Friday, August 8, 2008

Things To Do While Drinking Coffee #4

Should I pursue a path so twisted?
Patti Smith

A general rule for dealing with mental health professionals: never go to a shrink who doesn’t readily acknowledge that she’s at least as fucked up as you are.

I use the feminine pronoun above not to be PC, but because most women I know are more willing to acknowledge how fucked up they are than most men I know. Admittedly, a lot of men take pride in how fucked up they are—as do a few women—but they probably don't make the best therapists, either. So, another rule: if you walk into a shrink’s office, and the guy’s sitting there starting at the wall saying “duuuude, I am sooooooo fucked up," you should probably turn around and go.

Life is like a game of cards. The hand you are dealt is determinism; the way you play it is free will.
Jawaharlal Nehru

For the most part, I disagree with the kind of gender essentialism expressed in that last paragraph. When you start seeing stuff like “men are from Uranus and women look really hot in pink” all over the place, it should be taken as a sign that traditional notions of gender difference are in some amount of trouble and it scares people shitless. At the same time, I don’t really think the story about the guy with the beard and the female reproductive system having a baby means much at all, except maybe something about media shamelessness and the willing gullibility of people like me who can't stop ourselves from reading about a pregnant man. Hell, upon returning from a week-long self-imposed news blackout in Mexico last spring, that was the first thing I saw.

When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary dogma, we become automatons. We cease to grow.
Anaïs Nin

Then, at that point, it was preferable to the accusations of racism and sexism lobbing back and forth between the Clinton and Obama camps. Right now, of course, a lot of of the accusations flying around are about politicians acting like politicians. While I find most of the shifts Obama’s made lately disappointing, in the end it’s probably good for a lot of starry eyed progressives to have to acknowledge that he’s a politician rather than a liberal messiah or reincarnation of Martin Luther King.

Two monks were washing their bowls in the river when they noticed a scorpion that was drowning. One monk immediately scooped it up and set it upon the bank. In the process he was stung. He went back to washing his bowl and again the scorpion fell in. The monk saved the scorpion and was again stung. The other monk asked him, "Friend, why do you continue to save the scorpion when you know its nature is to sting?" "Because," the monk replied, "to save it is my nature."

(A refreshing counter-story to the better known and far more cynical “you knew I was a scorpion/snake” one, found on somebody else’s blog) (

A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
Steven Wright

*yet more thanks and praises to the High Point Cafe, West Mt. Airy, State of Wondrous Befuddlement, USA*


This Brazen Teacher said...

I like sorting and stacking my ideas and theories into neat piles. Alphabetizing on shelves. I have to make enough decisions in my life as it is... what I'm watching on cable, or shopping for salad dressing. Let's just keep it simple okay?

sheasy said...

I agree with so much of what you are saying! Part of growing is remaining open and if you think you have all the answers, you can't be open or grow. I just re-read this and it reads like something out of a gardening tips manual. Off to "tend" to my garden.

EsotericWombat said...

So I guess I shouldn't be a therapist =P.

My biggest problem with Obama is that he seemingly has resolved not to appoint an Attorney General who would go after the Bush admin's wrongdoings. Nixon's pardon was a huge mistake historically, and it can't be repeated.

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