nominalism, the second for today

by Andrea Elizabeth

I’m reading The Gulag Archipelago more intently today because my life is calming down for the moment, and I don’t want to have to recheck it from the library a third time. In addition to individuality, since letting myself get sucked back into caring about a sports team, I’m also thinking about identification with groups. A universalist would say there exists a higher concept of the idea of “group” even. I say groups exist voluntarily, even if you aren’t the one who volunteered yourself, someone else did. Your parents, and theirs, are responsible for where you are born which makes you affiliated with others in a certain location. There are many choices in the past that are variables in the idiosyncrasies of a certain geographic group making it possible to make some generalizations. People still have a choice as to whether to keep these traits or adopt new ones. Some people keep their accents, for example, while others don’t.

Last week while the Rangers looked like they would win the World Series for their very first time, I would have talked more about the ontological qualities of Texans that made it possible. While I wont do that now, I have a lingering impression that a name has a tremendous psychological effect, which is why there are podiatrists named Dr. Foot. The Rangers seemed to be overcoming their franchise’s traditional reputation, though not entirely. There was greatness in the ’70’s that the Oakland A’s kept trumping, but it was there. I don’t want to blame Micheal Young for the defeats last week, but it did not bode well with me when he said before the first game that people need to quit saying the Cardinals are mediocre and look at all the World Series wins they’ve garnered and show some respect. He brought traditional reputation, not present individual ability, not that that was lacking, to the forefront, and I think it had a daunting effect. He’s their morale spokesperson so he sets the tone. Therefore I think the Rangers identification with how they’ve never been able to rise to the very top influenced how they played. I don’t think it had to be that way. But if you are a winner, tapping into a winning reputation can be a momentum booster, especially if it’s the other team reminding you of it, Michael!

A name is like a habit. Sometimes it’s good, and sometimes it needs to be overcome. A person has a choice.