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12/19/2016

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Jeremy

And here's yet ANOTHER billionaire appointment.
This time Vince Viola to Secretary of the Army.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12-19/trump-nominates-billionaire-virtu-founder-vincent-viola-secretary-army

Bait and switch doesn't even begin to describe what's happening.

john d

Perhaps there is a Flatland trap in the belief that the sick-care system is relevant to your health and future survival. I am 66 and no meds due primarily to adjusting to a real food, very low carb, high healthy fat diet five years ago. Lost 40 lbs, high blood pressure went away, pre-diabetes markers went away, all meds went away, on and on. I also fast periodically and that is really useful.

My very severe sense of hopelessness and suicidal thoughts, etc, was replaced with "hey, I'm gonna die one of these days, but in the meantime I can try to be compassionate and have as much fun as possible".

It is completely obvious to me is that my helpless/hopeless point of view had origins in physical health and it was reversible.

Maybe the stories that industrial food products are food and the healthcare system is going to take care of you are just not true. Manufactured food will make you sick and the healthcare system will keep you sick by treating symptoms with drugs without considering the root cause. There is a lot you can do on your own.

Interestingly I also went from being an uber-doomer to basically saying, screw it, it's out of my hands, and re-committing to living my own life with more gratitude to the fact that I actually am here on this little planet for a time.

For my 65th birthday I rode my bike from Pittsburgh's Golden Triangle to the Washington Monument in DC on the old railroad right of way, now the Greater Allegheny Passage Trail. There is a beautiful world out there still in Western Pa and Md and Va. You might want to look at www.intensivedietarymanagement.com. Then buy a bike and we'll do it again on your 65th!!

I know, I'm a pollyanna, but f' it, what's the point of feeling shitty all the time anyway??

-john d

Dave Cohen

Sure, John D.

Tell that to my 19 year-old nephew who got hit by a car while riding his bike to school.

Oh, wait, you can't tell him your happy story -- he's dead.

-- Dave

Jeremy

,Dave - sorry about your loss, but ...

... your humour just kills me!

Jeremy

Clancy

Dave, great response to john d ... You're a Pisces, I'm guessing, like Jack Handey, whose "Deep Thoughts" have always protected me from unnecessary optimism:

"To me, clowns aren't funny. In fact, they're kind of scary. I've wondered where this started, and I think it goes back to the time I went to the circus and a clown killed my dad."

Jeremy MG

At least there's Medicare in 2 years. If Paul Ryan doesn't destroy it, that it. I'm 31, so I'll be lucky if my kids don't decide to leave me in the woods on a cold night when I reach eligibility age.

Jason Kerr

I myself will probably be quarantined to the ghettos where those of us strapped with student loan debt and minimal health care will be walking around like zombies and literally dying on the side of the road.And be given shit for blighting the scenery. I don't see a way around this scenario in twenty years - on top of the climate refugee crisis.

On top of the Flatland notion of human psychology, there is that iron will to survive despite all the existential crises. Look no further than Aleppo for evidence of this.

I wonder why I don't have a lot of friends?

Apologies for the ME ME ME post ;/

Mike Roberts

Mmm, so it's learned helplessness, eh? Yeah, that fits. JD got lucky and I got lucky. But I have this feeling of learned helplessness now that I know what my lifestyle is doing, even though I've toned it down a lot. I can't think of anything that I could do to avoid that feeling (some hypothetical actions would just make me unhappy as well as feeling helpless).

Part of the feeling of helplessness is also when articles like these appear. We can fix the climate change problem and make a profit. Leonardo seems to actually believe his own bullshit.

steve c

If a "psychological placebo" like learned optimism was able to change ones state of mind to be able to take advantage of an opportunity when it presents itself, then it seems to have utility to me.

I am once again reminded of the experiment where rats were put in a pool of water till nearly drowning, then rescued. When once again dunked, they lasted far longer than the rats that were not rescued in their first dunking.

That said, learned helplessness is still the norm, and as was said in the interview, mentally navigating the path between recognizing the crappy prospects, but not resigning individual autonomy is tricky.

My path was similar to JDs. Not quite as poor, not quite as successful, but have walked in both worlds a bit. Assholes are everywhere, they just show it differently.

Andrew McIntosh

What you write about being at the mercy of predatory humans makes sense to me. For a while I've been thinking that beyond ideology, beyond even any notion of making a profit or anything even practical to themselves, the motivations of the ruling class, the ten percent, "them" - however you want to style it - is sheer sadism. An actual enjoyment in inflicting misery. I've got nothing scientific to back it up, but it's an idea that makes sense to me.

Marcus

Those who enjoy inflicting misery are at all levels of life, not just the elites. The changes in outer behavior I've witnessed from co-workers who rise to a minimally executive position have been nauseating.

“By four o'clock, I've discounted suicide in favor of killing everyone else in the entire world instead.”
― Warren Ellis, Transmetropolitan, Vol. 3: Year of the Bastard

Hanson

Good post and comments...

I suppose I chose not to have children over 40 years ago because of a combination of misanthropy (awareness of humanity's true nature) and empathy (pity concerning the suffering that can never be eradicated).

And my feelings towards those who won't or can't wake up, especially in the South, where I have personal connections, veer wildly between the two emotional poles.

Jonna Ivin, a young woman who knows the working class well, helps me find balance sometimes.

Quotes:

"I’m just a poor white trash motherfucker. No one cares about me."
-----------------

“I applied for a job at Tyson Chicken. They only hire Mexicans because they work cheap. We need to get those people out if we want jobs.”

I heard this over and over from unemployed men at the bar. So why weren’t they angry with Tyson Foods, a company that could easily afford to pay higher wages? Why weren’t they angry with CEO-turned Chairman John Tyson, whose personal net worth is over a billion dollars?
------------------
http://www.stirjournal.com/2016/04/01/i-know-why-poor-whites-chant-trump-trump-trump/

MK

This is why weed & much more will be legalized nationwide as time goes by. Justifications are already in use; tax revenue, libertarian bs, freedom (fries), yada yada yada.

Really, it's just to keep the masses from waking up to flatland and desiring more than learned helplessness in todays on-demand 'connected' facade . . .

Robert

Another component seems to be operating, appropriately displayed in Trump's election victory, that of the phenomenon known as Stockholm Syndrome. Long ago Americans, for the most part, internalized the "autonomous individual" narrative both providing justification for pride in self-accomplishment and legitimization for conferring guilt and reproach and "Othering" status for those whose notable clustering into groups further down the scale of participatory resources was therefore evidence of flawed character while the "predatory" but economically and socially successful were extolled as examples of "Achievement Unlocked due to Personal Excellence." As far as "Learned Helplessness" goes it would be disingenuous to complain about a systemic problem contributing to one's situation without also admitting that others might be getting screwed even worse thus weakening the individuation of the success/failure paradigm and adding an unwelcome putative responsibility for those unwholesome and dangerous "Others" Trump has played his dishonest but effective Horatio Alger/John Galt myth to an audience of acolytes with one of the most self-destructive forms of Stockholm Syndrome I have witnessed.

Hanson

[My previous try didn't take, so I'll leave the direct link out.]

Great post and comments...

I suppose I chose not to have children over 40 years ago because of a combination of misanthropy (awareness of humanity's true nature) and empathy (pity concerning the suffering that can never be eradicated).

And my feelings towards those who won't or can't wake up, especially in the South, where I have personal connections, veer wildly between the two emotional poles.

Jonna Ivin, a young woman who knows the working class well, helps me find balance sometimes.

Quotes:

"I’m just a poor white trash motherfucker. No one cares about me."
-------------

“I applied for a job at Tyson Chicken. They only hire Mexicans because they work cheap. We need to get those people out if we want jobs.”

I heard this over and over from unemployed men at the bar. So why weren’t they angry with Tyson Foods, a company that could easily afford to pay higher wages? Why weren’t they angry with CEO-turned Chairman John Tyson, whose personal net worth is over a billion dollars?
---------
Jonna Ivin, I Know Why Poor Whites Chant Trump, Trump, Trump

Clancy

Hanson, good article... I'm rather surprised the local men stood up to the Klan pricks and supported Jonna in that tense scene at the cash register. They wouldn't have dared to in the Arkansas town where my parents were raised. The KKK will enjoy their fertile time now.

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