On the occasion of the unthinkable

From a letter to Thom Donovan, 03 16 2017: I am grateful for your sustained discussion with me of the unclear and yet also lucid topic of ‘going crazy’ in the name of integrity and socially realistic and fluid realization of the power of discourse to make more sense than logic or ‘common sense’ will allow. (That, anyhow, is how I can momentarily phrase the topic we have shunted back and forth, or caroomed on through in this dialogue.)

The final words of the paragraph you offer resonate for me, now as I read them again, months after I first read them and had to let them wait a while before finding psychic elbow room to respond in good faith.

I guess this is what matters in going crazy–stepping far enough outside of common sense that one would appear crazy (and/or dangerous) to those for whom the world is structured. Or, that by assuming the common sense of those whose lives have never had value or power–whose common sense has in other words never constituted the commons–you risk the sensual certainties of the world as it has been given to you. Perhaps this is all the craziness of which I speak entails: these structures of hate becoming clear and the instability psychically and otherwise which results from this…

The concept of ‘common sense,’ like that of ‘normal,’ has become increasingly infuriating and impatience-provoking to me, such that I rail against them regularly in psychotherapy sessions and elsewhere. Either is what it says it is merely in the eyes of a beholder, and different to each when actually articulated, and those of any supposed authority who assume and reassure others of consensus on such matters are virtually (or would-be) brainwashing, if perhaps more inept in reaching their goals. Thus, I am glad for each opportunity I encounter to turn a position against common sense or the seeming positive or negative value attributed to ostensible normality, in whatever assumption or projection it appears, and whether my position is articulated formally, logically, flamboyantly, or manneristically, I can see it as rather wild, though not close to insane from my point of view.

Others who don’t identify ‘common sense’ and allegations of normality in some trait, achievement, or ideation as conceptually and linguistically insane might well see my own positions as insane. Such indeed seems to be the nature of our social discourse, among the body politic, to a greater extent than ever, in the age of Drumpf. It seems to be now supremely difficult for homo sapiens americanus to dialogue and perform active listening exercises with one another across the enormous divide between belief systems as identified by George Lakoff and others. I have hopes of diverse individuated crossings over from right to left as the nation itself goes down the drain and millions are sacrificed to the god of Mammon. I fear now as ludicrous my personal wishes that such conversions occur soon enough, nonviolently, and effectively to a degree that may allow subsequent generations in this and other regions of the planet to live with adequate water, food, energy, peaceable intertribal relations, and felicitous climatic conditions for survival and perhaps even exercises of imagination and reflection. At this point, it seems presumptuous and absurd to anticipate such supposedly ‘normal’ conditions half a century from now.

Given the US government’s and populace’s functionally ‘insane’ two-step of acceptance and avoidance around the patent evidence and awareness of climate change over the past 30 years since folks like you and me began to take it quite seriously, as well as how the same ambivalent but seemingly effortless dance step has played out in relation to nuclear proliferation and class and race relations in this country, it is hard not to presume that the erratic and clumsy strategies and tactics with which Drumpf plainly hopes to collapse his nation and his planet into a disaster capitalism windfall will be largely taken by the routinized public as embarrassing but tolerable foibles along the path toward some city on some hill, while imagining his hidden better nature soon or somehow emerging to reconcile the balance between catastrophe and supremacy in some unformulatable constellation of adroit adjustments — of a sort neither he nor others in our government have demonstrated competency in devising, beyond the rhetoric of promises. “Believe me” has become the bottom line of our minority president’s appeal to his electorate’s judgment and reason.


written in Facebook, 03 19 2017, after linking to Steven Reisner’s 03 15 2017 article in Slate on whether Drumpf has a mental illness:

The minority president tends to bait and provoke fights with others of any standing, authority, or power, whenever he is not idealizing and fawning over them. He is restless and competitive and not done twisting truth and seeking power and contesting all challenges to his integrity and reality. He has filled key cabinet and advisory posts that are usually taken by civilians with former combat generals, when not with corporate bosses and financial sharks. As he gradually antagonizes and argues down his own chosen crew, turns all but the diehards in the electorate against him, and wrecks or sacrifices all but the most venal international alliances on principle, won’t he decide the enemy is us (the US)? I anticipate his deliberate and triumphant turn against the people (except whoever continues to pile glory on him)?Will he begin to feel out his team’s readiness to stage a military coup? Might his military advisors and their cronies react to all that too-muchness by launching one against him (and us)? If not, why not?

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