Essay—Mon Capitaine (57)

Summary—his essay argues in the form of a monologue that the captain of the Calgary Flames, Mark Giordano, must become a better leader.

The following monologue takes place in a bar and is the opening paragraph to one of the great novels of the Twentieth century—The Fall written in 1956 by the French writer, philosopher and Nobel laureate, Albert Camus (1913-60).  “May I, Monsieur, offer my services without running the risk of intruding?  I fear you may not be able to make yourself understood by the worthy ape who presides over the fate of this establishment.  In fact, he speaks nothing but Dutch.  Unless you authorize me to plead your case, he will not guess that you want gin.  There, I dare hope he understood me—that nod must mean that he yields to my arguments.  He is taking steps—indeed, he is making haste with prudent deliberation.  You are lucky—he didn’t grunt.  When he refuses to serve someone he merely grunts.  No one insists.  Being master of one’s moods is the privilege of the larger animals.  Now I shall withdraw, Monsieur, happy to have been of help to you.  Thank you—I’d accept if I were sure of not being a nuisance.  You are too kind.  Then I shall bring my glass over beside yours.”

Mon Capitaine.  Dear Mon Capitaine, Mark Giordano of the Calgary Flames Hockey Club.  Please allow me to introduce myself.  I am Christopher Bek, Principal of Philosophymagazine.  Now I shall withdraw, Mon Capitaine, happy to have met you.  Thank you—I’d accept if I were sure of not being a nuisance.  You are too kind.  Then I shall bring my glass over beside yours.  What is Philosophymagazine you ask?  It is my attempt to bring philosophy and science to the masses.  By philosophy, I primarily mean existentialism, which basically tells people that they have total freedom and total responsibility for the state of the world.  And by science, I primarily mean my theory of one, which solves the greatest scientific problem of all time by uniting relativity theory and quantum theory.  I realize that telling someone they have total freedom and total responsibility is a big challenge, but it is much better than telling them their only responsibility is to behave normally.  I am not questioning your choice to behave normally.  It is my choice to take total responsibility for the world.  Your decision, Mon Capitaine, has clearly worked in your favor.  You are paid millions of dollars to play a game you love to play.  You have a family and are the captain of a professional hockey team.  You donate some money to charity and are a leader in the community.  I would suggest though that, for you to be a true leader in the community, you should donate half your earnings to charity.  We all must be leaders in our own way—you with hockey and money and me with Philosophymagazine.  Your salary is exponentially greater than it would have been a few decades ago.  Besides, if I may ask, what are you going to do with all that money?  You cannot take it with you when you die and if you leave too much money for your children it may spoil them.  Christ said that a rich man has as much chance of going to heaven as a camel has of passing through the eye of a needle.  I have another suggestion, which you may dislike equally as much.  I would ask you to accept a lower salary for the benefit of the team.  Taking less money would allow management to spend more on other players and could turn your team into a perennial Stanley Cup contender.  If the market value of a player of your caliber were ten times the amount it is today, then you would no doubt demand to be paid accordingly.  I am suggesting you shift your paradigm from market values to self-aware, internal values.  As for my compensation you ask?  I am paid a small disability pension by the government, which claims I have schizophrenia.  I pay for marketing of my website and to send out monthly essays unfolded to sixty readers around the world.  Still, my pension keeps me in food and coffee.  I work on my essays at home and then go to coffee shops to edit them.  I dream of winning the Nobel Prize in Physics, which would provide me with the one-time payment equivalent to what a NHL rookie makes in a year.  Am I bitter about my circumstances?  Not in the least.  I have a good life and have found that having no money is liberating.  Besides, I received a decent amount of money saved for my retirement from my house I lost to foreclosure.  I used to have a very nice house in Crescent Heights just north of downtown Calgary.  I had a girlfriend, two great dogs and a consulting contract with the executives of a twenty billion dollar company for which I practiced risk management.  I am a mathematician and an actuary.  The company broke up into its five subsidiaries at the exact same time (1 January 2001) I discovered my theory of one—and nobody cares—not then and not now.  Saint Augustine (354-430) said that the first step forward is to see that attention is firmly fastened on the truth.  It seems I am the only one for whom that holds true.  It was all downhill from there.  I wrote letters to the government saying that the laws of nature trump the laws of government.  Relativity theory, quantum theory and my theory of one are all laws of nature.  My argument is simply that the government cannot invoke the laws of government while a law of nature is outstanding.  After sacrificing my house to make this point, I set out on my next mission to fix the mental healthcare system.  I spent a year in the hospital before being offered the apartment I have now.  Before I lost my house I accumulated supplies for my journey including writing 25 essays and purchasing 500 books on philosophy, science and risk management.  I previously produced 20 essays of a publication called The Risk Management Review.  I also collected a good number of quotations that can be found on my website.  Quotations are great as they summarize the thoughts of great thinkers.  The 1980 movie Brubaker stars Robert Redford who went into a prison as an inmate only to later reveal his true identity as warden.  I have done the same thing by going into the healthcare system as a patient only to reveal myself as a doctor in that I have identified behaviorism as the cancer of modern medicine.  So you see I make the best out of every situation.  The Freudian cognitive model makes the ego or consciousness the decision-maker who must choose between the internal values of the inward id, self or soul and the external authority of the superego or government.  Behaviorism chooses the superego while existentialism chooses the id.  I recently challenged my doctor, Dr Gibbs, to debate behaviorism versus existentialism.  He failed to respond.  The following is an exchange of assessments between us which shows I can stand toe-to-toe with any doctor.  “Patient—Christopher Bek, Physician—Dr David Gibbs, 30 August 2003.  Psychotic—paranoid identification.  Believes government took his house as not listening to his theories.  Diminished ability to care for self.  No insight into illness.  Flight risk.  Becomes agitated when his beliefs are challenged.”  “Patient—Dr Gibbs, Physician—Dr Bek, 14 September 2003.  Psychotic as a result of being out of touch with innate reality.  Believes government is omnipotent.  Hysterically blind to evidence contradicting behaviorism.  Paranoia manifests itself as predatory assessments intended to subvert the truth.  Becomes aloof when his authority is questioned.”  Behaviorism is the disease of mental healthcare and existentialism is the cure.  My mission, Mon Capitaine, is to guide society through its next paradigm shift.  What is a paradigm shift you ask?  It is a fundamental change in our perception of reality.  For example, my theory of one proves that reality is an illusion.  So the answer to Einstein’s question as to whether the moon really exists when no one is looking at it is answered with an emphatic no.  Consider, if you will, Plato’s (427-347 BC) allegory of the cave.  Imagine prisoners chained inside a cave such that they only see the shadows projected from eternal objects like Platonic Forms onto the wall from the fire behind them.  A prisoner named Socrates breaks free of his chains and climbs out of the cave into daylight.  After a time his eyes adjust to the light and he returns to the cave intending to free the prisoners.  But back inside the cave Socrates now has trouble making out the shadows.  And his obvious attempt at liberation only serves to anger the prisoners for revealing the illusionary nature of their existence.  They become so overwrought with anxiety that they proceed to kill him for it.  I am now outside the cave.  I pass Philosophymagazine essays to the prisoners at the entrance to the cave—but I will not go back into the cave.  Universities only teach the shadows on the cave wall.  I challenged the president of the University of Calgary to answer my theory of one.  She failed to respond.  As Descartes said, “Better the ladies of the salon than the pedants of the university.”  It all comes down to arguments.  The government ignores arguments it does not like.  I asked the Canadian prime minister to state his position on arguments.  He failed to respond. 

Conclusion.  My theory of one unites relativity theory with quantum theory and proves the universe is bounded, that there is only one photon (ie. a being of light) and that photon is God.  I would argue that we must switch from behaviorism, which only asks us to behave normally, to existentialism, which gives us total freedom and total responsibility.  I have proven the government does not answer arguments, which leaves society in a holding pattern.  And when the non-renewable resources runout in a hundred years, mankind will come crashing down to the ground.  I end this rather lengthy monologue by arguing that you, Mon Capitaine, must step outside the city of your comfort and become a better hockey leader and world leader.