Great NYTimes article, applies to a lot of facets of the lower class:
There is also the reality that in our culture of increasing isolation, in which so many of the traditional gathering places and social structures have disappeared, screens are filling a crucial void.
Many enrolled in the avatar program at Element Care were failed by the humans around them or never had a community in the first place, and they became isolated, said Cely Rosario, the occupational therapist who frequently checks in on participants. Poor communities have seen their social fabric fray the most, she said.
Climate change is not only destroying the planet, but our psyches as well.
Great article on capitalism and mental health:
The privatisation of stress is a perfect capture system, elegant in its brutal efficiency. Capital makes the worker ill, and then multinational pharmaceutical companies sell them drugs to make them better. The social and political causation of distress is neatly sidestepped at the same time as discontent is individualised and interiorised.
Great article on depression and basic income:
Why? If depression is primarily—as we have been led to believe by pharmaceutical company marketing campaigns—a problem with our brain chemistry, this makes no sense. The brains of the people of Dauphin did not suddenly evolve in those three years. But the World Health Organization, the leading medical body in the world, has explained: “Mental health is produced socially. The presence or absence of mental health is above all a social indicator and requires social as well as individual solutions.” In reality, depression and anxiety are produced by a broad range of factors. Some are biological—but many are social and psychological.
OK now the American Psychological Association has declared traditional masculinity toxic (and so my love affair with modern psychology continues).
So you’are saying men have to show emotion. But emotion is like an oil well, something very hard to selectively control. Society wants men to show emotion but only when it comprises a feat of strength (like emotionally supporting a partner). At all other times they must suppress it. I have had at least one woman cut me off when I was vulnerable with her about my mental health struggles.
I am weak which is why men and women don’t respect me. I can remember one time going out on a paddle boat with an autism group I helped run and melting down when I didn’t think we could paddle back to shore. It didn’t garner me any respect with the other people in that boat. Men are expected to be courageous and that necessitates suppressing emotion. It is disingenuous for modern psychology to label something that has helped men survive and mate for millennia toxic.
A rubric for helping understand the conservative/liberal divide is rigid verses malleable. The obvious flashpoint being gender identity. Conservatives dig in and say biological sex always matches gender and liberals say it’s more fluid than that.
Modern psychology is all about most everything being malleable. An attitude change can change your life. Society will accept you if you give it your best. It has not worked that way for me at all. Part of what makes me view society is rigid is the fact that I have a physical disability which is an affront to the rest of the room’s comfort and it’s incumbent of me to put everyone at ease. However I am likely on the autistic spectrum and suffer from depression so I don’t have the tools to feel out the room for the correct way to make everyone feel at ease.
A lot of the alt right posits that people are like dynamos moving on a fixed trajectory. Women are only interested in the top 20 percent of men. Humankind is basically evil. There is a fixed pecking order. The issue here is the less malleable you think society the more you are going to play a role that remains fixed. And the less charisma and more depression you have the more the world is going to appear and actually be fixed for you because modifying your attitude and making the room warm up to you takes talent and effort.
If you have power, you call upon “God’s leading” to do what you were going to do anyway, now with “divine blessing”. However if you have no power then whatever “God” is telling you is going to be attributed to insolence, laziness, or mental illness.
As a man, you are a negative by default. My mom is baby sitting some kids on her house and I still live at home. She does not bother to tell them I will be there because that is a negative because men are assumed to be pedophiles unless they can furnish enough evidence to prove otherwise.
Being a negative by default permeates every aspect of a man’s life. When he contacts a woman she assumes (often correctly) that he’s trying to get into her pants and thus generally gives him a negative response unless he is someone way up high.
Of course modern psychology is trying to get people to believe they have innate worth. If you are a man (particularly a man closer to the bottom) then you are a negative by default so your low self esteem is warranted. Of course that doesn’t keep modern psychology from guilting you over this.
The database for this site was erased so I had to rebuild it from back up. I do not believe it to be a targeted attack, probably some WordPress malware bot (which doesn’t show favoritism, a Christian ministry site I webmaster is getting hit with malware too).
The deepest truths in life are lived, not Boolean affirmative or negative. People will go to extreme measures to keep these truths intact. This is why people (including Christians) largely control their beliefs by who they let into their lives. A truth as deep as whether or not God is involved in one’s life is either experienced or not experienced. The best way to stay Christian is to keep your distance from the people for whom this incarnated truth is a falsehood. This is why youth directors’ worst album is Nine Inch Nails’s Pretty Hate Machine. Because that is about a man seeking God and truth and finding nothing.
Modern Christianity largely transpires on the seat of the emotion, not the intellect. This is especially true in denominations that promote praise and worship music. The problem with this is for some people (particularly those who are emotionally stunted due to mental illness or other pathology) it’s more difficult to feel God is real even than to know he is. The experience of worship really only keeps working if one has the emotional bandwidth to keep feeding them self stories of God saving and sustaining them over and over again. This is also why Christians are so concerned with one’s “heart” being right and one not being bitter. Because there is so much of an emotional component to the whole thing and once something goes awry with the emotions the faith will often follow suit.
A lot of prayer runs up against zero sum situations. God answering your prayer for that job necessitates that another person vying for that job has theirs go unanswered. So much of modern life revolves around competing for a limited amount of resources so praying is akin to asking divine blessing to outbid someone else for scarce resources (like a house in a good neighborhood, a good job, a man with a good job, entry into a selective school, etc..). It’s like a Mario Kart power up. That star will get you ahead but that necessitates others falling behind.
Experiences of God are heavily mediated by the brain. This is why there are millennia year old institutions that tell us who God is and none of them seem to agree. Scientific truth on the other hand is easy for scientists to agree on. It is also why science based treatments for mental illness work so much better than religious ones. Once the brain goes, so does God.
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4