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Recent comments at Salon.com

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2014 7:02 PM
@KaizerSozhe but I also know how to take care of business in ways that a lot of guys my age (I'm 36) flat-out don't.
You're establishing yourself as an alpha. And after you've done that, you can be a guy who's comfortable talking about his emotions; crying in front of his girlfriends. You admit this is all pretty safely macho. 
About the puncher's chance ... are you sure she wouldn't just prefer that you both come out of it safely -- something that might actually be at risk if at that moment you're thinking of the desired finish: he, storm; you, port that breasted him. 
The killer look in your eyes ... Hitler had those. He admitted himself that they were his mothers. The origins of male power to brag of, may owe to a maternal source. 

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2014 6:46 PM
HappyJack Like it or not, we are animals first and humans in civilization second.
We are animals who are powerfully affected by our attachment to our parents -- remember Harlow's monkeys.
Most boys end up being more poorly attached to their mothers than girls are. They're looked at less, abandoned more, hit more. So as early as four years old they're already forming a defensive "toughness." It's not culture telling them to be like this, that is. Nor biology. And they're going to need to be like this ... owing to the particular nature of how they were attended (poorly) in their early childhoods. 
Change this, and we all end up seeing so disparate from "red in tooth and claw" that more experts will be questioned when they refer to the barbarism that is ostensibly an inevitable part of our DNA. The person who says that the civilized sense of man is most false, becomes the person who still needs to punish/humiliate the effete ... those who we want to contain our own vulnerable, defenceless selves. 
When he revers to the rape-prone alpha ape ... experiences a sense of re-assuring grandiosity, someone who stands above the other cowardly apes. And temporarily forgets the boy inside of him who knew plenty of shameful cowering to terrifying and overpowering parents, the boy who couldn't possibly be "resilient" but only frightened and weak. 

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2014 5:57 PM
I think vengeance is a hideous emotion, but it is one that does have a biological basis.
Let's think about this a little bit. Doesn't it feel like when someone says this that something as powerful as revenge is being located into a realm where it can be explored without evoking any emotional response? That the purpose of locating it within biology is so that it can be denatured, by people who aren't sure they have control of their own emotions?
If one where to say instead that vengeance has its origins in childhood abuse, you'll know that your own sometimes feeling for revenge have something to do with your particular childhood ... which is more rising. If one where to say that your adult desire for vengeance owes to your own mother (Sarah, Mary, Susan) and father (John, Greg, Bill) abusing you in your childhood, suddenly you're maybe remembering exactly what she or he did to you, the abandonments, the rejections, the dismissals, the physical attacks, and you're back experiencing the helplessness, the shame, part of your brain had directed you to do everything to not revisit again.  
I can imagine adult desire for revenge owing to be being abused as a child, but it comes rather harder to imagine as something with a biological basis, with, I guess, purpose. How about instead it has no purpose, and it's not inevitable to human beings. If you weren't shamed and attacked by your parents, if you're of the new generation that has parents where both partners are involved, where they're permissive, never spank or belittle, and instead support, help and encourage, no desire for vengeance will ever come out of you ... at all. You'll instantly see even in the regressives in your society, the lack of love, the child abuse that procured their hatred of pleasure and progress, and will staunch their influence but not try and squash and destroy them. Pretty cruel thing to do to people who've known being loved so deploringly little, after all. 
Mothers who come out of cultures where they are deemed polluted do not magically become loving mothers. They use their children -- maternal incest; they re-inflict the abuses they endured upon them. They slap, strike, whip and trash; they constantly shame and humiliate. And the ascetic results of this upbringing are children who cannot allow themselves to self-activate for it means they lose the approval of the parents in their heads. When there's been any unpermitted growth, they fuse with their terrifying parents, project their own "bad selves" into others, and righteously inflict all the childhood humiliations they suffered upon them. 


TUESDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2014 3:34 PM
Here's an account (by Lloyd DeMause) where the problem lies not with foreign policy but in the extremely abusive childrearing of the terrorists.
The ascetic results of such punitive upbringings are predictable. When these abused children grow up, they feel that every time they try to self-activate, every time they do something independently for themselves, they will lose the approval of the parents in their heads—mainly their mothers and grandmothers in the women's quarters. When their cities were flooded with oil money and Western popular culture in recent decades, fundamentalist men were first attracted to the new freedoms and pleasures, but soon retreated, feeling they would lose their mommy's approval and be "Bad Boys." Westerners came to represent their own "Bad Boy" self in projection, and had to be killed off, as they felt they themselves deserved, for such unforgivable sins as listening to music, flying kites and enjoying sex. As one fundamentalist put it, "America is Godless. Western influence here is not a good thing, our people can see CNN, MTV, kissing…" Another described his motives thusly: "We will destroy American cities piece by piece because your life style is so objectionable to us, your pornographic movies and TV." Many agree with the Iranian Ministry of Culture that all American television programs "are part of an extensive plot to wipe out our religious and sacred values," and for this reason feel they must kill Americans. Sayyid Qutb, the intellectual father of Islamic terrorism, describes how he turned against the West as he once watched a church dance while visiting America:
"Every young man took the hand of a young woman. And these were the young men and women who had just been singing their hymns! The room became a confusion of feet and legs: arms twisted around hips; lips met lips; chests pressed together."
Osama bin Laden himself "while in college frequented flashy nightclubs, casinos and bars [and] was a drinker and womanizer," but soon felt extreme guilt for his sins and began preaching killing Westerners for their freedoms and their sinful enticements of Muslims. Most of the Taliban leaders, in fact, are wealthy, like bin Laden, have had contact with the West, and were shocked into their terrorist violence by "the personal freedoms and affluence of the average citizen, by the promiscuity, and by the alcohol and drug use of Western youth …only an absolute and unconditional return to the fold of conservative Islamism could protect the Muslim world from the inherent dangers and sins of the West." Bin Laden left his life of pleasures, and has lived with his four wives and fifteen children in a small cave with no running water, waging a holy war against all those who enjoy sinful activities and freedoms that he cannot allow in himself.
From childhood, then, Islamist terrorists have been taught to kill the part of themselves—and, by projection, others—that is selfish and wants personal pleasures and freedoms. It is in the terror-filled homes—not just later in the terrorist training camps—that they first learn to be martyrs and to "die for Allah." When the terrorist suicidal bombers who were prevented from carrying out their acts were interviewed on TV, they said they felt "ecstatic" as they pushed the button. They denied being motivated by the virgins and other enticements supposedly awaiting them in Paradise. Instead, they said they wanted to die to join Allah—to get the love they never got. Mothers of martyrs are reported as happy that they die. One mother of a Palestinian suicide bomber who had blown himself to bits said "with a resolutely cheerful countenance,
"I was very happy when I heard. To be a martyr, that's something. Very few people can do it. I prayed to thank God. I know my son is close to me.”

Like serial killers—who are also sexually and physically abused as children—terrorists grow up filled with a rage that must be inflicted upon others. Many even preach violence against other Middle Eastern nations like Egypt and Saudi Arabia "for not being sufficiently fervent in the campaign against materialism and Western values." If prevention rather than revenge is our goal, rather than pursuing a lengthy military war against terrorists and killing many innocent people while increasing the number of future terrorists, it might be better for the U.S. to back a U.N.-sponsored Marshall Plan for them—one that could include Community Parenting Centers run by local people who could teach more humane childrearing practices—in order to give them the chance to evolve beyond the abusive family system that has produced the terrorism, just as we provided a Marshall Plan for Germans after WWII for the families that had produced Nazism.


MONDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2014 6:30 PM
sunone If you as a small, vulnerable child knew your caretakers as even sometimes terribly predatory, dangerous, you never shake this memory -- nor your sometimes being totally ruled by it. It's stored in your amygdala brain system, maybe most of the time out of the way, but as society progress continues and you start feeling out of control, you can lapse completely into it as you restage early childhood traumas. 
It's delusional, these actually most powerful of groups/nations suddenly believing they're terribly vulnerable, surrounded, and unless they take military action immediately, surely doomed; but for a long time in their early childhoods, they very much did know this threat. 

MONDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2014 6:12 PM
How on earth can any human being not notice that if you treat a child with love and respect, he or she turns out substantially differently than those whose immature parents denied them these things? 
For me, the difference in what happens to a person through how they are treated in the first three years is such that the ape in us is hardly something I refer to anymore. If we're loved, we're simply different-brained than those who were constantly abandoned and abused.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2014 7:29 PM
bobkat DanielGree Look into whatever might stall a woman from giving more love to her children than she herself received ... footbinding (using the foot as a maternal breast) stalled China for centuries. 

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2014 6:37 PM
Hoyt If we engage in some big war, neither side will see their own as a mother of bad things, but of all good. It'll be the other that's possessed of the foul-laden one we'll take pleasure in f**cking. 

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2014 6:33 PM
magistra Patrick McEvoy-Halston Because there's no evidence to suggest that abuse is any more common in Methodist, Episcopalian, Roman Catholic or other denominations than it is in the general population. Abuse and domestic violence are a HUMAN problem, and religion is used as a justification, but it is not its cause
The liberal New Yorker who works with his/her partner to nurture their children, spends lots of time with them, facilitates their own interests rather than coerces them to follow their own, will raise a child who will not be part of the human problem you describe. They're out. It is extremely unlikely they will be religious; if they're, say, Christian, they'll be one of those Christians you notice who's practice seems so far gone from the bible you can't help but feel it's one generation away from dying away entirely. They're essentially atheist, as the atheist Ian McEwan described his friend John Updike. 
Evidence I can't refer to right now, but loads and loads of it, from what I've seen and noticed as I go about my life, is responsible for my certainty in this. 

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2014 6:22 PM
Benthead How about ...
C): Athiests who are secretly sick of growth work with everyone else who is secretly or overtly sick of it too, to end our period of (more-or-less) ongoing peace and social advancement for war. 
Feeling out of control, we regress and sacrifice our adult world as we re-stage childhood traumas where "Bad selves" get executed -- lots and lots of children. So, too, dominating mothers: the evil opponents gets portrayed as a dangerous, infanticidal woman (a witch), and in fact contains all the split off characteristics of our Terrifying Mothers. We all feel grandiose and wonderful as we've fused back with our now "all good" mothers, are loyal to her, prepared to sacrifice our lives for her. Knights to lady Liberty! Warriors against corrupt modernism! ... Whatever.
The progressives who aren't at all sick of social advancement and don't feel the least bit of anomie (abandonment), find themselves out of the conversation. All the blind spots they've had towards peoples they've meant all good things for, are shown up again and again and again, and they come to look preposterous. They come to look as disassociated from realities as the well-meaning, aristocratic Robin Hood from "Time Bandits" was, with his fond thoughts for the the peasantry... "lovely people." 
This might seem unconventional but hopefully not irrational. This is the world stage as I know it. 

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2014 4:10 PM
In any conversation in which American values are being discussed, Islam is the image against which America constructs its own civility, the bogeyman against which to contrast American greatness and  American Muslims are the unwitting casualties of a struggle which persistently dismisses them as the unalterable “other.”
The psychoanalytic perspective would be that Americans project their own unwanted, their own "bad" aspects onto Muslims, leaving them feeling virtuous and good. It's important this be pointed out. 
But, still, any time a progressive is dealing with someone who is religious, s/he is dealing with someone who had to have experienced some abuse within their families, and possibly a lot: thus their belief in a powerful god to defer to; thus their belief in bad children who sin and who must be punished for their sins. 
It's annoying when academics try to make everyone but themselves unworthy of comment, because history, full context, is something only they've got packed away on their shelves. 
No, the layman who understands how powerfully her peers project their own demons, their own "bad selves" onto others, but still can't be fooled into thinking anyone who came out of truly permissive family is going to even want to tussle with an abandoning god, let alone defer to it, has got it on the scholar. 
The scholar, we should note, who for some reason chose to obsess over peoples who projected out into the universe, perpetrators they knew in early childhood. Myself, I would have spent the time reading Atwood or Updike. 

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