Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Gaslight/Gaslamps/Gasbags

This was a movie with Ingrid Bergman called Gaslight that led to the coining of the phrase, Gaslighting.  What that means is when a person lies for their own gain to another person so repeatedly and with so much confidence that the victim begins to doubt her own sanity. And, as the film puts it, a bit of Stockholm Syndrome develops as well: The victim, now uncertain that she can perceive reality correctly, becomes dependent on the gaslighter, more attached to him than ever.

We have evolved this to include moments when trying to recount an incident or recollection about someone's behavior or an encounter that person contradicts you to "remind"you that you are wrong and that actually they know the truth and that implicates one of two things: You are a liar or nuts. The number one industry that has this down to perfection in the Legal one and the criminal justice system has managed to make it a work of art. The strongest players are almost always men, who use their gender to implicate your own idiocy in every encounter. Which is why where you deal with men as a woman it happens more often than naught. Think of Auto Sales and Repair and my personal favorite Contractors and of course Movers. There are few examples where I can say I dealt with men in any of those fields and felt not ripped off nor gaslighted in some manner. The worst I can recall of late was College Hunks Moving in Nashville. Now Nashville has the art of Gaslighting down to an art in a way that made me daily question my sanity and my safety. It is the Southern way perfected over a century of abuse and violations of humans that began when our Country won the Revolutionary War and the South was the prime economic center of the newly emerging country. They in turn did so by enslaving human beings and treating them as animals, abusing them and violating their bodies through sexual and physical abuse. But they perfected the mind fuck like no other. And that is something you see in the South today. I have spent a great deal of time reflecting on my time there and there is not one person there that I knew that was not fucked up beyond belief. Some were open minded and hearted but even today the minimal contact I do have it again shows that few of them have any clarity or identity beyond being "Southern." It explains the violence, the racism, the rage and the lack of education as they see nothing beyond that identity. It is the most tragic of places I have ever been and one of the most complicated places I have ever lived. Trying to explain it requires a dance that is not one you would see on Dancing with the Stars as the moves so intricate, so delicate and yet done so slowly and deliberately you realize that it is not something one masters unless one has practiced for a lifetime.

I wrote in my last post about Sociopaths and Psychopaths and that is well the Southern Man, they are charming, bellicose, deliberate, abusive and obsessive. They use the Bible as both a tool and weapon to encourage compliance and when that fails, fists, belts and guns are there for the reminder that if one does not go along to get along they too are available. That is the mind fuck, the idea, the very notion that you could be killed or seriously harmed is enough reason to not misbehave. How do you think Plantation Owners instilled cooperation and compliance with little more than one overseer with hundreds of young physically strong Black men and women? It only takes one beating and the rest is all psychological torture. And we still do that today as we have in relation to the war against terror. We have done it to those we allege are terrorists and we have done it here with laws that enable the Government to arrest and hold anyone without charges when it comes to terror, to snatch people off the street while protesting and surveiling our phones and emails and other private communications with impunity. And we have let them all under the guise of "being safe." And that too is Gaslighting, when we agree to shit that we know is not right, not sane, nor actually good for anyone but we do under the belief that we have done nothing, so what do we have to be afraid of. It doesn't me us right, the good people? Well think again.

What this has also done has made us the most narcissistic nation there is. I am a level four as I like to say about my placement on the narcissist scale but I am also really obsessive about my privacy which sort of adds to the problem instead of protecting me it also spotlights me. Southerners have no boundaries and the first person I met here was originally from the South and since the pandemic has long gone and I am relieved. He was a fake as the Picasso on my wall but it was early days here and I was trying to be open after being so closed off in Nashville. Then came the warning bell in something he said to me and right away I knew that it was time to run and Covid showed up. And with that it ended that. And from Covid I was given a reset button to just be how I like being - alone. But boredom sets in and that any port in a storm and this is a hell of a storm, so I am back with the crew of a coffee shop but this is not Nashville and for that I am grateful. Shutting that door was essential in my well being. And for some this quarantine is like the show Big Brother, you scheme, you plot but you do what you have to do to stay in the game. So once I realized that having people shop for me and relying on delivery was not going to work I took to gloves, masking and being cautious. I took public transport but was (and still am) very careful as one can be, I observe everyone around me and move when I feel at risk. So far so good. But I have always lived a rule of personal responsiblity and self respect is one thing that we all can use and need. Perhaps that is why there is such a problem now with regards to Covid and compliance to follow a protocol that requires masking, distancing and of course still some social and physical isolation. Going back to work is great but you have to change your behavior and expect those around you to do the same. And if they don't, you leave. You take the initiative to control that dynamic and when you do that makes gaslighting near impossible. But also it prevents the "talking" the recounting the whole circle jerking that contributes to this phenomena. The endless filming of Karen's and maskless morons, the shaming, the cancel culture by digging up past idiocy once again makes people defensive, angry and afraid. What is the purpose and what is the end result and what do you want to accomplish. Making someone feel bad, stupid or crazy. Okay thanks and you are a Gaslighter. But you are also a Narcissist as you can only see how you know what is best, what is right and what needs to be done and how it is to be done, no one knows better than you as you are a very special genius. Hmm, who does that sound like?

I read this by Paul Krugman and again it is about hypocrisy and the ability to say one thing do another and then turn around and shame and bully you for not doing what they said to do or not do. Do as I say, not as I do? Gaslight much? Or is that an Oxymoron, emphasis on moron. Note that much of the issues surround Covid are Southern and this is not shocking but the numbers in California and Washington are not going down and that is two reasons: California is a very big state and Washington is largely conservative in nature. It is like Tennessee only tucked up in the corner of the United States it was a gateway to industry and travel and Seattle has very very rich people. But again Washington is a income tax free state, relies on regressive taxes, is incredibly racist and marginalizes its underclass, they just happen to truly be the natives of the land. It is again not surprising that Portland and Seattle are the liberal bastions and are going nuts as well homelessness, poverty and drugs are there they just happen to belong to white folks who have never faced risk doing what they do. Welcome to the world white people, how is that working for you now? When they were shoving Latin folks in vans a few months ago that was terrible but not the histrionics we are seeing now. It was kids in cages who got that attention, but shoving folks in vans, not so much. I do find it interesting that few black faces are being absconded, and why? They know better. And for the record it is the same crew ICE who are under the Dept. of Homeland Security. Funny what are they securing us from? Oh Domestic Terrorists? Remember that? We all circle jerk our way back to that one.. see how that works? We enabled it, we empowered it and now we live with it.




The Cult of Selfishness Is Killing America

The right has made irresponsible behavior a key principle.


By Paul Krugman
The New York Times
Opinion Columnist

July 27, 2020

America’s response to the coronavirus has been a lose-lose proposition.

The Trump administration and governors like Florida’s Ron DeSantis insisted that there was no trade-off between economic growth and controlling the disease, and they were right — but not in the way they expected.

Premature reopening led to a surge in infections: Adjusted for population, Americans are currently dying from Covid-19 at around 15 times the rate in the European Union or Canada. Yet the “rocket ship” recovery Donald Trump promised has crashed and burned: Job growth appears to have stalled or reversed, especially in states that were most aggressive about lifting social distancing mandates, and early indications are that the U.S. economy is lagging behind the economies of major European nations.

So we’re failing dismally on both the epidemiological and the economic fronts. But why?

On the face of it, the answer is that Trump and allies were so eager to see big jobs numbers that they ignored both infection risks and the way a resurgent pandemic would undermine the economy. As I and others have said, they failed the marshmallow test, sacrificing the future because they weren’t willing to show a little patience.

And there’s surely a lot to that explanation. But it isn’t the whole story.

For one thing, people truly focused on restarting the economy should have been big supporters of measures to limit infections without hurting business — above all, getting Americans to wear face masks. Instead, Trump ridiculed those in masks as “politically correct,” while Republican governors not only refused to mandate mask-wearing, but they prevented mayors from imposing local mask rules.

Also, politicians eager to see the economy bounce back should have wanted to sustain consumer purchasing power until wages recovered. Instead, Senate Republicans ignored the looming July 31 expiration of special unemployment benefits, which means that tens of millions of workers are about to see a huge hit to their incomes, damaging the economy as a whole.

So what was going on? Were our leaders just stupid? Well, maybe. But there’s a deeper explanation of the profoundly self-destructive behavior of Trump and his allies: They were all members of America’s cult of selfishness.

You see, the modern U.S. right is committed to the proposition that greed is good, that we’re all better off when individuals engage in the untrammeled pursuit of self-interest. In their vision, unrestricted profit maximization by businesses and unregulated consumer choice is the recipe for a good society.

Support for this proposition is, if anything, more emotional than intellectual. I’ve long been struck by the intensity of right-wing anger against relatively trivial regulations, like bans on phosphates in detergent and efficiency standards for light bulbs. It’s the principle of the thing: Many on the right are enraged at any suggestion that their actions should take other people’s welfare into account.


This rage is sometimes portrayed as love of freedom. But people who insist on the right to pollute are notably unbothered by, say, federal agents tear-gassing peaceful protesters. What they call “freedom” is actually absence of responsibility.

Rational policy in a pandemic, however, is all about taking responsibility. The main reason you shouldn’t go to a bar and should wear a mask isn’t self-protection, although that’s part of it; the point is that congregating in noisy, crowded spaces or exhaling droplets into shared air puts others at risk. And that’s the kind of thing America’s right just hates, hates to hear.

Indeed, it sometimes seems as if right-wingers actually make a point of behaving irresponsibly. Remember how Senator Rand Paul, who was worried that he might have Covid-19 (he did), wandered around the Senate and even used the gym while waiting for his test results?

Anger at any suggestion of social responsibility also helps explain the looming fiscal catastrophe. It’s striking how emotional many Republicans get in their opposition to the temporary rise in unemployment benefits; for example, Senator Lindsey Graham declared that these benefits would be extended “over our dead bodies.” Why such hatred?

It’s not because the benefits are making workers unwilling to take jobs. There’s no evidence that this is happening — it’s just something Republicans want to believe. And in any case, economic arguments can’t explain the rage.

Again, it’s the principle. Aiding the unemployed, even if their joblessness isn’t their own fault, is a tacit admission that lucky Americans should help their less-fortunate fellow citizens. And that’s an admission the right doesn’t want to make.

Just to be clear, I’m not saying that Republicans are selfish. We’d be doing much better if that were all there were to it. The point, instead, is that they’ve sacralized selfishness, hurting their own political prospects by insisting on the right to act selfishly even when it hurts others.

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What the coronavirus has revealed is the power of America’s cult of selfishness. And this cult is killing us.











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