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Afghanistan as Sports Event, Sexual Fantasy and Detour From the Hero's Journey

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Sports, sex and the the hero's journey narrative all play a role in America's perception of our relationship to Afghanistan. President Obama can pander to our baser instincts, tapping the nation's archetypal sports and sexual images and energy to sell what is becoming his war, as he's been doing, or seek a higher road that takes America home to a higher level as a better nation.

The national sport of Afghanistan, Buzkashi, involves horsemen knocking around a headless goat and successfully carrying it across a goal line. Unlike American sports, which last hours, Buzkashi can last days.

Buzkashi; flickr image by zz77

Here in the US, where football, baseball, basketball and ice hockey are the national obsessions, the idea of crossing the goal line, finish line or home plate, dunking or scoring is a major metaphor.

Now, that metaphor is being projected upon Afghanistan.

I should add that my mind is not befuddled, like most American heterosexual males, by sports mania. On the contrary, I have sports attention deficit, an abnormality that led to what came close to child neglect for my two sons, They seem to have survived my "disorder" and are, themselves, quite addicted to baseball, football, cage matches wrestling and the like.

That said, I feel I can see a pattern that most males and maybe even females who live with such normalized madness would not.

The American obsession with crossing the goal or finish line is deeply ingrained.

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There's also the Judeo Christian work ethic of doing the job right, finishing the job.

To make matters worse, in terms of feeding into the subconscious of the male psyche, there's even a Freudian aspect to completion-- consumation, penetration, finishing the orgasm...

It's a noble goal for sports and work. It's a biological drive for sexual completion.

But the same metaphor applied to Afghanistan is a big, BIG mistake.

The metaphor is simple in isolation, but there are all kinds of examples where it is just plain bad.
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Cheating is not the way to finish. Doing a bad job is not the way to finish.

Playing when it hurts your family or community or costs you your job or health is bad, finish or not. It's selfish, perhaps obsessive.

Then there's addictive behavior-- sports gambling, sexual addiction.

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Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

Rob Kall Wikipedia Page

Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes. Rob is also published regularly on the

Rob is, with the first media winner of the (more...)

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American taxpayers could ill afford either ground ... by Steven G. Erickson on Thursday, Nov 26, 2009 at 10:24:37 AM
need a game plan to sell their way. They tap the a... by Rob Kall on Thursday, Nov 26, 2009 at 10:28:27 AM
Yes, I agree. But, they are going to have a hard s... by Steven G. Erickson on Thursday, Nov 26, 2009 at 10:36:54 AM
There are many, many 12 steps program members who ... by Rob Kall on Thursday, Nov 26, 2009 at 11:01:37 AM
Wow Steven, that looks like yet another metaphor, ... by marthanws8 on Thursday, Nov 26, 2009 at 10:50:36 PM
that Eisenhower started that ball rolling with the... by Michael Shaw on Thursday, Nov 26, 2009 at 2:21:47 PM
a fog of media. That fog can be penetrated with li... by Mark Sashine on Thursday, Nov 26, 2009 at 10:54:53 AM
Great job, Rob. One of the best articles I've read... by Scott Baker on Thursday, Nov 26, 2009 at 11:25:58 AM
I agree 100% with Scott Baker's first two sentence... by GLloyd Rowsey on Thursday, Nov 26, 2009 at 11:45:17 AM
What you need to do, Mr Kall, is ask yourself just... by Dana Pico on Thursday, Nov 26, 2009 at 11:57:44 AM
For the Phillies, "the enemy" was The Yankees, I t... by Rob Kall on Thursday, Nov 26, 2009 at 12:53:38 PM
The whole idea of a war on terror is absurd. There... by Michael Shaw on Thursday, Nov 26, 2009 at 2:44:17 PM
Obama needs a new frame for looking at Afghanistan... by Martha Moffett on Thursday, Nov 26, 2009 at 12:03:15 PM
Excellent, Rob. I like to think that deep within u... by skayj on Thursday, Nov 26, 2009 at 2:05:49 PM
The game has been dominated by George Walk-her Bus... by Allan Wayne on Thursday, Nov 26, 2009 at 1:37:39 PM
Interesting analogy using sports as the key. The f... by Michael Shaw on Thursday, Nov 26, 2009 at 2:13:45 PM
as I know things aren't going back to the days of ... by shadow dancer on Thursday, Nov 26, 2009 at 4:34:59 PM
What type of person (or country) is it that, after... by Peter Duveen on Thursday, Nov 26, 2009 at 8:42:01 PM
What type of person (or country) is it that, after... by Peter Duveen on Thursday, Nov 26, 2009 at 8:42:13 PM
Our friend Peter is right. We have taken thousands... by Jason Paz on Friday, Nov 27, 2009 at 12:26:53 AM
This is no sport. There is no end zone. There is n... by robert braunstein on Friday, Nov 27, 2009 at 1:01:29 AM
Obama doesn't even make a good poker player...a bl... by Ernest on Friday, Nov 27, 2009 at 1:20:13 AM
We need to finish the job by looking around Afghan... by Bryan Emmel on Friday, Nov 27, 2009 at 1:38:48 AM
Since we are tossing out a few sports metaphors he... by Doc "Old Codger" McCoy on Friday, Nov 27, 2009 at 2:33:30 AM
The reason that it is not easy being you is that y... by Blaine Kinsey on Friday, Nov 27, 2009 at 12:30:14 PM
Rob Kall's piece on ways the Afghan war can be sol... by Susan Strong on Friday, Nov 27, 2009 at 3:02:01 PM
Here is an article by Ray McGovern from Truthout t... by Michael Shaw on Friday, Nov 27, 2009 at 5:50:30 PM
Obama is a figure head President, if anything. Wit... by syed mahdi on Tuesday, Dec 1, 2009 at 6:20:25 AM