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Joshua Young
Joshua Young

Age Of Barbarian - ARENA __FULL__


Age of Barbarian ARENA is the thirty-second episode of Saturday Morning Scrublords. This week, Matt, Woolie, and Liam stick their quarters in some barbarian booty to force their gladiator waifus and husbandos to battle to the death for their amusement.




Age of Barbarian - ARENA



Unlike his contemporaries, more interested in subversion of Tradition and Culture for the sake of Nature and Natural man, Chekhov reaffirmed his traditional position on the common existential pathway of humanity, clearly instructing not to change the charted by history common civilizational trend and cautioning against making the dangerous cultural detour. He saw that the reversal to primitivism in art and ethics would lead to the reversal to barbarism. His high aestheticism and his critique of the new artists-rebels, with their new ethical and moral, and aesthetic principles, puts Chekhov in the canonical world cultural elite that transcends time, language, and geography. Greatly indebted to the world culture and classical Russian heritage, Chekhov was highly critical of his Russian and European contemporaries, who, in his view, had been undermining civilization. His primary training as a physician, a profession he never abandoned, had been nurturing his literary career and inspiring his imagination. The specificity of Russian culture, its censorial conditions, contributed to the special group of philosophers-writers who mainly delivered their philosophical arguments through fiction, be it a novel, a play, or a short story. Chekhov entered the cultural arena and acquired fame as a superb master of short story whom numerous European writers would wish to emulate in this genre. There were short story writers before his time and after his death, but none of them reached his mastery and perfection in this genre. Chekhov's story was the genre of the new hectic century, that was the only feature that made it modern, while the depth of his philosophy made his work universal and eternally relevant, it transcends language, time, ethnicity, religion, gender, or age. None of the writers in history could compete with Chekhov in his mastery of the genre that preserves the Aristotelian terseness and philosophical depth, as well as striking with wit and laughter. He holds the crown of the master of the short story, carrying the deepest ethical message in the shortest possibly narrative, delivered with humor and elegance. Chekhov did not leave lengthy treatises or essays, but his voluminous correspondence, next to his short stories, reveals his stand on all philosophical, political and existential topics of universal appeal, serving as a gentle guide to the entire humanity, willing to better themselves and society.


Chekhov received his primary education at the Taganrog Greek Lyceum where most of the well-to-do parents used to send their children and where the curriculum was highly rigorous. Very early on Chekhov was exposed to Greek and Latin, and also to French, German and English languages, skill that became quite useful in his European travels, later in life In 1879, family moves to Moscow. In 1884, Chekhov graduates from the Moscow Medical School. Medicine would be his "legal wife", as he jokingly recalled, and literature his "mistress." In 1880, his first short story was published in the St. Petersburg comic journal, and , by the time of his graduation from Medical school, 300 short stories of his be published, having made him instantly famous. He would combine his commercial writing career and medical practice during his entire life, generously treating patients free of charge. Born and raised in the cosmopolitan multinational and multireligious city, that even in the 19th century had several foreign Consulates, Chekhov had a very strong pro-European sensitivity. He very early on understood the difference between European civilized society and backward Asian one. Born into a pious Christian family, Chekhov was an atheist and treated religion along Voltaire's lines, like a superstition and church as an obscurantist institution and a barrier to civilization, having become a subject of his witty ridicule in his short stories. His images of priests are very powerful satyrical portraits, standing as symbols of hypocrisy, lust and gluttony, and useless presence in society. Throughout his short life - Chekhov died from the incurable form of TB at the age of 44 - he tried "to squeeze out a slave and barbarian out himself" and teach others how to do the same in order to become genuinely civilized. His idea of civilization stemmed from the classical canons of culture. Much like Aristotle, also a physician, Chekhov insisted on making body healthy, soul peaceful, mind reasonable and life beautiful, worthy of a truly refined Man.


Similarly to Confucius, Chekhov placed individual responsibility and will to civilize on the operating table of perfectibility, believing firmly in human capacity to reform, civilize, elevate, beautify and humanize oneself. Neither one's body, nor one's origins should make one a prisoner of the given circumstances. In Chekhov's firm belief, man possesses the power to overcome one's environment, unfortunate circumstances, poor education, family origins, bad health. "To squeeze the slave and barbarian out of oneself" - this was Chekhov's credo. All is possible but what is required is the Will, Effort and Education. Chekhov insists on daily self-improvement and discovering the wisdom of others. Expanding on the idea of "ennobling the sexual impulse," Chekhov has a very strict prescription for the relationship between the sexes. In his letter dated January 2, 1889, and addressed to his brother Alexander, Chekhov expands on the sanctity of human family, treatment of women and children. He angrily writes, "what kind of heavenly or earthly power gives one power to turn women into one's own slaves?!" He condemns it as brutal despotism, worthy of savages. According to his doctrine of civility, man is not allowed to treat women disrespectfully, rudely and insult them verbally and with their slovenly manners. A woman to Chekhov was the creator of Beauty whose aesthetic sensibility should not be offended by male sloppy dress and rude verbal manners. Beautiful/ugly, clean/dirty, barbaric/civilized - there are juxtapositions that permeate Chekhov's world view and his narrative, serving as a guiding map through his epistemological universe.


In Book One of Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle condemned his contemporary life since he observed how "the masses prefer a life suitable to beasts" [1984, vol.2:1731]. The beast/human or barbarian/civilized paradigm is actually the running motif in Aristotle's entire corpus of the texts. Trying to articulate his doctrine of civilization, Aristotle substantially relied on this comparative paradigm. He wrote in his Eudemian Ethics that "anger and appetite belong also to the brutes choice does not" (1984, vol. II: 1941). The Aristotelian "man of excellence" who is above the simple brute is able to make choices between the animalistic desires and those elevating him above animals. Millennia later, Freud would distort the theory of civilization by presenting "human beings as prey to passions, drives, instincts and thus deliberately excluded the human capacity for spirituality" [2015:65]. In fact, he was conducting his untangling of the civilizational web in Chekhov's time.


Chekhovian doctrine of perfectibility is based on the Aristotelian barbarian/civilized paradigm, despite the millennia that separate them and the untimeliness of the modern cultural context. It also embodies the overall undying interest in Aristotle in European East and the prominent orientation in Russian philosophy which would remain pro-Aristotelian.


Traditionally, Populist Death Matches feature the poors exploited by the rich. But as their frequency has increased over time, a new version has emerged. In 2022, three new Populist Death Matches\u2014Glass Onion, The Menu, and Triangle of Sadness\u2014made elites themselves contestants in the game of death. No longer were the rich pulling the strings, watching from behind a two-way mirror as they do so exquisitely in Squid Game (in my opinion the best of the genre). Now the rich are in the arena, either with the poors (Triangle of Sadness), by themselves at the behest of the rich (Glass Onion), or by themselves at the behest of the poor (The Menu).


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