Thursday, March 26, 2015

Out of the mists, a bit of snark

In 1977 Jungian analyst Ruth Tiffany Barnhouse published --through the Episcopal Church!-- a volume entitled Homosexuality: A Symbolic Confusion. She later went on to get herself ordained as an Episcopal priest, cross-dressing in garments that had hitherto in all of history been worn only and entirely by males in an all-male profession.

Talk about symbolic confusion.



I recently posted this comment at GayPatriot.

Am I alone in being largely convinced that, to paraphrase Clausewitz, American politics is now simply war carried on by other means?
As the Left/Liberal/Progressive world reveals its true self more and more, and as its power become more solidified, –demographics alone will cement that–am I alone in thinking that any kind of conversation, dialogue, debate or argument is a waste of time?
That what we knew as America is swiftly on its way to oblivion and that the two sides (speaking broadly) are just as hostile as, if not more than, the North and South before the first Civil War?
It’s basically about wealth, power and status –as always– but here in what is IMHO dying America, the driver is race, followed by gender (with the LGBTQXYZ thing a subsidiary): the straight White male as the embodiment of all evil.
Environmentalism, transnationalism, secularism, pacifism complete the new religion, which will never slow down, retreat or compromise. Either one side dies, or the other.

Am I missing something that would allow for a more optimistic assessment of outcomes?
I waited two days. No one responded.

So I guess I am alone there!

I do not like the way that I currently see things. Whatever unconscious or characterologically fixed needs in me it responds to, it does not make me happy or comfortable. I am genuinely interested in hearing arguments that might lead me to say, "Well, I guess I over-reacted and things may in fact turn out tolerably well."


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The One and the Many

As along as I can remember, I have had very different attitudes to individuals and to groups. This is true form me even about the non-human world. I dislike yappy little dog breeds. But I am quite fond of my brother's Pug and liked my mom's Brussels Griffon. Put a singular organism in front of me and a different set of radar and antennae shift into play.

In the last year --and it is not unusual in this respect-- my practice at work has included men of quite varied types: from their 20's to their 70's, Amurrican and European and Australian, gay and straight, married and single, childless and fathering, immigrants and natives, White, Black, Asian, Hispanic, Muslim, atheist, Catholic and Christian Scientist.

Some of these fellas belong to groups that, as groups, ExC has a distinctly dim view of. (If one were of a critical frame of  mind, and slightly unkind, one might be moved to ask about which groups ExC does not have a distinctly dim view. Point taken.)  But that factor, while undenied by me and, when therapeutically helpful, directly addressed by me, does not at all overshadow for me their individual contours, their one-guy among many here-and-now-ness.

It's extremely rare, btw, for any of them to make an offhand or even pointed comment about politics, race, gender, etc. which strays from the SF Liberal playbook. My general attitude toward these comments, of whatever type, is to ignore them unless they connect directly to the issue at hand that we are dealing therapeutically with.

Given my general character, it is wonderfully astonishing how very few of my clients I have not been able to like and how extremely infrequently I find them boring.

I suspect that if they knew of some of my opinions about the groups of which they are a part, it would be a problem for them. Understood. But that's the nature of therapy, not to know that much about the therapist so that you can create an image of your soul's healer to your needs.

I have noted before that when people make the lazy morally superior nyah-nyah point about, "But, some of my best friends are _______," they are utterly wrong. Nothing is more ordinary than for human beings to make warm bonds with people from groups that, as groups, they disdain. The classic example? Marriage. How many spouses love their partners but really and truly could do without the family from which they come? In-law jokes are as basic as air.

I never noticed my Black ex suddenly getting all warm and fuzzy about EuroCaucasians in general because he liked me. And no one would expect him to. So why should I be obliged to think well of or get all weepy about Africans in America because I like him?

A huge part of therapy is being willing and able to inhabit the other person's world and point of view and keep your own, in the service of the soul. If we only worked with people who mirrored our preferences and experiences, how useful would that echo chamber be?

But today I am very aware of the shift that happens  in me when I talk and think about groups and about strangers I may encounter who belong to those groups, and when I am face-to-face with another man in whose face or name or voice or story I recognize the presence of other worlds, even worlds apart.


Nice, uh, stache

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A Post-Catholic thought

Despite my admiration for what Catholicism once was --its present state a cause for face-palming--, its effect on me has not been one-sidedly positive.

From my current POV, and I emphasize the particularity of this moment in time and in my life, one of the harms it did was to present me with an impossible vision of how the world ought to be. Even including my characterological biases and needs, it very much got in the way of me dealing with the world as it actually is. Including myself.

I dimly recall an article by a Catholic psychologist about the perils of constantly living with the presence of what he called The Twice-Born. These are the perfect and perfected beings that dominate the Catholic imagination: Jesus and Mary and the saints. I usually speak of it as the infection of perfection, being innoculated with a drive toward a humanly impossible goal. It drove Martin Luther to invent Protestantism.

This great imbalance is the case with all monastic religions, the dharmas of India and Buddhism as well as Christianity. And it can even find a sort of home in householder revelations like Judaism, Islam, Sikhism. Perhaps it is the price of conceiving The Absolute. Pagan religions have their own drawbacks, to be sure. Imperfect gods lead to a different kind of impasse. But growing up with the propaganda of the perfect eventually became a problem in itself. I freely admit that the vehemence of my reaction to moralisms of all kinds has its root there.

My appreciation of Jung and the Gnostics is certainly connected because in them, themselves both wounded and irrevocably shaped by Christianity, I heard a voice that recognized the human condition on planet Earth as an inherently conflictual dilemma. Not of our own devising. And incapable of being other than it is. As dark as that sounds, to me it was a great relief.

It told me that I was not, and we as a species are not, as guilty as I had been led to believe. And that God was not so innocent.



Video: Unborn baby shown grimacing in womb as mother smokes - Telegraph:

We live in a culture that condemns a woman for smoking while pregnant, but considers it a sacrosanct right for her to kill the child, for any reason at all. And usually at public expense.

'via Blog this'

A la recherche du temps perdu

An oddly jerky little 2014 movie called The Historian details the unravelling of various academic lives in the claustrophobic history department on a small heartland campus.

I spent a lot of time in academia. I loved learning. Still do. The professorial culture, however, not so much.

The film contrasts the petty lives of the people whose job it is to serve great notions. Eros, of course, dismantles everything. Here, with the upbeat ending, it also brings wisdom and even post-traumatic thriving.

Pettiness is the dominant atmosphere in this part of the world. As the saying goes, the reason professorial politics is so vicious is that there's so little at stake.

From my current vantage point and interests, it strikes me that academic males have a manhood issue.

I remember a very self-important professor who asked me to accompany him to an orchestral concert one evening. It surprised me, since I was not a favorite of his. On arrival at the hall, he proceeded to ignore me entirely. Entirely. All evening. And on our next encounter, made no reference whatever to the event.

On a couple of other occasions, the famously temperamental tyranny of college teachers came my way. It is certainly no new insight to notice that high intelligence does not drive out assholery. In either males or females.

Daniel Donovan. Gregory Baum. Joanne McWilliam Dewart.

And you have no idea at all who they are.

Which is how it ought to be.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

No Escape

Watching the season finale of HBO's Looking, my excuse to watch Russell Tovey.

His new boyfriend, the wishy-washy Patrick, goes with him to a young hipster party in their new apartment building. Patrick is shocked that it's an all White group. Russell doesn't even notice. And when it's pointed out, replies, "Oh."  Later on, while the new couple is fighting, wishy-washy Patrick refers to the people at the party as "the KKK." Just because they lacked the necessary redemptive presence of peeps of hue.

Made me sick to my stomach. Literally. No, not metaphorically literally, but actually. It's a shame I have come to see this pattern. Once you notice White ethno-masochism, you see it all over the place.

But if Russell came back in Season 3, if there is a Season 3, I'd get over it. I'm shallow that way.


Not underdone

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Inevitable conflict

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu recently outraged the tender-hearted, both Jew and goy, by encouraging his partisans to make sure to vote because the Arabs in Israel were aiming to rush to the ballot box and this would threaten "rightist" government in the Jewish state.


Well, Israel is, supposedly, a consciously-constructed ethno-state, a political entity designed specifically for Jews. And no one else, really.

Trapped by the Enlightenment/Liberal paradigm of modern Jewry, it has to speak the language of "democracy" and to make believe that the Arabs who remain in its borders are fellow-citizens.

Maybe on paper, but who's kidding who?

So BN spoke the truth and now the embarrassed spokespersonettes of supposedly "trans-national" Jewish orgs are having the vapors, pretending to really care about the potentially lethal Fifth Column in the heart of Eretz Israel.

Of course, given the relentless promotion of multiculturalism by the same Jewish orgs throughout the West, they kinda have to speak up to keep face. Otherwise the double-standard that rightish goyim have noted might become more obvious: celebrating Third World invasion in the White West, but expulsion for those same BlackBrownies who dare cross into the land of the Jews...

Bibi had a choice though, which eventually confronts every racially mixed democracy. Maybe you finally have to stop lying about who "we" are and tell the truth.

For that, whatever you think of Israel or Netanyahu, you gotta give the Bib credit.

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