Thursday, November 1, 2007

It is not always what it seems

"And the cradle will rock ..."
-- Van Halen


Today I read about an odd request that Van Halen (rock group)would make upon reaching all their concert venues. They would demand a bowl of M&M candies be placed in their room, with all the brown ones removed.

At first glance, it appears to be just another petty and senseless demand by spoiled rock stars.

But Van Halen recently explained the method behind their madness. If the people in charge at the venues were consciencious enough to get this little request right, then they could probably be relied on to get other, more important details right.

Foolishness thus turns out to be wisdom.

In Plutarch's "Moralia," the old Roman speaks of Odysseus (The Iliad) being put ashore somewhere by Phaeacian sailors, taking the time while standing alone on the beach to inventory his possessions -- it would seem, to determine whether the Phaecians stole any of them. Such an inventory seems a petty and useless action. But Plutarch sees it differently: Odysseus is actually convinced of the goodness of the Phaecians and takes this odd action to provide tangible proof of it.

Two thousand years separate these accounts, yet they teach us the same lesson.

2 comments:

Chase March said...

Very interesting.

I’m not sure that riders are meant to prove worthiness though. However, I like the way the band justifies their rider. It does make sense.

eastcoastdweller said...

All I can say is, "Have you seen Junior's grades?"