I just finished my week 2 p.m. drills and have spiders on my mind.
Reviving our spiderwebs from Week 1 – Spoilers, and nudging you: /u/ZepNess, /u/platykurt, /u/nathanseppelt,/u/Peemsters_Yacht_Cap, /u/MarkVo, /u/emindead, /u/0liviakay, /u/chaichaya, /u/blattanzi, /u/lifeofglad
When J.O.I’s dad takes the fall during the game, he’s certain that he slipped on something: “I don’t know what I slipped on, son. There were spiders well-known to infest the palms’ fronds all along the courts’ fences.” (bottom of p. 166).
He says (more than once) that he started to fall before he heard his dad’s reply: “Yes, But He’ll Never Be Great“, and then blames his fall on dead-spider sap, or sap from rotting palms. When J.O.I’s dad notices that his dad doesn’t sit on the ground in the shade out of fear that a black widow will drop on him, it’s as though the impending sense of doom felt by his dad has been noticed on some level, and becomes real/concrete for J.O.I.’s dad.
So when J.O.I’s dad blames the black widows, he’s really blaming the impending sense of doom that caused the “second of misplaced respect.” I think “respect” here is respect for the “presence” and “animal grace” that’s discussed earlier, a mind-body machinic flow. The impending sense of doom breaks this for J.O.I.’s dad on the court. So basically the spiders make him “webbed with nerves” (168) and become the reason for the cycle of self-sabotage that began with J.O.I’s dad (lost potential and self-destruction etc.).
Anyone remember that the above mirroring * is similar to the black widows and parent-child experience in “Philosophy and The Mirror of Nature” in Oblivion?
*Too reductive, though. Psych idea of mirroring can be taken further with “gesture,” Agamben, and communication. More later!