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Saturday, July 20, 2013

Learned Helplessness / Learned Despair

Despair - Edvard Munch
Despair - Edvard Munch

(A quick note: While doing my standard cursory "research" to make sure I have my terms right, I ran across the Wikipedia entry on Learned helplessness and was reminded once again of the despicable nature of Behavioral Psychology research. What Seligman and Maier did to those poor creatures, in order to gain insight on what a simple fucking thought experiment will accomplish, disgusts me.)

"Learned helplessness," as applied to the state of political apathy here in the United States, is a meme I've been running across with increasing frequency here in cyberspace. The idea is that we - those of us who are not in that special class of uber-wealth - have become so disconnected from the mechanisms of power, so disenfranchised from the influence of our representative democracy, that we shrink from contemplation of, let alone action against, the insults heaped upon us by "the system," much as like Seligman and Maier's battered dogs.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Immoral Embrace: The Sickness Is Deep

Wage Slave
Image liftted from Patriot Acts

I am personally offended by some comments made by a Portland "newcomer," as quoted in Jon Talton's Sunday column in the Seattle Times, Check of Portland’s vitals shows signs of life. On Portland, Taz Loomans says:
...this place seems to lack a work ethic. There are too many loafers here unfortunately, too many people satisfied with doing service jobs and enjoying the time off, without developing themselves into something more.
and
...the key is to attract weird people who are motivated and ambitious and want to contribute to society and the economy, not weird people who are satisfied living on the edge of homelessness.
Well.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

So You Wanna Work For The CIA / JFK Assassination 50th Anniversary / Signed Book Giveaway

A Secret Order
[Update 08/07: All 15 books have found happy owners. Offer closed for now.]

This November 22nd will mark 50 years since President John Fitzgerald Kennedy's assassination. I was less than two months shy of my seventh birthday...

One of the most fascinating narratives in A Secret Order, for me, was the story of the "femme fatale enigma," June Cobb. An attractive woman with clearly a great gusto for life, she sets off for Colombia with a pair of wanna-be druglord twins and winds up working for the CIA. Or so she figures, since apparently they don't always tell you who you're working for.

Friday, July 5, 2013

This Acid Trip Is An Extraordinary Rendition / JFK Assassination 50th Anniversary / Signed Book Giveaway

A Secret Order
[Update 08/07: All 15 books have found happy owners. Offer closed for now.]

This November 22nd will mark 50 years since President John Fitzgerald Kennedy's assassination. I was less than two months shy of my seventh birthday...

My anger often surprises me - my rage, on the other hand, always catches me off guard. I suppose that's true for most people who don't find anger - and its big green cousin, rage - particularly useful or helpful.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Fourth Of July Post - Look Behind The Logo

Happy Fourth

Aww - it's our "birthday," again.

I'm going to do my bit and meditate on the idea that is "The United States of America," and some on identity and ritual and coercion, collusion and self-delusion. Yes, you should go elsewhere for parades and fireworks...

Disgraced politician (but I repeat myself) John Edwards made famous the idea of there being "two Americas," Bobby Kennedy (taken down before he had the opportunity to disgrace himself) limned a similar meme when he dared to be photographed with poor folk in his brutally truncated Presidential run. We have the "1%," the "99%" - the social Darwinish "rugged individual" Americans, the barn-raising Socialisty communitarian Americans, post-Enlightenment secular humanism America, hell-and-brimfire God-bothering America, public library, transportation, and education America, and home-schooling get-off-of-my-lawn America.