Sunday, November 26, 2006

26 november

#35 - Nemesis

Greek: goddess of retributive justice or vengence

arch-enemy: chief enemy, evil doer/satan

When I first read the prompt for this week's Sunday Scribblings (26 Nov., 2006) I thought this should be easy. I'd been exposed to many, many "nemesis'": Lex Luther vs Superman, The Joker, The Riddler vs Batman, The Green Goblin or Dr. Octopus vs Spiderman, and General Ross vs the Hulk. A nemesis is the enemy, an evil doer to be vanquished.

Enter that part of my psyche labeled "superego" by Sigmund Freud. "you'd better look up nemesis, just to be sure you have it right!" Ok, first we'll google Dictionary dot com, hmmm. Ok, next the thesaurus, hmmm, ?? a dilema. It would seem that somewhere along the way, nemesis became intertwined with the word arch-enemy. Sometimes simple things baffle me. In my mind I couldn't make arch-enemy and nemesis synonymous.

Another google search came up with NEMESIS,"The Importance of Being Hated
In this golden age of enmity, friends are for suckers. What you need are a pair of well-chosen foes."
an essay by Chuck Klosterman. In his essay, Klosterman presents a convincing explanation of the differences between the two terms; nemesis and arch-enemy.

I think a nemesis can be internal; your own hypercritical superego, always ready to punish you with feelings of guilt if you follow a path it considers risky or wrong. Your nemesis may not be your enemy per-se, but someone who will "punish" you, inflict justice upon you. You may not like them but you don't hate them. Hate, that appears to be a key word here. Hatred is reserved for arch-enemies; wicked persons who have evil intent toward you.

Now that I have a plausable concept of what a nemesis represents, I recognize a number of folks as my nemesis. I think I have had only one arch-enemy. Some thirty years after our initial engagement the putrid hatred I harbored for this man has dissipated. His ability to be my undoing has waned to zero. I no longer see myself dancing on his grave after he dies. Perhaps I'll become his nemesis and bring justice to him if not revenge.

A coward throned
inflicting enmity ad lib
old, weak, impotent


Blogger PEA said...

Such an interesting post once again Rel...interesting to know what the words really mean! I'm glad you were able to let go of the hatred you had for that man...sometimes it's just not worth it. I had a "nemesis" when I was in High School...this girl didn't like that I had other friends and she made my life miserable for a few years. I could have hated her for what she did but I didn't have it in me to feel like that about anyone.

12:37 AM  
Blogger Catch said...

I cannot imagine you hating anyone. You are much too kind for that! Now, please tell me how you got that musical note on your comment on my blog? I think its so cute! Please tell me. And I wish you a very good week too!

5:04 AM  
Blogger paris parfait said...

It's true that time takes the sting out of hatred of an enemy, arch-nemesis, whatever you want to call that person. Wonderful haiku to accompany your interesting post.

6:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I think a nemesis can be internal; your own hypercritical superego, always ready to punish you with feelings of guilt if you follow a path it considers risky or wrong."
Reading the other posts shows that most scribblers agree with you on this one.

6:55 PM  
Blogger overactive-imagination said...

I have to say that I agree with your version of nemesis.

I hope all is well. Loved this post by the way, very interesting reading.

9:41 AM  

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