With the Olympic Games about to take place in that gigantic urban dance floor known as London, there are inevitably a lot of thought patterns floating about extolling the virtues of relentless hard work, dedication to training, sacrifice of various pleasures and the like, all with the aim of reaching one incredible moment at some point in the future. For a very small and select few, the dream will come true. They will stand on a podium watching their national flag rise above their heads, listen to the anthem and feel the Olympic gold medal against their chests. Even for those not quite good enough to win a medal, it is difficult to deny that representing one's nation at the greatest sporting event on Earth must be a remarkable experience.
But enough about that for now. I will now take you back to days of yore, when I was a callow youth growing up in my native Scotland. Ours is a small but very proud nation and we are renowned, amongst other things, for our ability to drink like fish who have just swam through a desert (don't ask how, we haven't time for the desert fish tale). A mixture of both Celtic and Viking ancestry has combined to produce a culture in which the ability to quaff copious amounts of alcohol without falling down in an idiotic stupor just after singing 'My Way' with no trousers on, is seen as a great virtue, a sign of both virility and maturity, 'sorting out the men from the boys' as the old saying goes.
Many times I recall waking up having crashed at the flat of one of my erstwhile drinking pals, looking round at the scene of devastation and doing a body count. Gradually more would rouse, and then we would engage in the time-honoured tradition of vigorously complaining about how bad our hang-overs were, before curing them with a massive fried breakfast, and on the best 'weekenders', a hair o' the dog or three.
But these complaints were not in any way regretful or sorrowful. On the contrary, they were boastful and congratulatory. A hideous hang-over was a thing of great pride, a temporary badge of honour.
"So what the hell is this article all about?" I hear you impatiently asking, while tapping your fingers on something firm.
Above we have two examples of a ride along the pain-pleasure cycle. One is a whole load of pain followed by intense pleasure. The other is a whole load of pleasure followed by intense pain.Voices can often be heard extolling the virtues of one and decrying the debauchery of the other, and on the other side, voices can be heard saying pretty much the opposite (perhaps with some choice swear words for extra colour).
So which of these male voice choirs is correct? Which path is the best to follow?
Oh, look, a squirrel!
So long for now, Life Olympians. :-)
"When you have the wish for all of life's pleasures, that desire is a checkmate. It is your defeat. It is also your defeat to say, 'I don't want any pain or sorrow.'" Sri Sadguru Siddharameshwar Maharaj
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