Thursday, March 25, 2010

Ramping Up From Stupid! Barreling Into Dangerous! Duck & Cover!

It’s easy to get the mob riled up, much harder to control what happens then as inchoate fear and anger runs amok like a blunderbuss scatting shot everywhere. Still, the right wing talkers, Palinistas, Fox newsies, looney Beckians are still babbling about reloading and targets and destroy the bastards and baby killers, while death threats are being called in to various congressfolk’s home phones as bricks are being thrown through their office windows.

Nuts. A whole lot of people are going nuts without knowing or understanding why they’re going nuts. Which is what happens when you scare people then lie about things, deliberately confuse and manipulate people who often don’t have a good grasp on much of anything anyway, then get shocked, shocked when violence erupts.

Or silliness ensues, like a Republican senator now, suddenly, after the barn door is closed, shows up on the floor of the senate to “add an amendment” to the health care bill that would block rapists and child molesters from getting Viagra from a health insurance company supported by public funds. Since this clearly is a critical, essential, extremely important, HUGE, really, part of national health care that affects millions and millions of people -- so awash is the country with Viagra-using rapists and molesters, right up there with pre-existing conditions and tossing people off their care when they get sick -- the puzzlement was why he didn’t show up with that all-important amendment when the health care bill was being crafted. Unless, of course, this amendment is nothing more than a cynical stalling tactic to slow down or prevent the health care bill from going through? Ya think?

It’s all ugly stuff, dangerous stuff. Folks really need to get a grip and chill out and to that end, I have a few suggestions. First, instead of allowing yourself to be run by others, maybe what’s needed is to get everyone (who can read) a copy of “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz. The easy to read book is Mr. Ruiz’s formulated Toltec Warrior Way. Simple to understand, hard to follow, like all simple ideas. But in a critical way, a truly important book for Americans in general because Americans have always confused a “Warrior” with “Anybody With a Gun.” HUGE mistake.

Or, instead of gittin’ yer gun, far better would be to understand the biological damage being done to your system by unresolved fear/trauma, which has been our American mode for years now – fear, fear, fear, Orange Alerts! Red Alerts! Eeek,” Them” are coming! Kill! Kill! Kill! Instead of all that insanity, I think we all need to get a copy of Peter Levine’s book, “Waking the Tiger,” and learn something about SE (Somatic Experiencing) or hop on over to Los Osos SE practitioner, Bev Moylan’s website at and read all about it. Again, an easy-to-understand process with great results, but harder to do than just staying stuck in fear/rage mode.

Or, start working on reforming your brain itself. Check out “Buddha’s Brain,” a fascinating book on the “practical neuroscience of happiness, love and wisdom” by Rick Hanson, PhD with Richard Mendius, MD. Turns out that perception actually IS reality.

Yes, I know. It’s unlikely anyone will actually get the tools needed to get a grip since we’re a traumatized nation with a historical “paranoid style” in which too many people are self-trapped into freeze/fight/flight mode, which is always very bad because it makes them sitting ducks for manipulation and destruction by cold-blooded, self-interested political/corporate predators.


annerallen said...

Thanks for the link to Bev's site.

I'm starting to be really scared of the insanity that Faux News and its mendacious snivelers have unleashed (why doesn't the mainstream media point out that Fox is the only US TV network that is foreign-owned? And one of the owners is a Saudi prince?)

I recently had a previously mild -mannered older gentleman threaten a buddy of mine (an ex-Marine) for posting an "I support my president" thing on my Facebook page. This formerly mild mannered "conservative" said he'd found out where this "commie" Marine lived and somebody was going to "take him out", for supporting the US government and fighting for his country, which makes him "unpatriotic", according to head sniveler, Glenn Beck. HUH?

You're so right. This goes wayyy beyond stupid. I fear it's going to take more than a few deep breaths to elminiate this kind of mass insanity that's been unleashed on this country. We are not so far from Hitler's Germany or the genocide in Rwanda. Hate/stupid media is a more powerful force than these idiots realize.

Ron said...

Ann wrote:

"Nuts. A whole lot of people are going nuts without knowing or understanding why they’re going nuts. Which is what happens when you scare people then lie about things, deliberately confuse and manipulate people who often don’t have a good grasp on much of anything anyway..."

Ah, yes.

Gotta love the "Keep your government hands off my Medicare" crowd, eh?

Hey, I just thought of a good, wing-nut party name.

In the spirit of the Tea Baggers, I bring you:

The Scorched Earthers

Named for the nut jobs that will now work behind the scenes (of course) to make sure that all of that scary stuff they said would happen if the Health Care bill passed, happens.

For example, if I understand correctly, to keep the bill deficit neutral, something like a half billion dollars is supposed to come from cracking down on Medicare fraud.

Well, the Scorched Earthers are now HIGHLY motivated to make sure that Medicare fraud not only continues, but, for them -- the wing-nuts -- the more fraud the better.

Which means, of course, they will now actually be working behind the scenes to ensure more fraud.

Just so they can say, "See? The Health Care bill actually INCREASED the deficit, just like we said it would"

Death panels? Now, nothing would make the Scorched Earthers happier, so, of course, they'll be doing everything and anything they can -- all behind the scenes, of course -- to make it happen.

A classic "Los Osos lesson."

If you lose, now you have to sneak around, and spend gobs of time and money, making sure that all of that scary stuff you said would happen, happens.

Sadly, that's how it works in America these days.

Churadogs said...

Alas, Ron, you're right. It's not enough that I win, it's become necessary that you not only lose, you must die. It's really sick, weird stuff. I haven't seen this sort of crazy rage since the civil rights battles which is why I suspect a strong racial component in this -- the idea that something's being taken from me (white guy) and given to THEM (welfare queens driving Cadillacs). That kind of them/us fear is also a huge component in econcomic downturns, which is what's sure happening now. And it's easy to feed on and fuel since racial fear/economic fear go right to the child/primitive lizard brain -- fear that something will be taken away from me and given to somebody else and I'll be abandoned and abandonment means death. The irony is that this "taking away' has been going on for years (tax breaks for the rich, wealth moving UP, not trickling down) but there's been massive political/corporate PR efforts to disguise that fact and instead, keep ordinary people in a stare of fear and at each others' throats so they won't look around and see what's really happening. Also, human nature, we always think we're different from the other guy, special, not "one of those," when in reality, if you get a paycheck, you ARE The Other Guy and you'll rise and fall along with him, whether white or black, male or female.

Ron said...

Ann wrote:

"... but there's been massive political/corporate PR efforts to disguise that fact and instead, keep ordinary people in a stare of fear and at each others' throats so they won't look around and see what's really happening."

Or, as I like to call it, "behavior based marketing."

Another classic "Los Osos Lesson."

Ann wrote:

"It's really sick, weird stuff."

Yep, and, unfortunately, extremely effective.

That reminds me, isn't Karl Rove coming to town soon?

Alon Perlman said...

Well, here we go again
(This link is really scary Ann, and on so many levels, I mean REALLY scary, look at the time stamp, it’s all about who’s the better actor)

A for the Craziness ramping up? It’s a good thing nothing like that could happen in this sleepy little burg, by the Bay. At what time do they roll-up the sidewalks here, anyhoo?
An speaking about Babylon by the bay, Yall know the rumors aren’t true, don’t you?

Speaking of repetition
Ecclesiastes 1:9
מה שהיה הוא שיהיה ומה שנעשה הוא שיעשה ואין כל חדש תחת השמש
1. The words of Koheleth son of David, king in Jerusalem.
2. Vanity of vanities, said Koheleth; vanity of vanities, all is vanity.
3. What profit has man in all his toil that he toils under the sun?
4. A generation goes and a generation comes, but the earth endures forever.
5. The sun rises and the sun sets, and to its place it yearns and rises there.
6. It goes to the south and goes around to the north; the will goes around and around, and the will returns to its circuits.
7. All the rivers flow into the sea, yet the sea is not full; to the place where the rivers flow, there they repeatedly go.
8. All things are wearisome; no one can utter it; the eye shall not be sated from seeing, nor shall the ear be filled from hearing.
9. What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.
10. There is a thing of which [someone] will say, "See this, it is new." It has already been for ages which were before us.
11. But there is no remembrance of former [generations], neither will the later ones that will be have any remembrance among those that will be afterwards.
12. I am Koheleth; I was king over Israel in Jerusalem.
13. And I applied my heart to inquire and to search with wisdom all that was done under the heaven. It is a sore task that God has given to the sons of men with which to occupy themselves.
14. I saw all the deeds that were done under the sun, and behold, everything is vanity and frustration.
15. What is crooked will not be able to be straightened, and what is missing will not be able to be counted.
16. I spoke to myself, saying, "I acquired and increased great wisdom, more than all who were before me over Jerusalem"; and my heart saw much wisdom and knowledge.
17. And I applied my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly; I know that this too is a frustration.
18. For in much wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge, increases pain.

Pain? When Doctors can’t affect relief
Bev’s centeredness main secret exposed? Don’t watch much TV.

Turn off your television an read a good book

Bible study continued

מה שהיה הוא שיהיה ומה שנעשה הוא שיעשה ואין כל חדש תחת השמש׃
King James
The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.
AMP literal
That what has been he shall become and what was made he shall be made and there is not all new under the sun.

הבל הבלים הכל הבל
הבל is pronounced Hevel and is identified as Vanity
I learned "Hevel", as not in the meaning of Vanity, or conceit, but as Futility (or pointlessness, which is a secondary meaning of Vanity) Threfore “vanity of vanities, all is vanity.
Is understood as “Futility of futilities, all is futile”

word verifiction; blestre

Churadogs said...

or, to shorten it all up a bit: "There are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if theyhad never happened before." Willa Cather

But can't beat Ecclesiastes for such wonderful "word music."

Bev. De Witt-Moylan said...

Thank you, Ann, for publishing the link to my web site. We are all born with nervous systems wired for the threats our primitive ancestors faced 10,000 years ago. Saber tooth tiger chases prey. Prey manages to escape. Prey has time to recover, orient to its surroundings, and make sure it is safe. Prey then continues with the grazing (or hunting and gathering) or basking behavior it was engaged in before the threat appeared. The cycle continues until humans develop to the point where they are essentially separate from the natural world of predators and prey – and saber tooth tigers become extinct. But our nervous systems remain behind.

Unlike the primitive natural world where the threat/bask paradigm prevailed, potentially threatening stimuli in the modern world never stop. With no time to rest and recover, less healthy, already incoherent nervous systems can move into states of hypervigilance. That is what we are wired to do. The threat remains, so the brainstem remains vigilant. Neither fight nor flight is possible in the face of many modern threats. In less resilient organisms the body chemistry of survival becomes overwhelmed and overwhelming. Symptoms appear.

Vulnerable individuals live in a state of permanent freeze, holding themselves together to get through the day. Underneath the freeze is rage, the sleeping volcano.

Perceptions of the same event by healthy or traumatized nervous systems are often quite different. Comments that might seem amusing, reasonable, arguable, or simply innocuous to a person with a healthy nervous system can appear hostile and threatening in the increasingly narrow purview of a person suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Some people's nervous systems are overworked to the point that they experience stress as their normal state. They are so unfamiliar with the rest state that anything approaching relaxation feels alien and threatening. Resting sets them on edge; they have to be constantly moving for their world to feel safe and manageable.

When groups are involved, such as in the case of ancient vendettas and ethnic violence, then collective and inter-generational trauma can result. While we have been in the habit of looking outside our borders for examples of such things, the current climate in the U.S brings them very close to our attention.

For some of my clients the nightly news, talk shows, and the internet provide a constant source of anger, anxiety and distress. I advise them to take a media vacation as they work on stabilizing their own nervous systems. Shutting out the external shrillness for a time allows them to focus uninterrupted on developing the capacity for self-regulation, to function productively, and to reclaim the energy it took to maintain a normal outward appearance while living in a daily state of overwhelm.

The good news is that organization flows to disorganization. In fact, as our own nervous systems learn to function in healthier ways, and as we are more able in our own lives to experience and model integration, coherence, and stability, the tendency is for those in our vicinity to become healthier. This outcome can spread like a network to influence healthier individual nervous systems, a healthier culture, and a healthier society.

Churadogs said...

Bev: Interesting new studies indicating that unhappy, depressed people spread that unhappiness to those around them. Ditto, in reverse, for happy people. It's almost like its contagious. So, dump the negative, soul-suckers from your list of friends, and stick with Happy Feet Folk. Much better for you. And, eat an apple a day, as well.

Bev. De Witt-Moylan said...

Your comment is well taken, Ann. There's nothing a disorganized system likes better than a good, juicy trauma re-enactment. When my parents died, almost to a person those who expressed their condolences quickly launched into their own parental loss and unfinished business stories.

Unresolved trauma quickly comes to the surface in the presence of another's unresolved trauma, which is why practitioners need to continue to work on themselves as they work with others. Peter Levine refers to this practice as "doing your own work."

The more integrated a nervous system is, the more able it is to nudge other systems toward coherence. The practitioner's job is, among other things, to model integration in the nervous system. You can't model it unless you embody it.

Bev. De Witt-Moylan said...

A P.S. to my previous comment...

In the absence of, or in addition to working with a practitioner, the journey to wholeness is definitely enhanced by being around people with healthy outlooks, along with connecting with Nature - animals and the outdoors. Nature has no "shoulds" and no judgments. Spending time with a pet, taking a walk in Sweet Springs, making time simply to observe how the waves come and go in a natural rhythm can be centering in themselves. We can come away from those contacts with renewed energy and calmness at the core.

It is easy to become immersed in conflict and stress, and even easier to find ourselves among people willing to rev up the anxiety and stress we already experience in our lives. The work is to recognize what harms us and what heals us, reduce our contact with the former, and increase our contact with the latter.