If you are one of those who gets annoyed when I stop shticking for a moment, then this post is probably not for you. I promise we’ll get back to the safe, fuzzy world of boobs and giggles in a moment, but…
Here is a pretty even handed piece on how the some react differently to Obama versus Bush based on the pre-determined story of a person. This is so true. Once a person gets pegged and categorized, every action he commits will be filtered through that initial baseline narrative we bestowed on him. The presidency is a can’t win job. There is no action that cannot be pierced with the arrows of criticism. Save a baby from a burning building? Why didn’t you save the other kid that was only ten feet away? Was he not cute enough?
On another topic-
One of my friends, who is a very smart man, went through a couple of very dogmatic and very fundamental phases- once with Christianity, and once with Objectivism. We used to have some intense debates. He was put off by my skepticism, as I am always suspicious of such smothering certitude. I argued that closed, self-referential systems were highly intoxicating and seductive because they were a salve to fear and and an antidote to the inherent messiness of existence. Plus they confer special status. Anyway, my friend is not that way anymore. We both grew, and thankfully continue have really good talks to this day. Yesterday he sent me this link (click through after ad) about the allure of the complete system, in this case Scientology.
My favorite part is the following, which summarizes our many talks on the subject brilliantly. The author, who at one time flirted with Scientology, says this about the allure of complete systems:
I think now that at the bottom of that dream of power and perfection is fear and pain, and spiritual loneliness and isolation. There is some emotional wound, a fear of being vulnerable, a fear of letting anyone know how scared we are and at the same time a grandiose belief that if we can just find a system that can fix us, we will never have to join society and be simply a citizen among citizens. If we can find the system that trumps everything, we can always remain special and different and unique and better than the rest. And it exempts us from recognized and accepted tests of merit — scholastic achievement, work success, marriage and family, gaining a solid reputation, finishing projects, making art, that kind of thing.
That’s all for now.