Richard Weaver once pointed out the original sense of the word “obscenity” meant something that “should be enacted off-strange, because it is unfit for public exhibition.” He wrote, “they included intense suffering and humiliation, which the Greeks, with habitual perspicacity and humanity, banned from the theater."
The Greeks definition of obscenity also fits in with their definition of Hubris. For all practical purposes, they are the same thing. Hubris is the goddess of “arrogance, moral blindness, insolence, wanton violence.” It’s followed by Nemesis, the goddess of fate and retribution.
The original meaning of Hubris was to humiliate or shame someone. The worst way to do it was in public. It was considered so offensive it was deemed obscene, which is why it was banned from the stage True obscenity, then, is degrading, humiliating or shaming someone in public.
Shaming, humiliating and degrading someone, especially in public, is followed by revenge -- which, in a word, is Nemesis.
The psychiatrist James Gilligan, who spent some 35 years interviewing inmates imprisoned for murder and brutal assaults, when he asked them why they committed their crimes, always heard the same answer: “He dissed me” or the prisoner’s wife, girlfriend, children, parents, friends.
One day he realized what he was hearing over and over was the story of Cain and Abel: feelings of humiliation followed by revenge. The shortest and most accurate definition of revenge I’ve heard is the attempt to replace shame with pride.
The Greeks not only considered Hubris the worst crime; they considered it the only crime, since it is the basis of all other crimes. At one crime Christianity understood this: scholars placed Pride (another name for Hubris) ahead of all other sins and made it the only true crime, the mother and father of all others.
When it comes to those who run the State - corporations, “government” and banks -- they can never seem to figure out that shaming, humiliating, abusing and exploiting other countries leads to blowback against the United States. That was what 9-11 was – revenge against the U.S. because of its 60 years of supporting oppressive regimes in the Middle East. It wasn’t, as the terminally confused George Bush believed, because they were the Evil Ones attacking us for our goodness.
When it comes to history there is only one story, always repeated: the attempt of the State to expand its power until it absorbs everything -- and the people who have captured the State mostly do it because of their lust for money, but always operate under the guise of humanitarianism. This expansion invariably means people suffering and being humiliated in public. Then, always, comes revenge.
In other words, the expansion of government always results in the expansion of obscenity – shaming, humiliating, abusing and exploiting people, both abroad and at home. Unfortunately, the “modern” minds of many do not understand common-sense concepts noticed thousands of years ago, in more cultures than one.
The expansion of the government of the U.S. has also included imposing by law the leftist tenets of feminism on men. It had overwhelmingly included attempts to shame, degrade and humiliate men. Feminism, is based on hubris, and is obscene in its current form. And what is the blowback?
The Manosphere. Much of it is the attempt to achieve justice, but some of it is pure revenge, such as degrading women as gold-digging loveless, rationalizing whores only interested in "hypergamy" and "Alpha Fux and Beta Bux." This is pure revenge on women created by shamed and humiliated men.
The narcissistic attempts at grandiosity with such deluded concepts as "Alpha" also create more problems. The concepts of Alpha to Omega create a rigid, cult-like hierarchy, and for those who perceive the problems with these concepts there will be attempts to shame and humiliate them by called them Betas, Gammas, Deltas, Omegas. It's human nature to do this, but it does not mean it is a good thing. On the contrary, it is a childish thing.
Those who claim they are Alphas and Sigmas are doing so out of our archaic grandiosity, which means it is a primitive attempt to cover up their shamed and humiliated selves with grandiosity. This grandiosity has always been called Hubris/Pride, and is always unstable and easily destroyed.
I am reminded of the scene is 300 where Xerxes calls himself "your king and your god" and who wants to be worshiped, but when his face is cut by a spear, there is a stunned look on his face - "I am not a god!" (Notice Xerxes does not move as the spear heads toward him: he believes he is immune.)
An Omega seeks to become an Alpha by worshiping and imitating said self-claimed Alpha.
Be an Alpha and you will be a king and a god, wealthy and worshiped by men and women. That's what the accepted definition tells you.
But then you have this:
The Alpha realizes Alphas don't exist when he confronts a man who would never use such silly concepts.
These scenes are extreme but can be applied to everyone in a lesser form.
Rodrigo Santoro, who played Xerxes, said this is say about him: "He's rich, he's arrogant, he's a very unstable megalomaniac. He just wants to conquer the world. His ambition is unlimited. He wants glory; he wants victory; he wants eternal fame. Underneath all that wanting, though, he's ultimately weak and very insecure."
It's why I point out there is a world of difference between a true man - a patriarch who applies the Four Cardinal Virtues of Courage, Prudence, Justice and Self-Control (Leonidis) and the weakness and braggadocio of the "Alpha" Xerxes.
Those scenes show a chasm of difference between the true confidence and bravery of King Leonidis and the narcissistic and easily-demolished, superficial charm and "bravery" of Xerxes.
That, too, is an eternal story.
"... all men make mistakes. But a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong, and repairs the evil. The only crime is pride." - Sophocles