Apologies to my friends who went to the protest today without my gracious scintillating company, and I understand you created some considerable traffic making it difficult for my helper to arrive here in a timely manner, but we survived, even though Jez pooped in her crate and I was too loopy from the meds they gave me to dare to take her out when she was whining to go at 2 am, and as Jez has never pooped in her crate although she peed a couple times when she was a younger pup, I didn’t think she could stink me out of my own room no matter how much eucalyptus and other random eo’s I frantically applied. But she did.
So, for those of you quaking in your boots at the latest twitter feed by the real guy or one of his many surrogates, please take a deep breath before your natural emotions and the survival skills that are hardwired for the purpose of, duh,” survival, lure you right into the master plan set by He Who Shall Not Be Named, The Abomination that Causes Desolation, the firstborn of the Zombie apocalypse and all around 100% pure schmuck and his bevy of nasty little toady, sociopathic henchmen and kiss-ups.
No, he is not stupid, even though he plays one on tv and whenever that act is beneficial, but not really smart in an academic sense, but he is brilliant at manipulating media and must have an intrinsic understanding of human psychology, what drives people and how to play so skillfully on both desires and fears, which you may have discovered is endemic to your friendly neighborhood sociopath, but this one just has the money, influence, connections, megalomania and all around chutzpah to do oodles of damage, and most of this he will do through us, both those who voted against him, those who voted for him and those lazy irresponsible persons who didn’t bother to even vote.
As an aside, for those enthusiastic fans who mommy dropped you on your head on the concrete as an infant (perhaps deliberately, but I can’t say) or maybe daddy threw you out of the truck because he had a vision of what you might become, in case the Yiddishisms weren’t enough of a clue, (((Claire))). Okay, does that make you feel better? Now you know.
Prior to allowing yourself to be infected by the Zombie virus via his latest tweet, and often if you do just a bit of research or speak with someone knowledgeable in that area, you will discover he is mostly spinning a bunch of bubbe-meises (old grandma’s tales) with just a dollop of truth thrown in, and so why are you succumbing to the latest sky is falling fear and trembling virus, because this distracts you from real issues and hijacks, drains and derails you of the mental and emotional, as well as physical energy you will require to think, organize and act effectively in the days ahead, rather than running around like the firstborn of the undead has a cattle prod up your tuches.
Don’t feel too bad, because this is how humans like us are hardwired, for survival, and when our survival is threatened or appears to be threatened, a switch in the rational part of our brain auto-flips over to manual response to emotion. Just think about our ancestors living on the African savanah likely wouldn’t have lived long enough to procreate if they sat down and considered the philosophical implications of a dangerous animal, dangerous person and as well friendly persons and food sources. I am sure some academic type evolutionary psychologist, or expert in Behavioral Economics, or Consumer Neuroscience could explain this much better. Briefly, we act, even unconsciously, in ways that will allow us to survive and pass our genes on to our offspring, and care for them until they are able to go and do likewise.
Your neurons, synapses, other organic brain parts, nervous system as well as how all these cooperate effectively or don’t, usually allows fear to hijack your higher functions, such as the ability to think logically and rationally, absorb and scrutinize information, and a host of other things you might want to ask someone with a higher pay grade in the sciences, as I took all the easy classes in that genre in university and while the MOOC is on my list, I haven’t gotten there yet.
You have a built-in radar that scans for danger and threat, as well as an on-board radar that scans for good stuff like food, friends and mating opportunities. That is why so many, following activation of the fear/survival module, especially in those so prone, can lead to things like – well just review a history book.
But just a warning that you can learn from history, humans survived as social creatures due to the ability to cooperate, hold to common stories including imagined and intangible realities, (like money, governments, political boundaries) and intersubjective realities like marriage and employment situations. You can read Yuval Haririi’s books, his older one, “A Brief History of Humankind,” and his new book, “Homo Deus; A Brief History of Tomorrow,” or take his excellent Coursera MOOC if this interests you, and he has lectured on both history and futurism on YouTube.
Some of you may have seen the meme showing Nazi’s marching, with the tagline, “Beware of stupid people in large groups.” But I believe that is a wrong description, as it might have warned us to beware of fearful people in large groups or desperate people in large groups or those seeking to raise their status and sense of self-worth in large groups.
And don’t think there aren’t psycho-sociopathic types and groups rubbing their hands together in glee that the emoting, fleeing hoards will run right into their ever so welcoming corrupt arms, as just what we need is to fuel another brand of extremist, rather than cool heads who might not agree on everything cooperating for the common good instead of not letting a good crisis go to waste because it may be a great opportunity to carve out or enlarge their own little fiefdoms. Shame on you!
This is not my field of expertise, but perhaps you can speak with one of my psychologist friends, whose phones are ringing off the hook with clients and not yet clients seeking appointments for anxiety, fear and trembling related to the prospect of the firstborn of the undead and his lovely trophy wife (but not yet, this might be interesting to see the first presidential blow by blow nasty divorce) occupying the White House, and now that day has arrived.
That is if they have not caught the alien invasion virus themselves. Out of curiosity, I wonder how they are going to bill insurance for these services, although I know my therapeutic friends are quite clever with these things, but as far as I know (and what do I know BTW?) there is no DSM code for Paranoid Tyrant Putin Wannabe Anxiety Disorder, but I am sure you will find something that sticks for reimbursement.
I finally got the brilliant idea to move the crate (it was on wheels but not easy to push across carpet) to my son’s empty room (please don’t tell him, it has been cleaned and refreshed.) I opened my windows and dumped out the rest of the 6 oz bottle of eucalyptus and it was survivable, as I thought I would need to hang out in the living room. As I was not quite awake, it took me until morning to get it through my head that I could remove the puppy from aforementioned stinky crate and put her in her carrying case; These are actually designed for airline travel but work for the vet, especially if they don’t want to go.
Back to the reason people are out in swarms, and quite angry too. I just hope this energy gets channeled into something useful.
For those who have philosophical or religious reasons against voting, and I am not referring to you lazy shits even if the powers that be did set out roadblocks purposefully.
Your roadmap to political involvement, the sane kind hopefully, not an equally hysterical and blindly unthinking response, is a process known in Judaism as Pikuah Nefesh (to save a life.) Okay, I know you may not be Jewish, but hear me out, okay?
According to the teaching of Pikuah Nefesh, and there are people who can explain this to you far better, Pikuah Nefesh enables a person to violate any law, tradition or prohibition both civil and religious for the purpose of saving a life, with the exception of adultery, blasphemy, and murder. A life is precious and one may ( I know this sounds awful) lie, cheat, steal, violate existing chains of command, social structure, familiar loyalties and religious prohibitions and sensibilities of all types, except the aforementioned. If you are an atheist/agnostic but some ingrained morals or cultural ways are binding you, maybe think on this.
Seriously, 5 trips to ER since Jan and I don’t need to be concerned about the latest diarrhea coming out of his mouth. At least mine comes out the preferred end. So, I will leave the future of the free world, our nation, our environment and all the anxiety, speculation and attention all in much more capable hands, yours.
(Think please, about how toddlers know how to pull out all the stops to get attention when they are being denied such.) I recall hearing that hubby had taken my older son, then 2 to a local independent coffee shop called La Costa Coffee Roasting, that roasted its own coffee and the smell was heavenly, not even mentioning the coffee. This coffee shop was filled with all sorts of cute ceramic nic nacks – I think you know where this is going.
As he was prone to do, dad got into a long and interesting conversation with another patron, or was it an employee? I don’t recall, but one thing he was doing was ignoring a 2-year-old who said he was tired and bored and wanted to go home. So, what would any upset, angry and frustrated, likely nap-deprived toddler do to get dad’s elsewhere attention? He grabbed the nearest item, a cute little ceramic spoon, and flung it onto the floor. A piece of said cute little spoon broke off, bounced up and hit a customer in the cheek, giving him a slight cut and fortunately missing his eye.
The customer was immediately attended to by the manager with a first aid kit and sent home with a couple comped pounds of his favorite coffee (I hope he picked the Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee @$35 per pound, and yes I know there is top flight stuff that is more than $300 per pound but even though this was an upscale place, it wasn’t THAT upscale. The spoon retailed at $18 and the staff informed dad that they would charge him their wholesale price $9.00 for damages, so he got off cheap. Does any of this seem familiar, I mean, outside of the limited injury, responsibility for damages and quick and easy resolution? Now, the kind staff did not say that my toddler was persona non grata at their business until he graduated college, but I think that message got across.
So, I have some suggestions on how to navigate this present darkness, but it may be unique to me and not work for you. I recently took an excellent online course via YIVO, on the history of Ashkenazi Jews, mostly concerning their lives over centuries in Poland. My family came from Russia, Poland, and Romania, and they didn’t even want to talk about the old country, except perhaps in Yiddish profanities because they wanted to put these things behind them and embrace their new life.
Despite all the insecurity over whether one was going to be alive and successful today or downtrodden or dead tomorrow, via changes in political or religious leadership and attitudes, these people led full, effective lives leaving behind much in the way of art, literature, science and other fine arts, despite what was lost to us, including the cut off generations.
I have Jewish relatives from Iran, although most emigrated due to the Revolutionary Regime, they had thriving, full and successfully happy lives despite living under corrupt dictatorships with much instability.
So, my suggestion, and think of it like a diet, is to limit your exposure to news, and especially the latest fearmongering on social media and otherwise, and limit yourself in regard to discussions of such. You may feel this is therapeutic and helpful, and while I can’t say what might help another person, if you are already having symptoms that are affecting your family, work, and life, you may need to go cold turkey, at least for a while, and cut yourself off. This is especially true of fake or highly biased news sources, even if they are the ones you agree with. A good site for media vetting is, “The Smell Test of Media,” and you can look it up yourself.
To replace these behaviors that are, for most not so well vaccinated and protected, such as professionals in the field, I suggest filling your time with studying something that is meaningful as part of your own religious or philosophical tradition, but if this includes conspiracy theories or the aforementioned fear mongering and use of fake and highly biased media; drop it for your own well-being and avoid contexts in which these things are promoted, especially without allowing counter-information for enlightenment and little things like free speech and free flow of information which can only enlighten us all by shedding light on darkness, things hidden due to taboo or social scorn and shunning for non-conformists.
I suggest reading classic literature in your own area of interest, and listening to audios is something I have discovered works when I am tired. Take advantage of hundreds of excellent free online courses via Coursera, edX, and others. Pursue your favorite hobbies, as Joseph Campbell famously said, “Follow Your Bliss,” that is unless your bliss is something dysfunctional and anything that produces fearmongering. Seek out those things which you find nurturing and comforting within your own religious and philosophical traditions, but if these things are driving you into a dark place, jettison them for your own well-being, and that of those around you.
As you fill your mind with good things, even in the midst of what is apparently bad news, but much may be hype and not as bad as it sounds. Think: If he really had to power to do all these nasty things, like certain banana republics and third-world dictators, he would have done it already and quietly rather than be crowing about it. Don’t you think?
The way I roll is that quality information helps me to manage my anxiety, and when my younger son was diagnosed with autism, I immediately sought out every book, website, parent and professional to fill my knowledge base, with most of it good and some of it not so good.
If this is your bent, I highly recommend the books and lectures of Jonathan Haidt, Yuval Hariri, and I love that line of Dan Ariely, “What is the best lie? It is the one you already want to believe.”
Some oldies but goodies are, “Escape From Freedom,” by Erich Fromm, and, “The Paranoid Style in American Politics,” by Richard Hofstadter, “The Fundamentalist Mind,” by Stephen Larson, which has been highly recommended although I haven’t read it, I have seen some excellent excerpts, the most notable comment that a mass movement doesn’t require a God/god, but it does require a devil, in other words, it needs an enemy, a boogieman to elicit fear and hatred as well as a need for a powerful leader (the alpha male syndrome) who will provide protection, make everyone obey, (authoritarianism) and provide a place where those deemed of lower status in society with no way out, a road to raise their self-esteem, as they are now part of something big and powerful, and take on that status.
I discovered an intriguing book in my son’s room, which leads me to surmise this was required reading. The book is titled, “All Things Shining: Reading the Western Classics to Find Meaning in a Secular Age, by Hubert Dreyfus & Sean Dorrance Kelly. The book has a glowing blurb by David Brooks of the NYT, “A smart, sweeping run through the history of Western philosophy. Important for the controversial advice it offers on how to live.” I just love controversial, don’t you?
This may move to the top spot on my very full reading, Audible and YouTube lists.