The Corruption Of Andreia And Thumos In Charlottesville

The Corruption Of Andreia And Thumos In Charlottesville

"There is no place for this kind of violence in America." - President Donald J. Trump
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On Saturday, August the 12th, a large group of individuals gathered to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from Emancipation Park in Charlottesville, Virginia. The park, whose land was donated to the city by Paul Goodloe McIntire in 1917, was known as Lee Park until several months ago, when it was changed to "Emancipation Park." In February, the Charlottesville City Council voted 3-2 in favor of moving the equestrian statue of Confederate General Lee and his horse Traveller, the focal point of the park, to a new location.

The decision to displace the statue has been met with controversy on several levels, some of them deeply-rooted in white supremacy. Others have voiced concerns which are, at the very least, less apparently racist. In an email to The Washington Post, Kathleen M. Galvin, an architect and member of the City Council who voted against moving the statue, wrote: "Removing the statues [of General Lee in Emancipation Park and General Jackson in Justice Park] erases and mitigates history; failing to alter the parks so as to tell a more complete story, however, obscures and biases history." Ms. Galvin, according to the Washington Post article linked above, "preferred placing a memorial to slaves near the Lee statue." At least one lawsuit has been filed against Charlottesville and its city council, stating in part: "The Lee statue and the Jackson statue are Confederate monuments and memorials of the War Between the States. Defendants are required by law to protect and to preserve the aforesaid historic monuments."

While the protest of August the 12th began in a legal fashion and was not in and of itself immoral, violence quickly broke out between protestors and counter-protestors, and any legitimacy the protest may have had, as a whole, cracked wide open. A blanket condemnation of every single member of the protesting group and a blanket endorsement of all members of the counter-protesting group would be invalid, but it is clear that many members of the protesting group engaged in activities which are flagrantly immoral as well as illegal. It is also true that anyone who remained in the protesting group who may have had reasons for attending that were untinged by hate left themselves in a position very lacking in recourse. The exact details of the violence and hatred which permeated through Charlottesville are not the express purpose of this article. Eye witness accounts and video evidence combine to create an image stark enough to prove the horror and disgrace of the day at the hands of the protestors. Even some of the counter-protestors appear to have, at the very least, returned fire of water bottles at the protesting group. The Greek ideas of andreia and thumos were corrupted in Emancipation Park on this Saturday in August. Please allow me to explain what I mean.

"Andreia" is the English transliteration of the Greek word "ανδρεια." It can be translated as "manliness," "courage," or "manly spirit," though it is not strictly attached to the male gender; that is, it can be used to describe any person, regardless of their gender or sex. Andreia was a cardinal virtue to the Ancient Greeks, and it was considered a mean between cowardliness and rashness. It is a courage to combat the foolishness and ignorance of the self, as well as a willingness to toil toward worthy ends. Valor was also an important aspect to "andreia," and to some philosophers, andreia could be exemplified as courage in battle in and of itself, regardless of whether such a warrior held other virtues such as wisdom, justice, and temperance. Contrary to this view, according to Brett and Kate McKay of the Art of Manliness blog, "many philosophers argued that courage was really a form of self-control and was just as essential for success in peacetime as it was in war. Aristotle for example broadly described courage as a man’s ability to 'hold fast to the orders of reason about what he ought or ought not to fear in spite of pleasure and pain.'" This is the enduring concept of the Greek "ανδρεια." With their helmets and riot shields, some or many in the protesting group at Charlottesville probably felt that they were displaying andreia in their defense of their ideals. Instead, they represented a corruption of andreia, a rashness which exemplified arrogance and lust for violence rather than self-denial of these same emotions. Throwing water bottles at fellow citizens across the protest aisle is not a showing of andreia, and running a car into a crowd is a perfect opposite to andreia, being both cowardly and rash, not even to mention its other roots in vice. Street brawling can exemplify andreia only when it is in defense of the greater good, as it exists outside of any concept of military duty. In this way, to be frank, anti-Nazis punching Nazis could conceivably involve andreia, whereas Nazis punching anti-Nazis would virtually never involve andreia, especially in the context from which I am drawing my commentary. This is not to put any sort of dichotomy on the Charlottesville crowd; while, for the greatest part, the protestors displayed a faulty notion of andreia and the counter-protestors sometimes displayed a proper notion of andreia, the designations of "Nazis" and "anti-Nazis" is a caricature of the actual nature of this horrid incident. Yet the truth, perhaps, may be even more troubling.

The Greek figure of Achilles, shown above in a black-figure pottery painting, had his spells with faulty andreia as well, though for the most part his issues fell to those of thumos. "Thumos" refers to the idea "spirit" or "spiritedness," according to Classical Wisdom Weekly, though the Greek term does not have any truly approximate translations in English. A writer for Classical Wisdom Weekly, using the pseudonym "Socrates," wrote: "Thumos is our will to fight, our need to rebel against that which is intolerable. It is what makes us stand up and declare ‘I will not be silenced!’. It is what makes us dive headlong against the devastation of this world; what compels us to courageously fight the good fight." Achilles certainly "dove headlong" when he looked for retribution with the Trojan army, killing hundreds of enemy soldiers before slaying Hector and dragging his corpse behind a chariot. The thumos of Achilles, that which resided within him to urge him toward displaying andreia through combat, grew to a fever pitch, and Achilles allowed it to consume him. In early Greek conceptions, thumos could bode positively or negatively, depending upon the conscious thoughts and actions of a person. It could be described, for instance, as the force behind anti-Semitism. The virtuous response then, that of andreia, would be to combat the thumos within one's self. In the case of Charlottesville, many allowed thumos to overcome them, a spiritedness toward racism and hollow aggression that was bestial, discompassionate, and lazy in nature.

The philosopher Plato, in his dialogue Phaedrus, compared the human soul to a chariot being pulled by two winged horses, one black and one white. The chariot represented reason, while the black horse represented the appetites of man and the white horse represented thumos. In this paradigm, thumos was, so wrote an individual going by Socrates, "tempered by a need for civility and order." In this way, thumos would be present among the protestors at Charlottesville only in conceptions of racial purity and rule of might. While the white horse of thumos can pull the human soul forward when kept in check, when it is left to run wild, countering the grain of the world as it is known and as it is meant to be, it can also drive the soul away. When the black horse of human appetites is left to its own devices as well, insolent and prideful, and reason is lost to emotion, the human soul is left in perfect disarray, and tragedies can strike.

In Charlottesville, Virginia, andreia and thumos were corrupted under the name of protest. Evil fell over the land. A few died and several were injured in the full course of events. In the counter-protesting group, individuals can be found who showed andreia and thumos in their proper hues and temperments. Yet the general public will likely never know of their deeds, and the whole business was so cloaked in shadow that all that could be seen was a violent twisting of courage and spirit. May the dead rest in peace. May the harmed find new vitality. May the flight of many souls be leveled off and their valor come from righteousness.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Everything You Need To Know About BANG Energy Drinks

Say goodbye to your favorite pre-workout drink.
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BANG energy drinks from VPX Sports are the hottest new products for athletes everywhere. On every can, you'll find their catchphrase "Potent Brain & Body Fuel" and it gives you just that. Clean energy, laser-sharp focus, and no sugar induced crashes are just a few of the reasons these bad boys are flying off the shelves faster than retailers can keep them stocked. Haven't heard of them? Sound too good to be true? Let me answer your questions.

What is it? It's an energy drink that's kind of like your typical Red Bull or Monster. It's a perfect substitution for pre-workout supplements or coffee.

Who's it meant for? Anyone! A better question to ask is, "Who isn't this drink meant for?" On the can, you'll find a recommendation for no one under the age of 18 to consume the drink. You also may want to steer clear of it if you're sensitive to stimulants like caffeine.

What's in it? BANG energy drinks contain zero calories, zero carbohydrates, and zero sugar. But what you can find are BCAA's, CoQ10, creatine, and copious amounts of caffeine. These are things athletes often take as supplements.

What are BCAA's? BCAA's are Branched Chain Amino Acids. They are known to stimulate protein synthesis, increase muscle function, decrease your soreness after a workout, and even aid in repairing damaged muscles.

What's CoQ10? Coenzyme Q10 is found in the mitochondria of your cells and sparks energy production. It helps produce energy your body needs for cell growth and maintenance. People often take this as a dietary supplement when they feel tired or lethargic.

What's super creatine? Creatine does a great job in enhancing athletic performance by aiding growth of lean body mass (AKA muscle). When you take creatine orally, the amount in your muscles increase and helps regenerate ATP more efficiently. According to the nutrition label, this so-called "super" creatine is bonded to Leucine to make Creatyl-L-Leucine. On SupplementReviews.com, a VPX Sports representative allegedly said the following about the Super Creatine in the drink:

"The creatine in there is actually something very special...it is the world's only water stable creatine. It is Creatine-Leucine peptide. Think of this...if you mix creatine in water, it sinks and if you mix leucine in water, it floats....if you combine the two into a peptide, it creates a water soluble and water-stable form of creatine. It also has a fatty acid chain that makes it easier to cross the blood brain barrier. The focus of the super creatine is not for muscle function, but for cognition...by combining this form of creatine with caffeine, it works synergistically for mental focus."

How much caffeine is in one can? In one can of BANG, you'll be blessed with 300mg of caffeine. This is the equivalent to over three cups of coffee.

Is that even safe? Yeah, it is. In order for the caffeine in the energy drink to be lethal at any capacity, I would have to drink 30.7 cans.

So, what are the downsides? There are two things that come to mind. One is that consumers have no idea how much BCAA's, CoQ10, or creatine is actually in the drink. It could very likely be trace amounts too small to do anything beneficial. Two, BANG energy drinks do not go through the FDA approval process.

Is it really that good? Well, out of 113 reviews of the product on Bodybuilding.com, there's an average 9.6 overall rating. Most reviews comment on the quality of the energy, the cognitive focus, and the non-existent crash once the drink wears off.

What kind of flavors can I get? There are currently eight BANG energy drink flavors on the market: Black Cherry Vanilla, Cotton Candy, Sour Heads, Star Blast, Blue Razz, Champagne Cola, Power Punch, and Lemon Drop.

Where can I buy BANG energy drinks? You can find BANG energy drinks at Amazon, your local GNC or Vitamin Shoppe retailers, Bodybuilding.com, VPX Sports' website, some gas stations, and privately owned retailers.

How expensive are they? This depends on where you make your purchase. The cheapest place to purchase your BANG energy drinks is at Bodybuilding.com for about $2.00 per can. You can find similar prices on Amazon and at your local retailers. The energy drinks are most expensive through the VPX website where you'll pay about $2.75 per can.

How does BANG compare to other energy drinks? I'll give you some data on nutrition facts and you can make your decisions based on that:

16 oz. BANG: 300mg caffeine, 0g carbohydrates, 0g sugar.

16 oz. Monster Energy (regular): 160mg caffeine, 54g carbohydrates, 54g sugar

16 oz. Red Bull (regular): 160mg caffeine, 56g carbohydrates, 56g sugar

16 oz. Rockstar (regular): 144g caffeine, 54g carbohydrates, 54g sugar

Cover Image Credit: Youtube

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I Woke up In The Middle Of The Night To Write About My Fears, They're Worse Than The Dark

One minute I'm thinking about what I want to do after college next thing I know I'm remembering the time I tried talking to a boy and choked on my spit.

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It is one of those nights when I am tired, but for some reason, I can't seem to fall asleep. So, what do I do? I pull out my laptop, and I begin to write. Who knows where it will lead. It could lead to a killer article or something that does not make sense. I mean it is almost 2 A.M. In my mind, that's pretty late.

Anyways, let's do this thing.

Like many people, thoughts seem to pile up in my head at this time. It could be anything from a time when I was younger to embarrassing stories to wondering why I am "wasting" my time somewhere to thoughts about the future. All of these things come at me like a wildfire. One minute I'm thinking about what I want to do after college next thing I know I'm remembering the time I tried talking to a boy and choked on my spit.

The thought that is going through my mind as I write this is about the future. It's about the future of my fears. Let me explain. I have multiple fears. Some of my fears I can hide pretty well, others I am terrible at hiding. My fears may seem silly to some. While others might have the same fears. Shall we start?

1. My career

I don't know where to begin with this one. For as long as I can remember, my consistent dream job has been working in the world of sports, specifically hockey. A career in sports can be and is a challenging thing. The public eye is on you constantly. A poor trade choice? Fans are angry. Your team sucks? "Fans" are threatening to cheer for someone else if you can't get your sh*t together. You can be blamed for anything and everything. Whether you are the coach, general manager, owner, it does not matter. That's terrifying to me, but for some reason, I want to work for a team.

2. My family

Julie Fox

Failing with my family, whether that be the family I was born into or my future family, it terrifies me. I have watched families around me fall apart and I have seen how it has affected them. Relationships have fallen apart because of it. I have heard people talk about how much they hate one of their parents because of what happened. I don't want that.

3. Time

This could be a dumb fear. I'm not sure, but I fear time. With every minute that passes, I am just another minute closer to the end. With every day that passes that I am not accomplishing goals or dreams I have, I am losing precious time. It scares me to think of something horrible like "What if I die tomorrow because of something horrific?" or even worse, "What if I don't make it through today?" It's terrible, I know.

4. Forgetting precious memories

When I was younger, I had brain surgery. It is now much harder for me to remember things. I am truly terrified that I am going to forget things I will want to hold close to me forever, but I won't be able to. I am scared I'll forget about the little things that mean a lot. I'm afraid of forgetting about old memories that may disappear. I'm worried that I'll forget about something like my wedding day. That might seem out of this world, but it's a reality for me.

5. Saying "goodbye"

I hate saying bye. It is one of my least favorite things. Saying bye, especially to people I don't know when I'll see again, is a stab in the heart for me. I love my people so much. I love being around them. I love laughing with them. Thought of never having a hello with them again scares me beyond belief.

6. Leaving places that I love

Alright, let me start off by saying this- it takes a lot for me to love a place. It has to feel like home. It has to make me feel comfortable. It has to be a place I can go to and be myself. Thankfully, I have had and still have multiple places that are like that. I have also had places I could not wait to leave. I think that's why leaving places I love is so hard and something I fear so much. I am afraid I'll never get that place "back", for lack of a better term. I guess, I'm trying to say, it's like a piece of me is leaving as well.




These six things are just the start of my fears. Some of these might seem "dumb" or "ridiculous" to you, but for me, it's my life. These are the things that I think about the most. These are the things that feel like a pit in my stomach. These six things are parts of my life that mean a lot to me.

Cover Image Credit:

Emily Heinrichs

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