Category Archives: Psychology

Total Eclipse, by James Howard Kunstler

The moon of lunacy passes in front of the sunlight of reason and truth, producing a total eclipse of sanity. From James Howard Kunstler at kunstler.com:

First they came for the statues….

What do you know, long about Wednesday, August 16, 2017, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Cal) discovered that the United States Capitol building was infested with statues of Confederate dignitaries. Thirty years walking those marbled halls and she just noticed? Her startled announcement perked up Senator Cory Booker (D- NJ) who has been navigating those same halls only a few years. He quickly introduced a bill to blackball the offending statues. And, of course, the congressional black caucus also enjoyed a mass epiphany on the bronze and stone delegation of white devils.

I’d like to hear to hear an argument as to why the Washington Monument should remain dedicated to that vicious slave-driver and rebellious soldier, and indeed the name of the city that is the federal seat of government. Or the District of Columbia (after Columbus, who initiated the genocide of Native Americans). Or America, cribbed out of Amerigo Vespucci, the wicked Florentine cartographer who ascertained that the place called Brazil today was not the east coast of Asia but actually a New World — and so all our troubles began!

Well, there has been a lot of idle chatter the past half-century about the root causes of this-and-that, and it seems that we have located one at last. I expect that scientific studies out of our best universities will soon confirm that occult transmissions from the statue of Jefferson Davis (a double-devil named after an earlier devil) are responsible for the murder rate in Chicago.

Just as empires tend to build their most grandiose monuments prior to collapse, our tottering empire is concocting the most monumentally ludicrous delusions before it slides down the laundry chute of history. It’s as if the Marx Brothers colluded with Alfred Hitchcock to dream up a melodramatic climax to the American Century that would be the most ridiculous and embarrassing to our posterity.

To continue reading: Total Eclipse

 

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How To Know You’re In a Mass Hysteria Bubble, by Scott Adams

Sometimes Scott Adams hits the ball over two adjoining fairways and into a parking lot, and sometimes he stripes it 300 yards down the middle. This article is a great shot. From Adams on a guest post at theburningplatform.com:

History is full of examples of Mass Hysterias. They happen fairly often. The cool thing about mass hysterias is that you don’t know when you are in one. But sometimes the people who are not experiencing the mass hysteria can recognize when others are experiencing one, if they know what to look for.

I’ll teach you what to look for.

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A mass hysteria happens when the public gets a wrong idea about something that has strong emotional content and it triggers cognitive dissonance that is often supported by confirmation bias. In other words, people spontaneously hallucinate a whole new (and usually crazy-sounding) reality and believe they see plenty of evidence for it. The Salem Witch Trials are the best-known example of mass hysteria. The McMartin Pre-School case and the Tulip Bulb hysteria are others. The dotcom bubble probably qualifies. We might soon learn that the Russian Collusion story was mass hysteria in hindsight. The curious lack of solid evidence for Russian collusion is a red flag. But we’ll see how that plays out.

The most visible Mass Hysteria of the moment involves the idea that the United States intentionally elected a racist President. If that statement just triggered you, it might mean you are in the Mass Hysteria bubble. The cool part is that you can’t fact-check my claim you are hallucinating if you are actually hallucinating. But you can read my description of the signs of mass hysteria and see if you check off the boxes.

To continue reading: How To Know You’re In a Mass Hysteria Bubble

Cliché Series # 2: Racing Against the Sun, by Doug “Uncola” Lynn

Doug “Uncola” Lynn examines another cliché at the burningplatform.com:

We all get busy.  So much to do, so little time.  I don’t know about you, but I can’t stand around talking all day; I have a lot to get done and I’m losing daylight.  Career commitments, family obligations, cooking, cleaning, shopping, mowing lawn, gardening, appointments, meetings, volunteering, reading, studying, writing, or working out; the clock is always ticking; the deadlines constantly looming.

Therefore, we must:  Make hay while the sun shines.

But what does this mean exactly?  It means nightfall is coming; the darkness lurking.  But why the hurry?  What’s the rush? After all, haste makes waste and all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  Right?  Personally, I been waiting for the end of the world since 2013, yet somehow, it’s always the same, year after year.  I’m starting to get impatient.  In fact, if the bombs don’t fall soon, I’m going to get my gun and start shooting people.  Just KIDDING.

But seriously, since the election of Donald Trump, most all of the reported economic indicators are up: GDPEmployment, Consumer Confidence; and what about those stock markets, huh?  Wow!  They defy gravity, with the S & P 500, Nasdaq, and Dow Industrials all reaching record highs last month.  Of course, not one for modesty, the Donald is all too willing to take the credit.  On July 31, 2017 he tweeted:

Highest Stock Market EVER, best economic numbers in years, unemployment lowest in 17 years, wages raising, border secure, S.C.: No WH chaos!

To continue reading: Cliché Series # 2: Racing Against the Sun

He Said That? 7/31/17

From Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915), American writer, publisher, artist, and philosopher, Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great Vol. 3: American Statesmen (1895-1910):

To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.

He Said That? 7/30/17

From Frank Herbert (1920–1986), American science fiction writer, Chapterhouse: Dune (1985):

Power attracts the corruptible. Suspect any who seek it

Killing Them is Killing Us, by Robert Gore

The murdered cannot forgive. Their blood won’t be washed.

There is something eerily fascinating about cold-blooded murderers—a staple of Hollywood thrillers and crime dramas—killing without emotion or remorse. Ordinary humans, afflicted with guilt for minor, not even criminal transgressions, can’t conceive of pulling the trigger and then sitting down for dinner. In real life, the number of people who can is glancingly small. Even for those few, actions have consequences. The blood never washes away.

“Live and let live,” is, in American mythology, a benevolent and almost uniquely American attitude. We destroyed Japan and Germany in World War II and then helped rebuild them. Live and let live goes down well with the living, the winners. However, it’s often nothing more than balm for an uneasy conscience, hand sanitizer for bloodstained hands. A century and a half later, many Southerners lack this “unique” American attitude towards their conquerers in the War of Northern Aggression.

The war on terror has laid waste to large swaths of the Middle East and Northern Africa. Cities, towns, and villages have been reduced to smoking, bombed-out rubble, chaos reigns, the carnage is ubiquitous. The US military keeps count of its own personnel wounded and killed, a number in the thousands. Civilian casualties —or collateral damage as the military calls it—across Chaostan (Richard Maybury’s apt coinage) are in the millions, as are the number of people displaced (an estimated 11 million in Syria alone). Imagine the American fury and media sensationalism if a small US town was carpet-bombed by a foreign power. YouTube’s servers would melt from the overflow of viewers watching videos of parents pulling their dead children from collapsed homes.

The war on terror’s refugee flows threaten to upend civic order and submerge the cultures of the countries receiving them. It’s a vicious act of intellectual corruption to maintain that the war on terror does not create terrorists, that those killed, wounded, or displaced have no friends or family who will exact what they consider justified vengeance. The terrorism we see now is lava trickling from a volcano of hatred that has boiled, bubbled, and occasionally erupted for centuries, and will continue to do so. There will be no live and let live. Blood will have blood, not banalities.

Macbeth was a dramatic psychological study of two murderers. They screwed their courage to the sticking place, but they couldn’t turn themselves into killers without conscience. In Mafioso parlance, “button men” are hit men. Figuratively they “push a button,” literally they murder. With the US government, the figurative and literal have merged. Someone pushes a button on a drone, missile, or bomb control and murder is done in furtherance of never-ending American war. It’s as disassociated, remote, and cold-blooded as murder gets. Nevertheless, neither the murderers nor the public from which they try to hide reality will have any more success eluding the psychological turmoil and toll than the Thane of Cawdor and his lady.

During the entirety of President Obama’s terms and most of President Bush’s, the US has been fighting one or more wars. Odds are there will be no peace during Trump’s tenure either. What does it do to a government, and the people in it, when collateral damage, a bloodless term that now applies to millions of bloody deaths, wounds, and lives upended, prompts no remorse or reappraisal, and only occasionally half-hearted apologies to meet the exigencies of diplomacy and public relations?

How does evil become banal? Practice, practice, practice. Killing becomes the routine, what the government does. Like many bloodthirsty, tyrannical regimes the US government has warmed up on foreigners. However, the functionaries and politicians who now push the Kill the Enemy button also push the Domestic Surveillance button. They will not hesitate to push the Enemies of the State, Mass Detention, Concentration Camp, and Execution buttons when the time is right. Rotten government, like rotten fruit, gets more rotten, until it’s finally tossed in the trash.

Try as it might, the government cannot entirely shield its constituents from the knowledge and consequences of its murderous ways. Having learned its lesson in Vietnam, it can keep its media puppies docilely distant from much of the killing, but the Internet has proven not entirely controllable. And although most people don’t make the connection, institutionalized murder is responsible for an appreciable part of the government’s $20 trillion debt and $200 trillion in unfunded promises, as well as its cronyism and corruption, loads under which the economy now strains and will finally collapse.

Any American who travels abroad is liable to run into a forthright foreigner who will tell them that the US government is the most hated institution on the planet. That sentiment is increasingly directed at the US population at large, who’ve tolerated these homicidal megalomaniacs for so long. Aside from its fellow travelers in other governments, multilateral fronts for world government, useless NGOs, universities, corporations, and the media, the world’s peoples would little mourn the overthrow of the US government by an enraged citizenry.

But that’s not going to happen anytime soon.

Executioners have a short ‘life’. They get tired of the work. The soul sickens of it. After ten, twenty, a hundred death-rattles, the human being, however sub-human he may be, acquires, perhaps by a process of osmosis with death itself, a germ of death which enters his body and eats into him like a canker. Melancholy and drink take him, and a dreadful lassitude which brings a glaze to the eyes and slows up the movements and destroys accuracy. When the employer sees these signs he has no alternative but to execute the executioner and find another one.

From Russia With Love, Ian Fleming

Killing them is killing us. Does any phrase more aptly characterize the US population than “dreadful lassitude”? The US government murders in their name. They accept its rationalizations, bread, and circuses, avert their eyes, and sink into technological and pharmacological oblivion. Despite these dubious efforts the knowledge seeps in, drop by drop, like rainwater under leaky sills during a hard storm. The government has its buttons for those few who protest and resist, but even the most oppressive regimes can’t seal off their people entirely.

Red, white, and blue are no more; it’s bureaucratic gray and charnel-rubble carmine. Americans grow “tired of the work” and soul sickness spreads. Birnam Wood advances and the empire crumbles. A somnambulant Lady can’t wash away the blood; her Thane can’t sleep.

America cannot wash its hands…or know an innocent’s slumber.

A CLASSIC FROM THE DAY IT WAS SELF-PUBLISHED

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He Said That? 7/13/17

From James Baldwin (1924-1987), American novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic, The Fire Next Time (1963):

I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.