Or as Mark Twain put it, “History doesn’t repeat, but it does rhyme.”
A short article about the increase in suicides in America, most significantly in older, middle class males.
There’s a lot of speculation about why, but to me it ties into this article. People lose their beliefs, their delusions about how the world works. What remains is terrifying and death becomes less terrifying than life.
That’s what happened to me. When a ‘conservative government’ here in Ontario decided to cut welfare 23% I became homeless. My depression was very severe at the time and it seemed to me that I was going to die. All that was left was how. It could be one of the many ways that a homeless person could die in February in a Canadian winter or quick, painless and warm.
I managed to survive. I often wonder how many people like me did not.
I was depressed not just because of my biochemistry but because I had lost my illusions. I was one of those who believed that intelligence, hard work and ethics would allow me to succeed. My experience was that propriety is far, far more important than those traits. Unfortunately I can no more be ‘proper’ than a fish can be a bird.
I believe that I am one of the early victims of the sea change going on here in the West. We are, for the most part, 19th Century nations. The source of our wealth, power and identity was based on manufacturing. Unfortunately due to 21st Century technology that is changing. Just as with the Industrial Revolution we’re allowing the change to just happen without consideration of the effects on our society. So the changes occur and many of us get left out. It doesn’t help that our political systems are suffering from the same sclerosis that affected the political systems at the start of the Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution. The people in those systems are now, for a large part, so disconnected from the systems they are responsible for that they couldn’t deal with these problems even if they were really aware of them.
To my eyes the rise of radical politics such as the Tea Party and the rise in suicide come from the same source; being adrift in a world we no longer understand and no longer appears to need us in any way, shape or form.
Our society needs to find a way to meet these changes and a way to stop excluding people from it.
Whew! Man, that went on longer than I expected. But these are thoughts I’ve had for a long time. They’ve been begging to get out.
Just so you know, I have found a new thing to believe in, but I don’t believe it is a delusion. Simply, we must be kind to one another.
This is why I hang here, why I post. Why I talk about war, poverty, radical politics, racism, crime. All these things are unkind and/or the result of unkindness. In a small way I can fight against those things here at Little Green Footballs.
It is one of those photos that stares straight at the horror of war. It’s hideous, stomach turning…and something that should be widely disseminated. No matter how necessary it might be war is, in the words of Georges Clemencau, a series of catastrophes followed by victory.
But it was counter to the idea that modern politics and the modern military tries to push these days, and that the modern media has no problems supporting; the idea that thanks to technology war is clean. This photo put the lie to that.
So, no media outlet in the States would use it. Showing the horror of war is now something ‘not done’.
And so we lurch into more wars since we can’t comprehend what we’re really doing.
The ones about people saying “Just grow some spine,” and similar ignorant bullshit really spoke to me.
Interesting. I came on to LGF and of course the first thing I saw was the article on Twitchy.
Which immediately made me think of the article my news aggregator discovered this morning, One on a psychological study on the differences between people and the groups they identify with relating to their reaction to assorted stimuli.
Specifically ‘conservatives’ react far more strongly to ‘negative stimuli’. Fear mostly. They often create fear when there is none immediately to hand.
Also interesting was a little bit near the end of the article. It turns out that a point I’ve often said here and elsewhere, that the poor are regarded as sinners, has been demonstrated to exist in another study.
Two things stand out about how conservatives talk about economy, Osorio said, based on several years of intensive observation and analysis. First is the “the tendency to compare it to something natural — a body or the weather or moving liquid,” she said. “But the other idea undergirding their worldview, and thus shaping perceptions of poverty, riches, inequality and desirable economic policy, is the idea that the economy exists for a specific purpose: to reward the good and punish the bad. It’s a moral arbiter; simply having great riches indicates you deserve them because the economy loves you the best. Thus, it follows that poor people deserve to be poor and we can know this because they’re poor.”
There are two things I will disagree with though.
This excessive reaction to negative stimuli is not limited to ‘conservatives’. The jacobins and the Bolsheviks were definitely not ‘conservative’ so it seems to me that a political ideology is chosen to deal with the fear caused by this phenomena.
I believe they’ll also have to consider the fact that, as I’ve pointed out before, that fear, anger and hate makes a person high.
Still, a fascinating article.
The Canada Revenue Agency (Canada’s equivalent of the IRS) has told OXFAM Canada that it cannot list ‘preventing poverty’ as a goal, only ‘alleviating’ it. The reason is “Relieving poverty is charitable, but preventing it is not.”
This is just one of many instances of Our Dear Leader using the CRA to punish critics for criticizing. OXFAM Canada opposes Israeli settlements on the West Bank.
Yet another example of so called conservatives showing their revolutionary goals.
Yuval Diskin, former Director of Shabak (Shin Bet) was interviewed by Spigel about the current situation in Gaza.
He’s not hopeful.
An interesting article on a study you haven’t heard of. What it revealed about our culture and our perceptions of it.
It started in an obesity clinic. At least half the people were dropping out and the doctor in charge of it was astounded when he discovered, by mistake, what the cause was.
It lead eventually to a wide ranging study that discovered that cause was responsible for a lot more than just dropping out of obesity clinics.
It’s a fascinating and disturbing read. I could see much of myself in the data presented.
The Hobby Lobby decision by SCOTUS may end up biting corporations in the ass.
Corporations were created to separate the people owning the company from the negative results of their decisions. “Corporation: n - An Ingenious device to obtain individual profit while avoiding individual responsibility,” as Ambrose Bierce noted.
Thanks to the Hobby Lobby decision that separation is now gone.
These people never seem to think things through, do they?