Murder Your Inner Child?

We used to have mines; now we have Minecraft. We used to have farms; now we have FarmVille. We used to fight wars; now we have World of Warcraft.” Adam Carolla

The above is a quote from I Am Your Emotional Support Animal. This is a book about the wussification of America by the same author who wrote In Fifty Years We’ll All Be Chicks. Carolla is an immensely popular podcaster, and a brilliant if a bit profane commentator on contemporary American culture.

I’m now in my upper-70s and I remember. I remember growing up in a family with miners, farmers and warriors. I remember my father’s older brother John. He worked in a gypsum mine his entire life. He started there at age 13 and worked until he was in his early-60s and no longer able to function as a human mule. In his spare time, and after the mine, he “farmed” several acres of vegetables. One large garden took up the back of the Austin homestead on Fulton St and then he had two plus acres of rich bottom land on the old channel of the Portage River just outside of town. He had a self propelled roto-tiller that I hated trying to navigate. My father and I helped John with his gardens as he got older. It was second nature to my father. His family emerged from farms and morphed into the mines, trades and civil servants.

My mother’s two brothers, Unk and Hal, plus a host 0f cousins fought in WW2. They were part of what’s been termed “The Greatest Generation” –the men and women who survived the Great Depression and won WW2. They were characterized by being tough, and not necessarily nice — especially the men. I grew up amongst them, was raised by them. They rarely talked about The War. They didn’t talk much about feelings. Their lives had largely been a struggle for survival. Like I said, they were tough.

I have written before about “feelings” and how they lie to us — how a life driven by one’s feelings is a prescription for immaturity and emotional chaos. I might “feel” like God doesn’t love me — but I know that He does. I might feel like a failure — but that doesn’t mean that I am. Our feelings are indicators, not the reality.

Nevertheless, It is not hard to understand that we have an inner child. Who we were at age 3 or 5 or 10 is still there, a part of us, and it’s not bad to acknowledge the child part of our ego to understand how we got to who we are now. Picture him/her in your mind and acknowledge that there was anger, fear and hurt that you had no responsibility for– and then wave goodbye to mini-you. I don’t think its wise to spend a lot of time communing with that little bugger after you’ve acknowledged the pain.

The healing of the inner child school of therapy became popular in the 1980 and 90ss. It was one of the penultimate struggles in the cognitive vs emo dialectic that defined psychotherapy. Today the counseling scene is dominated by attachment theory, trauma work and the quasi-science scam known as EMDR. So therapists look for “trauma” in folks who often have had more or less normal lives. Everyone has had some unfortunate experiences — but was it trauma?

But before the inner child, back in the early-1970s there was Transactional Analysis and the Parent-Adult-Child paradigm. The Adult was roughly equivalent to Freud’s Super-Ego and what one might call Conscience. The Child part of us was the repository of all emotion — both good and bad. When we were being emotional we were in our inner Child state. The Adult was essentially Mr. Spock. He looked at all the data and logically and dispassionately made decisions — sort of like a human computer. This was very clearly spelled out in the popular book I’m OK – You’re Ok.

P-A-C was a paradigm that was fairly accurate and was easily explained to others. I still sometimes use it to frame ideas with my clients. The focus is on understanding ones self and not in trying to resolve a past that in most cases cant be resolved. In any event, the past can’t be changed, only understood. And if our behavior become more intentional and less driven by the unconscious feelings then maybe we’ll make better decisions . Hopefully, more logical decisions.

Okay, I suppose Adam Carolla’s call to murder your inner child is a little harsh. But don’t let that little bugger with his rampant feelings run your life. I don’t indulge mine much. But perhaps I’m most in touch with my inner child when I see a young mother with a couple two or three year old kiddoes struggling thru the parking lot at Publix. I always say a silent prayer for them and bless them in my thoughts. I pray that they will have a good life and grow up in a home where there’s love.

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Safetyism: The Religion of Safety

Or perhaps I could have titled this “The False God of Safety” or “The Idol of Safety.” In any event our society’s largely unconscious obsession with staying safe has been turned into a full blown secular religion by the coronavirus pandemic.

The concept of “safetyism” began with a 2018 book titled The Coddling of the American Mind by Haidt and Lukianoff. It focused on the infantilizing nonsense of trigger warnings and safe spaces that were then proliferating on college campuses. A recent column by Dennis Prager on the new religion of Safetyism got me to thinking again about this topic. To Prager “staying safe” has become the ultimate value–the value above all values–and he describes how in this year of the pandemic it has caused millions to give up their basic freedoms in the interest of staying safe.

The topic of safety is one that I’ve addressed before in blogs, and in my book Jesus vs satan: The Message of the Wilderness Temptations. An obsessive focus on safety allows it to become the idol of safety, which is also intimately tied to the idols of power and control. The second and third of the three tests or temptations that satan presents to Jesus are about power, control and safety. This key story in the life of Jesus is found in the gospels of Luke Chapter 4 and Matthew Chapter 4.

The first temptation is specifically about bread– or bread being a metaphor for all material goods. Satan challenges a fasting and very hungry Jesus to demonstrate his divinity by turning stones into bread. In the latter two temptations satan offers Jesus power over the world if He will only worship him (satan), and for Jesus to demonstrate His special relationship with God by having angels rescuing him from death after throwing himself off the highest point of the Temple. In all three instances Jesus sidesteps the bait and answers satan with scripture.

Mankind’s most basic need after air and water is for food. Our next basic need is that of safety. Then when we are safe and our bellies full we seeks ways to keep them full by controlling others. The biggest imponderable threat in our lives is usually the behavior of others –and in our minds we stay safe by controlling them.

The draconian edicts imposed by many of our state’s governors as a response to the coronavirus threat are perfect examples of out-of-control, power mad controllers practicing their own Safetyism — and concomitantly imposing it on their constituents.

Mandatory masking

No large gatherings.

Shut down churches and small businesses.

Stay at home quarantines.

Get fully vaccinated.

Suppress contrarian views and scientific data.

And the beat goes on. Safetyism’s fear of loss of control is spread thru social media, as well as the left leaning mainstream media.

Safetyism has its high priest in Doctor Fauci.

Its clergy are doctors, scientists and talking heads in the media

Its sacraments are masks and needles.

Instead of heaven or a pleasant hereafter we are rewarded with government dollars.

Repeat after me: Our Fauci who art in Washington, hallowed be Thy edicts. . .

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“Quid est Veritas?” Lies and Media’s quasi-Reality

“Let be be reality of seem

the only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream” ~ Wallace Stevens, 1922

Anyway, I’m not quite sure why I prefaced this piece with these famous lines from Wallace Stevens. Probably because they came to mind when thinking about the topic of “truth” and it is a reference that resonates with many literate folk –it also has to do with what I’m really writing about, and that is the tenuous nature of truth and reality in our era of social media, 24/7 news-as-entertainment, AI (artificial intelligence) and deep state paranoia.

As I’ve written before in several blogs and books, liars and lies are so terribly pernicious because they steal our reality and thus to a degree are ability to survive. We need a fairly accurate map of reality in order to successfully navigate and thus survive in this often perilous world. It is no accident that satan has been called the father of lies (John 8:44). He wants to sow confusion and ultimately, death.

This past year has seen a proliferation of contradictory stories in the media about the origin, nature, threat and treatment for Covid-19. Some of it originated with Democrats who desperately wanted to blame President Trump for his response to the pandemic, and some of it was no doubt spread by Russian and Chinese computer bots. That the Russians interfered in our election is indisputable. However, I have read they were not so intent on who won but simply to create as much disinformation, enmity and strife as possible. I suspect their action with the pandemic is the same — to get Americans fighting with one another and mistrustful of the scientific data.

The contradictory messages and information on social media about any topic of importance such as the pandemic, climate change, or the crisis at our southern border is ubiquitous. Many have their minds already made up and all they seek is confirmation, but truly open minds are left agape as they seek truth in social or mainstream media. And in the absence of solid information folks either check out emotionally and cognitively and ignore the problem altogether, or fall back on what they already wanted to believe.

Added to the mix now is deepfake technology — sort of photoshop on steroids. It is possible to make it appear as though someone is actually saying something which they are not — literally putting words in ones mouth using technology. With deepfake added to the toxic brew Reality with a capital R has become even squishier.

Tired of the lies, the noble and often dicey quest for truth is in danger of being relegated to our mental dustbin. Perhaps the most cynical, interesting and ambiguous bit in Scripture is when Pilate answers Jesus by saying; “What is truth?” Is he saying it doesn’t matter in the long run or is the truth what one makes it?

In either case, it makes satan quite cheerful.

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Obama’s Third Term

It’s fairly apparent that Joe’s not home — he’s non compos mentis. But even a few years ago he was pretty much an empty suit. I think that’s why Obama picked him for VP. He’s always been go with the flow Joe. In over 40 years he never introduced an original piece of legislation of any importance, and he reliably parroted whatever the majority of democrats wanted. In spite of his world-class mediocrity he crafted an image of a likeable, down to earth guy that got him elected again and again from an inconsequential state.

Obama didn’t have to worry about Biden being anything but a lackey. In spite of saying and doing some odd things from time to time (like unsolicited gropes of young girls) he was not going to go off the reservation. However, one does wonder if Obama had any inkling of Joe’s family enriching itself off of his name. Hunter and his brother James’ business machinations would make a mafia don blush.

In any event, Obama and Biden reigned for eight years. — all that the law would allow. The Obama’s presidency was characterized by a worsening in race relations, a tepid recovery from Bush’s recession, use of the deep state organs the IRS and the DOJ to pursue his domestic enemies and a weakening of our military and international influence. It was a far-left slam dunk. However, the democrat controlled mainstream media was silent, and the general public continued to view Obama as a success and his character and his family pristine — presidential to the max. In addition, he was, and remains, admired and very popular in other countries. Obama’s popularity in foreign countries is an inverse ratio to their dislike of America. The American electorate liked him but the mid-term reversal in congress reflected the fact that they didn’t like his policies

Obama is every bit as egotistical and self-absorbed as Trump, but he is a good deal subtler about it. He was very aware that, like every president, he had a legacy. He wanted his legacy, his image for posterity, to be relatively pristine. His 2008 campaign promise to “fundamentally transform” America was only partially realized.

I read Obama’s autobiography twice. I read some of Dreams From My Father in 2008 and I read all of it in 2012. Based on an epiphany I had in the Summer of 2007, I did not have a good feeling about him, but I was open to hearing his story.

The things one must consider is that Obama’s father was a Kenyan, a man of poor character and that he grew up under British imperialism. Although he married a white woman and studied at Harvard, I think it can safely be said that he hated white people and this country — and taking advantage of both could be counted as a feather in his crown.

The dreams that Papa Obama had for the USA were not benign, and his son did his best to realize them while still maintaining a legacy that got him into the best country clubs and the highest echelons of white society. Today he splits his time between 10-million dollar mansions in Martha’s Vineyard and the DC suburbs and he’s building a third home in Hawaii. Not bad for a retired public servant.

Meanwhile he’s enjoying a third term as crypto-prez. The Biden administration is filled with recycles from the Obama years. And in a way that makes perfect sense, as Joe’s never had an original thought. However, speculation has it that Joe and Kamala get their marching orders via two of Barack’s intimates Susan Rice and/or Valerie Jarrett.

It appears that the game plan for Obama’s third term is not just the fundamental transformation of this country but perhaps its total destruction. The USA will continue but only as a part of a multinational super-state. Obama and other uber-libs are all internationalists. They fervently do not believe in our country’s exceptionalism. To them the Constitution is outmoded and our country illegitimate because in their eyes it was founded on racism. To boot. we are imperialistic. The hordes at our southern border is but the result of our de facto imperialism in central America.

Internationally: Back on is the giveaway of billions to Iran for unverifiable promises of their slowing the quest for a nuclear bomb. Consequently, relations with Israel have gotten chilly again, as that giveaway is followed by more millions to the Hezbollah inspired Palestinians. Also, following Trump’s get tough policy with China we are again cozying up to their oppressive, xenophobic regime which seeks world domination.

The border is open again — and far beyond what Obama allowed. The number of illegals has turned into a flow of such magnitude that even Biden is embarrassed and befuddled, Adding millions of illegals to the estimated 20-million already here will fundamentally change this country. In over three months neither Joe nor VP Harris has ventured there. Quite obviously they do not want to attract attention to a massive problem which they created.

Domestically, along with stopping construction of the southern border wall, Biden’s other initial act was to stop the Keystone pipeline from Canada, thus insuring higher gas prices and concomitantly thousands of unemployed workers. In addition, the Obama surrogates are systematically destroying effective policing in major Democrat controlled cities by encouraging “defund the police” campaigns. The results are obvious: thousands of cops leaving and consequent skyrocketing murder rates. The thin blue line separating us from the barbarians is getting even thinner.

On a similar note, vitiation of the military and CIA. No longer is their mission to protect this country but to be incubators for “woke” culture. That nonsense plus a weakening in defense spending will prove disastrous.

Underpinning all the above noted transformational mayhem is the massive giveaway of six additional trillion dollars for dubious programs. We already have a massive national debt and the Democrat largesse will guarantee serious inflation and a financial collapse that will make 2008-09 seem like a pleasant interlude.

And so Obama’s dreams from his father are being realized during the Biden/Harris years, however brief they may be. Of course, if they are successful in packing the Supreme Court and getting DC and/or Puerto Rico statehood then the Democrats will rule in perpetuity.

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An Incomplete Life: Aug 24 ’18 ~ Jan 23 ’00

Today is May 9, Mother’s Day 2021.  I started writing this back in Aug on my mother’s birthday. It turned out much longer than I anticipated. 

My mother’s birthday was this past week. And as typical she has been in my thoughts more than usual — and I decided I would write a few remembrances. I know I’ve written bits and pieces of this before in my various books and blogs  — mainly The Unwelcome Blessing and Diospsytrek: But God Had a Better Idea. 

Contemplating her life fills me with sadness — the incompleteness of it. And in its incompleteness it feels like a continuous unraveling — a tragedy that in some sense bleeds out into my own life and dozens of others. Every unfulfilled life is like that in potential blessings lost to the world.

August 24, 1918: At the time of her birth in Algonac, Michigan, WW1 was winding down. Her father, Ivan Carl Lundblom, a Swedish immigrant with a captain’s license, was an officer in the US Navy. But where he was stationed or what his role was I do not know.

Her mother, Alma Delphine Murphy, was her father’s second wife and 18 years younger. She was tall, big-boned and of Irish, Chippewa and French descent. She was born on or near the Red Cliff reservation on the shores of Lake Superior.

After the war, my grandfather worked as a yacht broker, and also skippered luxury yachts of the America’s mega-wealthy. The last being the 160-ft Helene owned by Henry Ford’s right hand man Charles Sorenson.

During the 1920s and early years of the Great Depression the family lived well and moved a lot. Parts of my mother’s childhood were spent in Miami Beach, Cincinnati,  Bath, Maine and various towns on the Great Lakes. Her birth was sandwiched between her older brother, Hal and her younger brother, Carl. For several years her brothers went to a private military boarding school while she remained at home.

The family enjoyed a very comfortable lifestyle.  In 1930-31, my grandfather’s younger sister Elvie and husband Emil Carelius toured this country. He was an orchestra conductor and she was an opera singer. Aunt Elvie was quite taken with my mother and suggested she attend the finishing school in Switzerland that her daughters attended. However, my grandmother felt she was too young to be separated from them.

It all came to an end early one foggy morning in March, 1932. The family was driving north from Miami to Ohio on old US-1.  Just north of Titusville FL they were hit head on by a truck.  My grandfather was driving and killed instantly. My grandmother was thrown from the car and injured badly. Her younger brother suffered a head injury. My mother had only a small scar on her leg to remind her of the night her childhood, with all its hopes and dreams, effectively ended.

Within months the family was living back in my grandmother’s hometown Port Clinton, Ohio — and on Roosevelt’s dole. My grandmother lost her left arm in the accident and for a while was a morphine addict. However she kicked the drug habit cold turkey and was able to work part-time as a one armed pastry chef. She had invested the insurance money from the accident in a small hotel on Miami Beach. But it was 1932, and there was no hope for a small business that catered to vacationers. And so the family lost what they had, including a couple of lots on the beach to unpaid taxes, and returned to Ohio.

By the tender age of 15 my mother was working as a waitress and living in her own rented room. Her older brother Hal bailed out at 16 and joined the US Navy.  My grandmother and the younger brother, Carl, lived in another rooming house. These were tough times. Unemployment was 20% and and folks went hungry. Some of my grandmother’s nine siblings turned their backs on their needy sister and her children. Hard times made my uncle Carl (who I called Unk) hard but my mother it made vulnerable to a lifetime of anxiety and emotional breakdowns. Unk’s classic comment about one of his uncles who turned his back on them was: “If he was on fire I wouldn’t piss on him to put it out.”  In spite of dropping out of school in the 10th grade Unk served as an officer in the Merchant Marine during WW2, made a fortune in the black market, and then had a successful career in Civil Service, retiring as a GS-14.

My mother, on the other hand, lived with constant insecurity and mind-numbing anxiety for the rest of her life — and because her formal education ended in the 8th grade she suffered from what in those days was termed an “inferiority complex.” She never felt good about herself and always felt harshly judged by her peers. Thus, she was overly sensitive to any perceived rejection. She was tall and exceptionally attractive and an object for the cattiness of other women. The unkindness of others was the trigger for several of her breakdowns.

She also alluded to some family secret of which she never spoke. I suspect she had been a victim of some sexual abuse  — but by whom and when I do not know. During her many breakdowns she would sometimes mention a secret she could never tell.

In 1935, age-17, my mother was working at Urb’s Cafe one of Port Clinton’s tavern’s when she met one of the town’s most eligible bachelors, Boyd A. Austin, age-29. It was a poor, ill-fated match from the start– but it did yield one potentially happy consequence (your author).

They dated for several years and then quite unexpectedly my father married a woman named Dorothy– and my mother’s sensitive heart was shattered. Dorothy was a school teacher and had been to college — my mother a mere waitress. But the marriage to Dorothy lasted but a few months and then inevitably, as fated relationships tend to go,  my parents started seeing one other again. Pearl Harbor and the onset of WW2 brought a culmination to their dating. My father was 35 and near the upper limit for the draft. Being married and having a child would seemingly guarantee his continuing deferment. He already had an essential job as a police officer — but to no avail, in Feb 1943, he was drafted into the Navy.

As if the 12-year age difference weren’t enough, they were poorly matched in most all areas. My mother had grown up in a genteel family. Her father came from an upper class, somewhat aristocratic family in Sweden. My father’s roots were Scotch and German farmers. His father was a 5th grade educated plumbing and heating contractor. In a sense, the American dream –a successful self-made man, orphaned at a young age, who persevered through God-given talent and hard work. My father’s mother was also 5th grade educated and grew up in a German speaking home.  They were devoted as spouses and parents — but they were rough people. They yelled and growled at one another. They terrified my mother. And my father resembled them in many ways. He was basically a quiet, introverted man but when he did speak he could be quite gruff.  I think he really loved my mother but was at a loss when it came to expressing it. His model had been  love expressed thru good cooking and occasional back handed compliments. A great meal was greeted by satisfied grunts and the comment, “Taint bad!”

My insecure mother craved affirmation and affection and my dad wasn’t very good at expressing either. Like I said, it was a bad mix.

One thing my parents shared in common besides me were significant mood disorders. My mother was bipolar and over the course of her life had at least a dozen breakdowns and hospitalizations. My father had vast mood swings as well but was never hospitalized or treated. I was in my late 30s and had worked in mental health for a decade before it dawned on me that my father was diagnosable too. Their mood disorders were expressed thru their rocky relationship.. They were married and divorced from each other twice by the time I turned seven.  Between marriages to each other my mother had a brief marriage to a small town eccentric named Paul.  Most of my traumatic memories of childhood were of the few months I spent in Paul’s home.

Off and on we lived with my grandmother. She was a strong woman — but rather than absorb her strength I think my mother was intimidated by it. And also there were resentments from her childhood that would surface during my mother’s breakdowns. I think she may have been witness to my grandmother having an affair while her father was out at sea. With her being daddy’s girl, seeing her mother cheat would have been particularly disturbing. She confided that to my father and I learned that family secret from him. Shortly before one of her breakdowns she started writing a novel based on her life The Captain’s Daughter. My father read a rough draft and said it was pretty good but she burned it. Perhaps, reliving the tale of her childhood was just too painful.

My mother worked for many years as a waitress and hostess at Port Clinton’s finest inn The Island House. That was where celebrities dined and stayed when they made their way up to the lake to fish. Among others, she served Henry Ford and Joe DiMaggio. But by 1951, she had taught herself to type and take shorthand and she got a federal civil service job as a clerk/typist at Erie Ordinance Depot (EAD). And then when I was about eight or nine my uncle Unk fronted her the money to buy a tiny home on 3rd Street on the edge of Port Clinton’s mini-ghetto. Black folks lived directly behind us and two doors down on either side.

I was rather ashamed of our dumpy little 360 sq ft house but my mother was happy to be independent. I would have preferred for us to have continued living with my grandmother Mimi on the better side of town. At that age Mim was my main source of security and ego-strength. I didn’t like where we lived and I was also skeptical of some of the men she dated.

However, she and my father would still go out on occasion, I suppose to provide a family experience for me, but inevitably before the date was over they would find something to argue about.  One enduring memory is driving back from Sandusky after a movie on old Route-2, my parents up front bickering and me in the backseat mentally and emotionally checked out absorbed by the muskrat lodges in the marsh that paralleled the highway, wondering what life was like living in a muskrat house half underwater while Jack Benny and Our Miss Brooks played on the radio. I was never quite sure what their arguments were about as I was actively daydreaming.

The big event of every summer was the National Rifle Matches held at Camp Perry next to Erie Ordinance Depot. Thousands of marksmen from all over the world would come to compete. My mother and her single girlfriends enjoyed a several week long party jitterbugging and drinking with the young, handsome shooters — and it was during the summer of ’55 that my mother met a Marine Corps master sergeant who was likely the love of her life.

Del was a big brute of a guy and on the Marine Corps rifle team. He was a combat veteran of both WW2 and Korea. I didn’t think he was a particularly attractive man but my mother did.  I was skeptical of his intentions and I’m sure he resented me. They had an off again on again relationship that spanned about a decade. He would pop into town for a week at a time and she would travel to various locations to see him.

In the summer of 1956, we flew on old DC-3s and 4s to Charleston, S.C.  It was a great adventure for me. Our eventual destination was to visit both my uncles who lived in Jacksonville, FL– but first mother wanted to visit Del at Parris Island where he was a D.I. for Marine recruits.

We had a horse-drawn carriage tour of colonial Charleston and took a boat across to Fort Sumter. The next day we got on to the base and toured Parris Island. But before she made contact with Del the following day she sent me on to Jacksonville. The next time I saw her, three weeks later, she was in jail in Beaufort and out-of-touch psychotic.

Hal and Unk bailed her out and Hal’s big Packard barely stopped on our trek north to Toledo State Hospital. Once again my mother spent about three months in the state facility and I lived with my grandmother. She had a course of electroshock treatments (ECT). It was her third hospitalization for what was termed in the 1950s a “nervous breakdown.” ECT in the state hospital was what the working poor got for treatment in the 1950s.

She returned to Port Clinton and her civil service job embarrassed and subdued. Her immediate memory had been wrecked by the ECT.  She could not precisely remember what had happened and she was embarrassed at not being able to remember her last conversations with coworkers and friends. Nevertheless, she gradually put her life back together. At the first of the year, 1956, she sold our dumpy little house and we moved to a place my father’s older brother John owned. It was back on Fulton Street in the neighborhood in which I was most comfortable: my father, grandmother, uncle and best friends all lived within a block or two.

In a sort of low-keyed way my father stalked her. Being on the police force he knew all the town gossip and happenings. Also, she was very sensitive about her trips to the state hospital along with the gossip that inevitably accompanies an attractive divorcee in a small town. She resented the gossip and my father’s intrusions into her life. So in the Spring of 1958, she jumped at the chance to join other Ohio ex-pats in New Mexico at White Sands Missile Range.  EAD was phasing out and its career civil service employees were transferring to posts all over the country.

For the next decade she lived in Las Cruces, and some of the happiest years of her life were spent there.  I went out for my junior year of HS but I didn’t care for the starkness of the desert and mountains and so I went back to the lush green of Port Clinton and the emotional comfort of familiar surroundings for my senior year. However, I’d acclimated enough to the desert that I went back out for college, especially since I could attend New Mexico State University as a resident.

Mother had bought a small three bedroom cement block house in a development called Bellamah. It was about two miles from the university, and in the early-60s Bellamah was a nice middle class subdivision. She carpooled the 27-miles over the Organ Mountain pass to her job at White Sands. She socialized with neighbors and a group of friends from Ohio and her job. Overall, these were happy times. She taught Sunday  school at a little Lutheran church a few blocks from our house. She was completely independent, her income was adequate and she enjoyed decorating our little home.  She was a good cook and frequently invited folks over for dinner.

From time to time Del would show up and stay for a few days. He had retired from the Corps and split his time between Arizona and his original home in Washington state.

But it was around about Sept 1965, when my mother’s life again started to unravel. There was another tryst with Del that didn’t go well and then her boss at White Sands committed suicide. She thought a lot of this man and was devastated. The day before he shot himself he’d reached out to her.  He showed up at our house early one Saturday morning. I remember him at the door. My mother was still in her nightgown and sent him on his way. She had no idea how depressed he was and she was worried that this married man might have a romantic interest in her.

Feeling in some way responsible for her boss’s suicide sent her into another spiral. A couple months after, on an irrational bipolar impulse, she took off to see her cousin Jack in Riverside CA.  A few days later two of her closest girlfriends and myself drove nonstop to Riverside and checked her out of the local psych ward, and echoing the response to her breakdown nine years earlier we drove 18-hours straight to the psych ward of a hospital in El Paso.

The following autumn (1966) she had another breakdown. She then decided that her dead end clerk/typist job was too stressful and that she wanted to better her employment prospects. She drew out her retirement and went back to school. My mother had always been a voracious reader and she easily passed the GED needed to get into the university.

Her one semester as a 49-year old NMSU coed was in some sense restorative. She had to take some non-credit classes such as algebra, which was difficult for her, but she made passing grades in sociology and English Lit. And in some way being a somewhat successful college student made up for years of feeling less-than due to never having attended high school.

Financial pressures forced her to take a waitress job and a break from school. But the next big crisis occurred in the autumn of 1967. I got my master’s degree and took a job in Illinois as a psych intern.  My finally leaving home as a 24-year old was another life-changing stressor. There was no one to orient her life around. Del was a hopeless cause as far as marriage or long term commitment and her baby bird had finally flown the nest.

I had moved up to Rockford, Illinois in November and by the following March (1968) she had again fallen apart. Per usual, she had taken flight on a bipolar impulse and drove aimlessly for several days. She ended up in jail in a small town in southern Illinois. I bailed her out and drove her back to Toledo State Hospital.

By and by she sold our house in Las Cruces and moved back to Port Clinton. She could be near family (aunts and many cousins) and myself — Rockford was a lot closer to Ohio than New Mexico, and I could visit frequently. She moved in with her aunts Pat and Margaret who shared a home. Pat and Mag had lived together for years but they were quite different characters and argued incessantly. My mother felt put in the middle and was likely overly sensitive to the tense atmosphere, and inevitably another breakdown ensued.

When she was discharged from the hospital she moved back in with my father. After nearly two decades they were together again. They didn’t live together as man and wife but merely shared the same dwelling. They took care of each other and that was a blessing for me. Terrified of more hospitalizations she dutifully took the two powerful antipsychotics Thorazine and Stellazine that she was discharged on, and over the years they gradually turned her into a near zombie. Nevertheless, she still felt guilty about their living together and worried about the small town gossips who she thought would speculate about their cohabitation sans another marriage license. They lived together for the next 16 years until my father’s sudden death in Feb 1986.

I moved her down to Florida and in with myself and my wife Tiffany.  Initially, my wife  was very enthused about the project of rehabilitating my mother. In lieu of medication my wife substituted a variety of vitamins and supplements, and Mom started to come back to life. However, in April 1986, I had to go back to Ohio for several weeks to clean out my father’s house and work with his attorney on settling the estate. And it was while I  was gone that relations between my wife and mother started to deteriorate. They had several conflicts about who knows what. My wife claimed that my mother was inhabited by demons, and that her behavior was quite different when I was not present.  Having seen my mother during several of her manic psychoses I was well aware of how obnoxious, hateful and aggressive she could become. However, she was a born again Christian and I believed that the Holy Spirit and demons could not occupy the same body.

A few days after I returned to Florida I found her on the bathroom floor cold and barely responsive. An ambulance took her to the hospital ER.  I was completely disconsolate. I’d just lost my father and now not much more than two months later I was facing my mother’s death. She had overdosed on her old psych meds in an attempt to end her life. It was not her first attempt nor was it to be her last. Her explanation later was that she didn’t want her presence to create more problems when it was quite obvious that Tiffany and I’s marriage was already foundering.

A consulting neurologist at the ER diagnosed her with hypothermia.  It was quite chilly that morning and she had lain on the bathroom floor for several hours. She was revived with heavy blankets and heating pads.

She did not come back to our trailer, but was taken in by her younger brother Unk and his wife Sherrie in their home in Orange City.  Going to live with Unk was a relief for all of us.  At that point Sherry liked my mother and she gladly took on the continuing project of her rehabilitation.  Orange City is about a 35 min drive from Oviedo and so I could visit frequently.

When my father’s house finally sold, I invested the money in buying a house in Orange City a few blocks from Unk. A couple months prior Tiffany and I had split and I ended up also buying a home in Orange City.  The plan was for Sherrie’s mother Lessie to move in and share it with my mother. It looked like one of those God-plans — a win win for everybody.  And for a few months it was. But inevitably, there were jealousy issues and she was triangulated by Sherri and Lessie. Unk and I didn’t know what to make of their conflicts, but predictably he chose his wife over his sister, and the chill in their relationship was a blow both to Mom and to me. Rejecting his sister who waited tables at 16 and 17 so he could have decent clothes for school was particularly painful to recall.

Sherrie was extremely materialistic, and she could be a controlling bitch — do it her way and everybody got along okay, but say “no” to her and there was hell to pay.  It was a bad mix. Sherrie being a malignant. manipulative sociopath and my mother being easily hurt, and emotional hurts being a trigger for her bipolar episodes. And so by 1989 my mother and her brother were pretty much permanently estranged.

However, there were some bright spots during the four years (1987-91) that she had her own home. Her first cousins Hilda and Elvie came up for a visit from Ft. Lauderdale. She had not seen them since she was around 20. They had been close as kids and thru the years kept in touch by mail, and it was especially gratifying to spend a long weekend with them catching up.  She was also visited by old friends from Las Cruces, Peg and Jim Smits, and Dorothy Sturtz. She loved to cook and to host family and friends for dinner or to stay overnight. It was during this same time that she started to attend a small Congregational Church in the neighborhood. It was less than two blocks away and she could easily walk there using her quad cane, and, best of all, almost the entire congregation and the pastor were folks around her age. After a while I started to drive her there on Sunday mornings. It was an important step in my spiritual development. Even though I’d had a “born again” experience in 1979, regularly attending church was something I had not done since about age-19.

She was proud of her home, but after Lessie moved several roommates and she failed to get along. She hated living alone and would have been happy to move in with me, but I was trying to build a single life, hopefully find another wife, and at age-45 didn’t want to answer to my mother’s daily intrusions on my freedom. In retrospect, it seems quite selfish on my part, and at times I suffer a lot of guilt.

Things started to unravel again in Sept of 1988. She fell in a store and broke her hip. She spent a month in rehab before being able to come home and get around with some help.  A very good attorney got her a settlement of 18k.  She had never had access to that much cash before and it set her off on a bit of a manic spending spree.

But some people can never seem to catch a break, and sadly. her life took another downward turn when a year later she fell at home and broke the other hip. Once again a month in rehab and afterwards pretty much relegated to permanently using a walker.

Since she was unable to find a congenial and reliable roommate., I decided to sell her house and move her in to a nearby senior citizen apartment complex. There was supervision on site and it was set up for the elderly and handicapped. She lived there for nearly four years. It was not far from me or her old neighborhood and i saw her pretty much daily. But she was not happy and at least once a year she had a breakdown that would result in a couple week hospitalization.

In June of 1995, she suffered a major stroke. The left side of her body was completely paralyzed. I remember all too vividly the look of terror she had on her face and in her eyes the following day at the hospital. She had trouble communicating at that point but I think she knew that any kind of independent life was effectively over. 

She regained her ability to speak clearly and her cognition was still good, but she remained paralyzed and clearly could never live independently again. One small blessing was that she got into Mariner a very nice nursing home that was less than a mile from where I lived. I was able to visit daily. If I happened to miss a day I’d go twice the following day. I got her three or four books a week from the local library and on Saturdays I brought her McDonald’s pancakes. It was a welcome change from the blenderized mess they feed stroke victims.

Watching TV didn’t interest her. She lived for visitors and spent her time between visits reading.  She was well taken care of but she was understandably miserable.  During my daily visits she usually had little to say. I pretty much had to keep the conversation going.  When I would leave, ever the anxious parent, she would always say, “Be very careful.” 

She lived (existed) at Mariner for four and a half years. She turned 81 in August of 1999.  All things considered her physical and cognitive status showed remarkably little deterioration. But her emotional status was quite obviously depression. As time went on she had fewer visitors and she became even quieter. In the last few months of her life her blue eyes took on a luminous, far-off look. She saw the new Millennium in, though I’m not sure she fully comprehended that– as she took almost no interest in the news or current events. 

On Sunday morning January 23, at around 2:30 a.m. the nursing home called and said she’d “fallen” out of bed, and that the paramedics had transported her to the ER. It was virtually impossible for her to have fallen out of bed, and I believe she pulled herself out in an attempt to end her life. 

I only live a few minutes from the hospital and I was there within minutes. She was hooked up on life support and she was pretty much unresponsive. After a bit they transferred her to CCU.  I sat there for a couple hours listening to the beeping and watching the monitors. Her hand was ice cold. A doctor asked if I wanted them to unhook her, and I said no. I wasn’t able to make that decision yet. Finally, after a couple hours I went home, and I told them to call if there was any change.

At around six in the evening I was pacing in circles — living room to family room to kitchen and back– trying to walk off my angst and not brood. Suddenly, I felt what could only be described as the fluttering of wings around my head. I knew in that moment she had passed, and five minutes later the hospital called and confirmed it. 

I trust the Lord, and I know my mother was saved, and I know that I was “born again” because she prayed for me daily during the two decades that I was lost. And I know she resides in His presence. Still, I wonder why some people’s lives on this Earth are so unremittingly painful. Not just her life but the lives of hundreds of clients and a few friends I’ve known over the years.  Even beyond her bipolar illness and psychotic breaks, she had tragic events blast away her security and happiness. She did have some good times and had some bright memories but in sum I think illness and tragedy are like a shroud that overshadows them all. 

What if her father hadn’t been killed when she was 13, and if he’d been in her life another decade. She surely would have been more secure. She could have finished her education and had a normal teenage life, and had not reached adulthood feeling “less than” her peers. Or what if she’d gone to finishing school in Switzerland with her Swedish cousins. It goes on and on. What if her mental illness had been effectively treated earlier. What if she hadn’t broken both hips. The what ifs. What if she’d had a professional career instead of being a waitress and clerk/typist.  She was brighter than average for certain and she had a creative streak. She wrote and took oil painting lessons. What if she’d been able to give full rein to her creativity? Between her breaks she was charming and well loved. In the late-1970s when I worked at Seminole Mental Health I had a client who had recently moved here from New Mexico. Oddly enough, she had attended our little Lutheran church in Las Cruces. My mother had been her Sunday school teacher. She remembered her fondly. Many did. 

 

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Prince of the Power of the Air

The above phrase about satan from Ephesians 2 has over time provoked much serious exegesis, biblical commentary and table talk speculation.

Satan is indeed a prince. Sadly, he is the de facto ruler of our world. Any believer with half a brain can appreciate that. But what does “power of the air” mean?

Some have thought “air” means “up there” as in the heavens. But most think of satan’s realm as down below the earth –and one wonders from where that thought comes. The “up there” is somewhere above our heads in the sky but obviously not what believers think of as the place called Heaven.

More recently, the power of the air has come to signify the airwaves — as in radio, movies and television. Hollywood knows no restraints. Movies and television have become literal cesspools. I hate to sound like some church lady prude but that’s the sad truth. Once again, any believer with half a brain can see that satan is alive and well and living in the airwaves of the broadcast media.

Certainly, the broadcast media bares satan’s imprimatur but I think the “power of the air” is also reflected in the ambiance of the blogosphere and social media. I never cease to be amazed at the vitriol expressed by media trolls. It seems their whole reason for being, their raison d’etre is to post snarky comments. They’re semi-anonymous snipers lost in the mega-crowds on social media. Sometimes their responses are humorous but more often they are just vicious dumps of anger. They ambush bloggers by discharging their anger at the end of someone’s serious opinion piece.

I read quite a few pieces by Christian authors and bloggers, and the worst of the media trolls seem to show up on posts with a spiritual focus– more specifically, a Christian focus. Many trolls are clearly atheists, but they are not content with their lack of belief, they feel it necessary to spread their misery. They’re not going to change anyone’s mind but that’s not the point. The point is to infect others with their anger.

For me, the trolls do tend to keep me on my toes. They have caused me to have second thoughts about what I post–particularly posts with a political focus. There are several people I have un-followed or un-friended on Facebook because of our widely divergent views. A couple have unfriended me as well. I would classify them as brothers and sister in Christ, but that didn’t stop us from parting ways–and all in all that’s rather sad. A couple of old “friends” but one in particular never comment unless my post is political. His snarky remarks do not further the cause of our long friendship, and I have thought about casting him out of my life. In my saner moments that strikes me as extreme. We have a fifty year friendship that, politics aside, has meant a lot to me. I admit that I’m think-skinned and particularly prone to anger. It is why I attend a Celebrate Recovery men’s anger group. My anger has caused me to lose my Christian charity and forgiveness more than a few times.

My reaction demonstrates what I think the Prince of the Power of the Air is up to. It is a divide and conquer strategy — keep people angry and sniping at one another. In 2007, I published my book Satan’s Top Ten Tricks. It was a different world then. I acknowledged the threat of the Prince of the Power of the Air in the media, but I didn’t understand the blogosphere as yet and social media was yet to be invented. There are no specific “tricks” in my book that address that aspect of the worldly prince’s power.

Were I to write a second edition I would add a chapter on Divisiveness and satan’s use of the media would be emphasized.

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Is God in Control?

Given my heavily churchy background the past two decades it almost seems sacrilegious to posit this question about God’s omnipotence. Back in the mid-1990s the Twila Paris power ballad “God is in Control” was pretty much my favorite contemporary Christian tune.

But for me, given the events of the past three months, the nature of God’s control is a question that demands being addressed

Three months after the defeat of President Trump and the inauguration of the Biden/Harris regime tech platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Amazon and Google are making a concerted effort to suppress any Trump comeback and to actively suppress the voice of all conservatives, and to a degree, serious Christians as well.

Most of my conservative, evangelical Christian friends have been suffering post-election blues. They’re all over Facebook with glum assessments of the apparently fraudulent election results and the grim prospects for our nation’s future. However, many say that even though the Church is entering a period of persecution they conclude with the old security blanket that everything will be okay because “God is in control.”

And in the long run, they’re right.

Whereas I’m no theologian or apologist, I’ll nevertheless throw in my two cents

First let me ask the question: Was God in control on this date 75 years ago? I started this piece on 1/13/21. On Jan 13, 1945, the Battle of the Bulge was winding down. Several thousand young American Christians died in that last gasp of the Nazis. The firebombing of Dresden and the plutonium inferno of Nagasaki were yet to come. No one knows exactly how many died in those two events but by conservative estimates upwards of 60,000 — many of them Christians. Nagasaki had more Christians than any other Japanese city, and Dresden was stuffed with refugees from the east fleeing the Red Army. Dresden had little military significance and had escaped bombing up to that point.

So in 1945, were well meaning believers throwing out the old “in control” bromide? I suspect not. We had already endured several years of war and over 200,000 dead young Americans. Every town in this country was touched and most families had boys in harms way.

I know that God is sovereign. I believe He oversees all of what goes on on planet Earth. The God who numbers our hairs and knew us in our wombs knows the ultimate outcome, and He could intervene any time if He so chose. But is He really “in control” when humans exercise the free will that He gave us?

Free Will is the monkey wrench in the works. It keeps Planet Earth from being the paradise that God originally intended. But we were given Free Will as an act of Love. A sovereign God wanted to be loved as much as He gave love, and if people were forced to love Him, it wouldn’t be real love, and all of our trials and tribulations are meant to somehow build more loving people. Perhaps even the faceless horrors of modern warfare.

Indeed, God is in control. But not in the way that many believers think.

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A Disturbance in the Force

That’s what I was going to lead with last month for a Facebook meme. RIP: Rush Limbaugh. He passed on 2/17/21 at the age of 70. Rush was a one of a kind American original who almost single handedly birthed a neo-conservative movement in our nation’s political scene in the 1990s.

His three hour radio show became nationally syndicated in 1988, and his audience grew rapidly. At its peak he had more than 15-million listeners — and he also birthed a cottage industry of AM radio conservative talk shows. In the beginning there was Rush and today there are dozens — Hannity, Glen Beck, Michael Savage, Larry Elder and Dennis Prager to name just a few. And, just maybe, over the past two decades he was the most influential person in this country. His reach and influence was enormous.

My first recollection of him was in the summer of 1990. I was driving up to Ohio with my mother. In station searching I happened upon Rush’s show and listened for a bit. As I recall it didn’t impress me one way or another. At that time in my life I was apolitical. I’d never even registered to vote. I followed the presidential elections every four year much as one generally disinterested in sports would watch the Super Bowl.

A few days later we were having lunch with my mother’s first cousin (and my godmother) Margie and her husband Henry. At one point in a discussion about social trends or politics Margie said, “Oh that Rush, he’s always up to something.” That comment went k’ching in my mind. It stuck me that they were regular listeners and leaned conservative.

In 2000, I finally decided to become part of the official electorate. I registered as a Democrat, mainly due to a serious dislike of George W. Bush. Anyway, being a participant over the past two decades I’ve progressively become more and more interested in politics, and for about ten years I’ve listened almost compulsively to talk radio — and pretty much the only talk radio is conservative.

I only listen in the car on my way back and forth to the office or running errands. Maybe that amounts to 20 or 30 min per day and I sample a half-dozen talk show hosts. Rush was never my favorite. I found that his “talent on loan from God” shtick often didn’t set well with me. Some of his signature lines were funny but after hearing them a couple dozen times I thought “enough!” lets get on with the show. There was a a time when I viewed him as mainly an over the top bombastic humorist. And often a not very funny one.

However, over the last year or two of his life that began to change. I gradually became impressed with how “old school” he was in his approach to folks. He was invariably polite to his callers. He didn’t ridicule them or tend to argue or put them down as some talk show hosts are wont to do. He treated even the most misguided respectfully. It also struck me that his audience was greatly made up of salt of the earth middle Americans like my cousins Marge and Henry. They understood him, they loved him, and he had an impressive bond with the bulk of his audience. I was also struck by his optimism, by how much he loved and believed in this country and its founding principles. His enjoyment of life and his love for his work was palpable.

I came to appreciate his insight into the nature of the radial left and how it had taken over the Democrat party. The party’s ideology has shifted dramatically since 2000, when I registered as a Democrat– and It has probably been close to a decade since I have voted for any Democrat candidate. The part today would be unrecognizable by Truman or JFK.

Rush saw early on what the radical left was up to. However, at one time I saw his take no prisoners approach to politics as contributing to the divisiveness in this country, and perhaps it has. But it was his surgical response to the malignancy of the contemporary left. They hate this country and they do not play fair and so why treat them with kid gloves. Their cynical perfection of the art of vote harvesting in the last election is a good example.

Another thing Rush got right were his insights into Donald Trump. He understood what resonated with the American people about Trump. He also understood that at heart, beneath the vanity and combativeness, was a true patriot.

In the last couple months of his life it was apparent that Rush was dying. And yet in between the cancer treatments he was a trouper. He wanted to give the country he loved his best for as long as he could. And after his death the facts about the real El Rushbo and his generosity emerged. The left’s usual charges of racism and sexism were wildly off-key when it came to him. His producer/call screener Bo Snerdly is black as well as many other of his employees — and scads of ladies telling of unwanted advances by a powerful male were nonexistent. He treated women respectfully. In person he was quite shy and self-effacing. The over the top bombastic Rush was his public on the air personality. Like many comedians and media stars he was private and subdued — not at all comfortable being the center of attention. But behind a microphone he was a rockstar. In fact, he started in radio as a teenager DJ doing Top-40.

We will not see the likes of Rush again. Like I said, he was one of a kind American original, and I feel richer for having come to appreciate the real Rush.

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Vision or Mad Dog

2020: It was that kind of a year.

A recent Facebook post reminded me of Mad Dog 2020. That was the pop wine we drank back in the mid-60s. MD-2020: I think it stood for Mogen David, 20% alcohol. I drank Mad Dog a couple of times but mostly I favored La Boheme. This pop wine gave me the courage at a drunken orgy to get belligerent with an NMSU defensive lineman — who in a real fight would’ve cleaned my clock in about 40-seconds. In my early-20s I was pathologically shy. A few gulps of MD-2020 or La Boheme gave me the green light to flirt. I guess MD 2020 is still around, giving a new generation false hopes and courage.

We all know about 20 20 vision. That’s pretty much perfect eyesight. The last I saw of that was about age six. At age seven my second grade teacher figured out I couldn’t see the blackboard and I got sent to my first appointment with an optometrist. That was the first in a series of dozens of pairs of glasses and contact lenses.

Over the past couple years my vision has deteriorated considerably — almost equaling my crummy hearing. Driving at night has become a challenge. It’d been four or five years since my last eye exam. Then back in August I had my eyes checked. I knew I had cataracts, and the exam confirmed they’d gotten worse — but PTL my vision was correctable enough with a new prescription that I could delay surgery another year or two. I see much better now but the first couple days was a real adjustment. The optometrist increased the power of my prescription so much that for a few days everything looked oddly distant but very sharp — anyway, for the moment I think 20 20 has been restored.

Also, I selected gold wire rimmed frames echoing what I wore back in the 1970s. Well, that just made perfect that 70s look. In March when they closed the hair salons and barbershops I stopped getting haircuts. It’s been almost ten months now. My hair is shoulder length — about what it was in 1976.

At the end of December it was my b-day and then 2021 arrived. I’m not at all optimistic. It may cause me to continue to not cut my hair in protest. . . but hopefully not drive me back to Mad Dog 2020.

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Masks & Control

The past six months of the coronavirus pandemic has given rise to a lot of controversy on Facebook and other media about the wearing of facemasks.

There are those maskers who see it as a way of taking care of others. Some get real sanctimonious about it. They do what they can to instill guilt in the non-maskers — like if you don’t wear one you’re just an insensitive SOB and likely to kill someone’s granny. You’re probably not even a good Christian because St. Paul tells us to fit in, obey civil authorities, and not think of ourselves first. WWJD — yeah, He would probably wear a mask.

Then there are those who are adamant about not wearing them. I have a client who refuses even in venues that require it. Apparently nobody challenges him. He goes to the supermarket, restaurants and his part time job sans a face diaper. He’s not a real big guy but he’s muscular and has an air of authority about him.

I’m not that brave. I wear my face gaiter around my neck and pull it up over my mug when I have to.

There are those conspiracy theorists who maintain that mandatory facemasks are not really about stopping the spread of a disease but really a sinister type of control foisted on us by the socialist one-world. leftist oligarchs who run our planet (Bill Gates, George Soros, Jeff Bezos, Nancy Pelosi, Obama, et al). In spite of invoking “science” the scientific data supporting masks is not at all compelling. When the pandemic was first ramping up ten months ago Fauci and others were against universal masking. However, when it became politically expedient they changed their tune.

I think the conspiracy folks are right. It is a conspiracy, but likely not an organized one– more one of a serendipitous virus. The left’s last power grab, climate change, never got much traction. Unlike global warming, the virus could be painted as an existential threat to almost everyone. To the average person global warming just wasn’t important. It didn’t impact their life in spite of the media and climate “experts” trying to blame every hurricane and tornado on a heating up planet. The public just didn’t buy it. They didn’t care if a hundred years from now downtown Miami was ankle deep in water.

But contracting this mysterious virus and slowly suffocating in a hospital cut off from loved ones — now that is truly terrifying, and so Voila the left had a truncheon handed to them on a silver platter. All it needed was the complicit cooperation of some high profile “scientists” and an already in place deep state bureaucracy. Enter Dr. Fauci, et al.

I think the appeal in masks is twofold. One has to do with politics and their symbolic value and the other has to do with mankind’s desire to feel safe and in control in a dangerous world

It is my belief that after food and water mankind’s greatest “need” is for security, to feel safe, and to feel safe it is seen as necessary to have the power to control — to control oneself as well as most other people in one’s life space. Lack of control of one’s life and being unable to control others is perceived by something deeply instinctual in us as an existential threat.

What masks represent to many are a type of security blanket. They feel that as long as they are wearing their mask they’re safe. It satisfies their need to feel in control in a dangerous world — in control and therefore safe. In Peanuts, did the blanket really protect Linus from anything? No, but it made him feel better. As long as he lugged his blankie around everything was gonna be okay. Like the blankie, the masks provide a feel-good illusion of safety and control.

In the political sphere, I believe that the drive to control others for one’s own nefarious purposes is mankind’s essential evil. Murder, and by extension war, is in essence nothing more than the exercise of power and control. It is one individual, group, tribe or nation exerting power over another. Its intention writ loud is: “If you do not do what I want, I will destroy you.” — or to a lesser degree: “I will make you comply to my demands. You will be my slave.”

In requiring masks the left is demanding a symbol of our acquiescence. Masking is just the first step in a continuum that ultimately leads to the Virus Protection Camps — remember, they’re doing this for your own good. Over the entrance to the Protection Camps is the inscription; “The Vax Makes You Free.” In the new Biden/Harris nanny state it will be easy to identify at least some of their opponents. They’ll be the ones not wearing masks.

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