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Comments at Salon.com (November 10 2014)

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2014 3:23 PM
alacosta1224 They prefer the warm home because they're not unconsciously drawn to repeat/restage their cold and terrifying childhood environments, which is what soldiers are doing. Hating the very sensible warmer abode comes out of the same childhood environment too: everything self-enriching was IDed by your parents as spoiled and bad, who expected you to give everything to them. 

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2014 3:13 PM
alacosta1224 because I honestly cant stand people who try and destroy our troops from their little computers,

You must be one of the people we've been pointlessly bombing. 

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2014 3:07 PM
DocShoe I wish you well, but there's pathology in liking your scars. 


SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2014 3:06 PM
esstee Patrick McEvoy-Halston Counter to your assertion about a lost mother, most human sacrifice is rooted, in terms of human evolution, in the demands of parenting. Would you ever sacrifice yourself to save your loved one from a fire?

This is collective wishful thinking. Apes that will fend off jaguars to protect their young will happily let them starve as they grab all the best foodstuff for themselves. Adults don't sacrifice themselves in fires; they instead oblige their children to them. And child sacrifice hasn't stopped until we lose our need for wars. 

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2014 3:01 PM
bigguns Patrick McEvoy-Halston Not commendable, though. In abandoning them to the front lines they just yet again repeated how they responded to their children day one. 

The more loving would have kept them at home; a way of communicating to the nation that while popular demand obliges them to war, the idea of sacrificing the young is absolutely repugnant to them. A bit of helpful dissonance, as well as a few more saved, beautiful youth, from the maw of pointless sacrifice. 

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2014 2:58 PM
libertyrocks I completely agree our foreign policy is an overreaching mess, but I still respect and appreciate all who serve.  Not all are heroes, but all should be treated with respect.

A nineteenth-century British chambermaid serves her lord too, but we've grown out of finding it commendable. It's not decent, not respectful, not equal to her ... the same goes for soldiers who give up their own lived life for that pompous "other," the nation. 

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2014 2:51 PM
bigguns apotropoxy Flags are an indicator that we hold hold sacred some supernatural entity we're obliged to sacrifice a lot of young blood for. 

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2014 2:50 PM
bigguns FDR and Eleanor made certain their sons were put in peril. 

Do you mean all the way through their childhoods, or only when they abandoned them to war?

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2014 2:22 PM
esstee Patrick McEvoy-Halston The group is maternal. The "captain" is the hive mother. It is pathological. If you are a child of those well-loved progressive families out there who are fully comfortable with their children's individuation, who don't sense in it a repeat of abandonment they'd known too much in life, you won't take a special pleasure in surrendering your adult autonomy and "hiving" -- rebounding yourself to the maternal matrix -- later in life ... you are no longer a guilty independent; your mother loves you again. 

It's common, because really loved parents are historically non-existent and not sufficiently widespread currently.

You're saying that there's no ideal or nothing sacred that you'd sacrifice your life to uphold? 

I don't like your language ... that "sacred" and "upholding" stuff. They seem boxes of paramount importance we'll ultimately be willing to manhandle our world to fit into them. I am not interested in sacrificing myself. This discussion is always about legitimating the importance of that, primarily. The need to sacrifice yourself is born out of knowing insufficiently loved parents who delighted when you stopped your own individuation and once-again attended more to them.  

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2014 2:09 PM
esstee happyhaze Again, a lot of empathy in this response. Modernity doesn't demand we change, though. It's created by those openminded liberals who embrace novelty and change in the first place -- they don't have to adapt: it's their own baby. 

These people who can't change are those from more punitive, less-loving, and often sexually-abusive childhoods. They don't so much have a simpler world view as a more regressive one. It's hard not to hate world views that demand innocent people are projected onto and become "evil" and "bad," which is one of the absolute corollaries of this sort of disastrous upbringing. 

It's not born of evil but of suffered child abuse, so we shouldn't hate it. But it's hard not to. 

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2014 2:03 PM
esstee A lot of empathy in this response. But Tea Partiers want to hold onto national symbols, and are they really so, understandable? 

Maybe built into that need for a nation we prove our worth by selflessly sacrificing ourselves to, was a lot of crazy, built out of early childhood abuse. Maybe we of this ostensibly uglier and more complicated but undeniably vastly more peaceful world haven't so much transferred this "religious instinct," but slowly rid ourselves of it.

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2014 1:47 PM
DocShoe johnjohnjohnson How does risking my life to save others in a combat zone make me guilty, while staying at home and doing nothing makes you innocent?

We weren't doing nothing; we weren't participating in the huge sacrifice of human life and societal resources we know as war. Your risking your life in the combat zone was bravado, a defense against feeling vulnerable that is characteristic of boys as early as the age of four who've know a childhood that was abandoning and terrifying. 

War restaged your early childhood environment; and succeeding there was exulting -- rather than mostly defenceless, you proved you could be these fears' master. I mean sort-of, good for you. But if you'd of had a less terrifying early childhood you wouldn't have been drawn in and would have found some way to be very helpful in that world outside of war, where we aren't sacrificing but building and nurturing, and yes, shopping -- buying things that make us happy. 

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2014 1:35 PM
And frankly, they can't even do that right--when my phone rings on Nov. 11 it's usually another veteran, because my civilian friends are busy shopping. 

So you've spent your life protecting your troops and rescuing total strangers, while we've all been at home, shopping. It would seem you have the rest of us at a disadvantage. Plus, we effeminate shoppers don't really respect you. It would now seem you have us doubly so. 

It'd be nice to hear that when you're swapping war stories with other members of that worthy military lineage you belong to, you sometimes admit that those who didn't volunteer for war and kept on instead making and buying and consuming things, seem somehow to possess a healthier temperament ... like as if they had the appropriate vision of the disgusting/disturbing battlefield, and thought, I have nothing to address there, and so sanely opted out. 

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2014 1:11 PM
 Calling all cops and troops heroes insults those who actually are heroic – the soldier who runs into the line of fire to protect his division,

You're supporting idea that soldiers who run into the line of fire are not just doing so to sacrifice themselves, to lose their lives, which is why they're usually doing so. They thereby die for their motherland, help revive her; they die comfortably and peacefully and are eternally beloved by her. Though that's usually the "goal" those who are doing it "to save the division" aren't being rational either: they're mother hens wildly protecting their children. Everyone at war is accessing their earliest memories of being alone and afraid but protected by the massive awesome bulk of their all-powerful mothers. War is re-staging. "You've" been there before. 

We can discourage the idea of the hero, but even if we do so it doesn't mean a lot of young boys from families with parents who needed their children to provide them the love they did not receive in life and thus were suspicious of their growth into somewhat-individuated young adults, won't feel, not heroic, but loved by sacrificing their lives, their individuated future, on the battlefield. When Vietnam became unpopular, in surveys, young boys still kept on saying how much they were willing to die for America. 

Most of our problems come out of early childhood neglect/abuse, lack of love and all its derivatives. I certainly support this article, but it'd be nice if this got factored in sometimes. 

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2014 11:52 AM
@Canuckistan Bob @Patrick McEvoy-Halston Unless she's planning to limit her interventionism to local galas, if she's planning to step in and help other women -- be interventionist -- effectively abroad, in places like Cairo where as she says she was harassed constantly, to not be afraid to call brutes out for what they are she's going to find it difficult to be a multiculturalist.  She's going to have to be able to have a lot of cultural heritage/longevity thrown in her face, a lot of "you as an imperialist outsider do not understand" thrown in her face,  and be able to say -- phooey! You're changing, bud!

That halo of "culture" is something we've unfortunately cast around a lot of people that are very abusive to women. The whole discipline of anthropology has unfortunately done so as well. Feminist anthropologists seem to me unconvincing in their determination to see worth somewhere in these peoples that in such a deeply ingrained way hate women. I wonder in fact if these "cultures" play to that part of themselves that isn't liberated but perhaps thinks they deserved the abuse they themselves suffered. 

Otherwise, as soon as they realized how deeply ingrained the female-hate was, you'd figure they'd opt out and spend more time with more liberated cultures, like modern-day Swedes. I know they say they have to understand the patriarchy in order to kill it, but actually I think that can pretty much be done without giving two sh_ts about that. 

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2014 2:12 AM
The street harassment was constant. I was hissed at, groped, ground against in streets and buses, driven into dark alleyways by cab drivers, ogled by men with their penises in their hands.

It was only when an Egyptian friend and I were walking back to our university campus in Tahrir square that I began to question it. She yelled at one man: What are you, a dog? Show some respect. Don’t you have a mother? A sister? 

As a budding anthropologist, I knew I couldn’t live or work in a major Middle Eastern city ever again. 

But your new attitude is to confront, right, be a friend to other women. And if most peoples studies by anthropologists hold women in disrespect, you'll be advocating for anthropologists not just to study and learn about other cultures but to intervene and change them -- Hey guys, there is a much better way; let me show you. 

You won't let yourself be cowed into agreeing that at the heart of this new impulse is the delegitimization of the idea of culture, of the idea that all peoples are possessed of an intrinsically beautiful character you may as an outsider sometimes need to back away in order to appreciate. The treatment of women is pretty abhorrent in every culture anthropologists have traditionally been concerned to learn from and study. It would make you racist and not "multicultural" to be seeming to be going back to the viewpoint that it's an inescapable fact that we're dealing with too many "dogs" who have no respect for their mothers and daughters, but this now won't deter you -- back into the kennel, you beasts!It's the simple fact of the matter, and you plan to step in -- anthropologists, multiculturalists, shielders of brutality be damned!

Or were you only planning to offer sass that backs off predators preying on scared women when it won't incriminate you in any way. If it'd make you someone not invited to substantial parties where you could deflect women from the next Ghomeshi, you'd back down and live with the fact that at some level you're still living in fear. 


SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2014 10:52 PM
 In “The Better Angels of Our Nature,” Pinker points out it was rooted in ‘the rise of empathy and the regard for human life’, underpinned by the ‘reading revolution’ as literature opened up imaginations to previously hidden lives. 

Pinker seems to find going beyond arguing that we all have a collective nature -- and therefore, self-flagellantly/mockingly, always a dark side -- would be unaccountably hubristic. He refers however in his book to the work of Lloyd DeMause, who doesn't limit his reach owing to such fears. 

DeMause argues that what has happened to encourage empathy is gradually increasing love in childrearing: people across time can almost meaninglessly be said to possess the same nature, since their upbringing went from appallingly awful (regular infanticide; regular sexual abuse) to (in some families now) genuinely helpful. Better-loved children become interested in literature that takes us into the consciousness of other peoples that worse-loved/more abused and neglected will never really be much moved by (a reminder, many Republican leaders are voracious readers, reading thousands of books about the lives of people of different time periods; they still vote to deprive children everywhere.). 

Check out psychohistory.com; read the "Emotional Life of Nations" and "The Origins of War in Child Abuse." 

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2014 8:29 PM
Historically, we only get a society where both those of more loving childrearing -- i.e. progressives -- and those of worse agree to collectively allow themselves a society substantially better than what their parents knew, after periods of massive sacrifice -- tons of lost wealth; tons of wasted, destroyed lives. After Depression. After World War. The progressives are allowed to lead, and people who as children knew parents who perennially scolded/abandoned them for being spoiled sh_ts, for some time allow themselves huge advancements in income and entitlement over what their parents knew ... without feeling it'll earn them some horrible apocalyptic punishment. The angry, punitive gods are cleared out of the sky. People spoil; people swing, relax and play. And the skies remain blue and clear. 

Outside these times, getting the divide we're witnessing now isn't the worst of things. It means the regressives are way past their ability to tolerate "selfish" societal advancement, and are going amok as society refuses them the specific exo-structure they need to split off and "handle" their childhood trauma-based need to punish "bad children" everywhere; but also that there are plenty of progressives around who still want it bad. 

It is encouraging to hear amidst this Republican takeover that that other great story we've been hearing about -- progressives cities insisting on a certain standard of life for all of its citizens -- rolls on. We aren't now just left with wondering how hawkish our democrats must become; but that whatever their pose, surprises of wonderful enlightenment are showering confidently around us. It is encouraging to hear of cities, rather than nations, because somehow it bespeaks the consciousness of the progressive who's outgrown the need for a nation and has joined progressive peoples in cities/cultures everywhere who've insisted on the same thing. Is the citizenry of San Fran and Seattle "American," or do they seem more those who've eluded the nation to sip tea and share civility with urban Tokyo, Paris and Stockholm?  

If we haven't yet suffered through a period of mass carnage where regressive elements took full control of society, and we hear that the split between political parties is waning, this will not mean the bottom's being pushed up but everyone's experiencing a regressive slide. Society is growing beyond almost everyone's ability to tolerate, and everyone is feeling abandoned and terribly guilty. Everyone begins to insist on pledging loyalty to ostensibly less selfish, more self-sacrificial old ways, and for the spoiled narcissists of society who keep unrepentantly pushing for more to get their comeuppance. Their grouping together will be their returning as good boys and girls to the hearth of their long-neglected, all-good mother. All their "badness" will be projected onto others; as will all their mothers' actually very much existing, terrible, terrifying aspects.  

So if Hillary becomes this all-powerful leader this won't owe to astute self-attentuation, malleability ... to being able to adroitly fit herself according to needs. It'll owe to the fact that she like the rest of the nation is experiencing a psychic change where that part most of us possess which obliges us to project onto others and hate, is taking up more and more of our daily life. That psyche, amygdala-based and built out of early-suffered child neglect/abuse, that we switched into here and there, has more or less taken over. 

This hasn't happened, but we can already look around and see some considerable signs of collusion with the regressive mindset -- specifically, deflation economics. If all progressives were of the emotional makeup of Paul Krugman, we wouldn't have the whole world agreeing to insanely staunch their growth by agreeing to high interest rates. Many are already wobbling in their ability to not feel guilty as society advances, and so cannot be shaken out of seeing, in feeling, reason in deflationary economics: with this, they unconsciously understand, will follow a whole field of broken, stilled lives; unrealized dreams ... the sacrifices that must be produced for any kind of societal advance to feel permitted at all.

We should note we can also see here on this website some signs of regression. Brittney Cooper's recent article where she says she's woken out of a mindset that had her thinking life should be about self-entitlement/enrichment, and admiring youthful Obama as exemplifying this goal, to return to long-spurned elders who'd lived self-denying lives of sacrifice, is worrying. She talks enough of this and how different is she from anyone who sees the bleak, wasted face of the Great Depression-sufferer, and seeing someone who now can be loved? How different is she from the person who hears of someone working the 14-hour days Andrew refers to, and not immediately feeling outrage but of someone virtuous, someone innocent of sin. 

And of course MEW's just saying bakers should be allowed the legal right to refuse gay and lesbians, is of someone who's being unconsciously driven to move our society towards one where classes of people can become the "bad children" we have full right to express vile hate for. I ignored everything she said in preamble ... all that stuff where she insults the bigots to death before ultimately stepping confidently onto their side.


SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2014 5:14 PM
This stance, that the person who accepted the modest occupation -- the farmer, the baker, the merchant -- is the one being compromised, is one always to be associated with bigotry. It's origins lie in a childhoods where fealty (to parents) is expected and rewarded, and where becoming an artist or leaving for the big city, fully exploring your sexuality -- fully individuating -- means spurning parental expectations; being "bad." 

People who ground their outrage in the fact that they served, that they obliged and sacrificed, that they moderated their ambitions (and thus now finally some entitlement!), have to some extent subscribed to the parents' point of view. They are those who end up hating that part of themselves that wanted more; they're those who'll see progressives as their own bad selves who wanted to spurn servitude for a more individuated (to them, read: egoistic) life. 

To them, those "who left for the big city" (been bad) have gone completely awry in now returning to infiltrate their spoils all through the staunch homesteader's ardent ways (this too reminds them of their childhoods where every effort to maintain some ground against having to wear their parents' emotional states was doomed to failure). They'll be looking for a hero. 

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2014 4:05 PM
Baker, blacksmith, leather-worker, innkeeper ... it's key I think here that the "antagonized" imagines him/herself part of some stoic, solid traditional occupation, indisputably associated with modest village life.  

They may be shortchanged in world reach, but one they do have is a certain self-respect, propriety. They do honest work and God has portioned them a small sliver of his kingdom all their own. They can choose to serve, or not to. This has been earned.

If they're forced, it's because their lords have grossly enfranchised themselves, forcing their "serfs" into droit du seigneur ... being forced to shamefully offer their services to the lord's protected, bloated, smarmy and spoiled "sons." 

This is why bigots gain by publicity of this baker's case: it has to do with an image that is being superimposed upon the gay and lesbian community. They become the spoiled favoured that end up biting it someway along the way of Willy Wonka's factory tour. 

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2014 12:29 PM
beninabox Patrick McEvoy-Halston gasorg For one thing it would presuppose that 85% of humanity has been subject to child abuse.

I'm okay with that figure, though I think it's actually more. 

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2014 11:58 PM
Adventus Cosmology could more or less go, though. It looks like terrible vacation land, cold space and a few pointless rocks. If it's a match for your being alone, your being afraid and abandoned as a child, I get it; but otherwise I could definitely see a generation arrive that isn't so stoic not to prefer more agreeable landscapes. It's tough to say this in the face of well-loved people like Kraus and Sagan, but still so. 

Mind you, the same could be said for nature. I've always found poets and novelists that show us how we experience nature more profoundly worth my time than nature itself. If it's just nature, there is no warm presence behind it all; just happenstance. Doesn't make me hate it, or feel uncomfortable about it; but it's just at a huge loss for it. 

Human beings came into being; at first they were barely empathic and loving, but improved into some who are astoundingly so. They are now just so much better than everything else that molecules came together to forge that I think I'd be mostly interested in what they created -- their supplanations over the nature that existed before them. Whatever they engage with gets my rapture.  

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2014 11:25 PM
Adventus Patrick McEvoy-Halston gasorg I'm glad you never raised a hand to her. Human sin ...silly idea to you? Human badness?

Or did your child know -- and was terrorized by -- that apocalyptic abandonment loomed if she behaved selfishly (i.e. didn't comply, followed her own path, stuck to her own guns)? Her desperately needed parents -- though maybe not consciously aware of it -- could suddenly be lost to her if she was bad. So human brain gets changed; an alternative system is installed full of these most important memories, which religion and nationalism speaks to powerfully. 

When all that's not part of you, parental gods become an obvious anachronism. Worship becomes the child placating the adult abuser, modifying herself into a form that parent is prepared to accept rather than one she might on her own prefer to be. 

Honestly, you go far enough, I'm not even sure what Kraus does would make sense to you. Do we really need to care about the origins of the universe? Why spend so much time exploring essentially nothing, when human beings, their creations, are so rich?Maybe Kraus's own children will grow out of that. 

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2014 11:05 PM
gasorg As long as there are human beings, there will always be believers, unbelievers, and those who are not certain what they believe.

Unless of course Kraus is right and religion has something to do with incurred child abuse. We can get rid of that. 

I would propose that in many of these progressive families which no longer spank, sham their children, where they encourage them to think of themselves as entitled to make their imprint on the world rather than as those sinful who need foremost to keep in mind their wickedness, the "religious instinct" is increasingly gone from them. They do not possess in their adulthood still a terrorized childhood self that things like nationalism and religion play to -- something more primal, more real, more meaningful than the everyday.  

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