We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Good morning, students! I can see by the expressions on your faces that you are surprised to see me empty-handed this morning. After all, you took a test last class meeting and probably expected your results back today. But, donít worry one little bit. I have a good reason for not grading your exams. I simply didnít feel like doing it.
That's a quote from Mike Adams' piece titled I Feel, therefore I am at Town Hall, and in his satire it is clear that he really does "let his feelings out."
Complaining about "the kids these days" has been going on at least since Socrates and, no matter what you say, it tends to sound like a fuddy-duddy talking. Furthermore, how many of us were paragons of character in our youths?
Still, as a psychiatrist, I have to agree with Adams that the extent to which people feel entitled to elevate their feelings above the time-honored virtues†like duty, discipline, consideration of others, and loyalty is a sign of the times. Most of us are lazy, at least some of the time; self-indulgent, some of the time; chose instant gratification over long-term goals, some of the time; and avoid challenges and hard things, at least some of the time. However, with good moral and character guardrails, we don't let ourselves get away with those kinds of infantilism for too long, partly because it doesn't work, and partly because it makes it impossible to respect oneself.
Blame it all on misunderstandings of Rousseau and Freud. If we are guided by emotion, rather than informed by emotion, we aren't much more than monkeys.
Read Adams' piece, and I will try to dig up an essay I wrote a few years ago on the subject, and I'll post it when I find it, buried somewhere on some hard drive.
Huh? Say more what you mean about being informed by emotion as opposed to being guided by it. We Brahmins are so terrified of emotion that we wall it and ourselves up alive. As a guide, it's as deceptive and lethal as Magua in Last of the Mohicans. How can it inform our lives?
Whenever I feel a feeling coming on I either run ten miles, anesthetize it with a six pack, or read and write until the small hours of the morning until it passes. The only safe emotions are joy upon seeing one's newborn children, the excitement of intellectual debate or an academic hunt, helping somebody anonymously, tender affection for a beloved dog, and the general sense of love and concern for one's fellow church members. All else leads to trouble, is trouble, or is a response to trouble.
So better numb than enraged, hopeless, guilty, agonized, lovelorn.
We Brahmins specialize in doing our duty, mocking ourselves, being witty about our own broken hearts, showing the compassion we despair of receiving ourselves, and passionately embracing the life of the mind when life itself is too disappointing.
And I can honestly say that, duty-ridden as I have been, I can absolutely sympathize with all those hedonists you love to despise for following their feelings. We just don't have the courage to.
My trying to do the right thing has probably helped nobody. Merely gets me detested as a hateful Puritan party pooper. My particular corner of the universe would probably be cheerier, calmer and more loving if I had just followed my heart and my instincts instead of always being dutiful. Do any of us want someone to stay with us because we are their duty? No. We want to be adored, lusted after, caressed with wit, the fascinating object of a lover's interest.
So, in my next life, I shall behave exactly as I feel.
I don't think anyone likes a dreary bluestocking.
So go for it, any brave souls jumping off the high diving board.