Category Archives: Mental Glue

Silent Thunder

I remember that we would get together, during the long warm or hot summer’s afternoon to listen to the rain.  It seems in my memory that this happened many times, everyday.  This could just be an illusion of memory.  It likes those type of jokes as it has a sense of humor all its own.

It would be with the first rumble of distant thunder, the skies just beginning to change to that soft grey.  We would gather on the front porch on a side street near the downtown each of us taking one of the many chairs trying to find the spot we thought would best keep us dry.  Dad would have his highball glass freshly filled with bourbon and water poured over an excess of ice and the remains of a long cold cigar stuck in the corner of his mouth.  On occasion these storms could be a bit hostile.  The thunder grew loud and angry either coughing racking cracks, loud or some times rolling like falling bowling pins.  The pale grey could get dark as though a blanket had been pulled over the sky.  It never got like night but it did sometimes turn to a slate grey green.

The wind would whip passed us and we would only leave the porch if it was impossible to stay some what dry, a little wet was to be expected.

When the sky was at its darkest on these summer afternoons would be the time that the lightening would show itself most brightly flashing wildly.  I know that the loud thunder and bright electric gripped me hard with cold tingling fear,  I don’t know about my brothers or mother.  What chatter there was between us would cease when those explosions of thunder occurred around the bright flashes of lightening.  Dad would laugh.  Maybe fear grabbed him too and laughter was just his way of dealing with it.

It was a summer tradition.

In time I would laugh too, when the fear that accompanied nature’s fireworks was at it worst.  This type of weather is like scotch, an acquired taste.  My memory shows me and tells me that both my brothers, brother number four was still a life time away, would laugh as well, the youngest being the last to begin the practice.

In time the laughter faded and we just sat, immersed in the moment.

Over time soda pop became beer and brother and I added tobacco, all at a legal age.  Mom fades from the picture in my head as well as the youngest brother.  We just sat in silence during those summer storms, in the moment until I had become to busy and I fade from the picture as well.

I don’t know how often mom joined us for those events or even the youngest brother but that may have nothing to do with the actual event.  It could be a trick of memory.  Maybe my mothers death back in 1988 at the age of 49 changed the way of where and when I remember her.  Youngest brother ceased any real participation in my life back in the early 1990s.  It could be the same type of phenomena.  It might be that the whole family gathered on that big front porch covered with a thick sturdy roof to watch the summer storms often and the events after the fact changed the way I remembered this.

I’ve noticed over the years, Meta and I had talked about it, that memory is quite strange.  Sometimes I see myself in my own memories, sometimes I do not.  Stranger yet I see the memory from strange angles, like a corner near the ceiling of the room of the event that I am remembering takes place.

The recollections of those summer storms seems like they came from a whole other life time.  My Mom would die a few years after these memories and my mental collapse came on the heels of that particular event, no big surprise in retrospect.  So when I look back from now I am not the same person as I was when the event I am recalling takes place.

Remembering is the the act of taking the pieces of a thing that has been dismembered and trying to put it back together.  That definition comes from the back of the cassette This Winters Night by the neopagan music group, MOTHER”S TONGUE.  Whenever I think about this I get the feeling that the thing dismembered has lost an indeterminate number of pieces.  That the reassembly is a difficult task.

I have spent time in my own memory making serious effort to avoid blame shifting and just trying to understand what’s has happened and why.  It is a task that will never be completed as memory is an imperfect thing.

Rather than remembering the dismembered it strikes me that memory is more like echos from some type of alien environment.  They are mix of known and unknowable some times in a language we recognize and sometimes in a tongue foreign to our ear and under the worst of circumstances a series of sounds not recognizable as a language at all.

Trying to remember anything with any form of relative accuracy is extremely difficult when I find my mind awash in hot sharp emotion.  It is possible to learn from such a thing and I have learned one important idea.

You can never know what is in the mind or heart of another person.

Its best not to assume otherwise.

 

Acknowledgement of a Man 8/7/2017

It was just a few days ago, Tuesday or Wednesday that Meta and I found out that our Psychiatrist had passed away the weekend before.

Meta was on the phone talking to someone about our Psych Prescriptions.  I was only really listening out of the side of my ear, not paying particular attention.  There wasn’t any change in the tone of Meta’s voice as far as my ear could consciously detect.  New appointments were made for our case manager and so the conversation went.  I was struggling with some piece of software or some other ridiculous bit of semi-make work in my hole that I commonly refer to as my cubby.   I practically live in the place.  That’s when she broke from her phone call for a minute stating to the person on the other side “Wait a minute I got to tell Iba.”

I didn’t give her the chance.  I simply stated that “Doctor Lee is dead, Right?”

She wasn’t shocked or amazed as this type of response has happened before.  There is a logic to it but I will spare you that.  She quickly returned to her conversation.

Doctor Lee was our third personal headshrinker and practitioner of the mental health medical arts.  My first Doc was one Dr. Funk.  I know and I am not making it up.  I don’t think I worked with her for a full year before she had moved on to a private practice.  The second Doctor was one Dr. Zick for a little over two years.  Then, after a long distance relocation, a new apartment and finally a new Doc, Dr. Lee.  Dr. Lee was our longest, time wise, psychiatrist at a little over twenty three years.

Doctors Funk and Zick both worked at a mental health clinic in a college town that was at the center of an otherwise rural county.  It was entirely funded by a small percentage added onto the local sales tax, if memory serves.  Our appointments were frequent, sometimes twice a month and generally about a half an hour.  That clinic didn’t have admitting privileges at any hospital so they dealt with everything that they could out patient.  They also had a lower number of clients or consumers if you prefer.

Doctor Lee on the other hand worked in many clinics, all in the same system, over several counties in a far more urban area.  He had admitting privileges at the Psych Ward of the local hospital as well as the Psych Wards at some of the larger hospitals in a very large near by City.  This system was largely federally funded and, I think, served as a magnate for people needing treatment.  Each appointment that either Meta or I had with Doctor Lee was about 15 minutes long,  This is clinical work and many do not know that this is a clinical quarter hour so I actually spent about 7 minutes talking with the Doc which was fine by me.

For most of the time I have been seeing him, he had slightly over two thousand patients or clients under his supervision.  Just a few years ago he reduced the number to about 800.  I think I maybe have spent more actual time talking to him than doctor Funk but because it was spread out over all those years and in small doses it gave me time to acclimate.  Meta explained to me that he had been practicing here since the early 80s.  Not a glorious job or even a well respected position but he stayed at his post.

I had grown accustom to the fact that he would always be here.  I wasn’t conscious of that fact until the other day.   I fully expect that any morning that I awake my family, those few that remain, and close friends will all be dead and I am grateful when they are not.  The thought as far as Doctor Lee was concerned never crossed my mind.  I may have been able to get more out of, or put more into the relationship if such a thought had crossed my mind.

I will remember him.

Whispering from Elders Past

Here are three sayings or quotes from elder members of my family now long passed.

Grandpa Z.  (My Maternal Grandfather):

If you throw enough shit against the wall some of it is bound to stick.

My Father:

I guess.  But I would hate to be the one that had to clean all that shit up.

My Mother:

Always be sure that you are wearing clean underwear before you leave the house.  You never know when you might get hit by a bus and have to go to the hospital.  Nurses talk, believe me.

I remember responding to my Mother one time only as she had said this on several occasions.  My response was, “what difference does it make if my under wear is clean or not?  If I get hit by a bus I will, in all likelihood, crap my pants.”

Blessed be,

Keep an eye on your Muse,

and have a better than average day.

The Importance of Perception

I think most of us understand the value of perception, the act of perceiving.  This is much more than just the application of the physical senses, it also involves a long chain of rulings or judgments about the WHAT that is being seen, heard and so on.  So perception involves both physical senses and mental activity, including memory.  It is during this process that value is assigned to the thing, place or person that is being observed.

Familiarity is key here, for instance we assign value differently to things places and people that we know, followed by people that seem in some gross way to belong to our group, whatever that may be followed by groups, things, places and people we have some contact with even though the individual at time we are currently observing may not be known they may resemble a thing place or person that is known.  Those judgements of places things and people that we are the most intently skewed are the judgements or rulings made internally, in our minds about places, people and things for which we have no experience.  This is not to say that these judgements are necessarily skewed negatively as they could be skewed positively as well, neither extreme matters, what is important is that the perception is off because we are making assumptions about an object or person we know nothing about.

This is the curse of being human, the less we know the more we assume, but we are often incapable of differentiating between what we know and what we assume.  This also applies to world view.

There is world view, the view of ourselves in the world, the type of people we are in the world of nations, what are role is, and what the world is really like.  I grew up back in the 70s after the Vietnam War when the debated would on occasion rage about that war and they inevitably became debates about tactics and commitment of forces.  That was my experience.

We then, and I think now,  see ourselves as a force for good in the world, bringing freedom and democracy and wealth to all.  I am not being sarcastic here, there are many people who feel this way.  The last election illustrated it nicely.  “We should fix our own house first”  many said.  “We should stop paying for the world.”  There is plenty of footage on the web to sift through.  We see ourselves in the mirror of our minds eye.  There reflected back at us is a great and noble being only trying to do right, sure we made mistakes, misjudgments but we are making the effort to make it right.

This was most evident to me during the last campaign, especially in the area of foreign policy but also around the edges of domestic policy.  It was a debate over word choice.  Islamic Terrorist was one or those phrases.  Trump made the greatest blow to that image in the looking glass by simply stating policy when it came to the world.  He didn’t speak in glowing terms about our role in the world and then carry out acts of violence after the fact as had been the case in the years past.  The now President Trump stated ideas that were already being kicked around in the policy arena.  The border wall is not a new idea at the federal level, neither is bombing terrorists families or forcing allied states and protectorates to pay for U.S. protection.  Some of these concepts go backs to the 80s.

Our mirror is cracking and we can catch a glimpse of the beast through it.  Don’t close your eyes.

We as a people and possibly the world are entering a strange time.  We have yet to discard the factory model of living and move on to the next incarnation of our civilization.  It could be that this transition will not happen at all or that we will destroy ourselves before we can make the leap.  We can study history, but we should be careful not to live in it.  It can help us, serve as a guide, lend clues to understand the world as it is but it can also be a trap.  We can not count on governments or corporations to be our guide in our daily activities and in our daily interactions.  When it comes to how we see the world we can only count on ourselves.

What is done is done.  It can not be undone.  All that is left is to figure out what to do.

Deep State Clues (2/3)

Before I continue I need to acknowledge that not every thing mentioned here is my own idea.  I mean I’d like to think it was my own thinking but I am not entirely sure that this is true.  At the end of the final installment I will include a list of references for your perusal.  I encourage everyone to think this through, it may help them maintain some form of sanity and assist in any effort to make a better life out of what ever is leftover.

So what is setting of my psycho vibe?  It seems to me that the last election might be something that Scott has labeled a Deep Event.  That’s not to say that Peter Dale Scott himself has called the election a Deep Event, just that he coined the term.  A Deep Event is a event that for just a moment reveals the existence of the Deep State.  It allows the citizenry to get a glimpse at something that is normally hidden from view.  Either that or it was an amazing piece of choreography put on with precise and flawless perfection by all whom were involved, which I find highly unlikely.

What I am referring to here is the election of Donald Trump.  Now take a breath, I am not now nor have I ever been a Trump supporter but I admit that he is our President and I try to show him some respect.  To put it mildly this was a major surprise to Both the Trump Campaign and the Clinton Campaign, it was an even bigger shock to the media and the Congress.  I guess there was a far larger population of deplorables and conspiracy theorists out there than previously indicated in the polls.  What?  You didn’t poll any one on those topics?  Oooops. These statements were incredibly divisive and if the population were a regular minority group all the bitching and whining would have stopped by now.  Instead we have developed an extremely polarized electorate and I suspect you all ready know about that.

Believe it or not this is going to take us into the Russia Hack Ordeal primarily because Congress was equally freaked out, temporarily.  The reason The election freaked congress and the media out was because they didn’t think it could happen.  It indicates a shift in the electorate’s voting habits, luckily it wasn’t severe.  I know that there has been a serious feeding frenzy around the Trump Presidency but realistically the shock could have been much worse.  The electorate stayed with in the republican/Democrat dynamic so as unsettling as it was the electorate hadn’t jumped ship on either of the two parties.  If the Greens or the Libertarians had gobbled up all those pissed off voters shit really would have gotten unhinged in the media.  The fact that Trump was a Republican means the current two parties jobs and income are safe so realistically much of what is happening is nothing more than  pot stirring and ratings creation after all its all about the money, that is the heart and soul of Capitalism.  There is nothing humanitarian about it, I’m not knocking it but I feel that we should be honest with ourselves.

I personally don’t see much of a difference between the two parties when you look closely.  There is an exaggeration of the differences at the presidential level simply to keep it interesting but once you remove the politics of identity and religion you quickly find that they both suddenly sound a lot a like.  I prefer to refer to the two as Republicrats. Think of a two headed coin.  Every presidential election we flip it again and again and it never comes up tails.  Members of the house are far more sensitive to the constituents than senators.  The President, on the other hand has an entirely different set of difficulties.  I am trying to be polite because there is a dehumanizing quality to political rhetoric which is not new, but it has been intensifying since the late 1990s.  The population is broken down into four basic groups, the most politically active that we tend to refer to as left and right although realistically, in my eyes, they both currently seem to be from right to far right and wildly mixed are the first two groups.  You can find plenty of footage of them on the net fighting each other which is entirely pointless but we just don’t seem to be able to help ourselves.  A third group of dissidents and activists from the old right and left.  Basically pre-fall of the wall on the side lines, some old and some new, some speakers, some organizing, some on campuses and some in the press mostly online who are producing some useful perspective and when it comes down to it I tend to agree with both sides more often than not.  When Louis Farrakhan suddenly sounds like a leftist it is simply a sign of how far to the right the political spectrum in my homeland has slid.  Most interesting is the fourth group, by far the largest, the depoliticized.  These have been giving up in droves over the years, more apathetic then ever they have reached a state of anti politic and have settled into a calm do your own thing state.  They make up, it seems to me, more than half of the population that are of voting age.

There would be a tendency for anyone to wax conspiratorial at this point and although I find this perfectly understandable for every conspiracy you can think of there are two other sets of arguments that can just as easily explain the phenomena.  I don’t really want to get into this here, suffice it to say that however the American population got here, the political class is not the least bit interested in changing anything.  Especially at the Federal Level.  I think the reasons are pretty obvious as the only thing that can force a change in the system through legal means is an organized electorate.  Members of congress, the president and his or her cabinet along with the bulk of bureaucrats understand where their interests lay.  They want to keep there careers and improve their conditions just like the rest of us.  One of the signs of organized resistance is in the way voting habits change.  If we look back to the last Great Depression and check what parties are represented in the house and the senate we can understand better why the New Deal happened.

These Statistics are from the 2005 Time Almanac, yes, I know its not a primary source.

70th Congress 1927 – 1929

Senate: 94 Dem/Rep  1 independent.    House:  432 Dem/Rep.  3 independent

71st Congress  1929 – 1931

Senate:  94 Dem/Rep.  1 independent    House:   430 Dem/Rep.  1 independent  4 vacant

72 Congress  1931 – 1933

Senate:  94 Dem/Rep.  1 independent    House:  434 Dem/Rep.  1 independent

73 Congress  1933 – 1935

Senate:  94 Dem/Rep.  1 independent    House:  430 Dem/Rep.  5 independent

74th Congress  1935 – 1937

Senate:  94 Dem/Rep.  2 independents    House:  425  Dem/Rep.  10 independent

75th Congress  1937 – 1939

Senate:  92 Dem/Rep.  4 Independents   House:  422 Dem/ Rep.  13 Independents

76th Congress  1939 – 1941

Senate:  92  Dem/ Rep.  4 Independents    House:  431 Dem/Rep.  4 Independents

77th Congress  1941 – 1943

Senate:  94 Dem/Rep.  2 Independents    House:  429 Dem/Rep.  6 Independents

The same period looking at the ratio of Democrats versus Republicans in Senate and the House from the same source

CONGRESS      YEARS    SENATE:  DEM/ REP          HOUSE:  DEM/REP      PRESIDENT (D/R)

70th               1927 – 29                       47/48                                  195/237             Coolidge (R)

71st                1929 – 31                       39/56                                  163/267             Hoover (R)

72nd              1931 – 33                       47/48                                   216/218             Hoover (R)

73rd               1933 – 35                       59/36                                   313/117             Roosevelt (D)

74th               1935 – 37                       69/25                                    322/103             Roosevelt (D)

75th               1937 – 39                       75/17                                    333/89               Roosevelt (D)

76th               1939 – 41                        69/23                                   262/169             Roosevelt (D)

77th               1941-43                          66/28                                   267/162              Roosevelt (D)

As far as the Russian Hack Ordeal, I can’t say definitely that there wasn’t Russian interference in the 2016 election but the reality is that thia type of behavior is standard for great powers especially when they feel threatened.  I have no doubt that somebody had candidate Trump under surveillance.  When Barack Obama became the president the Secret Service made him give up his personal Black Berry and replaced it with a Secret Service approved Black Berry.  It seems that the president doesn’t have the right to that level of privacy.  If that is so then why would candidate Trump expect anything different.  It can always be argued that this protocol is simply an extra safe guard for the president, but it all struck me as a bit suspicious.   The other thing that I found fascinating was how the debate broke down over whom was surveilling whom.  It seems the debate in the on line community was between the Russian’s or our own set Intelligence agencies.  There was little or no debate over the role of private or corporate intelligence firms.  This also struck me as interesting.  Congress has been getting pretty squirrelly over the whole thing so I have no doubt that the Trump Candidacy was under Surveillance.  The question is, by whom?

More importantly the members of both houses are worried about their jobs.  Politics is a career like any other profession the point of said career is to succeed and climb the tree, reach so apex in your chosen career path.  Any Member of the house or the Senate that is there for more than two years wants the power and the comfort that comes with their prospective office.  To put in the simplest language, they want to get paid and try to reach some apex of power just like the rest of us.

Politicians haven’t been upset by low voter turn out yet, it just makes it easier for them to keep their jobs or get a job.  What does freak them out is unpredictability in the electorate.  What this means is that one or both parties may be out of work, a whole party out.  Think about that.  Imagine that a whole group could no longer find any work in a profession that they mastered a decade ago.  It is the big screw.

There are three forces acting on the electorate right now.  The first is the economy which is tied directly to Neo-liberal corporate favoritism.  The second is the unresponsiveness on the part of congress to their constituents tied with growing isolation between various identity groups and growing inequality.  The third and most stressed is the lack of transparency.

Back in the late 70s and 80s they referred to economic stressors as pocket book issues and I am sure that some still use this term.  One of the keys here is health care.  The health care program we have is not run by the government, is paid for by the government.  It is run by insurance companies.  In essence it is an insurance subsidy wrapped in a healthcare plan.  As Health care reform attempts to move forward just remember that its not the expense that worries either party, it is who pays for it.  Serious healthcare reform is unlikely since both parties, remember there is always at least one exception to every rule, see that cutting off that subsidy would cause a major crisis in the insurance industry (Bankruptcy anyone?) and a massive lapse in healthcare for most every one.  Imagine if you all in the middle class had to put out collection jars at convenience stores and gas stations or beg at your churches for the funds needed to get a loved one vitally needed health care?  If you haven’t seen anything like that then you’ve led a sheltered life.  This is besides the issue of dwindling buying power.  Wages have been flat or declining since the middle seventies for the bulk of the working people in our fair society.  This growing inequality is irritating the bulk of the lower classes and stifling both innovation and growth in our economic sector.

The second issue is congressional deadlock which is the worst I have ever seen it, not that I am that old.  This is frustrating for the voters and fuels the tribal elements to grow with in our current political tone.  While on one hand this is a huge driver of De-politicization it also creates an environment that serves the political class without the risks associated with legislation.  Redistricting is creating more and more seats in the house where it is only the party identity that matters.  This is allowing a stagnation to occur in the legislative process which eliminates risk.  Put on as nice show at these Russia Hack hearings and when your constituents get upset because they live in an economic waste land with dwindling opportunity you can simply state, I tried but such and so or the other party blocked me.  You know I wouldn’t let you down.

Finally there is a lack of transparency.  This feeds into the fear that an autocratic system might be on the rise in the United States of America.  The Kook Conspiracy Theory grows best in am information vacuum and nothing creates a more powerful or profound information vacuum that the national security state.  Kook Conspiracy theories are like weeds in a garden that has long been left unattended.  National security is secrecy and secrecy, especially among powerful, people and organizations breeds suspicion.  Add to that the rising awareness of these otherwise hidden organization, if not hidden then not advertised as such in the very least and you have rising levels of suspicion and tension.

Considering all of this and assuming that politicians at the federal level are not brick dumb then you can begin to understand the importance of the idea of the Russian Hack and the Russian interference probe.  These guys are worried about keeping their jobs and the pensions like many other Americans.  As long as enough of the electorate buys this idea and the butt backwards lack of issues anti Trump boondoggle keeps rolling then both houses of congress have that sense of job security that so many others crave.  The only thing they truly fear is an organized and motivated electorate ready to vote for a third party, it has happened before.

It has been said that there is a war in the deep state.  I have heard it said to be clear, I am not saying that it is definitely so but I can understand why it would be.  If this war exists then what is it like and what is it over.  First the wars fought between major corporations and other massive entities along with their billionaire comrades aren’t like the wars we fight.  They don’t generally shoot each other and kill each other in droves, that is just for us regular everyday citizens.   In the deep sate there is jockeying for position and power and merging and acquiring a larger market share.  There is another problem with growing wage inequality and that is an absence of cash in the economy.  Credit will only get you so far.  The wealthiest of us and their various entities are fighting over crumbs and so are we the people.

So in the end The Russian Hack Ordeal is an attempt to blame shift and and move the focus of the electorate of the house and the senate.  The Same thing can be said of the media’s handling of the coverage of the Trump Administration.  Both houses and the Traditional media are in mortal fear of poverty, you know poverty don’t you?  Well they don’t and they find it terrifying.  They want the population looking somewhere else for the source of their troubles, that is the purpose of the Russian Hack and when it finally fails you can expect to hear the sabre start rattling.

Try and have a better than average day,

Be blessed,

Outside

I have misspoken

it happens often

My meager meanings

raised some hackled brows or

hands hide snickering smiles

gleaming eyes full of facts or

lies for egos sake

I am only small surrounded by

ticklish tender fragile giants

being broken under the wheel leaves disadvantages

Sticks and stones my mother would say

she too had been damaged

It takes getting use to

that green eyed monster must be laid low

with pride gagged and silenced

leaving only eyes watching

ears listening

scrambled brain trying to understand

These narcissistic giants have only one weapon

my mother told me once

Jagged tongues firing

hot and icy lonely wounding words

that hurt worse than anything

There hope lies in the vain wash

That Darwin takes control

His imitation of magick

could allow a shell like turtle armor or

the soft inner parts be replaced with cold marble

moving me beyond pain to the quiet comfort of waiting watching