On her FB page, somebody suggested to Kino that "you might want to consider turning off your comments or filtering..." This got me a bit curious, so I went on the actual Youtube page to see the video and its accompanying comments. The top two comments (which, as I understand, are ranked the top two because they have received the greatest number of likes) are a bit inappropriate to reproduce on this blog; suffice to say that they refer to particular biological functions.
Actually, this is not the first time that this video has generated such... interesting comments; a similar incident happened with this video sometime last year. And of course, if you take the couple of minutes it takes to actually watch the video, you will know that those particular biological functions alluded to by these commenters are the last things Kino has in mind when making the video. As the patron saint of home Ashtangis, Kino's intention is to offer the video as a source of instruction and feedback for Ashtangis who are working on this particularly challenging second series pose on their own. How it is possible for these commenters to interpret the video as some kind of sex manual (there, I said it!) is, frankly, quite beyond me. But then again, I think there must be some school of postmodernist textual/video interpretation out there which holds the view that absolutely any interpretation of any media is justified and valid, so long as the interpreter can offer some kind of semi-coherent explanation for the interpretation. Ah well. What do I know?
But since I know nothing about postmodernism, I should maybe talk about something else. Well, let's talk about... democracy and its possible evils. As I mentioned above, the top two comments on the video are the top comments because they have received the greatest number of likes/thumbs-ups thus far. Thus, we can see that the ranking of comments on Youtube is a purely democratic process: That which receives the greatest number of votes receives top ranking.
Most of us, I take it, have been taught/socialized to believe that democracy is a good thing. But it looks like in this particular case, the democratic process is a distorting influence. If the sheer number of likes/thumbs-ups is anything to go by, it would seem that the majority of viewers on Youtube (at least those who have seen this particular video) either agree with or are at least sympathetic to the views of these two commenters. But that also means that the majority of viewers have mistaken or distorted views about what this video is really about, postmodernism notwithstanding. Or maybe they know better, but they simply don't care enough to offer a dissenting opinion. One way or the other, this would seem to suggest that it is not always a good idea to put things to a majority vote, because the majority can be either wrong or not socially responsible enough with their votes.
But maybe I am making too much out of this one case; after all, we do pride ourselves on living in a democracy, and democracy is supposed to be the best thing since, what, sliced bread? After all, if we live in a particular society or community, it is only right that each citizen/inhabitant of this society should have an equal say or vote about anything that might affect his or her life, right? But should each citizen/inhabitant have an equal say about things regarding which she might know very little or nothing about--things such as a particular pose in a particular practice of which you are not a practitioner? It might seem that the answer to this question is a very easy no. After all, how can we responsibly judge things which we have no experience in? But then again, how many of us actually have experience in governing this country? And yet we take it to be unproblematic that we should be entitled to have an equal say or vote in deciding whom we should choose to govern this country.
Ah, big questions these are. I think I am using yoga as an excuse to think about political philosophy. Or maybe it's the other way around: I might be using political philosophy as an excuse to think about yoga. Who knows? Anyway, I guess I'll stop here, before this rambling gets out of hand (it may already have). More later.