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onday, May 28, 2018

Solo: a review

Interesting. There's an argument from Ann


Douglas in her "Terrible Honesty," that something
akin to crude male swagger gave life to the
1920s, freeing a generation from the dreaded
smothering Victorian Titanness. In this movie,
arguably, male swagger comes across in a
feminine form, as being free from "the burden" of
greater knowledge. With who is really in the
know at the end, one feels that the capacity to
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hold oneself back in informed, partial restrain,


while admiring the simple boys who are all
innocent and do not know, belongs to the
enwisened woman, who is more mature in years
than her mate, and more really for the helm.
There's something of "White men can't jump"
about this film; the foregrounding of greater
female awareness and maturity, and life as an
outlaw, as meaning taking pleasure in how
preening as a rebel, makes one boyish, harmless,
and intensely likeable. This is not a movie about
establishing your own space, but in taking a
partial step in that direction... and pausing until
people who might weigh in the negative, give in
and approve. The authority isn't in you, but in the
one who ultimately can't help themselves but
agree... that you are indeed scruffily loveable,
despite your initial, cloying, impertinence. The
triumph of the outlaw was more, say, "Indiana
Jones and the Last Crusade" (or perhaps
"Skyfall") where the femme-fetale is second-
fiddle, not overarching. Here he seems the boy
who comes to his mate ostensibly a man, only to
find she in his absence surpassed him, so what he
brings to her belongs only in a land of nostaligic
toys. If he chastised her out of this state, he'd be
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the outlaw with authority; but in taking the space


afforded him to in his innocence adventure, he is
outlaw as pulled-back from adulthood; as
adolescence, not as great man.
Zacharek attends to Ron Howard as good with
actors. I think if people want to give due to how
the film does not work in a Trumpian direction,
they could draw on how Howard has his actors
relate in an easy-going fashion. They're not all on
tippy-toes, but relaxed, which is not exactly
Trumpian.
The Kessel Run becomes in this film not a race-
track or a straight line, but a giant swallowing
vortex with a gigantic placenta-beast near its
centre. The first great villain of the film, is a large
worm-snake female, in the middle of her own
murky pond. The great beast Han must fight, is a
tall, solo creature, centred in an arena of mud. A
psychoanalysist would read these as regressive
fears of being swallowed back into a pre-Oedipal
matrix. All the attention to clothing, nice cloth,
which threatens to draw one away from the action
so to take a look at something that isn't a
McGuffin or whatever, a generality that one could
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g*ve two sh*ts if it looks just like the real thing


because the real thing isn't distinctly defined, but
something imagined precisely... also maternal
allegiance; memories of mamma and her
intriguing closet. Some more important and
intriguing territory is being withheld, though we
are allowed intriguing glimpses.
The great feat in this film, what distinguishes
Solo's excellence as a pilot, is moving through a
narrowing gap by translating the vehicle he is in
into a accommodating sliver. Vagina Dente
encloses, and he gets through by being stretched
and wafer-thin... by being accomodating, not by
barging through, not by rape. This is the
psychology behind the eating disorder, anorexia,
in action, starving yourself so there's nothing
there to grasp; the maw snaps at you, but grabs
plain air! It fits too that this Han is a short actor.
If he loomed, like Harrison Ford can loom, in
prowess, people would be more able to take a
piece out of him, and he'd have to able to see if he
could withstand their efforts. Instead he's small,
which doesn't presume much, and accomodates,
so he can slip through.
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at May 28, 2018 No comments: Links to this post


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Deadpool 2: a review

The movie is about protecting youth, yet


"youthfulness," being vulnerable and showing
unabashed enthusiasm -- making fully evident
your needfulness -- is set up for gross punishment
in this film, by our hero. The group of individuals
that are degraded by having to go through an
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audition where two enthroned nerds (one of


whom was already telling a hopeful young man
that heroism comes in being servile to tasks
which, in actually delivering on doing them, by
common parlance means accepting you exist for
nothing further than, as only ever to be degraded)
gauge your applicability for what proves a show-
group -- the longest trial involves a young
woman, being perhaps encouraged to surrender
her pride and resort to begging, for ostensibly
possessing no talent at all (she succeeds owing to
"luck," which in showbusiness is usually
synonymous for a good-looking but otherwise
undistinguished talent succeeding through the
homophone of "luck," "f*ck"ing... she's the
protected good lay) -- are "accidently" each
mutilated, reduced to gore, before they've had a
chance to perform at all. Show you have the
desire and/or the right to be recognized, and bad
things happen to you. The incident where an
assembled and hopeful team gets destroyed
before doing anything comes from MacGruber,
and in a movie where so many movie referents
are explicitly recognized we notice that the one
film that actually had some deserving moments
but which has never had acclaim, is encouraged
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to continue to know the shame. Though the


substance for the key comedic part of the film, no
recogniton... Deadpool 2 claims for itself all the
prize-bits, but is glad that some will notice, and
hopefully be discouraged by, the blatant stealing
and shortchanging we have all agreed not to
notice and indeed deem impossible to occur, in a
movie so evidently unpretentious, un-making
claims for itself, it's encyclopedic in its
acknowledging its every inspiration. We also
notice that Terry Crews, the actor who tried but
failed to open up the #MeToo movement so that it
delineated crimes against men as well, is further
left hanging here, as he's the "superhero" who
emerges into a new aerial atmosphere with pride,
only for purposes of suffering quite a terrible and
traumatic crash-landing down to earth, the only
moment in the film where you're likely to
genuinely flinch... continue to further know the
shame, earthbound b*itch. (The novelist Juan
Diaz seemed to be up to the same thing about a
month ago with his NewYorker reveal of past
abuse, but has become more someone who only
made a play there against accusations against him
as himself a predator that he knew were
forthcoming, seemingly by society a safer spot to
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be in for a man, the preferred position to be


"caught out" in, than to admit some man made
sexual use of you and just have it stand... at that.
Being ALSO a bit of a Weinstein, is the only way
to administer, to re-cast, your only now being a
Terry Crews, because with the addition of that
somehow your masculinity still stands, is where
society seems to be at.)
Finding yourself amongst those who actually
want to be nice to you, that would take you into
an environment different from what you've ever
known, where adults would be alert to you, all
your subterfuges, but also accepting and kind, is
completely closed off in this film: the film wants
you to swim amongst people who MIGHT be
kind, but might not be... these are the people to
work out your troubles with. Being within this
area is almost like being in a squalid form of
"safe zone" where no one who can be made to
seem natural to this environment, as not
seemingly naturally extraneous to it, is not put in
the position where they have any real right to
hold anyone to any certain standards... they're
never the child who wouldn't to some extent
buckle to the authority who told you you didn't
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actually see, feel, think something. Deadpool can


kill someone simply because he looks like a
sexual predator, and it's because this particular
individual seems natural to this environment
where the temerity to insist that rules apply to all,
does not exist. Colossus ultimately fails to leave
this "universe" and belong to the one next door,
the X-Men one, that he seemingly could wholly
belong to, in his reproach and rejection of
Deadpool over this, because Colossus, too, has
been adjudged of insufficient stature to qualify as
a person belonging outside this frame; probably
his desire to be so interested in helping Deadpool
reform himself, as it seems an over-investment in
something his subject never needs subject himself
to -- a comic, blasphemous ignorance of the
environment in which he is making his appeal in
-- seals his fate as not-past-the-threshold... a child
would know what you do not (Professor X would
have sized the situation up and said, no, I will
entangle myself with you only on different turf,
and would have vanished and never returned until
Deadpool was in a X-Men movie.)
If you like the Deadpool universe you are
admitting to the world that if an authoritarian
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regime came in, you would agree to miss where


the real crimes are being committed, and
therefore execute your performance of heroic
fidelity for the weak and vulnerable only in
venues where it wouldn't challenge the crimes of
the state, where crimes of this sort are occurring
in abundance, only keep the public thinking of
themselves in the way we've decided everyone
good must... God, we all hate child molesters oh
so much.
The brown taxi-cab driver who's developing a
taste for blood, using his car to run over people,
as well as the brown boy, who's becoming his
own version of Saddam Hussein, someone who's
only a step or two away from drinking the blood
of his victims as everything around him becomes
an emulsified hump of, to-him, glorious red gore,
are not safe in this movie from being mentally
switched from "our side" to "wrong side." In
appearance, accentuating a good representation,
but perhaps only to deepen and extend
associations of the non-good we already hold.
The taxi-driver is further compromised in the
sense that his killing the headmaster reveals a
mindset that is so mostly intent on acquiring
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approval, so dead-focused on this, that any


sensitivity for whether actually being the one who
deals out the death would put you in the category
of the "unclean" yourself, is disarmed. The heroes
had gained equipoise, a removed, stately, settled
status, in dispatching off of him and letting him
live, and here "you're" still in eager-beaver, rage-
lust mode, and fully on top of him. In movies that
showcase this compromised posturing, usually it's
your fate to share your victims', as all that can be
categorized as ongoing dirty-business when the
main protagonists have resolved themselves as
done-with-that and unto other affairs, is cleaned
off. Not quite directly applicable in this case, but
it's resonance is: You're the one who actually
involved himself in killing the king, not simply
doing the sordid business of perhaps agreeing to
its necessity... their dirt has spread onto you, and
so you too must go.
The headmaster is short and beakish, and
commands an army of homosexual pedophiles.
This is Hollywood, as the alt-right sees it... I'm
not sure we only saw the Catholic hierarchy, as
the movie pretends it only meant to represent, that
is, an innocuous, accepted category of "villain,"
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that if still political at all tips a hat only to


progressive concerns/causes, not new, fresh and
more dangerous ones, that the alt-right has as an
industry been putting together in a fervour.

at May 28, 2018 No comments: Links to this post


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Friday, May 25, 2018

Jordan Peterson

I was Jordan
Peterson’s
strongest
supporter. Now I
think he’s
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dangerous (Bernard
Schiff)
No real introspection on his (Schiff's) part on why he was 
once so enthralled by Peterson. What he offers, shows him 
as being admirably and properly open to new ideas and 
energy, not as having some part of himself linked to a "call 
for the wild" he may not be so regretful to have helped 
cultivate, legitimize and unleash to the world, as he makes 
it seem here. It's not an apology, but a salute to himself, and
a diminishment of the "real" opponents to verile creativity 
within the university, who would have seen nothing about 
Peterson, from the start, that would drive them to inculcate 
him at U of T and count him a friend. There remain a 
couple years here where you can mock professionals who 
don't end up caging their thinking within acceptable 
protocals... those who become youtube stars, pop 
psychologists... who have problems with peer reviews. I 
think he's taking advantage of this window to pretend a 
permanent distance from the Peterson phenomena that he 
may not feel a couple years from now, when our current era
of academia is accepted by all (not me) as about social 
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activism, not truth, as about keeping all legitimate efforts to
delineate social reality in frustrated knots so to keep the 
illusory but elite­serving fictions at the helm, and where if 
you mock the pretence that we have been spoiled and that 
there isn't something of mythical resonance to our forgotten
mother countries, Canada, the flag, our precious borders, 
you resist the obvious. 

The alt­right, angry young men aren't the problem... the 
numbers aren't enough. What I'm watching over are those 
like Schiff who still won't admit that they had known 
Peterson early on and unconsciously liked him for the 
wrath he would eventually unleash. Indeed, Schiff 
exaggerates, enhances, some of the harm Peterson has 
enacted upon women, as if to take advantage of a situation 
where he can be thought by all to be merely expressing his 
own distaste to actually participate vigorously in pouncing 
on them himself. This is not well­expressed, I know, but I 
saw the debate between Peterson and Newman and 
Newman was not humiliated and left speechless... 
essentially raped, as Schiff describes. She was taken aback, 
but nevertheless stood, throughout, much better than that, 
and overall showed she enjoyed their conversation; she had
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humour, and bearing, and respect and generosity ­­ it was 
not a bad moment, for either of them. This way of digesting
what went on ­­ Schiff's way, that is ­­ is the same version 
as the alt­right one, which is about having drives that so 
need expression you superimpose them on the merely 
adequately serving. It's about pretend fidelity to women, as 
cover for engaging in, personally, exactly the kind of 
activity that would do most harm to women. I sense this too
in his, "I discovered while writing this essay a shocking 
climate of fear among women writers..." Really, somebody 
this connected to the public pulse was caught off guard by 
women in retreat? This is about self­representation, not 
reality; he is further the innocent and hopeful, surprised at 
what men­can­do, furnishing a narrative that has women, 
who are in this fight, and who have fight, are showing these
days how much fight they have, as already beaten into 
hiding. Suspiciously, he does no favours for those he is 
ostensibly speaking up for.
at May 25, 2018 No comments: Links to this post
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Sunday, May 6, 2018

Film Reviews, Updated


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Avengers: Infinity War


You're Not Really Here
Ready Player One
Unsane
Isle of Dogs
Black Panther
15:17 to Paris
Downsizing
Star Wars: the Last Jedi
Thor: Ragnorok
The Snowman

Mother
It
Logan Lucky / Patterson / Hell or High
Water (discussion)
Beguiled (discussion)
Detroit
Dunkirk (further discussion)
Dunkirk (discussion)
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War for the Planet of the Apes


Spider Man: Homecoming
The Mummy
Wonder Woman
Baywatch
Alien Covenant
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Guardians of the Galaxy 2
The Circle
Zookeeper's Wife
Life
Beauty and the Beast (second of two
essays)
Beauty and the Beast (one of two
essays)
Kong Island
Logan
Get Out
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Nocturnal Animals
Fantastic beasts and Where to Find
Them
Arrival
Loving
The Witch
Hacksaw Ridge
Dr. Strange
Moonlight
Inferno
Keeping Up with the Joneses
The Accountant
Birth of a Nation
Girl on the Train
The Magnificent Seven
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar
Children
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Captain America: Civil War


Deadpool (Superimposing another
"fourth wall" Deadpool)
Deadpool (Dead potential)
Hail, Caesar!
The Big Short
The Force Awakens
In the Heart of the Sea
Bridge of Spies
Steve Jobs
The Martian
The Overnight
Inside Out
Jurassic World
The Avengers
The Hobbit (book review --2014)
Ex-Machina
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American Sniper (from American


Sniper to Triumph of the Will?)
American Sniper (Eastwood's comfort
zone)
Exodus: Gods and Kings
The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies
Fury
Guardians of the Galaxy
Boyhood
Lucy
Railway Man
Transcendence
Bad Words
Draft Day
Nymphomaniac
Noah
Divergent
Non-Stop
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Pompeii
3 Days to Kill
12 Years a Slave (it might not have
been worth it, Lupita)
Oscars (too late -- we saw your boobs)
Gravity and 12 Years a Slave (out of
the frying pan and into the fire)
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Her
Wolf of Wall Street (fork in the road)
Wolf of Wall Street (part two)
Wolf of Wall Street (part one)
12 Years a Slave
Ender's Game
2013 films, accompanied by text by
Lloyd deMause
Gravity
Carrie
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Don Jon
Prisoners
The Family
Insidious 2
The Butler
Kickass 2
Blue Jasmine
Elysium
Only God Forgives
The Conjuring
The Wolverine
Pacific Rim
This is the End (and summer self-
surrender)
This is the End
The Bling Ring
Man of Steel
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Mud
Star Trek: Into Darkness
Oz the Great and Powerful
The Great Gatsby
Iron Man 3
Pain and Gain
Place beyond the Pines
Oblivion
Brave
at May 06, 2018 No comments: Links to this post
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Thursday, May 3, 2018

Review of Avengers: Infinity War


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"Avengers: Infinity War" brings to bear


a connivance – our willingly accepting
a purge; our warranting that we've
earned it – we ourselves may bring to
the fore, in real life, as an alternative
to a worse fate we sense could be
upcoming on our horizon.
The plot seems similar to "X-Men:
Apocalypse" in that a grand tyrant
appears in view with plans to cull huge
portions of humanity, but not all: one
batch of living souls will live, the other,
perish. In that film, we note, the
tyrant, too, believes his cause justified,
but the film itself never gives him
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beyond partial support – his wiping out


of humanity rests on his belief that
humanity is bad, and the film shows
him, with its showcasing of humanity's
nuclear arsenal, as having a bit of a
case there, but also because they are
"false gods," i.e., weak, which is
evidently Hitleresque.
In "Infinity War," the tyrant, Thanos, is
never undermined as not possessing a
deeper sense of what the universe, of
what humanity, actually really may
need. He argues that unless he culls
half the living creatures from the
universe, each civilization will proceed
past its peak into a very horrible, very
cruel, decrepitude and oblivion. It's
what happened to his planet. A society
at total peak, and then on to total fail.
We also notice, with so many of his
opponents having their chance to
deface him as nothing more than a
homicidal maniac, that they almost
seem to be using what is readily
available to them – that you don't have
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to consider an opponent, at all, when


their methods are of a certain kind...
"we don't negotiate with terrorists" –
to not ever show him up as wrong in
his conjecture of what awaits us unless
he acts, now. What we are, the film
suggests, are people who have an
arsenal of ways of removing anything
out of the way with plans to interrupt
our everyday pleasures; everything
that bespeaks possible interference
with how we're accommodating
ourselves, the worldview that sustains
us, profits us, works for us, is racist,
sexist, deplorable... tyrannical,
and pluck!, authoritatively out of the
way as never needing be considered.
However, the film sets up considering
our lambasting of him within a
framework in which we do, do in fact
consider the possible righteousness of
his goal, that is. Endless lambasting of
an opponent as cruel and unloving
becomes suspect when the receiver of
the abuse is "parental" and the
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launcher of them, "adolescent." James


F. Masterson proclaimed that the once
universally accepted conception of
adolescence as inevitably involving
combat with one's parents, was not
actually inevitably true to life at all,
but the film presumes that most of us
are still prepared to locate ourselves
as if we accept it as if it had never
known a counter. To be adolescent, is
to be like the character Groot, the tree-
like alien, who is an adolescent, and
who petulantly won't stop playing his
games even when his "parents" rightly
are admonishing him to, for
something really quite serious may lay
ahead. To be adolescent in this film, is
to be like Gamora, Thanos's daughter,
and proclaim that one's parent had
displayed through their confused and
frustrating reaction to them that they
surely had no love for them at all,
surely didn’t really love anybody,
actually. And to be a parent in this film,
is to be Thanos, who reveals through
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his tears that he never forgets how


hurt he was to be confronted by a
daughter who never ceased to tell him
how much she hated the home he had
brought her back to, how much she
despised him, and to be confirmed by a
neutral, all-seeing judge, that he had in
fact never loved and prized anyone
more than he ever-did her.
Within this framework, the adolescent
who continues to hate their parent is
misjudged, wrong, and Masterson
argues that unless they acknowledge
their error, somehow show as they
"mature" that their parents were right
and farseeing and they, actually
proven to having been ignorant and
shortsighted... to having been,
however innocently, very, very cruel,
they'll face abandonment fears,
suspicion of total loss of parental love,
which will crush them. They must put
the blame upon themselves, or their
parents, whose love they still covet,
will reject them. And so as soon as we
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recognize the parent-adolescent


paradigm in play, that the film
presumes that we share it / have
“succumbed” to it, we
know Thanos will be allowed all
latitudes, possibly to win in his goal,
and it's an end which we'll implicitly
digest as something we’re not about to
be eager to contest. Without exactly
knowing it, this is what we may have
wanted, we sense. The exactly right
finish, however appalling, however
truly unacceptable to us, even just a
year or two ago.
Thanos isn’t shown to even be a tyrant.
He is sincere when he says that once
he’s accomplished his grand cull he’ll
depart out of view, not into the sunset,
but close: to spend his days at a
lakeside cabin, melancholically
enjoying observing one. He’s not
interested in lording over anyone;
everyone who remains, he actually
hopes thrives and profits: Thanos is
ever-seeing much that is commendable
30

in the people trying to kill him. Not


with Loki, perhaps, but certainly yes so
with Tony Stark, and certainly yes so
with Peter Quill – good lads these, he
decrees. That is, he hopes for them
that they continue doing what they
were doing, if they wish -- it wasn’t
their growth that bothered him, the
prosperity, their interest in expanding
their known reach... having babies,
making new commitments,
having/being girlfriends/boyfriends...
even to his own daughter, only the fact
of too much overall accrued growth
itself, for it tips the scales, you see.
So presumably what he’d have for
them is that they do as they were, have
the sweet niceties – acquiring for their
own countries their own "Starbucks"
chains, as some hope for; having tasty
"Ben and Jerry" ice-cream flavors
named after them, as some have
already received – as well as the more
substantial things, saved even the need
to hide what in fact it doesn't take
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much of a detective to sleuth out,


really probably is a huge deal to them.
Tony Stark, who always loved/lived for
his toys, wouldn’t ostensibly have to
camouflage his next subsequent toy
that is the same scale of awesome as
his newly developed nanotech suit is,
as just an accessory to filling out a
more important thing: the serious
adult conversation he is having with
his wife Pepper about whether maybe
he's ready now for a child. Thor
wouldn’t have to camouflage his
acquiring an update of his previous
epic weapon, one to better fit his
morphing self-image into the "rugged,"
more "alt-ish" figure he is becoming,
and one at least as powerful, and
seemingly more so, than his mighty
hammer, with it only existing as, not a
permanent accompaniment, but the
only thing in the universe which could
kill Thanos... some kind of single-
purpose, one-time-only deal. He also
wouldn’t have to camouflage that one
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of the things that was supposed to


permanently scar him but that he
gained status from, a sign of un-
takeawayable maturity – his loss of his
eye – is quickly, conveniently (Rocket
just had to have one in his pocket?...),
replaced by another eye, posing as
mere device, mere means, where a fox-
captain, where Rocket, can maturely
effect his role as captain and make
some attempt to console his shipmate’s
many losses through a kindly given
gift: not an example of having it all,
but ostensibly of duty, care, and
selflessness. Peter Parker wouldn’t
have to camouflage his acquiring the
mighty Avenger-status by having it
done to him without any lead-up,
where he didn't have to show it was on
his mind at all as something he much,
brass-tacks, cared about/wanted,
above just being decent
and immediately prepared to help and
serve, but rather the way it was put
forward previously in the series, as
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something that would mark such a


huge realization of self "you" might
find ways to hold "yourself" back from
it because "you’re" not sure if it’s even
allowed: "Masterson’s" "spider-
sensing" the due abandonment
depression, in its presumably marking
his leaving his Aunt May-existence
completely for the adult world of the
Avengers, it might bring. They could
have the wonderful pads they all seem
to have – we don't see any not-cool
places they are forced to inhabit, only
posh castle-homes, posh apartments...
posh futuristic cities, and leisurely,
perfectly re-cooperative, countryside
farming dwellings, complemented in
this case with ample authoritative
humps of quieting hay – without
summoning at least a reminder that
some of them had spent the last few
years in, as the Falcon delineates for
us, "not exactly five-star hotels."
Yes, half of them would be in the midst
of pursuing this and then, poof, gone
34

out of existence for them, with nothing


of their reaching, extending hopes
realized at all, only their dangling out
there as suddenly-caught-off-guard-
terminated-hope-stumps's... and there
would be no way to check in advance if
you'd be amongst these or not;
completely random. But I think when
this is presented to us at the finish
we're actually ready to accept this, for
ourselves, even as it's a terrible
updating of our previous measure of
keeping our equilibrium amongst the
strain of knowing that in many ways,
the world ever-progresses, ever-moves,
beyond restraints, which was that,
because we've allowed ourselves to
size up some other group – the
"deplorables" -- as those who are
directed to serve as the suffering, the
only suffering, which won't spill out
into us because they're the only ones
truly deserving, we might be amongst
the ones who are always
accommodating ourselves to/enjoying
35

the fruits rather feeling left out. But


we know we have to bring it home now,
suffer the possibility that we could be
plucked from the world of relevance
too: as we go further-on into
our trepidatiously ever-accruing lives,
internal "judges," parental alters...
actually mostly MATERNAL alters,
embedded in our brains' right
hemispheres, are looking with every
more scrutiny, and are demanding we
accept higher stakes or be revealed as
not being genuine in our willingness to
be subject to pain/loss – to maybe
being pretend-alongs the whole time,
like all the multitudes of ostensible
heavy trauma-sufferers we see in the
film, whose listing of abuses have
become nothing more than a neutral
platform everyone shares and
presumes upon which real experience
– inevitably rich, new, promising and
exciting: a lot of new friends and
interesting interminglings of identities
are undertaken in this film – is built
36

upon, no more suggestive of anything


itself deep than a floor mat is for its
"launch," the life of vibrant gymnastic
performances.
We've already taken upon ourselves,
willingly, this scourge. #MeToo is
simply about redemption for victims
and societal progress for many, but
amongst the many who don't rejoice in
it, who are scared by it, not all of them
wish it would disappear off the planet,
not all of them identify it as a wholly
unwelcome witch-hunt. Many of them
identity it, like Thanos's cause, like his
willingness to undertake a lonely
knight's quest which will involve his
being committed to sacrificing the only
thing he loves, as something old-school
in its seriousness, in its being densely
concentrated in its identity as only
about restoration of a long-tilted scale
back to some semblance of balance. In
this case, in our case, a long-tilted
scale which we know had allowed
abusers to pretty much go about lives
37

afterword as if no universal
power actually had any problem at all
with endless, unrebutted, murderous
fun: the point of life could successfully
be for some, to use, abuse, gorge – and
boy oh boy, to very much enjoy! All
without drawback. We need to see it be
shown that we know ourselves to be
suspect enough that this is a plague
we'd have actually have welcomed in,
even if progressives weren't around to
make is seem all-theirs for the
tremendous power and angry
righteous fight behind their push. We
do this in judging that if tomorrow
#MeToo took us in, pointed its "finger"
at us, as we were enjoying the peak of
our lives, we'd judge it, fair cop, and
succumb.
Without accepting "Thanos," or as he's
being applied – there will be other
forms – currently through our own real
universe with #MeToo, the alternative
would be for us that we would lose our
selves, a terrible and complete giving
38

in, on our part. We would allow


ourselves no means to justify our
continuing on in making our future
something open, genuinely, if not
anywhere near max-inspiring level, to
the new, and morph into those who see
all that is new as evil, and all that
stops it, our welcome friend. In a
nutshell, we'd all become Kanye and
come to see Trump as our Captain
America, and think he's opening us up
to the new and exciting, the
revelatory... old grandeur returned but
in spangling new form. This is what we
fear, what Kanye horribly is presenting
us with right now -- someone who was
totally with us, part of us, and then,
completely not so -- and this would not
mark our being an agent of any true
individuality, only that we've had to
finally kill that part of ourselves that
strove for it for the only existence now
being being a component of expanding
wrath: count ourselves subsumed, part
of the angry parental entity returned,
39

part of our returning mother, so we're


not absolutely destroyed in being
borne down as its target. Better than
not existing at all? Something only in
our biology is telling us that.
Last thing, three of the four baddies in
this film, baddies who
unlike Thanos are simply ALL bad, are
dispatched to some extent through
some other agency. Cold space is what
really kills the first villain; being hefted
into the air to be dispatched by
a Kawanda energy field, which we're
happy to call of our side but which
we'd never presume total ownership
over as if it was OUR tool, is what kills
the second; and being lifted into the
air and so squashed by a titanic
military machine of the enemy's that's
just arrived, is how the third gets
dispatched. The Avengers facilitate the
menace belonging to some other grand
other (we're not awesome; THAT
THING is); as much as they try and fail
to puncture-wound Thanos to death,
40

only once do they actually spear or


blast or smash any of their key foes to
their defeat. The overall effect of being
so fleet-of-foot in how they dispatch
their foes, so dance-around, so alley-
oopish, so modest, is to subliminally
lend a sense that the Avengers are of a
mood to, at the finish, be agreeable to
downplay here, to accumulate, yes, but
then also starkly tail off... even to lose,
is my sense.* None of these particular
foes were Thanos. Perhaps with the
Wizard, Thanos's most powerful child,
there was some reason to make him
normally unstoppable without being
enterprising in how one engages with
him, but, really, none of them were
that alpha, that outside the range of
the Avengers' powers -- it wouldn't
have been laughable had Iron Man's
new blasters actually served to bring
down the Wizard, or for Banner in the
Hulk-matching Iron Man suit to take
down another, or for the two elite
woman warriors to have speared the
41

last one through, as she had to


navigate her way through two
opponents easily as battle-competent
as she, but the grand finishing-offs
were lent elsewhere, to where REAL
might was located. To me, this is not a
coincidence but an indicator of film, of
our, mood... manifest by our obvious
turnabout into the suddenly
abundantly generous, that maybe
something like guilt for genuinely
indecorous things about our past,
who've we've been, what we've done...
what we're still doing, is determining
how we present ourselves to the world
now.
* They activate a lot in this film, come
into their own. Peter Parker going from
earthbound Avenger-want-a-be to
space-aloft, full-on, viciously effective
Avenger, accommodating new abilities
on the fly, and very ably at that, is
literally a young person reaching
through into the space of the new.
Thor, letting the power of a full sun
42

bear down on him, seems to go beyond


being a great Asgardian towards being
more a Celestial, a primordial power.
Bruce Banner, in not utilizing the
anger of the Hulk but his own courage
and innovativeness to make do without
him, in HULK'S OWN arena of
expertise, is in no sense the scientist
he was in the first Avengers' film,
where he could handle slums but
flinched on board military ships, a fish
out of water. All mighty acts of
activation, but nonetheless, each
performing them noticeably desist in
claiming to themselves, total
ownership of glory.
Monday, April 9, 2018

Discussion of article on "Phantom


Thread," at the NewYorker Movie
Facebook Club

James Smith shared a link.


April 7 at 8:14pm
Discuss...
43

NEWYORKER.COM
Why “Phantom Thread” Is Propaganda for Toxic
Masculinity
The film’s spectacle of male power was so embedded in its
every fibre that it was largely missed.
Comments

Susan Doran It's a movie.


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Jorge Díaz Come on. You know that any kind of art could be
use as propaganda.
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Jeanne Maria Hervio-lockhart And a great movie at that!


� �
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Nell Minow It's a movie with a point of view, as most


statements in any category are. And this is not a silly
comedy or a G-rated cartoon about friendship and kindness.
This is a serious work of art that expects to be engaged with
on a serious level.
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Melissa Wisner Not to mention DDL is old enough to be her


grandfather.
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Anthony Stephens That actually means absolutely nothing.


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Melissa Wisner yes it does when the character consumes


her with his gaze and determines her worth.
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Anthony Stephens That doesn’t hold any correlation to the


age gap you’re mentioning. Implying that such an age
difference inherently brings a power imbalance is absurd.
She also ends the entire film with all but total control over
him.
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Melissa Wisner thank you for additional proof of the article's


central thesis.
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Anthony Stephens Which is? I read the entire piece and was
met with a pretty shaky argument.
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· Reply · 1d

Anthony Stephens The only argument against my point was


that she assumes control over Woodcock for “the sake of
monogamy” which isn’t backed by sufficient evidence and
doesn’t even prove misogyny either way. Assuming Alma did
it all for the sake of a monogamous life with Reynolds, so
46

what? That’s misogyny why? A woman making a choice to


be monogamous must be inherently sexist now.
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Erik B. Anderson Men can't be geniuses. Ever. Today I


learned.
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J Egizii Novak Genius doesn't excuse toxic behavior.


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Anthony Stephens This film doesn't promote toxic behavior.


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Erik B. Anderson J Egizii Novak promote?


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Cynthia Mejías Quite the opposite. The women are in


control. Reynolds is a weak character who depends on
women (clients and their whims, his controlling and
business-minded sister, and his muse/lover, who finally
realizes he adores the way she forces his dependency on
her).
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J Egizii Novak
TENOR
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Brayden Rivera J Egizii Novak I just don't think you got the
movie?
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Daniel Supanick Cynthia is correct.


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48

Emilio Arnau For all these women having the control they're
surely not receiving any credit for anything
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Mark Schaffer Too put it bluntly,he gets off on his lover/muse


calling the shots and even surrenders control over his life to
her..Very perverse toxic masculinity there, right? BTW, is
there toxic femininity? Ask the greatest writers in history
about that.
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Mohammad M. AbuBakr ..may be its one of those "passive"


ideas, like "Female domms in adult industries really serve a
man's needs, woe unto them if they don't".
He surrounds himself with all those women cuz he wants to.
If they didnt comply...
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Cynthia Mejías If they didn’t comply what would he do


according to you?
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Mark Schaffer More than adores. Revels in it.


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Anthony Stephens This is such a painfully unfounded


argument.
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Patrick McEvoy-Halston The lead character surrounds


himself with women -- they are his preferred company -- and
has a real appreciation, a real respect, for how much a fine
garment can mean to making an occasion satisfying and
personally meaningful. I'll take another look at the article, but
at the very least, he's not exactly a bro.
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Roxanne Jones One could argue that he surrounds himself


with women so that he can be the alpha male. With no other
men in his world, there is no one to challenge his dominance
and take control over the women in his midst.
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50

Patrick McEvoy-Halston Roxanne Jones These days anyone


who has a pronounced need to be an alpha is either abroad
killing hapless lions, or situating themselves 99 % of the time
with their bros. It is not nothing that he admits to a profession
built out of keeping immersion in his mother, even if it's not
boyish and supplicant but full-on turning-the-tables mastery.
It suggests a kind of acquaintance and acceptance and love
that is a more welcome alternative to a simple split of,
alternatively, sheer female worship and clear hatred of the
feminine.
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Mark Schaffer Complete missread of Woodcock's desires..


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Patrick McEvoy-Halston My experience watching the film is


that it presents a status that both men and women may be
seeking to aspire to; do not naturally have: to be under your
own control. This is foreign to a lot of us right now, men and
women both, and I think some of us would have cheered him
if his part was somehow a woman's... the point was the
pleasure in seeing someone in a position to not be used.
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51

Vishy I liked what you said, Patrick.


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Patricia Tischler It seems to me that the whole discussion


lost it's power for lack of knowledge about
feminineXmasculine polarity. People are so used to the
masculine world and masculine dynamics and masculine
weapons that they can't even recognize basic sexual
polarity. Reynolds is driven, as all masculine men are, by his
purpose in life. Women, when in their feminine, don't have
that same drive. Their essential purpose is connection. But
we're so used to see masculine characteristic in female
characters so they can “get the job done” that most people
can't even recognize a legitimate female and feminine
heroine, who fights with feminine weapons. The only reason
why there's a story there is because there is polarity. And the
only reason why it's so is due to Alma's femininity. The
feminine isn't weaker! The only way any of that article makes
sense is if you agree with the premise that women in their
feminine are weak. If people went through the trouble of
studying a little about the subject, we would see a lot less
sexless marriages around.
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52

Patrick McEvoy-Halston The article does besmirch her -- and


the film -- in saying she's intent only on monogamy. It's pretty
clear she is fighting for the wonderful exchange in a
relationship, that could be. That strikes me as such a prize
one wonders what driven "masculine" life goal could equal it.
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Patricia Tischler Well, in Reynold's case, his purpose in life is


to make beautiful dresses. People would recognize it better if
it were building a business, going on a space trip or waging
war, but it all comes from the same instinct that the
masculine has: to have a life purpose. Women can have
them too, when they are in their masculine predominantly.
See the difference when compared to Reynolds' relationship
to his sister. She's "running the business". She's in her
masculine. So in relation to her, he is acting as an Alpha
male. She's just a buddy, he is the boss. The only time when
she challenges that, she goes into her feminine and he shuts
up.
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Patrick McEvoy-Halston Patricia Tischler The feminine mode


in this case comes across as arising everyone's earliest,
primeval fear -- the mother, conquered temporarily in this film
in being made to sit/uate in a suit.
Neat analysis, though.
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Patricia Tischler Patrick McEvoy-Halston I would rather say


that, in Alma's case, the theme is the idea that the feminine
doesn't have to be submissive. In the sister's case, that even
when you are a woman, and more than that, the sister, if you
act in your masculine you'll be met with masculine energy.
Competition, subjugation, disregard for anything that isn't
focused on accomplishing the goal, the purpose. We all have
both polarities within us and we go from one to the other,
according to situations. But whatever the sex of the person,
it's their predominant polarity that has to be examined to
understand the relationship dynamics.
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Rob Gera It’s a strange story but more about toxic


relationships than masculinity, IMO. Toxicity in the extreme.
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David Kaiser The movie is about a very successful (in his


field) and very personally difficult man. He surrounds himself
with women, but they tend to be take charge gals. I don't see
why it is necessary to characterize his behavior as a
particular kind of masculinity instead of to focus on the rather
unusual individual that he is.
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Patricia Tischler David Kaiser hehe... I don't see him as so


unusual... ;)
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David Kaiser I have known men at least that obnoxious, of


course. But I have known many more who were not.
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Patricia Tischler Oh, I don't mean to characterize any man as


obnoxious. I'm sorry if that was the impression that came
across from what I was saying. His actions were, yes,
obnoxious.
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Mark Schaffer Patrick McEvoy-Halston All about TPE.


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Mark Schaffer Rob Gera Why toxic? She's the top. He gets
off on being the bottom. and the suspense of their special
relationship. Both happy about it. Nothing toxic about that.
55

Only thing toxic is the omellet but that's controlled toxicity.


Prolly the escape they both need from their codified public
personnas.
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Mohammad M. AbuBakr Where can i read more about the


subjects of polarity and the feminine dynamics you
discussed ?
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Patricia Tischler Mohammad M. AbuBakr take a look at the


work of Alison Armstrong, David Deida and John Wineland.
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David Kaiser Thanks. Sorry I misunderstood. I thought he


was quite obnoxious!
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Roxanne Jones Very interesting!


56

I do remember watching it and thinking Woodcock was yet


another asshole "genius" (I hated his dresses) who
demanded that the world bend to his every wish (those
breakfast rules, jeez). This character is so common in film.
So I thought that Alma's...wrangling of him was a way of
taking him down a peg whenever she thought he needed it.
But I can see the writer's point when you consider that any
other woman would simply leave an asshole like that instead
of resorting to what Alma did to correct his behavior.
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Matt Grifferty But Woodcock is quite clear that the wider


world doesn’t need bend to his wishes. Simply that his world
requires a sort of order and he is not that bothered if
someone isn’t able to fit into it. Alma rejects this and makes
a space for herself, in a way that meets Reynolds own
insanity, that Reynolds didn’t know was there or that he
would benefit from. But Reynolds social world is so small
precisely because he does not tyrannically desire that the
world love him. For Reynolds everyone can take him or
leave him, but he cannot say the same about his sister or
Alma, which is why he can be such a petulant child towards
them. He understands he needs them.
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Will Thede creds to @lauren_wilford on twitterManage


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Dennis M Robles It's easy to attack it as a propaganda film


from a 2018 standpoint. But from a 1950's perspective, Alma
is quite a strong and liberated woman who does break the
chains of submissiveness that the era proclivities would have
demanded. Reynolds is an entitled narcissist reinforced by
his fame, fortune, and success. He, however, meets his
match and is equalized by Alma's discovery of his Achilles
heel. Politicizing this film as patriarchy really is a straw man's
argument to the essence of male/female love relationships.
Even in domestic violence, the issue of patriarchy has been
overstated, just read Donald Dutton's work in this area.
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David Kaiser Anybody who thinks that the 1950s demanded


submissiveness of women wasn't there. Did it expect them
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(usually, but not always) to be restricted to certain roles?


Yes. Did it expect them to behave submissively? No.
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Dennis M Robles Relative to today's mores, yes. Women


were allowed to be secretaries, nurses, maids, and
assistance, not as executives, doctors, senators and other
position of power. Women's place should be in the home(still
believed today by some. This is not to say that all women
went along with them, My mother being one.
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David Kaiser My aunt was a doctor. It is not true to say, as


you did, that women were not allowed into those
professions. It is true that they were not encouraged to do so
and few did. But there were at least two female Senators, for
instance, during the 1950s.
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Adrián Viéitez Simplifying this kind of brightly conceived,


beautifully designed art-work to that point could only be done
by such a mediocre -or maybe alienated- viewer. I can also
figure another possibility out: clickbait.
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Julia Lagrua Wonderful article. If you feel an immediate need


to post an argument, just count to 20, let go of your
defensiveness, open your mind and read it again.
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Anthony Stephens Done. Didn't seem to change much.


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Patrick McEvoy-Halston You sustain here the validity of the


argument that if you don't get an argument, you're probably
being defensive. Same thing is being said about the
Ringwald article. If you don't like it, it's not the article but
surely you. An echo chamber is developing, which may be
more about a certain class of people cementing the idea that
any and all critics of themselves are high-strung and
irrational -- a typically antifeminist argument, btw. These
essays seem like fodder we're intent to put out, specifically
because we're beginning to experience doubts about
ourselves, which this ritual where we display that actually all
ill-reason is outside of you, in others, helps calm. We use
essays like this to regain equilibrium... the trolls remain --
outside.
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Pepe Guicho Salinas No.


I watched the film, I read the headline, rubbish premise. I
don't need to waste more than 20 seconds to reach that
conclusion ( and I won't read an article whose premise
seems so wrong to me).
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Matt Grifferty Patrick McEvoy-Halston Well said. And could


be used in response to so much found in online “debate”
today. That people who are ostensibly “liberal” are intent on
shielding themselves from even other liberal thought with
impenetrable defenses that imply anyone who does not
agree is irrational or horrible or xyz pejorative is beyond
depressing. The orthodoxy of both our political poles meets
in the place of complete rhetorical insulation from outside
voices or ideas. And one wonders whether it is a biological
impulse towards orthodoxy plus the simple geography which
proceeds polarized politics, rather than any enlightenment
divined from real engagement with ideas. For some reason I
find it hard to believe anyone on a New Yorker movie group
is frothing at the mouth over any point of debate. Surely here
of all places there might be a greater assumption of good
faith.
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61

Herman Costa Phantom Thread is a wonderful movie, but


the premise of this article is silly, beneath the value and
validity of the film.
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Sarah Nafisa Shahid Arhan Shafat I haven't read it or


watched the movie yet but that headline tho ...
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Arhan Shafat I know!


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Céline Sarangerel Sean Song


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Mark Schaffer MIssing the entire point of this film. Much


more perversely comic than you think. And much more
subversive..
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Orencio Carvajal Alma is powerful too. A movie could be


propaganda if the movie doesn't ask itself about itself. But in
this case, wow, it's pretty clear the self-criticism, even with
that ending.
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Mark Schaffer Krafft - Ebbing, call your office..


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Orencio Carvajal Well, It's incredible. Propaganda? Is Mad


Men masculinity's propaganda? Hahahahahaha.
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Darin Strauss Is Paradise Lot pro-devil propaganda? Is star


wars pro-Vader propaganda, because it "promotes" Vader's
evil masculinity?
63

And the woman he treats like shit, Alma, is shown to be


more powerful than he.
I know the article's author personally, and well. So I probably
should shut up. But I really disagreed with him here.
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Mark Schaffer Guys talking about how they "get" toxic


masculinity is the new strategy to seduce impressionable
women, both intellectually and er, you know, that other
thing..Ever hear of the new man of sentiment?
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David Bessmer Seems more to be against it.


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Mitchell Ray Sigmund To me, this movie took the idea of the
toxic-masculinity within male genius and made it ridiculously
evident in a way that was clearly negative. I'm not sure if
anyone really took the side of Woodcock during any of those
breakfast scenes. Toxic-masculinity is everywhere in this
movie, but if you pay attention it's not being triumphed or
promoted.
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Darin Strauss it's asking for nicer villains


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Andrew Grimm If a host makes clear they wanna eat in


silence, the options are to leave or eat in silence. And a
healthy respect for private property rights means I'm on his
side for how he wants his breakfast table to be conducted,
though not the hissy fit he has when first explaining the rule.
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Cynthia Mejías After reading comments since yesterday my


conclusion is that this article is ridiculous and irrelevant.
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Sudipto Banerjee Seems either the author of the article


completely missed the point of the movie or has some sort of
personal agenda against the Phantom Thread cast or crew.
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Andrew Grimm I don't understand why the depiction of "toxic


masculinity" is seen to be the promotion of it.
The author suggests that the movie promotes "toxic
masculinity" because there are "no alternative positions that
are not dependent on the hero's centrality." The point is
unsound. To depict something without showing an alternative
is not to necessarily glorify it. Haters don't need to include
"constructive criticism" to hate.
I am profoundly curious why he thinks Cyril's "life and desire
are similarly" dictated by Woodcock. I saw it just the
opposite: it was Cyril who insisted that Woodcock make the
dress for the boarish fat lady and it was Alma who insisted
he take it off of her and insist that he is an artist. It is not
Woodcock who "gives meaning to everything everyone lucky
enough to be inside his domain" but the women -- Cyril and
especially the customers -- who made Woodcock into the
especially neurotic, unsufferable man as I saw it. And it was
Alma who remade him. Perhaps he was not intolerable to
deal with, but the poisoning and his love of being enervated
suggests that even he felt the psychological burden of being
intolerable and so neurotic.
Ultimately, I found Alma's calm determination and genuine
love to be just the "alternative" the author might find. Alma
made Woodcock more than a glorified sower and she bore
his legacy into the future, as suggested by the scenes where
her language suggests he has died.
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Finally, my main takeaway from this movie was how


profoundly unfair it is to apply ordinary social standard on
other people's love. Not as a trite statement of "no judgment"
but to suggest that true lovers have an intuitive grasp of the
fundamentals of another person in a way that an outside
viewer doesn't. Maybe the author should butt out.
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Mon López Lugo When you need to go viral so you decide to


make a controversial article. Same as Trump.
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CJ Louverture Yawn
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Patti Cassidy So my theory is that the movie was a fantasy


and we're seeing his dissolution from the instide. Therefore...
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Mark Schaffer Why dissolution? He is actually being reborn.


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Nell Minow I agree. Here's my review:


https://www.huffingtonpost.com/.../phantom-
thread_us...Manage

HUFFINGTONPOST.COM
Phantom Thread
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· Reply · 1d

Vishy The New Yorker's film writers don't like any movie, do
they? :) Because I haven't seen a single movie review
there recently, where the reviewer said that the movie was
good. Why? Are all the movies coming out these days bad?
Why are these movies getting critical acclaim and making
money then? Shouldn't the movie going audience be
rejecting them, if they are so bad?
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Andrew Grimm Read Richard Brody’s reviews. He often


loves films. I don’t really understand Anthony Lane’s reviews.
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· Reply · 23h

Vishy Thank you, Andrew. I will do that. In recent times, I


have seen Brody also not having anything good to say about
recent movies - I remember an article in which he said most
of the Oscar nominees had problems and the best movie
wasn't nominated. But I will continue to look for his articles.
Thank you :)
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Anna Andrews toxic masculinity was all i was thinking about


watching the movie
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· Reply · 1d

Tony Mastrogiorgio It was about toxic masculinity, not an


example of it. The idea that it was propaganda is ridiculous
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· Reply · 23h

CJ Louverture Exactly
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· Reply · 9h

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Mark Schaffer Not about toxic masculinity. Way too easy an


answer.
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· Reply · 21h · Edited

Emily Cates Disagree. The fifties were a much more


misogynistic time. If you come to a film with an agenda you
will surely see propaganda. Ask Vicky Krieps if she believes
her character is weak and submissive. With this mentality we
may never see strong female roles.
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· Reply · 20h

Mark Schaffer So here's a question..Empowered females are


now very prevelant in all media, films, books, comics, tv,,
online..So is this depiction of a certain type of woman or
young girl propaganda to persuade women to emulate these
characters? Or is this somrthing that the suits just think sells
and will be exploited until it doesn't Public is fickle..
Hollywood has always been a master of persuasive
propaganda..Is this just another campaign? Anyone
remember, "You've come a long way, baby?
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Richard Smith A little suprised this article passed muster for


a magazine like The New Yorker. If one is to rail against
propaganda no matter how fashionable the cause, it is best
to avoid its methods. Glib sententiousness is one of them.
This article caricatures a rich, nuanced movie.
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· Reply · 14h · Edited

Mark Schaffer Just jumping on the Toxic Masculinlty


bandwagon..The chattering class can only keep one
zeitgeisty thing in its head at one time.
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· Reply · 15h · Edited

David Kaiser That is so true, it isn't even funny.


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Mark Schaffer Yeppers


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Richard Smith ... also didn't like the implication that those
who like 'The Phantom Thread' are children. I won't say
'offended'; that word's been done.
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Jose Solano Brizuela I honestly believe all the fuzz about


this one was all about the ending of his career. It was so
boring and the one interesting aspect of it was so
unexploited. It’s ok if you portray toxicity, but do something
about it.. awful film
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Jose Solano Brizuela Ok in terms of a critique approach to it*


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Vedant Srinivas Phantom Thread has something to do with


toxic masculinity (if at all it does) insofar as PT critiques it
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· Reply · 11h
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Candice Frederick I hate this movie and its toxic masculinity


is why
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· Reply · 10h

Maja Ristic I think it's a complex movie that deserves more


than just the label of 'toxic masculinity'. But when it does
come to it, I find it brilliantly portraying, exposing and
showing it for what it really is - silly, and quite comic, actually.
Kudos to PTA for this.
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· Reply · 9h · Edited

Brent Richardson Haven't seen the movie, but in over a


century of movies about insane macho revenge and sex
fantasies, it's hard to imagine a quiet drama about a fashion
designer being so awful in comparison.
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· Reply · 9h

Julia Lagrua Isn’t a week long enough for serious film fans to
devote to a thread on what amounts to a fussy little movie
dedicated uncritically to sentiment for times long gone?
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· Reply · 8h
73

Patrick McEvoy-Halston The author is intent to make us an


erect penis at the centre of the film. It's not a man who
lavishes himself within a culture devoted to fine female
garments and feminine comport, not a man who admits that
his life was based on close identification with his mother and
her interests, but about a man who would look no less out of
place if he was conveying his ostensible abundant phallic
manhood out instead on safari, killing lions and elephants,
while the ladies back home envisioned as daunted and as
swooned.
One might wonder if the author who saw this film, whose
reminisces of his early years (in cinematic viewing, at least),
he insists, are about the military, battles... John Wayne, was
not ACTUALLY so much reminded of institutions of
patriarchy when he saw this film, but shocked, out of
experiencing a compromised masculinity, a rather feminine
masculinity, in this film, to insist that that was what it bloody
well was. Masculine genius, passive female muses, is the
film, not one about a man who ultimately can't count on his
own resources if women really intently mean to take him
down... a reminder that for many, toxic masculinity is only
really kept safe, if it's about bros entwined with fellow bros.
He makes use of our current fixation on toxic masculinity to
blend in aversive experiences of, perhaps, remembered
femininity on his part, a childhood, a Yugoslav childhood,
where the father perhaps wasn't around much and the
mother, too much, to bully back memories provoked by the
film of when he too as a child was enmeshed mostly within
an environment, mostly of actually feminine and feminizing
influences... female garbing and what-not. This article,
ostensibly about complaining about patriarchy, is perhaps
more about establishing its image as paramount, about
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insisting on a falsehood that will pass because so much now


is accepted as proof -- usually legitimately -- of the
omnipresence of toxic masculinity, so that it dwarfs back a
remembered sense of femininity he had previously kept
contained.
Dear author, cite back your own fond memories, not of war
and military -- not actually a problem but helpful assistants,
remedies, counters, on your part? -- but the earlier ones
when your contact was mostly with and around your mother,
and you'll be more believed that it wasn't mostly THAT that
drew you to enshrine a COCK at the heart of the film, that
perhaps to some of us felt more like ongoing maternal
blending. If he's a penis, he may just be his mother WITH a
penis.
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Patrick McEvoy-Halston Anthony Lane thought the movie


was cloistral and sickly, and its best moment when the hero
vacates the premises, guns a sports car along county
byways, and effectively repudiates his life dressing women
as absurd:
"The upshot is that “Phantom Thread,” though expert and
engrossing, is also cloistral and sickly, and I found myself
fighting for fresh air. There are notable excursions, including
an Alpine holiday where Reynolds gets to swathe himself in
immaculate knitwear, plus a New Year’s costume ball, in
Chelsea, but the first is like a snowy stage set and the
second is as writhingly oppressive as one of Fellini’s Roman
jamborees. If anything does snap the claustrophobic spell, it
is Reynolds’s road trips, when he guns his beauteous British
sports car, a red Bristol, along country byways, with the
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camera peering forward and ravening up the miles. Then we


have the pleasure of observing the smile that comes and
goes on his handsome face, as if he were tacitly conceding
that, yes, these genteel shenanigans, done in the name of a
few pricey frocks for a handful of spoiled clients, are absurd.
You hear a similar hint of mockery in the querulous fluting of
his voice—“Are you sent here to ruin my evening? And
possibly my entire life?”
Was this this author's problem too? He found it cloistral and
sickly, and "remedied" his experience of it not by focussing
on the hero's sports car life, out in the country, as Anthony
Lane may have done, but via another option: projection and
supposition?
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Patrick McEvoy-Halston Aleksandar Herman's biography,


"The Book of My Lives," indeed begins with a (Freudian)
exploration of his early life, his early absolute enmeshment
with his mother. The suggestion is there -- with his sister
being born amongst all female attendants, and his father off
in Russia -- of very strong identification and worship,
undistracted. He suddenly switches to speaking of capital
"m" "Mother," a pattern continued throughout most of the rest
of the book, and of how disruption of his early narcissistic
relationship with Her by his sister Katrina's birth, brought to
him, genuinely, thoughts of killing her.
This is intense, and though it's almost impossible for one to
admit it to oneself, probably incestuously close attachment. I
feel more affirmed that this article was written to transcribe
phallic personhood, domineering phallic masculinity, onto a
movie that recalled for him, with its enmeshment of the sole
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male figure within all the accoutrements of the maternal, the


feminine, the early remembrances we had of absolute
narcissistic identification with our mothers. Like perhaps this
author, many men worship their mothers, but hide from them
within patriarchy.
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at April 09, 2018 No comments: Links to this post
Email This
BlogThis!
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Another discussion of "The Breakfast


Club," at the NewYorker Movie
Facebook Club (my post)

Patrick McEvoy-Halston shared a link.


April 7 at 10:01am
There is a school of psychoanalytic therapy (the Masterson
Approach) where if you want someone to move away from
their false selves into becoming their true selves, so long as
they're not narcissistic -- who'll run away if you try this with
them -- but rather borderlines, you confront them. In Molly
Ringwald's essay on John Hughes she summarizes John
Bender as a sexual harrasser -- that he is only someone
interested in hurting her character Claire. My experience of
this film is that without Bender, none of them would have
emerged out roles that give them esteem from their peers
and from their elders but which may not reflect their own
interests and desires; none of them would have emerged out
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of being "brainwashed" and see what else out there might


actually suit them.
Ringwald sees the finish where she ends up with Bender as
further evidence of the invisibility of sexual harassment in
the film: you weren't harassed, but probably had a crush on
your ostensible "victimizer" the whole time. It didn't feel this
way to me -- that is, an abnegation of her and her pain -- but
rather more like a decision on her part to try dating someone
who didn't let her get away with things that ultimately
wouldn't be of help to her; with someone she was coming to
see as helpful and heroic, rather than the person she had
learned to superimpose on him, regardless of who he
actually was, to "fit" her own regressed self-image needs:
the loser who doesn't count at all.
What do you think?
NEWYORKER.COM

What About “The Breakfast Club”? Revisiting the


movies of my youth in the age of #MeToo.

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Patrick McEvoy-Halston Further: Bender may be Hughes's


mouth-piece, and we may understand him as such, but he's also
working class (we remember -- and certainly credited -- his being
of the background where a father would burn his son with a
cigar), while Claire is upper-middle / lower-upper. In today's
culture, Bender's class is discounted, all its pains, and Claire's is
annoited, and the fiction isn't only that she would fall in love with
him but that she would have any contact with people like him at
all. This mixing no longer happens, not even for a brief time in,
say, highschool.
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Is this Molly Ringwald' essay, the vocal enthusiasm for it, ALSO a
counter to the growing momentum behind Bernie Sanderism and
Hillbilly Elegyism and Roseanne Barrism, that is lending support
to a group of people -- the white working class -- we'd grown
comfortable making use of as our own poison/sh*t containers,
forcing us to realize that we were determined to undermine them
because it made our own promotion feel more entitled, less
guilty?

Does it help us escape the fact that the path we took, and the
one we're making for our children, is a betrayal of the John
Hughes' theme of fidelity to the person -- that we're going
through life now so that your social background basically will
dictate who your friends are and whom you'll end up being --
what schools you'll go to; what kind of career-paths you'll take,
and what exact nature of husbands/wives -- and we can't own up
to this because it would be too destabilizing?

Is this an essay for status-quo reassurance purposes,


masquerading as progressive reveal? Is this "progressivism,"
almost more Catholic counter-attack?

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Aman Ganpatsingh Interesting. I wonder if this can be applied


to pretty in pink as well, but with a reverse of the genders
(ringwald is working class and spader/McCarthy upper-class, if I
remember correctly).

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Patrick McEvoy-Halston Certainly the concept of how much the


youth are at risk of losing as people more and more split off into
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firmly isolated status groups, is there. Both lower and upper class
are portrayed as having, both, their duds and their absolute
triumphs. In that film, the only parent of any worth we see, is
actually working class, of which there are effectively two....
leverage to the working class a bit.

In Pretty in Pink, Spader was spurned by Ringwald. There is no


sense of this in regards to Bender vis-a-vis Claire, though...
something Ringwald argues was no doubt the case.
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Samantha Marie Daniels It’s interesting because prior to


reading this article, I didn’t think too much about it, either (the
last time I saw this movie was also my freshman year of high
school, so it’s been awhile and the film isn’t exactly readily in my
mind). I’m inclined to say that just because that wasn’t the take-
away when we first watched it doesn’t mean it’s not there. I do
see your point about the working class/upper class division, and it
sounds plausible, but I don’t think that negates the sexual
harassment issue Ringwald’s article talks about.
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80

Samantha Marie Daniels I will say, though, that it seems your


analysis focuses on Bender’s character more than his action,
whereas Ringwald’s article focuses on the action and how it does
make sexual harassment invisible in the film because it happens
and is never mentioned again. Bender’s character is the catalyst
for the rest of the film because he’s the one that sets everything
in motion. So again I think you’re right as far as his character
being crucial for the film, but at the same time, again, i believe it
does not mean the “invisible sexual harassment” issue is not
there

Monday, April 9, 2018

Discussion of "The Breakfast Club," at


the NewYorker Movie Facebook Club

Heidi Dawn shared The New Yorker's post.


April 7 at 10:01am
Great article and I had the same experience watching these
Hughes films recently with my teen daughters:

The New Yorker


April 6 at 1:28pm

"Back then, I was only vaguely aware of how inappropriate


much of John’s writing was, given my limited experience and
what was considered normal at the time," Molly Ringwald
writes.
NEWYORKER.COM

What About “The Breakfast Club”? Revisiting the


movies of my youth in the age of #MeToo.

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Tricia Walter It was very well written.


I agree. As I've become older, I've had a harder time with these
movies. Some things I didn't like when the movies came out.
But as Ringwald stated, you can still love them and oppose
aspects of them.

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Mark Filla Thanks for reminding me to finish reading this (I


started it yesterday but couldn't finish it then). It's an interesting
read and it's true that a lot of what's in those movies would never
fly by today's standards. We've re-watched Sixteen Candles
and Breakfast Club within the last several years with our
daughter, and I also cringed a bit at some of those scenes -
especially the trading girlfriend for underpants scene in the
former. But at the same time, I still love those movies and I don't
think that will ever change.

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Heidi Dawn Yeah- Molly's an excellent writer. I read one of her


books recently too.

I think with teens- male or female- after watching the movies and
then discussing what's inappropriate or off, works. Similarly, with
older movies (and current) and the racist and/or stereotypical
scenes/characters or other issues (sexuality, what have you).
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It's a teaching moment.

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Mark Filla She did an interview for Alec Baldwin's podcast


(Here's the Thing) back in 2016. It was very good. She didn't talk
about the issues she raised in this article but she did talk a lot
about her relationship with Hughes.

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· Reply · 1d

Joao Paulo Delgado Following this debate from outside is a


strange experience. Does an American actress and director realy
thinks that if there is not a black, or gay, or female character in a
movie, blacks, or gays, or women cannot connect with it? For me
this seems the weirdest form of racism, or homophobia, or
sexism. Concerning the main point of the article: the world is
changing, fortunately, but the artistic artifacts of the past remain
in the past. And that is "a foreign country". They are the new
"other". And as such we have to respect them.

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· Reply · 1d

Bonnie Lass I think there are various connections, ranging from


shallow (good guy kills bad guy) to more complex and personal
(lesbian redneck struggles with conservative family and self and
dating in midst of political shitstorm). Honestly, in the 80s/90s,
we didn't really have a lot of choice, so we made do, and we tried
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to see ourselves in John Cusack and Molly Ringwald and the


Coreys, etc. But it was hard sometimes.

I'm just glad that kids today have more to choose to from, that
they have a good chance to find a gay/lesbian/minority movie
with characters that actually mirror them and their lives and can
maybe give them deeper connections. Because it's hard
sometimes to pretend that a suburban straight male teen isn't
the exact opposite of you.

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· Reply · 1d

Fiona Taylor That wasn't her point at all. In fact, she was saying
what Nidia is saying below--that you can love something, but still
recognize that it is problematic in many ways.

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· Reply · 1d

Joao Paulo Delgado You love a film (a book, a painting...)


"because" it is problematic, not "even though" it is problematic. I
don't care about a art that not presents problems.

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Nidia RG I read it on the New Yorker yesterday and had the same
experience as well watching it with both my teens... son
&daughter. It really is a great article that resonated with me. It’s
ok to look back with love & nostalgia at a movie, book, etc... and
still recognize that it’s problematic. Not recognizing this and thus
repeating these same problems would be an offense.

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Bonnie Lass I was pleasantly surprised by how sensitive and


neutral the article was. I'd half expected a bitter tirade. And I love
how she didn't dismiss the movies entirely, or even their worth
now. The line about how these movies still warrant discussion,
but maybe the conversations need to be changed. I like the idea
of a film being organic, changing as time goes on, passing
through several generations.

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Averil Frances Loved this article. Hughes' films really spoke to


me as a teenager, and I remember that when I watch them now.
But it also reminds me how normalised sexual harassment of
women was at that time. It's such a relief that's changing.

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Brownell Landrum First, let me clarify that I also have my


own #MeToo stories, and I strongly advocate for women's rights,
especially women's rights not to be harassed. And that especially
relates to the harassment behind the scenes in the film industry.
That being said, I think this has gone too far as it relates to what
goes on IN movies and films. Is she saying a film can't portray a
disturbed, lecherous teen who's trying to melt the self-righteous
ice queen? Or we can't have any silly Asian characters? Where
will this lead? To MORE stereotypes and FEWER opportunities for
minority characters with (or without) so-called flaws...

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Nidia RG No, I think what it’s saying is that the lecherous teen’s
behavior is normalized and it’s not ok. And that the “self
righteous ice queen” as you labeled her does not earn sexual
violation as comeuppance for her behavior. As for your last
sentence...I really have no idea what you are trying to convey
here. Are you saying that minorities will suffer with lack of roles
because Hollywood will not write minorities that are not
cartoonish? To this I say... more power to us because what we
need is to demand that our roles not be to only provide comedic
relief by playing some cliched version of ourselves. Hollywood
has even wrote Oscar worthy roles meant to be played by
minorities & cast whites in them so yes they can definitely write
for us. And more importantly we can write for ourselves which we
are seeing more of now. I could go on for hours about my
thoughts on this but I'll leave it at that.

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Brownell Landrum Let me add that I'm a writer. And I'm


conscious of gender and race and sexual orientation and
nationality with every character I write. And articles like this set
an impossible standard that ruins the future of writing for film or
television. Or any kind of writing, for that matter. When I write a
villain I have to think through the question of, "Well I better not
write a villain who is this race or this gender or this nationality
because then people will think that every one of this race or
gender or nationality or sexual orientation or whatever must be a
villain. Or a letch. Or an Ice Queen. Or funny or silly. Or any other
human characteristic."

For example, I was writing a scene recently with 3 villains in the


room. For the life of me, I couldn't write them as female because I
didn't want people to think I was portraying women as villains.
But then what I was doing was actually writing a scene with no
women in it.

The same with John Hughes. He wrote a character that was very
real. There are a lot of disturbed letches in high school with one
thing on their mind. Just as there are mean girls. And jocks. And
nerds. And basket cases. And every other character in the film. Is
he not allowed to portray them because you think that
"normalizes" that behavior? Would you have felt better or worse if
the Ice Queen had been a different race?

Now do you understand what I'm saying? How articles and


attitudes like this limit creativity and expression as well as
opportunities for people of different races in genders and other
characteristics?

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Heidi Dawn I understand you- it's really all about being


thoughtful versus reactionary and knee-jerk- and open to
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feedback as cultures evolve. At the table last night my husband,


who dearly loves to make fun and joke about EVERYthing, was
trying to sell "Blazing ...See More

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Heidi Dawn Like to add: I think her article was written


compassionately and with a good attempt at introspection. I
would hope that we all aspire to that to some degree, no matter
the "strata" from which we are born.

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Patrick McEvoy-Halston Brownell LandrumSamantha Marie


Daniels

Re: melting the self-righteous ice queen

William Deresiewicz has argued that the current generation of


elites, people who would see themselves in Claire and who clearly
-- given the NewYorker's eager acceptance of her -- would include
Molly Ringwald herself and will be eager to include her daughter,
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basically operate now as they are right about everything. Even if


it would be predictable of them to ostensibly be the first to admit
their flaws, if it would fit accepted decorum, basically they'd
admit that they probably the end-point to which humanity was
over thousands and thousands of years, evolving to/reaching. The
future will be a further expansion of a viewpoint -- their own --
into more and more areas, but it will not be, could not possibly
be, a future that would illuminate that they were actually
themselves problematic; that they would superseded by a more
evolved form, and how.

There aren't many who could counter their self-perception that


would have any chance of being listened to, but there is one,
Jessa Crispin, who's been given good write-ups in
NewYorker/NYMag/Jezebel, even as she hasn't had much overall
influence. She argued that this strata of people has been able to
count on encouraging feedback from the deep resources of their
psyches that all is just as well with them as they figure, because
they've been using the white working class as, what she calls,
"sh*t containers," into which to project anything they might not
like about themselves, anything adverse about themselves --
same psychic phenomena behind racism and is being illuminated
through #MeToo: others are made to contain aspects of yourself
you need to deny, so "you wouldn't have to acknowledge its
existence."

If she's right about this, if this is what WE are doing, why we're
feeling so sure about ourselves, even as we probably do
represent the most emotionally evolved people of our time we've
still got deep, deep problems. This would be no problem if the
influence of films like "the Breakfast Club" had also permeated
into us, so we've been shown that deep adjustments in ourselves,
owing to terrifying feedback, is something we can still ultimately
withstand, and actually represents a part of our background we
may have forgotten about but are proud to have previously
entangled ourselves sufficiently with that it can yet be
recovered.

But this is not what happened. Instead, we've expanded the


number of categories that can allow for our feeling righteous in
wholesale dismissing people, fixed within ourselves. Plus, we've
isolated ourselves amongst one-another for so long that anyone
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who doesn't represent our viewpoints is going to seem different


from us in a way where it will take deep resources on our part to
dismiss the ostensibly trivial about our "antagonists" and focus
on the shared humanity; deep resources, that were being imbued
in movies like the "Breakfast Club" but which we left afterwards,
almost entirely undeveloped, because we foresaw an ostensibly
more sure course for our assent. By the manner in which
someone acts, presents themselves, we're almost as if back to
the 18th-century, BEFORE people felt there was any chance they
could pretend. "I don't know how exactly this fellow Bender got in
the room with us, but not only is he a sexual predator, but... a
derelict. [Where exactly is his NewYorker manner?]"

All depends on our mastery of the cultural sphere, how powerful


our echo chamber is. Unfortunately, it's slipping. Five years ago
Hillary Clinton could talk "deplorables" without counter from our
sort, but today when she does the same the like of Naomi
Wolf/Naomi Klein and Katrina Van den Heuval go about as if they
want to strangle her for it -- "lady, do you not have an off switch!"
For very briefly after the election, we experimented with
beginning to redeem the deplorables, the people who voted for
Trump, the white working class, what to find out about that class
of people, perhaps genuinely, that we didn't know, and then
immediately switched off to focussing almost exclusively on
either Russia or Trump and his cabinet, in hopes that thereby,
without ourselves attending to them, we could keep our
representation of them intact, that we'd come to sense we simply
cannot allow to be adjusted for it's perhaps being foundation for
our daily equilibrium. We're worried about what might happen to
us, what other courses our psyches will force us to take, what
deplorable, regressive forms, if we deny ourselves the poison
containers we've learned to only situate the Benders, the John
Hughes's, of the world, the would-be healers and helpers, into.

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Brownell Landrum I'm not sure how to respond to your post


here (I'm honestly not sure what point you're making, tbh) -
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though I confess I went to your profile and read your review of


this article and really liked what you said there. If I may, I'd like to
post your 2nd paragraph, which I think is insightful:

"Ringwald sees the finish where she ends up with Bender as


further evidence of the invisibility of sexual harassment in the
film: you weren't harassed, but probably had a crush on your
ostensible "victimizer" the whole time. It didn't feel this way to
me -- that is, an abnegation of her and her pain -- but rather more
like a decision on her part to try dating someone who didn't let
her get away with things that ultimately wouldn't be of help to
her; with someone she was coming to see as helpful and heroic,
rather than the person she had learned to superimpose on him,
regardless of who he actually was, to "fit" her own regressed self-
image needs: the loser who doesn't count at all."

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David Kaiser I would like to quote a paragraph from the article:

And yet I have been told more times than I could count, by both
friends and strangers, including people in the L.G.B.T. community,
that the films “saved” them. Leaving a party not long ago, I was
stopped by Emil Wilbekin, a gay, African-American friend of a
friend, who wanted to tell me just that. I smiled and thanked him,
but what I wanted to say was “Why?” There is barely a person of
color to be found in the films, and no characters are openly gay. A
week or so after the party, I asked my friend to put me in touch
with him. In an e-mail, Wilbekin, a journalist who created an
organization called Native Son, devoted to empowering gay black
men, expanded upon what he had said to me as I had left the
party. “The Breakfast Club,” he explained, saved his life by
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showing him, a kid growing up in Cincinnati in the eighties, “that


there were other people like me who were struggling with their
identities, feeling out of place in the social constructs of high
school, and dealing with the challenges of family ideals and
pressures.” These kids were also “finding themselves and being
‘other’ in a very traditional, white, heteronormative
environment.” The lack of diversity didn’t bother him, he added,
“because the characters and storylines were so beautifully
human, perfectly imperfect and flawed.” He watched the films in
high school, and while he was not yet out, he had a pretty good
idea that he was gay.

In other words, great art can appeal to all of us because it deals


with issues we all face, regardless of our gender, race, or sexual
orientation. And I will never accept the idea that only people of a
particular gender, race or sexual orientation can speak for those
who share those demographics.

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Nidia RG I agree that as humans we all face issues that


transcend race, color, sexual orientation etc... but as a minority I
can tell you that we also face issues that are exclusively ours.
And moreover as a white person in this country you can turn on
your tv at any given time or walk into a movie theater and see
yourself on the screen. We can’t. You don’t even think about it
because it’s the norm. When the animated film Coco was
released you have no idea what it felt like for Latinos to see
ourselves on the big screen. Though I’m not Mexican and it was a
Mexican story, it still felt wonderful. My children who are half
Mexican were overjoyed. And the consensus in the Latino
community was the same. Coco was a monumental hit. The same
can be said for Black Panther. There’s a reason these movies are
so successful. So as stated before, yes we can agree that films
and television can transcend color, race, sexuality but
representation matters. I will always look back with fondness at
movies like Pretty in Pink, The Breakfast Club, etc... They are the
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movies of my childhood & of my teen awkwardness but I’m


excited about the direction & progress albeit slow... that
Hollywood is moving in for minorities.
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David Kaiser I know there are differences between the


experiences of white and nonwhite people in this country, Nidia
RG. However, I feel when I read something like your comment
that the differences are not what the new stereotypes say they
are. For instance, you write: "And moreover as a white person in
this country you can turn on your tv at any given time or walk
into a movie theater and see yourself on the screen." In fact, it
never occurs to me, and it never has, to identify with anyone I
see on the screen automatically just because they are white. To
use an extreme example, I do not see myself when I turn the TV
on and see Donald Trump. There are white characters in film I
identify with. There are many other white characters whom I do
not identify with, at all. In neither case is it because they are
white. I'm sad that many people seem to be adopting the idea
that if a film doesn't show their demographic it can't be about
them. (I note you did not say that, by the way.)

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Joao Paulo Delgado That part of the article also strikes me as


disturbing. Did the author realy used to think (before interviewing
the minority member) that a person, for being black and/or gay,
is immediately cut from the rest of Humanity? Only people from
Krypton can understand Super-Man?

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Saturday, March 31, 2018

"Ready Player One," a review

In Monty Python's "the Holy Grail," there's a part


where a transvestite young squire shoots a
message out his window, encouraging any would-
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be courageous knight to rescue her. Lancelot


discovers the note, goes through -- that is, kills --
countless guards and castle-guests on way to her
tower, and meets the "princess" who was being
held captive, forced to marry against desires.
Clearly he was not expecting her but rather the
more traditional sort of princess, and immediately
starts backpedaling, cooperating with the lord of
the manor's what-not conversations, to pretend
whole immersion in them, so that surely THAT
has been the only thing that has been on his mind
since he entered the castle and so not possibly
could he have been expected to notice that the
lord in mid-conversation with him is also cutting
a rope that his son is using to escape the tower, so
to plummet to her death, and so to save them both
any subsequent discomfort by his "malformed"
nature and Lancelot's once-"expressed" devotion
to her.
"Ready Player One" was primed to present
something of the same scenario. For each player
meets one-another only in guise of their chosen
avatar, meaning that in order not to be somewhat
shocked when you meet the people behind the
avatars, you'd have to assume that most people
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choose those that bear strong physical likenesses


to their own selves. They couldn't be, that is, any
of the people on facebook who are constantly
signing up to be shown which famous movie
actor they resemble, for one'd assume that such
people actually don't much look all that much like
the stars they're being told they resemble but are
open to considering that they might be. The
movie doesn't want to show any of these kids
confronting their friends with disappointment, of
being confronted themselves with the fact that
they bear any kind of prejudice, based on looks,
that can't actually be abated through long-
acquaintance with someone as friend, so the guy
with the cute guy avatar is actually a cute guy, the
girl with the cute girl avatar is a cute girl, the boy
with the enormous but teddy-bear-loyal visage is
actually a large tom-boy. It pretends it DIDN'T
just offer up what you wanted -- for don't you see
that the best friend you hoped was a guy... though
maybe you didn't, only that he could he could
serve as a loyal "guyish" friend, which up to a
certain age, tom-boy girls do just as readily, IS
ACTUALLY A GIRL!!!
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The creator of the game is the one who created


the "Shining" portion of it, where characters are
basically encouraged to experience a first-person
reliving of all the scariest parts of the film, only it
it isn't him who withholds the fact from the
audience that the reason Stephen King didn't like
Kubrick's version is that he thought Kubrick was
trying to hurt people with it, permanently scar
them. Spielberg is the one who withholds that fact
from the audience, so that if they haven't seen
"the Shining" they in the midst of a film where
every expectation gets met find themselves stung
by the feeling of sudden betrayal... dispensed via
Kubrick. HERE the beautiful woman who looks
beautiful at first, metamorphosisizes into an aged
ghoul when you're kissing her; she doesn't just
grow an-actually-rather-pleasing-and-so-more-of-
an-accent-than-a-deformity birthmark: that was
Spielberg, everywhere else in this movie. Great.
And considering it is after this that the kids meet
in person, Spielberg didn't even make use of this
other-director-given latitude to acquaint the kids
with some appreciation that the people they
hoped would look a certain way in person, maybe
won't actually look that way at all -- they might
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even be ugly, or old, or "disgraced" by illness --


and that could be actually okay.
Unless he was thinking that in turning the movie
into a ghoul-hunt game he was helping transition
one's experience of the horror into a format you'd
have previous experience knowing mastery,
Spielberg helps make sure that much more of the
world that wasn't hurt by "The Shining," simply
now are, but hopes you consider it your good
fortune, for now you savour watching other
"newbies" innocently becoming acquainted with
the same horrors: the film considers funny a
whole horde of the enemy players in convulsions
over being kissed and mauled by the old-woman
corpse, as well as being later hacked at in her
guise as a ginormous axe-wielder. This is a replay
of situation where some people who were familiar
with the "Game of Throne" books made sure to
be in the company of their innocent friends as
they experienced what they experienced in the
Red Wedding Sequence, where countless
characters you'd come to care about are suddenly,
shockingly, murdered before your eyes. Do we
really believe any good comes out of this? How
does one become a high-horse corporate asshole
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in the first place, if not through learning to enjoy


seeing others squirm in shock and powerlessness?
THIS would have been the notable moment in the
film of someone stepping in to save another, not
the earlier moment when our main hero deterred
his would-be girlfriend from defeat by a grasping
King Kong, for rather than finding oneself
dispensed into cash coins others would collect to
their profit it'd have been from something really,
really not so pleasant. And, since apparently
Spielberg's mind was never truly sympathetic to
the notion of sparing people, it of course
didn't happen.
We're not supposed to like any of the players of
the opposing team, the people-drones who work
for the corporation that more or less seems to own
the world and that is trying to solve the game's
puzzle so to claim legal ownership over the big
piece missing -- the game -- as well... until it
comes time that we do. Somewhere near the end
of the film we suddenly find that some of the
youth that are directly assisting the corporate
head in solving the most difficult problems, are
granted some personality... or rather, suddenly,
without any apparent prompt, activate, claim
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ownership of their own choices, and begin to act


in ways that here-to only our heroes have been
permitted to: they start thinking independently;
they resist group-think; and aren't okay-smart but
(dramatized at least as) original-minded
(Spielberg isn't actually interested in the
originality gamers routinely display, for if so he'd
of shown respect for actions that more often
distinguish innovative players... like for example
what equipment to select of the multitudinous
available, and why they chose this item over that,
what moves to make in combat or in navigating a
course, and why they end up being tellingly
different from what others do, etc.) The result of
this is that by the end of the film we don't rejoice
that all the countless kids working for the
corporation have been humiliated, but instead
experience a we're-all-in-this-together kind of
feeling. This is true outside only a few jerks --
jerks, we note, we've taken every opportunity to
show up and humiliate, show how careless and
stupid they actually are, how wholly lacking in
imagination they are, even in their own
playgrounds: the movie does not ascent that we
imagine that in finances at least, our villain is
something of a creative.
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Spielberg's understanding of the Holocaust must


have been that it was Hitler only -- the Germans
were just waiting to be rescued of him, but since
help never arrived were requited to being "good
Germans" -- and is in a rush to make sure we
don't go off this narrative, maybe so that a sense
can be further maintained that if we throw off our
currently emerged tyrants all might be
comfortable in the way Spielberg had long-
acclimatized himself to, our now-passing
"paradise on earth," that was paradise for him as
he acclimatized himself as a comfortable partisan
of '80s ethics, patriarch over an empire -- Earth
itself? -- he chooses to view as equally
bequeathed and happy. He doesn't want to
imagine some kind of permanent fracture in the
populace that can't be mended by overthrowing a
manipulative and bullying monarch, because it
would mean that the Spielberg magic was
something of a cruel cloak thrown over people
that stopped them from make a plausible case that
we weren't united in our innocence and goodness,
through the 1980s and on, but had become two
packs of people who were failing to see anything
truly admirable in the other.
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Might be time to at least suggest that the matter


might have been more complex, might have been
other, unless we're caught with all our eggs in one
basket and Trump himself does end up being
taken away by the police owing to Russia, or
prostitutes... actually killing people, but still --
Trumpism. Spielberg may want to insist on a
certain way of seeing things for it's the base onto
which he set his own fortified castle without his
feeling guilty. But if in fact the world's becoming
transparently a swamp, a swamp which might
even eventually willy-nilly sink his own castle...
but even if not, make films that show something
awry in our expectations of people, something
that undoes the Spielberg-spell
...like for example "hero-kids" who don't so much
show through their preferences that they'd be
naturally averse to dictatorships, but who'd maybe
find them compelling, especially if for example
they promised them a new glorified life that
dissipated their previous memories of debilitation
and lack of empowerment, a New Order, an
"oasis," of hope and restitution. So as the
dangerous offer, not an evidently evil villain
offering our hero an evidently corrupt paradise so
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long as he sells his friends out, but an escape out


of poverty into the Oasis itself, in its ostensible
original and purified form, headed by an
ostensibly benign miracle-worker.
When this vision comes, it's never about
distinguishing and saluting people as individuals,
originals, creatives, but in banding them together
as a worthy pack. People who once thought
"selfishly" become "common cause." The book
behind this film was made for a counter-current
interpretation, à la Kubrick, not someone due to
borrow upon its huge popularity to leverage the
possibility that nothing has changed since he
helped fashion the narrative in the 1980s that
nothing averse was going on as behind the scenes
one group went on to success and another become
unrooted, as we were all quintessentially the same
Americans, bound, mutually, for our
limitless futures.

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Monday, March 26, 2018

"Unsane," reviewed

What is explored in "Unsane" more than


anything else is the horror of finding outside
one's class protections and subject to all the
hoary hells of abuse that are routinely
afflicted upon those society has clearly
designated as containers for hopelessness.
#MeToo has exposed how society had one
large category of them, namely women, who
could be subject to harassment and where
they'd quickly learn that those they might
have come to for support and redress
functioned more to confirm that society was
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rather hoping that all the rage that had been


situated upon them by the perpetrator...
would remain contained there, to their
detriment, or even to their full inability to
survive at all, and so to their therefore
consequent contemplating and following
through with suicide.
But our society has another category of
designated victim and I think it is actually
rather this one that is the focus here in this
film, and it is to find oneself removed from
consideration from one's literate, well-
educated, high-income-earning peers -- the
professional class -- and rendered so that
within the phenomenology of this class
they'd see you as actually more one of the
ordinaries, the permanently afflicted,
evolutionarily unfit people, they fled to the
refined urban neighbourhoods to get away
from and whom they've intentionally
endeavoured to disown for such a lengthy
period of time they'd cease in any way to any
longer resemble. Owing to a situation that
was unlikely to repeat itself, Sawyer Valentini
finished off a day where she was mercilessly
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manipulating clients into thinking they were


lucky to have her services rather than vice
versa, where she contrives a situation where
initially two equal parties meet into one
where one will function as her unpaid gigolo
while idiotically believing that he won, that
he had control, that he himself "having
gotten what he wanted," and managing her
mother, whom she has moved hundreds of
miles apart from, with details of her life
which keeps her own self mostly withheld, by
confessing to a warm blanket of a therapist, a
patient broad Labrador at a desk, that she
sometimes does have inklings of maybe
committing suicide; that she has indeed
imagined the very exact, controlled way she
would in fact do it.
Despite the pleasures of administrating, of
telling others how it is, she weakly still could
be lured to assume the passive so that she
might herself be heard, and it may have been
a way of actively punishing herself -- you
weak stupid bitch!... you're just like everyone
you despise -- for having done so that, or
maybe that plus being within a setting that
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prompts poses of infantilism, she foolishly


signs forms without quite entirely reading
them -- not exactly something which would
seem her daily... and for this double mistake,
this expansion of initial error into
concomitant, self-punishing, highly-
momentarily reveal of herself as one of the
dependent asinine, she becomes perhaps
permanently one of the rare losers that would
remind everyone else of her class that as safe
as they are in their protectiveness, to never
allow themselves to get too presuming or
sloppy. The abyss you could find yourself
dropped into, is too terrible. Suddenly she's
the Jerry McGuire sundered into the dreaded
cloak of failure. A scary cautionary tale to
warn others by.
She's now a mental patient, by law; a danger
to herself and to society. Worse, she's one of
those insurance agencies use to augment
their stock valuation, their income reports,
their reports of "success," making her one of
the tens of millions of Americans who are
used and abused each year by companies
invested in making sure they are kept healthy
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when it's in the company's financial interest


that they "become" so, and remain diseased
and unhealthy when not. She's one of the
ordinary Americans all members of the
professional class are at some level aware are
containing all the humiliation and
hopelessness and unaddressable
powerlessness that seem somehow to need to
be felt by a large body of afflicted someones,
in order for their own selves to be
experiencing such unrequited long spells of
accomplishment and advantage.
The nurses, guards, police, react to her as if
they can't see that she in fact is special --
which the film establishes that she certainly
is, a smart, observant, hi-IQ Soderberghian
type -- but rather just an ordinary varietal of
the insane: the hysterical and self-righteous
type. Normally this is how she would have
them, the kind of limited human
monstrosities that make it seem that if they
in their lives face most of society's burdens,
their own moronic, stunted selves makes
them certainly deserving of it. It's not clear
whether they're suffering from the Stanford
Prison Experiment syndrome, where an
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institutional setting prompts the activation of


their own hidden sadism; in fact, it actually
rather seems that they've become what all
people become when they realize that being
loyal first to the administrator and not to the
patient is the way to get through their job
unscathed. View things as the administrator
would -- all patients are people who may or
may not advance the financial interests of the
company: they are to be viewed skeptically
and with intolerance -- and you feel the
relaxed state that comes in knowing that the
corporation you work for would never see
you as a problem to their interests. You're a
child; you go about as a dictated-to
somnambulant; but your parents will never
be angry with you. And you've got subjects
you can aggress upon if they ever raise a note
of complaint, because there's nothing they're
going to be able to do about it unless your
harassment is in the coinage law
enforcement will recognize, which it never
will be.
But it is not just a sojourn for her to have
further proof of how asinine most people are,
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a narrative she starts developing for herself


out of increasing frustration, but a lethal full
depositing of her amongst them in the eyes of
people just like her. This is confirmed for her
when she meets her psychiatrist. Unlike with
the nurses, whom she engages with in a way
which would show to any savy ostensible
onlooker just how stupid the nurse is for her
falling for an appeal so overtly obviously false
and manipulative -- a strategy which actually
shows that what is alarming her most isn't
simply her being kept against her will but her
being kept as if she is one of the people she
must always be self-identified as being
distinguished from, for she's too savvy to not
recognize it as counter-purpose to the former
-- she appeals to him as a member of her
class; straight, unadorned appeal. She's
maybe a little off-balance -- but who in her
situation wouldn't be? -- but surely the sheer
anthropology of her, the whole clearly-
educated, full-of-class-markers aspects of
her, would signal to the psychiatrist that a
colossal crime of the worst sort had
transpired and one of the deserving winners
of society has been managed by their own
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instrumentation into the routine


dehumanizing treatment only due people
ostensibly deserving of them, the out-of-luck,
worthily-suspect ordinary. But without
blinking: No, he can't see anything about her
above and beyond what is reported in his
charts. But without blinking: She'll be filed in
such a way that is profitable for the company
and career-sustaining/enhancing for him.
She's requited to her situation; she's out of
luck. She experiences the horror that many
people who are being designted as #MeToo
perpetrators are coming to feel as their peers
who once saw them as fellow luminaries, see
them now as fully exposed/denatured in a
item-list of the accusations put to them:
perpetrator, only; member of a despised out-
class that is pushed out as far not-akin to you
as possible so that it can be more believably
seen as alien and other. She experiences the
horror that many who are being designated
as members of the "witch hunt" crew are
being encouraged to feel, in retaliation. This
particular situation of two who should be
fundamentally class-loyal finding themselves
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actually disowning the other, is an exposure


of the disruption currently beginning to
afflict the professional class vs. the working
class paradigm that's been society's sure
norm for several decades. Now the
professional class is landing one-another into
newly created "death camps" that dissolve
one's hard-won reputation and credibility
to zero.
Fortunately, one of her fellow "inmates"
deems her actually sane, obviously so, self-
evidently so, in fact: he confirms her in every
way possible, even sexually; and fortunately,
though he hasn't revealed this to her, he acts
in such a composed and intelligent manner
throughout it's hardly a surprise when it
turns out he's a reporter who's infilitrated the
institution who's pure from the genuine
contagions ACTUALLY contained therein --
for who else amongst all the "sick" actually
seems even slightly norm in this institution?
no one we see. Some may lapse, but
fortunately some of the same type will never
not recognize their own... "you've" still got
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some buttressing, and therefore a bit of time


to recalculate strategy.
At the finish of the film, where her own
intelligence and superiority has contrived the
death of her stalker and the humiliation and
full destruction of the fellow patient -- a
woman-witch, possessed, as I remember it,
even of a cackle -- who was the bully in the
institution, who's own obnoxious assaults on
her prey were never noticed but whose profit-
enhancing prompted violent retaliations by
her victims always were, and, through her
own luck, the death of the one person in life
who could still humiliate her by proving her
required cavalry despite all the efforts she
had put into always being her own -- her
mother -- whom, lets face it, is usually the
one who prompts our moving several
hundred miles to a big city, and whom
usually requires our own covering up of this
real reason -- by falsehoods large or small --
to absolve our sense of guilt and fear of
discovery over having abandoned her and
leaving so far from home, she finishes two
steps ahead, in a higher echelon job, and with
113

more power to dispatch those who might


even begin to consider crossing her.
She ends "all kinds of bitch," as her most
recent prey asserts, the fellow-employee who
looked at her aglance at the beginning of the
movie. And so too all the execs right now who
are only pretending to be engaged in the
political process, and who are secretly
thinking ahead to the survival centre they
might be building for themselves in some
apocalypse-safe zone.
There's the business of her projecting onto
select men a sudden vision of a terrible
predator, that remains just as manifest in her
at the end as it is in the beginning. I have not
addressed it. I experienced it in the film
almost like it was a tendency of the brain that
could affect her as hard as an epilepsy attack,
and which she'd learn to treat through a kind
of isolation of stimuli... a large black spot of
cancer that could appear suddenly to ruin
any frame of reality, removed as a possibility
for good. Not for her the recommendations to
be eternally vigilant of stimuli, that a hired
stalker-defence professional gives her, the
114

always feeling out of things for their ability to


invite predation -- an invite to a perennial
potential victim's perspective -- but to edit
them out of view entirely. I suspect she'd ask
all future lovers -- all now overt gigolos,
surely -- to come to her masked in garb
proven to avoid triggering her. Just as she'd
subject a fellow woman to a possibly carried-
out act -- if things went wrong -- of rape for
her own convenience, she'd possibly make
use of the friendly reporter who died in "the
error" of showing sympathy and support for
her (she didn't figure this could happen?
hyper-intelligent and aware her couldn't find
way to warn him? the stalker was noted for
being non-observant and was as well that
rare type of perpetrator who wouldn't mind
sharing?), as a kind of model she could mask
her gigolos with that would reliably prove to
counter the prompt in men that has
historically allowed stimulation of exactly the
wrong memory centres. One further part of
life -- the part of her brain that sometimes
has its own ideas -- controlled.

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"Isle of Dogs," reviewed

Our hero dogs come across probably more


just as American. Near the beginning of the
film, they take on another pack of dogs over a
found cache of foodstuffs. This pack are all
homogenous, i.e., "Asian," encouraging the
sense of our pack, composed of
differentiated, visually distinct dogs, as
Yankee. And our pack, wins. I didn't find this
116

particularly generous. And in that it's not


hard to imagine Trump satisfied with the
outcome of this fight, helpful. Keep both
packs full of individuals. Allow the fight to be
a toss-up. We don't need to learn more being
pleased by associating with scruffy alphas
who as off best form as they are, can still kick
your ass.
The boy in a sense is kept as "othered" in that
there is nothing in the personality of the
actors voicing the dogs that could in any way
be seen as eager to differ and obey, as
believably "dogish" -- they're Americans;
they're men -- and so when the boy
commands our hero, the dog "Chief," to
"fetch," it felt, when he acquiesced to it, like
someone obliging another's primitivism for
him nevertheless still representing the best of
the lot of a culture still unable to recognize
true signs of actualized personhood -- what
they're innocently still struggling towards --
when they see it. I personally edited out the
part of him actually enjoying doing so, and
him enjoying the dog-biscuit he was granted
afterwards -- his granting it as his new
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favourite meal -- for it seeming to be the


film-maker having us oblige something as
natural, as, "well, of course," so that we can
be with him when we stipulate the film is
about dogs rather than simply victims...
about cultural betters, more-or-less adults,
composited as dogs. I felt like I was being
lured into a world of false consciousness.
The boy and the dogs are a wedge, though,
into a Japan that in all of its union, may or
may not be capable of withstanding the
young Jane Fonda, planted amongst them.
She begins to implode onto them; they take
the impact, the reprimand, the humiliation,
of seeing what the power of fury and
undeterred personality can do to an
acquiesced group of people; but when the
dogs and the boy reach back into town, she's
already admitted to herself a crush on the
hero boy -- showed a sense of backing-off, a
need to cover up, a sense of being
compromised -- that gives the boy in this
instance the edge, which he uses simply to
institute his own rule over the island... the
rest of the film. She too knows the second-
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player status the female dogs in the film have


known, but only once the Americans and
their adopted son are ready to make their
appearance. Now she nips back, a bit shriven,
maybe, in recognizing his divinity, granting
our new sovereign, our lead, assured
"respecto."
Monday, March 12, 2018

Conversation about Agulis at the Gene


Wolfe Facebook Appreciation Club

James Pepe
119

New Member · 20 hrs


I’ve been rereading BotNS (this is my second read of it) and I just
finished the part where Sev fights Agulis with the avern. I’m
interested to hear what people think of the accusations Agilus levels
agains Sevarian. Agilus says Sev has wronged him three times. Are we
meant to take these accusations seriously? They're very strange. Is
this just a last ditch attempt by Agilus to get out of being killed, or is
Sev actually guilty of something, either legal, moral, or cultural. Are
the powers that Agilus refers to simply that the avern didn’t kill Sev
when it wounded him? Here the quote,
“First by entrapment. You carried an heirloom worth a villa about the
city without knowing what it was you had. As owner it was your duty
to know, and your ignorance threatens to cost me my life tomorrow
unless you free me tonight. Secondly, by refusing to entertain any
offer to buy. In our commercial society, one may set one's price as
high as one wishes, but to refuse to sell at any price is treason. Agia
and I wore the gaudy armor of a barbarian - you wore his heart.
Thirdly, by the sleight with which you won our combat. Unlike you, I
found myself contesting powers greater than I could comprehend. I
lost my nerve, as any man would, and here I am. I call on you to free
me.”

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Wilson Dolaghan I think they are morally skewed accusations that we


are meant to sympathise with or pity on some level as they represent his
incapacity for repentance and thus salvation. It also is an opportunity for
Wolfe to show Severian's better side, which has been in remission for a
while up to that point. Borrowing from Cecilia Michel Lopez here a bit, but
I think it's trying to demonstrate an idea of the unrepentant sinner in the
face of divine justice.
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Cecilia Michel Lopez Actually, I think the most important thing going
on there is how Sev replies to those three points. He isn't trained in law,
remember, because Torturers aren't supposed to judge. What's going on
there is a somewhat truncated form of the (medieval) Scholastic debate,
which is the form in which Aquinas wrote the Summa. It gives us a glimpse
of Severian's education & the eroded remnants of Catholicism's intellectual
tradition hanging around - not just liturgical elements, like the cathedral &
altar, lingering.

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Cecilia Michel Lopez It's also the same moral bullshit we see with Agilus
about incest - that he's not actually responsible for boffing his sister, since
he's told her to go marry the skanky old sailor. A habit of greed & self-
justification in everything he says in jail.

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James Pepe I would say that his reply is thoroughly un-Thomistic, unless
you are referring to something other than this reply, "Laughter came
unwished-for, carrying with it the taste of gall. "You're asking me to do for
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you, whom I have every reason to despise, what I wouldn't do for Thecla,
whom I loved almost more than my own life. No. I'm a fool, and if I was not
one before, surely your darling sister has made one of me. But not such a
fool as that."
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Cecilia Michel Lopez I mean Scholastic in its form.


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Marc Aramini Wilson Dolaghan New Sun has been discussed so much
from reviews to the Urth list I feel it is almost impossible to determine
where certain ideas come from regarding its interpretation. This is not the
case with Wizard Knight, Short Sun, Sorcerer's House, Latro, Home Fires,
"The Changeling," "Seven American Nights," and The Fifth Head of
Cerberus, where my theses are a bit more original and clear. Originally I
did not intend to have anything on New Sun in that book, but the publisher
insisted I write something on it. I wasn't going to write on the long fiction
until I got to Fifth Head and thought gee something is missing in the
existing consensus. In hindsight my plan, to write on Wolfe's most obscure
stuff and ignore the popular stuff, doesn't seem too prescient. The problem
with peeping in on discussions from new readers on New Sun is of course
one of "oh no, not this again ...." I forgive them; they know not what they
do.
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122

Marc Aramini No, it is ridiculous and confused with no moral grounds at


all. He thinks carrying something valuable around and tempting others is
more morally culpable than killing innocent bystanders and tricking
someone to their death.

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Curtis Scissors Didn't he actually die though? The power Agilus refers to
is resurrection.
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James Pepe Oh yeah, you might be right because he has the claw at this
point in his boot right? But he doesn't know it yet? But why would Agilus
assume that Sev had died and been brought back rather than simply be
resistant to the avern for some reason?

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Marc Aramini Here’s that gnostic wisdom - the claw is the false excuse
we have for severian’s Miraculous survivals, but in itself without Severian,
who resurrected triskele as “the smallest of those dead” before he ever had
the claw, it means little save for its association with him. The source of
such a resurrection might no entirely lie with the body of Severian alone
given the hierodules, but severian’s unique power is undeniable. The Avern
is extremely deadly poison.

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Marc Aramini This is how wolfe works: first we see Dorcas revive and
only know she is a corpse if we are familiar with the acts of the apostles and
tabitha Dorcas or are very clever in linking cas and Dorcas, though the claw
is not yet given as a reason for such a resurrection. Then we learn of the
claw and believe it to be the cause, but our first impression was more
correct all along - all the world is a relic, and the claw but a thorn. (Though
thorns are not merely thorns given the vision of a brush coming to life and
running up a tree at the coming of the new sun)

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James Pepe I'm not sure who you mean by cas, do you mean Cassandra?
Also, are we meant to think that Dorcas is the person who grabbed Sev
under the water when he dove down to get his sword?. Also, what do you
mean by first impression? Our first impression would be that nothing
strange, or at least supernatural, is going on. I never thought of Sev as
ressurecting Triskele in the most proper sense of ressurection, but
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analagously, sure. Sev's surviving the avern is odd but not unheard of. The
apperance of Dorcas is odd and her having come back to life is heavily
implied, even to a first time reader and someone who doesn't know who
Dorcas is reference to. But even then it would be quite a leap to think of Sev
as being the conduit for her ressurection.

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Marc Aramini I mean the girl cas who died long ago, the boatman’s wife,
in a chapter titled Dorcas in which Dorcas does not appear. Yes, she is the
woman in the water when he went to get his sword.

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Marc Aramini Perhaps I should rephrase that: if we were prone to


speculate on cause and effect and recognized Dorcas was resurrected given
our religious backgrounds and the chapter title Dorcas in which an old man
searches for the body of (dor)Cas, then at that point we would not know of
the claw ... because it isn’t really the claw doing this.

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125

Marc Aramini Triskele is literally described as “the smallest of those


dead” and the first chapter is titled resurrection and death ... we should be
looking for these things already given the “near” drowning

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Marc Aramini The source of his angst and his power are also revealed
early: the miraculous flambeau that he knows is approaching (the new sun)
and his apprehension of the nenuphar death flowers is well founded.
Dorcas’ fear of drowning and water is real, but she is quick at every
opportunity to adorn her hair with flowers post resurrection. Both her and
severian’s submersion are of course meta-narrative symbols, and the
provenance of flowers for good and ill, from the Avern to the thorn to the
green man, all hint at what that post-new Sun world might be ultimately be
like, if humanity cannot stay the same.

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Simeon Lawler Giving quite a lot away here, should I even read your
book now Marc Aramini? �

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126

Marc Aramini Simeon Lawler well there’s always more where that came
from. ;)

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James Pepe I guess the question is, then, why has Sev been chosen as the
conduit for these miracles? In the lives of the saints, they usually give up
their sinful ways before they start performing miracles.
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Marc Aramini Slight spoilers for urth here ... There is a reason involving
the passed trial that is hinted at in that vision at the start of shadow of the
torturer but not explicit until Urth, the connection between sev and the
conduit to a higher energy state (there called yesod) which takes the form
of the approaching white fountain/new sun.
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Marc Aramini This is still science fantasy, though Wolfe has that scene in
claw at the start where sev says golly gee when did my water bag get filled
with wine?
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127

Marc Aramini Simeon Lawler I wrote it as an accessible reference work


for Wolfe fans, not to sell books, which is also why I don’t monetize my
YouTube channel or ever seek patronage. I do, however, accept worship
and respect. Everyone has a price, but some have more insidious and
intangible endgames. Answering these threads achieves the same ends.

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Nathan Carson I wonder if “Cas” is also a small nod to Clark Ashton


Smith?
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James Pepe Well if Sev is not Christ, and hes not really what we would
call a saint, then what is he? what is the meaning we're supposed to take?
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James Pepe And, I think, more importantly, if he is neither of those


things, why make constant allusions to them?
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Marc Aramini All great questions and ones I think worth pondering
based on some individual criteria. Have I said I don’t believe Wolfe’s
interviews without some reservations? Well, let me say it again. Maybe
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reading urth of the new sun would give you some more concrete
perspective on his role in the scheme of the heiros.
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Patrick McEvoy-Halston At this point in the book, Severian has already


decided that to some extent he was "entrapped" to help Thecla suicide
herself, simply in having earlier participated in saving Vodalus... to save
someone is to be their slave forever. This said, how he, Agilus, reacts to his
crime contrasts starkly with how Severian reacts to his own. Severian, that
is, agrees that it would be just if he was executed, and it's others who offer
several (three?) reasons why he absolutely must be spared.

Agilus has great mental agility, and I wonder if when we read of the tale of
the cock and the angel where the cock supplies three reasons why he
should be spared, if we can't help but have in mind Agilus. Both are
keeping intact their wellspring... endless self-belief and will, to the end.

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129

Patrick McEvoy-Halston This is the passage I was thinking of: “I


understand," I said, and though I remembered the thin piece of gold
Vodalus had given me, safe in its hiding place, I knew I could not take
advantage of whatever wealth it might represent. It was the guild's will to
cast me out with no more money than a young journeyman might be
expected to possess, and for prudence's sake as well as honor's, so I must
go.

Yet I knew it was unfair. If I had not glimpsed the woman with the heart-
shaped face and earned that small gold coin, it is more than possible I
would never have carried the knife to Thecla and forfeited my place in the
guild. In a sense, that coin had bought my life.

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Marc Aramini It is a false coin, for what it is worth.

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130

Gerald P Leb I find Agilus' prevarications while awaiting execution to be


one of the funnier scenes in the book. The first thing he does when
Severian shows up is admit to incest. He says something like:"whatever you
might think about me and my sister is true. Now that I am going to be dead
she will be able to marry the old man who dotes on her or somebody else."
The old man is an important character. Be on the lookout for him. And
then he goes on with his three accusations, which are absurd, of course.
Severian reports them verbatim but hardly gives them a second thought, I
would imagine.
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Patrick McEvoy-Halston But it also replicates the retort Lochage gives


Petronax... where it is made to seem that there is no greater crime than
being ignorant; not being "wake to your business." That is, Agilus argues
that Severian has not been awake to his responsibilities, to his business, as
a "citizen" in a commercial culture, something he should NOT now have
been so ignorant of, been prompted to think about, in this highly
commercial area during a time of high mercantile activity, considering he
knows already of how his torturer's cloak affects people at its outskirts... in
a savage culture.

He was drawn to think of how his torturer's garb could unravel a tenuously
kept-together society in an area characterized by savagery, but didn't think
on it enough to be wary of how his opal-addorned sword would affect
others as he entered a densely commercial area.
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131

Gerald P Leb The lochage was telling his subordinate to do his job. The
idiot revealed his insubordination on his face and was immediately
punished by his officer using Severian as an instrument. I am not going to
address your comment further. Are you in graduate school?
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Jonathan Jones There's a lot of intelligent and well-considered analysis


here. All I have to add is, Agilus is a little beotch.

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Frater Julianus I figure Agilus was just being a fairly typical criminal.
Severian had probably heard all those arguments before.
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Eli Aragon I think it has something to do with the nature of authority


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Sunday, March 11, 2018

Recent post about "Annihilation," at the


NewYorker Movie Facebook Club

Patrick McEvoy-Halston shared a link.


133

March 1 at 12:16pm
Richard Brody dismissed "Annihilation" as a
movie that got graded on a curve, and that it is
really one where plot dictates, and characters get
narrowed: a stupid master -- plot, that is -- has his
way, and the potentially interesting constituents --
characterization -- suffer for it. To like the film,
critics would have to be those who find way to
praise a picture that is absolutely unimaginative.
To empathize with the characters, female critics
would have to be those who are ready to project
their own situations into pretty much anyone who
could be forced to serve, even those who are
constructed feebly, thinly, and flimsily.
Then you flip to some of the reviews themselves,
examples like this, https://theoutline.com/
…/annihilation-review-body-horror-mo…, and
this,
http://www.vulture.com/2018/02/annihilation-
review.html, and you find for example someone
"left [...] breathless with its unforgiving depiction
of the relentless weight of depression; the impulse
to self-destruct," and another who argues that the
Shimmer immediately releases possibilities; that
it stimulated the characters to develop.
134

So what do we think? Are New Yorker critics


become obtuse to the experiential reality of a new
generation, unable to recognize worth in matter,
realized self-reflection in matter, than a younger
generation will respond to instantly and gestate
on to produce their own art in the future? Are the
young more traumatized, and are triggered to
respond to horror more automatically, even if
lacking in presentational quality, leaving their
interesting delineations of their responses
unreliable as a measure to grade the actual quality
of the matter they responded to? Are they just
desperate to enthuse OVER ANY film that
registers their "existential plights"?
Are the young being furthered abandoned by
reviews like this one, where they might not be
able to find themselves at all, in a review which
presents itself as registering a very authoritative,
complete sussing out of the very complicated
matrix that is any film? You don't laugh out aloud
at this one -- as everyone surely has to find their
most truly honest response to the film to be -- and
you don't exist.
135

THEOUTLINE.COM
The subversive body horror of Annihilation
The sci-fi thriller allows women to explore life
without giving literal birth to it.

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Monday, February 19, 2018

"Black Panther," reviewed


136

In "Black Panther" an outsider -- but one


who has a legitimate claim on the throne --
takes over rule of Wakanda and immediately
makes massive changes to the accustomed
way of doing things. Some staff are shocked,
but many come to find his gutsy moves
legitimate and willingly execute his new
philosophy. The plot, that is, bears some
similarity to the like of "Spotlight," where an
outsider -- in that movie, a bachelor Jew who
doesn't like baseball -- helms the Boston
Globe, and immediately purses a gutsy
course always open to the Globe but which
heretofore the Globe never pursued for it
being outside their inclinations, and where
the staff are at first shocked, but very quickly
137

find themselves invigorated by intrusion of


an authority that would prompt them to do
something that might well alienate many
readers but is a deeper source of good.
I bring this up because this sense of joy, of
release, that one experiences as soon as we
see the changes the new editor of the Globe,
Marty Baron, will bring, one experiences in
this movie when the outsider, Marty
Killmonger, takes over as well, but it proves
something the movie is hoping to persuade
us to disown. Before Killmonger takes over,
what I and perhaps other movie watchers felt
in slightly identifying with the current king's
situation, the ostensible sweet-spot of whom
anyone would want to be, was a profound
sense of being trapped, but denied any cause
to claim your uneasiness justified. His wife-
to-be is ideal. His father is ideal. His mother
is ideal. His general is ideal. His kid sister is
ideal. His kingdom is ideal. Everything is up-
to-date according to the current preferences,
so his wife-to-be is athletic, self-determined.
His general is a woman, and martial beyond
belief. His father is kind, as well as manly,
138

but ostensibly allows room for the son to


establish his own course by proving slightly
retrograde. His kid sister is a scientific
genius, cute... but also not seeming to be
limited to that the rest of her life: she'll grow
into a woman too. The kingdom is listed in
the dictionary under "Utopia: be warned:
don't change or adjust any single thing!"
Everywhere the Black Panther, T'Challa,
twists, he meets a perfect type. There is no
one here to make adjustments to. He'll only
ever play along. His whole existential
existence will be one long slog of tipping-the-
hat; one whole overlong episode of "the Love
Boat": commercialized perfection, not to
be tweaked.
Killmonger takes the throne and makes
adjustments we can't help but be thrilled by,
not because we're sadists who desire him to
his execute his plan to wage war on the whole
rest of the planet, but because we've seen
what had parked in his spot before and found
it stifling. Yes please, make a bonfire of the
ancient vegetables that no one was allowed to
touch. Yes please, take the resources
139

Wakanda has always had and actually allow


us to imagine a different course of action as a
distinct possibility. Let everything be
examined in depth, and if it's rejected it's not
owing to some authority we dare not balk
directing us along to any other path but this.
Remove all the "do not go" signs. And yes
please, when some of the staff are rattled at
your really understanding the powers you
have as king and your actually being ready to
make use of them, challenge them on their
depth of loyalty to the kingdom: if you're not
for the powers allotted to me, then what you
were for was conservative application, not
the kingdom.
Basically what the movie does is takes what
was heroic in "Spotlight" and make it mostly
evil in "Black Panther." If the same spirit was
put to work in "Spotlight," the focus would
have been on the spiritual destruction, the
crippling psychic disarray, of millions of good
Catholics, by the weaponized use of truth by
the Globe. The previous editors of the Globe,
the ones who suppressed the weapons they
had in their arsenal -- they'd long had the
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documents necessary to go after the Boston


Archdiocese -- to do anything substantial
against the Church, would have been called
in to lament: "look at what you did... your
truth was right, but was this really the course
of justice? Or was it just your being a pissed-
off non-Catholic, driven to revenge against
the Church, and thereby relieving a few but
effectively decimating the multitude?"
Killmonger is the course of genuine self-
activation, the wildness, not elsewhere in the
movie. But maybe in a sense we don't want to
long be associated with him either. For he's
also like Rose McGowan, someone who not
only was denied, who was abused, but who
never stops presenting us with the fact of
what abuse actually does to the psyche. And
as the online magazine Outline has reminded
us, these types are exactly those we sense
culture is -- that WE are -- trying to excise
out, for we can't only appreciate them, and in
fact are drawn to get angry at them for
making us feel compelled to associate with
them, because they're no longer mainstream:
they are not people who twitter normally,
facebook normally, participate in commercial
141

culture normally, but those who are a


persistent angry, disruptive face to all that...
and we just aren't prepared to go that far,
probably because we're using our collective
support of the everyday to stop us from being
forced to acquaint ourselves with exactly the
sort of rage and hurt that the McGowans and
Noami Wolfs scare us by drawing us in
to feel.
So we co-operate with the film as it brings in
what we must feel is a commercialized
substitute for the real thing. We pretend that
the gigantic cave-dwelling M'Baku is an
alternative source of Killmonger's own
"useful rebuttal" to the throne, an alternative
dissent, pretend enlightenment, and
welcome Killmonger being dispatched off:
the Black Panther doesn't seem anywhere
near as interested in using science to save
him as he was in saving Everett Ross, and we
would have been okay welcoming any reason
Killmonger came up to desist in agreeing to
medical rescue, even if it wasn't so apropos
as the "slaves welcoming death rather than
servitude" he ended up using.
142

Speaking of slavery, no one in Kawanda has


ever known it. They're "Olympians"; ever-
pure. I couldn't help when watching this film
to feel this as so desirable that identifying
oneself as a victim of slavery, as a victim of
colonizers, was something of a false move,
for it alienates you from the Utopian state of
the Kawandians: you're broken for doing so;
corrupted; diseased. Doing so, you look to be
making the traditional means of showing
support for Black people, but you're actually
digging a hole for oneself that others will
happily let you continue doing, for it helps
distinguish you from they. Kawanda is the
wellbeing, the mindfulness, the Hygge, the
"care for the soul," opposing the dialogue of
trauma incidences, of #MeToo, of 99 vs. 1
percent, in our culture. One movement is
drawing you to think of your spiritually pure
state, the other a prompt to learning that
your doing so may be your way of distancing
yourself from the actual damage very much
still living in you.
It is very significant that the Vibranium
asteroid landed in Kawanda way before
143

Westerners colonized/raped Africa. If it had


been revealed to have actually landed circa
eighteen hundred but that this memory had
been scrubbed, the movie would have
confronted us with the situation that
confronted Rey in "the Last Jedi": "your
ancestors were actually poor and enslaved;
the lineage of princelings and princesses in
your past, was a fabrication... can you find
way to be okay with that? If no, then what
does this say about your real intentions
towards anyone who blatantly reminds you
of something you cannot under any
circumstance find yourself associated with,
the weak, the mentally disturbed, the
previously enslaved?"
It's also significant that Vibranium was
allowed to be sufficient in and of itself for
producing the great kingdom of Kawanda.
The movie doesn't allow the hypothetical
situation of it also dispersing into other parts
of the globe, perhaps some actually into
South America -- the out-of-luck, denied-the-
best-first-round-pick-in-a-generation, of this
movie -- but that what special about
144

Kawanda is that it consisted of people who


knew what they could make of it, and
promptly did so. It should seem strange to
us, that is, that the movie is so comfortable
saying that it was the luck of resources that
enabled their civilization, for it's never
something associated with, say, Western
civilization, which in fact we normally
associated as something mostly denied
resources and so, ostensibly, the whole
reason for colonizing. Why would it seem
something so right to present yourself as
simply passive to fortune? You're special, not
for anything you did that others couldn't
have done, but because of proximity to a
grand mystical rock? It's like as if proximity
to a supply of ample oil fields, somehow by
itself makes your special... something I used
to feel as an Albertan, but which is
ridiculous. What are "we" projecting into the
Vibranium so "we" feel good, not in even in
believing it chose "us," but just by being the
closest people to it, something that would
somehow have been worked against if its
greatness was only ever something "we"
145

identified as from the start, easily readily


matched or bettered by "our" own?
The last thing I'll note is that the Black
Panther is not distinguished here, as he was
in his first appearance in films -- "Captain
America: Civil War" -- as feline. He doesn't
scratch people here, whereas in "Civil War"
there's cat scratches into everyone and
everything. The emphasis here is not on the
minuscule claws on his hands, but on the
grand talons around his neck, which are large
enough to store whole compressed suits. His
threat isn't his scratching, but his stabbing,
his goring. Significance?: the movie is averse
to the delicate, is my guess. One senses this
also in the portrayal of Everett Ross, who is
characterized by nothing more in this film
than by his being a bit too refined for the
necessities of the situations he finds himself
in, though he survives by his discretion, and
by being open to what others would have him
be in this film, which is essentially someone
useless who could be readily edited out
without a difference being made if some
disgruntled "king" was ever in mood to do so,
146

making it the first instance on record where


fans feel inclined to edit out a middle-aged
white man as the Jar Jar Binks spoiling
a movie.

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Conversation about "Black Panther" at


the NewYorker Movie Facebook Club

Richard Brody shared a link.


Moderator · February 16 at 9:31pm
So, Black Panther: it's a pleasure to watch
and to think about. This should come as no
surprise to anyone who has seen Creed, in
which Ryan Coogler turns the Rocky
franchise into a powerful, personal, and
critical experience. Black Panther is the rare
superhero film in which the worldbuilding is
very satisfying—coherent and dramatic in
itself, like a bit of history rather than a jerry-
147

rigged contraption. And the action itself has


an intellectual and political resonance that's
rare for any kind of movie. Like many action
movies of any sort, there's plenty of
exposition, and some of the early parts seem
like pretexts for high-speed tumult (though
it's realized cleverly); but when the drama
kicks into high gear, it's shudderingly intense
—and that very intensity packs an idea of its
own.
https://www.newyorker.com/…/the-
passionate-politics-of-blac…

The Passionate Politics of "Black Panther"


Many films in the Marvel franchise reflect
American turmoil of the day, but the world of
Wakanda is unusually complex and resonant.
-----------
148

Salvador Bermudez Great review Jeremy


Lynde well written
Peggy Washburn Just saw it today and
loved it! Great story that's relevant to issues
today with unflinching historical references.
Beautiful costumes and scenery, excellent
acting and exhilarating action make this an
awesome must see. IF you like action hero
adventures.
Oh yeah, and there's about 13 minutes of end
credits worth sticking around for as there's
an extra scene about halfway through and
another final scene at the very end.
Erik B. Anderson I feel like there's a lot of
spoilers in the first few paragraphs. Had to
stop reading.
J Egizii Novak Seeing it tomorrow, so
excited. Thanks for the No-Spoiler review.
Joey Barrows I loved it so much!! Michael
B Jordan stole the show but the whole cast
was spot on. What a great film. I'd be okay
with them handing a later Avengers movie
over to this team.
149

Christine Gangai Looks really good, can't


wait to watch. As a rule, I generally avoid
hype movies and also hate Marvel movies as
they are usually vapid with high cringe levels,
but I am excited for this one.
Kagiso Lekgetho Well written review sir
NiRty Wa The fantasy of high brow
entertainment and the falsely perceived
worth of a person's cultural baggage
determined by what they deem themselves
above of consuming is both hilarious and
sad, childish at best. But in moments when
everyone fills their mouth...See
Patrick McEvoy-Halston My review of
"Black Panther":
https://letterboxd.com/patrickmh/film/blac
k-panther-2018/Manage

A review of Black Panther (2018)


LETTERBOXD.COM
150

Patrick McEvoy-Halston If Vibranium


had in fact landed in South America, not
Africa, and South Americans played it by
Kawandian principles, Kawanda would have
joined the rest of the Africans in being raped
by Europeans for centuries. It's a big deal
their deciding to remain apart, and I'm not
sure if something substantial was
distinguished in their getting hip to their
responsibilities to the world, when it's the
hippest thing in the world to be doing right
now. Kawanda joins Facebook, Apple,
IKEA... which is for the good, of course, but it
bears the mark of the forever charlatan, in
always knowing when and how to adjust for
mainstream acceptance.
Patrick McEvoy-Halston If fans don't
complain of the film like they do with J.J.
Abrams these days, how about we pause a
moment before assessing the film as the
utmost of progressive sensibilities? The
pretence that without exploiters we would all
live in a perfect state, harmonized with
nature, can be very evolved -- standing by the
self you should always have been allowed to
151

be -- but also dangerous, because it links with


philosophies which emphasize projecting out
your own impurities, your own compromised
states, onto the world. Does it weigh exactly
right in this movie or not? What is served in
having Martin Feldman's character being so
mostly inadequate in this movie? Do anyone
of us even pretend that we're identifying with
him, so ostensibly to be the learning the
lesson of not being front and centre for a
change? Don't we see him mostly as a Jar
Jar, some physically out of place,
"misshapen" fool who might be fun for the
girls to play with -- as happens in this film --
but has no real justification for being in the
film to the point that he is, and even allowed
ostensibly to play the part of a hero? A
gigantic stink has to be made to wrestle in a
little room for a son to have some
disagreement with his father... and the
source of this empowerment, is not about to
be canonized in Kawandinain lore. What
does this say for our interest in seeing
subsequent transgressive imaginings of
Kawanda take place? Next time Kawanda has
to modernize itself so it fits better with
152

current preferences, does another Killmonger


have to appear and demonstrate himself as
clearly some kind of worst alternative while
subsequently reflecting back on us how great
we still mostly are, to prompt the idea for
change we need? Isn't this how most
conservatives conceive themselves... not
always right in the past; not diffident to all
change; but mostly right in the past, and
always the best guardians of how change
must take place?
Peggy Washburn It sounds like you didn’t
stay through to the end of the credits and
missed that important first extra scene
halfway in? Which i can’t even further
discuss because...SPOILERS.
Also, i absolutely did not think Martin
Freeman’s character was a Jar Jar Binks. His
presence was necessary to show that the
Kawandans are all embracing in sharing their
gifts with all of humanity, regardless of skin
color, in sharp contrast to the antagonist
Killmonger. The words of the BP King said it
best...”as if we were one single tribe.”
153

Patrick McEvoy-Halston Peggy


Washburn I think I did miss the extra scene,
which I suppose is fair for you to point out as
a lapse, because extra scenes aren't really all
that "extra," anymore.
(SPOILER) They're all embracing in their
gifts with all of humanity... so long as
humanity is obsequious, agrees to shut up
and be shown up, and has the physiognomy
about inverse your own king's magnificence?
There do appear to be conditions... Martin
Freeman's character is granted nothing close
to the self-command and authority -- the
presence -- he had in Civil War (the character
in "Civil War" would have held his ground
when M'Baku threatens to feed him to his
children, done something along the line of
Elisa Esposito's [Shape of Water] resilient
death stares back at him; he wouldnt' have
just adopted the stance of the terrified, and
thereby flatter the prowess of the he-man
predator.) It's a totally different take on the
character, and I think it's worth looking into,
why. Anthony Lane characterizes the Black
Panther as tense, Killmonger as loose... and
154

along this way of characterizing, I find


Freeman kind of a shoulder-shugged, do-
anything-you-want-to-me, what-me-worry.
The damned guy isn't allowed any ability to
carry difference.
Peggy Washburn Patrick McEvoy-Halston,
that first of two extra scenes in the end
credits would significantly change some of
what you wrote in the second to the last
paragraph re Vibranium in your initial
letterbox review.
It seems to me that the Kawandans are the
most advanced & most intelligent people on
the planet & thus they will know when & how
to present themselves & their gifts in ways
that will be welcomed & accepted by all
humanity, except for the “bad guys” of
course.
SPOILERS:
Never saw Civil War but i surely never saw
Everett Ross adopt a terrified stance unless i
was blinking my eyes at that moment. He is a
hero here...a grateful patient/gracious guest,
because he had saved an important life, is
155

then saved by her & in return, helps save


Kawanda.
But i’m basing all my feelings about this
movie as standing alone with no prequels or
characters from previous movies. Therefore
we’ll have different takes, which is what
makes sharing thoughts so fun & interesting.
Patrick McEvoy-Halston Peggy
Washburn I like your challenge to think of
him as a grateful patient/guest. It is a good
one. I wonder if others found him heroic?
They are the most advanced and intelligent,
but they don't actually know when and how
to present themselves... as is made clear by
the necessity of Killmonger's intrusive
influence. The problem that I think I am
exploring is not how the film could possibly
allow for Kawanda but still allow that
Western colonization went by unopposed,
but that it actually feels right that they didn't.
Kawanda steps in when the crowd is already
rushing in the globalist direction, and so is
no more exceptional in this instance than
Zuckerberg is when he re-dedicates his
156

empire more against Russian trolls and


towards the collective good. If they'd stepped
in five centuries ago, they couldn't have
joined the collective esprit -- the warm,
evolved, civilized, Bill Gates' "bath" of it -- no
authority would have received them well,
there'd be no mutual recognition, they'd be
doing what's right but alone and
misinterpreted the entire time doing so. They
joined in at the least abrasive time possible,
so that cultural recognition is as facile and
enjoyable as a diplomatic meeting between
friends. Kawanda is making amends now
because the rest of the world is ready to host
them in a suitably pleasing style. It makes for
a nicer trip abroad.
Peggy Washburn It’s in that extra scene
during the end credits where it’s made clear
that the Kawandans do show they (now)
know when & how to present themselves.
And as for them waiting and finally stepping
up & out into the world, you make a valid
point about the whole timing and nicer trip
abroad but it took some traumatic (almost
losing Kawanda under the cruel rule of
157

Killmonger and the whole circumstances of


how he was left behind) events to make them
realize now is the time. The first part of the
movie explained why they chose to hide &
remain unseen, so it really was all about their
timing & evolution.
J Egizii Novak I saw it today. It was fucking
amazing on every level. And truly you sound
like a whiny privileged white man who can't
handle the fact white men weren't the focus
of the movie. That they, like black people
have been since forever..plot devices. You
could never understand what black people
have experienced as movie goers forever..
seeing people who look like them being
always relegated to the stereotypical plot
device. Get over yourself.
Patrick McEvoy-Halston J Egizii Novak I
doubt there was a single white man watching
the film who was mostly identifying with the
Freeman character. I bet most were going
between the four alpha males, deciding
which one was most like them/the one they
wanted to be. The average privileged white
man, that is, is more likely to sound like you
158

-- an enthusiastic fan of the film, and


discreditors of other men as whiny, with a
need to get over themselves -- than me.
J Egizii Novak Oh fucking please... Patrick
McEvoy-Halston you are not entitled to get a
character you identify with in every movie.
It's called being human and identifying with
humanity. If you can't manage that much,
you are a failed human being. If you can't
identify with an emotion, you're a failed
human. If you can't at least acknowledge the
fact white people have dominated American
culture and up until this movie black people
were never portrayed in this amazing light....
You've failed as a human being.
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Monday, February 12, 2018

Redemption in Paris: "15:17 to Paris,"


reviewed
159

This movie would have been more honest if it


accepted that what these three young
military men did was more or less a soldier's
wet dream. They rose, when others panicked,
and subdued someone who threatened
hundreds of lives. How can we make
everyone like that? Well, we can't, because
ostensibly it is something we are stamping
out of children by only reading disobedience
as a behavioural disorder. The children who
don't pay any attention in class but stare out
windows, who are repeatedly in the
principle's office, who seem to need
medication for their extreme ADHD, may or
may not be victims of too much mommy' all-
160

over-them (and mommy' all-over-everyone-


else too, including concerned teachers and
principals) and too little daddy' counter -- the
film allows this as an ambiguous issue; that
is, it could be -- but they are exactly those
we'll need in emergency because they'll be on
top of any opponent that surfaces: they're
trigger-ready to meet someone else's trigger-
happy.
But of course this will only work when the
opponent intrudes amongst civilians, for it
simply isn't plausible that if the opponent
barged into a military camp that only a select
few wouldn't agree to hide under their desks
as commanded, as the film portends is the
case: every single one of them would be
thinking on how their moms would react to
hearing how in a moment of crisis if they
were the ones who died with their tails
between their legs / heads under their desks.
They'd be bumping into one another,
pushing each other aside, so they themselves
could be the ones who could be accounted as
having used a measly pen to stop an
opponent with an assault rifle. The opponent
161

would delight in their brawling, their


drawing straws to be the one lucky to
singularly risk life for great acclaim, as he
mowed all of them down, without account if
there was a misfire for they'd established for
him all the time in the world. The instructor
in the film would of had to show a filming of
this scenario repeatedly, in fact, to have any
chance of getting the soldiers-who-agree-to-
hide-under-desks-when-an-armed-intruder-
is-in-their-compound it ostensibly has
learned it actually very much needs when the
scenario is playing out for real.
It's too bad that the pen played only in a
false-alarm scenario earlier in the film, for if
it in fact had surfaced in the actual incident it
would have brought to mind the
resourcefulness of the terrorist ostensible
"other," for mere paper-cutters were we
know used to take down a 747 and a couple of
indomitable New York towers, and that
incident involved a whole bunch of people
rising to take down a few terrorists but
without it persevering as a tale to be retold
and retold but rather one presented at first as
162

a hopeful beacon but discarded for evidently


serving only as a fodder for further laughing
at our pretence to empowerment by a
demonic-minded universe. And terrorists are
forever doing things that they imagine --
rightly -- their mothers will admire them
over. The dream vision of the end with the
young soldiers with their mothers by their
sides, is probably about the same one the
terrorist himself had in mind awaiting his
ultimate fate. Not just a thousand virgins, but
actually primarily very happy mothers
who've seen their possibly wayward sons
redeemed through destruction of the infidel,
is what they imagine awaits. Do we really
want to nurture men who require our not
looking too closely at the infidel, as the film
agrees not to do, because it doesn't take
much of one to see a dangerous mutuality?
I was happy for the men in the film, but in
the way that I'm happy to see, really, anyone
accomplish something in a manner that
makes them feel like they matter. I'm sorry
however that if they have any doubt about
themselves, about what their early difficulties
163

with school really showed about them, about


their difficulty following through on goals, in
not learning any ability to subdue a desire to
balk/humiliate authority... in anonymously
toilet-papering their mom's homes, in
coming to prefer the company of bros to an
active dating life, is abolished as legitimate
things to ruminate about for our canonizing
them -- and everything in their lives that lead
to them proving in actuality such a grand
species of men -- as heroic emblems.
We might have mitigated this if following our
providing them with an award, we reminded
them of incidents where people could have
lived but who lost their lives precisely owing
to the presence of people there who were
ADHD distraction seekers, looking to make
any happenstance instance into a 15:19 kind
of one that stalled their perennial jitteriness
to reveal their grand purpose in life. They
were the right people for this particular
incident; but some of those who didn't react
like they did could easily be the right ones to
have around in another. That is, they may
persist in having problems that shouldn't be
164

eliminated out of view simply for their having


in this incidence lead to act of heroism. For
their sake, we should still hope to
communicate this.
The sophisticated French learned to love
these men. The polished French statesmen,
the French president, gives them an acclaim
that washes away all vestigial memory of his
grand lesser -- the still fairly-well-tailored
school principle of their origins, who'd curtly
assessed them as destroyed youth only, and
their moms, as rampant mad-women. This
matters to Eastwood, a lot. It's given a large
show. Respect that was refused, granted by
someone even better, for actions within reach
of the uneducated and unrefined. This may
be why we love the 15:17 story: it's a
Cinderella story of full recovery after having
been cast away by early authorities as a
hopeless reject.
On the childhood of terrorists, please check
out deMause's article on the
subject. psychohistory.com/books/the-
emotional-life-of-nations/chapter-3-the-
childhood-origins-of-terrorism/
165

-----
In Clint Eastwood's "Gran Torino," the boy,
growing up with a single-mother and in an
all-female environment, was doomed to a life
of delinquency, prison. He is saved by the
significant intervention of Eastwood's
character, Walt Kowalski, who helps protect
his journey into manhood. "15:17" presents a
similar scenario -- only the number of single-
mothers have been twinned, and they're even
less agreeable: unlike in "Torino," they can't
imagine they might be a bad influence on
their sons -- and damn the infidel authority-
figure who transgresses upon their parental
privilege, who suggests as much!
And, in fact, the boy does look like he's on
course for a life of pseudo-delinquency... not
to a be a criminal, but to an under-achiever, a
drifter in interests and jobs, and basically
unreliable. No single man steps in to save
him, but in film time the (male) principal
gets almost as much as the mothers do, so is
made to seem the father-antagonist that
actually wasn't there. This Oedipal theme
comes through later, in that the French
166

president's appreciation of them comes


across as an antidote, a rebuttal, to the
principal, who had cursed them all as useless,
which works to enlarge our unconscious
sense of him as the father in their lives, who
in reality actually wasn't there. It permits the
fantasy that the mothers in their lives -- who
like in "Gran Torino," were their complete
surround -- had basically only ever been an
accompaniment.
Eastwood portrays more emotionally astray
single mothers in this film, but he much
more neglects the relevance of this for their
boys by in a sense eliding this inescapable
and intense one-to-one relationship in the
movie and replacing it with a de facto
triangular Oedipal one, where there are
options "out" for the boys. Blunt reality
replaced by a sleight of hand: One could say
in a sense that some courage has been lost, as
early moms are being recalled but more to
hand them back their ultimate innocence,
and their boys scrubbed as hooligans and
replaced as heroes, as they prepare to
167

sacrifice their lives to the approval of the


state.

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Friday, February 2, 2018

Facebook discussion of Jordan Peterson


Janet Pearson

·
This is such a concise summary of what makes him so
laughable.
http://www.macleans.ca/opinion/is-jordan-peterson-the-
stupid-mans-smart-person/

Patrick McEvoy-Halston: But many university professors and


students are at work undermining works that are a source of
pride to a lot of Westerners. Historically situating texts,
applying trigger warnings to many of them, often feels like set-
up so that when an even bolder generation of profs and
students come around, they'll be easy for wholesale dispatch.
And if they're deserving of this rejection, good for them! Texts
of the ancient Greeks are replete with justified rapes... and this
is something we have to forever acquaint ourselves, because?
The ambition is not minor, even if the effects so far are. Many
people believe that something they depend on for their
168

equilibrium is being badly unsettled. It is. Only, it might very


well be good for them. Nations must be forever reified,
because?
The article pulls away from calling him a neo-Nazi. I don't know
why. He betrays every sense that he's a Trump who makes
outlandish statements, which creates a breach from where
other thoughts of a similar kind might now feel permitted to
enter, and then pulls back so he's more decorum. He knows
the public senses that a breach has now been made,
permission has been granted to become more assertive, and
he pulls back only so that the public has time to accommodate
itself to its new "strength." When they're ready, when the public
is ready, he burrows back again to his more regressed position
and once again leads with that, since its now safely
mainstream. There's a coward in him, is what I'm saying.
We need to get prepared for him to win, however. This article
assumes that anyone who listens to him for 15 seconds
understands him as inane, but in a recent interview I saw with
a very literate Brit, at one point he had her completely
stumped... she felt that something was very wrong with what
he was arguing, and there indeed was, but had a very hard
time coming up with a rebuttal. She hadn't prepared herself for
him, mostly because many on the centre-left haven't prepared
themselves for the fact that Jordan Peterson's voice is also the
voice of their parents -- or from this article, from their quasi-
predatorial, presuming "aunties" -- and they're feeling this call
back to heritage, this stern call back home, too. Temporarily, to
banish away this thought, we poke easy fun of him, as this
article does, or just dance away from him, calling him evidently
inane.
Janet Pearson: I agree with almost everything you've said.
Although, I think the whole point of the article, while somewhat
tongue-in-cheek, is written not because Peterson's inanity is
glaringly obvious, but quite the opposite. For someone who
169

speaks and behaves as though his ideas are self-evidently


true, it just takes a little bit of digging into those ideas to
expose their frailty. And to your point about Trump, he
(however consciously or not) uses the same strategy of
delivering his message with unshakeable confidence, and that
is a huge part of what resonates with his audience. He is
openly defiant of reality and encourages confusing messaging,
doublespeak, and spectacle to distract from the fundamental
failure of the arguments being presented.
Janet Pearson: Whereas Trump's special brand of
smokescreen is... let's call it locker room talk. Rough language
that doesn't exceed a 4th grade reading level. Meanwhile,
Peterson also couches his arguments in language meant to
dazzle and obfuscate, but he does so by going in the other
direction. Peterson overcomplicates his language, like his
words are a labyrinth meant to trap his unsuspecting
opponents and followers alike, and this opens up a whole new
demographic of listeners. While Trump's audience are
uneducated and racist, Peterson has attracted and groomed a
base of educated bigots (geez, talk about an oxymoron), and
while there is SIZEABLE overlap in their audiences, they
played a big part in rallying that audience together.
Janet Pearson: So I think the article was serves as a way to
arm the audience against his intellectual dishonesty and the
dazzle of his cult of personality by exposing his schtick. And
while it may not change the mind of someone who has already
drank Peterson' kook-aid, it can make sway a more tentative
follower, or more importantly, someone as of yet unfamiliar
with Peterson who would have otherwise been vulnerable to
possible manipulation.
Patrick McEvoy-Halston Well, I do hope it does that. I think it
might aggravate some of her supporters, for being a bit too
casual with something that looks like it's going to overwhelm
us. We can't pretend it's 5 years ago anymore, where we
170

completely held the field and could casually count people as


trolls and laugh at them, without any fear they could ever reach
up and strangle us. Now, many of our own are turning against
us, and we need a new battle plan that fits our current
situation. The Right tags us with this... that we're so used to
holding the field that we're not used to really having to debate
our opponent's ideas. There's some truth in this.
Janet Pearson: Totally. I'm not advocating coming from a
place of condescension. I'm saying that in the face of his self-
importance, and the insidious banality he wraps like sheep's
clothing around increasingly radical right wing talking points.
So I appreciate the levity that says "Hey, listen. We're not just
going to pretend the emperor has clothes on." Jordan Peterson
knows exactly what he is doing. Maybe he didn't at first, but as
soon as the money and the pseudo-fame started to roll in, he
caught on pretty quick. He's a bad faith actor.
Janet Pearson: Sorry, I'm writing this on my phone and
editing is hard.
Patrick McEvoy-Halston: If I may, and just fyi, here's one of
the ideas the article writer must have thought one of those
which appear evidently inane after a very brief period of
consideration, because it's the one Peterson is mostly known
for, getting revved up on twitter tonight, on Peterson's side.
From Andrew Sullivan at NYMagazine: Is it time to resist the
excesses of #MeToo

Sarah Smith: I think that article is highly problematic, Patrick.


Although theoretically it would be good to acknowledge
biology, humans are far beyond the point of behaving
exclusively according to biology (c.f. clothing, constructed
shelter, culture, etc.). If sexual aggression and the suppression
of one gender is part of the "nature" of humanity, then I am all
171

for ignoring biology and doing our best to live with justice--
certainly not a natural concept.
Patrick McEvoy-Halston Sarah Smith I'm not with Andrew
Sullivan, though. I didn't post him to reference my own point of
view, but to further illustrate that Peterson's ideas are not going
to viewed as easily discernible as inane, by a lot of smart
people. Sullivan is influential. My own position would be that if
all the emotionally healthy people, that is, the most emotionally
well-balanced, the most truly biologically fine, have been
ignoring "nature" for 30 yrs in preference to gender, Sullivan
should have paused longer to consider the probable fitness of
the argument, and worried more about bringing up an
argument for "nature" that in this new environment, could well
crush it.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Clio's Psyche #7

Clio’s Psyche ›

Another case of it's-not-actually-trauma,


inflicted trauma by Al Franken
6 posts by 3 authors

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me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston change) 12/6/1
7

Another case of it's-not-actually-trauma, inflicted


trauma by Al Franken.
The former staffer said she mostly kept the encounter
to herself, not even telling her boss at the time. But
she started to talk more openly about it to close
friends after the “Access Hollywood” video was aired
in October 2016. In the now infamous tape, Donald
Trump is recorded saying his fame gives him carte
blanche to grab women’s genitals.
“When it really started impacting me in more of a ‘I’m
really angry about about this’ way was last fall when
the Trump tape came out,” the former aide said.
“Hearing Donald Trump say essentially the same
thing that Al Franken said to me, which was ‘It’s my
right as an entertainer,’ that was a real trigger,” she
continued.
The former staffer says she was particularly shaken
after seeing Franken on TV responding to the Trump
tape last year. Franken dismissed Trump’s excuse that
he was just engaging in “locker room talk” and joked
that maybe Trump worked out with Roger Ailes, the
now deceased Fox News chairman who was forced to
resign in 2016 amid allegations he sexually harassed
several Fox employees.
“It was a moment in time where I told a number of my
friends about my experience with Franken because I
173

saw him on the news being asked about the Trump


tape and I felt like it was really hypocritical,” the
former staffer said. “It’s a power dynamic and the fact
that Donald Trump could say that was not much
different from the fact that Al Franken could say it.”
Franken took pains to separate himself from Trump
earlier this year before he was accused of sexual
harassment, saying just because the two were “both in
a branch of show business” is no reason to lump them
in the same category politically.
Click here to Reply
Trevor Pederson 12/6/1
7

You're over-reaching in defensiveness Patrick.


Where is the claim of trauma here? She's saying that
she's angered by his hypocrisy:
“He was between me and the door and he was
coming at me to kiss me. It was very quick and I think
my brain had to work really hard to be like ‘Wait, what
is happening?’ But I knew whatever was happening
was not right and I ducked,” the aide said in an
interview. “I was really startled by it and I just sort of
booked it towards the door and he said, ‘It’s my right
as an entertainer.’”
“When it really started impacting me in more of a ‘I’m
really angry about about this’ way was last fall when
the Trump tape came out,” the former aide said.
174

“It was a moment in time where I told a number of my


friends about my experience with Franken because I
saw him on the news being asked about the Trump
tape and I felt like it was really hypocritical,” the
former staffer said. “It’s a power dynamic and the fact
that Donald Trump could say that was not much
different from the fact that Al Franken could say it.”
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175

me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston change) 12/7/1


7

"Clio's Psyche" needs to have members who encounter


claims against Franken, hear how women felt when they
were made to feel like props for the powerful, hear of his
repeated sexual sadism, and who rejoice when women
who've kept it stifled for years feel they're empowered to
finally say something. (This was my first reaction with
Weinstein as well.) This can't be a boys-club enclave for
holdouts. We're supposed to be ahead in progressive
attitude and psychological reach, not defensive rearguard. If
we're disgusted at what is happening to Al Franken, if our
first reaction isn't to deeply involve ourselves in the
situations of those he predated upon (every person he
accosted describes, first, their initial shock and
mortification [she does say she got angry later, as you say
Trevor, but do psychologists have anything to say about the
full experience of an attack really only manifesting in full
at a later date?... strikes me that this is essentially what Van
der Kolk is all about, and so why aren't we working with
her story that way? why aren't we there?], and then a later
experience years on when once again they find themselves
deeply humiliated by his ongoing presumptions), we need
to reflect more and consider what we ourselves might be
guilty of obscuring.
Would how we are reacting in aggregate enable or retard
further victims from coming out? Would they sense we'd
rather prefer they keep quiet? Not make quite such a big
deal out of it? Would they wonder if we're being self-
176

protective... of note, it's now being revealed that Matt Lauer


repeatedly waylaid stories that involved spousal cheating.
There's a "Clio's Psyche" article in involving ourselves in
what Al Franken has been doing for years. The childhood
experiences that gave birth to his sexual sadism. Would any
of us be inclined to want to write it? That's where we
should be. If not, we're rearguard. Arrive late to a story...
which surely isn't psychohistorical anyway; not about a
concern for the why? about society at all, and then only in
hopes of taking it over so it can be managed so it doesn't
alarm and surprise us as much in the future.
Trevor, your reaction has been to call his accusers
oversensitive, and you've now called me overreaching...
this as half a Democratic senate realizes that there are
perhaps hundreds more stories that'll come out amongst
Al's thousands of hugs, and that their dear Al is not just a
hapless happy hugger but a Trumpian predator of those he
can presume upon; those who'll feel fear and know they'll
know "repercussions" if they speak up against him. Brian's
was to suggest I've been triggered into losing my sane
composure [Brian, if democrats can't automatically find
themselves in the full position of the victims, really relate
to them, then there will be a fauxness to their populism, and
to some extent they'll be revealed as monsters too, even if
only historically... it's scary when every protector is gone
from the universe, and everyone has some unconscious
agenda to displace revenge against incurred childhood
abusers upon some ensured subsequent category of people],
and also this: "Unless anything more serious comes to light
than what has come to light so far, they will not find
177

grounds for removing him from office. But apparently if


you had your druthers, he’d be out on the street. What is
this about?"
I sensed Franken's sadism instantly, what he was doing, and
knew there were many victims, and that he had made many
people feel small and used -- a shame they'd have to suffer
from for years, which might indeed have been part of the
subconscious plan. I know the childhood causes. I know
there is no such thing as evil, just repercussions of child
abuse. I know that the clear-headiness I ultimately seek (in
appreciating how after a mass-sacrifice-enabled golden age
era has passed a society can only further genuine growth by
also ensuring a large class of victims and thus
designates/votes in the sorts of people who'll ensure it, and
so coming to see it ONLY as vile, that is, not as something
that IS hugely vile but also a product of a certain kind of
childrearing and the sense of punishment that genuine
growth arouses, can mean not reading how the next era that
follows is worse -- "pure" fascist state of good folk) can
only be guaranteed by people who I recognize as able to
function sanely. Sane people will react to the experiences
these and other women went through, with horror, with an
inclination NOT to protect the abuser. Of these, I would
reason with them, and tell them that the predators
themselves could only have done this if they themselves
were victimized as children: that this is one of the likely
things that happens to a person after they've known abuse.
They don't just stifle and hopefully gain equilibrium later
through people finally believing them. They can grow into
monsters. That's why it's so right to see people agreeing
178

finally with the victims (a category of people -- believers of


victims, that is -- you'll only really find in a profound way
amongst democrats, with republicans really being a victim-
ensuring entity [they will protect certain vulnerable people,
but only if it's known to be part of a movement which'll
produce multitudes more of them -- i.e., rightwing
populism]).
It didn't happen in the 80s when Frederick Crews et al.
helped manage the child abuse scandals so they seemed
erroneous, a witchhunt and a crime against probably
innocent parents. But many more are finally not projecting
their parents (imagos?) into those categorized as
empowered predators and seeking to gain love by agreeing
not to fully see their crimes and indeed to blame the
accusers (representatives of their own childhood selves).
And thus #metoo.
-----
The second woman, who said she was groped at a
fundraiser, told HuffPost it took place in the fall of 2008 at
the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. She was excited
about attending the event and meeting someone she wanted
to support.
“I had never attended anything like that,” she said.
She and her friends found Franken and introduced
themselves to him.
“I shook his hand, and he put his arm around my waist and
held it there,” the second woman said. “Then he moved it
lower and cupped my butt.”
179

“I was completely mortified,” she added.


In order to escape the situation, the woman excused herself
to go to the bathroom. At that point, she said, Franken
leaned in and suggested that he accompany her. She
grabbed her friend and fled to the bathroom without him.
-----
As Kemplin, then 27, posed for a photo with him, she said,
he put his arm around her and grabbed her breast, holding
onto her for up to 10 seconds.
“I remember clenching up and how you just feel yourself
flushed,” she told CNN. “And I remember thinking — is he
going to move his hand? Was it an accident? Was he going
to move his hand? He never moved his hand.”
“Looking back at the picture, Kemplin said she recalls
feeling frozen and numb: ‘I did not process it in those split
seconds.’ ”
Now, many years later, Kemplin said that “I just feel so
sorry for that young girl in that picture.”
“You’re immediately put on the spot. What are you going
to do? What are you going to do? Your mind goes a mile a
minute. Who was I going to tell?” the 41-year-old told
CNN, saying she was too embarrassed to tell the other
soldiers.
On Thursday, Kemplin told CNN that when she saw
Tweeden’s story, she “felt like the rug was pulled out from
underneath me.”
Kemplin said she later contacted Tweeden and decided to
speak out, too.
-----
The picture was striking. The military airplane. The
sleeping woman. The outstretched hands. The mischievous
180

smile. The Look what I’m getting away withimpishness


directed at the camera.
On Thursday, Leeann Tweeden, a radio host and former
model, came forwardwith the accusation that Senator Al
Franken of Minnesota had kissed her against her will
during a 2006 United Service Organizations trip to Kuwait,
Iraq, and Afghanistan. In a story posted to the website of
Los Angeles’s KABC station, Tweeden shared her
experience with Franken. She also shared that photo. “I
couldn’t believe it,” she wrote. “He groped me, without my
consent, while I was asleep.”
I felt violated all over again. Embarrassed. Belittled.
Humiliated.
How dare anyone grab my breasts like this and think it’s
funny?
I told my husband everything that happened and showed
him the picture.
I wanted to shout my story to the world with a megaphone
to anyone who would listen, but even as angry as I was, I
was worried about the potential backlash and damage going
public might have on my career as a broadcaster.
But that was then, this is now. I’m no longer afraid.
-----
The second woman, who said she was groped at a
fundraiser, told HuffPost it took place in the fall of 2008 at
the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. She was excited
about attending the event and meeting someone she wanted
to support.“I had never attended anything like that,” she
said.
She and her friends found Franken and introduced
themselves to him.
181

“I shook his hand, and he put his arm around my waist and
held it there,” the second woman said. “Then he moved it
lower and cupped my butt.”
“I was completely mortified,” she added.
In order to escape the situation, the woman excused herself
to go to the bathroom. At that point, she said, Franken
leaned in and suggested that he accompany her. She
grabbed her friend and fled to the bathroom without him.
- show quoted text -
Trevor Pederson 12/7/1
7

I'd like to ask who on this list didn't feel it was a good
thing when Roger Aisles or Weinstein, et al, were
taken down? Please give your opinion.
That was monstrous sexual sadism in my opinion.
I think it's very different with Franken. I'm willing to
give him a chance despite him being inappropriate,
and if he can't show some self-control, like Weiner, he
shouldn't be allowed back in.
I have already pointed out Patrick, that you should
consider becoming a therapist yourself and see what
is real. I'm giving my opinion of what I've seen come
up and what I haven't seen come up in the clinic. The
question is whether I'm a reactionary, am
conservative in attitude, unable to see whats really
there or lying and covering it up for some agenda.
Then there is the question of whether you might be
mistaken. Again, don't listen to me, see for yourself.
182

But don't bellyache that this list serv doesn't have


members who echo your unsubstantiated claims.
Go do the hard work and write the papers or books
that will change people's minds.
There are many lies in politics and I smell a rat,
Trevor
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston change) 12/11/1
7

Al Franken, Eli Weisel, Garrison Keillor, Bill Clinton, Al


Gore, Woody Allen, Dustin Hoffman... are all more
interesting to me than Weinstein. No one is made
uncomfortable hearing of Weinstein being taken
down, but with the others, yes. Weinstein isn't
themselves, but the others--
Al Franken was a way in which a lot of people could
give licence to their inner bully, but because it was
directed against Republicans it was allowed to pass
notice. This article by Salena Zito gets at that. I
hypothesized a resignation speech by him (and here's
cnn video of how one of his accusers responded to
his classless resignation speech, where he seemed to
want to blame them, and further ignored how he had
made them "profoundly uncomfortable"... this Trevor, I
SAW) where he would fully admit that he intended to
degrade women in compromised positions vis-a-vis
183

himself, and there I mentioned he would also draw


people's consideration that a person who could do
that could still end up proving solid on issues like
abortion rights (mind you, I seem to remember
Socarides saying that some predators alleviate guilt
that way). Truly, even there I was being soft on him...
as I hoped I alluded to in that article from "Outline"
magazine, which pointed out how populists
sometimes have this uncomfortable habit of ending up
forgetting about women's issues they were formerly
so strong on as they champion the working people. I
felt that in the end he would end up finding means to
indulge in revenge against women (i.e. his mother), a
la what developed with the Bernie Bros. and their
peculiar hatred of Hillary Clinton. I was scared of him;
of how he would ultimately end up serving the
American people.
I personally would love it I had some people on this
list admit just how jubilant they are to find this #metoo
movement occurring and for criminal physical assault
not to be watered down into harassment or improper
conduct, not, that is, simply appreciative, but alarmed
at it getting out of control, and worried at women
probably having misremembered things. I personally
see signs here of psychohistorical evolution, where
abuses that were once felt necessary for a society to
obtain equilibrium are no longer as much required. As
I've argued earlier, out of people like that, we can start
talking widely about the societal damage incurred by
mass difficulties during the preoedipal period, and
184

getting a listen... how do so many people become this


way, people we want to like, really?
There are many means to do good in this world,
Trevor, and I don't personally believe that tough love
(bellyache? do the hard work?) is one of them. Being
amongst the ones who believe Franken is a serial
predator shouldn't mean finding oneself defined as
fundamentally ignorant of the ways of people. If that's
what a career in counselling can do for you, offer this
kind of leverage, presume this kind of level of
ignorance... shame people and get away with it, it
makes one want to do a Foucault on the profession.
You can for instance hope to sway people who are
themselves therapists. You surely should suss out
venues to see if they're sincere in wanting your voice
more broadly heard, or just hoping you'll find yourself
corrected... as Brian assumed the hearings onto
Franken's behaviour would have done to the field of
accusers "aligned" against him. DeMausian
psychohistory has very little play in the publishing
world. Charles W. Socarides has very little sway as
well... outside of venues that are simply rancid. I get
my thoughts out the way I am able to now. With
#metoo I'm seeing the possibility of venues opening
up to me. It'll be amongst liberals who are horrified at
what their fellow liberals have turned into, and who
are ready to take in voices they previously hadn't felt
sufficient prompting to really focus on and deeply
consider: they already had buttressing that worked for
them, so alien thoughts had to remain alien.
185

Do people at Clio like my ideas? If so, I could try and


publish something at this journal. I am proud of what I
sent to JOP, but I'm not sure that venue wants my
work just now (and if they do, they have a funny way
of showing it.) I'm not doing this though if I'm mostly
just an annoyance... someone who's tolerated, to
demonstrate the openness of the Clio's Psyche
project. It's hard work to be where I am right now, to
insist on fighting this kind of fight, and I expect a
venue that appreciates that.
If someone knows of another venue that might be
interested in publishing work from me, please contact
me at pmcevoyhalston@gmail.com. I don't expect to
be published, but I do expect a reader who if s/he has
to reject, is in profound sympathy with my voice.
- show quoted text -
bdagostino2687 12/11/1
7

I am not shy about speaking up on this list when I feel


I have something worthwhile to say, but I don’t feel the
need to say something just because someone else
thinks I should. We have aired dissenting viewpoints
on this topic. Reasonable people can disagree,
especially about something as complex as this. I
don’t understand what the problem is, but in any case
I’m ready to move on unless I think of something
important about this topic worth saying that hasn’t
already been said.
186

Brian
bdagostino.com
917-628-8253

-----------------------------
Clio’s Psyche ›

Fwd: IPA 2018 Call For Conference


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Denis 12/12/
O'Keefe 17

---------- Forwarded message ----------


From: International Psychohistorical Association
<dokeefe.ipa@outlook.com>
Date: Tue, Dec 12, 2017 at 1:22 PM
Subject: IPA 2018 Call For Conference Proposals
To: Djo212@nyu.edu
187

View this email in your browser

CALL FOR PROPOSALS


41st ANNUAL CONFERENCE of the
INTERNATIONAL PSyCHOHISORICAL ASSOCIATION
Co-sponsored by:
The New York University Silver School of Social
Work
The Object Relations Institute
Conference Theme: The Self in Psychology, History
and Culture
Sub-theme: Retrospective on the Work and Career
of Robert J. Lifton

View this email in your browser


188

CALL FOR PROPOSALS


41st ANNUAL CONFERENCE of the
INTERNATIONAL PSyCHOHISORICAL ASSOCIATION
Co-sponsored by:
The New York University Silver School of Social
Work
The Object Relations Institute
Conference Theme: The Self in Psychology, History
and Culture
Sub-theme: Retrospective on the Work and Career of
Robert J. Lifton
Dear Colleague,
The International Psychohistorical Association is
currently accepting papers for its 2018 annual
conference to be held May 30- June 1 at New York
University.
Interested scholars are invited to submit your
proposed presentation title, abstract of 75 words
and a brief biography for possible inclusion in the
IPA 2018 program. Papers are expected to focus
primarily on the intersection of psychology and
history. Students are encouraged to submit
proposals for student panels.
Due date for proposals: January 31, 2018
Please submit paper proposals to IPA President and
conference chair Ken Fuchsman at
kfuchsman@gmail.com.
Keynote and Plenary speakers are listed below.
189

Key Note Speakers:


Carol Gilligan (New York University Professor of
Humanities and Applied Psychology, author of In A
Different Voice and other notable works)
James Gilligan (New York University, author of Violence:
Reflections on A National Epidemic and other
significant books).

Plenary Speaker:
Daniel Shaw, LCSW (Private practice in psychoanalysis
and psychotherapy; author of Traumatic Narcissism:
Relational Systems of Subjugation).

Plenary Speaker:
Bandy Lee (Assistant Clinical Professor Yale Medical
School, Co-Founder Yale University’s Violence and
Health Group, and editor of The Dangerous Case of
Donald Trump).

Plenary Speaker:
Brian D’Agostino (author of The Middle Class Fights
Back, and past President, International Psychohistorical
Association).
190

Copyright © 2017 International Psychohistorical


Association, All rights reserved.
For more information visit www.psychohistory.us
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View this email in your browser
191

CALL FOR PROPOSALS


41st ANNUAL CONFERENCE of the
INTERNATIONAL PSyCHOHISORICAL ASSOCIATION
Co-sponsored by:
The New York University Silver School of Social
Work
The Object Relations Institute
Conference Theme: The Self in Psychology, History
and Culture
Sub-theme: Retrospective on the Work and Career
of Robert J. Lifton
Dear Colleague,
The International Psychohistorical Association is
currently accepting papers for its 2018 annual
conference to be held May 30- June 1 at New York
University.
Interested scholars are invited to submit your
proposed presentation title, abstract of 75 words
and a brief biography for possible inclusion in the
IPA 2018 program. Papers are expected to focus
primarily on the intersection of psychology and
history. Students are encouraged to submit
proposals for student panels.
Due date for proposals: January 31, 2018
Please submit paper proposals to IPA President and
conference chair Ken Fuchsman at
kfuchsman@gmail.com.
Keynote and Plenary speakers are listed below.
192
193

CALL FOR PROPOSALS


41st ANNUAL CONFERENCE of the
INTERNATIONAL PSyCHOHISORICAL ASSOCIATION
Co-sponsored by:
The New York University Silver School of Social
Work
The Object Relations Institute
Conference Theme: The Self in Psychology, History
and Culture
Sub-theme: Retrospective on the Work and Career of
Robert J. Lifton
Dear Colleague,
The International Psychohistorical Association is
currently accepting papers for its 2018 annual
conference to be held May 30- June 1 at New York
University.
Interested scholars are invited to submit your
proposed presentation title, abstract of 75 words
and a brief biography for possible inclusion in the
IPA 2018 program. Papers are expected to focus
primarily on the intersection of psychology and
history. Students are encouraged to submit
proposals for student panels.
Due date for proposals: January 31, 2018
Please submit paper proposals to IPA President and
conference chair Ken Fuchsman at
kfuchsman@gmail.com.
Keynote and Plenary speakers are listed below.
194
195

CALL FOR PROPOSALS


41st ANNUAL CONFERENCE of the
INTERNATIONAL PSyCHOHISORICAL
ASSOCIATION
Co-sponsored by:
The New York University Silver School of Social
Work
The Object Relations Institute
Conference Theme: The Self in Psychology,
History and Culture
Sub-theme: Retrospective on the Work and
Career of Robert J. Lifton
Dear Colleague,
The International Psychohistorical Association
is currently accepting papers for its 2018
annual conference to be held May 30- June 1 at
New York University.
Interested scholars are invited to submit your
proposed presentation title, abstract of 75
words and a brief biography for possible
inclusion in the IPA 2018 program. Papers are
expected to focus primarily on the intersection
of psychology and history. Students are
encouraged to submit proposals for student
panels.
Due date for proposals: January 31, 2018
Please submit paper proposals to IPA President and
conference chair Ken Fuchsman at
kfuchsman@gmail.com.
196
197

Key Note Speakers:


Carol Gilligan (New York University Professor of
Humanities and Applied Psychology, author of In A
Different Voice and other notable works)
James Gilligan (New York University, author of Violence:
Reflections on A National Epidemic and other
significant books).

Plenary Speaker:
Daniel Shaw, LCSW (Private practice in psychoanalysis
and psychotherapy; author of Traumatic Narcissism:
Relational Systems of Subjugation).

Plenary Speaker:
Bandy Lee (Assistant Clinical Professor Yale Medical
School, Co-Founder Yale University’s Violence and
Health Group, and editor of The Dangerous Case of
Donald Trump).

Plenary Speaker:
Brian D’Agostino (author of The Middle Class Fights
Back, and past President, International Psychohistorical
Association).
198

Key Note Speakers:


Carol Gilligan (New York University Professor of
Humanities and Applied Psychology, author of In A
Different Voice and other notable works)
James Gilligan (New York University, author of Violence:
Reflections on A National Epidemic and other
significant books).

Plenary Speaker:
Daniel Shaw, LCSW (Private practice in psychoanalysis
and psychotherapy; author of Traumatic Narcissism:
Relational Systems of Subjugation).

Key Note Speakers:


Carol Gilligan (New York University Professor of
Humanities and Applied Psychology, author of In A
Different Voice and other notable works)
James Gilligan (New York University, author of
Violence: Reflections on A National Epidemic and
other significant books).
199

Key Note Speakers:


Carol Gilligan (New York University Professor of
Humanities and Applied Psychology, author of In A
Different Voice and other notable works)
James Gilligan (New York University, author of
Violence: Reflections on A National Epidemic and
other significant books).

Plenary Speaker:
Daniel Shaw, LCSW (Private practice in
psychoanalysis and psychotherapy; author of
Traumatic Narcissism: Relational Systems of
Subjugation).

Plenary Speaker:
Daniel Shaw, LCSW (Private practice in
psychoanalysis and psychotherapy; author of
Traumatic Narcissism: Relational Systems of
Subjugation).
200

Plenary Speaker:
Bandy Lee (Assistant Clinical Professor Yale Medical
School, Co-Founder Yale University’s Violence and
Health Group, and editor of The Dangerous Case of
Donald Trump).

Plenary Speaker:
Brian D’Agostino (author of The Middle Class Fights
Back, and past President, International Psychohistorical
Association).

Plenary Speaker:
Bandy Lee (Assistant Clinical Professor Yale Medical
School, Co-Founder Yale University’s Violence and
Health Group, and editor of The Dangerous Case of
Donald Trump).

Plenary Speaker:
Bandy Lee (Assistant Clinical Professor Yale Medical
School, Co-Founder Yale University’s Violence and
Health Group, and editor of The Dangerous Case of
Donald Trump).
201

Plenary Speaker:
Brian D’Agostino (author of The Middle Class Fights
Back, and past President, International
Psychohistorical Association).

Plenary Speaker:
Brian D’Agostino (author of The Middle Class Fights
Back, and past President, International
Psychohistorical Association).

Plenary Speaker:
George Makari (Director of the Institute for the History
of Psychiatry at Cornell-Weill Medical Center and author
of Revolution in Mind: The Creation of Psychoanalysis
and Soul Machine: The Invention of the Modern Mind).

Plenary Speaker:
George Makari (Director of the Institute for the
History of Psychiatry at Cornell-Weill Medical Center
and author of Revolution in Mind: The Creation of
Psychoanalysis and Soul Machine: The Invention of
the Modern Mind).
202

Plenary Speaker:
George Makari (Director of the Institute for the
History of Psychiatry at Cornell-Weill Medical Center
and author of Revolution in Mind: The Creation of
Psychoanalysis and Soul Machine: The Invention of
the Modern Mind).

Copyright © 2017 International Psychohistorical


Association, All rights reserved.
For more information visit www.psychohistory.us
Our mailing address is:
International Psychohistorical Association
142A Main St.
Highland Falls, NY 10928
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this list.
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205

me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston change) 12/13/1


7

Reading a bit of Daniel Shaw's work (his book), there


seems to be confusion as to why exactly he would
believe Trump must be understood as swaying a
whole nation into becoming sadists. He is arguing that
children come to agree with their unloved parents' (he
can reference the existence of monstrous mothers --
on his facebook page, he insists on there being
"many" of them for instance -- but through what
portions of the book I was able to read, it has to be
drawn out of him... not his preference) perception of
them as bad when they don't fulfill their emotional
requirements of them, that they develop inner
persecutors and inner protectors that lord over their
psyche, watching over their "sinning" in this direction,
but doesn't conceive that this "badness" associated
with attending to one's own needs, one's own growth,
could eventually lead to them USING "leaders" like
Trump to execute punishment against people
understood as behaving counter to their own parents'
requirements for children, that is, as behaving
seemingly self-centeredly, selfishly, smugly, only
because they exist in the realm of "badness" they
themselves had been cowed away from much
exploring. He refers to leaders like Trump forcing their
will on a populace. If enough children are of the kind
he alludes to, they already have inner persecutors
forcing their wills on their own behaviour, and these
206

drive them to see individual growth as a sinful, as a


bad, thing. Trump, in pursuing his purpose of shaping
society so that it ultimately feels guilt-free in
persecuting and destroying whole groups of people
who well represent what their early child selves
conceived as parent-not-approved, seems more an
executor of perpetrators already installed in people's
psyches.
His theories, in my early reading of his work, strongly
seem to suggest the problem rests in the people, not
with (charismatic, hypnotizing... both terms he uses)
leaders. This matters. For if it's a collective populace's
overall childhoods that are the problem, there are a
multiple million number of "Trumps" that could be
called into servicing this, probably now,
unaddressable problem, and we're wasting our time in
trying to show him up... or more accurately, pursuing
some end actually apart from the purported one of
educating the American public. If this is the case, the
only time our work in unmasking him will prove
"effective" is if he fails to carry out a regressing
populace's needs to destroy their split-off "bad
selves." Time would seem better put into making sure
that we ourselves are free of necessary illusions, to
confront our own need to find sacrifices for our own
dis-ease at societal growth, and so be sure to function
through this period as strategically astute as possible.
He's written (on his Facebook page) that the problem
is the billions of dollars put into demonizing liberals,
as the reason liberals like Obama and Hillary Clinton
207

accrue any sense of legitimately being seen as deeply


flawed. I don't know why he doesn't connect that the
reason liberals are hated isn't owing to billionaire
rightwingers' media influence, or evil Putinists', or
Trump's ostensibly inherent hypnotizing charisma, but
for the sheer fact that, objectively, they're not people
who can readily be cowed by angry parental
representatives... that is, because they very ably, very
noticeably, intrinsically represent their own "bad
selves," whose destruction will surely bring an end to
parental abandonment and perhaps the acquirement
of their appreciation and love. Liberals are always for
the children, consevatives are always for the
persecuting parent. That's the dynamic even when
"speaking for the children" has to come about in very
modulated form.
He denies on his Facebook page that Hillary Clinton
and Barack Obama were mostly adored by the press;
given an easy ride. He refers to a Salon article which
emphasizes just how negative the press was against
Hillary (it was absolutely so in 2008 when she was
running against Obama... reporters could barely look
at her in the eye, but vastly less so against Sanders...
though still some, yes). He points to the billions of
dollars put forth to demonize them by the rightwing
and Russia. Yet, as incomparably healthy as both
Hillary Clinton and Obama are compared to Trump...
compared to all Republicans, Hillary Clinton is
justifiably becoming seen as psychically needing
America over the last few decades to produce a class
208

of victims whose pain would find no address... she


wasn't tortured into labelling the women accusing her
husband as scum of the earth; she may even have
known he had sexually predated upon them when she
tried to manipulate them into being politically docile,
and thus served akin to Weinstein's
assistants/enablers; she wasn't tortured into believing
in being "tough on crime," but felt the ostensible
righteousness of it. Legitimate criticism of her really
should have emerged -- then -- from all of us, even as
I still believe we should have voted for her. She
represents that part of ourselves that participated in
making these last few decades a period of significant
growth of the professional class, but also one that
depressed and stigmatized millions of the less
fortunate. I've argued before that there was no other
way -- that this doesn't show us up as evil, as
someone like Chris Hedges would argue it does. But
it's sane to recognize it. Societal growth equals
people sinning... has been historically our greatest
affliction. And Obama... good lord. I don't know if
we've projected onto him, or if we've kind of just
decided not to look at him and just consider him a
shield at our side that hedges all self-accusers safely
to the side, but here mostly certainly is someone we
couldn't bare to denature and address in simple good
faith. We have to examine that. It's different than even
it was with the Kennedy's, because we felt ourselves
reflected in him... something genuinely promising.
With Obama, we don't identify with him. We efface
him; make him and his family convenient equipage,
209

accompanying external tools of the psyche... or so it


strikes me.
- show quoted text -
---------------------------
Clio’s Psyche ›

when consent is retroactively withdrawn


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Trevor Pederson 12/16/1
7

there might be some people who agree with this, but


its going to start to hurt the cause
http://variety.com/2017/tv/news/matt-lauer-today-
secret-relationship-production-assistant-1202641040/
Click here to Reply
Judith Logue 12/16/1
7
210

How will telling individual experiences and a “personal


truth” hurt “the cause?”
To me, truth - in all its varieties - IS “the cause.”
Judy
Judith Logue, PhD
www.judithlogue.com
On Dec 16, 2017, at 12:58 AM, Trevor Pederson
<trevor.pederson@gmail.com> wrote:
there might be some people who agree with this, but
its going to start to hurt the cause
http://variety.com/2017/tv/news/matt-lauer-today-
secret-relationship-production-assistant-1202641040/
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Trevor Pederson 12/16/1
7

Hi Judy
It's hurtful because consent is the goal.
Lauer would be fired for the unequal power dynamic
at many companies even though there was consent.
However, outside of working at a company with a
woman, many egoistic people are trying to make
money, have status symbols, and impress other with
their accomplishments. Many hope to impress
younger "trophy brides" or partners that have less
than them in some ways but who have youth, beauty,
or something else.
The power inequality is recognized with therapist and
patient and in many other situations and, again, in
many companies in which the power dynamic isn't
forcing any personal intimacy. I wholly agree with this,
but outside of this, when so many egoists are going to
be asked to be mindful of power inequality and taking
advantage of others, I don't see them changing.
212

Instead, I see them putting it back on women, and


saying that if your can still be a victim, even with
consent, then we better protect you from the dangers
of the world. Maybe you should have your own dorms
and go back to having curfews on college campuses
even though the men don't have them.
Even though my situation with Matt was consensual, I
ultimately felt like a victim because of the power
dynamic.
Even looking back now, at 41, I can’t envision a
scenario under these conditions where I could not
have succumbed to his advances.
I didn’t know what to do. He was obviously flirting. But
I’d never seen anything like that from Matt before. As
a 24-year-old production assistant, I had no idea how
to interpret that. I could truly embarrass myself if I
said something like, “Where are you going with this?”
I have worked with many men who have patterns like
this with woman and there is psychopathology
involved. Lauer isn't healthy and I am not on his side
at all. However, I don't think many egoists will
understand how she couldn't stand up for herself, her
values, and how she isn't a "nasty woman" who slept
with a man who she knew was married.
You say the truth is the cause, and I am saying that
differences in psychology informs what truth people
are capable of seeing.
213

I don't think the writer is being dishonest, but I do


think there are many who won't be able to see her
truth, many who will be defensive, and many who feel
this as a further attack on their manhood.
I'm surprised that you don't have a sense for this,
Trevor

- show quoted text -


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Judith Logue 12/16/1
7

yup!
Judy
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
mfbrtt 12/16/1
n 7

Trevor,
I'm still looking for your next book, and/or the book
that makes these powerful concepts accessible to the
"general reading public" as they say.
Best wishes as always,
Mike Britton
214

- show quoted text -


Mark as complete
mfbrtt 12/16/1
n 7

PS. This is not a comment on the discussion the two


of you are having, just a comment on the group of
concepts of which egoists is one that Trevor is so
articulate about.
Michael
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
Trevor Pederson 12/16/1
7

Thanks for compliment Mike.


I'm getting close to finishing the edits on the next
book, and I can say that I'm giving a lot clinical
examples in it. This should be helpful for many
readers.
But, I doubt that I've become wise enough to speak in
a way that would capture the ears of the public-
hopefully I'll still grow.
cheers,
Trevor
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
215

mfbrtt 12/16/1
n 7

Great! I'm excited!


- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
Trevor Pederson 12/19/1
7

Today’s Fox News story


Ex-'Today' assistant who admitted to Matt Lauer affair
called 'whore,' 'homewrecker'
The former production assistant who revealed she
engaged in a sexual relationship with "Today" host
Matt Lauer in 2000 is being called a "whore" and a
"homewrecker."
Addie Collins Zinone divulged shocking new details
about her torrid affair with the now-disgraced talk
show host in an explosive interview with Megyn Kelly
on Monday.
While Zinone was initially praised for opening about
her experience with Lauer, the former "Today" staffer
is now facing backlash online for coming forward. She
was 24 and he was in his 40s and married when they
began their affair.
"Stop playing the victim! You are NOT a victim!! You
are a whore! Plain and simple," one person wrote on
Twitter.
Another shared, "Addie Zinone just wanted some 5
minute attention... her affair with Matt Laurer was
216

100% consensual and she honestly should have


never brought it up. She made the choice to be a
homewrecker and gives a bad name to the real
/#MeToo people."
"THERES A PHRASE FOR WHAT HAPPENED WITH
THIS WOMAN, ITS (sic) CALLED TRYING TO
SLEEP TO THE TOP, THIS IS SO FREAKING
REDICULOUS (sic), ID (sic) EVEN BET SHE CAME
ON TO HIM!!!"
Zinone told Kelly about the negative comments she
was already receiving since revealing her affair with
Lauer.
"I understand that people are going to paint me as a
homewrecker, as a slut and a whore and those are
things I have been called. It was suggested yesterday
to me that 'Please please go get hit by a bus,'" Zinone
told Kelly.
Their alleged affair lasted about a month and, even
though Zinone felt that Lauer steered her into the
uncomfortable situation, she said she takes full
responsibility for her actions, calling them a "massive
mistake" that has continued to haunt her.
"These are very hard things to talk about," she
admitted. "My family is shattered by this. They are
afraid for me. This all trickles down to a lot of people
that are affected, so having these conversations is
really important, but also there's a lot of shame
attached to what I did."
Zinone said she struggled with hiding her story for 17
years and was fearful of opening up to the world
about her shame.
217

You can find Sasha Savitsky on Twitter @ SashaFB.


This material may not be published, broadcast,
rewritten, or redistributed.
©2017 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved.
- show quoted text -
--------------------------------
Clio’s Psyche ›

the larger implications of Trump's shithole


incident
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bdagostino2687 Jan 12

There has of course been an unprecedented


outpouring of verbiage and commentary about
Trump’s racist immigration comments yesterday. One
of the best analyses and discussions I have heard
was Lawrence O’Donnell’s on MSNBC. The following
link takes you to his ten minute setup, but be sure to
218

stay connected because after a brief commercial you


get a really outstanding panel discussion.
http://www.msnbc.com/the-last-word/watch/lawrence-
on-trump-sh-thole-comment-hating-is-what-he-does-
1135262787517
The other really outstanding piece is a 20 minute
segment (including panel discussion) from Joe
Scarborough, also on MSNBC:
http://www.msnbc.com/morning-joe/watch/joe-
scarboroug-how-does-gop-not-immediately-condemn-
trump-s-language-1135448643586
These items raise of number of larger issues. First, it
would appear that Stephen Miller and other hard
liners of Bannon’s ilk are running the show in the
White House and derailing any effort at bipartisan
compromise on immigration. Second, it would appear
that, notwithstanding their efforts to control the
president, Trump is as out of control as ever and
saying things that are not only destroying his own
political career but destroying the Republican Party
and doing long lasting damage to US relations with
the rest of the world. Third, this state of affairs is so
dysfunctional that the pundits in the Scarborough
panel found themselves having to resort to essentially
psychohistorical explanations. Not well informed
explanations, to be sure, since this is entirely new
terrain for these folks, but they realize that they are
confronting a phenomenon that requires new
conceptual tools.
219

Brian
bdagostino.com
917-628-8253

Click here to Reply


me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston change) Jan 13

Where is the evidence that this is hurting Trump's


political career? The response I read at New York
Magazine is that Trump is essentializing countries that
are poor and war-torn -- ostensibly entirely owing to
our own foreign policy towards them -- as actually
owing to something intrinsic about them. This is the
discussion the Right wants, that the people want, for it
prompts people to start exploring whether or not there
is something essentially foul about the people in
"shithole" countries, and this is no longer debate
territory where the Left holds all the cards, and is in
fact territory people are eager to use to buttress their
own sense of European "fineness" and to
demonstrate masculine rejection of ostensibly
manipulative ideological positions that they now want
to believe have long kept them tamed.
Previously, if you wanted to demonstrate any virtue at
all, you would demonstrate yourself anti-racist, anti-
homophobic, and for every country out there whose
poor were shown as people of great dignity... if you
weren't like that, you weren't modern, and everyone in
keeping up with the latest music hits and Apple tech
220

wanted to be that. Believing yourself like that, you


were all welcome to count yourself a friend of Steve
Jobs; to be with it. The Left is fooling itself into
thinking that this is the way people still want to see
themselves, for they're not sure they can be
persuasive if they have to get in the muck and fight
out for a dignified status of people from these places,
afresh. They're worried -- with their own blatantly
obvious powerful new interest in the habits, ways... in
the intrinsic nature of everything Dutch, Swedish,
Scandinavian these days -- that they'll show in the
debate a lack of heart over the issue. They're worried
that they might expose, to themselves, the absolutely
intolerable fact that they're for some strange reason
not as interested in demonstrating themselves akin to,
say, the lost boys of Ethiopia as they were even just a
couple of years ago. In the debate, they'll show lack of
heart, and the Right will pounce on this as a
demonstration that they've always being hypocritical
in their positions (which before, they actually weren't),
while the Right rejoices in the Left being emasculated
by coming to know that every protection they've put in
place to ensure that there was no take on the peoples
from "shithole" countries that wasn't actually flattering
to them that wasn't stigmatized, have completely lost
their power, as "Steven Pinker"-ish thinking comes in
and completes supplants it. They'll rejoice in the
supplanting, of decades of closed thinking on the
issue in respectable circles being eradicated in an
instant, and they'll rejoice in having used the over-
confidence of the Left to make a sloppy mistake that
221

will be used to greatly wound them... "Spotlight's"


"Garabedian manoeuvre: now an excuse for all the
facts in and of themselves to be reintroduced to the
public.
I think he wins on this. If we insist he's losing, it might
be because we have to believe this or face revealing
to ourselves our own developing sympathy for his
position. Can't do this, so we pretend to ourselves we
are ourselves as we were a few years back. What the
Left never did is demonstrate that they were able to
allow dignity for people who'd traditionally been
denigrated, without romanticizing them, without
making it so that in evaluating them, there wasn't a
level they weren't allowed to be dropped into -- every
single one of them would be more highly dignified
than any troll of the American right, heaps above
them, in fact, was always the first order of business.
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
Barney Jan 13

Re: [cliospsyche] Re: the larger implications of


Trump's shithole incident
Dear Cliofolk,
As a reporter who has traveled and written about
many of the darker-skinned "shithole" countries in
question, I believe almost all of them are essentially
beautiful, mysterious, and often grand nations. The
shitholes are those in a position to steal the nation's
222

wealth, usually by creating chaos and fear so that the


most gullible are duped by "nationalist" propaganda
into following the tyrants.
The true shitholes are in the minds of the Trumpists
and their ilk, who exist throughout the world in
powerful positions for the purposes of greed, luxury,
and self-aggrandizement.
Interestingly, the most Trump-like dictator I've known
(and I've got to know quite a few) was Francois
Duvalier of Haiti, who rose to power by preaching
"negritude", the black species of racial supremacy,
and blamed the Americans and the light-skinned
Haitians for the plight and poverty of the
underclasses.
Trump is going almost precisely by the Duvalier book.
And so is the brilliant Vladislav Surkov, the Putin right-
hand man who has orchestrated the chaos in the USA
.
He and the Russian intelligence teams spotted Trump
early on when he was in Russia begging for money.
They recognized a self-centered, sadistic pervert who
failed at almost every enterprise he took on, knew a
useful fool when he saw one, and now can claim, as
Surkov has done, to have put their fool into the White
House.
It is probably the most successful espionage caper in
modern history, and astoundingly you seldom if ever
223

read a word about Surkov in mainstream or even


backstream media.
The "shithole" hub-bub is merely another chaos tactic,
which the excellent psychologists associated with
Putin understand better tnan alomst anyone.
Face it: Trump is Putin's "passed pawn queen" (as
they say in Russia, which means in chess an almost
certain victory).
Trump is a Russian-made traitor, and he probably
doesn't even know it.
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Barney Jan 13

Re: [cliospsyche] Re: the larger implications of


Trump's shithole incident
A bit more about Surkov from Wikipedia:
In an editorial for the London Review of Books quoted
by Curtis, Peter Pomerantsev describes Putin's
Russia thus:
In contemporary Russia, unlike the old USSR or
present-day North Korea, the stage is constantly
changing: the country is a dictatorship in the morning,
a democracy at lunch, an oligarchy by suppertime,
while, backstage, oil companies are expropriated,
journalists killed, billions siphoned away. Surkov is at
the centre of the show, sponsoring nationalist
skinheads one moment, backing human rights groups
the next. It's a strategy of power based on keeping
any opposition there may be constantly confused, a
ceaseless shape-shifting that is unstoppable because
it's indefinable.
— Peter Pomerantsev, in "Putin's Rasputin", London
Review of Books issue of 20 October 2011 [8]
Curtis claims that Trump used a similar strategy to
become president of the United States, and hints that
Trump's Surkovian origins caused Putin to express his
admiration for Trump in Russian media.[89][90]
225

On Sat, Jan 13, 2018 at 8:56 AM, Patrick McEvoy-


Halston <pmcevoyhalston@gmail.com> wrote:
- show quoted text -
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bdagostino2687 Jan 13

RE: [cliospsyche] Re: the larger implications of


Trump's shithole incident
Patrick, one major form of evidence is opinion polling
data on Trump’s approval and disapproval ratings.
His approval rating has remained steady in the low
226

thirties, but his disapproval rating has spiked to


around 60%. Both of these measures are among the
worst if not the very worst for any American president
since such data have been collected. Trump’s “base”
probably represents 30% or less of the electorate. He
didn’t win the popular vote in 2016, and probably
would have lost the electoral college as well if not for
Russian intervention (e.g. well documented pro-
Trump campaigns on US social media) and James
Comey’s decision to reopen an FBI investigation into
Clinton’s email practices on the eve of the election.
(Unlike Putin, I don’t think Comey was engaged in
deliberate political manipulation, but the damage was
done anyway).
In summary, except for these special circumstances,
which have nothing to do with the electorate, Trump
would not be president today and we would not be
having this conversation. Note also that Hillary
Clinton was one of the weakest candidates that the
Democrats have put up in many years. Had the
choice been between Biden and Trump, Biden
probably would have won by a landslide. Not only are
our institutions not really democratic (in the sense of
one person, one vote), the electoral college being
only one of the more blatant examples, but the
electorate can only choose between the alternatives
generated by the electoral system, which is a kind of
Rube-Goldberg machine. Nor have I even touched
on the elephant in the room, namely, domination of
the electoral system by the rich. So much for
227

simplistic, psychologically reductionist explanations


that attribute Trump’s election to mass psychology.
Brian
bdagostino.com
917-628-8253

From: cliospsyche@googlegroups.com
[mailto:cliospsyche@googlegroups.com] On Behalf
Of Patrick McEvoy-Halston
Sent: Saturday, January 13, 2018 8:56 AM
To: Clio’s Psyche <cliospsyche@googlegroups.com>
Subject: [cliospsyche] Re: the larger implications of
Trump's shithole incident
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Ken Fuchsman Jan 13

Re: [cliospsyche] Re: the larger implications of


Trump's shithole incident
Patrick,
You are discussing Trump's shithole remarks purely
as a domestic political event. They are not. This
remark fits in with his dangerous ineptitude in foreign
affairs. Trump is unwelcome in Britain, which had
been our closest ally for a century. He was
condescending to Germany's Angela Merkel,
argumentative with Australia's Prime Minister, plays
school boy verbal confrontation with North Korea, has
now offended most of Africa, and ignores Russia's
violations. In less than a year in office he has done
more to undermine America's position in the world
and national interest than any President in our history.
Unlike Theodore Roosevelt, he talks loudly and
foolishly and does not know how to use a big stick
strategically.
Sent from my iPhone
- show quoted text -
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229

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Ken Fuchsman Jan 13

Re: [cliospsyche] Re: the larger implications of


Trump's shithole incident
We would not have Donald Trump as President if
Hillary Clinton had not blown the election. Still in
getting 48.2 percent of the popular vote, she received
a higher percentage than did 12 men elected
President since the popular vote started being
recorded in 1824. I have discussed why Hillary lost
230

and Trump won in the Journal of Psychohistory and


Clio's Psyche.
Sent from my iPhone
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
Judith Logue Jan 13

Re: [cliospsyche] Re: the larger implications of


Trump's shithole incident
right on- may I forward with
permission?
Judy
- show quoted text -
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
drwargus Jan 13

Re: [cliospsyche] Re: the larger implications of


Trump's shithole incident
Brian, Patrick, et al
Thank you for sharing these interesting articles and
opinions. I watched both videos that you
recommended Brian, and I think they are both
accurate. We all know Trump is who he is, but Patrick
is also correct. None of this is hurting Trump. This
only strengthens his base, and Patrick is onto
something. The Liberals have failed.
231

Patrick points out:"Previously, if you wanted to


demonstrate any virtue at all, you would demonstrate
yourself anti-racist, anti-homophobic, and for every
country out there whose poor were shown as people
of great dignity... if you weren't like that, you weren't
modern, and everyone in keeping up with the latest
music hits and Apple tech wanted to be that. Believing
yourself like that, you were all welcome to count
yourself a friend of Steve Jobs; to be with it. The Left
is fooling itself into thinking that this is the way people
still want to see themselves...."
It was 15 years ago that by accident I came across
Lloyd's emotional life of Nations, and I was exposed
to this academic group. It has been a great pleasure
to interact with this group, but have we forgotten that
it's all about Emotions! Emotions drive reasoning, and
we seem to forget that. Jonathan Haidt drives this
point home well in his book, The Righteous Mind. He
points out that we do not use reason to determine
morality but rather the reverse: we use our reason to
rationalize our already established moral beliefs.
May I share a story from my office that I think is
enlightning. I work with about eight or 10 women.
They are good people with varying degrees of
education and life experiences. They do not tend to
be politically involved and are probably conservative.
Nonetheless, you would think that they would be
concerned about women's issues. I was surprised at
this time last year when not a single one of them was
aware of the women's march on Washington to be
232

held the following Sunday. Not one! Furthermore, they


are not very sympathetic to the #MeTo movement.
And if that is not shocking enough, within a few days
of Colin Kaepernick being selected as a man of the
year by GQ magazine, They all knew about it. They
were quite emotionally upset about it as well. Without
even reading the article, they knew it was an immoral
idea. And yet they were unaware of Roy Moore!
That's right. three weeks before the Alabama election,
they were unaware of a misogynist homophobe
running for the Senate, but they were all very aware
of someone being unpatriotic.
So Brian, although your reasoning is perfect, you can
throw it out the window. No Trump supporter will listen
to anything you have to say. What's worse, his
supporters just dig in deeper. I think that the crux of
the matter is that people vote their values, not their
self interest. The women in my office are not voting in
their self interest when they vote for conservative
choices. They are voting their values. I came across a
book that explains this quite well I believe. it is as
profound as Lloyd's insight in the emotional life of
nations. The book is called "everything I have learned
about values" by Richard Barrett. our minds have
operating systems. Richard Barrett states "since
values are the basic operating system for the human
being, the energetic drivers of our aspirations and
intentions, you are sitting on the source code of
human motivation." values are not just what we think
are important – they are what drive us. Values drive
233

our emotions and our emotions drive our politics.


FOXNews speaks to a certain set of values and
MSNBC speaks to a different set of values, a different
operating system. Patrick is speaking to some of the
failures of the liberal operating systems, and we don't
like to think about the failure of our values anymore
than FOXNews listers like to be told that their values
are racist, etc. So if we really want to analyze and
decipher what is going on, we need to understand the
multiple different value systems that are operating and
overlapping in our society.
Sent from my iPad
Bill Argus
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
bdagostino2687 Jan 13

RE: [cliospsyche] Re: the larger implications of


Trump's shithole incident
Bill, I have never taken the view that people are
entirely rational actors motivated by self-interest
(whatever that means). To say that people are
entirely motivated by emotions is the opposite position
and is equally extreme and untenable, in my view. I
am not a reductionist, and for that reason I cannot
endorse deMause’s views on political psychology,
which, though making some contribution to
psychohistory were also reductionist, self-
contradictory, and not based on any empirical
research that I know of. I agree with the aphorism,
234

“Everything Should Be Made as Simple as Possible,


But Not Simpler” (attributed to Einstein by some but in
any case a good summary of Occam’s razor).
This is an forum for the exchange of scholarly ideas.
People are free to express whatever opinions they
want, but if you don’t believe that logic and evidence
matter, then you have dispensed at the outset with the
only criteria that can be brought to bear in
adjudicating scholarly disagreements. Then all you
can say to me is “I feel differently than you.” If that is
what you really believe, then so be it. And I also feel
differently than you.
Brian
bdagostino.com
917-628-8253

From: 'William Argus' via Clio’s Psyche


[mailto:cliospsyche@googlegroups.com]
Sent: Saturday, January 13, 2018 3:16 PM
To: cliospsyche@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: [cliospsyche] Re: the larger implications
of Trump's shithole incident
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
bdagostino2687 Jan 13
235

RE: [cliospsyche] Re: the larger implications of


Trump's shithole incident
P.S. In my post on this list, I was not addressing
myself to Trump supporters and was not trying to
change their opinions. I think that trying to change
ANYONE’S opinions is a waste of time, much less
people who are entrenched in their beliefs. Some of
the people who voted for Trump no longer support
him, proof that at least some people do process
information. His hard core supporters will very likely
go to their graves being Trump supporters, no matter
what he says or does.
So what? I have a brother who is a hard core Trump
supporter, and when I talk to him about politics I have
an exchange of ideas with him like I do with anyone
else, but view it primarily as an opportunity for me to
learn more about how someone with a belief system
very different from my own thinks, not as an
opportunity to change someone’s opinions.
Sometimes we find common ground in surprising
ways and if I change some part of own opinions or if
he changes some part of his, fine, but that is not the
purpose of the exchange. The purpose is improved
mutual understanding and relationship building, not
persuasion.
From: bdagostino2687@gmail.com
[mailto:bdagostino2687@gmail.com]
Sent: Saturday, January 13, 2018 3:50 PM
To: cliospsyche@googlegroups.com
236

Subject: RE: [cliospsyche] Re: the larger implications


of Trump's shithole incident
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston change) Jan 13

Re: [cliospsyche] Re: the larger implications of


Trump's shithole incident
I know they're not just domestic, Ken. There is nothing
"fit" about Trump at all, not domestically, not in foreign
policy. He is catastrophically inept, if ineptitude is
measured in terms of what makes a country
progressive and prosperous and kind and well-
received, but he is not inept if ineptitude is measured
in not making a regressing populace feel like they're
becoming masculine again, and in not situating the
American Left -- the good guys and gals, who've been
helping make our country a genuinely better one for
decades -- as self-centred people who don't care
about their country, who don't even really care about
facts, but only about manipulating, quote unquote,
good honest Americans into agreeing to pretend to
believe in things they really don't, so they can
displaced out of positions of power and effectively
gotten rid of. As far as how the rest of the world
perceives him... I don't know. There's Austria, there's
Brexit, there's whomever is contending with Angela
Merkel... there are all sorts of Trumps in other
countries who want to talk "honest talk" about
"shitholes," and they can't be the ones who are pissed
237

off with him. I don't think of him as any kind of


strategic genius at all, but I don't think that's my point
of concern -- it's whether or not he's behaving in a
fashion that fits with what most Americans want, and if
he is, he's going to be perceived as genius
regardless, inflated, perhaps, for borrowing the power
of the Mother Nation, of whom he is, chief son. Your
facts are frustrating. They're objectively right... but of
course they are, of course they were going to be.
Whatever one thinks of Lloyd, perhaps they'll see that
there really is something to the fact that the single
most important thing about a president is that he
serves our fantasy needs, and though there are times
when a public is at its most rational, its least fearful of
progress, and these will be times where delineating
the accomplishments of a President really matters for
it will play a big part in determining whether or not
s/he remains in, there are times -- like the one we're
in now -- where if s/he actually delivered in making
America universally prosperous, in being well-
respected by remaining CIVILIZED European leaders,
the American populace would abandon him/her to be
gotten rid of by any effort to do, for the possibility of
electing in someone who will better deliver on meeting
their regressed emotional needs. We still seem to
believe that Trump barely got in, that that's the proper
to view our current situation. A grotesque accident
based on the fact of an ostensibly weak opposition
candidate -- Hillary Clinton. If we'd had Biden, Trump
would have been Trumped, is how we're thinking. This
is said, despite our awareness that rightwing populism
238

is a problem everywhere, and this alone should make


us demonstrate more fear that the American base, the
52 percent that actually voted for Hillary, can be
counted on to be the voters they might have been
even just a few years ago before all of this was
happening in the world. To me this is dubious; I expect
that a good number of them will show regression as
well, and surprising and depressing us in their eager
willingness to cast doubt on progressive stances and
support for semi-Trumpish ones, on immigration, on
"free speech" in universities, on inward foreign policy
vs. interactionist foreign policy, that we know are not
about a public demonstrating a moderate stance but
about them beginning a maybe wholesale slide to a
very rightwing way of seeing the world. The average
Democrat voter is counting David Frum a friend, one
of them. This is trouble.
- show quoted text -
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston change) Jan 13

And here in this link to an article from a student of


Evolutionary Anthropology at UC Davis, from his
twitter account, Steven Pinker, proud to be a
descendant from an immigrant from a shithole
country, is also doing his very best to make clear that,
in truth, there really are a lot of shithole peoples out
there in the world.
239

On Friday, January 12, 2018 at 11:28:18 PM UTC-5,


bdagostino2687 wrote:
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
drwargus Jan 13

Re: [cliospsyche] Re: the larger implications of


Trump's shithole incident
Brian,
I have always found your arguments to be logical, well
thought out, and presented with evidence. Logic and
evidence do matter, especially to the scholarly people
in this forum. But very few scholars and pundits, with
all of their evidence and logic, predicted the rise of
Trump. Indeed we are all struggling to figure this out. I
have a lot of conservative friends who are otherwise
very good people and very successful businessman
and doctors. But they believe in creationism, deny
climate change and economic inequality. They are
absolutely immune to facts and logic. And to your
beautiful arguments, as well as mine!!
People are not all rational or emotional. And not
everything is caused by spanking. But Jonathan
Haidt's point is that people use their reason to justify
their morality. This is another form of confirmation bias
as people only accept evidence that conforms to their
preconceived ideas about the world. Lloyds great
insight was that child rearing does establish a
person's world views and values. Barrett's point is that
these closely held values are not just things that are
240

important to us. These values drive our behavior.


Indeed, Brian why do you take this psychohistory
work so seriously? Because you care. You care very
deeply about knowledge, psychology, and our world.
This forum is filled with conscientious people, people
that accept climate change and evolution, and see
great harm in economic inequality. However, these
facts simply bounce off Trump supporters. Why? It is
because of their value system will not allow them to
see these facts, so none of our arguments sink in.
Furthermore, speaking from experience, these
naysayers get even more entrenched in their belief
systems after arguing with them.
The only explanation I have is values. People's values
limit what they can see. If we are going to reach these
people, we need to speak to values that they can
understand and relate to. As for more evidence, I give
you Kathryn (sp) Schulz Ted talk on being wrong.
Three reasons are given for people who disagree with
us – bad information, stupidity, and immorality. None
of these explain our differences. My friends are not
stupid or immoral, but the information that we give
them just bounces off. The information bounces off
because we have different values and worldviews,
and we use our reason to justify these worldviews,
often in an emotional way.
I would also argue that when you and I disagree, the
source of that disagreement has to do with disparate
values. And we each know which one of us is right,
don't we?!! :-)
241

Sent from my iPad


Bill Argus
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston change) Jan 13

And this from the New York Times: Trump's


Immigration Remarks Outrage Many, but Others
Quietly Agree.
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
drwargus Jan 13

Re: [cliospsyche] Re: the larger implications of


Trump's shithole incident
Patrick,
You are right on. Just because Trump's approval
rating is 35% doesn't mean another 15% won't find
some truth in what Trump says and the Republicans
will maintain their majorities. To be sure, even though
conservatives don't believe in evolution or climate
change, That doesn't mean that they're wrong about
everything else. And tens of millions of immigrants
cannot be assimilated into Europe and America. It is
not clear how all of this will be resolved, but if liberals
want to have their say, they will need to come up with
better solutions than they have so far. Liberals will
have to speak to the values of more than just their
242

own progressives. If we have learned anything from


Trump, it is that his base is larger than we thought.
For example , Most of you know that I am a doctor. I
think that I am compassionate and empathetic and I
think that basic healthcare is a human right. But there
are responsibilities to being a citizen as well. The
other day I was called into the operating room to see
a 23-year-old woman who weighed over 400 pounds.
Conservatives rightly point out that this is ridiculous
and there is no way that society should have to take
care of this person for the rest of her life.
Sent from my iPad
Bill Argus
- show quoted text -
- show quoted text -
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bdagostino2687 Jan 14

RE: [cliospsyche] Re: the larger implications of


Trump's shithole incident
Bill,
Misunderstanding is easy and very common in
everyday communication, including on this listserv. In
my experience, authentic dialogue (such as we are
having) either exposes apparent disagreement as
misunderstanding or clarifies what the disagreement
is really about. As a result of our dialogue, it appears
I misunderstood what you were saying or trying to say
and vice versa. I do not disagree with anything you
have said here, and in fact have said much the same
thing in the appendix of my book, in which I built on
cognitive linguist George Lackoff’s Moral Politics:
How Liberals and Conservatives Think.
In fact, I related Lackoff’s “strict father” and “nurturing
parent” types, which he views as the source of the
divergent values of liberals and conservatives, to
deMause’s concept of psychoclasses, which in my
view is one of Lloyd’s most important and enduring
contributions to psychohistory. This appendix, which
244

was published in an earlier form as an article in The


Journal of Psychohistory, is available at:
http://bdagostino.com/middle-class-fights-back.php).
Glad we clarified this!
Brian
bdagostino.com
917-628-8253

From: 'William Argus' via Clio’s Psyche


[mailto:cliospsyche@googlegroups.com]
Sent: Saturday, January 13, 2018 7:31 PM
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- show quoted text -
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arnied Jan 15
r

IPBOOKSIPBOOKS SPECIAL ONE WEEK OFFER


FOR PRIZE NOMINATED PSYCHOANALYTIC
TITLES AND NYRB ADVERTISED BOOKS
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me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston change) Jan 16

Re: [cliospsyche] Re: the larger implications of


Trump's shithole incident
Barney, this bit, "I believe almost all of them are
essentially beautiful, mysterious, and often grand
nation," would be considered "othering." Someone
like Trump might one day despise a nation as a
"shithole," but on another admire them for their "proud
exotic beauty." Orientalism. The idea about gullible
but intrinsically good coloured people, is also the
narrative that sustained/s the idea of the white
saviour.
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
Barney Jan 16

Re: [cliospsyche] Re: the larger implications of


Trump's shithole incident
Dear Patrick,
246

As you probably know, I believe it makes no


difference what pathology festers in Trump. He is
simply a tool of people who recognized the pathology,
knew that he was a stupid and desperate low life,
invested some money in him to keep him afloat, and
let him run his course. Whatever he does will be
destabilizing to America, which is exactly how the
Russians want it. Russians are masters at projection,
and so is Trump and Bannon. Chaos is their game
and they are masters at it.
Many thanks for the bit.
Barney
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
binsightfl1 Jan 16

Re: [cliospsyche] Re: the larger implications of


Trump's shithole incident
Hi,
I have been reading what everybody has been
saying--
in great depth, and I might add-- I think each of you
has
distilled important aspects of this negative turn in our
country's travels. (Perhaps the trek could more
properly
be called travails).
247

For me, what you all have stated (in more


comprehensive
and thoughtful ways) can be simplified (at great risk of
being
reductionistic and naive) by my view that---
emotion trumps reason.
And, in as much as this is might be true it can explain
why
being rational has not worked and simply won't work.
It also
begs the question--so if being reasonable makes no
sense,
what then can we do? Should we fight fire with fire by
being
as regressed and out of control as we have stated the
"The Donald" and his followers are? Shall we invoke
the
invectives of hate and project these feelings onto
others?
Shall we split off and engage in "othering?"
Paradoxically and unwittingly we have done some of
these
things here. Liberals are the "good guys," the "smart
ones,"
the ones who are compassionate and in the "right."
They,
those "others" are wrong.
Here's where we really get ourselves into trouble--we
sincerely
248

believe that we will win merely because we are good


and good
triumphs over those evil, ignorant Trumpites. If that
isn't evidence
that emotion trumps reason, what is, except "we" are
the ones who
are guided by delusional ideas or our "savior
complexes."
Emotion does not guide reason, it trumps reason! It is
only when we
get in touch with our irrational sides that we have a
chance to utilize
our drive states in a socially acceptable and powerful
way. Otherwise
we are merely the "flip" side of the Trumpian id
impulses coin. And, as
we know, in the language of the unconscious,
opposites lie side by side
in equivalence.
So-- the great philosopher King, Pogo the opposum
once said, "we
have seen the enemy and he is us!
Warm Regards,
Burton
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
bdagostino2687 Jan 16
249

RE: [cliospsyche] Re: the larger implications of


Trump's shithole incident
Speaking of emotion and reason, I also refer
members of this group to Dorothea Leicher’s article in
the current issue of Psychohistory News (attached).
(This newsletter also contains an article by Ken
Fuchsman on a recent book party for The Dangerous
Case of Donald Trump.) Part I of Leicher’s article
covered much the same ground as Freud’s
Civilization and its Discontents, but updated with
recent findings from neuroscience and diverse other
literature. It is available at:
http://www.psychohistory.us/archive.php (scroll down
to the Fall 2017 issue).
Page two of the attached newsletter is the conference
flyer and call for proposals for the upcoming IPA 2018
conference (May 30 to June 1 at NYU), which will
include as featured speakers Drs. James and Carol
Gilligan, Bandy Lee (editor of The Dangerous Case of
Donald Trump), and more. If you might be
interested in presenting a paper at this
conference, please note that the deadline for
submitting proposals is February 10 (details in the
attached newsletter, page two).
Finally, I refer interested readers to my article in the
current issue of The Journal of Psychohistory,
“Militarism, Machismo and the Regulation of Self
Interest.” This is not exactly light reading, but does
bring theory and empirical research to bear on a
possible psychological/neurological mechanism by
250

which unconscious complexes get displaced onto


political symbolic objects. The article is available on
my website at:
http://bdagostino.com/resources/Militarism%2C
%20Machismo%2C%20and%20the%20Regulation
%20of%20Self-Image.pdf
Brian
bdagostino.com
917-628-8253

From: cliospsyche@googlegroups.com
[mailto:cliospsyche@googlegroups.com] On Behalf
Of Burton N. Seitler
Sent: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 10:47 AM
- show quoted text -
- show quoted text -
Attachments (1)
IPA_2018_1_winter.pdf
465 KB View Download
Mark as complete
me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston change) Jan 17

Re: [cliospsyche] Re: the larger implications of


Trump's shithole incident
My suggestion has been that we be very sure, we're
ourselves still operating within the realm of reason. Take
the left, the more sane-ish people: Glenn Greenwald argues
that everyone against him has made Russian into an
251

opponent, outside of reason, the people against Glenn


Greenwald are arguing that Glenn is and has always been a
Russian spy. Where's Waldo? See if you can find the sanity.
Then there's those articles this year suggesting that though,
again, the rightwing of America is insane, the left is losing
their marbles as well, suffering from an extreme degree of
confirmation bias, making their science dubious: Science
Denial Across the Political Divide (Social Psychological
and Personality Science). Take that article I linked to which
explores how the NewYorker persists in imagining peoples
Anthropologists study, vs. the one that is emerging once
again -- but this time with a larger community of scientists
behind it, scientists who, a few years back, wouldn't have
been -- that says, well, actually what we're encountering
here are the least emotionally evolved people on the planet,
the people who practice in abundance pretty much
everything we've all been trying to edit out of how we
behave for it being torture and abuse. I've said before that
the people who tend to be the most sane, in my judgment,
are those who still hold the NewYorker's point of view on
the matter, who hold it because they've reached the limits of
what this previous generation's best childrearing would
permit in terms of lack of a need for projection and a lack
of a need for there to be people in society who function to
carry everything about oneself that one must discard in
order to maintain psychic equilibrium, that is, a need for
"poison containers." The people deflating the myth of the
noble savage are using superior science, are more accurate,
but their intentions are retrograde. The problem for peoples
the NewYorker has been diligent in respecting is that they
seem to betray in themselves a future traitor: if the peoples
252

they esteem and protect are not as they have been


romantically portrayed, and the NewYorker crowd find
themselves having to acclimatize themselves to this fact,
does this mean they'll have been pinned into a position
where they too must now acquiesce to an ostensibly
necessary position and start blaming and accusing and
denying support to these people/abusers who, regardless,
still very much deserve ongoing respect and support? If
they're not being strategic but must associate their support
of these peoples with their being the noble savage that is an
absolute counter to America's deplorables, will they
aggressively persist in maintaining their attitude in spite of
rising scientific acceptance of the "sick societies" theory
and thereby lose scientific respectability because they sense
a worse fate, that there is within them another them, a
retrograde one, that is trying to gain control of their
consciousness, and this one is the troll who cannot see
weakness and the adult results of child abuse and simply
blame and hate and discard? Are they trying to fight what
they suspect might prove true: that they might not be
immune to some of the regression that is afflicting the
planet, that they might themselves become true trolls,
however adapt they'll be at making this invisible to
themselves and find justified reasons to hate and attack
those who point out their mal-transformation out to them?
How many liberal parents do you know who in their
attitudes towards today's university students, to their
activism and points of view (Woody Allen, safe zones,
trigger warnings), seem to be turning against their young?
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
253

Alan Mohl Jan 17

Re: [cliospsyche] Re: the larger implications of


Trump's shithole incident
Hello all:
On CNN, there was a round table discussion
concerning Trump. The meeting was held in a city
within Wisconsin. The people at the table all voted for
Trump. The only thing that mattered to them was that
the economy had improved and they were doing well
financially. Thus they feel that Trump is doing a great
job. In America, money is our God. Trump's
personality defects, his frequent lies ,, his bigotry and
his xenophobia are irrelevant. The only thing that
counts with his base is the economy.
Allan Mohl
Sent: Tue, Jan 16, 2018 10:46 am
- show quoted text -
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston change) Jan 17

Re: [cliospsyche] Re: the larger implications of


Trump's shithole incident
I read your article. The compromised state of the boy you
get at -- that they first identify with the mother, but belong
thereafter to a culture which denigrates feminized men --
brings to mind Charles Socarides, but for him, if one has,
not an authoritarian mother, but a overwhelming one who
won't let a boy individuate from her and isn't okay with his
254

exploring his otherness, his masculinity, the social attitudes


of the day are neither here nor there: it won't really matter,
as regardless of them he'll find some way to repudiate all
women or, going Hemingway, become some kind of
atrocious he-man. The article pounds heavy on the
authoritarian father, but is very light with that first few
years of female-mother identification we all experience that
is to you so critical. This bit:
This same person also has an
internalized image of the father they
experienced as a small child—awesome and
all powerful, always right, free to do
whatever he wants, and getting what he
wants by threatening to use force or
actually using it.
well, honestly, that could just as easily be the mother, who,
after all, spent a hell of a lot more time with him. They seek
to break free from her because they bloody well couldn't
move their limbs.
Another thought: the reason he-man culture hates the
welfare state is because they associate it with maternal
tending, which for them, wasn't so much authoritarian as it
was physically incestuous. They're triggered by the
memories of being used as puppets, and thus strike down a
mechanism whereby very genuinely they might receive
treatment that would help alleviate the results of their
atrocious childhoods. IT IS associated with the
"punishment," that is, whose concern wasn't so much the
spanking and yelling as it was the envelopment, the
255

physical and emotional crowding of their highly precarious


space... all imagined by the mother as "expressions of their
profound love." So when they're seeking to strike it down,
they're not just identifying with the persecutor, they're
rejecting a powerless childhood condition they very much
are recalling.
This said, I also agree that they know that in further striking
a blow against the welfare state, against means for
alleviating the amount of child damage out there, they're
pretending to be (or rather, switching into the alter of) the
parent (I think always maternal) who scorns the child's
weakness (were you doing that when you said that accusers
against Al Franken should be made to face a committee,
where they would surely be shown to be of little account --
certainly not enough to take down a senator?... that sounded
like the kind of machismo, the support of the empowered
position and anger at the weakest, that could make a lot of
wounded people hoping to gain justice against their own
predators, shrink in retreat).
This said, they also scorn the weak because, as deMause
argues, they believe that they deserved the mistreatment
they received at the hands of their mothers for the very fact
of being vulnerable. Because that was the strongest self-
concept they had, and their mothers seemed to find them so
wrong they would threaten then with apocalyptic
abandonment, they had to be sure to never be or associate
with the single greatest wrong thing out there: being
vulnerable. Being vulnerable is an affront to the move
whose love you must, must, must find means to achieve,
256

and so no fidelity with anyone evil enough to demonstrate


it.
Anyway, first thoughts. Thanks again for the link.
-----------------------------------
Clio’s Psyche ›

RE: [cliospsyche] Re: the larger implications of


Trump's shithole incident
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bdagostino26 Jan
87 18

Burton, Alan, Patrick, and all,


On Burton’s idea (below) that “emotion trumps reason,”
there is surely truth in this, but doesn’t this require some
qualifications? Does emotion trump reason equally for all
people under all conditions? If not, what do individual
differences look like in this domain and under what
conditions, if any, does reason prevail? I know of two
257

books worth mentioning on these questions. First, Milton


Rokeach’s The Open and Closed Mind: Investigations into
the Nature of Belief Systems and Personality Systems
(1960), which is a classic in the field of political
psychology. Rokeach devised a “dogmatism” construct
intended to measure openness to new information and was
careful to make this construct independent of political (left-
right) ideology. Rokeach also originated the very helpful
two dimensional typology for political ideologies, the two
dimensions being how much one values freedom and
equality:
Low EQUALITY High
Low Fascism Communism

FREEDOM
High Capitalism Democratic Socialism
The second book is Victor S. Johnston’s, Why We Feel: The
Science of Human Emotions (1999), which deals with the
relation between cognition and emotion from the
neuroscience and evolutionary perspectives.
As for Alan’s point, I think preoccupation with money
applies to a large extent to all voters, not just Trump voters.
Electoral outcomes in capitalist societies largely track the
business cycle such that elections held during a booming
economy generally favor incumbents while voters during
recessionary times generally succumb to a “throw the bums
out” mentality. There is a literature on this in political
science; I can’t review this literature off the top of my head,
258

but I believe I just summarized the gist of it. I also believe


it is this phenomenon to which James Carville’s dictum
“It’s the economy, stupid” referred. Had Hillary Clinton
heeded Carville’s advice (originally given to her husband’s
presidential campaign) instead of working the identity
politics angle, she might have defeated Trump.
Patrick, I greatly appreciate your taking the time to read my
Journal of Psychohistoryarticle. You express a lot of ideas
about the role of the mother and quality of mothering that
merit further thought, exploration, and research. Somehow
we need to move this discussion from the realm of armchair
speculation into research. Melanie Klein did this through
clinical observations, Bowlby and the attachment school
through experimental research, etc. My own contribution
was to devise a way of measuring personality
independently of ideology by using a two-part survey
instrument; see
http://bdagostino.com/resources/PolPsyc95.pdf My
personality measure was a list of trait adjectives (drawn
mostly from Jack Block’s The Q-Sort Method in
Personality Assessment and Psychiatric Research), which
survey respondents ranked from “most characteristic” of
oneself to “least characteristic.” My measure of ideology
was a list of 25 sentences expressing hawk and dove policy
preferences and related beliefs, which they evaluated on a
Likert scale.
My prediction (which was borne out strongly by the data)
was that self-image would predict militarist beliefs and
policy preferences. I did not know in advance WHICH
personality items would predict militarism, and indeed
259

there were many alternative theories about this. What came


out of my data were machismo (for males) and
authoritarianism (for both sexes). This was originally my
doctoral dissertation research and was published in a 1995
article in Political Psychology:
http://bdagostino.com/resources/PolPsyc95.pdf The data,
presented in this article, can be interpreted in many ways,
but there are many more theories that are not supported by
the data. For example, the pre-oedipal nature of the
machismo complex is indicated by the fact that the typical
male hawk does not describe himself as “masculine” but
rather as “not feminine,” using a total of ten stereotypically
masculine and feminine trait adjectives that also appear in
the Bem Sex Role Inventory. This is an important
empirical finding and it was new because before my
research, to my knowledge, no one had measured
personality and ideology separately in the same survey.
Having established this empirical relationship, I then set
about to find existing theories that might account for it,
which led me to Nancy Chodorow’s classic, The
Reproduction of Mothering: Psychoanalysis and the
Sociology of Gender (1978/1999). I wrote up my findings
on machismo using Chodorow’s theories (and not, say,
deMause’s) because my data pointed me to Chodorow’s
theories. However, deMause’s ideas were very relevant to
my second factor—authoritarianism—which both Adorno
et al and more recently Michael Milburn et al associate
with punitive parenting. And yes, the mother can be the
dispenser of punishment as much as the father. So there are
two factors operating here—sex typing (which appears to
260

be rooted in pre-oedipal dynamics) and authoritarianism.


On the latter, you are right that I focused on the oedipal
roots and the role of the father, and your point is well taken
that punitive mothers can also be implicated in this at the
pre-oedipal stage.
Finally, regarding Al Franken, given that the Republicans
control the committees in both houses of Congress, I think
it is safe to assume that any inquiry into Franken’s
misdeeds would have been extremely friendly to his
accusers. We saw this movie before during the Bill Clinton
presidency. There is no way Franken could have prevailed
in such a process if his misdeeds were as serious as you
(and the Republicans) claim. But we’ll never know
because the Democratic Party establishment acted to push
Franken out before the Republicans could mount any such
spectacle.
Brian
bdagostino.com
917-628-8253

From: cliospsyche@googlegroups.com
[mailto:cliospsyche@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of
Patrick McEvoy-Halston
Sent: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 3:06 PM
To: Clio’s Psyche <cliospsyche@googlegroups.com>
Subject: Re: [cliospsyche] Re: the larger implications of
Trump's shithole incident
261

I read your article. The compromised state of the boy you


get at -- that they first identify with the mother, but belong
thereafter to a culture which denigrates feminized men --
brings to mind Charles Socarides, but for him, if one has,
not an authoritarian mother, but a overwhelming one who
won't let a boy individuate from her and isn't okay with his
exploring his otherness, his masculinity, the social attitudes
of the day are neither here nor there: it won't really matter,
as regardless of them he'll find some way to repudiate all
women or, going Hemingway, become some kind of
atrocious he-man. The article pounds heavy on the
authoritarian father, but is very light with that first few
years of female-mother identification we all experience that
is to you so critical. This bit:
This same person also has an internalized image of the
father they experienced as a small child—awesome and all
powerful, always right, free to do whatever he wants, and
getting what he wants by threatening to use force or
actually using it.
well, honestly, that could just as easily be the mother, who,
after all, spent a hell of a lot more time with him. They seek
to break free from her because they bloody well couldn't
move their limbs.
Another thought: the reason he-man culture hates the
welfare state is because they associate it with maternal
tending, which for them, wasn't so much authoritarian as it
was physically incestuous. They're triggered by the
memories of being used as puppets, and thus strike down a
mechanism whereby very genuinely they might receive
262

treatment that would help alleviate the results of their


atrocious childhoods. IT IS associated with the
"punishment," that is, whose concern wasn't so much the
spanking and yelling as it was the envelopment, the
physical and emotional crowding of their highly precarious
space... all imagined by the mother as "expressions of their
profound love." So when they're seeking to strike it down,
they're not just identifying with the persecutor, they're
rejecting a powerless childhood condition they very much
are recalling.
This said, I also agree that they know that in further striking
a blow against the welfare state, against means for
alleviating the amount of child damage out there, they're
pretending to be (or rather, switching into the alter of) the
parent (I think always maternal) who scorns the child's
weakness (were you doing that when you said that accusers
against Al Franken should be made to face a committee,
where they would surely be shown to be of little account --
certainly not enough to take down a senator?... that sounded
like the kind of machismo, the support of the empowered
position and anger at the weakest, that could make a lot of
wounded people hoping to gain justice against their own
predators, shrink in retreat).
This said, they also scorn the weak because, as deMause
argues, they believe that they deserved the mistreatment
they received at the hands of their mothers for the very fact
of being vulnerable. Because that was the strongest self-
concept they had, and their mothers seemed to find them so
wrong they would threaten then with apocalyptic
abandonment, they had to be sure to never be or associate
263

with the single greatest wrong thing out there: being


vulnerable. Being vulnerable is an affront to the move
whose love you must, must, must find means to achieve,
and so no fidelity with anyone evil enough to demonstrate
it.
Anyway, first thoughts. Thanks again for the link.
On Tuesday, January 16, 2018 at 1:06:35 PM UTC-5,
bdagostino2687 wrote:
Speaking of emotion and reason, I also refer members of
this group to Dorothea Leicher’s article in the current issue
of Psychohistory News (attached). (This newsletter also
contains an article by Ken Fuchsman on a recent book party
for The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump.) Part I of
Leicher’s article covered much the same ground as Freud’s
Civilization and its Discontents, but updated with recent
findings from neuroscience and diverse other literature. It
is available at: http://www.psychohistory.us/archive.php
(scroll down to the Fall 2017 issue).
Page two of the attached newsletter is the conference flyer
and call for proposals for the upcoming IPA 2018
conference (May 30 to June 1 at NYU), which will include
as featured speakers Drs. James and Carol Gilligan, Bandy
Lee (editor of The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump), and
more. If you might be interested in presenting a paper at
this conference, please note that the deadline for submitting
proposals is February 10 (details in the attached newsletter,
page two).
264

Finally, I refer interested readers to my article in the current


issue of The Journal of Psychohistory, “Militarism,
Machismo and the Regulation of Self Interest.” This is not
exactly light reading, but does bring theory and empirical
research to bear on a possible psychological/neurological
mechanism by which unconscious complexes get displaced
onto political symbolic objects. The article is available on
my website at: http://bdagostino.com/resources/Militarism
%2C%20Machismo%2C%20and%20the%20Regulation
%20of%20Self-Image.pdf
Brian
bdagostino.com
917-628-8253
From: 'Alan Mohl' via Clio’s Psyche
[mailto:cliospsyche@googlegroups.com]
Sent: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 2:54 PM
To: cliospsyche@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: [cliospsyche] Re: the larger implications of
Trump's shithole incident
Hello all:
On CNN, there was a round table discussion
concerning Trump. The meeting was held in a city
within Wisconsin. The people at the table all voted for
Trump. The only thing that mattered to them was that
the economy had improved and they were doing well
financially. Thus they feel that Trump is doing a great
job. In America, money is our God. Trump's
personality defects, his frequent lies ,, his bigotry and
his xenophobia are irrelevant. The only thing that
counts with his base is the economy.
265

Allan Mohl
From: cliospsyche@googlegroups.com
[mailto:cliospsyche@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of
Burton N. Seitler
Sent: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 10:47 AM
To: cliospsyche@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: [cliospsyche] Re: the larger implications of
Trump's shithole incident
Hi,
I have been reading what everybody has been saying--
in great depth, and I might add-- I think each of you has
distilled important aspects of this negative turn in our
country's travels. (Perhaps the trek could more properly
be called travails).
For me, what you all have stated (in more comprehensive
and thoughtful ways) can be simplified (at great risk of
being
reductionistic and naive) by my view that---
emotion trumps reason.
And, in as much as this is might be true it can explain why
being rational has not worked and simply won't work. It
also
begs the question--so if being reasonable makes no sense,
what then can we do? Should we fight fire with fire by
being
as regressed and out of control as we have stated the
"The Donald" and his followers are? Shall we invoke the
invectives of hate and project these feelings onto others?
Shall we split off and engage in "othering?"
266

Paradoxically and unwittingly we have done some of these


things here. Liberals are the "good guys," the "smart ones,"
the ones who are compassionate and in the "right." They,
those "others" are wrong.
Here's where we really get ourselves into trouble--we
sincerely
believe that we will win merely because we are good and
good
triumphs over those evil, ignorant Trumpites. If that isn't
evidence
that emotion trumps reason, what is, except "we" are the
ones who
are guided by delusional ideas or our "savior complexes."
Emotion does not guide reason, it trumps reason! It is only
when we
get in touch with our irrational sides that we have a chance
to utilize
our drive states in a socially acceptable and powerful way.
Otherwise
we are merely the "flip" side of the Trumpian id impulses
coin. And, as
we know, in the language of the unconscious, opposites lie
side by side
in equivalence.
So-- the great philosopher King, Pogo the opposum once
said, "we
have seen the enemy and he is us!
Warm Regards,
Burton
267

Click here to Reply


bdagostino26 Jan
87 18

P.S. If you’re trying to read my last post on a smart phone,


the Rokeach typology might not have displayed properly,
so I’m resending it in smaller font, which should work (at
least it does on my smart phone):
Low EQUALITY High
Low Fascism Communism
FREEDOM
High Capitalism Democratic Socialism
From: bdagostino2687@gmail.com
[mailto:bdagostino2687@gmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, January 18, 2018 7:14 AM
To: cliospsyche@googlegroups.com
Subject: RE: [cliospsyche] Re: the larger implications of
Trump's shithole incident
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston change) Jan 18

Brian, the way you refer to Franken is as someone who


grabs someone's butt, not as someone engaged in predatory
sexual assault. This is the kind of thinking that might shrink
a lot of victims from ever bothering reporting crimes, is my
judgment. A culture of machismo, that makes light of the
victims and shames their defenders... "someone grabbed
268

your butt and suddenly you're all over CNN and bringing
down a senator... whilst serving Republican' ends, I might
add." And by the way, did you ever get that sense, now that
it proved not a once-only, that Franken was engaged in
something very serious... that he was in a way akin to
Weinstein, that is, someone whose guilt over his serial
predations on vulnerable women was dealt with by
becoming a foremost crusader of liberal causes?
At this psychohistory conference, I'd be curious to know
where people are on #MeToo, which I'm sure will be
discussed. Are most people taking Masha Gessen's (and
Woody Allen's) argument to heart, that it's become a witch
hunt? Or are they with the Naomi Wolfs in the world, who
delight in that behaviour that was once blown off and
excused are now being understood as the micro aggressions
that keep patriarchy intact. Are they people who delight in
these ongoing exposés of how what some would call, for
example, a bad date, are actually not matter to be
normalized, but rather are replete with exercises of shaming
and assault... and it's important for us to see it exposed for
such since it's the kind of behaviour many of us have
witnessed or perhaps ourselves engaged in, within an
environment that had previously defused its importance?
It's the way we get educated, for it's close to us, not
Weinstein-serial-rapist far away. I need to know. Because
as I've argued here before, the kind of psychohistory I'm
interested in cannot be one that is defending against
understanding the profound ongoing influence trauma has
had on most of our lives, and how it has almost entirely
formed how we've constituted society. We can't be people
269

who maintain our own emotional homeostasis by finding


some group of people whose genuine injuries we get to
discount, and even make light of.
I'd still be interested in knowing if there are people on this
listserve who are appalled by Woody Allen and encouraged
to hear that many people will no longer be watching his
films, felt Franken was a sadist, serial predator engaged in
sexual assault, believe Aziz Ansari was not just a bad date
but a predator. Or does everyone believe this is a witch
hunt.
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston change) Jan 18

Are we with Naomi Wolf, or with Harold Bloom's wife


Jeanne: "Beauty Myth" Writer says Yale Blocked
Harassment Claim
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
bdagostino26 Jan
87 18

Whew! Do I agree with Patrick or do I still beat my wife?


Tough choice. I'll just have to plead the Fifth Amendment
on this. --Brian
- show quoted text -
- show quoted text -
--
<><><> 
270

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Clio's Psyche is sponsored by The Psychohistory Forum.
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Mark as complete
Judith Jan
Logue 18

Consexuality?
Patrick and All,
Like world peace, until all genders who are adult and
conscious (not inebriated) understand and are able to take
responsibility for feeling and saying yes or no about sexual
encounters - on a continuum from flirting to aggressive
physical contact, this debate will continue. Or know and
even have resources to stop predators.
And until men and women protect one another and write
and talk publicly about protctuing each other as a goal —
and especially children and disabled people of any age —
271

from drugs, alcohol or anything — from sexually


aggressive harms, we will perpetuate the trauma , then I
fear all we will do is blame, accuse and obsess on gerbil
wheels as to who did what to whom, who should do what
with whom and how to punish.
Frankly, focus on how to raise and sustain healthy sexuality
in all people would be time and effort better spent.
As someone who actually and naively believed, not just
hoped, people would improve with the insight and sexual
liberation of the 60s and 70s, I have to accept we are all
more human than otherwise.
Most of us have personal and professional “stories” that
can be put in a psychohistorical frame.
But my sense is that not many of us are fortunate enough to
have evolved in this area of living and life.
Our leaders reflect our culture and our culture reflects and
responds to our leaders.
Progress? Not so much in my 75 years on the planet.
Different yes. Better? In some ways yes. In many, no.
But we sure are able more than ever to communicate, talk,
write, film, video and interact in new ways about the
subject of sex!
Mother would be interested and analytical and have ideas
from her history (1917-2002) but Daddy (1910-1981)
would prefer another massive heart attack to talking about
sex that is “dirty.” In case you did not know, “Sex without
love is dirty!”
272

Since a young age, learning about all things sexual has


fascinated me .
I am not alone.
So, I guess
Whether the present cultural shift is a witch hunt
(traumatizing the alleged perps) or help for the traumatized
victims, so long as one is a nonpartipatory observer,
discussing it makes the obvious plain... and hopefully more
good than bad will come from it.
Thanks for thought. - provoking threads as always,
Judy L
- show quoted text -
- show quoted text -
--
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To post to this group send to:
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Clio's Psyche is sponsored by The Psychohistory Forum.
For questions visit: cliospsyche.org
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Mark as complete
273

me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston change) Jan 19

Re: Consexuality?
Thanks for the feedback, Judy. Taking responsibility for
saying yes or no is facilitated, I think, when a culture has
your back... that is, when a culture helps bulwark you to
stand up for what you really want so that a particular
situation doesn't recall you to a stance that at some level
you know you really don't want to be taking. A culture of
"no means yes," or a culture of "no doesn't really apply,
once you've agreed to be in a situation," undermines a
braver and truer stance people might be prompted to take.
Isn't blaming and accusing very much part of protecting?
#MeToo is blaming an awful lot of men -- there's a lot of
hate -- but isn't this how it inevitably feels when you've had
a chance to release what you'd been forced yourself to
contain -- all the self-hate, all the shame -- because a
culture told you they were going to totally discount the
crime against you? Not just a person but a culture, did
perpetuate a crime against you, so that they in some way
could rest easy... it is right to be enraged at this. And
helpful: it articulates for the rest of us that something was
very wrong in how were defining ostensibly innocuous
behaviour perpetrated one sex upon the other; it does so in
a more convincing way than if we turn quickly to listening
to those who prompt us to be above blame and think mutual
protection, the evolved, non-blame stuff... for it seems a
trick, a quick lure to "maturity," that gives one a queasy
feeling that it's being prompted by people who are reluctant
274

to have us really sit for long with the full experiential


reality of the degree of crimes that had gone on, and that,
once "handled," they are maybe due to be ignored, once
again. I think we need a long, long blast of empowering
anger. Afterwards, when we've recovered our truer self, it'll
be time to admit that those who perpetrate were once
perpetrated upon. Crimes repeat, as you say.
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
Judith Jan
Logue 19

Re: [cliospsyche] Consexuality?


Question, Patrick : Standing up - telling truth to power loud
and clear ... is it the same as blaming and accusing? I have
some doubt.
Little girls empowered to stand against and also tell about
bad behaviors somehow give off a message to would be
predators ... and are less attractive to them.
But seems that too few girls and boys, too, are taught how.
Shame in parents about sexuality is often transmitted - as
are healthful and responsible attitudes.
Not so sure blame and accusation fit with my idea of a
protective superego or conscience. More in the realm of a
punitive one.
Judy
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
275

me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston change) Jan 20

Re: [cliospsyche] Consexuality?


Historically, every time there is real progress in the world,
the voice blames and accuses what once was normalized
but now finally has become a crime. The first abolitionists,
the first female-right activists, animal-rights activists, way
back in the 18th-century, bringing such good into the
world, for the first time, were as I remember, hugely angry,
blaming all over the place. Is it, then, absolutely required? I
doubt it, but given the history of how progress was brought
into the world we need to be careful that in
advising/admonishing it to be less blameful we're not
actually working with the conservative forces in the world
that immediately arise to suppress hopeful movements by
suggesting there's something emotionally awry in the
protestors themselves. If in our time it's the David Frums
who carry the anti-Trump message and the Masha Gessens
who carry the ostensible ideal degree of #MeToo, both of
whom seem so "decorum" compared to some of the others,
this will in my judgment amount to, not a demonstration of
how we've evolved passed blame towards change, but
towards suppression of the progressive essence of both
movements.
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
Trevor Jan
Pederson 20

Re: [cliospsyche] Consexuality?


276

It's nice to see that you can predict the future, Patrick, and
you know your movement is the true, genuine
advancement.
What about all the times in history when seemingly
progressive movements totally backfired (i.e. the USSR,
prohibition, etc.)?
Your model of history is much too simple here, and I've
read your film reviews and know that your capable of more
than this,
Trevor
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
drwargu Jan
s 20

Re: Re: [cliospsyche] Consexuality?


Here is an interview about Trump with a
psychoanalyst with Jungian training. I thought that it
would be of interest to this group. A pdf file is
attached. Sorry but I couldn't seem to be able to paste
it
Bill

- show quoted text -


Attachments (1)
Keep Calm and Carry On - An interview w...out Donald
Trump - Chiron Publications_2.pdf
277

1005 KB View Download


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drwargu Jan
s 20

Re: Re: [cliospsyche] Consexuality?


Here is an interview about Trump with a
psychoanalyst with Jungian training. I thought that it
would be of interest to this group. A pdf file is
attached. Sorry but I couldn't seem to be able to paste
it
Bill

In a message dated 1/20/2018 7:33:35 AM US Eastern


Standard Time, pmcevoyhalston@gmail.com writes:
- show quoted text -
Attachments (1)
Keep Calm and Carry On - An interview w...out Donald
Trump - Chiron Publications_2.pdf
1005 KB View Download
Mark as complete
me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston change) Jan 20

Re: [cliospsyche] Consexuality?


Thanks for the feedback Trevor. And I really appreciate you
letting me know that you've both read and enjoyed my film
reviews. I feel greatly encouraged, and that's a measure of
my respect for you for certain. (I would be glad to write
278

film reviews and post links to them here on a regular basis,


if people don't judge this spam but something they'd like to
see me do.)
There are witch hunts. Hays Code coming in and narrowing
creativity for a generation. A super-ego, enlarged, and
spasmed out of control. Political Correctness did keep a lot
of people from expressing themselves honestly, did
encourage people to associate with a punitive force so that
they could prey on "bad boy" self-representatives that were
helplessly categorized and caged as trolls. So isn't progress
in shucking this off... finally calling what had passed as
simply the progressive voice as really the voice of a
suppressive, even perpetrating, parent?
No, it isn't, and the reasons for it are complex but maybe
can be boiled down to the fact that of the associates I know
who I consider the most emotionally evolved, the ones
whom I feel the greatest sense that they want a world where
no one is punished and where everyone fully individuates
and discovers their true selves, are with the Naomi Wolf
side of #MeToo, not the Masha Gessen side. What may
pass as society no longer letting itself be cowed by
oppressive, dictatorial movements, who view all subjects
not akin to themselves with massive suspicious, detecting
in each one of them a deep degree of deplore-alism, is
known only through feel of their language, their temper,
their countenance, as those who are opposed to a movement
which is going to make it that much harder for society to
maintain its homeostasis by making sure that some huge
group of peoples out there will experience pain and
humiliation that has no hope for redemption. It's no longer
279

okay to be racist, no longer okay to be homophobic, and


now its no longer okay for society to keep themselves from
experiencing their own childhood humiliations by making
sure that most victims of abuse out there will themselves be
targeted for censure if they make "too big a stink" about
their experiences. More and more, society isn't looking like
it's going to handle all the stuff out of our childhood that
society exists in part TO HANDLE, and if it continues,
we'll cease to be able to go on normally and "crazy" will
fully infiltrate our everyday lives.
The reason political correctness WILL eventually, though
not now, be rejected, is that -- and here's the complicated,
or remote, part -- DeMause is correct that after about two or
three decades after a period of massive sacrifice of lives
and hopes, permission can't go on in its unafflicted manner
anymore... it can continue, but only compromised. We feel
this within political correctness, but when we're rejecting it
now, unfortunately, we're not just junking the compromised
part of progressivism but progressivism itself. I'm not sure I
can demonstrate this just now. But it's my feel... the best
young people I know -- and as the NYT has discussed,
#MeToo has a generational divide -- are on the Naomi Wolf
side, and I'm worried as hell for them. We will succeed in
crushing what is actually our greatest threat -- a young
generation that will further raise Mother's ire by arguing
against Her stance that individuation must be hampered by
some means, so more and more people dance off freely into
the world rather than remained chained to her -- without
any guilt at all, for we'll simply be speaking up against a
reckless witch hunt, against activists who hate the common
280

man and woman, trying to make us believe that everything


we know to be self-evidently true -- like nature -- are
delusions we need to be cured from.
If you look at my posts I've mentioned a number of times
that there are a whole hosts of truths that I really regret
have been shut down for discussion. But my way too
exploring them is to work with people who most
profoundly understand how trauma has determined
society's course, and these people just happen to be -- I
can't deny it -- more on the "gender" side of things than on
the "nature." They would seem opposite to me, but the
sensitivity of them, the dexterity and care and intricacy of
their language, tells me they're not.
I've got work on a bit, so I can't check this over. Hopefully I
said here my best response.
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
bdagostino26 Jan
87 20

RE: Re: [cliospsyche] Consexuality?


Thank you, Bill, some good insights from Jungian
psychology in this interview. Yes, the Trickster archetype
is highly relevant to understanding Trump, and in
personality he is more like Mussolini and Stalin than Hitler.
Would that Jung himself had exercised better political
judgement in the 1930s. That gets to Patrick's point about
the need to take a stand while history is still being made
and our choices can shape the outcomes.
281

I also agree that anger (and even blame, in the sense of


directing anger at perpetrators) has an important and
legitimate place in the progressive movement. But
Aristotle’s caveat applies here: “Anybody can become
angry - that is easy, but to be angry with the right person
and to the right degree and at the right time and for the
right purpose, and in the right way - that is not within
everybody's power and is not easy.” (from the The
Nicomachean Ethics, quoted in Daniel Goleman’s
Emotional Intelligence.
Brian
bdagostino.com
917-628-8253

From: drwargus via Clio’s Psyche


[mailto:cliospsyche@googlegroups.com]
Sent: Saturday, January 20, 2018 8:16 AM
To: cliospsyche@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: Re: [cliospsyche] Consexuality?
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston change) Jan 20

Re: Re: [cliospsyche] Consexuality?


Brian, I hope you get some really involved
explorations of your recent article, especially ones that
I think you'd look forward to, where the modelling,
the science of it is examined in close detail. It wasn't
something I was up for.
282

But if you don't mind, there was another thing that


came to mind about your article, concerning phrasing.
Concerning this paragraph:
In societies that assign infant and baby care almost
exclusively to females, such as our own, the earliest
attachment figure for both boys and girls is a female. By
virtue of such infant care arrangements, these societies by
definition practice sex stereotyping, and the infant and baby
care providers are t9/12hus typically “feminine” females.
Having all internal- ized these feminine objects, boys and
girls are then subjected to differen- tial gender
socialization. Here the developmental trajectory of the
sexes diverges, with the “feminine” self-ideal taught to
girls and the “mascu- line” ideal taught to boys.
I think most people would this phrasing perfectly fine,
perfectly appropriate, but I wish they wouldn't. This is
not quite true to your theories, but here would be a
possible re-write that I wish there was more open to
being accepted:
In societies where the mothers grew up so unloved they
need their children to satisfy their own unmet needs and
therefore castigated and abandoned them when they
attempted to individuate from them, and where the fathers
weren't much interested in the children, and even hated
them for drawing attention away from them, children end
up feeling like parts or components of their mothers, a state
that can't be ended outside of dramatic and terrible means.
For boys, whether or not the society they were in currently
283

favoured or scorned masculine he-men, whether it was


intent to teach them to be like this or not, this means they'd
adopt this aggressive "Hemingwayesque" solution
regardless, and in sufficient numbers society would
immediately thereafter carry this as their norm for proper
masculine displays of self and even misleadingly appear as
the key agent in ensuring the next generation follows the
same course, ostensibly dictating to mothers their role in
childrearing, as if there was emotionally any other option
for them but to isolate their children all to themselves.
Similarly, the men might appear to be allocated a more
distant role in childrearing until later, when there was
emotionally no capacity to do anything other than that, for
the interest in the young children wasn't there, and the
mother and her abode, too greatly feared in any case.
-----------------------------
Clio’s Psyche ›

Masculinity and the #MenToo movement


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me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston change) Jan 26

Masculinity and the #MenToo movement: The Cut


Click here to Reply
me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston change) Jan 26

And also regarding worrisome aspects of contemporary


expectations of masculinity, here's my exploration of "bro"-
culture in recent films:
I don't think there is any doubt that for some time we will
see what we saw happening with the Golden Globes this
year concerning the effects of #MeToo. Without doubt, we
are going to see women, who, even if they end up bearing
characteristics we might later use, in a slightly different
climate, against them -- as slightly monstrous, or
overbearing, for example -- will pass our current smell test
of "strong, empowered women." Without doubt, these will
be the films that will win awards, and that everyone will
show their eager association with. But how will we know
that this means that as a culture, at least we ourselves have
done the deep thinking into the matter of how sexual abuse
has been tolerated and hidden, how victims have been made
out to be guilty ones, to carry, even over much a lifetime,
what is properly others' guilt, that for example John Oliver
claimed he couldn't actual hear out of Dustin Hoffman's
own claims of having done so?
Since it largely won't come from how women are portrayed
in film, perhaps what we ought to do is remind ourselves
that the #MeToo movement is as much about how everyone
285

deserves to be treated as feminism is. Neither of these


movements is about enfranchising women and ignoring any
other group, but about making sure that no one alive
anymore gets to be waylaid in life by popularly held
assumptions of how it is ostensibly okay to treat people that
has historically really meant cruelly holding back
development and crushing souls.
Thinking along these lines, we might note whether or not
there is in the developing film culture also a trend to
challenge, not how men seem permitted to treat women, but
how for example they seem permitted and encouraged to
treat one another... of what is involved in making a man
become the best man he can be. Does all that hate that used
to be allowed onto women and that we used to justify as
something they needed to learn how to handle, or to excuse
as just clumsy flirting on men's part that women were
oversensitive to, get re-allocated so that it actually inflates
the validity of the kinds of treatment that actually has shut
down many a man? Does it work to actually enhance male-
bro culture, and pass our notice, because it looks or can
pass off as evolved because it's now some man, finally this
time ostensibly suffering the kind of abuse women have
traditionally had to carry, a justified turn of events? And
might this re-allocation end up proving temporary, as a
culture that isn't as truly with #MeToo as it is pretending,
builds the scaffolding for an ostensibly justified reason to
revenge against the women that have temporarily resisted
their previous uninterrupted and ongoing efforts to make
use of them as props in which to dispel their anxieties and
thereafter dispatch them.
286

In "Three Billboards," Sam Rockwell's character, Dixon,


becomes a strong patriot to the empowered female avenger,
but it comes through his willingly letting a man whom he
could otherwise destroy, beat him into a pulp. He is not
someone who is mentally broken by the abuse, someone
whose intended plans, are actually thwarted thereby as he
proved incapable of maintaining the stoic stance through
the extreme effects of the torture, but someone whose
intentions are fulfilled through them -- a man of will.
In "Moonlight," the young man, Chiron, who is repeatedly
bullied through high school, ends up being incarcerated for
an act of physical violence -- yes. But this violence was the
successful annihilation of the very dominating man who'd
been assaulting him -- and who quite frankly, scared us --
and seems a component of his being a pleasing powerhouse
later, making it hard at some level to really believe that the
bullying was actually not in the end helpful to him: it
enabled his being able to make a final triumphant turn
against an enduring compromised state of lasting
fretfulness and fear.
"Dunkirk:" young men demonstrating that enduring
conditions of assault has worth, for it meaning
demonstrating that they were willing to endure experiences
of apocalyptic terror and helplessness... and therefore
anything at all for a country that has to have someone
willing to feel all their own compromised emotional states,
the intolerable anxieties of suspected catastrophic attack
that had come to haunt them. Counting oneself amongst the
abused for awhile has worth, for the country will laud you
for it -- you'll experience the delight of a thousand
trumpets, as a country in chorus cheers you unexpectedly as
287

heroes and chases away any shame you might have been
feeling -- and so conversely denying them an assemblage of
abused young men is bad, for it means they'll hate you for
requiring it to double-back onto them.
"Get Out," a film where conspicuously the main character,
Chris Washington, does NOT become the emasculated
attendee that represented the fate of the first abductee, but
one who after torture, ably dispatches them all, dispatches
his crazy user girlfriend, and is back amongst the one
person he can count on, his "bro"-friend Rod.
"Logan," a man deteriorated in terms of pain, but never
really someone who has to wear the humiliation of being
reduced from superhero to limo driver -- it's all a chuckle,
as it's means towards an end -- and remains throughout a
counter to the really impossible-to-consider fate: being
rendered akin to the albino "truffle-digger," who not only is
the one who dusts and cooks, and insistently brings up --
that is, nags about -- household concerns the other is
ignoring, but who turns turncoat quickly once childhood
tortures become applied to him.
"Last Jedi": the pretentious and preening, the full-of-
themselves, Finn, newly joined in a pantheon of heroes,
who's suspect for perhaps getting off on his new status
rather than keeping faith with his common-sort roots, Bo,
the cocky guy who thinks his skill means everyone should
bend to him, and that because he's special, he can bend
rules everyone else has to abide, Hux, the evil young
commander who seems to enjoy too much his being in the
spotlight, and who doesn't understand that he's just a mere
vehicle that a greater power is using, get deflated back into
"proper" measure through instances of humiliation/ridicule
288

and torture we are encouraged to take humour in. They


ostensibly needed to be taken down a few pegs; it'll be
good for them. Is this really a #MeToo film because women
in the film gain greater space? Are we sure we should let it
pass as bearing our new more evolved sensibilities, and not
actually as hosting, with its validating brutally taking down
anyone who can be set up as someone whose previous
injuries are long past worth considering and who's now just
verging on being a pretentious ass, a Trojan Horse of
retrograde sympathies?
Some would argue that the very conditions that have served
to destroy women -- environments of harassment and abuse
-- logically should be understood as doing no less to men.
And if films really are no longer for the kind of attitudes
that have been applied to women, if we're seeing reform in
the portrayal of women built out of deep consideration of
the attitudes that previously sustained them, we should be
seeing in films an acknowledgement that shaming and
humiliation turns men into the kinds of reduced subjects
that can make them prey to yet further assaults: that in
every way, it's all kinds of bad.
We should not in films find our being drawn away from
their fates, find ourselves through being able to identity
with some other stronger character in the film successfully
defending against what they were rendered into, so even as
we ostensibly are only empathizing with and regretting
their position they actually function in carrying a dreaded
fate we actually enjoy seeing ourselves distinguished from.
We should register the assaults and humiliations the male
characters have to endure as evidence as to why we need a
therapeutic and caring climate nurtured for them as well.
289

Men who are warm with one another, as heroes: micro-


effects of goodwill, building macro-change. Men as those
who are willing to do the REALLY unpopular thing, the
thing that might make them truly loathed -- acts which are
genuinely heroic but bear no signs of traditional bravado,
like acknowledging that abuse hasn't tested and bettered
you but made you someone who's actually come to enjoy
pleasing his predators (a fate that often happens), and that it
didn't come out of war, or some venture that leaves your
initial status as a man ostensibly incontestable, but
elsewhere, maybe some place humiliatingly domestic,
making you actually akin to the sad dish-washing albino
gorilla in "War for the Planet of the Apes," who, unlike his
compatriot in crime, the gargantuan gorilla Red Donkey, is
allowed no redemption at the end through "masculine"
display of awesome strength and explosive violence.
Men shown breaking ranks in terms of traditional
expectations of how men are supposed to comport
themselves that leaves them unbearably blatantly exposing
our own need for love, our own vulnerability, but not
allowed to be categorized for dismissal as pretentious, as
not-"I," but rather redeemed, so we are forced, as it is
enabled to stand out in broad daylight so we can't turn
away, to endure full memory of what had once happened to
us too -- a first step towards stepping out from being an
advocate for the oppressor, for we're with "him," to avoid
our own shame, and if we're not destroyed in forced
remembrance of it, we'll have to face up to that fact.
(Note: #MeToo can be subverted, and actually be used to
further denigrate the women whose lives are now being
somewhat recovered. I'll get to that sometime in another
290

post, as I think the means towards it are already


manifesting through certain links the are being made, in
popular culture, in film, that'll work to make them seem
egotistical -- as those who may know hurts but who don't
ostensibly don't know what real pain is -- and pretentious --
those who think society shares their victory when they're
earning the same number of millions their male compatriots
do -- and ungrateful: Paglia's, "the world women enjoy was
built out of the unregistered and unadministered, massive
physical sacrifices of working class men." As a hint, it
involves all those stories we're now hearing of women from
war-afflicted regions risking life and limb for projects
they'll never see a cent from, and, à la "Downsizing," the
downtrodden male's -- who might himself know himself to
have been a predator, and who's now ever-worried his own
time might be up -- urgent eager affiliation with them.)
----------------------
Clio’s Psyche ›

BRIAN
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arnied Jan 25
r

http://internationalpsychoanalysis.net/2018/01/22/milit
arism-machismo-and-the-regulation-of-self-image/
Arnold Richards
arnoldrichards.net
internationalpsychoanalysis.net
ipbooks.net
Click here to Reply
me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston change) Jan 25

By successfully making psychohistory more sciencey, are


we distracting ourselves from other more fundamental
problems? Brian's article does not explore the possibility
that the key reason men feel troubled by their feeling
feminine isn't because it's a highly suspect state to find
oneself in in a macho culture, but because what "feeling
feminine" really is is having experienced enveloping,
incestuous, lengthy contact with isolated and love-denied
mothers: it's feeling a victim of abuse by one's mother, a
much bigger concern that if society might seem it might
shun you because you spent quite a bit of time around your
possibly very decent mother, and so felt a bit of a traitor
(poor self-reference) to the ideal. It's rather a worse thing to
feel an object of incestuous use than to feel like you don't
properly fit a preferred social standard, which one would
think might not even amount to much at all if you didn't
have "authoritarian" parents (not yet discussed at that point
292

in the article) but actually rather splendid ones who gave


you plenty of support and love within your own particular
"pre-odipal dynamics," and, to me, much more
convincingly associated with macro things that involve
either denying millions the resources they need to survive
or squashing an equally countless number to death. (For
those who read the article, do you experience the same
sense I had that "militarism" at first looked like it would be
built entirely out of boys feeling compromised owing to
society's expectations of macho, a temporary escape from
the double-bind through loud declarative displays of pure
macho, to be repeated over and over again, but then that it
seemed as if it required the additional component of
"authoritarian parenting" to seal the deal? Once
"authoritarian parenting" gets discussed, one dips back into
the article and wonders how it all works if the mother and
father involved in socializing the children in "proper"
gender dynamics weren't authoritarian ogres but actually
sublimely wonderful and kind people, simply doing as
society has indoctrinated them into... which seemed
nevertheless sufficient to cause huge macro disorders like
war.) I remember Masterson saying that the science was in
regarding the importance of the mother in the formation of
the personality disorders, but considered that the lack of
impact of this fact on other researchers "may be [because
they are] under the sway of the almost universal tendency
to hold on to the positive image of the 'mother.'" Here he
echoes deMause's complaint against Clio, by the by.
I do think that some readers might be in for a surprise when
they hear Brian account that militarism cannot be reduced
293

to individual psychology ("Militarism only exists in


relation to states and large-scale political-economic
processes, and cannot be reduced to the psychology of
individuals and their psychobiographies in families and
small groups"), for it appears the kind of statement that
lends weight to the preferred conception of societies being
a wholly different beast from individuals -- and that they do
all the important "causing" -- only to find that what he
actually does mean for us to understand IS ACTUALLY
THAT individual psychology determines such grand and
lofty things like domestic and foreign policy goals;
determines the macro. So militarism not being reduced to
individual psychology, doesn't mean aggregate childrearing
-- individual psychology -- doesn't mostly determine
whether or not your nation functions as a great angry he-
man beast, as it pounds other smaller countries to
smithereens. And whatever this means, and however that
works, somehow "psychology of individuals and their
psychobiographies in families and small groups" seems to
stand a bit taller after the article, and the "states and large-
scale political-economic processes," a bit more pulled back;
less stately and "serious."
Helping make this conception bear fruit, might actually be
of more use to psychohistory (and to society... and to
people) than if Brian succeeds in making the discipline
function more as a science. It might indeed help our
science: Does this mean that psychohistory reduces all
of its subject matter to “psychological motives?” Yes.
Only a psyche can have a motive, a group cannot, a
factory cannot, a gun cannot. Is psychohistory, then,
294

“history reduced to merely personal motives?” Yes


again. All motives are personal, though the “merely” is
a denial of their importance. And the charge of
“reductionism,” often leveled against psychohistory, is
simply misplaced, since it is not a failing but a
scientific goal to reduce seemingly complex and
disparate processes to simpler and more basic forces
and principles. MI other sciences long ago learned
that the universe of available “facts” is near infinite;
only historians still believe they can learn something
just by conti-nuing to pile up more and more narrative
“facts.”
Anyway, that's my go. Anyone else?
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
bdagostino2687 Jan 25

RE: [cliospsyche] Re: BRIAN


Arnie, thanks very much for posting my article on
International Psychoanalysis.
Patrick, I have never purported to reduce
psychohistory to science (in the sense of
measurement, quantitative data, and statistical
hypothesis testing). Like Freud, I believe it is
potentially a science, but not ONLY a science. I am
not challenging you and other humanists to abandon
the humanities and become scientists; psychohistory
has traditionally been and always will be part of the
humanities. It is nothing if not an interdisciplinary
295

enterprise, and that includes neuroscience,


Perceptual Control Theory, Terror Management
Theory, and much more. Psychohistory cannot be
reduced to any one of these approaches, or to any
humanistic approach, given its interdisciplinary (or
transdisciplinary?) character. I adopted perceptual
control theory in this article and connected
psychoanalytic ideas to a theory of how the brain may
be organized, but that doesn’t preclude humanistic
approaches, and in fact I also appropriated Nancy
Chodorow’s The Reproduction of Mothering:
Psychoanalysis and the Sociology of Gender, which
comes out of the humanistic tradition. Why can’t we
walk and chew gum? Why can’t things be “both/and”
rather than “either/or”?
I should not have to, and will not, apologize for
designing survey research, collecting data, and doing
a statistical analysis, especially in an academic
discussion group. Lloyd deMause liked to say that
psychohistory is a science, but he never did any of
these things or any other kind of systematic, empirical
research and limited himself to arm chair speculation,
which he equated, by fiat, with “science.” You also
seem to be more comfortable with speculation than
with reasoning about data. So be it. This group and
the field of psychohistory is big enough for all of us!
You raise some interesting and important substantive
issues that I don’t have time to respond to right now
because I’m juggling a lot of other balls. But thanks
296

for taking the time to respond, and I plan to comment


further when my time permits.
On the question of whether and in what ways
psychohistory can be considered a science, I also
refer members of this group to a pair of articles in
Psychohistory Newsthat distilled some of our previous
conversations on this listserv: “How Much Does Child
Rearing Really Impact History?” (Spring 2015) and “Is
Psychohistory a Science?” (Winter 2015); these and
other back-issues of the newsletter can be
downloaded from:
http://www.psychohistory.us/archive.php
Brian
bdagostino.com
917-628-8253

From: cliospsyche@googlegroups.com
[mailto:cliospsyche@googlegroups.com] On Behalf
Of Patrick McEvoy-Halston
Sent: Thursday, January 25, 2018 1:19 PM
To: Clio’s Psyche <cliospsyche@googlegroups.com>
Subject: [cliospsyche] Re: BRIAN
- show quoted text -
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To post to this group send to:
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me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston change) Jan 26

Re: [cliospsyche] Re: BRIAN


"You also seem to be more comfortable with
speculation than with reasoning about data."
This is no doubt sincerely meant, but speaking of
erroneously reinforcing norms of masculinity, socially
reinforced fit self-perception, doesn't this fit type?
What I thought I was doing was pointing out that if
what we are studying is the effects of our mothers
upon us, we can't just produce scientific studies and
presume we'll have an audience that will naturally
cowtow to whatever the results so long as they're
valid. We need to "speculate" as to whether most of
our audience is still lorded over by their predatory
terrifying maternal alters, and if this seems likely,
298

work, perhaps through attention to our rhetoric, to


nevertheless speak to the courage in a person to
resist Her and not find some way to disown the
findings if one sensed she wasn't liking the direction
the results of studies would seem to portend.
The angry maternal alter, by the way, would have little
trouble with your experiments, for it's patriarchal
culture and authoritarianism (which in common
parlance, common understanding, is currently safely
identified with the patriarchal father, with patriarchy,
rather the pre-oedipal mother, no matter how much
you point out that it could be either mom or dad who
was the authoritarian -- an allowance which actually
grants nothing) that gets targeted. Changing child-
rearing norms, your advice, scares no one, because it
makes people seem simply under tutelage of what
they were taught. If it was phrased differently, like
saying, we need to provide more social support for
mothers because, one, they deserve it, and two,
because it will mean they are much less likely to end
up changing the brain structures of their boys so they
carry, not "maternal introjects," but Terrifying Mother
altars within them, which will later drive them to want
to war against "guilty" vulnerable children in other
countries, then we'd of had to contend with some part
of ourselves informing us that, no matter the proof of
it, "you accept this study and you'll be rejected of my
love forever." My sense is that would quail acceptance
of the study, with people ostensibly finding all sorts of
299

flaws built in to the study which show it up as


fraudulent, even if they're aren't any, or they're minor.
We have to make sure we have the superior scientists
we need, before we dig into data, is my sense. (We
must test this.) You don't just offer scientific proof to
medieval magicians and alchemists; you create the
scientists first. Try re-writing this, yes, difficult article in
actually a more substantially less of a people-pleasing
way -- the suggestion that we need to learn to be
more comfortable with androgyny, is another of these
that goes down so easy -- and we might have gotten
to whether we've got a larger fight on our hands than
securing proof.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Clio's Psyche #6
Clio’s Psyche ›

moral panics + collective trauma


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Ben 10/31/1
7

To the limited extent that I'm even familiar with it, one
thing I find disagreeable about demausian
psychohistory is the apparent lack of treatment of
people as social actors. People are all acted on
psychologically as individuals by the conditions they
face in whatever period of history, and this in turn
influences their behaviour as individuals in society.
Well, if the Trump phenomenon hasn't rammed it into
our consciousnesses well enough, we very often don't
act as individuals, but as members of groups, tribes,
nation-states, corporate entities.
So as social beings we have a social dimension to our
makeup. I hesitate to argue we have a social
consciousness; we have a social unconsciouness
more like, a kind of collective psychopathy or
collective psychosis insofar as we are quite often
subject to mass phenomena such as groupthink and
moral panics. An integrated, critical social
consciousness is extremely rate.
Anyway given this social / group / collective / herd
dimension to our makeup, am just wondering if this
also means we experience collective trauma, ie not as
individuals but as groups. Take 9/11 for example, the
trauma of being in and around that, or of watching it
first hand if you were in New York or Washington, or
of watching it on television if you were anywhere else
301

in the world, must have been colossal. But again it


wasn't an individual experience, because there were
thousands of people in the WTC towers at the time,
and millions more within line of sight, and hundreds of
millions more watching the saturation news coverage.
While that's the case not one person has ever really
had a collective opportunity to heal, because the
entire period since has been subject to moral panic.
This reopens the traumatic wounds created by those
attacks again and again in the name of spreading fear
of terrorism, which is then used as a form of crisis
leverage to justify wars of aggression whose actual
purposes are massively at odds with their stated
purposes -- eg maintain control of the oil supply,
pursue geopolitical hegemony in the middle east,
buttress the US-Saudi Arabia-Israel petrodollar nexus,
suppress pan-arabism, provide keynesian stimulus to
the US economy through government subsidies to the
private sector in the form of military contracts, save
capitalism with perpetual war economy, etc etc etc.
Not being able to heal, society goes batshit and
eventually you wind up with Mr Grab Em in the Pussy
with access to the nuclear codes. I think there are
other reasons that help to account for Trump, such as
his capacity to play on popular disaffection with
neoliberalism and globalism which is totally
understandable, proposing exactly the wrong
solutions, and the utter pissweakness pardon French
of the Democratic Party, your candidate of choice
being so eyewateringly corrupt that half the country
302

votes for the other guy purely to stick it to the


Goldman Sachs sockpuppet who comes out with Der
Sturmer type shit about superpredators. But surely
none of this would have been possible without a
decade and a half of scare propaganda.
There are other examples as well, the Jewish
experience in the holocaust seems another one. Did
the survivors properly heal, recognising the collective
trauma they had all suffered, or are they reliving the
trauma endlessly and taking it out on the surrounding
Palestinian population?
Anyway definitely keen to hear your thoughts on this
one.
Ben
----------------------------
Clio’s Psyche ›

When Rose McGowen appears in Asgard


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me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston change) 11/5/1
7

A psychohistorical review of "Thor: Ragnarok":


When Rose McGowen appears in Asgard (blog post at The
Invisible Counterpoint)
When Rose McGowen appears in Asgard (posted at
Letterboxd.com, the major film review site on the web)
Note: many spoilers.
---------------------
Clio’s Psyche ›

Interesting article about Mary Trump


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david 11/7/1
7
304

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/11/03/
mary-macleod-trump-donald-trump-mother-biography-
mom-immigrant-scotland-215779
Click here to Reply
me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston change) 11/8/1
7

Thanks for posting David. The article would be one to


expand Trump's appeal, is my guess. How many
Americans are always proclaiming their mothers the
greatest things in the world, while admitting they don't
see them enough, don't return home enough... and
sheepishly admitting to themselves that 97 seconds in
their company can sometimes be about their max limit
too? There's a bit there in the article that buttresses
thinking of him as someone who experienced growth
panic at the rapprochement age, around 2 yrs old,
associating his first forays into the world on his own
with the deliberate abandonment of him by his
mother. I appreciated that.
We can leave it to psychohistorians to explore how
Trump has projected his mother onto "America," and
people, who want to do the same, sense this in him.
He thereby, in standing up against all the bad children
who've wandered too far away from their forlorn
mothers -- that is, to too individuated liberals -- and for
collective self-sacrifice to the mother nation,
guarantees himself a huge mass of Americans who
305

want him to be successful. Trump, donned in his


mother's hair, has become her great protector, her
knight. And for such, he can only feel righteous, for he
knows he's not doing it for himself... he's being
selfless, and he knows not a single critic has tried to
charge him as bad for being, truly too freely giving of
himself, at his own expense.
On Tuesday, November 7, 2017 at 9:41:36 PM UTC-
5, david wrote:

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/11/03/
mary-macleod-trump-donald-trump-mother-biography-
mom-immigrant-scotland-215779
--------------------
Clio’s Psyche ›

Re: [cliospsyche] Digest for


cliospsyche@googlegroups.com - 1 update in 1
topic
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Paul 11/8/
Elovitz 17

Thanks David,
This is a good article. I think Trump's life from 2 1/2-5 is a
crucial period in the formation of his personality and I
would love to know more about what happened.
Best,
Paul
Paul H. Elovitz, PhD, Historian, Professor, Director of
the Psychohistory Forum, and Editor, Clio's Psyche
On Wed, Nov 8, 2017 at 12:22 AM,
<cliospsyche@googlegroups.com> wrote:
cliospsyche@googlegroups.c Google Groups
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· Interesting article about Mary Trump - 1 Update
Interesting article about Mary Trump

"David Lotto" <dlotto@nycap.rr.com>: Nov 07


09:41PM -0500
https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/1
1/03/mary-macleod-trump-donald-trump-mother-
biography-mom-immigrant-scotland-215779

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Clio’s Psyche ›

Novel Idea!?Fanatical Moderates - No Labels


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Judith Logue 11/9/1
7

Called themselves fanatical moderates...lol!?


308

Senators Susan Collins (R) and Joe Manchin (D) are


starting a “No Labels” movement. To institutionalize
Respect and Common Ground
Click here to Reply
me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston change) 11/9/1
7

Fits the times... ostensibly, absence-of-egotism


movement; we're-all-in-this-together movement. Very
1930s folk. It's the thing amongst students too... to
remove all the labels off their clothes. I just did it
recently with my knapsack. Cheers.
http://www.independent.co.uk/life-
style/fashion/cutting-brand-logos-off-clothing-hiding-
lacoste-ralph-lauren-fashion-trend-abercrombie-and-
fitch-a7500666.html
-----------------
Clio’s Psyche ›

Where will metoo# lead to in a time of Chris


Hedges populism rather than Hillary Clinton
individualism and self-ambition?
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me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston change) 11/9/1
7

This is going to be hard thought to express, but here


goes:
Most are assuming that the massive power of #metoo
right now means we've finally become more
progressive. I'm not sure that's the only reason for the
timing of this, though, this mass demolition of
opponents, of predators, who successfully cowed
people for decade after decade. I think in play is also
a public's sense that this is all about licentiousness,
about people using their power and revelling in it
(picture Weinstein right now; his gloating), and believe
it or not I think this could hurt progressives more than
it will conservatives.
I think people assess that when liberals partake in
"spoils" it's all done for their own enjoyment, their own
sick pleasure; but when conservatives do so it's
somehow not the same thing, for they assess
conservatives as those who fundamentally have
forsaken themselves the right to self-individualize, to
reach heights never reached before, to glory on top of
fallen bodies to themselves be the ones who grasp at
a crimson flag, who touch the very hand of "god" and
reach even beyond. Rather, they assess them, they
310

understand them, as those who began the climb up


but were immediately cowed away from further doing
so, and thus they conserve, halt, stop, rather than
progress, for they are broken; are stewards of the
broken, and count amongst the miserable. Liberals
reach for the new, the forbidden, the apple in the
garden -- and they are understood as essentially
sinful for this: sex, drugs, rock and roll. Conservatives
never go there, and so their behaviour, however
egregious, tastes differently to us; can be surprisingly
easy to pass over when nothing makes us more
anxious than "immodest," "spoiled" behaviour.
At the end of this we may find that liberalism loses.
For being for full individual self-realization, for what is
ostensibly a quintessentially American ambition, an
American glory -- the undeterred right to happiness --
still arouses guilt in almost all of us, creates chaos in
our minds, and this can be "addressed" in projecting
our own sinfulness into others and punishing them for
it. Many powerful liberals, simply for being possessed
of something genuinely virtuous -- an unwillingness to
deter their own self-growth -- may be guilty of a
surprising degree of predatory behaviour... it might be
lopsided on the liberal side, at least amongst the
powerful. If they are all outed, a culture may decide
that the lesson to be learned is that we must be more
modest in our ambitions -- for look what belief in
intrinsic human goodness rather than sinfulness leads
to when its lead propagandists arrange things so they
go unsupervised, unchecked.
-------------------------
311

Clio’s Psyche ›

The reactionaries double down


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Trevor 11/11/
Pederson 17

The populism that the right fostered and that Trump


harnessed isn’t strong enough for Republicans to retain
power.
Next step: moral panic

Fox News Opinion: Our culture is experiencing a hostile


takeover. We must stop rejecting God if we ever want it to
end
The recent Texas church shooting, the terrorist driving a
truck through a crowd in New York City, and the Las Vegas
massacre may seem shocking - but to anyone who has been
paying attention, they should not.
312

Our culture is undergoing a hostile takeover. American


society used to be governed by Judeo-Christian do-unto-
others morals. But we have drifted (been pushed, really)
into a hedonistic YOLO (You Only Live Once)cultural
morass. The upshot of this is a distinct lack of respect for
human life in general, as well as a pervasive, insidious
obsession with self.
This is the "me" generation, the "selfie" culture, the
"entitlement" mentality. And what is entitlement, except the
narcissistic assumption of deserving and demanding what is
not earned?
Our cultural crisis is exhibited by egotistic
multimillionaires demonstrating on football fields against
the police instead of seeking solutions to rampant inner-city
violence; coddled young people demanding free birth
control and socialized health care; and even the major
media ignoring the corruption trial of Sen. Robert
Menendez, D-N.J.
Another example of the crisis is the lack of attention the
mainstream media are paying to the Clintons' collusion to
sell Russia 20 percent of U.S. uranium.
We've replaced our moral imperative to do what's rightwith
a personal obsession ofwhat's in it for ME?
But no amount of self-love can fill the God-shaped hole in
someone's heart. We are created and called to love each
other, and no self-absorbed spa treatment or Instagram post
can supplant our innate yearning for love from God.
The spirit of our time is gradually revealing in our culture a
subversive, resolute, and increasing hatred toward God and
Christianity, and an irresistible temptation toward evil that
betrays man's innate desire for power: a longing to be God.
313

The Harvey Weinsteins of the world (and they are myriad,


both in Hollywood and out) seek to force others to do their
will, much like they envision a capricious God would be, if
they believed in such a being.
It is much easier, however, to deny God than to
acknowledge him. God, being good, condemns evil-doers.
So, like a child throwing a tantrum in a toy store, some
people must deny the existence of God and his inherent
goodness, and lord their power over weaker people. "I can
make you watch me shower."
Society, still trading in our inherited moral capital, might
verbally condemn the behavior. But that's just lip-service,
because we've succumbed to the YOLO moral relativism
and forgotten our metric for right and wrong.
"I forbid you to see me as a sex object," screamed the gal in
the pink hat! And those who claim they wanted to expose
the bully - and they all say that now - confess they were too
afraid of retribution. Translation: I like my money and
position more than I believe in right and wrong.
"Followers" on social media beat morals every day of the
week in YOLO land.
When a righteous dad wanted to expose a high-powered
elitist climbing in bed with youngsters, the Hollywood
leftists and atheists sided with the pedophile over the
conservative. Status is more important than virtue in YOLO
land.
The growing YOLO culture seeks to silence the stalwart
dissent of facts. Feelings are more important than truth in
YOLO land.
Threatened by disagreement and privilege, yelling triumphs
over logic. The YOLO culture seeks not content of
314

character, but equality of outcome. Hatred is so much easier


than forgiveness.
Self-destructive loathing and jealousy stems from the
hypocrisy that started in kindergarten, when children are
taught: You are an accident of nature, and survival of the
fittest is the law of the land. Now, don't bully.
And so, they distrust the dark abyss of irreligion, even as
they embrace it.
Attacks against the only one who preached forgiveness and
grace, goodness and love - and any who support him - will
increase: He challenges the YOLO worldview taught in
public school.
As it becomes more and more costly to be an adherent of
Christianity, with stories of the persecution of bakers,
florists, teachers, and T-shirt makers splashing across
newspapers every day, the truth gathers defenders.
Though meant to intimidate us, these stories do the
opposite. They galvanize Christians to stand firm in the
light of understanding, and the peace that surpasses it.
The people who still trade in the Judeo-Christian ethic of
"love one another" and "life has value" are not called
simply to defend their position, but to fight for it, before the
overwhelming tide of YOLO selfishness inundates us with
the intolerance and bigotry integral to the religion of self.
The YOLO culture divides people against the each other.
To survive and prosper as a nation, we must reaffirm our
Judeo-Christian heritage, indivisible, under God. Because if
you only live once, it's survival of the fittest, and it's all
about you, then laws are meaningless.
315

A recovering international fashion model who adores shoes,


Sam Sorbo produced the film "Let There Be Light,"
opening October 27th.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or
redistributed.
©2017 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved.
Sent from my iPhone
------------------
Clio’s Psyche ›

What if the king gets toppled?: Obama's own


relationships with women
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me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston change) 11/17/1
7

Ken Fuchsman has said some interesting things about


Obama's relationship with his mother -- of how he felt
mostly abandoned by her -- that strikes me as rather
pertinent right now. One of the reasons #metoo is emerging
316

right now is not only because we've evolved but because


this is a populist moment where victims, where violence
against women, where used, spurned women imagined
together as an angry, chasing, annihilating horde, can be
used to discredit arenas of liberal power -- Hollywood,
Washington -- and as well the previous reigning societal
"philosophy" -- neoliberalism -- with any possible defence
of why the massive horrible prevalence, totally absconded
from view. (There are actually a number of them, all
hopelessly politically incorrect/vile: one, as Ann Douglas
argues in her book on the 1920s, "Terrible Honesty,"
perhaps in certain historical periods creativity requires the
presence of the Terrifying Father -- a predator, that is -- to
back down the felt presence of intrusive, smothering
mothers on our lives [regarding the '20s, the Victorian
Titaness]. In our own period, one was the dictator producer,
enabled by the idea that if you want to have resourcefulness
and creativity and true love of Art in our time, brash,
bullysome HE had to be at the centre of it. Two, we may
delegate both Washington and Hollywood to serve out
group fantasy needs to see unvarnished, unapologetic
pursuit of happiness both absolutely fulfilled AND
completely rendered. Emotionally unhealthy people in both
places might have picked up on our obvious cuing of them
and moved as we "told" them to and both enabled and
destroyed people. Three, society in general might in the late
'70s entered a more problematic period where social growth
[for beginning after so many postwar years of seeming
justified to seem spoiled] could no longer be shared by all
-- a rising tide of boats -- but granted some while
completely withheld to others, so that we felt considerable
317

sacrifices of devastated and lost lives were being


sufficiently supplied to a hungry maternal maw, thereby
keeping her from rising and rendering from us, all of our
growth... she was occupied, and temporarily sated.
Actresses being those who still must "put out" on a casting
couch, who are not generally associated with higher
education, and who represent the immodest, immoderate,
working class wish "to be a star!," could not maintain
themselves as sufficiently distinct from the designated out-
groups in society... the occupations that if you held them
you would not like educated professionals find yourself
garnering increased respect these last forty years of
information age competency and with-itness, but made to
seem as deserving whatever sign of disregard you might
want to administer to them -- restaurant workers, retail... all
low-wage earning jobs, for instance -- for already being in
the way of the future; a pest whose future depends on luck,
random accident, rather than on guarantees... on having a
diligent manner of applying yourself; on having a PhD.) As
such, if there is any way that Fuchsman is right about
Obama we need to know if it is possible that Obama
inflicted revenge on other women for his mother's own
crime of abandoning him, that we may have totally
bleached from our view in order to make our association
with him an absolute guarantee of our virtue during a time
of our own prospering.
For if he too's got "a history" too, that’s what populists will
be on the hunt for, ultimately. It would discredit our age,
everything about it being unquestionable in its virtue for it
being so sane and civilized and decent while its opponents
318

rage senselessly, mindlessly on, and leave a lot of the great


defenders of it essentially dismantled from further speaking
sane opposition to spreading regressive populist
movements across the world, for their not realizing that part
of their self-balance, their equilibrium, their ability to
respond with intelligence and vigor and quick wit, rested on
a certain particular essential figure retaining himself as an
absolute emblem of virtue. I've seen it happen, a spark of
it... when the Gore marriage of two brilliant, empowered
people who love one another in a fully reciprocal way...
devoted to the end of time, was revealed to be myth, the
leading feminist of her generation and possibly -- along
with Solnit -- of our time, NYMagazine's Rebecca Traister,
was left as if struck by a blow. I think she might have
realized for a minute that if a curtain came up over certain
other things she might have assumed, not though knowing
quite what they might be at that moment, she wasn't beyond
losing all grip; going insane.
Incidentally, I may have mentioned it in another post but I'll
say it again here: if anyone is wondering how powerful
men will find their way out of this fix, as more of their rank
get culled daily, it's to sacrifice their existence as
independent, self-actualized adults and agree in way some
to become boys dependent on their mothers again. That's
what Zaretsky argues happened in the 1930s/40s: people
surrendered their 1920s adulthood and regressed to become
Depression/WarYears boys loyal to their mother nations.
By doing so, they'll know they've basically placed
themselves in the same space conservatives are in (wonder
why we aren't as interested in them as "bad boy" predators,
319

even as they're worse? here's why--)... who are each one of


them those whose childrearing was insufficient to ever
allow them to part ways with their parents' will and fully
become individuated adults (and therefore press for
progress), and will feel that what had earned their being
punished -- that is, presumption, personal enjoyment,
"spoiling"... all held as evidence of sinfulness from children
of all parenting "styles" other than the most recent one --
was no longer any part of their being. They won't FEEL
guilty, for they know their minds have placed them in a
state where they will sacrifice everything truly worthy
about life to please and serve somebody else, and we won't
see them anymore as guilty either. The gaze will pass them
over... the gaze connected with populism and all its
insistence that people aren't individuated and distinct but
part of an indistinct mass, will pass them over. And all it
will of cost them is the loss of their own individuality, as
quite permanently they will have sacrificed their own self-
will and will do now as their mother country directs.
They'll become part of the mass of Bernie Bros., or some
such, very much willing to junk their careers, if you asked
them to. Watch for it. It'll be real: not a PR move -- their
own brains will be behind it, willing the most interesting
parts of themselves to be forever nudged out of prime spot,
replaced by complete selflessness. (Want to know why the
1930s felt like they deserved a Roosevelt... why in a sense
Obama, contra Fuchsman, could never have gone
Roosevelt?: because along with his provocative reforms
came a mass who abstained from the individuality we've
resourcefully found ways to insist on, again and again and
again. [Incidentally, about Roosevelt... do you know about
320

his love for the dictator-love film dedicated to him,


"Gabriel Over the White House"?])

Click here to Reply


Ken Fuchsman 11/17/1
7

Patrick,
One of the things Obama learned from his mother
was to control his emotions, not to express anger or
discontent. It has often made him a self-contained
individual, one who often keeps his distance from
others. You seem to me to make a leap from
Obama's feeling abandoned by his mother to that he
might have wanted to seek revenge on women.
There are certainly many other characteristic ways
Obama or anyone else who felt abandoned might
respond to being abandoned. Obama searched for
and found in Michelle Robinson someone who was
rooted where his mother was not, and whom he felt
would not abandon him. As a father, what he has
also been intent on doing is providing being there for
his daughters as he did not feel happened for him
with his parents. You should read some of what he
says about his being a father. It also seems to me
you are asking a question about Obama and women,
321

but do no indicate what evidence might be needed to


find out if your suspicion is warranted or off base. I
suggest before you make further statements on
Obama and women, you might read some of the good
sources on Obama. You should read Janny Scott's A
Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack
Obama's Mother. The other is David Marannis's
Barack Obama: The Story. In psychohistory,it is
always important to have sufficient evidence at hand
before making statements.
Ken . . .
- show quoted text -
- show quoted text -

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me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston change) 11/18/1
7

Ken,
I do make one hell of a leap... and I have no idea if he
has "a history," only that he mostly certainly could
have and we would have ignored it, even if it was
considerable. But in psychohistory perhaps what one
ought to do is begin to loosen the possibility of
actually undertaking an exploration, for someone,
anyone, actually doing it, that we might have shielded
ourselves off of for our own equilibrium. You yourself
did research, but the Clio Psyche' reaction to your
reveal of his abandonment by his mother was initiated
by your own willingness to accept the idea. You
admire Obama, but you didn't need him... you didn't
need his relationship with his mother to be exactly
one way in order for you to do so (though do you
need his relationship with Michelle to be a certain
way?... fits a bit too neat. Traister did with the Gores).
323

The way in which people reacted to your research


suggested to me that some others might however
require prompting, a preparation of the way, before
they could even begin to on their own find evidence
contra their preferred estimation of him, or accept it if
others did so. If this is the case then first you need to
prepare people to begin to be sure, in this period
where we were clearly weighted to assume Obama as
an upstanding gentleman and then mostly leave off
him -- a perfect guardian against all our identity
troubles -- that we actually knew who he was, that we
actually wanted to know who he was, before you
would even undertake to do the research. A
hegemonic estimation of him needs unsettling first;
otherwise "proof" won't be able to nestle in anywhere,
for the membrane they're trying to stick to is still steel
and sure.
So this is my prompt: #metoo might not only be
getting its impetus because this is finally a time for
victims, for feminism, for progressive emergence, but
because populists know that the previous age of
liberalism was undeniably a predatorial one (and I
think if was necessarily so, for societal growth always
being "problematic," cruel, after a few decades of
postwar permission has finally ended... the
deMausian idea/conception of stages). The two
seemed necessarily connected: there would be
ongoing advancement in our recognition of the
humanity of previously stigmatized peoples, but there
would also be enlarged permission in how you could
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stigmatize, how you could destroy, OTHER different


sorts of people. There would be an increasing mass of
people who come to know themselves as possessed
of an individuated, professional identity, with money
and status to effect great change in the world as well
as to enjoy their own lives immensely, and to flesh our
their own developing identity (consumerism is good!),
but there would also be a large mass of people who
would know only disenfranchisement and instability
and who would find that not only was no one was
listening, that no one cared, but they made sport of
their discombobulated condition -- see the showcased
liberal in "Manchester by the Sea," for an example.
Populists, who whether of the Chris Hedges/bernie
bros. sense or rightwing Breibart sense, know that the
professional liberal class no longer controls the
narrative anymore... there is massive dissent within,
as well as outside. And they know that they have
worked to deprive the populace of any way of
accepting their "rule" -- as Zaretsky has argued,
feminists and homosexuality advocacy groups have
worked to ensure Freud is out, and so the only
explanation for adverse behaviour is simply evil -- if
they can be made to be shown to be a particular kind
of way... that is, the way they are beginning to seem
now, as brutal repeat mass victimizers of women AND
of children, all while having a whirl of fun. And it
occurs to them, right now, that as they watch former
supporters of the Clintons, former makers of films
which upheld identity politics liberalism rather than
populism (Weinstein), former politicians of the
325

Clintonian mold, former liberal comedians, go down,


that they could shortcut to the ultimate takedown of a
whole political era if they took down only one
particular person during this #metoo awakening.
If we are to continue functioning as effective
psychohistorical commenters on this very dangerous
era, we need to think deep on the requirements we
may have made on Obama that might have shielded
us from doing certain kinds of research on him,
shielded away others from doing certain kinds of
research on him. David Mannanis... does he strike us
as the kind of person who would find evidence that
would completely betray his own preferred image of
Obama? If there were reports by women that Obama
had abused them, is this something he would have
made sure to note, or would he have elided it. If he,
like pretty much everyone on the left, would have
elided it -- his brain not allowed him to see it -- the
women who experienced these harassments would
have taken note -- here is about our best defender,
and even he wouldn't see it! -- and never said a
further word. They knew they would be destroyed if
they ever said anything, as an angry mob went at
them for trying to disturb the perfect solution to their
troubled existence as liberals individuating almost
admittedly over other people's backs. If the likes of
the wonderful, self-aware Gloria Steinem could have
seen Clinton(!) as not truly a victimizer of women, we
should ourselves caution people when advising them
to take note of previous respected biographers of
326

Obama; what they found. Without having read their


works, it strikes me as very likely they would not have
seen what a generation of #metoo activists would now
be able to see, if Obama has any kind of a similar
history with women as these other powerful men who
felt abandoned by their mothers are proving to have
had. (Also, just as a note: I've never believed the
Obamas were more emotionally healthy than the
Clintons were. This not by research but just by my
sense of them. I think the Clintons came out of more
nurturing backgrounds, yet Bill's, truly wonderful Bill's,
was adverse enough for it to have likely lead to his
raping women and destroying them.)
- show quoted text -
me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston change) 11/19/1
7

And for example, are we prepared for this about Elie


Wiesel. Commentary's reaction suggests, maybe no:
I know I will be vilified for this, but Listman’s tale is
hard to believe. She not only describes behavior on
Wiesel’s part that no one, in his half-century as a
major world figure, has ever even whispered about;
she seems to know he thought she was religious and
was underage and would therefore never report his
offense against her. How could she know what he had
thought, what she had looked like to him? The fact
she is free to advance these wild speculations as
though they were truth impeaches her credibility.
327

https://medium.com/@jblistman/when-i-was-nineteen-
years-old-elie-wiesel-grabbed-my-ass-10370829c4bd
- show quoted text -
- show quoted text -
----------------------------
--
Clio’s Psyche ›

Some technological determinism


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Trevor Pederson 11/21/1
7

How the computer revolution is deepening America's


partisan divide
6:18 AM EST November 21, 2017
Add the computer and communications revolution to
the list of fundamental changes that are widening the
political divide between red and blue America.
A revealing new Brookings Institution study shows
that the thriving metropolitan areas at the vanguard of
328

the transition to the highly digital, post-industrial


economy flocked toward Hillary Clinton in last fall's
presidential election, while Donald Trump dominated
the places largely left behind in that shift.
Clinton won preponderant majorities in the
communities where the highest share of workers
perform jobs that require intensive use of
computerized technology — most of them larger
cities, many along the two coasts. Trump
overwhelmed her in the mostly smaller interior places
that haven't attracted nearly as many well-paying,
information-savvy jobs, according to figures provided
by the Brookings Institution's Metropolitan Policy
Program.
Based on Brookings' data, CNN has analyzed the
election results for all 536 federal statistical areas,
including the 382 metropolitan areas, and the 154
non-metropolitan areas, which comprise all of the
remaining counties not encompassed in any of the
metros.
Clinton won 18 of the 20 metropolitan areas where
the largest share of employees work in jobs that
require high levels of digital skill, and 36 of the top 50.
But Trump won a steadily increasing share of
communities that ranked lower in the share of high-
digital employment. He carried five times as many
communities as Clinton did among the areas that
ranked outside the top 200 for high-digital jobs.
"The ones at the top are ... profiting from the current
[economic] order of the successful internationalist,
cosmopolitan, export-oriented, high-tech metropolitan
329

centers," says Mark Muro, the Metropolitan Policy


Program's director of policy and a co-author with three
colleagues of the new study. "The other places see
these changes as more a challenge and certainly a
force of pain and transition, and some of them feel
they have been losers in the face of this technology."
Transformation vs. restoration
This stark economic pattern reinforces the central
cultural and demographic fault lines already
separating the parties. In elections from Congress to
the White House, Democrats are consistently drawing
the most support from what I've called the coalition of
transformation: the heavily urbanized alignment of
minorities, the millennial generation and white-collar
whites generally most optimistic about the changes
remaking America's demography, culture and
economy. Meanwhile, Republicans are amassing
commanding majorities among the blue-collar, older,
evangelical and non-urban whites generally most
uneasy about all of those changes — what I've
termed the coalition of restoration.
The challenge for Democrats is that, as the
opportunities ignited by the digital revolution
concentrate in fewer "superstar cities" like San
Francisco, Seattle and Boston, more places feel
excluded than included in this economic
transformation. The challenge for Republicans,
particularly in the Trump era, is that the party's
agenda is increasingly isolating it from the growing,
racially diverse, post-industrial and globally integrated
communities that have emerged as the nation's most
330

dynamic engines of economic expansion and


innovation. In essence, the GOP is trading a stronger
hand in the communities that are losing ground
economically for a weaker one in those that are
propelling the nation's growth — an exchange that
rarely proved sustainable for political parties in the
past.
Participation in the computer and communications
revolution that is upending the economy largely
follows the borderline between the competing political
coalitions. It both parallels and reinforces the class
inversion that has seen Republicans gain ground
among working-class whites since the 1960s, while
Democrats have grown more competitive among
whites holding four-year college degrees or more.
The Brookings study creatively uses a long-standing
federal survey called the Occupation Information
Network that provides detailed data on Americans'
experiences at work. From that data, the study
tracked how heavily workers in 545 occupations
(covering 90% of the workforce) use computerized
technology of all sorts on the job.
A changing workforce
With those results, the study broke the workforce into
three categories: those whose jobs required high
levels of digital skill (professions such as software
developers and financial managers), medium levels
(ranging from lawyers to automotive service
technicians) and low levels (security guards and
construction workers.)
331

From 2002 to 2016, the study found, the share of all


jobs requiring the highest level of digital skill soared
from about one-in-20 to nearly one-in-four, while the
share requiring medium digital skills increased from
about four-in-10 to nearly half. With digital demands
infusing so many jobs, the study found that since
2002 virtually all of the nation's metropolitan areas
have seen an increase in the overall level of digital
skill in their local employment.
But, more important, the study found that the jobs that
require the highest level of digital skill, and that
generally also pay the most, are concentrating in
fewer places. The communities that had generated
the most highly digital jobs around 2000 — places
such as San Jose, Washington, Austin, Boston,
Raleigh, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Seattle and
Madison, Wisconsin — have added them much faster
in the years since than the places with the smallest
share of such jobs then, such as Riverside and
Fresno, California, or Youngstown, Ohio.
That separation is fueling economic polarization,
because the jobs that require high levels of digital
expertise now pay far more ($73,000 annually) than
those that require only medium ($48,000 annually) or
low ($30,000 annually) skills. What's more, since
2010, average annual wages for high-skill digital jobs
have increased over twice as fast as those for the
medium-skill jobs — while wages at the lower end
have actually declined by 0.2% annually. The result is
that the metropolitan areas with the highest share of
digital skills also now rank the highest in wages and
332

wage growth — and are pulling farther away from


those lagging in the digital transition.
These centers of digital innovation are driving an
increasing share of the nation's economic output.
Since 2002, the 25 metropolitan areas with the
greatest share of high-digital jobs have increased
their share of the nation's total economic output from
24% to 34%, and their share of total employment from
slightly less than 21% to over 28%.
"Though there is stress, the places in the vanguard
are succeeding," says Muro. "Their problems are
those of growth, rather than its absence, and they are
confident in their futures."
And those are precisely the places where Democrats
now run best.
Where Clinton won
In the 20 metropolitan areas that ranked the highest in
jobs requiring top levels of digital skills, those jobs
account for at least 27% of all employment, Brookings
found. In that top 20, the only two that Clinton didn't
win were somewhat anomalous: Huntsville, Alabama
(where a large NASA installation is located) and
Lexington Park, Maryland (which includes a naval
base). The remaining areas in the top 20 that she
carried represented the who's who of New Economy
superstars including San Jose and San Francisco in
California; Denver and Boulder in Colorado; Raleigh
and Durham in North Carolina; and Seattle, Austin,
Washington, DC, and Boston.
Clinton also won 18 of the next 30 metros that ranked
best for high-digital employment, all places where
333

such jobs accounted for about one-fourth of the total.


That list included university towns such as Madison,
Wisconsin; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Corvallis, Oregon;
and Columbus, Ohio, as well as such big urban
centers as New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and San
Diego. Trump won 11 of these (including Bloomington,
Boise and Tampa) and they tied in one.
Muro said the cities with the greatest digital
opportunities — particularly those on the very top of
the list — share several characteristics that now also
overlap with a tendency to support Democrats. "They
have high college-degree attainment; they often are
coastal; they have proven to be attractive to
millennials," he said. "They have high amenities and
had initially high levels of earlier [generations] of
information technology activity, so they became
centers of wave after wave of subsequent
technologies. So it's very much a case of the
technological rich getting richer."
Trump's message resonated in less digital areas
The needle tilts increasingly toward Trump in
communities where the digital revolution hasn't
advanced as far. In the next 50 metro areas, high-
digital jobs accounted for 22-24% of total
employment. Among those, Trump won 26, compared
with 22 for Clinton and two ties. On this list, Clinton
generally won the largest places, including
Philadelphia, Miami, Chicago and San Antonio, while
Trump's strength emerges in midsized and smaller
metropolitan areas ranging from Indianapolis,
334

Nashville and Dayton to Charleston, West Virginia,


and Peoria, Illinois.
Lower down, the balance shifts lopsidedly to Trump.
High digital jobs accounted for between 19-21% of the
employment in the next 100 communities; Trump won
69 of them and Clinton just 29 (with two ties). Trump's
wins in this category included places like Greenville,
South Carolina; Midland, Texas; Fargo, North Dakota;
and Green Bay, Wisconsin.
After that, as the list shifts toward smaller places
rooted in manufacturing, resource extraction or
agriculture, Trump dominated. High-digital jobs
accounted for 18% or less of employment in the
remaining 336 metro and non-metropolitan areas:
Trump won 279 of them and Clinton just 55 (with two
more ties). These included such blue-collar Trump
strongholds as Youngstown, Ohio; Erie, Pennsylvania;
and Roanoke, Virginia.
Many aspects of Trump's agenda — such as his calls
to reduce legal immigration and his retreat from free
trade deals like the Trans Pacific Partnership —
elevate the priorities of the less digital places over
those driving the transition. That tilt is also clearly
evident in the GOP tax plan moving through
Congress, which would increase taxes on graduate
students and homeowners in the most expensive real
estate markets, particularly in blue states — a list that
largely overlaps with the digital high achievers.
These economic positions reinforce the distance
between the GOP and these places, particularly in the
Trump era, over cultural and racially tinged issues. As
335

the digital revolution proceeds, that could increasingly


place Republicans in the same difficult position as
Democrats were in the second half of the 19th
century, when the party championed the agrarian
South and West against the rapidly industrializing
North and Midwest,, which had emerged as the
powerful piston of economic growth. Behind that
alignment of economic and political forces the GOP
held the White House for all but eight of the 52 years
from 1860 to 1912.
America is now so closely divided between the parties
that such an extended imbalance isn't likely to occur
again. But with the same communities now either
experiencing — or being excluded from — not only
demographic and cultural but also economic change,
the nation appears locked into an era of sustained
political turbulence that pits what America has been
against what it is becoming.
© 2017 Cable News Network, Inc. A Time Warner
Company. All Rights Reserved.
Sent from my iPhone
Click here to Reply
me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston change) 11/21/1
7

Psychoclass division leads to tech division. People


out of families that impart on their kids that if they
grow they are worthy of apocalyptic punishment, don't
thrive in the new environment. This is primary. We
could literally foist thriving jobs on them, terrific
336

prosperity, and they'd still vote to annihilate it...


knowing exactly what they are doing.
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
Trevor Pederson 11/21/1
7

Re: [cliospsyche] Re: Some technological


determinism
I agree that there are strong "conservative" elements
that keep some children attached to the
class/traditions of their parents, but this is also an
issue of town vs. country and the opportunities that
surround one based on the 'accidents of birth.'
Whether the country folk would want to join the digital
class or not there aren't many opportunities outside of
the major centers. Moreover, there are many digitally
savvy people from small places and I don't
necessarily see them as having the best upbringing.
Often they are nerds and its out of the failures of their
child rearing that they attach to things from outside of
it.

- show quoted text -


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me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston change) 11/21/1
7

Re: [cliospsyche] Re: Some technological


determinism
The only thing they're trying to conserve is the ability
to not be devoured by their mothers for having the
temerity to individuate. But still, what you're
articulating here, to me, elides the fact that one of the
principle stories over the last 40 yrs has been that of
liberal minded people (i.e., those of higher
psychoclass) leaving small towns to find themselves
in the like of coastal cities. Haven't we just seen a
enormous amount of places made into what Lloyd
articulates as psychogenic cul-de-sacs, owing to this?
338

Those that are into tech for autism (escape) purposes


aren't really the digital people this article is
addressing... gamer gate people aren't usually the
ones finding themselves working at
facebook/apple/google. And if we could expand the
opportunities in small towns by a gigantic margin,
we'd still find ourselves dismayed that they're
somehow using the tech to inhibit or destroy a society
bent on ongoing legitimate growth... we'd have just
made small American towns into very able Russian
bots. Congratulations! Town vs. city... does not feed
into psychoanalytic probing, but of commonplace
psychological assumptions. Digital divides, economic
divides = commonplace. Give more money and more
opportunities... like really give it, and voila! Not so: a
lot of well-off people voted for Trump.
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
Trevor Pederson 11/21/1
7

Re: [cliospsyche] Re: Some technological


determinism
Not true Patrick
There are many examples of how this connection to
the class of the parent shows up from the parents
indifference to the child. It's not all about anxious
moms who use their children as security blankets or
tiger moms who invest their narcissism in their kids:
339

One patient, Sarah, brings up how she missed her midterm


because her son was sick and the professor wouldn’t let her
take the exam at a different time. He also wouldn’t let her
other assignments soak up what the exam was worth for her
grade. She had taken this class twice before and failed it,
this would be the third time. I ask her if she could get a
note from the hospital and she said yes. I tell her that she
wasn’t being treated fairly and she could either ask the
professor about this in person or go to the dean. Sarah isn’t
sure at first. She brings up worries about coming across as
“rude” to the professor. Next session she begins by talking
about how her boss scheduled a training for her during time
she needs to study for her finals. She reports that she tried
to tell her that she needed to study but she says her boss
told her that work needed to be her priority and that she,
herself, had been in college and worked at the same time,
and did just fine. Sarah says she agreed to work, but as she
talks about it, she shows frustration and angrily scoffs that
school was her priority and not the “stupid job.” I ask her
about talking to her boss and letting her know school is her
priority and that she needs to study and not waste a lot of
time and money on a failed class (or one with a low grade).
Sarah again expresses that this seems “rude” and that she
feels a resistance to saying something, but knows that she
should. She then reports that she didn’t talk to the professor
yet either.
Instead of “coaching” her, I ask her what would happen if
she failed the course for a third time, and got a bad grade in
the other course because of the training for her job. Sarah
imagines that she gets frustrated with things and then drops
340

out of college and doesn’t go on to become a nurse (as she


wants to do). I ask her what kind of life she would have.
She says she would have just a “normal, bum life” at a job
she doesn’t like that doesn’t pay well. I ask for clarification
about what “bum life” means and she says she’ll be
“miserable, not have any money, not have a nice home, and
no cool stuff” (she didn’t say this all at once. I constructed
this list from all the things she said). I ask her to turn these
into other-statements, about someone else from her past,
and who comes to her mind (i.e. “you are miserable, you
have a bum life, you have no money or cool stuff”). She
reports that her mother comes to mind and talks about how
her mother has been an addict and hasn’t really had a
comfortable or stable life. I ask, “how does it feel if you
say, I don’t deserve to have a better life than my mom?”
Sarah says it doesn’t feel true, but makes a face as she says
it. I clarify that people are made up of many different
feelings and asks her if it feels true for a part of her. She
agrees that it does and says “a little part of me feels bad for
my mom.” She discusses how she’s “looked down on her”
for a long time. She talks about how she would have liked
her mother to have a good life so she could have been her
“idol” and shown her how to have one too. She complains
about her grandmother who raised her and how she “never
proved anything” to client and was never her idol. She says
that she doesn’t look up to anyone. She returns to talking
about her mother, and as she does I notice that she often
starts and then has to restart her sentences and that she’s
making slips that show she is talking as if she is her mother
or saying something about her mother that is really about
her. She catches herself and corrects herself, but I use this
341

as an opportunity to say that client sometimes feels like she


should be the idol for others and like she’s become her own
idol and taken the place of her mother. Sarah acknowledges
this and brings up her desire to have a relationship with a
“real man” and gets into some issues with her boyfriend.
In a future session, I ask her to return to her mother and talk
more about her ‘bum life.” Sarah recounts how her mother
would show up at her grandmother’s make promises and
leave. She dwells on a particular memory of how she got to
live with her mother for a few months and her mother
brought home a man and she walked in on them having sex,
and yelled at her mother, and how her mother got angry
with her and locked her in her room. Sarah gets in touch
with strong anger. I encourage her to say what she would
have liked to say to her mother and she swears at her
profusely. After this Sarah begins to feel some remorse. She
begins to bring up how her mother had been really hurt by
her father cheating on her and leaving her, and how she
began to deal with this by drinking and sleeping with men.
She begins to reprocess her mother as being more human
and weak, and how by sending her to live with her
grandmother, her mother was doing what was best for
Sarah. In the session that follows, she reports that she
called her mother for the first time in years and apologized
to her. She establishes a relationship with her mother and
also becomes more focused on her school work. She also
reports that she has a cleaner house and feels more
productive there and at work.
342

I disagree that liberals are necessarily of a higher


class. I hold the Republican party and Fox news in
very low esteem but I think one can be a conservative
and have very important and valid points to make in a
political dialogue.
It's funny to me that you elide all the technological
changes that have allowed people to become so
mobile.
I'm a psychoanalyst in my approach to psychology but
I'm not a dogmatist in its application to culture or
politics.
There's a mania that some can have for the latent
content of a dream for example, but experience has
shown me that there is much of value in the manifest
content too.
I'm fine with being commonplace sometimes,
Trevor
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
Trevor Pederson 11/21/1
7

Re: [cliospsyche] Re: Some technological


determinism
on a different note,
I'm sad to see that the left will probably lose Al
Franken.
343

Like Anthony Weiner, he was a Democrat with balls


(no pun) who would really question people and point
out hypocrisy.
The Republicans never let the Democrats keep
anyone like that, and the Democrats often would
rather turn on their own then get angry and push
back.
If there was a fox news of the left, there would be
such a powerful, and mostly truthful, outrage
machine...

- show quoted text -


Mark as complete
me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston change) 11/21/1
7

Re: [cliospsyche] Re: Some technological


determinism
I'm happy to see Franken go, if he goes. I'm tired of
this past tradition where if you're someone doing
powerful things for Democratic causes, we'll overlook
it if you were a predator to women. Guys like this
cause humiliations which last for years. Time to go.
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
Trevor Pederson 11/21/1
7
344

Re: [cliospsyche] Re: Some technological


determinism
I disagree.
A guy who grabs a boob or butt has never shown up
in any work with a woman I have done.
Rape and real assault has, of course.
Grabbing like this is not appropriate, and shouldn’t be
viewed as so, but he’s not a monster.
You should become a therapist Patrick and see these
things for yourself.

Sent from my iPhone


- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
bdagostino2687 11/21/1
7

RE: [cliospsyche] Re: Some technological


determinism
Based on what has come out so far on Franken, his
conduct is reprehensible and unacceptable but needs
to be distinguished from seriously predatory behavior.
Grabbing another adult’s butt in a one-time encounter
is a serious violation, but a person who exploits a
difference in power arising from age or authority to
satisfy his sexual or psychological needs at the
weaker person’s expense is engaged in a significantly
345

more serious violation and this greater gravity is


generally recognized by the law.
Brian
bdagostino.com
917-628-8253

From: cliospsyche@googlegroups.com
[mailto:cliospsyche@googlegroups.com] On Behalf
Of Trevor Pederson
Sent: Tuesday, November 21, 2017 7:56 PM
To: cliospsyche@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: [cliospsyche] Re: Some technological
determinism
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston change) 11/22/1
7

Re: [cliospsyche] Re: Some technological


determinism
About the not being a monster bit... numbers 4 and 5.
And one is a charming story about him doing his firm
butt-grasp thing and then asking her to go the
bathroom with him, which is almost as charming as
his doing the boob grab thing to a sleeping woman,
exhausted after working to provide moral support to
troopers, and thereafter ensuring she'd learn of how
346

she'd been understood only as a mockery of a


person.

And this human anomaly should have visited a 
psychologist, so she could be on record as an actual human 
possibility: I felt violated all over again. Embarrassed.
Belittled. Humiliated.
How dare anyone grab my breasts like this and think
it’s funny?
I told my husband everything that happened and
showed him the picture.
I wanted to shout my story to the world with a
megaphone to anyone who would listen, but even as
angry as I was, I was worried about the potential
backlash and damage going public might have on my
career as a broadcaster.
“He came at me, put his hand on the back of my
head, mashed his lips against mine and aggressively
stuck his tongue in my mouth,” she wrote.
“I immediately pushed him away with both of my
hands against his chest and told him if he ever did
that to me again I wouldn’t be so nice about it the next
time,” Tweeden wrote. “I walked away. All I could think
about was getting to a bathroom as fast as possible to
rinse the taste of him out of my mouth.”
“I felt disgusted and violated,” she added.
No dear, you didn't, for Trevor Pederson the
psychologist has confirmed that never in his history
has any client ever felt all that bad about some guy
347

assaulting them, unless they'd had their clothes torn


off and been full-on raped.
Adios, Al Franken.
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston change) 11/22/1
7

Re: [cliospsyche] Re: Some technological


determinism
This person too reminds me of exactly the kind of person 
who would never visit a psychologist for what happened to 
her, owing... not to psychologists' tendency to 
automatically belittle such things, but to it being 
objectively no big thing really ­­ not "real" assault. (And 
think of her clear hysteria at guessing that Franken would 
use his advantages over her [including her colour!] if she 
ever tattled on him, to make her feel even worse than she 
already did.)

The second woman, who said she was groped at a 
fundraiser, told HuffPost it took place in the fall of 2008 at 
the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. She was excited 
about attending the event and meeting someone she wanted
to support.
“I had never attended anything like that,” she said.
She and her friends found themselves introduced to him.
348

“I shook his hand, and he put his arm around my waist and 
held it there,” the second woman said. “Then he moved it 
lower and cupped my butt.”
“I was completely mortified,” she added.
In order to escape the situation, the woman excused herself 
to go to the bathroom. At that point, she said, Franken 
leaned in and suggested that he accompany her. She 
grabbed her friend and fled to the bathroom without him.
The second woman told several people ― including one of 
the reporters for this story, Zachary Roth ― about the 
incident some years ago, but didn’t want it reported then. 
She said she didn’t tell anyone at the time of the incident 
because inappropriate behavior from men was not that 
unusual to her or her friends.
“Sexual harassment happens so often, you have to learn 
how to move on,” she said, describing her thinking at the 
time.
Several other factors also left her feeling powerless.
“I felt like I didn’t have a voice,” she said. “This man had 
all of the power, all of the authority. In addition, he is a 
white man and I am a woman of color. I was 21 years old. 
And I was afraid that he would use all of those privileges to
discredit me, to make me feel even smaller than I already 
felt.”
Today, she said, she feels more confident, in part thanks to 
the flood of women who have come forward over the last 
349

month to share stories of sexual harassment by powerful 
men.
“I couldn’t see all these other women come forward and not
walk the walk myself,” she said. “I wanted my report to be 
a way for other women to say, ‘Yes, that happened to me 
and I don’t have to be afraid.’”
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
bdagostino2687 11/22/1
7

RE: [cliospsyche] Re: Some technological


determinism
Patrick, only a week ago or so you were expressing
anxiety that the avalanche of public denunciations of
sexual misconduct in high places would adversely
impact liberalism. That seemed like “growth panic” to
me. Now that a liberal politician has actually been
discovered to have engaged in sexual impropriety,
you seem to be on your high horse about what a
horrible person he is, how he should be driven out of
public life, and how anyone who wants to make a
distinction between what Franken did and rape is
being somehow calloused or protective of sexual
abuse. I don’t understand what is going on here.
Franken is going to be investigated by the Senate
Ethics Committee and the Republicans are going to
throw everything at him that they possibly can.
Unless anything more serious comes to light than
350

what has come to light so far, they will not find


grounds for removing him from office. But apparently
if you had your druthers, he’d be out on the street.
What is this about?
Brian
bdagostino.com
917-628-8253

From: cliospsyche@googlegroups.com
[mailto:cliospsyche@googlegroups.com] On Behalf
Of Patrick McEvoy-Halston
Sent: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 9:25 PM
To: Clio’s Psyche <cliospsyche@googlegroups.com>
Subject: Re: [cliospsyche] Re: Some technological
determinism
This person too reminds me of exactly the kind of
person who would never visit a psychologist for what
happened to her, owing... not to psychologists'
tendency to automatically belittle such things, but to it
being objectively no big thing really -- not "real"
assault. (And think of her clear hysteria at guessing
that Franken would use his advantages over her
[including her colour!] if she ever tattled on him, to
make her feel even worse than she already did.)
- show quoted text -
- show quoted text -
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
351

Trevor Pederson 11/22/1


7

Re: [cliospsyche] Re: Some technological


determinism
He’s thin skinned Brian, that is what’s going on.
He’ll jump on 2 anonymous claims and turn them into
two felony charges.
He will say that women who were groped will avoid
psychologists to bolster his claim, when the spirit of
the metoo movement is based on the truth that there
is likely not a female who hasn’t had to deal with a
creepy guy.
How many years in prison should Franken get for the
lifelong trauma he caused these women?
Sent from my iPhone
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
Alan Mohl 11/23/1
7

Re: [cliospsyche] Re: Some technological


determinism
In the area of sexual predatory behavior, the
difference is that when caught , the liberals apologize
and the conservatives attack the victims for lying. I
guess you can call it Trumpspeak.
Allan
352

- show quoted text -


- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
Joel Markowitz 11/23/1
7

OK. Let’s be psychohistorians.


Gatherer-savenger-hunter Era: “Pre-oedipal Era":
cooperative, peaceful, anti-competitive-
aggressive and anti-competitive-sexual ; Group-
serving ...
Pagan Era: “Phallic/oedipal Era” : War as Natural
Selection; patriarchal; hierarchal; competitive-
aggressive and competitive-sexual; Self-serving;
the suppression of women and female values ...
Christian Era: “Latent-Oedipal Era”: War as
Natural Selection; patriarchal; hierarchal; God-
serving; Nationalism; the more-intensive
suppression of women (thousands burned as
witches— in part to intimidate others) …
Late Christian Era: Anti— hierarchal: Early
democratic- Youth Rebellion + Women’s
Liberation & Feminism + Ethnicity is respectable
+ anti-bias + Religious Freedom + Political
Correctness …..
Clio is now focused on the still-evolving Feminism
and Political Correctness periods … and on what
353

we should do with the guys who are caught in the


cross-hairs.
Natural selection tends to be brutal, however
necessary. Their bad luck. They are not in the
right place at the right time …
Many are grateful that WE weren’t in those cross-
hairs during the last century.
Joel
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
Judith Logue 11/23/1
7

Some Technological Determinism, continued


Joel,
Ya think there is chance equal rights and especially in
the sensuality/sexuality arena might ever result in
equal responsibility?
I hoped for it in the tumultuous seventies, but it was a
pipe dream.
Ya think progressives will ever catch on that medical
privacy — (instead of “abortion rights”) vs forced
birthing (instead of “right to life”) — are part of an Age
of Integrity??
In a Post -Christian Era ? With an ERA??
Dream on, right?
354

Happy Thanksgiving to all,


😍🦃😍
Judy
Zero expectations. But “Imagine?”
Judy
On Nov 23, 2017, at 3:55 PM, Joel Markowitz
<markowitzjoel@gmail.com> wrote:
OK. Let’s be psychohistorians.
Gatherer-savenger-hunter Era: “Pre-oedipal Era":
cooperative, peaceful, anti-competitive-
aggressive and anti-competitive-sexual ; Group-
serving ...
Pagan Era: “Phallic/oedipal Era” : War as Natural
Selection; patriarchal; hierarchal; competitive-
aggressive and competitive-sexual; Self-serving;
the suppression of women and female values ...
Christian Era: “Latent-Oedipal Era”: War as
Natural Selection; patriarchal; hierarchal; God-
serving; Nationalism; the more-intensive
suppression of women (thousands burned as
witches— in part to intimidate others) …
Late Christian Era: Anti— hierarchal: Early
democratic- Youth Rebellion + Women’s
Liberation & Feminism + Ethnicity is respectable
355

+ anti-bias + Religious Freedom + Political


Correctness …..
Clio is now focused on the still-evolving Feminism
and Political Correctness periods … and on what
we should do with the guys who are caught in the
cross-hairs.
Natural selection tends to be brutal, however
necessary. Their bad luck. They are not in the
right place at the right time …
Many are grateful that WE weren’t in those cross-
hairs during the last century.
Joel
On Nov 23, 2017, at 2:31 PM, 'Alan Mohl' via Clio’s
Psyche <cliospsyche@googlegroups.com> wrote:
In the area of sexual predatory behavior, the
difference is that when caught , the liberals apologize
and the conservatives attack the victims for lying. I
guess you can call it Trumpspeak.
Allan
-----Original Message-----
From: bdagostino2687
<bdagostino2687@gmail.com>
To: cliospsyche <cliospsyche@googlegroups.com>
Sent: Wed, Nov 22, 2017 9:56 pm
Subject: RE: [cliospsyche] Re: Some technological
determinism
356

Patrick, only a week ago or so you were expressing


anxiety that the avalanche of public denunciations of
sexual misconduct in high places would adversely
impact liberalism. That seemed like “growth panic” to
me. Now that a liberal politician has actually been
discovered to have engaged in sexual impropriety,
you seem to be on your high horse about what a
horrible person he is, how he should be driven out of
public life, and how anyone who wants to make a
distinction between what Franken did and rape is
being somehow calloused or protective of sexual
abuse. I don’t understand what is going on here.
Franken is going to be investigated by the Senate
Ethics Committee and the Republicans are going to
throw everything at him that they possibly can.
Unless anything more serious comes to light than
what has come to light so far, they will not find
grounds for removing him from office. But apparently
if you had your druthers, he’d be out on the street.
What is this about?
Brian
bdagostino.com
917-628-8253

Mark as complete
Joel Markowitz 11/24/1
7
357

Re: [cliospsyche] Some Technological


Determinism, continued
Judith,
You’re in too much of a hurry.
Our thinking is still largely shaped by Christian
Era formulations. It’s still “latent-oedipal”;
preadolescent. Mature Psychosexual
Development is still decades away.
My prior post is based on applying Freud’s Libido
Theory— in which Freud explained the
developmental stages of children. His theories on
a boy’s development apply accurately to
COLLECTIVE development.
Today our groups are demonstrating HINTS of
mature development. But most of the world still
ignores those hints. There’s very little response
to this thinking. Even psychohistory journals
don’t want to deal with them.
Joel
- show quoted text -
- show quoted text -
--
<><><> 
To post to this group send to:
cliospsyche@googlegroups.com
358

Clio's Psyche is sponsored by The Psychohistory


Forum. For questions visit: cliospsyche.org
Digest is available on request and sends no more
than 1 email a day.
Home: http://groups.google.com/group/cliospsyche
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Mark as complete
Judith Logue 11/24/1
7

How are our journals ignoring hints of mature


development ?
Joel,
Please explain.
Judy
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
Ken Fuchsman 11/24/1
7
359

Re: [cliospsyche] How are our journals ignoring


hints of mature development ?
Joel,
I too am not sure what you mean that we are still
largely in the Christian era.
I have four questions for you:
1. How is modern science with its emphasis on
experimentation, reliability, statistics, validity a product
of the Christian era?
2. How is the notion of a representative government
a product of Christianity?
3. Explain how technology from the steam engine to
the smart phone is also derived from the Christian era
4. How is Freudian psychoanalysis an outgrowth of
the Christian era?
Thanks.
Ken

- show quoted text -


Mark as complete
Joel Markowitz 11/24/1
7

Re: [cliospsyche] How are our journals ignoring


hints of mature development ?
Ken,
360

All the progress you cite— and more— has


evolved WITHIN the Christian Era context. As the
“seeds” of Early Mature development. But
they’ve hardly begun to flower.
For the MORE FUNDAMENTAL current of
Christian Era thinking, refer to Martin Luther.
“Man is irremediably sinful.
"Were God just, he would damn us all. But He is
merciful— so He will spare a few pf us (or words
to that effect).”
Christian Era DIRECTIVES were for us to repress
our forbidden (sexual and oedipal) fantasies;
suppress our forbidden impulses;
seek purity through the unconflicted worship of
God and obedience to His laws. We were taught
self-denigration; severe self-criticism; humility.
Science was fought tooth and nail (and still is-==
more than most realize) ……….
All was part of a NECESSARY period
(preadolescence = LATENT-oedipal development)
because it suppressed and replaced Paganism.
(Which was simply repeating over 15 thousand
years.)
And some of our REPRESSED SEXUAL AND
OEDIPAL impulses and fantasies SUBLIMATED
361

into science, and into the remarkable progress of


this period.
But some “sublimated into” (i.e., generated) the
massive neurosis we have suffered.
Joel
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston change) 11/24/1
7

Re: [cliospsyche] Re: Some technological


determinism
The spirit of metoo isn't about creepy guys, but
criminal predators... there's a massive conception
switch. Old Hollywood thought Weinstein creepy, even
when it was common knowledge he was a rapist...
used power over young people to force sex. So in any
forum the term should no longer carry authority... its
history is of it enabling predators. Al Franken isn't
being revealed merely as creepy (... he was just
creepy? well then, stop being such a wimp/thin-
skinned/sensitive and brush him off = old think), but
as a predator, whose behaviour would already be
judged criminal in many states. The philosophy of
deMausian psychohistory is that through time things
that become unacceptable and criminalized started off
as everyday, essentially expected, occurrences;
abuse we criminalize now was once accepted
behaviour: but it was always a big deal. I'm amazed
362

that anyone could read Tweeden's account and think,


no biggie there... wonder what this is all about?... the
problem must be with people who have a problem.
This isn't any longer 1990 and the Clintons... we've
entered a new era where thought isn't first on what
could happen to someone's career, but on what
occurred to the people that were humiliated and used.
You want to know all about that, how that felt, then
you think on what to do with the abuser. Personally I
don't believe in jails or prisons, but certainly on reform
centres for the mentally sick.
I'm also fed up with the way he has responded. To
gain my respect he would have admitted
automatically that what he did to Tweeden wasn't
really a once-only. He would not have said he was a
guy who liked to hug, either... I'm just a hugger, and
sometimes I get that might be misunderstood by
people. He would have tried to explain the truth,
regardless of what it would lead to, which is that
though he deserves credit for being someone whose
inclination is to find Republican policies revolting and
to supports bills which will empower the American
public, very much including women, he has used this
long period where powerful Democrat men who
support women's issues have been given a pass on
their own predatory behaviour towards women, to in
fact do.... what all it will come out that he has done.
He should have said that this is a moment where what
woman need are men who will not show that the
preferred response of anyone who has been a
363

predator remains to damage-control... and then only if


the first option of not confessing to anything, of hiding,
proves unavailable, but to lift the full redemption of
their victims as genuinely harmed people to the
forefront and to work away at means of portraying
their activity that benefits from the old sense of it as
no big deal; basically the way things are... so get a
grip already. You don't do this by making it so that
they'll have to fight through your cover as a "hugger"
(his latest foray) or a guy who sometimes makes
inappropriate jokes... even as it might prove to work
for him politically. You admit that you intended to
humiliate Tweeden. That you intended to make
women you knew felt honoured to be by your side feel
like spoils of the powerful: like people who if they
raised a stir would find out what happens to people
whom the Democratic establishment count amongst
their most promising members if they speak up.
Brian, you're a populist. This whole past age has been
about a few people really benefiting while the
humiliations of those out of the limelight were ignored,
and it makes you very angry. Why isn't your instant
reaction to Franken one where finally people who
could never of had their voice heard before are finally
feeling safe and empowered to rise up and do so
now? Why the calm? I just don't feel this from you, but
rather your wondering what the heck this uprising is
about, anyway... everything's being taken care of. Out
of the kind of reaction you're having #metoo would
never have happened. It's about people finding their
364

way automatically into the victims, and not being able


to pull away, in a way they just weren't before. Why in
this case aren't you more in the victims? Delighted to
know they won't have to suppress anymore... carry
the humiliation? You seem so much so when it's
people vs. rich. There's no, relax, there's a tribunal
going on about that now, in that.
I said last week that what the powerful did to create
victims was inevitable during the last period. I want
people to understand why this was so... and I see
means of encouraging some people to actually think
on it in their having to come to grips with the fact that
so many of the heroes they have loved could at the
same time have been horrifying predators. They'll feel
like it's right they are criminalized, but also wonder
how it could be that men who are still clearly so good
could at the same time be so brutal. Some will just fall
for platitudes about human nature, but some will work
further on the conundrum. I also think that deMausian
psychohistorical understanding goes nowhere out a
generation that is able to stifle accounts of victims'
pain, especially that of the weak. If you're responsive
to that... and #metoo suggests people are becoming
that, then to me you're a person who could see a
parent victimizing their children and not immediately
find a way to rationalize it so that your own mother
and father don't have the finger too squarely pointed
at them, and also not to any longer decide that the
collective effects of such abuse couldn't be so gross
and massive to mean the shaping of the entirety of a
365

subsequent society. You would see the effects of poor


childrearing for what it is, and almost immediately
decide that the form society takes of course owes to
that. My response is about caught sight of a more
self-aware and grown-up world, even as, yes, I think it
inevitable that populists will win out over progressives
for the next ten years or so and will use whatever they
can get to shape our past liberal society, which
couldn't ever not be an empowering but also a
predatory one, so that it seems only a corrupt
"Weimar" that requires cleansing. I hope here I've
thought enough about your challenge. It is possible I
haven't.
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
Trevor Pederson 11/24/1
7

Re: [cliospsyche] Re: Some technological


determinism

On Nov 24, 2017, at 4:03 PM, Patrick McEvoy-


Halston <pmcevoyhalston@gmail.com> wrote:
>The spirit of metoo isn't about creepy guys, but
criminal predators... there's a massive conception
switch.
Here's how it is listed on the wiki page
366

"Me Too" (or "#MeToo", with local alternatives in other


languages) spread virally as a two-word hashtag used
on social media in October 2017 to denounce sexual
assault and harassment, in the wake of sexual
misconduct allegationsagainst Harvey Weinstein.[1][2][3]
The phrase, long used in this sense by social activist
Tarana Burke, was popularized by actress Alyssa
Milano, who encouraged women to tweet it to
publicize experiences to demonstrate the widespread
nature of misogynistic behavior.[4][5] ....numerous people
either used the "Me Too" hashtag or referenced it
when discussing their experiences with inappropriate
behavior of a sexual nature (including but not limited
to harassment, assault, etc.) or gender discrimination.
When I've seen it used by women personally, the
majority of them are telling stories about creepy guys.
The common person isn't giving it an elaborate
sociological meaning.
>Old Hollywood thought Weinstein creepy, even when
it was common knowledge he was a rapist... used
power over young people to force sex. So in any
>forum the term should no longer carry authority... its
history is of it enabling predators.
There's a big difference between being a creep and
being a rapist. I'm not sure about this alleged history
of whitewashing a rapist as a mere creep.
>Al Franken isn't being revealed merely as creepy (...
he was just creepy? well then, stop being such a
367

wimp/thin-skinned/sensitive and brush him off = old


>think), but as a predator, whose behaviour would
already be judged criminal in many states.
I'm not supporting Franken and saying the women
should just brush it off. I expect people to rightly
distance themselves from him socially, as opposed to
inviting him to a party and telling any women there to
suck it up.
>The philosophy of deMausian psychohistory is that
through time things that become unacceptable and
criminalized started off as everyday, essentially
>expected, occurrences; abuse we criminalize now
was once accepted behaviour: but it was always a big
deal. I'm amazed that anyone could read >Tweeden's
account and think, no biggie there... wonder what this
is all about?... the problem must be with people who
have a problem. This isn't any >longer 1990 and the
Clintons... we've entered a new era where thought
isn't first on what could happen to someone's career,
but on what occurred to the >people that were
humiliated and used. You want to know all about that,
how that felt, then you think on what to do with the
abuser. Personally I don't >believe in jails or prisons,
but certainly on reform centres for the mentally sick.
Why are you twisting things, everyone said it was
wrong, the only difference is that you think it should
be prosecuted criminally and Franken should lose his
career while some disagree.
368

Compared to many politicians who had affairs I


thought it was strange that Weiner lost his seat for
merely sexting. I was glad to see that he was going to
come back in the race for mayor, but then he showed
himself to be without self-control and insincere in
apology and so he lost his career.
Analogously, Bill O Reilly will pay millions to settle
sexual harassment charges (and deny them to the
public) and will be returning to Fox news, but then you
have a Franken who never serially harassed,
threatened, etc., but was a minor celebrity who was
hoping he could turn some of his fame into sex or
doing adolescent humor on a woman who is asleep.
Very different to me.
>I'm also fed up with the way he has responded. To
gain my respect he would have admitted
automatically that what he did to Tweeden wasn't
really a once-only. He would not have said he was a
guy who liked to hug, either... I'm just a hugger, and
sometimes I get that might be misunderstood by
people. He would have tried to explain the truth,
regardless of what it would lead to, which is that
though he deserves credit for being someone whose
inclination is to find Republican policies revolting and
to supports bills which will empower the American
public, very much including women, he has used this
long period where powerful Democrat men who
support women's issues have been given a pass on
their own predatory behaviour towards women, to in
fact do.... what all it will come out that he has done.
369

He should have said that this is a moment where what


woman need are men who will not show that the
preferred response of anyone who has been a
predator remains to damage-control... and then only if
the first option of not confessing to anything, of hiding,
proves unavailable, but to lift the full redemption of
their victims as genuinely harmed people to the
forefront and to work away at means of portraying
their activity that benefits from the old sense of it as
no big deal; basically the way things are... so get a
grip already. You don't do this by making it so that
they'll have to fight through your cover as a "hugger"
(his latest foray) or a guy who sometimes makes
inappropriate jokes... even as it might prove to work
for him politically. You admit that you intended to
humiliate Tweeden. That you intended to make
women you knew felt honoured to be by your side feel
like spoils of the powerful: like people who if they
raised a stir would find out what happens to people
whom the Democratic establishment count amongst
their most promising members if they speak up.
What does "genuinely harmed" mean? There are
many people on the left who want to always bring up
the potential harm of micro-aggressions or that using
the wrong pronoun is tantamount to a hate crime.
Many have not met a transgender person but they
know that calling them by the wrong pronoun must
"genuinely harm" them.
370

I'm suspicious of the "genuine harm" and see


characterological motivations for people to use PCism
for both reasons of power and for guilt.
When I see patients I don't already know what is
traumatic or not, what is pathological or not. I apply
certain techniques and then I see what memories
from their past come up and I see how their character
changes. You do this for a few years and you start to
see patterns.
I also think it's naive not to see this as politically
motivated. There's the real chance that they were
paid to represent themselves as victims. Again, this
doesn't excuse Franken, but it would play better to get
the left to eat itself, while the left will stay quiet on real
predators.
Everyone is aware of the problem of racism and
scapegoating the other,
but what if the pathology on the left is to have the
dead other, the weakened other, the one that we
must tiptoe around lest we hurt his or her feelings, the
one we must go out of way to welcome otherwise he
or she will feel like they don't belong, the other we pity
or don't want to hate us...
I don't see that as more grown up, but just as infantile
as racism.
Trevor
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me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston change) 11/25/1
7

Re: [cliospsyche] Re: Some technological


determinism
I'll say too once again about Frederick Crews, if you
don't mind, that one of the things I new immediately
about #metoo was that the long overlordship of Crews
(whom, as I said before, I still overall do like) over
official opinion on the matter of Freud and
psychoanalysis was now over (or at least very much
positioned to be over; a lot will depend on how many
Freudians really feel the spirit of #metoo, or if they're
still left wondering how people could say such mean
things about Woody Allen). He was the leading voice
in arguing that the recovered memory movement was
bogus... and associated both this and Freud's
assessment that so many children in 19th-century
Vienna had been sexually molested by their parents
as doing incalculable damage to a great deal of
actually innocent parents. As I remember it at least,
his voice on this matter was taken seriously because
he cooperated with the current spirit to mostly keep
attention away from the wreckage powerful people
were doing to the vulnerable, a spirit that owing to
#metoo and to arising populist movements is now
breaking. Now if someone were to argue that so many
372

children ... so, so, so many children actually recalled


real experiences of their parents molesting them,
there will be loads more people automatically willing
to accept that it was in fact as prevalent as that than
would have been true during our just-passed period,
where the role of the vulnerable was to suffer... carry
the helplessness, carry the sins for growth, that
everyone in society felt. Now if one labels a
movement like this a witch hunt, you're not the voice
of the NYRB, Frederick Crews, but Woody Allen... and
you're very much part of the problem.
I'll expand a little bit more on what I said to Brian last
night regarding how my "current turn" is consistent
with my belief in growth panic. To believe in growth
panic, that a whole society would turn away from
growth... in believing fascism (mother country
subservience) a remedy for it (!), one has to be able
to imagine that the overall childrearing experiences of
people in America is so bad, that they experience
fears and terrors at the hands of their mothers
(fathers are a dodge) that are so awesome and
overpowering, that they will come to see their own
individuation as worthy of some kind of total,
apocalyptic punishment they'll do anything to escape.
When people begin to hear instances, particularly
relating to Tweeden (who seems to be the one people
want to waylay, blow off), where she says the way
Franken manoeuvred himself into forcing his way into
her mouth, into making use of her, was so deeply
humiliating she could never see him on television and
373

not think of it again, but also with versions of the


same being said by so many women of the men who
accosted them... that this experiences lasted with
them for decades, so that it remains so joyous to
them, such a relief to them, that they can finally bring
the matter up and not feel afraid, I think we're at the
cusp of understanding once again that ostensibly
innocuous experiences that one should be expected
to get past if one isn't weak or thin-skinned, AREN'T
that at all. The average experience... was actually
horrible, and will historically find itself on the out just
like every child's guaranteed previous experience of
brutal beatings, stark abandonment, and sexual
molestation was.
For me, deMausian psychohistory, to flourish,
requires, not people who are the most historically
literate (indeed, the very fact that you spent so much
time in periods filled with less emotionally evolved
people will be increasingly be seen as a bizarre
desire), or psychologically literate, but the most
emotionally healthy. They can't have maternal altars in
their heads whom they'll ultimately pay heed to.
#metoo might show me whom exactly is out there,
and where they mostly are. Naomi Wolf strikes me for
example as someone who is now essentially a
deMausian (especially with her recent comment the
average experience of women through history was to
be raped repeatedly [and what kinds of mothers are
born out of experiences like these?]), and though I
374

know she's out of Yale literature studies I haven't a


clue if she's read Freud.
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Trevor Pederson 11/25/1
7

Re: [cliospsyche] Re: Some technological


determinism
I hope you and Joel are right, and psychohistory is a
simple linear development like this.
Sent from my iPhone
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bdagostino2687 11/26/1
7

RE: [cliospsyche] How are our journals ignoring


hints of mature development ?
Joel,
I have always thought you were onto something with
your “Christian Era” concept, but it has also seemed
to me that your concept remains largely inchoate and
needs to be further developed. The sexually
repressive thrust of Christianity has been discussed
375

by many other writers including Jung and more


recently deMause. In developing your own ideas, it
would be helpful for you to say in what ways they
overlap with others and in what ways you are going
beyond them.
I don’t think you are really answering Ken’s questions.
One answer is that the whole concept of progress,
which is really a modern notion, has its roots in
Christianity. More precisely, it has its roots in the
Judeo-Christian heritage, but it was through
Christianity that this way of thinking became
institutionalized in the mainstream of Western culture.
This argument was made by Charles Norris
Cochrane in Christianity and Classical Culture.
Cochrane argued that classical Greco-Roman culture
was essentially backward-looking in that it regarded
the Athenian polis as a kind of Golden Age of
perfection against which all future accomplishments
would be measured and would never quite measure
up. The Romans had their own version of this, in
which the history of humanity culminates in imperial
Rome, whose perfection—celebrated by Virgil and
other Augustan writers—would never be surpassed.
The crisis of classical civilization came with the sack
of Rome by the Visigoths in 410 CE, which shook the
confidence of the Mediterranean world in this
paradigm of history.
It was in this context that Augustine wrote The City of
God, which propounds a fundamentally new paradigm
in which perfection is projected into a realm beyond
376

history (“The City of God”), while the earthly history of


states (“The City of Man”) is viewed as a realm in
which justice is only very imperfectly realized and
which is in constant need of correction by the City of
God. While the Church on earth is not to be confused
with the City of God, the former has special access to
the latter, an ideology that set the stage for power
struggles between Church and State and limited the
power of secular rulers in Europe in a way that was
not the case in classical antiquity, Byzantium, China,
or the Islamic states. This is what I get out of
Cochrane, and I find it correct as far as it goes.
I would add that during the Christian Era, related to
the development Cochrane outlines, the Greco-
Roman cult of the hero is replaced by the cult of the
saints. While the Greco-Roman cult glorified
machismo, the cult of the saints glorified love and
humility. Note that machismo is inherently a zero sum
game that maintains a hierarchical social order—all
the alpha males compete and in the end it is a winner-
take-all system and there can only be one Alexander,
one Caesar, etc. By contrast, if Christ is the measure
of human excellence, that is an androgynous model to
which anyone can aspire and the more one person
succeeds in living the Gospel of love and humility, the
easier they make it for others to succeed in living it.
To the extent that Christianity made a contribution to
social equality in Western history, this may be one of
the pathways through which that occurred.
377

This is a vast topic, of course, but those are a few of


my thoughts for what they’re worth.
Brian
bdagostino.com
917-628-8253

From: cliospsyche@googlegroups.com
[mailto:cliospsyche@googlegroups.com] On Behalf
Of Joel Markowitz
Sent: Friday, November 24, 2017 3:29 PM
To: Clios Psyche <cliospsyche@googlegroups.com>
Subject: Re: [cliospsyche] How are our journals
ignoring hints of mature development ?
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
Joel Markowitz 11/27/1
7

Re: [cliospsyche] How are our journals ignoring


hints of mature development ?
Brian,
You’ve presented some rich ideas, with none of
which I would argue, and which I can connect to
the theories I’ve raised. I will find time to
respond to your post very soon.
Joel
378

On Nov 26, 2017, at 2:57 PM,


bdagostino2687@gmail.com wrote:
Joel,
I have always thought you were onto something with
your “Christian Era” concept, but it has also seemed
to me that your concept remains largely inchoate and
needs to be further developed. The sexually
repressive thrust of Christianity has been discussed
by many other writers including Jung and more
recently deMause. In developing your own ideas, it
would be helpful for you to say in what ways they
overlap with others and in what ways you are going
beyond them.
I don’t think you are really answering Ken’s questions.
One answer is that the whole concept of progress,
which is really a modern notion, has its roots in
Christianity. More precisely, it has its roots in the
Judeo-Christian heritage, but it was through
Christianity that this way of thinking became
institutionalized in the mainstream of Western culture.
This argument was made by Charles Norris
Cochrane in Christianity and Classical Culture.
Cochrane argued that classical Greco-Roman culture
was essentially backward-looking in that it regarded
the Athenian polis as a kind of Golden Age of
perfection against which all future accomplishments
would be measured and would never quite measure
up. The Romans had their own version of this, in
which the history of humanity culminates in imperial
379

Rome, whose perfection—celebrated by Virgil and


other Augustan writers—would never be surpassed.
The crisis of classical civilization came with the sack
of Rome by the Visigoths in 410 CE, which shook the
confidence of the Mediterranean world in this
paradigm of history.
It was in this context that Augustine wrote The City of
God, which propounds a fundamentally new paradigm
in which perfection is projected into a realm beyond
history (“The City of God”), while the earthly history of
states (“The City of Man”) is viewed as a realm in
which justice is only very imperfectly realized and
which is in constant need of correction by the City of
God. While the Church on earth is not to be confused
with the City of God, the former has special access to
the latter, an ideology that set the stage for power
struggles between Church and State and limited the
power of secular rulers in Europe in a way that was
not the case in classical antiquity, Byzantium, China,
or the Islamic states. This is what I get out of
Cochrane, and I find it correct as far as it goes.
I would add that during the Christian Era, related to
the development Cochrane outlines, the Greco-
Roman cult of the hero is replaced by the cult of the
saints. While the Greco-Roman cult glorified
machismo, the cult of the saints glorified love and
humility. Note that machismo is inherently a zero sum
game that maintains a hierarchical social order—all
the alpha males compete and in the end it is a winner-
take-all system and there can only be one Alexander,
380

one Caesar, etc. By contrast, if Christ is the measure


of human excellence, that is an androgynous model to
which anyone can aspire and the more one person
succeeds in living the Gospel of love and humility, the
easier they make it for others to succeed in living it.
To the extent that Christianity made a contribution to
social equality in Western history, this may be one of
the pathways through which that occurred.
This is a vast topic, of course, but those are a few of
my thoughts for what they’re worth.
Brian
bdagostino.com
917-628-8253

From: cliospsyche@googlegroups.com
[mailto:cliospsyche@googlegroups.com] On Behalf
Of Joel Markowitz
Sent: Friday, November 24, 2017 3:29 PM
To: Clios Psyche <cliospsyche@googlegroups.com>
Subject: Re: [cliospsyche] How are our journals
ignoring hints of mature development ?
Ken,
All the progress you cite— and more— has
evolved WITHIN the Christian Era context. As the
“seeds” of Early Mature development. But
they’ve hardly begun to flower.
381

For the MORE FUNDAMENTAL current of


Christian Era thinking, refer to Martin Luther.
“Man is irremediably sinful.
"Were God just, he would damn us all. But He is
merciful— so He will spare a few pf us (or words
to that effect).”
Christian Era DIRECTIVES were for us to repress
our forbidden (sexual and oedipal) fantasies;
suppress our forbidden impulses;
seek purity through the unconflicted worship of
God and obedience to His laws. We were taught
self-denigration; severe self-criticism; humility.
Science was fought tooth and nail (and still is-==
more than most realize) ……….
All was part of a NECESSARY period
(preadolescence = LATENT-oedipal development)
because it suppressed and replaced Paganism.
(Which was simply repeating over 15 thousand
years.)
And some of our REPRESSED SEXUAL AND
OEDIPAL impulses and fantasies SUBLIMATED
into science, and into the remarkable progress of
this period.
But some “sublimated into” (i.e., generated) the
massive neurosis we have suffered.
382

Joel

On Nov 24, 2017, at 11:46 AM, Ken Fuchsman


<kfuchsman@gmail.com> wrote:
Joel,
I too am not sure what you mean that we are still
largely in the Christian era.
I have four questions for you:
1. How is modern science with its emphasis on
experimentation, reliability, statistics, validity a product
of the Christian era?
2. How is the notion of a representative government
a product of Christianity?
3. Explain how technology from the steam engine to
the smart phone is also derived from the Christian era
4. How is Freudian psychoanalysis an outgrowth of
the Christian era?
Thanks.
Ken

On Fri, Nov 24, 2017 at 11:08 AM, Dr Judith Logue


<judith@judithlogue.com> wrote:
Joel,
Please explain.
383

Judy

On Nov 24, 2017, at 9:53 AM, Joel Markowitz


<markowitzjoel@gmail.com> wrote:
Judith,
You’re in too much of a hurry.
Our thinking is still largely shaped by Christian
Era formulations. It’s still “latent-oedipal”;
preadolescent. Mature Psychosexual
Development is still decades away.
My prior post is based on applying Freud’s Libido
Theory— in which Freud explained the
developmental stages of children. His theories on
a boy’s development apply accurately to
COLLECTIVE development.
Today our groups are demonstrating HINTS of
mature development. But most of the world still
ignores those hints. There’s very little response
to this thinking. Even psychohistory journals
don’t want to deal with them.

Joel
On Nov 23, 2017, at 4:29 PM, Dr Judith Logue
<judith@judithlogue.com> wrote:
Joel,
384

Ya think there is chance equal rights and especially in


the sensuality/sexuality arena might ever result in
equal responsibility?
I hoped for it in the tumultuous seventies, but it was a
pipe dream.
Ya think progressives will ever catch on that medical
privacy — (instead of “abortion rights”) vs forced
birthing (instead of “right to life”) — are part of an Age
of Integrity??
In a Post -Christian Era ? With an ERA??
Dream on, right?
Happy Thanksgiving to all,
😍🦃😍
Judy
Zero expectations. But “Imagine?”
Judy
On Nov 23, 2017, at 3:55 PM, Joel Markowitz
<markowitzjoel@gmail.com> wrote:
OK. Let’s be psychohistorians.
Gatherer-savenger-hunter Era: “Pre-oedipal Era":
cooperative, peaceful, anti-competitive-
aggressive and anti-competitive-sexual ; Group-
serving ...
385

Pagan Era: “Phallic/oedipal Era” : War as Natural


Selection; patriarchal; hierarchal; competitive-
aggressive and competitive-sexual; Self-serving;
the suppression of women and female values ...
Christian Era: “Latent-Oedipal Era”: War as
Natural Selection; patriarchal; hierarchal; God-
serving; Nationalism; the more-intensive
suppression of women (thousands burned as
witches— in part to intimidate others) …
Late Christian Era: Anti— hierarchal: Early
democratic- Youth Rebellion + Women’s
Liberation & Feminism + Ethnicity is respectable
+ anti-bias + Religious Freedom + Political
Correctness …..

Clio is now focused on the still-evolving Feminism


and Political Correctness periods … and on what
we should do with the guys who are caught in the
cross-hairs.
Natural selection tends to be brutal, however
necessary. Their bad luck. They are not in the
right place at the right time …
Many are grateful that WE weren’t in those cross-
hairs during the last century.

Joel
386

On Nov 23, 2017, at 2:31 PM, 'Alan Mohl' via Clio’s


Psyche <cliospsyche@googlegroups.com> wrote:
In the area of sexual predatory behavior, the
difference is that when caught , the liberals apologize
and the conservatives attack the victims for lying. I
guess you can call it Trumpspeak.
Allan
-----Original Message-----
From: bdagostino2687
<bdagostino2687@gmail.com>
To: cliospsyche <cliospsyche@googlegroups.com>
Sent: Wed, Nov 22, 2017 9:56 pm
Subject: RE: [cliospsyche] Re: Some technological
determinism
Patrick, only a week ago or so you were expressing
anxiety that the avalanche of public denunciations of
sexual misconduct in high places would adversely
impact liberalism. That seemed like “growth panic” to
me. Now that a liberal politician has actually been
discovered to have engaged in sexual impropriety,
you seem to be on your high horse about what a
horrible person he is, how he should be driven out of
public life, and how anyone who wants to make a
distinction between what Franken did and rape is
being somehow calloused or protective of sexual
abuse. I don’t understand what is going on here.
Franken is going to be investigated by the Senate
Ethics Committee and the Republicans are going to
throw everything at him that they possibly can.
387

Unless anything more serious comes to light than


what has come to light so far, they will not find
grounds for removing him from office. But apparently
if you had your druthers, he’d be out on the street.
What is this about?
Brian
bdagostino.com
917-628-8253

Mark as complete
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Why it matters if we're in a populist moment, or


a furtherance of a progressive one
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388

me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston change) 11/29/1


7

#metoo is being used in France to target those who 
ultimately are for the furtherance of victims' rights. That is, 
against cause.
 How the Tariq Ramadan Scandal Derailed the 
#Balancetonporc Movement in France

The only time I've ever seen deMause come into play over 
the last ten years is when rightwingers make use of him 
(and a little bit with Pinker, whom I also do not trust)... in 
the states, with Stefan Molyneux. It is the funny thing that 
I've noted several times here, if one is a deMausian in his 
deepest intent ­­ which is to enable better childrearing; to 
work against growth panic and spread good ­­ you don't 
really want to see him emerge as an intellectual figure to be
taken seriously in this upcoming period, because liberalism 
is sort of fixed at a state where it cannot but romanticize 
and enable its own societal poison containers; it's flawed, 
but it's the best we're going to get until we get another 
generation flip and a more emotionally healthy populace. 
Considering that means that if you want to participate in 
scholarly/the common conversation you have to try and 
sneak deMausian thought in somehow innocuously... be 
sidelines the whole time, that's pretty frustrating. But if 
389

we're entering a period of collective growth panic where 
part of the mechanics of enabling nativism and the idea of 
national borders and projecting all of our own bad boy/bad 
girlness into others outside our borders will be to very 
quickly derail those who stand in the way of this 
catastrophe, then deMausianism will surface to make 
liberals seem continentally apart from the realm of actual 
fact; as not even really meaning what they stand for, 
because the worst perpetrators of the crimes they loathe are 
those they defend with vigilant insistence (in deMause's 
accounts of childrearing, the Islamic world does not fair 
well... nor does any culture which, for example, still 
routinely spanks their children... and then as well with him 
and Charles W. Socarides being essentially on the same 
page in regards to the sexual perversions...). This article 
gets at that; at what happens when liberals no longer 
command the narrative, so what they start owing to the 
force of their defiance of abuse, become initiatives a vile, 
ultimately stronger power co­opts for its own purposes.
Click here to Reply
me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston change) 12/1/1
7

The other way, incidentally, where, if it's getting half its


lift from being something a population that wants to
nip individualization in the bud and re-bond with a
mother projected onto a nation can use for its own
390

purposes, #metoo gets turned into something


opposite its intention, is if the population agrees that
the explosive reveal of the number of male predators
out there means that men must be essentially
aggressive -- under certain situations, built-in sexists
-- and that curbing it means conservative measures
like covering up, keeping the sexes apart, have merit.
We're already seeing some of this. It could also be
used against itself in, as I've articulated here before, a
populace deciding to undergo a kind of Promise
Keeper's transformation, where they admit overtly to
the extent of their predations but demonstrate in
astonishing ways that they have self-castrated
themselves in dedication to a movement which
ultimately is AGAINST individuated women and for the
overall production of many more societal victims. That
is, they could become akin to what became to felt
regarding the Bernie Bros... individuals, once
individuated, merged into a movement where they
mean to be understood as absolutely selflessly
dedicated to some larger entity, the nation, the
people. Men like that, who are way ahead in the game
in not being defensive in the accounting of their sins,
and who will dedicate themselves -- unlike Weinstein
-- to movements more in sync with the times, in
calling for people to regressively join folk/populist
movements, will in a sense serve to spell a lesson for
many of the accusers: namely, yes, you were
victimized, but about where you could been lead to if
you hadn't been victimized: now is no longer the time
where people need to think of being fully self-
391

actualized, but rather how to dedicate oneself more


selflessly. In a nutshell, you're aren't to try and be
feminist, but to take your emboldened self and, in a
sense, once again submerge it, else be caught out in
a position where society once again thinks you
deserve a taking down.
- show quoted text -
me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston change) 12/1/1
7

And this article, btw, points the way at what I'm getting
at: a concern that the leftist populism (think Bernie
Bros) that has been emerging actually elides "the
world of women." Leah Finnegan (of NYT and
Gawker), the article writer, wrote of her hopes that
with #metoo we might finally see a change:
Some have characterized the current pan-partisan reckoning
around sexual assault as too extreme, as a witch hunt. I
agree that it is extreme, but in the best possible way. My
hope is that it leads to a change in conventional thinking:
Those who have been used to seeing the world in a certain,
absolute way are now being forced to see it in another, or
risk drowning in denial.
What I am concerned will happen is that leftist
populists of the kind she directs of to think of, like
Hamilton Nolan (of Gawker), who wrote "that in the
run-up to the election, only two issues mattered:
economic inequality and climate change. 'The
important things should be prioritized. The hardest
392

things should be done first. Economic inequality and


climate change are our most important problems, and
our hardest ones,' won't change much through
#metoo because in a sense they're already acting at
the behest of a woman, namely, their angry internal
maternal alters, who actually applauds their exclusion
of "women matters" when what this means is denying
furthering their self-actualization... for she's imagined
as angry at all of her children's attempts to individuate
themselves from her, boys, girls... everyone's.
Article from Outline magazine: If women are not safe,
a nation is not safe
- show quoted text -
- show quoted text -
Thursday, February 1, 2018

Clio's Psyche #4
Click here to Reply

me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston 9/17/


change) 17

Masha Gessen on why checks and balances won't save


us.
Andrew Sullivan on why checks and balances likely
won't save us.
- show quoted text -
393

-----

me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston 9/17/


change) 17

There's an interesting article by Mel Goldstein on


"Forrest Gump" in one of the first issues of Clio's
Psyche (Dec. 1994). This bit in particular is especially
good:
I am already confused, since Forrest as agent for
interracial harmony would likely have gotten these
liberal notions from his mother. But would this
perfect mommy of infinite humanistic view name her
son after Nathan Bedford Forrest who founded the
KKK? Not unless she was illinformed or simple. And
is it necessary for this perfect mommy to explain
complex matters simply, to blatantly lie to Forrest?
How are we to respond to the snippet of The Birth of a
Nation? Why are all of the friends but one of Forrest's
black? Mommy tells Forrest, "You're no different from
anybody else." When asked by Forrest, "Where is my
Father?" Mommy answers, "On vacation,... That
means when you go away and never come back."
Worse yet, she brings home the principal of the school
she wants Forrest admitted to, and Forrest hears the
man's grunts and groans, which he imitates as the
principal leaves. Forrest may be simple but his
response to being in on "the primal scene," and his
sense that his "mother sure wants to get you into
school,", that is, whored herself for him, stunts
394

Forrest's sexual development. His first view of Jenny's


breasts has him gagging and about to vomit during
her first attempt to seduce him. It is only mommy's
"my time has come, Forrest," and she dies that Forrest
becomes amenable to Jenny's seduction, and
unknowingly impregnates her. Now as he lies in bed
he does not have to say, "I sure miss mommy and
Jenny." He can forget about mommy.
In early issues, there are also interesting discussions
on Schindler's List, and the JOP, as I remember, had
quite a few interesting ones (Lloyd deMause's are
interesting as hell: total disregard of plot, very
phenomenological). There is sort of a depository
which is becoming default for people to store their
movie reviews -- letterboxd.com. (Almost all of
Pauline Kael's reviews are there, for instance.) I would
suggest that someone consider pasting reviews from
both Clio and JOP onto the letterboxd.com site,
naming it under Psychohistory Film Reviews, or Clio's
Psyche and JOP's film reviews, or some such, and
then crediting particular reviews to particular
contributor. I think people need larger access to these
reviews. They're exciting.
I've posted my reviews at letterboxd.com. If you'd like
to see what they read like, and what the site is like,
they're here: Patrick McEvoy-Halston's Movie
Reviews.
• •----
• •
• •
395

Clio’s Psyche ›

neuroscience, personality, and Trump


7 posts by 3 authors

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bdagostino2687 9/16/17

Dear all,
Consider the following quotation:
The equilibrium or balance, so to speak, between his
intellectual faculties and animal propensities, seems
to have been destroyed. He is fitful, irreverent,
indulging at times in the grossest profanity,
manifesting but little deference for his fellows,
impatient of restraint or advice when it conflicts
with his desires, at time pertinaciously obstinate, yet
capricious and vacillating, devising many plans of
future operation, which are no sooner arranged than
they are abandoned in turn for others appearing
more feasible.
396

Sound familiar? Interestingly, this is Dr. John


Harlow’s description of the personality of Phineas
Gage (1823-1860), a railroad construction foreman
after an industrial accident that severely damaged the
man’s frontal lobes and neighboring brain structures.
(From Neuroscience: Exploring the Brain, Fourth
Edition, Mark F. Bear et al, p. 625). I am not
suggesting that our president got to be the way he is
as a result of physical brain trauma, though that
cannot be ruled out without a complete and accurate
medical history. The culprit could also be
psychological trauma of one kind or another, very
plausibly stemming from his early childhood
experience. My only point is that the uncanny
similarity between Gage’s personality after his
accident and Trump’s personality today as reported by
the media dramatically underscores the value of
neuroscience as part of a multidisciplinary inquiry
into human psychology.
Brian
www.bdagostino.com
917-628-8253
Click here to Reply
me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston 9/16/
change) 17

Trump's a disaster. I think I'm more interested in


knowing if these studies will be applied to the working
class base that supported him, because while everyone
397

other than those who voted for him will endorse


studies which show how mentally compromised
Trump is, large sections of the left will have problems
if these studies work to prove the working class are
mental discombobulates as well. That is, Sanders,
Chomsky, The Green Party, The Nation... want to see
the working class as voting for Trump only because
they were desperate, not because they were mentally
ill / brain-diseased. Liberals are pulling back from
openly castigating the white working class and are
focusing now more simply on Trump and overt
Nazis... which worries me. Politically, it might be
smart, but in terms of truth it is closer to truth to
argue that they went Trump because they are
deplorable (with the closest truth being that they are
suffering from growth panic, owing to having had
immature mothers who grossly abandoned them
when they made efforts to individuate as children, as
Audrey Abrams and Kenneth Adams point out in their
recent JOP article).
On the topic of neuroscience, while we're doing more
aligning ourselves with it, strengthening it, it's again
worth noting a huge countermovement emerging now
which is working to sink it, sink it as a trustworthy
science, for ostensibly being inclined to obfuscate
results that work against socially desired activist
outcomes. Steven Pinker's always pointing this
movement out, with approval, on his twitter feed.
Here's an example:
http://quillette.com/2017/09/06/genetics-fear-
slippery-slope-moral-authoritarianism/
398

- show quoted text -


- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
arniedr 9/17/1
7

But Gage remained Gage


Arnold Richards
arnoldrichards.net
internationalpsychoanalysis.net
ipbooks.net
- show quoted text -
- show quoted text -
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Mark as complete
bdagostino2687 9/17/17

What do you mean by this, Arnie? Gage’s personality


before the accident was 180 degrees different. And
how do you see Trump not remaining Trump?
Patrick, I think we need to be dialectical in our
critique of neuroscience and academia generally.
Stanley Aronowitz criticized the modern university as
a “knowledge factory,” like C. Wright Mills before him
(cf Mills’ The Sociological Imagination) and Upton
Sinclair before both of them (c.f. Sinclair’s The Goose
Step, a scathing critique of academia). Universities
are part of the power structure and even the natural
sciences are distorted by power. That said, there is an
internal politics to every academic department in
every university and some of these political struggles
have implications for the general public. Also,
different people need to hear different things.
Academics need to hear the critiques I mentioned,
and non-academics need to hear about the value of
formal learning, study, and research as antidotes to
ignorance and the arrogance of ignorance.
Brian
www.bdagostino.com
917-628-8253
400

From: cliospsyche@googlegroups.com
[mailto:cliospsyche@googlegroups.com] On Behalf
Of Patrick McEvoy-Halston
Sent: Saturday, September 16, 2017 12:31 PM
To: Clio’s Psyche
Subject: [cliospsyche] Re: neuroscience, personality,
and Trump
Trump's a disaster. I think I'm more interested in
knowing if these studies will be applied to the working
class base that supported him, because while everyone
other than those who voted for him will endorse
studies which show how mentally compromised
Trump is, large sections of the left will have problems
if these studies work to prove the working class are
mental discombobulates as well. That is, Sanders,
Chomsky, The Green Party, The Nation... want to see
the working class as voting for Trump only because
they were desperate, not because they were mentally
ill / brain-diseased. Liberals are pulling back from
openly castigating the white working class and are
focusing now more simply on Trump and overt
Nazis... which worries me. Politically, it might be
smart, but in terms of truth it is closer to truth to
argue that they went Trump because they are
deplorable (with the closest truth being that they are
suffering from growth panic, owing to having had
immature mothers who grossly abandoned them
when they made efforts to individuate as children, as
401

Audrey Abrams and Kenneth Adams point out in their


recent JOP article).
On the topic of neuroscience, while we're doing more
aligning ourselves with it, strengthening it, it's again
worth noting a huge countermovement emerging now
which is working to sink it, sink it as a trustworthy
science, for ostensibly being inclined to obfuscate
results that work against socially desired activist
outcomes. Steven Pinker's always pointing this
movement out, with approval, on his twitter feed.
Here's an example:
http://quillette.com/2017/09/06/genetics-fear-
slippery-slope-moral-authoritarianism/

From: arniedr via Clio’s Psyche


[mailto:cliospsyche@googlegroups.com]
Sent: Sunday, September 17, 2017 6:40 AM
To: cliospsyche@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: [cliospsyche] neuroscience, personality,
and Trump
But Gage remained Gage
Arnold Richards
arnoldrichards.net
internationalpsychoanalysis.net
ipbooks.net
-----Original Message-----
From: Brian D'Agostino
<bdagostino2687@gmail.com>
To: cliospsyche <cliospsyche@googlegroups.com>
402

Sent: Sat, Sep 16, 2017 11:49 am


Subject: [cliospsyche] neuroscience, personality, and
Trump
Dear all,
Consider the following quotation:
The equilibrium or balance, so to speak, between his
intellectual faculties and animal propensities, seems
to have been destroyed. He is fitful, irreverent,
indulging at times in the grossest profanity,
manifesting but little deference for his fellows,
impatient of restraint or advice when it conflicts
with his desires, at time pertinaciously obstinate, yet
capricious and vacillating, devising many plans of
future operation, which are no sooner arranged than
they are abandoned in turn for others appearing
more feasible.
Sound familiar? Interestingly, this is Dr. John
Harlow’s description of the personality of Phineas
Gage (1823-1860), a railroad construction foreman
after an industrial accident that severely damaged the
man’s frontal lobes and neighboring brain structures.
(From Neuroscience: Exploring the Brain, Fourth
Edition, Mark F. Bear et al, p. 625). I am not
suggesting that our president got to be the way he is
as a result of physical brain trauma, though that
cannot be ruled out without a complete and accurate
medical history. The culprit could also be
psychological trauma of one kind or another, very
plausibly stemming from his early childhood
403

experience. My only point is that the uncanny


similarity between Gage’s personality after his
accident and Trump’s personality today as reported by
the media dramatically underscores the value of
neuroscience as part of a multidisciplinary inquiry
into human psychology.
Brian
www.bdagostino.com
917-628-8253
Mark as complete
me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston 9/17/
change) 17

Is there anyone out there actually against


neuroscience these days? I suppose history... but not
even, is my bet: given the esteem neuroscience
currently has, to be against including its data is to
mark one as cro magnon. I couldn't agree more that it
is enormously useful, of course, only that it has
become more interesting to me how even
neuroscience (not just the social sciences, that is) is
finding itself caught caught in a situation where it
might not be allowed to find out anything that would
support politically incorrect opinions. They guy who
just got fired at Google was citing science to prove
there are key differences in the brains between men
and women, citing science that reinforced stereotypes
that ran against emerging agreement on the essential
equivalence between genders. Some new technology
that purportedly can scan a face and determine if
404

someone is homosexual just got canned, because there


are not supposed to be telling markers, so science and
tech that suggests there is, is bigoted, period.
And I've mentioned before that one of the problems
we should be aware of as we find make our own
discipline more scientific, conduct more and more
studies, and as we reach out in plenty to other fields,
and as we include other countries, including China, as
leading participants in our field... is that we've just
made psychohistory seem so evolved that it becomes
that much more resistant to people like deMause
who'd undermine the whole enterprise by saying,
since about 1980, there has been massive regression
away from calling genuine perversions, perversions,
and by a willingness to face up to the enormous
influence of the psychological state of the mother in
determining our adult fates, out of fear of doing
"mother hate," out of fear of the judging terrifying
mother embedded in our own right hemispheres, and
as such our whole current enterprise might be
becoming less nourished without our being able to see
it. More satisfying, more rewarding, not really owing
to discoveries, but because its displaying all the
markers of having evolved, and because the most
profound anxiety-producing stuff has been clipped
off, by mutual agreement. That was Lloyd's response
to Clio's assessment of his "Emotional Life of
Nations"... it's not about whether I've got the data or
not, it's not about whether I've sufficiently gone
multidisciplinary or included sufficient neuroscience,
I'll be accepted or rejected because:
405

Behind all these denials I see (as you might predict I


would see) a denial of each of the critics’ own
childhood abuse and neglect. The clue came when I
gave a speech recently and someone in the audience
got up and shouted, “Don’t listen to him! He’s a
mother-basher!” By tracing wars and social violence
to early childhood, I am “just blaming our mothers.”
But a part of us still needs them so much --in the right
hemispheres of our brain, the storage place for our
early fears -- that it is better to say our social violence
is our own fault (“it’s our in- stinctual aggression,”
“it’s because we’re greedy”) than to try to remember
that we were really afraid mommy meant it when she
said, “I wish I never had you!”
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston 9/17/
change) 17

I'll add, by the way, that in the current environment I


wouldn't go anywhere near brain science and studies
of perversion, or even, brain study and biological
differences. The reason for this is that I feel that that
any science that can be used to justify persecution...
will in the short future be used to justify persecution. I
think we're in a time where people want to project
their compromised, "feminine" feelings into
homosexuals and get rid of them -- homosexuals, that
is -- in order to feel better. I think people are so
anxious of powerful women reminding them of their
own overwhelming mothers, they're looking for
406

scientific justification to keep them away from


empowered positions. So publicly, at least, I'd join the
Gender Studies crowd, and disavow the Steven Pinker
crowd. This said, I wouldn't lie to myself about what
science proves (note: it doesn't prove that men are
more adept at leadership than women are), only wait
ten to fifteen years when we're out of this period of
apocalyptic punishment for collective accrued self-
actualization, out of this current period of growth
panic, when I don't have to worry about truth serving
to make miserable and even kill, very good people.
Sometimes the best people alive, the most emotionally
evolved, do in some regards have to convince
themselves of false truths because they've checked
with their brains, and they're not yet at the state
where they could, for example, both defend and not
romanticize people, not increase rights for everyone,
while not still selecting out one group (the white
working class deplorables) where they can project
their own still existing fears of weakness and hate
into. This said, the other side, is in the larger sense,
far, far, far more awry from truth than they are.
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
arniedr 9/17/1
7

Nothing to do with Trump It was a comment that I


read about Gage after the accident
Arnold Richards
arnoldrichards.net
407

internationalpsychoanalysis.net
ipbooks.net
• •-----

Clio’s Psyche ›

#metoo
17 posts by 7 authors

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me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston 10/16/
change) 17

I mentioned about a month ago here that Frederick


Crews has benefited from the fact that he has made
his arguments in an environment where collectively
people have decided to keep some topics, as they say,
away from view. He's argued that sexual abuse against
children is not some massive phenomena that has
lead to mass collective repression, and society decided
to weigh in with him: abuse exists but is not
everywhere; and is not so crushing it demands
repression. What we're seeing now with the twitter
408

and Facebook #metoo movement is a massive show of


just how many women have suffered sexual abuse,
and I think we're all beginning to realize that any
attempt to successfully label this a witchhunt will fail:
something about our times has changed, and now
collectively were ready to see the abuse we needed for
a long while to keep out of view. With all the
disclosures we're going to see in next upcoming years,
it will be this that clears away the impact Crews has
had to put psychoanalysis on the defence, while
society went about its daily routine, with all its ills
projected onto forlorn groups designated to hold all of
our suffering onto themselves.
Click here to Reply
Trevor Pederson 10/17/17

Hi Patrick
I would add that this can be seen as a group
psychology phenomenon that relates to a high level of
authority. Republicans trying to impeach Bill Clinton
for Monica Lewinsky and calling him a sexual
aggressor was probably the first great inroad here.
The Republican desire to get power at any cost means
that they have been undermining authority in any way
they can. They denigrate universities and scientific
consensus on climate change, for example, and also by
playing the political outsider card, they denigrate
insiders who are beholden to big business (even
though it is still business as usual in the Trump
admin). They have been consistently attacking 'big
409

government" for decades and this is eroding public


trust, which is bad for centrists but good people who
interested in more radical change.
Women feeling like they can come out to speak about
sexual aggression is directly linked to powerful men
being taken down when in the past, they retained
their grip on power.
Trevor
On Mon, Oct 16, 2017 at 9:49 AM, Patrick McEvoy-
Halston <pmcevoyhalston@gmail.com> wrote:
I mentioned about a month ago here that Frederick
Crews has benefited from the fact that he has made
his arguments in an environment where collectively
people have decided to keep some topics, as they say,
away from view. He's argued that sexual abuse against
children is not some massive phenomena that has
lead to mass collective repression, and society decided
to weigh in with him: abuse exists but is not
everywhere; and is not so crushing it demands
repression. What we're seeing now with the twitter
and Facebook #metoo movement is a massive show of
just how many women have suffered sexual abuse,
and I think we're all beginning to realize that any
attempt to successfully label this a witchhunt will fail:
something about our times has changed, and now
collectively were ready to see the abuse we needed for
a long while to keep out of view. With all the
disclosures we're going to see in next upcoming years,
it will be this that clears away the impact Crews has
410

had to put psychoanalysis on the defence, while


society went about its daily routine, with all its ills
projected onto forlorn groups designated to hold all of
our suffering onto themselves.
--
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me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston 10/17/
change) 17

Hi Trevor.
Weinstein had his whole career yet to follow when the
Lewinsky incident occurred. Clinton's "getting off,"
his escaping their plans for him, despite being loaded
up with guilt, may have enabled empowered youngish
411

democrats to feel they had avenue to, in a sense, be


just like him. He was sacrificed, yet rose again... time
for liberal professional class to really stretch its legs,
now that inner persecutors in the mind, the worst
guards at the gate -- angry old naysayers, representing
parental fury at the child's bad behaviours -- had been
confronted and defeated. Subsequent high-power
democrats might have been empowered as predators
after Clinton, because his sacrificing himself for them
felt like it brought forward a long period where
accusers would find themselves absent all power.
Sauron had been destroyed, so green pastures of
permission, once again.
I don't think this story could have come about until
today because I think collectively we were all too
invested in keeping stories like it from view. It would
unbalance us to much, as we would be faced with re-
experiencing our own trauma, and our own
traumatizing. These predators functioned to ensure
that in a time when many professionals would be
experiencing enormous life gains that an underclass
working undignified jobs, who had to put themselves
in literal casting couches or just, in mass, on display
for public humiliation at low-paying jobs, would know
the humiliation and trauma we felt someone had to
experience so that it didn't sit with us.
This is a deMausian idea; that when we acquire nice
things for ourselves in life we are reminded of how our
parents, belonging to a lower psychoclass, reacted to
our self-growth, how it lead to us feeling abandoned,
412

punished and alone, rejected, and unless its projected


elsewhere we have to feel all of this blowback too. The
casting couch, with the Weinsteins as the
rapist/humiliators, were part of what kept the liberal
professional class sane, as they themselves
superseded all their own life expectations. This is a
perspective psychohistory, or the history of
psychohistory, can offer, that will be found nowhere
else.
- show quoted text -
Trevor Pederson 10/17/17

I didn't mean what I said in a simple mechanistic way


Patrick.
It is a process.
Think about it in comparison to Nietzsche saying that
God is dead. He didn't mean that no one believed in
God anymore in the 1880s and wouldn't believe in
Him again.
I'm open to the idea of white liberal guilt having an
influence on things, but there was white liberal guilt
involved in the abolishment of slavery and in other
moments of history. There are other factors that allow
these forces to come to the fore, and in this case, I'd
point to the conservative side actively undermining
authority and attacking the morality of liberals that
allows for it.
Trevor
413

- show quoted text -


Mark as complete
me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston 10/17/
change) 17

But "the process" seemed to give life to predators over


a long interim. A huge grant of permission where it
felt like no one would oppose them, so long as they
were Clintonesque, democrat and powerful, as Harvey
Weinstein is. They were free to serve their function as
those who grossly oppress the vulnerable, so a rising
class would feel absent the consequences of growth
panic for it having been projected out.
- show quoted text -
Trevor Pederson 10/17/17

I'm not sure if I follow you Patrick.


My sense is that former presidents and elite
individuals got away with doing a lot in the past, and
that only recently we started to see authority eroded
so that these individuals could be brought down for
such things. Otherwise the "boys club" protected their
own.
Weinstein was a predator before the days of Clinton
and I wouldn't think his actions were related to
imitating, or some identification with the president.
Do you have any info for why Bill was important to
him, and not others in the Hollywood industry?
414

I wouldn't think that Bill's near impeachment would


open the doors to imitators, but instead give others
the fear that they weren't as safe as they were before.
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
Joel Markowitz 10/18/17

Trevor and Patrick,


Questions re: these daily happenings re:
Weinstein, Clinton, etc.— remain impossible
to answer adequately unless we place them in
the context of the larger currents of history.
As you know:
Rape and other abuse of women was
commonplace until recently. Power was
routinely abused and that abuse was
collectively accepted as an understandable
advantage of being powerful. Inequalities of
all kinds were accepted as normal, natural,
and inevitable.
As our psychic evolution has continued toward
Mature Psychosexual Development, natural
selection favored the mores & principles that
WERE more-mature— because they proved
more-workable— than those that were less-
mature.
Thus did equality replace hierarchy;
democracy replaced tyranny; freedom and the
415

rights of the individual replaced domination


of the individual by a leader or by the state.
Legislation and other laws evolved
increasingly toward Psychosexually Mature
incarnations.
The rebellions of the late 1960s announced a
tipping point in this process. It was inevitable
that women’s increasing equality would reach
a stage in which men who would have safely
exploited the Traditional mindset would be
condemned by the new mindset.
FDR’s and JFK’s affaires were safely protected
by the traditional mores of that time. Clinton
was not so lucky in being closer to the tipping
point. Trump — even as president— is
constantly chided for his “pussy-grabbing”
comment. Cosby and Weinstein are actively
attacked.
Tipping points in this continued evolution are
increasing in frequency as— collectively— we
move closer to Mature Psychosexual
Development.
To understand psychohistorical events, one
must go DEEPER— into an understanding of
the FUNDAMENTAL MATRIX that
GENERATED those events — in the evolution
of our groups.
Joel
416

- show quoted text -


Mark as complete
psyjourn313 10/18/17

If anyone indeed wants to start looking deeper, please


don't forget Freud. This is from the Dora case, about
the disgust she felt being kissed by a man who, among
other things, reeked of tobacco:
Instead of the genital sensation which would certainly
have been felt by a healthy girl in such circumstances,
Dora was overcome by the unpleasurable feeling ...
I love Freud, and realize he was the product of his
times, but he at least an enabler of the same kind of
perpetrator that we are seeing in the newspapers. I
know you understand that this is as old as the human
race.
Joyce.
Joyce M. Rosenberg
Licensed Psychoanalyst
928 Broadway, Suite 503
New York, N.Y. 10010
917 806-6605
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
Trevor Pederson 10/18/17

Hi Joyce
417

It's been a while since I read Dora. If Freud is just


saying that a young girl should be attracted to older
men as a universal judgment then it's clearly a blind
spot in him.
However, I hope you're also open to the idea that
when a patient comes in and is fixated on how
someone is disgusting or how much he or she hates
them, that it's also possible that these negative
feelings cover up positive ones.
Trevor
Otherwise I agree that the boys club and social
practices of excluding and scapegoating women have
been around for centuries and centuries.
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
Judith Logue 10/18/17

Yes, it is , of course!
- but the overwhelming expectable response we
women and girls are used to is to not be taken
seriously or heard and understood.
I have heard over and over and over from adult
women how as girls they were blamed when uncles,
fathers and brothers assailted them and used them
sexually and otherwise... by their mothers not just by
men.
Judy Logue
- show quoted text -
418

Mark as complete
psyjourn313 10/18/17

Trevor, yes I am, absolutely -- to quote another


brilliant writer, "the lady doth protest too much."
Re blind spot, that is one of the Freud passages that
some readers, male as well as female, have cited as
reasons why they think Freud was clueless about
women. He seemed to think that just because a man
physically approached a woman she would welcome
this. And he was speaking not only about Dora but
other young women in that passage. It's a little
amazing to me that he made that assumption, but, as I
said before, he was a product of his unenlightened
times. Clearly we're still quite unenlightened given the
current headlines, but we have made some progress.
Joyce.
Joyce M. Rosenberg
Licensed Psychoanalyst
928 Broadway, Suite 503
New York, N.Y. 10010
917 806-6605
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
bdagostino2687 10/18/17

Regarding Freud and enabling sexual abuse, isn’t his


revision of his seduction theory a turning point on this
matter in Freud’s own psychobiography? Dorothy
419

Bloch (see attached) notes that Freud observed sexual


abuse in his own family (abuse of his sisters by his
father), which contributed importantly to his
seduction theory. Can it be an accident that he
backtracked on this theory and played down actual
sexual abuse in the etiology of mental disorders soon
after his father died and Freud had his “One is
requested to close the eyes” dream? Bloch thinks not,
and believes this shift in his thinking helps explain
how he could overlook blatant parental abuse (both
sexual and punitive) in his later work, most notably,
the Schreber case. .
Brian
www.bdagostino.com
917-628-8253

From: cliospsyche@googlegroups.com
[mailto:cliospsyche@googlegroups.com] On Behalf
Of Joyce Rosenberg
Sent: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 3:17 PM
To: cliospsyche@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: [cliospsyche] #metoo
- show quoted text -
Attachments (1)
Freud's Retraction of his Seduction
Theory.pdf
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Ken Fuchsman 10/18/17

Brian,
Freud's first published articles on the seduction
theory occurred before his father died in late 1896. It
was after his father's death that in early 1897 he
revised the seduction theory to focus on fathers,
including his own. Freud never published these
accusations about his father. They were only stated in
letters to his friend Wilhelm Fliess. In September
1897 in a letter to Fliess, he declared that what he had
taken to be seduction were really fantasies. . .
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bdagostino2687 10/18/17

Ken,
Yes, that is also how Bloch understands it. But the
fact that he didn’t publicly accuse his father misses
her point. His seduction theory implicated fathers in
sexual abuse, and Freud knew that the theory he
published applied to his own father, even if hardly
anyone else did. So when his father died soon after he
published this theory, isn’t it plausible that he felt
unconscious guilt? Note that we are talking about
unconscious guilt, not rational remorse for having
said anything publicly against his own father.
What makes this more than an idle speculation is
Freud’s “one is requested to close the eyes” dream,
421

which provides insight into his state of mind at the


time. As Bloch notes, it was after this dream that
Freud closes his eyes to actual abuse and by
attributing psychopathology to fantasies of the
children rather than actual abuse by the parents,
implicitly protects the reputation of the parents, and
by extension (and unconsciously), of his own father.
Brian
www.bdagostino.com
917-628-8253

From: cliospsyche@googlegroups.com
[mailto:cliospsyche@googlegroups.com] On Behalf
Of Ken Fuchsman
Sent: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 8:52 PM
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Ken Fuchsman 10/18/17

Brian,
What is the evidence that when Freud first presented
his seduction theory in published 1896 articles that he
knew then that the seduction theory applied to his
father? There is no mention in his published articles
that fathers specifically abused children. There is no
mention in his correspondence with Fliess that fathers
422

in general and his father in particular sexually abused


their children until after his father died..
It should me mentioned that when Freud told Fliess
his father was responsible for abusing his children
that Freud gave no evidence to support his accusation.
Bloch is not the first scholar to mention the close they
eyes dream. But I do not take it as evidence for Freud
changing his mind, it is too big a leap from a dream to
action.. There is no solid evidence to make the
determination as to why Freud renounced his
seduction theory other than what he said. I have my
own suspicions, but I can't say it is more than
suppositions on my part..
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bdagostino2687 10/18/17

Ken,
These are good questions for Bloch and for Freud
scholars. I don't have answers of my own. I was only
conveying Bloch's argument, which seemed plausible
to me, though my knowledge of Freud studies is very
limited.
Brian
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bdagostino2687 10/19/17

FW: Re: [cliospsyche] #metoo


423

That said, I should hasten to add that Freud’s revision


of his seduction theory is not ONLY a matter for
Freud scholars. The issue also relates to
contemporary debates over recovered memory
therapies and dissociative identity disorders (DID). It
would appear there are two or more “thought
collectives” on this, to use Arnie’s favorite term. In
one camp are people like Alice Miller and Dorothy
Bloch, who believe that Freud and Freudian
psychoanalysts did for the most part close their eyes
to parental abuse, leaving it for the object relations
school to reinvent the viewpoint that Freud
abandoned when he retracted the seduction theory.
Many theorists and therapists who work with DID,
like Bessel van der Kolk and Colin Ross, may be in this
group, though I say this based on what I have read
about them and have not actually read their works.
Then there are the orthodox Freudians on the one
hand, who focus on the role of Oedipal fantasies, and
on the other hand non-Freudian critics of recovered
memory therapies like Elizabeth Loftus. Many in the
latter group even dispute the validity of the DID
diagnosis. While Frederick Crews is also a non-
Freudian critic of recovered memory therapies, he
confuses the discussion by associating psychoanalysis
with the seduction theory, while in fact the Oedipal
theory went in exactly the opposite direction, at least
according to Bloch.
I say all this in the spirit of contributing to an
exchange of ideas. I am not interested in defending
424

any of these ideas, not least of all because I don’t


know enough to do so. This is just what I am thinking
based on my limited knowledge of these matters and I
welcome hearing what others who are more informed
have to say.
Brian
www.bdagostino.com
917-628-8253
• • -- - - - -

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Ishiguro's "The Buried Giant"


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me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston 10/30/
change) 17

In Ishiguro's "The Buried Giant," collective memory


that has been suppressed, suddenly comes back full
bloom. All memory of victimization, is suddenly
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remembered by all. Ishiguro presents it as, in one


sense, quite necessary, but also as fully regrettable, as
it gives incontrovertible righteous fodder for the war-
intending.
With what's coming out of Hollywood and
Washington now, his novel really resonates. For while
it seems only good that we are now becoming
knowledgeable of the sheer number of predators in
both places, and that victims who had felt kowtowed
and shamed for years are now feeling some sense of
resolve and self-pride again, it is also true that both of
these places are seeming more the cesspools of the
corrupt of rightwing populist lore.
It is possible that as we see these many reveals and
long-delayed takedowns occur and realize, as it makes
the previous tendency of both of these high-density,
democrat-voting locals to attack "everyday
Americans" as the seat of everything that is foul in the
world an actual aversion of truth, that it is the
rightwing rather than feminism that is best taking
advantage of it, we may find ourselves regretting that
we are now duty-bound (absolute fidelity with the
victimized) to follow this to the end.
Lloyd deMause once talked about social institutions as
delegate groups that "act out ambivalent feelings
common to all members of the larger group but which
the rest of the group wish to deny." He referred to
"the Church as a group-fantasy of dependency, the
Army as a group-fantasy of birth, the Government as a
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group-fantasy of nurturance, Capitalism as a group-


fantasy of control, Revolution as a group-fantasy of
counterdependency, the Class System as a group-
fantasy of obeisance, The School as a group-fantasy of
humiliation." DeMause thus provides liberals with a
means of understanding why these locations of such
absolute resolved faith in voting Democratic, in
supporting governments that are progressive and
improve the lot of wo/mankind, can also be places
where predatory behaviours run rampant. Powerful
people working there are cued by the public at large to
act out specific group fantasy needs -- to make
unknowns suddenly famous, but also the inverse: to
act out punishments upon them for their egoistic
desire to have it all, to live out the American dream.
Without deMause's help, where will be left, but to
agree that these places that were such leaders in
keeping democracy afloat have been revealed to be, in
fact, the very cesspools the rightwing have always
declared them to be, and are in deep need of
supervision and reform... lead by those currently
becoming the recognized holders of virtue, those loyal
to "the forgotten American man and woman," namely,
nativists, nationalists, whether on the right or the left.

• •-----

Clio’s Psyche ›
427

halloween costumes
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Trevor Pederson 10/27/17

I'm curious to hear some other takes on having ethnic


halloween costumes
https://youtu.be/OtAiesbN76o
The comedian in the segment interestingly says that
intentions don't mean anything.
So the point, as I take it, is that even if you think that
all races are equal, and dress in an ethnic costume for
fun, you should know that other races were treated
poorly in the past, and that for someone who knows
the history, this is a reminder of the oppression, and
(regardless of your intention) it's not right to remind
someone of this.
They invite a professor on to tell you the history, with
the idea that once you know that something was a
428

practice that is related to oppression, it is obvious that


you wouldn't want to engage in it.
I've similarly seen people who make an ad hominem
against certain philosophers' and artists' work. "So
and so was a sexual predator, for example, so we
should ignore his work or not cite her."
Any thoughts about how far this logic should extend?
or, whether this logic may inhibit the process of
overcoming racism"
Trevor

Click here to Reply


me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston 10/28/
change) 17

If one agrees with deMause's work, or Steven Pinker's


account of historical progression, it would seem that
you should be in favour of people wearing ethnic
costumes for them representing "pasts" we should all
at some level be inclined to lampoon, if we can't
simply dismiss them: all of our ancestors were
appalling victimizers; there were no simple innocents.
This includes Western, as much as any. Yet you look
at the professors advocating against ethnic costumes,
and the youth advocating against them, and it's the
most emotionally evolved -- in deMause's
terminology, where the higher psychoclasses presently
"are". So there is no question that even as you'd think
every one of us should find ourselves more repelled by
429

our pasts than trying to sustain them, find dignity in


them, you always align yourself with the movement
where these people are currently locating themselves,
knowing that each peak of overall awareness, even to
this date, is still somewhat dipped of the ideal that will
one day be reached. It is with this movement that
people are locating the concept, the truth, that
victimization -- maybe victimization, period -- is
broad and can't be covered up. It's important their
movement wins.
Patrick
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Trevor Pederson 10/28/17

Re: [cliospsyche] Re: halloween costumes


Thanks for the reply Patrick.
I’m pondering over what you wrote and I’m not sure
about the normativity of it
“you always align yourself with the movement where
these people are currently locating themselves,”
It makes me think of the Bernie or bust people and the
idea of being an ideological purist or voting “more
realistically”
Do you have something to say on that?
“knowing that each peak of overall awareness, even to
this date, is still somewhat dipped of the ideal that will
430

one day be reached. It is with this movement that


people are locating the concept, the truth, that
victimization -- maybe victimization, period -- is
broad and can't be covered up. It's important their
movement wins.”
I’m still not sure if trying to shame people into
remembering victimization is the best way to ensure
that people are better to “the other”
I’ll have to think more...
Trevor
Sent from my iPhone
On Oct 28, 2017, at 4:06 PM, Patrick McEvoy-Halston
<pmcevoyhalston@gmail.com> wrote:
So there is no question that even as you'd think every
one of us should find ourselves more repelled by our
pasts than trying to sustain them, find dignity in
them, you always align yourself with the movement
where these people are currently locating themselves,
knowing that each peak of overall awareness, even to
this date, is still somewhat dipped of the ideal that will
one day be reached. It is with this movement that
people are locating the concept, the truth, that
victimization -- maybe victimization, period -- is
broad and can't be covered up. It's important their
movement wins.
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Trevor Pederson 10/29/17
431

Re: [cliospsyche] Re: halloween costumes


Here’s another video
This time on women sexualizing women and some
leftists trying to decide if it is right or wrong.
People are quiet... thoughts?
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=OxRBC3R1mD4
Sent from my iPhone
On Oct 28, 2017, at 4:06 PM, Patrick McEvoy-Halston
<pmcevoyhalston@gmail.com> wrote:
- show quoted text -
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me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston 10/29/
change) 17

Re: [cliospsyche] Re: halloween costumes


What I was trying to get at was that I myself would be
guilty of being a purist -- and therefore, someone
actually venturing against my own goals -- if I didn't
appreciate that the kinds of people who are actually
most close to being psychologically healthy enough to
appreciate what I think is the true course of history,
note, IN THE SPIRIT I WOULD WISH, at this point
don't believe what I believe; don't see history at all like
I do. In fact, those who come closest to believing what
I believe -- people like Steven Pinker and Richard
Dawkins -- are actually in my judgment a bit recessed
in terms of emotional health than many of those who
see history in a manner which doesn't match up with
my own. So I support those whom I believe will be the
ones who'll be parents to progressives who'll
eventually recognize the truth of the deMausian sense
of history, accomplished in a manner which isn't
about hoisting the validity of one culture over another,
isn't about setting up an opponent to vanquish them,
isn't about staging grounds so that the most
progressive people out there, the ones most interested
in protecting the vulnerable, are at a time of rightwing
populist ascension suddenly made to seem completely
invalidated for being so at odds with facts.
These people -- yes, many of them did vote Bernie, but
certainly not all: many of them realized that there was
433

an element in the Bernie movement which felt anti-


feminist, and so stuck with Hillary and her absolute
faith in professional women. Being a purist, for them,
meant keeping faith with the idea of women as fully
individuated human beings, reaching soaring heights
within the professions. And they looked at Bernie and
saw people in a sense being reduced into indistinct
members of a folk working class, and so in a sense saw
Hillary as a purer representative of what they looking
for, not simply as a compromised but realistic choice.
About not shaming others: Well, you're right. So I
don't do so. But there is no movement out there right
now which has completely absented its need to
displace some part of themselves into others, for
purposes of humiliation, in order to make themselves
feel less compromised, so we're not going to get the
ideal... and so it doesn't stop me from aligning with
them. I made a link in an earlier post to a feminist
who's approved by the likes of Jezebel, the New
Yorker, New York Magazine, who argued that all of
the left are using white working class men as these
sorts of, in deMausian terms, "poison containers" (I
think she uses the term, "shit containers"): convenient
containers for properties in themselves that make
them very uneasy. Jessa Crispin is her name. I read
her argument. Agreed with it... and it did nothing to
turn me against contemporary feminists, owing to my
appreciation that I haven't seen any group prove
capable of avoiding doing the same (all of them do it
heavier, and worse).
434

In deMause's way of looking at things, eventually you


reach a time in a historical stage which has found
every way to keep itself from experiencing a massive
regressive turn, where pretty much everyone is
showing signs of having to deal with a sense that they
are guilty for continuing to push for yet further
progress. Poison containers become absolute
necessities, as, in a sense, no one can avoid being pill-
poppers of some kind to keep themselves at
equilibrium. Growth that should be making everyone
happy, is now succeeding in making absolutely
everyone, also miserable.
This way of seeing things makes it so that you never
forget, regardless of what comes out about Hollywood
and Washington, that these are places which almost in
unison vote Democratic -- vote to alleviate pain, and
encourage self-empowerment. They may be infiltrated
with people that are as compromised as the Catholic
Church, and you realize it was only going to be thus as
they functioned to help, even liberals, make sure that
in any place which promised the absolute realization
of dreams, there would also be the absolute, thorough,
ruination of them, as people are made degraded
discombobulates, broken forever in spirit and self-
pride. This had to be Hollywood's function,
Washington's function, people there were
"encouraged" -- by the broad public, including
educated liberals -- to produce the victims as much as
the successes, because we at some level understood
that we were doing emergency measures to keep a
growing, liberal society afloat, when all of us were
435

feeling that we were soon to a time when almost all of


us would be turning against what remained for
optimism in ourselves in favour of regressive,
punishing, mother-country-loyal, rightwing/leftwing
populism.
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binsightfl1 10/30/1
7

Re: [cliospsyche] Re: halloween costumes


Hi all,
I hate to hedge on this very important issue, but that's
what
it will seem like as soon as I indicate that I agree with
both
positions regarding whether or not to wear an ethnic
costume.
I don't think the decision should be an either/or
binary. There
are very few situations when that kind of thinking
works out.
I suppose one is either pregnant or is not, one is dead
or is
not, and a few other instances when such absolutisms
might
legitimately apply. Otherwise, things are much more
complex
than a simple, "I am fer it, or I am agin it" attitude.
436

Can I think of an instance when an ethnic costume is


legit?
Absolutely! And, let's add to it, the portrayal of
another sex
other than the one with which a person identifies
him/herself.
We need to be careful about the "thought police," who
decide
what is acceptable and what is not. That is not to say
that we
ought not be sensitive to the rights and sensitivities of
those
who have been hurt by oppression for whom certain
costumes
reinjure or retraumatize. Some costumes are obvious.
Some
are not. Use of "blackface," or wearing nazi uniforms
ain't
kosher (except, perhaps in a play that requires the
depiction
of such materiel. But, on the flip side (although I do
not mean
to be flip), one could argue that wearing costumes
depicting
ghouls, ghosts, vampires and witches all poke fun at
what
was once considered to be very serious issues. Anyone
who
doubts that ought to read the treatise Malleous
Mallificarum
437

(the Witches Hammer), in which witches were


concretely
listed, and methods for their torture described in
depth. So,
some sort of commonsense needs to be applied--on
both
sides. This should not be yet another way that we
devise
that adds to an already wide divide, that exists, which
Alice
has repeatedly and rightly informed us.
By the way, I may wear my surgeon's outfit, complete
with
a blood-stained (fake?) top, stethoscope, and de
rigouer
shrunken head around my neck. Doesn't everyone
have
a shrunken head? I do hope there are no Pygmies out
there
that are offended. I just hate poisonous darts. They
simply
could ruin my whole evening...
Boo to you (and Happy Halloween),
Burton
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Clio’s Psyche ›
438

Martha Gessen's "Diagnosing Donald Trump


and his voters"
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me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston 10/7/
change) 17

Quote from text: As professionals, these psychiatrists


have a kind of optics that may allow them to pick out
signs of danger in Trump’s behavior or statements,
but, at the same time, they are analyzing what we all
see: the President’s persistent, blatant lies (there is
some disagreement among contributors on whether
he knows he is lying or is, in fact, delusional); his
contradictory statements; his inability to hold a
thought; his aggression; his lack of empathy. None of
this is secret, special knowledge—it is all known to the
people who voted for him. We might ask what’s wrong
with them rather than what’s wrong with him.
Link: The New Yorker
Click here to Reply
Trevor Pederson 10/7/17
439

This last part is interesting


Knowing what we know about Trump and what
psychiatrists know about aggression, impulse control,
and predictive behavior, we are all in mortal danger.
He is the man with his finger on the nuclear button.
Contributors to “The Dangerous Case of Donald
Trump” ask whether this creates a “duty to warn.” But
the real question is, Should democracy allow a
plurality of citizens to place the lives of an entire
country in the hands of a madman? Crazy as this idea
is, it’s not a question psychiatrists can answer.
There is another unasked question here. If democracy
is an ideal we want to uphold instead of some
technocracy or new aristocracy, then how can society
be changed so that we produce healthier individuals?
One binary Marx wanted to overcome was the "idiocy
of rural life" in contrast to city life.
Trevor

On Sat, Oct 7, 2017 at 5:55 AM, Patrick McEvoy-


Halston <pmcevoyhalston@gmail.com> wrote:
Quote from text: As professionals, these psychiatrists
have a kind of optics that may allow them to pick out
signs of danger in Trump’s behavior or statements,
but, at the same time, they are analyzing what we all
see: the President’s persistent, blatant lies (there is
some disagreement among contributors on whether
he knows he is lying or is, in fact, delusional); his
440

contradictory statements; his inability to hold a


thought; his aggression; his lack of empathy. None of
this is secret, special knowledge—it is all known to the
people who voted for him. We might ask what’s wrong
with them rather than what’s wrong with him.
Link: The New Yorker
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Ken Fuchsman 10/8/17

I want to address the first clause of Trevor's posting


about upholding democracy as an ideal. What do we
mean by democracy? Of the various conceptions I
441

prefer rule by the people, or majority rule, or Lincoln's


of, by, and for the people.
By these standards since 1789 the U S has not been a
democracy. In 2 of the last 5 elections, the candidate
with the most popular votes did not become
President. We have a Senate where the state with
almost 12 percent of the nation's population gets 2
percent of the vote. California with over 39 million has
the same number of Senate votes as Wyoming with
under 600,000 people. The House of Representatives
is gerrymandered to try to insure Republican rule.
Congress will be in session 145 of the 261 work days in
2017. For every five days that the House meets
members spend about two of those raising money for
re-election. Democracy is a long way away.
We certainly need to have healthier people and
working to move more towards a democracy is one
step in that direction.
Ken
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Trevor Pederson 10/8/17

Hi Ken
Your point is well taken.
442

No new system will ever come into power in America


by billing itself as ant-democratic, or even as anti-
theist.
I've mentioned before that Trump and the alt-right
has returned the language of class conflict, and
draining the swamp, back to politics (after the
republicans have tried to squash or malign this lens
for decades).
I must say that for a Marxist, it would be important
for Trump, and the right, to able to pass some of their
atrocious bills because when millions lose health care
and and face death, don't get jobs, and see that they
didn't get any of the promised gains, they can gain
class consciousness.
Sadly, as a therapist, you often see that people only
change when they are forced to and the pain gets too
great. At least, they often don't look for help until they
are really suffering.
Trevor

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arniedr 10/8/1
7
443

No political libidinal position is given up willingly


Arnie
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bdagostino2687 10/8/17

On this point, I completely agree with Ken. A good


introduction to these and other undemocratic features
of our political system is Raymond Smith’s Importing
Democracy: Ideas from Around the World to Reform
and Revitalize American Politics and Government
(Praeger, 2010). Many Americans think that the US
was the first society since the Athenians to institute
democracy. This is an ethnocentric picture that
overlooks the Italian city states of the Renaissance,
the Dutch Republic beginning in the 16th century, and
the 17th century English Revolution, not to mention
many Native American tribes and other indigenous
societies around the world, to name only some major
counterexamples.
It should also be said that the electorate can only
choose between the alternatives that the political
system generates, and in the 2016 presidential
election the choice was effectively between a highly
qualified insider essentially promising more of the
same and an unqualified (in every possible way that
someone can be unqualified) outsider who, although
xenophobic, sexist, and abusive also ran on some new
444

policy ideas that could have the potential to make


things better (de-conflicting the US-Russia
relationship, dismantling the neoliberal trade regime,
and rebuilding American manufacturing and
infrastructure). So while some people voted for
Trump primarily because they are xenophobic, racist,
sexist, psychologically abused, etc. others voted for
him because the alternative seemed even worse. Had
the choice in the general election been between Bernie
Sanders and Donald Trump, the meaning of a vote for
Trump would have been a lot different and more
unambiguously a vote for xenophobia, etc.
Finally, it is not possible to have a robust political
democracy at the governmental levels if a society is
organized around authoritarian workplaces. I have a
book review in the current issue of Review of Political
Economy (attached) that addresses this topic and
discusses the democratization of workplaces that is
afoot in many parts of the world including in US.
I am reminded of the old saying, “To a hammer,
everything looks like a nail.” To many people of a
psychological bent, including many psychohistorians,
everything appears to be about psychology. For all the
reasons indicated above, however, it is a huge mistake
to try to reduce history and public affairs to
psychology. As psychohistorians, we should, instead,
be seeking to explain aspects of history that cannot be
adequately understood in terms of political, economic,
and other factors, which assumes that these other
445

factors must be part of the equation along with


psychology.
Brian
www.bdagostino.com
917-628-8253

From: cliospsyche@googlegroups.com
[mailto:cliospsyche@googlegroups.com] On Behalf
Of Ken Fuchsman
Sent: Sunday, October 08, 2017 10:10 AM
To: cliospsyche@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: [cliospsyche] Martha Gessen's
"Diagnosing Donald Trump and his voters"
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me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston 10/8/
change) 17

We do our own mental gerrymandering and we've


already got democracy: there's plenty of places where
democracy's grasp is firm. If deMause is right that
we're in a period of growth panic where regressing
people fuse with a maternal entity -- the mother
nation -- and attack those they see as mother-
abandoners in their having clearly individuated
446

themselves, what follows this disaster is a period


where progressives take the lead again, and where
everyone else -- after so much collective sacrifice and
ruin -- feels entitled to try and keep up with them,
even as it means becoming differentiated from their
own forlorn mothers' intentions for them. If we're at
1933, then that will occur in 12 to 15 years from now.
We hit hard then, knowing we've got about another 40
year run in which to go for broke, we might forever
manage a great contrivance against a subsequent
return of societal regression, a subsequent return of
societal growth panic.
- show quoted text -
Ken Fuchsman 10/8/17

Patrick,
What do you mean by democracy, and please give
illustrations of where democracy's grasp is firm..
.
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
bdagostino2687 10/8/17

As I have said before on this list, deMause’s theory of


growth panic is not consistent with economic reality.
Patrick, if you cannot document substantial increases
in economic prosperity for the majority of Americans,
then the whole theory collapses. In fact, the period of
expanding prosperity for ordinary Americans was
447

prior to 1975; after the mid 70s, the pay and benefits
for median income earners essentially stagnated and
for many, things got worse. The “growth” was enjoyed
disproportionately by the affluent segments of the
society, who were not panicking but rather living high
on the hog at the expense of the many, while the many
who panicked were experiencing government
cutbacks, givebacks by their unions, loss of union jobs
and other forms of austerity—anything but “growth.”
DeMause’s theory is not consistent with the available
evidence and I cannot take it seriously..
Brian
www.bdagostino.com
917-628-8253

From: cliospsyche@googlegroups.com
[mailto:cliospsyche@googlegroups.com] On Behalf
Of Patrick McEvoy-Halston
Sent: Sunday, October 08, 2017 11:52 AM
To: Clio’s Psyche
Subject: Re: [cliospsyche] Martha Gessen's
"Diagnosing Donald Trump and his voters"
We do our own mental gerrymandering and we've
already got democracy: there's plenty of places where
democracy's grasp is firm. If deMause is right that
we're in a period of growth panic where regressing
people fuse with a maternal entity -- the mother
nation -- and attack those they see as mother-
448

abandoners in their having clearly individuated


themselves, what follows this disaster is a period
where progressives take the lead again, and where
everyone else -- after so much collective sacrifice and
ruin -- feels entitled to try and keep up with them,
even as it means becoming differentiated from their
own forlorn mothers' intentions for them. If we're at
1933, then that will occur in 12 to 15 years from now.
We hit hard then, knowing we've got about another 40
year run in which to go for broke, we might forever
manage a great contrivance against a subsequent
return of societal regression, a subsequent return of
societal growth panic.
- show quoted text -
- show quoted text -
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
Trevor Pederson 10/8/17

Hi Brian
I agree with you on taking psychological factors along
with others into account, and about how Trump voters
aren't all racists or sexists.
However, the rhetoric that Trump uses 'make America
great again' is about national identity. Even if most
people have stagnated incomes compared to the rich
(who enjoy more disparity as you point out), isn't the
issue here the perception of the
greatness/power/affluence of the nation?
449

It would be social narcissism instead of individual


narcissism in which a person looks at there own
benefit (or benefit for their family), wouldn't it?
Trevor
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
Trevor Pederson 10/8/17

Hi Ken
I'm curious if you have thoughts about having a more
direct democracy that goes beyond correcting the
electoral college, equal representation of states, etc.
Do you think computers and technology should be
used for direct participation instead of having
representatives, for example?
What is the ideal?
Trevor
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
Ken Fuchsman 10/8/17

Trevor,
Here is the Ken Fuchsman platform for reforming the
American political system.
450

1. A Constitutional Amendment that does its best to


take money out of electoral politics. To do so, there
needs to be federal financing of elections for the
President and Congress, with no PACS allowed
2. Part of that amendment will set a limit to the
primary and general election season, so as to be more
in accord with our European allies. Our election
seasons go on for too long, and we pay too much
attention to campaigning and not enough to
governing.
3. A separate constitutional amendment to abolish
the electoral college and have the candidate with the
most votes selected as President as long as that
candidate receives at least 40% of the vote.
4. Either a Supreme Court decision or another
amendment that makes gerrymandering a thing of the
past.
I am still on favor of a representative democracy.
These things are a beginning and even if implements
will still leave many problems..
Not part of my political program but is an agreement
with Brian that the socioeconomic system that is so
hierarchical in business and government is an
obstacle to developing more of a democratic
sensibility. As part of this is that we live in a nation
that is as much a plutocracy as it is a republic. In a
highly industrialized society within a global economy
451

big business and big government are a parallel


development. There are often paradoxes. Probably
the most authoritarian business leader since World
War II was the bullying, even monstrous Steve Jobs.
Yet it is hard to find many leaders who were as
innovative and imaginative as Jobs. He facilitated the
development of the personal computer and the smart
phone that have changed our lives. . .
.
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston 10/9/
change) 17

They didn't experience these cutbacks -- they willed


them in. Voting in Reagan et al. was a sure way to
curb the growth of the 1970s. They knew he'd bring
some relief from the threat of growth, and he
delivered. Democrats delivered too, in developing an
absolute distaste for the working class: this ongoing
humiliation they were going to have to suffer from
where everyone in power ignored them, helped
guarantee for themselves they sure weren't
prospering. Still, what also has happened in the
meantime. For one, it had become socially harder to
stigmatize the very groups the working class had been
comfortable projecting their own vices on, so slowly
but surely one of the "poison containers" they
depended on for their emotional stability was being
taken away from them. For another, what is being
created by progressives in society is the beginnings of
452

the Scandinavianation of American society... an


expectation of a very high standard of living which
was sure to envelope all of America. We were on the
threshold of increasing minimum wage again to make
them near living wage, increasing worker rights,
expanding to national health care, to becoming
egalitarian in a way which would ensure that more
access to an enriched and full life was actually
available to all, not just to children of the professional
class. This is what Hillary Clinton would have
furthered for us. This is what she represented. So...
once again, growth panic, amongst our least loved
people, to break apart something that was setting up
for something good.
I thought you said the only deMause you've read was
his first book, Brian. He doesn't discuss the switch
from depressed phase to war phase until his latter two
books.
Those you accuse of living high on the hog, those you
encourage us to see as demons, are the grossly rich,
sure, but probably also liberals who favour a quasi-
socialist society and read the New Yorker. They're
people of some quietude whom I'm not sure it would
be healthy of us to want to see ravaged. We should
hope we're not projecting on our "spoiled" selves onto
them, and gaining maternal approval by lining up to
war against them. And to some extent they were
panicking. If they weren't, if growth didn't make them
feel uncomfortable, make them feel as if they deserved
punishment, they wouldn't have required that much
453

of the rest of America serve as their poison containers,


and instead would have reacted to the white working
class with some exasperation -- why is it these people
don't actually WANT to be helped! -- but would
always have kept in mind the nature of their
childhoods, and maintained an understanding and
empathic stance. How exactly the professional class
has been dealing with their own sense that they
deserve punishment for their growth, with their own
arising growth panic, is something I dealt with in my
article, "Reply to Kenneth Alan Adams...", located
here.
- show quoted text -
me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston 10/9/
change) 17

This is the other thing I mentioned last time we


discussed this, that what liberals have been doing in
university has not just been about creating great
careers for the educated but none for those of less
fortuitous backgrounding, but redeeming the sense
that no matter your colour, your gender identification,
your religion, your looks, your ADHD or your
Aspergers, you deserve a proud and enabled life.
People like Chris Hedges say this was just a means of
providing moral cover for neo-liberal economic dis-
equities, but I think that America-wide people sensed
the truth: with the spread of this "enablism" it would
prove harder and harder for regressive parents to
instruct their children that they are sinful beasts who
don't deserve to live a rich life... children would have
454

picked up on the prevalent atmosphere, the spreading


norms, parents would have found themselves cowed
by their authority, and children would have taken
advantage of the external therapeutic support and
begun to grow past their parents again. Hence, growth
panic.
- show quoted text -
me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston 10/9/
change) 17

And I have another sort of astray theory on how those


living "high on the hog," that is, not the professional
class but the more grossly rich, are actually evidencing
growth panic as well. I think at some level they might
realize they're playing out the part of a social drama
where they're serving as those who've abandoned
everyone else only to focus entirely on their own
insatiable needs, where they're serving as the bad,
abandoning parents, so everyone else can be children
who acquire love, or failing that, respite from worse
harm, in not confronting them too much about it -- a
form of childhood re-staging. That is, I sense that they
realize that in playing out a social role they've actually
limited their own individuation. This will allay some
of the claims made upon them that incur with grown
panic.
I believe I sense something of this happening with the
professional class as well. I think they are serving, in
narrowing their acceptance of what is legitimate
thought, of what behaviour, manners, are to be taken
seriously, to mostly those their fellow Ivy League
455

friends possess, but to no others, to stifle a lot of what


they know at some level to be very legitimate potential
out there, stuff that would have enhanced their own
lives if they were allowed to be grounded as something
to be fully welcomed, and so are limiting their own
individuation by serving as horrible social agents of an
age of frustration, waste and sacrifice as well. Most of
us are trying to in some way show to a monitor we
know can read us with infallible, brilliant insight, that
we've taken measures to ensure we don't sprout out as
proudly and as independently as we might.
- show quoted text -
mfbrttn 10/9/1
7

Patrick,
I was taken with all of what you wrote, and this in
particular: "growth panic, amongst our least loved
people, to break apart something that was setting up
for something good." Your way of seeing how growth
can incite panic and various reactions to escape the
panic strikes me as compassionate, a framework for
trying to help people risk the better life that could be
theirs/ours. I appreciate your writings..
Michael Britton
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
bdagostino2687 10/9/17
456

I have never argued that deMause’s growth panic


theory is entirely wrong, only that we cannot reduce
politics to mass psychology and that when we do
examine mass psychology we need to remember that
there is no such thing as a monolithic group, only
psychoclasses. So the concept of growth panic may
explain at most the psychology of one or some
psychoclasses, and does not account for a lot else that
must be taken into account to explain the outcome of
large scale phenomena such as presidential elections,
wars, etc. For example, growth panic may be a good
model for many Reagan voters, but to understand why
Reagan was elected we need to take other things into
account as well such as:
(1) The failure of the Democratic Party, which is very
nearly as beholden to the rich and corporate interests
as the Republican Party, to provide a true economic
populist alternative in general elections since FDR
(perhaps with the partial exception of LBJ in 1964).
This is a big part of why voter turnout in the US is so
low compared to countries that have multiparty
systems that include socialist parties;
(2) Notwithstanding the low rate of voter turnout in
the US and the very flawed alternatives that our
electoral system produces, a very large segment of
working Americans still vote Democratic. So if growth
panic is the main issue, how can it account for that?
My answer is that it cannot, but as stated above
applies only to certain psychoclasses.
(3) Mass psychology does not explain the assault on
unions launched by corporate leaders beginning in the
457

1970s, particularly the moving of factories to low wage


regions of the country and then abroad. This
deindustrialized the Northeast and has been
deindustrializing the country as a whole since the
1980s. To understand this, we need to examine what
goes on in corporate board rooms, not mass
psychology.
In summary, if growth panic by one segment of the
electorate were put forth as one factor among many
for explaining the election of Reagan or austerity
policies, I would have no objection. It is the reduction
to a single factor to which I object.
Brian
www.bdagostino.com
917-628-8253

From: cliospsyche@googlegroups.com
[mailto:cliospsyche@googlegroups.com] On Behalf
Of Michael Britton
Sent: Monday, October 09, 2017 11:43 AM
To: cliospsyche@googlegroups.com
- show quoted text -
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston 10/31/
change) 17

Missed this earlier. Thank you very much Michael.


- show quoted text -
458

me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston 10/31/


change) 17

In regards to (1): if most Americans had wanted a


"true populist alternative," they would have gotten
one. The people allow parties to be begotten to
corporate interests. Where we don't see this
happening as much, is where the childrearing is better
-- they don't need the government to seem consisted
of "averse parents"; they don't themselves feel as
much the need to be, if not "good children," then at
least children whose dissent is within bounds, in while
recognizing that their parents can be hypocritical and
completely self-interested they don't venture any
further than that. By other countries you might be
referencing Scandinavian ones, perhaps. Yes, their
childrearing is better so they're more bourgeois: they
take active political participation seriously, and do
their part. These people would vote regardless if
multi-parties or socialist alternatives; it feels self-
actualizing, in that their activity is moved by the kind
of motive that in mass can create a responsible
society.
In regards to (2): FDR offered a populist alternative in
the 1930s. So did Hitler and Mussolini. (I remember it
being said that people didn't go hungry under Hitler.)
I bring this up because what FDR brought with him
was also a depressing reduction of people into the
American folk, that is, an almost instituted demand
that people forgo adult individuation to become good
459

sons and daughters to their Motherland. Voting


Democratic has for some while been about voting
which only marginally empowers the working class
over what Republicans would provide (Thomas
Frank's "What's wrong with Kansas?"). Working class
Americans have not shown they wanted their
economic conditions dramatically improved by their
voting Democratic. Only marginally improved. This
fact works well with idea of growth panic.
This is now changing, but unfortunately it is changing
because at some level the working class sense that
we've entered a historical period where growth will
not find some clever way to contrive its way through,
as has happened these last several decades with
neoliberal growth-but-also-mass-disregard, but rather
where the THREAT of further growth has ended.
We've entered in a sense the deMausian war phase
where there will be good children pit against the bad,
and the American working class feel they will be
empowered -- for, in part, their several decades of
suffering elites' debasement of them -- to be the good
children, loyal to a mother country and its values that
others have been ignoring, while certain select groups
-- university professors, students, Hollywood,
Washington D.C. New York City... sanctuary cities,
immigrants -- will be the bad.
They no longer need to suffer because liberalism will
no longer serve as it has to communicate that
everyone deserves to live a self-realized life, but rather
only to argue that there should be jobs and more food
460

on everyone's table. No voice with any social credit


will exist to instruct people that life is about
abandoning what your parents told you to become an
individual even more individuated and self-realized
than they were. Instead, every voice in society will be
instructing them that their fore-bearers knew better.
So they now can insist on the jobs etc. and can
demonstrate what happens to politicians when they
work against a populace that actually wants what they
say they want, for the same reason working class
Germans in the '30s felt empowered to do so. The get
to "out" themselves as those who have always been
mother-loyal at a time when the value of the Mother
Country is being "remembered "again... and "mom,"
they know that everyone knows, wants her best
children dressed to a proud shine.
In regards to (3), Americans wanted this to happen,
and that's why it occurred. I can get into this if
necessary, but I believe I've already addressed it.
Those of poorer childrearing wanted to demonstrate
in their being forlorn that they had not been spoiling
themselves. Those of a bit better childrearing who still
wanted growth, who could help enshrine our last few
decades as those which empowered a cultural
"atmosphere" which told you that no matter your
colour, creed, etc., you deserved a fully realized life,
had to make sure this growth came along with
massive negative counters, otherwise, too guilty.
Those of pretty good childrearing still needed poison
containers to contain the sense of powerless and
helplessness -- as one remembers the rejection that
461

occurred when your first movement towards self-


activation was met by your immature mother's
disapproval/apprehension, her rejection -- that comes
along with self-growth, and so purposely ignored most
of the rest of the country.
By all this I think I've once again made evident how
constrained I believe corporations really are.
Sorry for the late response to this, but sometimes I
have to situate myself before I can take a full
respectful look at what you write, or as close as I can
manage to it.
- show quoted text -
Ben 10/31/1
7

Is that growth panic, or just the unconscious shame of


knowing that class privilege comes at the expense of
the rights, freedom and wellbeing of others -- shame
which, in being inadmissable, needs to be projected
back onto the source of it as a scapegoating type
mechanism that makes it possible for the opulent few
to be able to live with themselves?
I mean, I don't think it's any coincidence that the
economically privileged are preoccupied with
'parasites' amongst the poor, if you get my drift.
On Mon, Oct 9, 2017 at 11:03 AM, Patrick McEvoy-
Halston <pmcevoyhalston@gmail.com> wrote:
And I have another sort of astray theory on how those
living "high on the hog," that is, not the professional
462

class but the more grossly rich, are actually evidencing


growth panic as well. I think at some level they might
realize they're playing out the part of a social drama
where they're serving as those who've abandoned
everyone else only to focus entirely on their own
insatiable needs, where they're serving as the bad,
abandoning parents, so everyone else can be children
who acquire love, or failing that, respite from worse
harm, in not confronting them too much about it -- a
form of childhood re-staging. That is, I sense that they
realize that in playing out a social role they've actually
limited their own individuation. This will allay some
of the claims made upon them that incur with grown
panic.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Clio's Psyche #3

me (Patrick McEvoy-Halston 9/12


change) /17

My apologies Ken. I thought you were the editor


of Journal of Psychohistory for some reason. My
mistake. I wish we would acknowledge that going
wide is also the way to be taken seriously right
now, that it's part of our socio-cultural
environment--the way to, not guarantee, but
463

certainly to begin being accepted and lauded. For


some of us this "socio-cultural" context collapses
almost absolutely to the aggregate nature of the
childrearing... to, specifically, the emotional
health of the mothers within a society. We see
even economics as having a lot to do with
addressing that that was within our early
relationship with our mothers that, unaddressed
by our subsequent efforts of societal structuring,
of recompensing for it, could make it difficult to
live somewhat independent lives as adults at all.
To us this seems obvious, and we get dismayed
that someone who might provide very little that is
challenging but who agrees with you to find
cooperative findings amongst various disciplines,
is due to be lauded to the hills. We're beginning to
suspect that there are people out there whose real
expertise is in keeping their findings within what
a scholarly community can psychologically
accept... are becoming aces at, really, posturing,
keeping things within safe limits, all to keep a
very intelligent community that has lived very
enjoyably over the last few decades at ease.
Here's a challenging thing for us to contemplate.
Have we been projecting aspects of ourselves we
464

need to reject into hillbilly nation, into white


working class men, for several decades, and this
gross mass depositing has somehow helped us
stabilize for discussions that are so wickedly
agile, dextrous, circumventing, and confidently
calm? What members of the group of scholars
that you favour have suggested that that is
something we have been doing, deliberately
making one group of people seem sort of shit-
filled and horrible perhaps so that our
explorations of cultures can seem so exclusively
respectful and civilized, that is? All our
aggression gets shipped into one, and all our
benightedness, applied everywhere else? If no
one has, then perhaps this community is a
shared.... um, psychotic state... somehow
disassociated? One enters this community of
scholars, and by agreeing to de facto imply all
sorts of violence towards misogynistic, racist
Americans, one continues to enable a community
that can't see a flaw amongst themselves for they
all truly display every manner of open
consideration and politeness--they're perfect, only
flawed in a way which keeps them human, i.e.,
part of the flattery. If you couldn't agree to do the
former, then you couldn't be counted on to not
465

reflect some of the disorderedness that comes


from trying to contain the violence within
oneself, that the rest of the group depends on
feeling exempt from for their being self-evidently
humanity at its highest evolved state--the only
ones to be listened to, for they keep decorum. I
think what I'm getting at is that someone like me
is probably hoping that people like yourself, who
seem in the way, are going to have to start
showing flaws in how composed they seem for
our own say to gain some ground. And that this is
going to come through the vile agents, people
who are not emotionally your equal, not at all,
that are popping up everywhere that are arguing
that respectable scholarship has for some time
been been covering up a lot of fundamentally sick
societies/communities. As this view gains ground,
even within (especially within?) the left, and you
can't mention "socio-cultural" without drawing
suspicions from your audience rather than rapt,
respectful full attendance, then I believe we may
get to a point where whose view is correct will
count on truth rather than having one's having all
societal weight behind them.
466

On Tuesday, September 12, 2017 at 10:35:42 AM


UTC-4, Ken Fuchsman wrote:
Patrick,
In studying Freud's theory of the Oedipus
complex I found that to evaluate Freud's theories
findings from other disciplines were
indispensable. In other areas I have examined I
have also frequently found out that an
interdisciplinary approach was necessary to get a
comprehensive understanding of the subject
matter. To go deep you also often need to go
wide. I have found that the wider I go the deeper
my understanding becomes.
The mother child dyad is central to being human.
Yet it occurs within social-cultural contexts.
Borrowing from E. O. Wilson, anthropologist
Sarah Blaffer Hrdy says that cooperative breeding
across generations is about as central to what
makes us human as the mother-infant bond,
especially in cultures where the mother has other
economic functions that limit the time she has to
care for her newborn. The economic roles of
mothers outside of child rearing is found in
hunter-foraging cultures and in contemporary
industrial nations. Once again, we need to cross
467

disciplines to know all the factors involved in an


area of investigation. There is much more to say
on this subject of child care.
If I don't sound like a deMausian, it is because I
have not been positively influenced by his work.
Sent from my iPhone
On Sep 12, 2017, at 9:46 AM, Patrick McEvoy-
Halston <pmcevoyhalston@gmail.com> wrote:
Ken, if someone was a through and through
deMausian, would they be in compliance with all
that you would expect of someone to be listened
to, or wouldn't they? I'm not sure, but it does
seem that s/he would only be interested in the
nature of the childrearing someone had
undergone, and wouldn't really recognize the
world outside the mother-child dyad as being so
much a cultural environment, or a historical
environment... that is, something that requires a
different expertise, a different sort of expert, and
who's calling in to have their say would provide a
wonderful sense of evolved reaching out, but just
the exoskeleton produced by the aggregate of
everyone else's childhoods.... it's all contained by
the expert in early childhood. My concern is, are
468

we in an intellectual environment where someone


could be almost entirely right, have in their own
focused research come up with most essential of
research, but be overlooked because he unlike
others doesn't entwine himself within the larger
scholarly community, doesn't acknowledge the
intrinsic limitation of only one area of
knowledge/expertise? Your way of assessing how
truth is uncovered sounds very evolved, it sounds
like the kind of lubricant of manners that made
our Obama era seem so inspiringly cosmopolitan,
professional, peaceful, inspiring, evolved. But I
am worried that it's become a useful weapon to
vaporize people who in their own focussed
research might be digging at truths... we don't
actually want touched, because secretly its been
in occluding them that we've been able to
function so well, so we say to them, how can
what you say be so useful when you've spend so
much time in your burrow that you've missed the
multidisciplinary splendour produced by
worldwide collection of ....?
I know you must have deep respect for deMause,
but boy you sound the opposite of him.
469

On Monday, September 11, 2017 at 9:23:25 AM


UTC-4, Ken Fuchsman wrote:
1. Brian D'Agostino said that Freud's work needs
to be placed in intellectual and historic
perspective. Trevor Pederson disagrees. He thinks
that to understand Freud's internal logic we
examine the writings themselves.
2. To do so, Trevor explores Freud's concept of
the Oedipus complex, as he does in his valuable
book, The Economics of Libido. Arnie Richards
and Brian also discuss the meaning of the
Oedipus complex. As Freud wrote about the
Oedipus complex for over 40 years, there are
twists and turns, gaps and contradictions. There
are challenges to finding Freud’s internal logic.
3. In their short expositions, neither Trevor,
Arnie, nor Brian mention Freud's notion of the
positive and negative Oedipus complex. In the
positive side, the boy, for instance, chooses his
mother as his object choice, and his father is the
rival. In the negative version, the boy makes his
father the object choice and the mother is the
rival. In looking for any writer's internal logic, it
sometimes happens that we find selected parts of
the work explicated instead of treating the whole.
470

4. Freud characteristically describes the Oedipus


complex as universal. For ninety years,
anthropologists have examined Freud's Oedipal
claims cross-culturally and many have found
different family structures and dynamics than
Freud did. His response is to turn to Lamarck's
discredited notion of what Freud calls the
phylogenetic inheritance. Freud claims that if the
child's actual experiences do not fit into his
Oedipal notions, the child's unconscious
imagination has them fit into Freud's conception.
Clearly, here and in other places, Freud finds
ways of avoiding inconvenient evidence from
other disciplines and perspectives, and sometimes
becomes dogmatic. The meanings of Freud's
concepts can sometimes be illuminated by going
beyond Freud's own writings.
5. Not all recent writers on Freud seek to
understand his internal logic only through his
published works. In the last year, three full length
biographies of Freud have been published in
English. One by literary critic Frederick Crews,
and two by psychoanalysts. The two analysts,
Elisabeth Roudinesco and Joel Whitebook, each
claim that to understand the logic of Freud's work
471

we need to see him as a representative of the


Dark Enlightenment, which questions the
sufficiency of the rational and explores the non-
rational. Both Roudinesco and Whitebook, as
Brian would advocate, then turn to the intellectual
and historical to understand Freud's theoretical
development and significance.
6. Arnie Richards in the first two volumes of his
selected papers seeks to comprehend the historic
context, power struggles and dynamics within the
psychoanalytic movement. He too goes beyond
textual explication to find understanding.
7. The approaches Trevor, Brian, and Arnie take
are necessary, each can illuminate aspects of the
whole. To understand Freud the person and
thinker, any other psychoanalyst, psychoanalytic
clients, or any of us, we need to see the individual
as a whole person, to see the self in
psychological, intellectual, emotional, relational,
historic, and cultural context. In other words, to
grasp the entirety of the individual, psychohistory
with its integration of the individual, the group
and the past is an essential element in this quest.
472

On Sun, Sep 10, 2017 at 4:45 PM, Trevor


Pederson <trevor.pederson@gmail.com> wrote:
Hi Brian
On Sun, Sep 10, 2017 at 12:59 PM, Brian
D'Agostino <bdagostino2687@gmail.com>
wrote:
Trevor,
I agree that a deeper understanding of Freud’s
historical context does not shed much light on the
details of Oedipal theory, but that misses my
point about the importance of historical context.
I don't think it does. You have to have a coherent
theory first, both in order to test it, and in order to
criticize it.
What you are dealing with here are speculations
about what might have influenced Freud.
When things in Freud's theories turn out to be
false then it is valuable and interesting to look
into potential causes (whether psychological or
sociological), but the theories need to be tested
themselves to establish their value, and this won't
happen until there is a theoretical framework in
473

which to understand and operationalize different


concepts.

Let me sketch a little more of what I have in mind


and why historical context cannot be dismissed as
“nice window dressing.” As I said in my
previous email, I am a beginner in Freudian
studies and can only present what I have gotten
out my limited reading of the literature. If I
misstate anything, don’t hesitate to point it out so
I can continue to learn.
Let’s start with Pierre Janet, whose published
lectures beginning in 1889 outlined the role of
early childhood trauma, especially sexual abuse,
in the etiology of hysteria. Janet pioneered the
concepts of the unconscious and of dissociation,
and connected the dots between early childhood
abuse, dissociation, and the symptoms of
“hysterics.” Freud acknowledged his debt to Janet
in his “Studies in Hysteria,” coauthored with
Joseph Breuer in 1895. It is not possible to
understand the significance of Freud’s Seduction
Theory without understanding this historical
context.
474

I disagree. Its significance is to be determined


clinically, and Freud gave his reasons for
retracting this view. He never said that trauma
had no part in neurosis, after this, but instead that
it wasn't always the cause. However, even back
then, there was a more generalized view of sexual
seduction or abuse as part of suffering
mortification:
In the earliest case accounts, reported in Studies
on Hysteria, Breuer and Freud had assigned
“mortification,” a variant of the shame family, a
central role in symptomformation. They observed
that “an injury suffered in silence” is a
“mortification”—a “kran-kung”—which literally
means to “make sick.” When one suffers an
injury, they wrote, one tries to get revenge, as a
catharsis. Or one can confess a tormenting secret.
Or one can right the memory of a humiliation by
remembering his worth. By contrast, an injury
suffered in silence makes one ill.
Breuer and Freud had also emphasized, however,
that they were addressing themselves to the
mechanism of symptom formation rather than to
the etiology of neurosis. The early formulations
about the role of mortification in neurosis have
475

therefore suffered neglect as incomplete, first


formulations, which were superseded by later
theoretical developments.
It is interesting that in the Outline of
Psychoanalysis, written some forty-five years
after the Studies on Hysteria, Freud again refers
to the role of mortification in neurosis. He uses
the same metaphor of a “mortification suffered in
silence” as the source of neurosis.
Lewis, H.B. (1971). Shame and Guilt in Neurosis
(p. 436-7)

Only when read in the context of Janet’s earlier


work do we see what was original and what was
not original in Freud’s Seduction Theory. What
was original to Freud was the notion that sexual
trauma could be the cause of a wider range of
psychological disorders than hysteria. In other
words, he went beyond the clinical data to a
general theory of psychopathology. When Freud
revised his Seduction Theory beginning in 1897,
he backtracked on this general theory—which
attributed psychopathology to early trauma—and
replaced it with a very different kind of general
theory (Oedipal Theory), which attributes
psychopathology to the repression of sexual
476

drives. In The Assault on Truth (1984),


psychoanalyst Jeffrey Masson reconstructed the
historical context of this reversal, which was the
beginning of Freudian psychoanalysis as it came
to be known in the early 20 century.
th

Freud himself mentioned that he didn't take


sexuality in hysterical symptom formation to be
his own idea. He writes:
A year later when I had begun my medical
activities in Vienna as a private dozent in nervous
diseases I was as innocent and ignorant in all that
concerned the etiology of the neuroses as any
promising academician could be expected to be.
One day I received a friendly call from Chrobak,
who asked me to take a patient to whom he could
not give sufficient time in his new capacity as
lecturer at the university. I reached the patient
before he did and learned that she suffered from
senseless attacks of anxiety, which could only be
alleviated by the most exact information as to the
whereabouts of her physician at any time in the
day. When Chrobak appeared, he took me aside
and disclosed to me that the patient's anxiety was
477

due to the fact that though she had been married


eighteen years, she was still a virgo intacta, that
her husband was utterly impotent. In such cases
the physician can only cover the domestic mishap
with his reputation and must bear it if people
shrug their shoulders and say of him: “He is not a
good doctor if in all these years, he has not been
able to cure her.” He added: “The only
prescription for such troubles is the one well-
known to us, but which we cannot prescribe. It is:
Penis normalis
dosim
Repetatur!
I had never heard of such a prescription and
would like to have shaken my head at my
informant's cynicism. (History of the
Psychoanalytic Movement)
Also, Oedipal theory doesn't just involve the
repression of the sexual drives, there are also
aggressive impulses that are linked to parental
imagos. Moreover, even when they are sexual, in
the general sense of eros (love) the Oedipal
aspect also involves a real object. For example,
when he is looking at melancholia, he is looking
478

at the death of a real love object and even just


being jilted by a lover:
The object has not perhaps actually died, but has
been lost as an object of love (e.g. in the case of a
betrothed girl who has been jilted). In yet other
cases one feels justified in maintaining the belief
that a loss of this kind has occurred, but one
cannot see clearly what it is that has been lost,
and it is all the more reasonable to suppose that
the patient cannot consciously perceive what he
has lost either. This, indeed, might be so even if
the patient is aware of the loss which has given
rise to his melancholia, but only in the sense that
he knows whom he has lost but not what he has
lost in him. This would suggest that melancholia
is in some way related to an object-loss which is
withdrawn from consciousness, in
contradistinction to mourning, in which there is
nothing about the loss that is unconscious.
In Melancholia the self-reproach is linked to an
aggressive instinct towards the the beloved that is
turned on the self, along with the defense enacted
in object loss.
479

However, the object loss from which the defense


and symptom breakout, still references an earlier
loss that reaches back to the past.

In the attached 1989 Psychoanalytic Review


article, Dorothy Bloch argues, plausibly in my
opinion, that Masson overlooks a major
psychobiographical component of Freud’s
reversal, namely the death of his father in 1896
less than five months after he and Breuer
presented their hysteria paper on May 2, 1896.
Since Freud had developed his seduction theory
in part from his observation of sexual abuse of his
siblings by their father, the death of Freud’s father
and its timing very likely elicited massive guilt
for Freud, which is also suggested by Freud’s
“One is requested to close the eyes” dream
around this same time. Freud’s new Oedipal
explanation of psychopathology relegated
parental abuse of young children to the margins
of psychoanalysis for many years. According to
Bloch, this new mindset helps explain why Freud
attributed Daniel Schreber’s psychosis to Daniel’s
own homosexual fantasies towards his father,
which overlooks the overwhelming evidence of
physical abuse by Schreber’s father.
480

This is a quotation from Freud's analysis of


Schreber

In my Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality


[Standard Ed., 7, 235] I have expressed the
opinion that each stage in the development of
psychosexuality affords a possibility of ‘fixation’
and thus of a dispositional point. People who
have not freed themselves completely from the
stage of narcissism—who, that is to say, have at
that point a fixation which may operate as a
disposition to a later illness—are exposed to the
danger that some unusually intense wave of
libido, finding no other outlet, may lead to a
sexualization of their social instincts and so undo
the sublimations which they had achieved in the
course of their development. This result may be
produced by anything that causes the libido to
flow backwards (i.e. that causes a
‘regression’): whether, on the one hand, the
libido becomes collaterally reinforced owing to
some disappointment over a woman, or is
directly dammed up owing to a mishap in
social relations with other men—both of these
481

being instances of ‘frustration’; or whether, on


the other hand, there is a general intensification of
the libido, so that it becomes too powerful to find
an outlet along the channels which are already
open to it, and consequently bursts through its
banks at the weakest spot. (p. 61-2)
There is a part played by psychosexual
development at the beginning, and the onset of
the neurosis goes along with the parental-
substitute causing some ego injury, frustration,
etc. that causes repression. This is Oedipal.
More precisely, Freud has 3 steps to symptom
formation and these are the first and 3rd stages.
As Arnie and his coauthors indicated,
psychoanalysis subsequently developed in ways
that went beyond Freud’s own thinking. Most
notably, the object relations school has returned
psychoanalysis to a focus on the importance of
early trauma and the effects of parenting, a focus
that Freud originally shared with Janet but which
he mainly abandoned after 1896 in favor of the
Oedipal Theory. Such historical thinking about
the origins and present state of psychoanalysis is
482

necessary if we want to learn from the past and


not simply repeat its mistakes.

1. The first phase consists in fixation, which is the


precursor and necessary condition of every
‘repression’. Fixation can be described in this
way. One instinct or instinctual component fails
to accompany the rest along the anticipated
normal path of development, and, in consequence
of this inhibition in its development, it is left
behind at a more infantile stage. The libidinal
current in question then behaves in relation to
later psychological structures like one belonging
to the system of the unconscious, like one that is
repressed. We have already shown [pp. [61-2] that
these instinctual fixations constitute the basis for
the disposition to subsequent illness, and we may
now add that they constitute above all the basis
for the determination of the outcome of the third
phase of repression.
2. The second phase of repression is that of
repression proper—the phase to which most
attention has hitherto been given. It emanates
from the more highly developed systems of the
ego—systems which are capable of being
483

conscious—and may in fact be described as a


process of ‘after-pressure’. It gives an impression
of being an essentially active process, while
fixation appears in fact to be a passive lagging
behind. What undergo repression may either be
the psychical derivatives of the original lagging
instincts, when these have become reinforced and
so come into conflict with the ego (or ego-
syntonic instincts), or they may be psychical
trends which have for other reasons aroused
strong aversion. But this aversion would not in
itself lead to repression, unless some connection
had been established between the unwelcome
trends which have to be repressed and those
which have been repressed already. Where this is
so, the repulsion exercised by the conscious
system and the attraction exercised by the
unconscious one tend in the same direction
towards bringing about repression. The two
possibilities which are here treated separately
may in practice, perhaps, be less sharply
differentiated, and the distinction between them
may merely depend upon the greater or lesser
degree in which the primarily repressed instincts
contribute to the result.
484

3. The third phase, and the most important as


regards pathological phenomena, is that of failure
of repression, of irruption, of return of the
repressed. This irruption takes its start from the
point of fixation, and it implies a regression of the
libidinal development to that point. We have
already [p. 61 f.] alluded to the multiplicity of the
possible points of fixation; there are, in fact, as
many as there are stages in the development of
the libido. We must be prepared to find a
similar multiplicity of the mechanisms of
repression proper and of the mechanisms of
irruption (or of symptom-formation), and we
may already begin to suspect that it will not be
possible to trace back all of these multiplicities
to the developmental history of the libido
alone. It is easy to see that this discussion is
beginning to trench upon the problem of ‘choice
of neurosis’, which, however, cannot be taken in
hand until preliminary work of another kind has
been accomplished.1 Let us bear in mind for the
present that we have already dealt with fixation,
and that we have postponed the subject of
symptom-formation; and let us restrict ourselves
to the question of whether the analysis of
Schreber's case throws any light upon the
485

mechanism of repression proper which


predominates in paranoia.
In Inhibitions, Symptoms and Anxiety the second
phase is discussed again:
As regards the metapsychological explanation of
regression, I am inclined to find it in a ‘defusion
of instinct’, in a detachment of the erotic
components which, with the onset of the genital
stage, had j
Mark as complete

Trevor Pederson 9/12/17

Hi Ken
On Tue, Sep 12, 2017 at 9:25 AM, Ken Fuchsman
<kfuchsman@gmail.com> wrote:
Trevor,
Freud’s statements on the importance of biology
for psychoanalytic understanding not only have
gaps but on occasion are actually contradictory.
From the 1890s to the 1930s, there are wild
fluctuation in Freud’s statements on the roles of
486

heredity and experience in psychology. Towards


the end of his life in 1937, Freud wrote: “for the
psychical field, the biological field does in fact
play the part of the underlying bedrock.” Eleven
years earlier, Freud had said: “There is no more
urgent need in psychology than for a securely
founded theory of the instincts….Nothing of the
sort exists…and psychoanalysis is driven to
making tentative efforts towards some such
theory.”
Do you mean these as contradicting statements?
He's right to say that there is an underlying brain
chemistry to all mental activities, in the first, and
when he's mentioning the instincts, he's talking
about ego and object drives and understanding
how we are driven in different ways.

But in 1935, Freud had declared: “we must keep


psychoanalysis separate from biology.” Over
twenty years before, he had written that it is
“necessary to hold aloof from biological
considerations…so that we may not be misled in
our impartial judgment of the psychoanalytic
facts before us.” This is part of a general strategy,
for “psycho-analysis must keep itself free from
487

any hypothesis that is alien to it, whether of an


anatomical, chemical or physiological kind, and
must operate entirely with purely psychological
auxiliary ideas.” Freud did not want “to
subordinate the psychological material to
biological considerations,” nor did he want
psychoanalysis to be dependent “on philosophy,
physiology, or brain anatomy.”
The concept of the drive, repetition, etc. shouldn't
be reduced to biology or to erotogenic zones.
Freud made clear that he wanted analysis of these
drives to stay at the level of common language for
motivations:
in ego-psychology it will be difficult to escape
from what is universally known; it will rather be a
question of new ways of looking at things and
new ways of arranging them than of new
discoveries. (Freud, 1933, p. 60)
We call this organization their “ego.” Now there
is nothing new in this. Each one of us makes this
assumption without being a philosopher … In
psycho-analysis we like to keep in contact with
the popular mode of thinking and prefer to make
488

its concepts scientifically serviceable rather than


reject them. (Freud, 1926b, p. 195)

Ironically, Freud reluctantly recognizes that


psychoanalysis cannot be kept segregated from
biology. “In spite of all our efforts to prevent
biological terminology and considerations from
dominating psychoanalytic work, we cannot
avoid using them even in our descriptions of the
phenomena that we study. We cannot help
regarding the term ‘instinct’ as a concept on the
frontier between the spheres of psychology and
biology.”

When someone just talks the language of


physicalism, and be reductionistic, they have
nothing interesting to say about human
interactions and motivations. They simply say
things like we are programmed by our DNA or
talk about neural images.
Additionally, many early psychoanalysts tried to
use the erotogenic zone references and speak of
oral and anal and genital drives, for example.
They didn't just use them to say someone who
smokes has an oral drive, but in a larger sense
489

they were either linked to different id aggressions


or "sadisms" and the underlying relation to the
parental imago that the id impulses are paired
with. However, that language eventually
disappeared because the links to the motivations
and character weren't firmly established.

For example, Freud recognizes that the


psychological phenomenon of the Oedipus
complex has a biological foundation. The
“Oedipus complex is the psychical correlate of
two fundamental biological facts: the long period
of the human child’s dependence, and the…way
its sexual life reaches a first climax in the third to
fifth year of life, and then…sets in again at
puberty.”

In this way, Freud would also say that the death


drive was "biological," but part of the issue is that
the death drive acts precisely against the self-
preservation of the organism.
I'm not opposed to him saying there is a
biological ground of "id erotic object choices"
that are programmed to come out in a stable way
for most people, and that the "instinctual
490

renunciation" of these becomes the ground for the


ego and object drives.

Yet he continues to vacillate on the centrality of


biology to psychoanalysis. In particular, Freud
has great trouble integrating the relationship of
biology and experience. In a 1911 letter, he says:
“The question as to which is of greater
significance, constitution or experience…can in
my opinion only be answered by saying that…not
one or the other are decisive.” Twenty years later,
Freud confesses: “we are not as yet able to
distinguish…between what is rigidly fixed by
biological laws and what is open to movement
and change under the influence of accidental
experience.”

Until all the ego and object drives are understood


and differences in character are plotted, then it is
hard to know the basis for the id object choices
underneath.
He also, as Arnie points out, leaves himself open
to the dialectic of nature vs. nurture and the idea
that some of the id object choices may be
inherited and some created anew:
491

Freud (1939, 1917c) resolves the tension between


the two groups of causes— nature (what is
heritable) and nurture (what is created in one’s
own ontogenetic experience)— in his concept of
the complemental series. He writes:
the gap between the two groups appears not to be
unbridgeable. It is quite possible to unite the two
aetiological determinants under a single
conception; it is merely a question of how one
defines ‘traumatic’. If we may assume that the
experience acquires its traumatic character only
as a result of a quantitative factor—that is to say,
that in every case it is an excess in demand that is
responsible for an experience evoking unusual
pathological reactions—then we can easily arrive
at the expedient of saying that something acts as a
trauma in the case of one constitution but in the
case of another would have no such effect. In this
way we reach the concept of a sliding
‘complemental series’ as it is called in which two
factors converge in fulfilling an aetiological
requirement. (Freud, 1939, p. 73)
Instead of nature vs. nurture, Freud is drawing
attention to the quantitative factor that leads to a
492

trauma or the ‘primal repression’ of the impulses,


as the mediating third term (Freud, 1911b, p. 67).
In other words, one can inherit a disposition to
aggression or affection, and this can come with its
projection onto the internal object, at a certain
stage or phase of development. However,
parenting can be such that the child isn’t
overwhelmed by it and it doesn’t become
traumatic. Conversely, one’s caregivers can treat
one in such a way that an instinctual reaction is
coaxed or born out of frustration to the point of it
becoming traumatic; thus, one can form mental
pathology that was never, or isn’t common in the
gene pool. What applies to the quantitative aspect
of trauma, would also apply to the quantitative
question of what kind of relation with the
maternal imago is enough for her to become the
phallic mother or a combined parent imago. Id
drives of affection, for example, may have a
genetic disposition to be projected at the phallic
stage so that the maternal imago is experienced as
being seductive with one, even though the real
caregiver might not have actively tried to
denigrate the paternal imago.
493

I think there is sense to be made of this in Freud's


work and I don't see him as confused here.
This is obviously difficult terrain and many
generations of analysts, as you've mentioned,
have also gone on to different schools and
theories. For me this doesn't point to a post-
modernistic idea of the truth, but the inherent
difficulty in understanding human beings as being
made up of many selves, many egos, or many
drives.
For most psychologists, this is too difficult and
they keep the old Cartesian dualism and the free
will around, so that they don't have to break
people down into parts.
Trevor

On Tue, Sep 12, 2017 at 9:42 AM, Trevor


Pederson <trevor.pederson@gmail.com> wrote:
Hi Ken

Can you say more about what you see as Freud's


biological approach? As I understand it, it's not
separate from his ontogenetic one.
494

I agree that there are many competing approaches


to the clinical realm, but I still see that as
illustrating the need for a better conceptual
framework so that these approaches can be
assessed.
I also agree about overlap with other fields, but
until the individual aspect is understood in the
clinic, I'm not sure how seriously people in other
fields can take the claims. I'd like to think that
there are a few psychodynamic claims that we
could say are established, but overarching ones
like the Oedipus complex are not.
Trevor

On Tue, Sep 12, 2017 at 5:46 AM, Ken Fuchsman


<kfuchsman@gmail.com> wrote:
Trevor,
I think Freudian theory is tested not at first
exclusively in clinical settings. First, clinical
findings are not always conclusive. After all,
within psychoanalysis there have been a diversity
of theoretical and clinical approaches which give
divergent interpretations of the same materials,
495

and struggle to find criteria to resolve the


differences. Second, there are many
psychoanalytic claims that overlap with research
in other fields. It makes sense to critically
evaluate those findings and apply what's solid to
psychoanalytic claims.
I do not use the terms objectivity or tribalism, and
the only way for you to know if these terms apply
to what Freud's recent biographer's claim is for
you to read the books yourself. As you know,
Freud from time to time used a biological
approach to illuminate the works of significant
writers.

Sent from my iPhone


On Sep 11, 2017, at 10:43 AM, Trevor Pederson
<trevor.pederson@gmail.com> wrote:
Hi Ken
You can't have it both ways. If there are power
struggles, "ideological" or "tribal" conflicts that
influence interpretations, then when different
biographers or others are making their case for
Freud being influenced, how do we know it's
objectivity and not their tribalism?
496

I know that many would dismiss Freud's concept


of the superego with a straw man, but I think this
has very little to do with understanding the
concept and seeing that it fails any tests.
Theory must be combined with the clinical and
prove itself there. Then when things pass and fail,
we can turn to biography and sociology to make
sense of the failures.
Trevor
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Penis normalis
Mark as complete

bdagostino2687 9/12/17

Dear all,
497

On this list we have a few Freudians, a few


deMausians, and an assortment of academically
and/or clinically trained eclectics in search of an
inclusive but coherent theoretical framework, yet
to be created. Joel has been promoting an
orthodox Freudian viewpoint on this list for many
years and Patrick has been promoting an orthodox
deMausian viewpoint. This is perfectly OK; you
are welcome here, but don’t expect to get
converts. If you have truthful and interesting
things to say, people will listen on the merits but
in most if not all cases will not find your overall
theoretical commitments compelling..
This list is devoted to an exchange of ideas. I
also have strong convictions (which include my
own heretical appropriations of DeMause, Marx,
Jung, Shankara and others) but I feel I would be
wasting my time to try to convince others on this
list about the validity of my convictions. Instead,
opportunities continually arise to exchange ideas
and information about topics of mutual interest,
and the diversity of theoretical viewpoints
represented here, including orthodox viewpoints,
makes for very rich and informative discussions.
That is the most anyone can hope for from this
498

list, but in my opinion it is a lot and not


something you find on many internet discussion
groups.
A few items of organizational history might also
be helpful for anyone who does not know them.
Lloyd DeMause, Paul Elovitz, David Beisel, and
others founded the International Psychohistorical
Association in 1977. DeMause was president for
many years and edited The Journal of
Psychohistory for many years, but the IPA has
always been a big tent. Paul Elovitz founded the
Psychohistory Forum and the peer-reviewed
journal Clio’s Psyche, which sponsors this
unmoderated list. Lloyd deMause has not been
well for more than five years, and The Journal of
Psychohistory is now edited by psychoanalyst
and long-time IPA member David Lotto and
published by Susan Hein, Lloyd’s wife. There is
no orthodoxy that the founders of the IPA or the
majority of its members have ever agreed upon;
this theoretical diversity has always been a source
of frustration for proponents of deMausian or any
other orthodoxy, and I suspect this will always be
the case.
Brian
499

www.bdagostino.com
917-628-8253

From: cliospsyche@googlegroups.com
[mailto:cliospsyche@googlegroups.com] On
Behalf Of Patrick McEvoy-Halston
Sent: Tuesday, September 12, 2017 11:45 AM
To: Clio’s Psyche
Subject: Re: [cliospsyche] Psychoanalysis After
Freud: Disentangling the historical Freud from
psychoanalysis
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Hi Brian
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Mark as complete
500

Joel Markowitz 9/13/17

No wonder Freud couldn’t decide how far


biological forces went, and where psychodynamic
factors took over. We STILL can’t separate
biological from psychological determinants with
certainty.
For example, oedipal determinism dominates the
natural selection of other mammals. Wolf and
lion cubs and young male baboons wrestle with
and nip at each other from early on
in preparing to challenge the alpha-male (who
often IS the father)— to dominate the pack, pride,
and troop; and to mate the females. Same with
us, of course, though more complexly.
But it’s still impossible to know.HOW MUCH of
human oedipal determinism is biological and how
much has been determined by societally based
psychodynamic forces.
Also: in my experience obsessive-compulsive
and phobic TENDENCIES seem genetically
transmitted in different families. But in AN
501

INDIVIDUAL who has a serious obsessional or


phobic problem in such a family
I often can’t determine the EXTENT to which
that symptom results from psychic trauma.
( Therapy often confronts both possibilities.
Psychotherapy and, sometimes, medication may
both be helpful. )

Joel

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502

In my Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality


[Standard Ed., 7, 235] I have expressed the
opinion that each stage in the development of
psychosexuality affords a possibility of ‘fixation’
and thus of a dispositional point. People who
have not freed themselves completely from the&
Mark as complete

bdagostino2687 9/13/17

Thanks for providing some comic relief, Patrick.


Trevor is a Gradiva award winning author who
hardly needs the approval of this list for
legitimacy. I, who you imagine to be selling out
my true deMausian self in search of academic
legitimacy, never got to square one in academia.
All I can say is, if I played the game, I did a
pretty lousy job of it. Or maybe I was just not
playing the same game as everyone else. :-)
--Brian
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete
503

Trevor Pederson 9/13/17

You didn't insult me, I'm asking you as an


onlooker.
People are right to suspect me, there's a history of
Freud worship in psychoanalysis and this has
often been replaced by idols in other schools. I've
also been arguing for an interpretation of Freud
that has been marginal at best in the scholarship
and for people who have been taught or
understood Freud in another way, I hardly expect
them to enthusiastically take up another
interpretation. You have to have at least a little
ego to make it through graduate school.
Whatever kind of legitimacy you see this list as
granting to someone sounds strange to me.
Legitimacy in conferred in journals, publishing,
and in organizations outside of this list. There are
some members on the list who are part of that
apparatus, but I don't think they are watching to
see who appears more powerful in the little
squabbles that erupt on here.
504

Make your arguments, show the evidence that


you can for them, and let your work speak for
itself. Don't expect others to help you do it. And,
if Brian is really as pathetic or pitiable as you say,
then don't lower yourself to his level by insulting
him. Choose an enemy that you have more
respect for and with whom you have smaller
disagreements.
You are capable of nuanced thinking, but you
seem more interested in broad proclamations.
Trevor
-----

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arnied 9/17/
r 17
506

Openline
Re: Bill Moyers' interview with Robert Jay
LIfton

Sep 17, 2017 1:14 AM


Arnold D. Richards

Is Trump the only President or public servant


who seems to be more interest in himself or
herself than country ? Is he more interests in
achievements because of the approval it will
bring than because of the benefit they will
produce? Is he the only President we have
had without a definite ideological agenda.a
set of principles and whose views are
influenced by who got to him first? Is he the
only President that lashes out and humiliates
everyone including close associates who
disagree with him don't follow his bidding
and who he views as disloyal ?
How concerned should we be about his
behavior and his public personality ?
Or should we follow Sullivan "We are all more
507
508

Openline
Re: Bill Moyers' interview with Robert Jay
LIfton

Sep 17, 2017 1:14 AM


Arnold D. Richards

Is Trump the only President or public servant


who seems to be more interest in himself or
herself than country ? Is he more interests in
achievements because of the approval it will
bring than because of the benefit they will
produce? Is he the only President we have
had without a definite ideological agenda.a
set of principles and whose views are
influenced by who got to him first? Is he the
only President that lashes out and humiliates
everyone including close associates who
disagree with him don't follow his bidding
and who he views as disloyal ?
How concerned should we be about his
behavior and his public personality ?
Or should we follow Sullivan "We are all more
509

Openlin
e

Re: Bill Moyers' interview with Robert Jay


LIfton
Sep 17, 2017 1:14 AM
Arnold D. Richards
510

Is Trump the only President or public servant


who seems to be more interest in himself or
herself than country ? Is he more interests in
achievements because of the approval it will
bring than because of the benefit they will
produce? Is he the only President we have
had without a definite ideological agenda.a
set of principles and whose views are
influenced by who got to him first? Is he the
only President that lashes out and humiliates
everyone including close associates who
disagree with him don't follow his bidding
and who he views as disloyal ?
How concerned should we be about his
behavior and his public personality ?
Or should we follow Sullivan "We are all more
human than otherwise ?"
We are fortunate that we live in a country
whose government had been organized with
a set of checks and balances and the ultimate
recourse is political process and the ballot
box
Arnie
511

Reply to Group by Email Reply to Sender


by Email View Thread Post New Message
by Email
512

------Original Message------
I have great respect for all mental health
workers. What makes psychoanalysts
different, however, is an approach that rests
on confidentiality in a non-judgmental
atmosphere with the goal of understanding.
So, taking the 'Duty to Warn' approach,
meant strictly for the consulting room, into
the political arenas of TV and other public
media outlets seems to recast that promise.
Someone contemplating psychoanalytic
treatment can't help but register the critical
aspect of diagnostic measurement that lays
beneath the wish to protect. Assessing a
public servant's character from afar is what
we must do as individual citizens, but not as
analysts IMO. Can we wear two hats?
I am in full support of making our services
known to the public. I fear though that some
of the efforts to be perceived as 'real' people
is diminishing the very ethos of
psychoanalysis.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duty_to_warn
513

Sep 17, 2017 1:14 AM


Arnold D. Richards

Sep 17, 2017 1:14 AM

Arnold D. Richards
514

Is Trump the only President or public servant


who seems to be more interest in himself or
herself than country ? Is he more interests in
achievements because of the approval it will
bring than because of the benefit they will
produce? Is he the only President we have
had without a definite ideological agenda.a
set of principles and whose views are
influenced by who got to him first? Is he the
only President that lashes out and humiliates
everyone including close associates who
disagree with him don't follow his bidding
and who he views as disloyal ?
How concerned should we be about his
behavior and his public personality ?
Or should we follow Sullivan "We are all more
human than otherwise ?"
We are fortunate that we live in a country
whose government had been organized with
a set of checks and balances and the ultimate
recourse is political process and the ballot
box
Arnie
515
516

------Original Message------
I have great respect for all mental health
workers. What makes psychoanalysts
different, however, is an approach that rests
on confidentiality in a non-judgmental
atmosphere with the goal of understanding.
So, taking the 'Duty to Warn' approach,
meant strictly for the consulting room, into
the political arenas of TV and other public
media outlets seems to recast that promise.
Someone contemplating psychoanalytic
treatment can't help but register the critical
aspect of diagnostic measurement that lays
beneath the wish to protect. Assessing a
public servant's character from afar is what
we must do as individual citizens, but not as
analysts IMO. Can we wear two hats?
I am in full support of making our services
known to the public. I fear though that some
of the efforts to be perceived as 'real' people
is diminishing the very ethos of
psychoanalysis.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duty_to_warn
517

You are subscribed to "Openline" as


arniedr15@gmail.com. To unsubscribe from
this community discussion, click here:
Unsubscribe. To change your email delivery
options, go to My Subscriptions.

--
Arnold Richards MD
200 East 89th Street
New York, NY 10128
Phone 6465083398
Fax 2124270585
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arnold_Richards
arnoldrichards.net

Publisher:
internationalpsychoanalysis.net
ipbooks.net
This e-mail and any files transmitted with it, are
confidential and intended solely for the use of the
individual or entity to whom they are addressed.
518

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mail.
Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Clio's Psyche #2

Mark as complete

bdagostino26 9/10/17
87

Trevor,
519

I agree that a deeper understanding of


Freud’s historical context does not shed
much light on the details of Oedipal theory,
but that misses my point about the
importance of historical context. Let me
sketch a little more of what I have in mind
and why historical context cannot be
dismissed as “nice window dressing.” As I
said in my previous email, I am a beginner in
Freudian studies and can only present what I
have gotten out my limited reading of the
literature. If I misstate anything, don’t
hesitate to point it out so I can continue to
learn.
Let’s start with Pierre Janet, whose published
lectures beginning in 1889 outlined the role
of early childhood trauma, especially sexual
abuse, in the etiology of hysteria. Janet
pioneered the concepts of the unconscious
and of dissociation, and connected the dots
between early childhood abuse, dissociation,
and the symptoms of “hysterics.” Freud
acknowledged his debt to Janet in his
“Studies in Hysteria,” coauthored with
Joseph Breuer in 1895. It is not possible to
520

understand the significance of Freud’s


Seduction Theory without understanding this
historical context. Only when read in the
context of Janet’s earlier work do we see
what was original and what was not original
in Freud’s Seduction Theory. What was
original to Freud was the notion that sexual
trauma could be the cause of a wider range of
psychological disorders than hysteria. In
other words, he went beyond the clinical data
to a general theory of psychopathology.
When Freud revised his Seduction Theory
beginning in 1897, he backtracked on this
general theory—which attributed
psychopathology to early trauma—and
replaced it with a very different kind of
general theory (Oedipal Theory), which
attributes psychopathology to the repression
of sexual drives. In The Assault on Truth
(1984), psychoanalyst Jeffrey Masson
reconstructed the historical context of this
reversal, which was the beginning of
Freudian psychoanalysis as it came to be
known in the early 20 century.
th
521

In the attached 1989 Psychoanalytic Review


article, Dorothy Bloch argues, plausibly in
my opinion, that Masson overlooks a major
psychobiographical component of Freud’s
reversal, namely the death of his father in
1896 less than five months after he and
Breuer presented their hysteria paper on May
2, 1896. Since Freud had developed his
seduction theory in part from his observation
of sexual abuse of his siblings by their father,
the death of Freud’s father and its timing
very likely elicited massive guilt for Freud,
which is also suggested by Freud’s “One is
requested to close the eyes” dream around
this same time. Freud’s new Oedipal
explanation of psychopathology relegated
parental abuse of young children to the
margins of psychoanalysis for many years.
According to Bloch, this new mindset helps
explain why Freud attributed Daniel
Schreber’s psychosis to Daniel’s own
homosexual fantasies towards his father,
which overlooks the overwhelming evidence
of physical abuse by Schreber’s father.
522

As Arnie and his coauthors indicated,


psychoanalysis subsequently developed in
ways that went beyond Freud’s own thinking.
Most notably, the object relations school has
returned psychoanalysis to a focus on the
importance of early trauma and the effects of
parenting, a focus that Freud originally
shared with Janet but which he mainly
abandoned after 1896 in favor of the Oedipal
Theory. Such historical thinking about the
origins and present state of psychoanalysis is
necessary if we want to learn from the past
and not simply repeat its mistakes.
Brian
www.bdagostino.com
917-628-8253

From: cliospsyche@googlegroups.com
[mailto:cliospsyche@googlegroups.com] On
Behalf Of Trevor Pederson
Sent: Sunday, September 10, 2017 10:32 AM
- show quoted text -
- show quoted text -
Attachments (1)
523

Freud's Retraction of his Seduction


Theory.pdf
1 MB View Download
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Freud's Retraction of his Seduction


Theory.pdf
1 MB View Download
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arniedr 9/10/17

Freud was putting together a whole theory of


personality and a model of mind. This can be
investigated in its own right, and whatever
other ideas that might have had an influence
on him won't explain the internal logic to this
model of mind.
I very much agree Freud was developing a
model of the mind a theory of developement
and a theory of symptom formation which
524

also applied to dreams and parapraxis and


personality and character
Arnold Richards
arnoldrichards.net
internationalpsychoanalysis.net
ipbooks.net
- show quoted text -
Mark as complete

Trevor 9/10/17
Pederson

Hi Brian
On Sun, Sep 10, 2017 at 12:59 PM, Brian
D'Agostino <bdagostino2687@gmail.com>
wrote:
Trevor,
I agree that a deeper understanding of
Freud’s historical context does not shed
much light on the details of Oedipal theory,
but that misses my point about the
importance of historical context.
525

I don't think it does. You have to have a


coherent theory first, both in order to test it,
and in order to criticize it.
What you are dealing with here are
speculations about what might have
influenced Freud.
When things in Freud's theories turn out to
be false then it is valuable and interesting to
look into potential causes (whether
psychological or sociological), but the
theories need to be tested themselves to
establish their value, and this won't happen
until there is a theoretical framework in
which to understand and operationalize
different concepts.

Let me sketch a little more of what I have in


mind and why historical context cannot be
dismissed as “nice window dressing.” As I
said in my previous email, I am a beginner in
Freudian studies and can only present what I
have gotten out my limited reading of the
literature. If I misstate anything, don’t
hesitate to point it out so I can continue to
learn.
526

Let’s start with Pierre Janet, whose published


lectures beginning in 1889 outlined the role
of early childhood trauma, especially sexual
abuse, in the etiology of hysteria. Janet
pioneered the concepts of the unconscious
and of dissociation, and connected the dots
between early childhood abuse, dissociation,
and the symptoms of “hysterics.” Freud
acknowledged his debt to Janet in his
“Studies in Hysteria,” coauthored with
Joseph Breuer in 1895. It is not possible to
understand the significance of Freud’s
Seduction Theory without understanding this
historical context.
I disagree. Its significance is to be
determined clinically, and Freud gave his
reasons for retracting this view. He never
said that trauma had no part in neurosis,
after this, but instead that it wasn't always
the cause. However, even back then, there
was a more generalized view of sexual
seduction or abuse as part of suffering
mortification:
527

In the earliest case accounts, reported in


Studies on Hysteria, Breuer and Freud had
assigned “mortification,” a variant of the
shame family, a central role in
symptomformation. They observed that “an
injury suffered in silence” is a
“mortification”—a “kran-kung”—which
literally means to “make sick.” When one
suffers an injury, they wrote, one tries to get
revenge, as a catharsis. Or one can confess a
tormenting secret. Or one can right the
memory of a humiliation by remembering his
worth. By contrast, an injury suffered in
silence makes one ill.
Breuer and Freud had also emphasized,
however, that they were addressing
themselves to the mechanism of symptom
formation rather than to the etiology of
neurosis. The early formulations about the
role of mortification in neurosis have
therefore suffered neglect as incomplete, first
formulations, which were superseded by later
theoretical developments.
It is interesting that in the Outline of
Psychoanalysis, written some forty-five years
after the Studies on Hysteria, Freud again
528

refers to the role of mortification in neurosis.


He uses the same metaphor of a
“mortification suffered in silence” as the
source of neurosis.
Lewis, H.B. (1971). Shame and Guilt in
Neurosis (p. 436-7)

Only when read in the context of Janet’s


earlier work do we see what was original and
what was not original in Freud’s Seduction
Theory. What was original to Freud was the
notion that sexual trauma could be the cause
of a wider range of psychological disorders
than hysteria. In other words, he went
beyond the clinical data to a general theory of
psychopathology. When Freud revised his
Seduction Theory beginning in 1897, he
backtracked on this general theory—which
attributed psychopathology to early trauma—
and replaced it with a very different kind of
general theory (Oedipal Theory), which
attributes psychopathology to the repression
of sexual drives. In The Assault on Truth
(1984), psychoanalyst Jeffrey Masson
reconstructed the historical context of this
reversal, which was the beginning of
529

Freudian psychoanalysis as it came to be


known in the early 20 century.
th

Freud himself mentioned that he didn't take


sexuality in hysterical symptom formation to
be his own idea. He writes:
A year later when I had begun my medical
activities in Vienna as a private dozent in
nervous diseases I was as innocent and
ignorant in all that concerned the etiology of
the neuroses as any promising academician
could be expected to be. One day I received a
friendly call from Chrobak, who asked me to
take a patient to whom he could not give
sufficient time in his new capacity as lecturer
at the university. I reached the patient before
he did and learned that she suffered from
senseless attacks of anxiety, which could only
be alleviated by the most exact information
as to the whereabouts of her physician at any
time in the day. When Chrobak appeared, he
took me aside and disclosed to me that the
patient's anxiety was due to the fact that
though she had been married eighteen years,
530

she was still a virgo intacta, that her


husband was utterly impotent. In such cases
the physician can only cover the domestic
mishap with his reputation and must bear it
if people shrug their shoulders and say of
him: “He is not a good doctor if in all these
years, he has not been able to cure her.” He
added: “The only prescription for such
troubles is the one well-known to us, but
which we cannot prescribe. It is:
Penis normalis
dosim
Repetatur!
I had never heard of such a prescription and
would like to have shaken my head at my
informant's cynicism. (History of the
Psychoanalytic Movement)
Also, Oedipal theory doesn't just involve the
repression of the sexual drives, there are also
aggressive impulses that are linked to
parental imagos. Moreover, even when they
are sexual, in the general sense of eros (love)
the Oedipal aspect also involves a real object.
For example, when he is looking at
melancholia, he is looking at the death of a
531

real love object and even just being jilted by a


lover:
The object has not perhaps actually died, but
has been lost as an object of love (e.g. in the
case of a betrothed girl who has been jilted).
In yet other cases one feels justified in
maintaining the belief that a loss of this kind
has occurred, but one cannot see clearly what
it is that has been lost, and it is all the more
reasonable to suppose that the patient cannot
consciously perceive what he has lost either.
This, indeed, might be so even if the patient
is aware of the loss which has given rise to his
melancholia, but only in the sense that he
knows whom he has lost but not what he has
lost in him. This would suggest that
melancholia is in some way related to an
object-loss which is withdrawn from
consciousness, in contradistinction to
mourning, in which there is nothing about
the loss that is unconscious.
In Melancholia the self-reproach is linked to
an aggressive instinct towards the the
beloved that is turned on the self, along with
the defense enacted in object loss.
532

However, the object loss from which the


defense and symptom breakout, still
references an earlier loss that reaches back to
the past.

In the attached 1989 Psychoanalytic Review


article, Dorothy Bloch argues, plausibly in
my opinion, that Masson overlooks a major
psychobiographical component of Freud’s
reversal, namely the death of his father in
1896 less than five months after he and
Breuer presented their hysteria paper on May
2, 1896. Since Freud had developed his
seduction theory in part from his observation
of sexual abuse of his siblings by their father,
the death of Freud’s father and its timing
very likely elicited massive guilt for Freud,
which is also suggested by Freud’s “One is
requested to close the eyes” dream around
this same time. Freud’s new Oedipal
explanation of psychopathology relegated
parental abuse of young children to the
margins of psychoanalysis for many years.
According to Bloch, this new mindset helps
explain why Freud attributed Daniel
533

Schreber’s psychosis to Daniel’s own


homosexual fantasies towards his father,
which overlooks the overwhelming evidence
of physical abuse by Schreber’s father.

This is a quotation from Freud's analysis of


Schreber

In my Three Essays on the Theory of


Sexuality [Standard Ed., 7, 235] I have
expressed the opinion that each stage in the
development of psychosexuality affords a
possibility of ‘fixation’ and thus of a
dispositional point. People who have not
freed themselves completely from the stage
of narcissism—who, that is to say, have at
that point a fixation which may operate as a
disposition to a later illness—are exposed to
the danger that some unusually intense wave
of libido, finding no other outlet, may lead to
a sexualization of their social instincts and so
undo the sublimations which they had
achieved in the course of their development.
This result may be produced by
anything that causes the libido to flow
534

backwards (i.e. that causes a


‘regression’): whether, on the one
hand, the libido becomes collaterally
reinforced owing to some
disappointment over a woman, or is
directly dammed up owing to a mishap
in social relations with other men—
both of these being instances of
‘frustration’; or whether, on the other
hand, there is a general intensification of the
libido, so that it becomes too powerful to find
an outlet along the channels which are
already open to it, and consequently bursts
through its banks at the weakest spot. (p. 61-
2)
There is a part played by psychosexual
development at the beginning, and the onset
of the neurosis goes along with the parental-
substitute causing some ego injury,
frustration, etc. that causes repression. This
is Oedipal.
More precisely, Freud has 3 steps to
symptom formation and these are the first
and 3rd stages.
535

As Arnie and his coauthors indicated,


psychoanalysis subsequently developed in
ways that went beyond Freud’s own thinking.
Most notably, the object relations school has
returned psychoanalysis to a focus on the
importance of early trauma and the effects of
parenting, a focus that Freud originally
shared with Janet but which he mainly
abandoned after 1896 in favor of the Oedipal
Theory. Such historical thinking about the
origins and present state of psychoanalysis is
necessary if we want to learn from the past
and not simply repeat its mistakes.

1. The first phase consists in fixation, which


is the precursor and necessary condition of
every ‘repression’. Fixation can be described
in this way. One instinct or instinctual
component fails to accompany the rest along
the anticipated normal path of development,
and, in consequence of this inhibition in its
development, it is left behind at a more
infantile stage. The libidinal current in
question then behaves in relation to later
psychological structures like one belonging to
536

the system of the unconscious, like one that


is repressed. We have already shown [pp.
[61-2] that these instinctual fixations
constitute the basis for the disposition to
subsequent illness, and we may now add that
they constitute above all the basis for the
determination of the outcome of the third
phase of repression.
2. The second phase of repression is that of
repression proper—the phase to which most
attention has hitherto been given. It
emanates from the more highly developed
systems of the ego—systems which are
capable of being conscious—and may in fact
be described as a process of ‘after-pressure’.
It gives an impression of being an essentially
active process, while fixation appears in fact
to be a passive lagging behind. What undergo
repression may either be the psychical
derivatives of the original lagging instincts,
when these have become reinforced and so
come into conflict with the ego (or ego-
syntonic instincts), or they may be psychical
trends which have for other reasons aroused
strong aversion. But this aversion would not
in itself lead to repression, unless some
537

connection had been established between the


unwelcome trends which have to be
repressed and those which have been
repressed already. Where this is so, the
repulsion exercised by the conscious system
and the attraction exercised by the
unconscious one tend in the same direction
towards bringing about repression. The two
possibilities which are here treated
separately may in practice, perhaps, be less
sharply differentiated, and the distinction
between them may merely depend upon the
greater or lesser degree in which the
primarily repressed instincts contribute to
the result.
3. The third phase, and the most important
as regards pathological phenomena, is that of
failure of repression, of irruption, of return of
the repressed. This irruption takes its start
from the point of fixation, and it implies a
regression of the libidinal development to
that point. We have already [p. 61 f.] alluded
to the multiplicity of the possible points of
fixation; there are, in fact, as many as there
are stages in the development of the libido.
We must be prepared to find a similar
538

multiplicity of the mechanisms of


repression proper and of the
mechanisms of irruption (or of
symptom-formation), and we may
already begin to suspect that it will not
be possible to trace back all of these
multiplicities to the developmental
history of the libido alone. It is easy to
see that this discussion is beginning to trench
upon the problem of ‘choice of neurosis’,
which, however, cannot be taken in hand
until preliminary work of another kind has
been accomplished.1 Let us bear in mind for
the present that we have already dealt with
fixation, and that we have postponed the
subject of symptom-formation; and let us
restrict ourselves to the question of whether
the analysis of Schreber's case throws any
light upon the mechanism of repression
proper which predominates in paranoia.
In Inhibitions, Symptoms and Anxiety the
second phase is discussed again:
As regards the metapsychological
explanation of regression, I am inclined to
find it in a ‘defusion of instinct’, in a
539

detachment of the erotic components which,


with the onset of the genital stage, had joined
the destructive cathexes belonging to the
sadistic phase.2
In enforcing regression, the ego scores its
first success in its defensive struggle against
the demands of the libido. (In this
connection it is of advantage to distinguish
the more general notion of ‘defence’ from
‘repression’.3 Repression is only one of the
mechanisms which defence makes use of.) p
114
In regards to the second stage, trauma that
was experienced in early childhood, as well
as after latency becomes a potential point
that the 3rd stage of symptom formation will
reference:

It may be that regression is rendered possible


not because the genital organization of the
libido is too feeble but because the
opposition of the ego begins too early, while
the sadistic phase is at its height. I am not
prepared to express a definite opinion on this
point, but I may say that analytic observation
540

does not speak in favour of such an


assumption. It shows rather that, by the time
an obsessional neurosis is entered upon, the
phallic stage has already been reached.
Moreover, the onset of this neurosis belongs
to a later time of life than that of hysteria—to
the second period of childhood, after
the latency period has set in. In a woman
patient whose case I was able to study and
who was overtaken by this disorder at a very
late date, it became clear that the
determining cause of her regression and of
the emergence of her obsessional neurosis
was a real occurrence through which her
genital life, which had up till then been
intact, lost all its value. (ISA, p 113).
I think you can see that this is complicated
stuff and that it becomes easy to say Freud
said this or that, so as to make a straw man
that can be attacked.
There's a place for looking at historical
influences, but lets understand the man first.
Trevor
- show quoted text -
541

Mark as complete

bdagostino26 9/10/17
87

Arnie, Trevor and all,


Arnie, you wrote: “I don't think Oedipal
theory has to do with suppression of sexual
drives It has to do with the ambivalence
conflicts of childhood and the centrality that
parents play in the scenerio Conflict is
central and the way the child develops
unconscious fantasies in which are satisfied
and guilt diminished.” Are you giving your
own view here, or are you attributing this
view to Freud, or both?
Trevor, thank you for the extensive quotes
from Freud. These illustrate nicely the
richness and complexity of his thought, while
simultaneously illustrating (at least to me)
why we cannot see the forest for the trees
without a knowledge of the historical context
in which these things were said. I have made
542

a rudimentary effort at providing such a


context. I find this useful in making
developmental sense of Freud’s thought as a
whole and in assessing what is living and
what is dead in his thought today, to steal a
metaphor from Benedetto Croce. Apparently
you do not find this useful, which is perfectly
OK but leaves us talking past one another, as
we did through multiple iterations in a
similar conversation earlier this year. Since I
don’t know what more to say that could
advance our exchange of ideas, this is a good
place for me to stop.
Brian
www.bdagostino.com
917-628-8253

From: cliospsyche@googlegroups.com
[mailto:cliospsyche@googlegroups.com] On
Behalf Of Trevor Pederson
Sent: Sunday, September 10, 2017 4:45 PM
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543

Trevor 9/10/17
Pederson

Hi Brian
I'm sure that work is useful for a lot of
people, but when I try to understand what
Freud meant, it doesn't help me to construct
the theory of mind that I see in his work.

I don't mean to be dismissive. On the


contrary, people should be more upset with
psychoanalysts for not being more rigorous
in their formulations in the past, and then
totally dropping almost all of Freud's
metapsychology but still misleadingly calling
themselves psychoanalysts, today.
Trevor
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arniedr 9/11/17
544

Freuds views emerge from his theoretical


papers ands case studies I don't thin it is
very useful to try to decide what Freud's view
visor was
His views are dynamic and evolving as our
view of his view is
Arnold Richards
arnoldrichards.net
internationalpsychoanalysis.net
ipbooks.net
-----Original Message-----
From: Brian D'Agostino
<bdagostino2687@gmail.com>
To: cliospsyche
<cliospsyche@googlegroups.com>
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arniedr 9/11/17

http://internationalpsychoanalysis.net/2016
/11/03/coming-soon-from-ipbooks-a-brief-
introduction-to-sigmund-freuds-
545

psychoanalysis-and-his-enduring-legacy-by-
sander-abend/

A very good read All you want to know about


Freud and ....
Arnold Richards
arnoldrichards.net
internationalpsychoanalysis.net
ipbooks.net
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Ken Fuchsman 9/11/17

1. Brian D'Agostino said that Freud's work


needs to be placed in intellectual and historic
perspective. Trevor Pederson disagrees. He
thinks that to understand Freud's internal
logic we examine the writings themselves.
2. To do so, Trevor explores Freud's concept
of the Oedipus complex, as he does in his
valuable book, The Economics of Libido.
Arnie Richards and Brian also discuss the
546

meaning of the Oedipus complex. As Freud


wrote about the Oedipus complex for over 40
years, there are twists and turns, gaps and
contradictions. There are challenges to
finding Freud’s internal logic.
3. In their short expositions, neither Trevor,
Arnie, nor Brian mention Freud's notion of
the positive and negative Oedipus complex.
In the positive side, the boy, for instance,
chooses his mother as his object choice, and
his father is the rival. In the negative version,
the boy makes his father the object choice
and the mother is the rival. In looking for any
writer's internal logic, it sometimes happens
that we find selected parts of the work
explicated instead of treating the whole.
4. Freud characteristically describes the
Oedipus complex as universal. For ninety
years, anthropologists have examined
Freud's Oedipal claims cross-culturally and
many have found different family structures
and dynamics than Freud did. His response
is to turn to Lamarck's discredited notion of
what Freud calls the phylogenetic
inheritance. Freud claims that if the child's
547

actual experiences do not fit into his Oedipal


notions, the child's unconscious imagination
has them fit into Freud's conception. Clearly,
here and in other places, Freud finds ways of
avoiding inconvenient evidence from other
disciplines and perspectives, and sometimes
becomes dogmatic. The meanings of Freud's
concepts can sometimes be illuminated by
going beyond Freud's own writings.
5. Not all recent writers on Freud seek to
understand his internal logic only through
his published works. In the last year, three
full length biographies of Freud have been
published in English. One by literary critic
Frederick Crews, and two by psychoanalysts.
The two analysts, Elisabeth Roudinesco and
Joel Whitebook, each claim that to
understand the logic of Freud's work we need
to see him as a representative of the Dark
Enlightenment, which questions the
sufficiency of the rational and explores the
non-rational. Both Roudinesco and
Whitebook, as Brian would advocate, then
turn to the intellectual and historical to
548

understand Freud's theoretical development


and significance.
6. Arnie Richards in the first two volumes of
his selected papers seeks to comprehend the
historic context, power struggles and
dynamics within the psychoanalytic
movement. He too goes beyond textual
explication to find understanding.
7. The approaches Trevor, Brian, and Arnie
take are necessary, each can illuminate
aspects of the whole. To understand Freud
the person and thinker, any other
psychoanalyst, psychoanalytic clients, or any
of us, we need to see the individual as a
whole person, to see the self in psychological,
intellectual, emotional, relational, historic,
and cultural context. In other words, to grasp
the entirety of the individual, psychohistory
with its integration of the individual, the
group and the past is an essential element in
this quest.
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549

Trevor 9/11/17
Pederson

Hi Ken
You can't have it both ways. If there are
power struggles, "ideological" or "tribal"
conflicts that influence interpretations, then
when different biographers or others are
making their case for Freud being influenced,
how do we know it's objectivity and not their
tribalism?
I know that many would dismiss Freud's
concept of the superego with a straw man,
but I think this has very little to do with
understanding the concept and seeing that it
fails any tests.
Theory must be combined with the clinical
and prove itself there. Then when things pass
and fail, we can turn to biography and
sociology to make sense of the failures.
Trevor
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bdagostino26 9/11/17
87

What I like about Ken’s post is that he is


addressing the multifaceted nature of Freud’s
thought. Freud was a neurologist, a clinician,
a public intellectual, and the founder of a
scientific/clinical movement or organization,
among other things. As such, his writings are
nothing if not multifaceted, and different
methodologies are needed to do justice to
each of these facets. Similarly, each of us
reads Freud (or any other thinker) through
the multifaceted lenses of our own training,
interests, etc.
Trevor, you seem to read Freud primarily
through your own lenses as a humanist
philosopher and a clinician. But I also get
the sense that Freud is a hero for you, which
may explain why you seem resistant to the
fact that he was a person of his own time and
551

place whose thought was rooted in the


neurology, psychiatry, and philosophy that
were available to him in late 19 and early 20
th th

century Vienna. While Freud’s work contains


a general theory of mind, surely that theory
needs to be updated in light of advances in
neuroscience, philosophy, and indeed in
psychoanalysis itself since the time of Freud.
See, for example, Bennett, Dennett, Hacker,
and Searle, Neuroscience and Philosophy:
Brain, Mind, and Language (Columbia
University Press, 2003. Ken recommended
this very interesting book to me, and I am
currently reading it.
I think a good model of how we need to
appropriate Freud today is Croce’s classic
What is Living and What is Dead in the
Philosophy of Hegel. So my question is,
“What is living and what is dead in the
thought of Freud?”
Brian
www.bdagostino.com
917-628-8253
552

From: cliospsyche@googlegroups.com
[mailto:cliospsyche@googlegroups.com] On
Behalf Of Trevor Pederson
Sent: Monday, September 11, 2017 10:43
AM
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arniedr 9/11/17

The answer to the question about what is


living and what is dead in the thought of
Freud depends on who asks and answers the
question Kohut would answer in one way
Melanie Klein another Steve Mitchel a third
way Brenner would say the centrality of
conflict and compromise formation lives but
the ego superego and id are dead
CF
http://internationalpsychoanalysis.net/2017
553

/08/07/introduction-by-arnold-richards-to-
psychoanalysis-the-science-of-mental-
conflict-essays-in-honor-of-charles-brenner/

Arnold Richards
arnoldrichards.net
internationalpsychoanalysis.net
ipbooks.net
-----Original Message-----
From: Brian D'Agostino
<bdagostino2687@gmail.com>
To: cliospsyche
<cliospsyche@googlegroups.com>
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Trevor 9/11/17
Pederson

Hi Brian
554

I admire Freud, but I also admire Hegel,


Nietzsche, Marx, Klein, Horney, and many
other philosophers and analysts.
Freud is human, fallible, and like all the
others, he has made mistakes.
I know that the theory of the human mind
that he was able to articulate is wrong in
some ways and I have needed to turn to other
analysts to understand, for example, the
importance of the "combined parent imago,"
and get different takes on both masculinity
and femininity.
However, in other ways, I think that the
models of a lot of other schools are regressive
and Freud's system shows more nuance and
complexity. This is even though some of
these people will give lip-service to "mirror
neurons" or "quantum physics" and advances
in other sciences.
Freud can definitely be appreciated in all the
ways you mention.
My only point