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Recent comments of mine at Salon.com

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2014 2:39 PM

Alvin M Yeah, I like that your challenging the idea that ideas and context can somehow make a human being want to f**ck a 9 year old. It's total nonsense. If you were raised out of a loving household, no matter how much your culture's version of the media told you that children's bums are an alternative to your wife, you'd be the oddball that'd be repulsed by it, by your culture, and start finding others like you to begin reforms. Later historians would say you were influenced by a new way of understanding of children that began in the -- century, probably ascribing the change in view to economics or some such. 
What does is sexual abuse. And this doesn't mean you conflate sexuality with children, but since the perpetrator was your parents or relatives -- those you need to keep as protectors -- instead that you internalize their view, their voice, their personality (in your right hemisphere), periodically fuse with it, and go on the hunt for vulnerable children just like you to punish and humiliate.  
Original Article: Atheism, Islam and liberalism: This is what we are really fighting about SUNDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2014 2:14 PM
Benthead It's not people getting used to modernity. If one's childrearing doesn't change, if you're still being abandoned in mass by indifferent parents, sexually abused in mass by sadistic and lonely parents/relatives, no matter how surrounded you are by other cultures' skyscrapers and empowered women, your God will be stern and strict, your role towards him will be deferent and meek, and the social sphere will be where you frequently re-stage your traumas, revenging upon some "other" you've projected all your own bad aspects and all the terrifying aspects of your parents onto.
If however your childrearing has gradually been improving, as happened in the West, the social sphere loses more of its demons, people start seeing the world more sanely, and the religious seem that much more disparate from the texts they're still not emotionally evolved enough just to stop worshipping and drop for good. 
They get there, though, the moment parents stop afflicting their children's psyches so, that the child sanely knows that bloody demons ARE real enough, even if for safety sakes their brains have to displace them away from their true source. 


SUNDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2014 2:43 AM

esstee Patrick McEvoy-Halston Benthead Hopeful Cynic LaCourt 
I don't think you'd really be given the creeps by someone who admired and loved art, but mostly past 1920, would you?

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2014 2:41 AM
@beninabox @Hopeful Cynic @Benthead @LaCourt That was one day off a week to purge ourselves of all the sinful growth we accrued the rest of the week. Moaning and groaning about all our devilish sins, then back to the work week. 
The true legacy of religion is not in that one day off for "leisure," but our tendency to punish ourselves by allowing ourselves fewer days off than the rest of the Western world. 
We accrue damage to our home lives, and terrible wear and tear to our health, and God finally notices and has sympathy. 

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2014 2:20 AM
Benthead Hopeful Cynic LaCourt Sorry, sheer nonsense. You're aware that for centuries, art and drama were religious, right? They have only been (partially) separated for less than 200 years, and that's only in the West.
All that art and drama that is religious gives some of us the creeps ... no matter how much invention and self-expression and individuality was permitted, what latitude away from "man as sinful" temporarily permitted it, we still feel in it a purge. 
Maybe that's why some of us will deem someone trying to paste on religion as necessarily affiliated with art, as lacing onto our lovely structure a horrible noose. We got rid of "you" 200 years ago, and our arts are the better for it. 

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2014 2:02 AM
Hopeful Cynic Benthead LaCourt Excellent. Funny thing about the "other" is that it's actually us, our bad selves, that we're in a hurry to disown so to re-acquire God's (i.e., our parents') love. 

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2014 1:27 AM
@Benthead @Graham Clark A lot of us don't think religion has a social function -- the sociological sense of it as respect-worthy, legit. Rather, if you grew up with parents who dominated you at home, you'll think of yourself as sinful before an all-powerful god in the social sphere. You're replaying and restating childhood traumas/deficiencies in the sandbox called society. And there will be "bad selves" to war against and purge; always. 
Once that family, through increased love from mother to daughter over the generations, no longer abuses and abandons their children, you have no religion, and also no anomie. The anomie you get with cultures midway, who've progressed in their childrearing so that parents are more permissive towards their children's independence; but eventually leads to a sense that you've gone to far and have found yourself isolated and alone -- abandoned. Then you hear the words "cohesion" and "transcendence," and hunker for "home." 

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2014 11:40 PM
Despite all its remarkable accomplishments, Western culture feels guilty and ill at ease. It traded in God for Snooki, swapped transcendent meaning and social cohesion for a vision of Enlightenment that started out bubbly and gradually went flat, like a can of week-old Mountain Dew.
Well, the people I'm on the look out in this world are people who've come to this conclusion about the West. That is, that the West not only feels guilty, but should feel guilty. We had a male god and social order, and have lapsed to the company of a deranged, run-amok woman and her gaudy and gross flat.
No culture endlessly tolerates modernization; at some point growth exceeds what the average citizen can handle, and what is still growth becomes coloured as sick and gross -- and as an out of control woman, by the by. Explore how late Weimars described their culture ... who we know later got all their transcendence and social cohesion back (lucky us!).
We feel guilty when we accrue more than we think we deserve. The origins of this is in our early childhoods, where so many of us had insufficiently loved caregivers who expected us to satisfy their unmet needs. When we focused on ourselves, they interpreted us as yet another who did not love them, who abandoned them; and abandoned or "attacked" us in retribution. 
The result of this -- to the child -- apocalyptic occurrence is the instillation of the super-ego, a protective device which ensures we never do the things -- self-attendence -- that brought such a cataclysmic experience upon us. It becomes sinful. Good times, growth, commercial society -- sinful. When we as a society start enjoying ourselves too much, part of our brain tells us to experience it as fetid. We feel hopelessly abandoned, and beat a retreat back to a less "selfish" culture to feel like we're worthy of being in the company of early caregivers again. 
We dump our "junk" culture and fuse back with our early caregivers: cohesion. We feel grandiose as we become the favourites we always want to be in real life: transcendence.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2014 3:23 AM
UnderTheHedgeWeGo 
People who embrace bad ideologies should be condemned for their poor choices
There's a lot of punishment that seems to go along with you noticing --  merciless punishment: they embraced; they choose poorly. Given this, it might do well to consider if you should take notice. 
I think people are the products of how much love they received from their parents ... if lots, they'll be progressive and good; if little, they'll have little capacity for empathy and will behave monstrously. The people you mention, the ones who can choose to be on the right path (probably hard) or the wrong one (probably easy), I have personally never encountered. 

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2014 2:17 AM
NancyDL It's also a nation which has begun it's climb towards guaranteed healthcare, to legitimize gay marriage, to decriminalize drugs, to question the sanctity of its violent sports, to graduate more women from college and to accept as the norm more female CEOs. To maturely accept that it's not even close to number one. 
I don't think you can understand this current drive amongst certain liberals for a war culture unless one accepts that America, despite all the awful things its doing to its youth and its poor, has in certain powerful ways just kept on growing/advancing. Like their conservative peers, they find this growth destabilizing, more than is allowed, and they long to put it to a stop. 
For a read favouring what has gotten better, perhaps check out Krugman's latest: 

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2014 12:54 AM
 There is a way to stay true to liberal ideals while also remaining respectful to Islam.
The progressives we really want part of the conversation aren't assuaged by this sort of language: they're not trying to be loyal knights to Lady Liberty; they want calm and ongoing modernism. 
Yes, it is Islamophobic to say that Islam is a religion of violence and extremism, because it is not. There are 1.5 billion Muslims on planet Earth and the vast majority are peaceful and respectful. Only a small minority are terrorists and jihadists.
Western countries are full of people who go about their everyday peacefully, but have armies which periodically obliterate a lot of vulnerable people. If we judged that everyday citizens had delegated their own terrible desires to the army, so personal responsibility could be denied and the carnage inflicted without guilt, then we'd have to say that Western cultures are violent and extremist. However much they've been slowly weeding out of their psyches the need to periodically punish other people for their own ongoing "sinful" growth, warring less, per capita killing less, it still fairly categorizes them. 
We also know that Western nations can be going about peacefully and then all of a sudden desire the grandiosity of being a warrior culture, loyal to motherlands. It's what we do before world wars. Peaceful and commercial, then all of a sudden wiping out neighbours as millions get sacrificed.
We don't need to argue that the vast majority of people are intrinsically peaceful and respectful, because this works against understanding ourselves better than we now do. What we need is to ensure that the most progressive members of our society, those who truly want modern reforms to continue in their own countries and abroad, continue to have influence. There's no success in what's happening now, this "conversation"; only the possibility that our most progressive members are going to find themselves undermined, and perhaps out of the conversation, for being, ostensibly, arrogantly and perhaps criminally oblivious to facts. 
As I've said elsewhere, the most progressive, the most evolved human beings alive still insist that tribal cultures are as loving as any in the world; yet in truth they are the most infanticidal in existence -- the opposite. This dissonance exists elsewhere, amongst other groups progressives have been trying to protect from those bent to use them instead as "poison containers" for unwanted aspects of their psyches, from racists, from societal regressives. 
There's a sense that progressives have sort of set themselves up for a KO if less evolved members of their own "tribe," secretly tired of ongoing growth, and desirous of a "cleansing" war, decide they're not being traitorous but mature when they undercut so many presumptions, so many pillars, thought perhaps to be the basis of their movement. This can be managed easier when people like Maher and Harris keep peppering Muslims, making it seem acceptable, an actual option, for liberals to paint whole other cultures as suspect. It can be managed easier when the progressives attitudes we've gotten used to over the last number of decades becomes only a type of progressivism -- one determined by the white and affluent, which has in its own way belittled and infantilized and misrepresented those they've tried to "protect." 
Our actual best can be made to seem people mostly interested in being in charge, as they get asked again and again, in a different climate, why they've been so obtuse to facts on the ground -- ostensibly their strong point -- for so obstinately long. 
"Good things still got done. It worked for awhile. But a suddenly more deadly serious world requires a tougher and less self-indulgent sort of liberal," will be said. Then poof!!! Those we need to hear from most will be left without an effective voice. 

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2014 2:21 PM
firstpersoninfinite By participating in its rituals, you mean joining in on beating Jews on the streets. 
They didn't submit to this, but eagerly partook. The cause is that when nations with terrible childrearing grow too much (all the Weimar freedoms), beyond what their childhoods allowed, they "switch" into their parents' point of view and find some group of "bad children" to re-inflict all of their own childhood tortures and punishments upon. 
That sense of belonging, of being the Volk, is the fusion with a nation, a group, imagined as a maternal entity. "You've" forsaken your adult independence and committed yourself back to your mother, ready to die in mass for her. It feels great because you become the favourite you always wanted to be in real life. 
I own Fritzsche's book; it's excellent. 

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2014 9:36 PM
cas42677 cas42677  Somebody else said this. The person saying this is being tolerant and encouraging, but nevertheless establishing a people as about seven hundred years behind us: calling them, however well-temperedly, medieval
The nature of our religions corresponds with the nature of our childrearing. If you can greatly improve the childrearing within one generation, what took one culture 700 years to accomplish can be done historically instantly. 
Proof of this is what occurred in Germany during the 20th-century. They went from the country with the worst childrearing in Europe, which had them turn away from Weimar freedoms and re-inflict tortures upon designated "shit-babies," "useless eaters," that they themselves experienced in their childhoods, to people who could embrace Goldhagen's very unflattering assessment of them and reject the authoritarian model of the family.  

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2014 9:07 PM
J. Milano Patrick McEvoy-Halston I certainly acknowledge that sex plays a difference, but think we haven't payed enough attention to what our early hardening practices do to boys. Boys I think are just raised a bit worse, looked at less (less mutual gazing than occurs between mothers and girls) -- even in many progressive families. I think they have attachment problems, and therefore their early propensity for war games -- where via bravado they test and disprove fears. 
Boys that go for trucks may just be interested in "shells," encased mechanical objects that hide one's vulnerable self from indifferent childrearing -- what's behind autism, which is ten times more frequent in boys. 
I'm sorry to have to refer to your friends in this response; but even progressives should use the fact that their boy determinedly goes for cars and trucks that there's more yet to do. "Biology" offers reprieve. 
An article for your consideration: 

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2014 8:48 PM
RoloTomassi Patrick McEvoy-Halston Have you ever heard of young adults enjoying modern freedoms, but later renouncing it as Satan's culture and going hard-core conservative? Does this sound at all like extremists in every culture? The cause is early childhood punishment for self-indulgence; the cause is adopting the parent's point of view that any kind of self-respect, self-attendance, is horribly selfish and sinful. It's the only way they can feel loved rather than cast away, abandoned.
I'd rather hope this could be discussed rather than be overruled by blow horns blasting BULLSHIT. Especially since this regression can sometimes take hold of entire cultures, rather than just the worst raised. 

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2014 8:38 PM
J. Milano Up until the last decade I never met any guys who wanted to be a nurse and the female dominance obviously has something to do with being a nurturer.
Digressing, it's about choice and many women, for reasons that have nothing to do with men or misogyny, are interested in different things.
Well, what happened in the last decade, though? Better nurtured boys being more comfortable being nurturers, as well as preferring the Parisian sweater easily as much as the 80" tv? 
Boys have traditionally had more of a sink or swim upbringing than girls. Who knows their preferences when they're not as coldly abandoned, "toughened up"? Difference by sex will still exist, but it'll require a more refined eye to spot them: neither sex will prefer gadgets, autism boxes, which buffer them from the rest of the human race.  

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2014 3:33 PM
Lorin K Why grant that the impulse is real? Human beings that ate mostly vegetables would of been able to make short work of "nature" eons ago. The cruel force was simply early childrearing -- children got extended care, the care they needed, not because they were loved but because they usefully attended the mother, stimulated her, relieved her depression. They were still killed and abandoned in mass though. The earliest parents were infanticidal. 
So spirituality probably owed to people with no private selves filling up the world with predatory spirit creatures, to somehow help handle trauma by fiddling with it on the "outside."
We began with witches, ghosts, and demons, and as we evolved, got "healthier" forms of spirituality. But thank god a lot of us are finally out. 

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2014 3:14 PM
JustSlider BARBRA STRIDENT For many persons, religion is the opposite of "egomania," but, instead, their faith teaches them that they are not the center of the Universe, but are subordinate to a higher power.   
The "higher power" is your parents -- the origins of all gods. That "you" still feel the need to subordinate yourself to clearly domineering parents, means you've to some extent sacrificed your own and internalized their point of view. They scared the piss out of you.
The result is that children who rebel against their parents' expectations and focus on their own needs, get understood as egomaniacs, as spoiled. The result is that when a society ends up growing, progressing, self-indulging too much, one feels compelled to put it to a stop and restage on the global stage early childhood traumas where some large group of "bad children" get the punishment they've long had coming. 

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2014 3:58 AM
alchemy-flying Are you talking about me, alchemy-flying? I'm not conservative. Only arguing that the most progressive people alive have blindspots, that their less progressive kin think nows the time they can take them down for. 

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2014 2:04 AM
Liberals are wrong about a lot of things. They still romanticize tribal cultures, who easily possess the worst childrearing in the world. Steven Pinker made the point that they kill far more per capita than any modern society does, to support his argument that there has been evolution over the millenniums. But otherwise was still hoping to keep intact, relativism. It is about as far as a puncture that could be made -- that tribal cultures war and kill far more than we do. But the truth is he should have gone further and shown that whole societies and cultures can be thoroughly sick. Not redeemed by art; nothing. And this applies to many that liberals have sought to protect against the regressive members in their society, regressives who are mostly characterized by their need to project unwanted aspects of themselves into some other people -- whether aptly suited, or not at all -- rather than any ability to see things straight.
The liberals alive today are the most evolved that's ever been; but in some instances they cannot allow themselves to see things for what they are. Not everything they see and initially know can be integrated into permanent awareness. They're kind of like Leonardo DiCaprio's character in "Shutter Island," who could come admirably awake to some terrible truths, but couldn't stay there past an evening. So almost guaranteed you take them before an openly infanticidal tribal society, and even if they sensed that the children were being killed, not out of necessity, but because the parents just didn't give a damn, they'd have to, they'd simply have to, decide it was an economic decision or some such ... of course they loved their kids!!!
Eventually, we'll get an even more evolved group of liberals. But for now, the people who are taking advantage of their blindsightedness, making them seem those who are oblivious to facts -- akin to those they revile, like evolution and global warming-deniers --  are simply interested in doing in their more progressive peers. They're going to begin an effort to make them seem laughable. And so those who really aren't interested in war, who want our society to continue its progressive march, won't interfere as they do the terribly unprogressive thing of making sure our society stops its growth to restage childhood traumas, where "bad boys and girls" get punished, sacrificed in mass, and the "good" ones know they are righteous and loved.  

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2014 5:58 PM
Are you sure it's not saying we're all thinking of suicide?

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2014 11:52 PM
thespiritbo We saw a chance to take down the actress who hadn't shown us her boobs (Oscars 2012, I believe), and likely was prepared never to. You, Miss Laurence, are now no more special than the rest of them. We participated in something really disgusting. 

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2014 11:22 PM
My own sense is that smart, literate people who could make it in (or are at least natural to) New York, remain aristocrats around the rest of the bumbling. The film shows us acres of morons, with perhaps the most key moment in the film Dunne's takedown of her supposed best friend as actually the loathsome local village idiot. Some have risen, like the detective, and the lawyer (though we noted his pleb-king choice of transport); but there's nothing like these two when they're forced to get their smart on. 
Dunne does it throughout; and Nick, though slow to wake -- like Henry IV, slumming along -- can when pressed intuit a way out of sticky situations that leaves everyone else in the dust. He even betrays his sister in the end -- and it seems apt: part of "me" is New York, baby, and we don't long abide the dull and dumb. She was won over by his ability to act the person she wanted him to be; he, by her handling the detective who's been so present and empowered, as if she was actually the smallest of hometown fries. 

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2014 10:37 PM
ferric7 Amphiox I honestly thought Tracy Clark-Flory wanted to see her taken down. She's personally -- by her own admission -- been disappointing and humiliating herself this year, and likely the cause of why she's doing that and why she participated in the humbling of someone else, are the same.

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2014 9:43 PM
Alex C Men are not denied the ability to be repulsed when a woman's beautiful body is not being willingly offered. We know seeing the photos that someone meant to humble and humiliate her, and a lot of guys aren't turned on by that. 

Those who chose to look at them weren't just curious. Under cover of the collective agreement that this is just what happens to someone who's being too haughty, they joined in a kind of gang bang. It felt to me like a sex crime. 

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