that for many years now, I think this may be one of the most 'fun' games between men and women I can think of. It's also called the 'Kissing Game', for obvious reasons. And, yes, it's not entirely gender-symmetric, but then again, in societies like the Kyrgyz, you wouldn't expect too much gender homogenization—though this game is obviously, from a 'skill' point of view, quite gender balanced.

Neither would one expect from any place subject to the rule of Islam—well, not of Christianity either, but the advent of science kind-of screwed things up for Christian church domination—but it seems to me like the Kyrgyz people have a reasonably sensible view of their religion. A far cry from images you expect to see coming out of Afghanistan, for example. I just hope that the country isn't going swept up into the morass of religioid darkness that seems to be the fate of many Islamic dominated nations. But, as you know, hope is often futile and can be perilously close to despair once it is dashed.

Which bring me to love and hate. Yeah, what a leap!

Pondering the Girl Chasing Game wasn't really what prompted the love-and-hate topic. That was just something I came across, and I thought it was cool. It's certainly appears far more congenial and just 'fun' than a almost all of the 'sports' practiced in the 'Western' world. That's something to think about, I guess.

Regarding love and hate...

The other day, during a discussion on various issues, someone said—as people are inclined to say, and as is conventional and even academic wisdom—that "love and hate are just so close together". And I started wondering, "are they really?"

It's useful and instructive to look at popular, including academic, wisdom—which is often just uncritical and regularly-parroted platitude—and wonder about that kind of thing. What does it actually mean: "Love and hate are close together"? What kind of 'love' are we talking about and what kind of 'hate'? And what does it mean anyway, that they are "close together"? Close where? How? In what way? Or are we just saying that love can easily turn into hate? Really? What kind of love is it that readily turns into hate?

I hadn't intended to answer these question—just in case you were wondering. That's because I've yet to sort some of this out, and it'll probably be in the context of a novel or screenplay. But I thought it's worthwhile at least questioning this tidbit of pop-psychology. And I'm seriously beginning to wonder if it's not a classic case of someone taking one rather small subset of a very complex emotion, or set of emotions, called 'love', realizing that its frustration can easily cause it to flip over into another complex of emotions, called 'hate'; and then make it into a general rule. And then everybody—uncritically, as people tend to do when they come across what sounds like some profound and plausible statement about the human psyche—suddenly, "yeah, of course".

Or is it just that what may be simple emotional confusion in some people's heads, or maybe contextual necessity, causes them to mistake one strong emotion—strong affection/attraction for/to another person, toward whom, for any number of reasons they should not feel that way—for the exact opposite. But that says nothing about the proximity of the two emotions—only about the fact that people can be confused; which is hardly big news.

Anyway, worth having a serious think about. For me anyway. Being a storyteller, one needs to consider such matters at length. After all, stories are about people and their relationships. Just like Kyz Kuu.

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