Fifteen years between these two dates. Seventy eight years since Kristallnacht…. Landmarks on the path to disillusionment. A road we’ve not seen the end of…. A road from complacency and an unearned certainty to humility. A humility we may feel we don’t deserve. A humility that brings us no where we wanted to go.
As any hope of an actual break with business-as-usual fades into the heat and glare of a summer in which discontent does not lead to action to address its causes; but becomes nothing more than a nuisance of disaffected noise signalling on both sides of our political theater that everyone – with the strongest pushContinue reading “The Politics of Nostalgia”
So long as we keep expecting that what funnels through public discourse are choices that lead to results we are stuck in the nightmare fantasy of control. Brexit. Trump versus Clinton. All of the day’s public questions are mired in manipulations. We remain complicit so long as we feel we must make the choice ourContinue reading “The fantasy of control”
I keep returning to the lessons of futility. We are admonished to, “Try harder!”in the face of that which we cannot change, leaving us spinning our wheels…. It has to do with cause & effect…. But this is only part of what’s going on.
Policing the norms The dynamic in a dysfunctional family maintains itself through elaborate procedures that perpetuate their norm by maintaining a mythology that celebrates the systemic abuse that holds it together. The ongoing dramatizations of these myths maintain their power. Each member has a role to play. And, so long as we remain enthralled byContinue reading “Political Theater”
Schools fail us by teaching students how to work with knowledge rather than how to deal with ignorance, not be a sucker with the unknown. Nassim Taleb This neither begins nor ends with schools. In a time when the most popular public stance is to celebrate our fears and idolize those who act on themContinue reading “Questions of Identity”
Carol Dunn @caroldn Why does history always seem to repeat itself: because perceived threat makes it easy to adopt behavior loops that leads to same behaviors Carol works in disaster relief/prevention in the Pacific Northwest. I follow the Burma-Shave-like series of Tweets she sends out each day that unfold into a narrative, somewhere between stream-of-consciousnessContinue reading “The Limits of Intervention”
“Most of all you can break out of your mind’s silo and initiate yourself into the tribe — become one of the people. But however you move, you know you can’t do this stuff on your own. Somehow you have to decipher the law. Our ways of understanding life in graphs and linear narrative areContinue reading “The Consequences of Our Precarity”
We’re expected to, “Get over it!” In a time with few acknowledged initiation rituals this traumatic breaking of unity is almost universally accepted as a rite-of-passage. Why does separation – let’s consider it in any and every form it can take. Why does it create anxiety? What does this say more generally about the violence,Continue reading “Separation Anxiety”
We struggle with unintended consequences. In frustration we turn to chasing after power to force our will to prevail. We enter a spiral of increasing suffering and greater dislocation as the violence this process unleashes destroys every remaining scrap of coherent life. Blinded to our delusion by delusion, we increase our efforts. We twist andContinue reading “Coherent Action, from unintended consequences to catalytic response.”
The parallels between abusive families and the culture of civilization illuminate why protest has become futile. Futility is not to say that something is difficult, verging on the impossible. Futility arises when an action makes the condition it is meant to ameliorate worse. When unintended consequences pile on, blocking any possible benefit from making aContinue reading “Normalization”
There’s a critical piece missing from the last post. That is, what does political failure entail? If we look at it from within the assumptions of “the game,” the conclusion that what is needed and inevitable is a grand failure will be misunderstood. Saying that any one leader, any one party should fail, is justContinue reading “Political Failure, a Clarification”