Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Hubris Moderna

I do not want to write too much about Eliot Spitzer - goodness knows there's been plenty of coverage over the last few days. Really... it just puts me in mind of a modern Greek tragedy. I keep thinking of Oedipus and my favorite college professor's lecture on hubris. Perhaps because of the overwhelming hypocrisy and presumptive nature of Spitzer's actions. Perhaps because there seems to be a kind of personal blindness or myopia involved.

And although he did not stand up in his press conference and pluck out his own eyes, one might say - from a modern perspective - his plight and the aftermath of this mistake are indeed reminiscent of a Sophoclean climax.

What is worst, to me, is knowing his family cannot escape the media scrutiny. His wife is beign lampooned for standing beside him during his public statements. His children are likely experiencing increased incidents of teasing and bullying in the midst of an already stressful and painful time.

I'm not sure public ridicule is ever appropriate, no matter what the failure in question may be. Although they may be figurative stones in this time and place, the allegory remains relevant - particularly if we can admit our own errors and frailties and honor the complexity of what it means to be human.

No comments: