Thursday, July 31, 2008

At Random

I had lunch with a psychoanalyst recently, a middle aged straight male. When he talked about Obama's smile he looked like he was in love. Here I am, the homo, utterly unmoved by Barry Hussein O's faux-preacher oratory* and this guy, who has a visible appreciation for the opposite sex, is smitten. What's wrong with this picture?

*Eg: "People of Berlin. People of the World. This is our moment. This is our time."
WTF??? See BHO's earlier profundity on choosing Supreme Court judges.

As Jonah Goldberg nicely pointed out, for conservatives, politics is not a redemptive activity. And if a politician starts selling himself, or allows himself to be sold, as a redeemer, watch out.

Speaking, sorta, of smitten. When one is smitten with a man, for example, and that man is temporarily unavailable, a funny thing happens. One's libido remains very active and one notices that there are many other attractive men in the world. But one's visceral response to a present man's beauty leads instead almost immediately to desire for the absent man with whom one is smitten.

A white friend of mine's character and values have been fixed for life largely by events in his past, including a burning sense of shame and anger over the mistreatment of non-whites by whites. As with some other whites I have run into, this has translated into a kind of self-hatred, or at least a hatred of one's own race. I plan to ask him this question one day: Please give me an example of any racial or ethnic group which has both repented of oppressing another racial or ethnic group and then significantly alterted its institutions and public and private life in order to redress the wrong, all within a single lifetime.

Excellent segment of an excellent article: "Unlike the English Whigs and the American Founders, the modern liberal regards suffering not as an unavoidable element of life but as an aberration to be corrected by up-to-date political, economic, and hygienic arrangements. Rather than acknowledge the limitations of our condition, the liberal continually contrives panaceas that will enable us to transcend it." This very nicely points out the fundamental difference in attitude that characterizes the left and the right. The left is prone to utopian outrage that the world is not better than it is; the right is often amazed that it is not much worse, and tries to protect what our limited powers allow us. The full article is on Obama as a post-masculine shaman, by Michael Knox Beran.

I am going through some transitions lately, especially in the two basic realms that Siggy Freud told us were the pillars of happiness: love and work. Sometimes the shifting is wonderful and sometimes full of anxiety. But underneath it I am aware of what a lucky SOB I am: to have been born where and when and to whom and with whom I was, to have my health and friends and meaning. Underneath it all is wonder and gratitude.

Part of my pleasure is in connecting with other men who are familiar with wrinkles, joint problems and grey hair and who remain alive and sensible of the wonder of being. These are men, not boys, and their unpompous but real maturity lends a seasoned intensity to their pleasure in life. It might be for a dog, the beauty of a waitress, wine in a box, the performance of a Baroque opera, or just knowing that someone will both like you and laugh at you. It's a surprise. And a gift.

One of the gifts of Gnosticism to this genetically Catholic man, as well as one of the gifts of Jung, was to let me see that having a shadow and living in a morally compromised situation is not an optional choice, but an inescapeable condition. One is not responsible for the condition, only for how one responds to it within its limits. This, for me, was deeply relieving. It has allowed me to live as a human and to leave to other worlds the aspirations of angels.

Islam has been "tolerant" of other (montheistic) faiths in much the same way as Southern Whites were "tolerant" of Blacks under Jim Crow. Accept and embrace publically your inferior status and we will not kill you as often as we otherwise might.

My computer is having a nervous breakdown. Time for a new laptop.

I describe my politics as just slightly this side of Ghenghis Khan. I have been educated by a revisionist history of GK in which he becomes the Hero of the Modern World, thanks to the efforts of a white American anthropology professor who loses no opportunity to trash both the West and especially Christianity in his recreation of GK as Great Man. Who knew? How do I find a Mongolian to go and apologize to? And when, I wonder, will the Mongolians apologize and send reparations to all the other nations they absorbed into their imperialist project?

Strong coffee in the morning, my own blend of French Roast and Espresso. Mmmmmm.

And I wanna go to the gym and work out. The pleasure I take in what my body can do has become one of the sources of my mental health. Wish I had learned this when I was a kid.

Enuff for now. Further brilliance eludes me.


Anonymous said...

Google brings me to your talkings.
Very interesting and not random but connection.

OreamnosAmericanus said...

Thanks, Young Seuk.
For that kind comment you deserve a nice bowl of bibimbap and a hot cup of Spike's coffee.

Anonymous said...

Recent posts a delight and inspiration, just what the doctor ordered.

"The left is prone to utopian outrage that the world is not better than it is; the right is often amazed that it is not much worse, and tries to protect what our limited powers allow us."

I cannot recommend enough the works of Sir Karl Popper. No other author has undercut my previous beliefs so deeply and in so many areas of thought and action. If you read one essay, read the first one in "Conjectures and Refutations." If one book, that book. If two books, that one and volume two of "The Open Society and its Enemies." If three, that one and both volumes. He did have some claims I'm not in agreement with, but these books... a 2x4 upside my epistemology. What I have quoted above is in agreement with Popper. Popper isn't a hot name these days, only a blindingly influential one.

- Trevor Blake

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