It happened again! I became obsessed with a phrase not knowing its meaning. I finally give way, (so to speak), go to Google and get to down and dirty (hahaha) research. This time it was sword of Damocles. First found that it was used to refer to a precarious situation. Then it was, yet again, Wikipedia to the rescue:Damocles[a] is a character who appears in a (likely apocryphal) anecdote commonly referred to as “the anecdote commonly referred to as “the sword of Damocles”, an allusion to the imminent and ever-present peril faced by those in positions of power. Damocles was a courtier in the court of Dionysius I of Syracuse, a ruler of Syracuse, Sicily, Magna Graecia, during the classical Greek era.
In its usual fashion Wikipedia provides volumes of information. My focus was the use of this anecdote in the Arts and Literature.
The sword of Damocles is frequently used in allusion to this tale, epitomizing the imminent and ever-present peril faced by those in positions of power. More generally, it is used to denote the sense of foreboding engendered by a precarious situation, especially one in which the onset of tragedy is restrained only by a delicate trigger or chance. Shakespeare‘s Henry IV expands on this theme: “Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown”; compare the Hellenistic and Roman imagery connected with the insecurity offered by Tyche and Fortuna.
In The Canterbury Tales, Chaucer refers to the sword of Damocles, which the Knight describes as hanging over Conquest. When the Knight describes the three temples, he also pays special attention to the paintings, noticing one on the walls of the temple of Mars:
Above, where seated in his tower,
I saw Conquest depicted in his power
There was a sharpened sword above his head
That hung there by the thinnest simple thread.
Wikipedia goes on to speak volumes but then segues into modern times.
The phrase has also come to be used in describing any situation infused with a sense of impending doom, especially when the peril is visible and proximal—regardless of whether the victim is in a position of power. US President John F. Kennedy compared the omnipresent threat of nuclear annihilation to a sword of Damocles hanging over the people of the world. Soviet First Secretary Nikita Khrushchev wanted the Tsar Bomba to “hang like the sword of Damocles over the imperialists’ heads”.
References to the sword of Damocles can also be found in cartoonist illustrations, such as in Joseph Keppler‘s magazine Puck, a satiric periodical started in the late 1800s in the United States, and the sword can be used as a device to call attention to the peril that current events or contentious issues of the time place the world.
That is the situation in the world today, there can be no doubt about that!!! Nuclear annihilation is around the corner. Somebody needs to as Khrushchev wished, to hand the sword of Damocles over imperialists heads. The imperialists are all those countries that are supporting Israel. Think about that for a minute or two. Strain your brains and give it a try.
My native land makes a minor and insignificant appearance in this scenario. That is Canada, despite a wealth of resources it is a minor and insignificant world power.
In Made in Canada, a Canadian show that ran from 1998 to 2003, Sword of Damacles was the name of an in-series TV show produced by Pyramid, the production company the show centres around.
I shall try and strain my brain, as I do not have a great deal of confidence in yours. What does it mean? It can also be cudgel one’s brains. Strain to remember or find a solution,
Okay, I shall cudgel, take up the cudgel which is to start to defend or support someone or something strongly.
The person that I am going to support strongly is MBS – we all know who I am talking about. A prior blog spoke of an elegant solution, a beginning to essential Arab Unity which is the only thing that is going to save us from total annihilation. (You see the sword of Damocles coming to play). The Arab countries should all adopt the Quran as their constitution, said I.
An extraordinary event occurred in my existence yet again. You shall need some background. I returned to Saudi Arabia in early September (my third trip to this country). Initially I stayed at the Riyadh Ring Road Hilton ( I do not recommend it, but that is another matter). I cheekily began a conversation with a man in a thobe and a baseball cap.
Me: I do not understand that. Wearing a thobe with a baseball cap.
He: That is what is done here in Riyadh.
Me: That doesn’t make it right. (Hahaha)
Strangely enough, I gave him my telephone number and even more strangely, he began to text me and I him. Even more bizarrely our texting continued, but it did take a ‘holiday’, which occasioned this interchange.
Me: I guess I am a success in world but not with you.
He( responding much later) Hahahaha Why would you say that.
Me: I was writing my blog on mu computer when your message popped up. I do not want to give you the impression that I sit around waiting for your messages. Hahaha
Me: The answer is that I never hear from you – so I must be a failure in your eyes. Hahaha I got the world. The world is a mess at the moment. But the Arab Summit is now in Riyadh. I have hope for Arab Unity. Wrote about it on my blog this week. And you live in Riyadh???
He: Yes I’m in Riyadh and to be honest I’m one of the steering committee for the Arab Summit this week and been working on it since three weeks ago. That’s why I have been really bus.
Me: You are utterly and entirely forgiven. I cannot believe this. I am falling off the bed as I write. WOW the steering committee. I do LOVE preparation and absolutely knew it would be taking place. Now I have no idea why I had this book about Arab Unity but I do.
Me: It has to take place and the time is certainly now. But there are some hypocrites in the midst. Most certainly the UAE.
Our conversation continued and has continued since the.
Alter Ego: He just said that to excuse his absence.
Me: That might be so. I do not deny that. But we could give him the benefit of the doubt.
Alter Ego: And he said:”To be honest” When someone says that they usually are not being honest.
Me: I agree with you, but I know more than you. For some strange reason when one’s first language is Arabic and one learns English they habitually and continually say “To be honest”. Well guys do anyway – I have heard that time and time again.
Alter Ego: Okay. What are you going to do about this?
Me: I do not know. Just play it by ear I guess.
Some definitions are in order. Benefit of the doubt: the state of accepting something/someone as honest or deserving of trust even though there are doubtsIf you give someone the benefit of the doubt. Another phrase is assumption of evidence. Presumed innocence. Giving people the benefit of the doubt is positive. The researchers found that people who gave others the benefit of the doubt all the time were happier, compared to the participants who always blamed others. People who only sometimes gave others the benefit of the doubt were also happier (as long as they put enough value on relationships and belonging in their lives). How do you give somebody benefit of the doubt? To give someone the benefit of the doubt is choosing to believe that their intentions are honest. It means to not assume malice when there is uncertainty surrounding the circumstances. The opposite is to assume the worst. Who wants that? It is depressing and counterproductive.
To play by ear is to decide how to act in or deal with a particular situation in an adaptive, flexible, or improvised way, based on the circumstances. A reference to playing a song without referencing sheet music or a recording.
So that is what I am doing – being adaptable, flexible and improvising. I am honest (without saying To Be Honest) Hahahaha. We do fight, I apologize. When I have an doubt and honestly tell him – he responds and I say I am sorry. People have conflicts, it is important to confront them early on.
So enough about that. Did do something I said I would not do. Got right back into the Gaza genocide by posting a reel on Instagram sent to me by FAME. It was too powerful to ignore. In two days it has had 435 responses. That is WOW.
Here is the link: https://www.instagram.com/reel/CzjQwDvsAAI/?igshid=YnJreTNtazhmYWJt