Archive for February, 2010

Greenberg’s diagnosis

February 26, 2010

Look who stole Maurice’s talking points from the talking show!

Greenberg basically regards the pathologizing of melancholy and despair, and the invention of pills designed to relieve people of those feelings, as a vast capitalist conspiracy to paste a big smiley face over a world that we have good reason to feel sick about. The aim of the conspiracy is to convince us that it’s all in our heads, or, specifically, in our brains—that our unhappiness is a chemical problem, not an existential one. Greenberg is critical of psychopharmacology, but he is even more critical of cognitive-behavioral therapy, or C.B.T., a form of talk therapy that helps patients build coping strategies, and does not rely on medication. He calls C.B.T. “a method of indoctrination into the pieties of American optimism, an ideology as much as a medical treatment.”

Way to go Professor/Dr Greenberg!

The quote is from dis New Yawker article. That Menand does pretty well.

VOID

February 24, 2010

Joy Division

February 11, 2010

Two former employees of Blackwater Worldwide have accused the private security company of defrauding the government for years by filing bogus receipts, double billing for the same services and charging government agencies for strippers and prostitutes, according to court documents unsealed this week. 

[One of the former employees involved in the lawsuit] also asserts that a Filipino prostitute in Afghanistan was put on the Blackwater payroll under the “Morale Welfare Recreation” category, and that the company had billed the prostitute’s plane tickets and monthly salary to the government.

Xe

We Gather Up All the Countries’ Flags and We Burn Them

February 9, 2010

RE: Aesthetics

Nice design job, Sami people! Derived from the shaman’s drum!

Glassed

February 5, 2010

NYT’s been doggin’ our mates ‘cross the pond re: their filthy drinking habits in a couple of articles recently – Quote from a bartender in an AP story they ran about shatterproof pint glasses:

”One time there was a big fight and 50 pints were smashed in one minute,” she said. ”One man smashed a glass over another one’s head. One person’s eye was popping out. It was a bloodbath. There was glass raining. People were hiding behind the counter.”

That’s what they call taking the piss, n’est-ce pas? Entertain the notion of a droll plebe, M. Journalist!

I did enjoy an earlier article about the “scourge” of neds gettin’ loose on Buckfast Tonic Wine. It sounds like an exquisite beverage that I need.

The scourge in action :

Why I Didn’t Finish (Start) My Novel

February 4, 2010

Bookmark found:

Get Yr Monday Moorings

February 1, 2010
I remember very well the day it happened. We were staying in the country and I had gone for a walk alone as I did now and then. Suddenly, as I was passing the school, I heard a German song; the children were having a singing lesson. I stopped to listen, and at that instant a strange feeling came over me, a feeling hard to analyze but akin to something I was to know too well later—a disturbing sense of unreality. It seemed to me that I no longer recognized the school, it had become as large as a barracks; the singing children were prisoners, compelled to sing. It was as though the school and the children’s song were apart from the rest of the world. At the same time my eye encountered a field of wheat whose limits I could not see. The yellow vastness, dazzling in the sun, bound up with the song of the children imprisoned in the smooth stone school-barracks, filled me with such anxiety that I broke into sobs. I ran home to our garden and began to play “to make things seem as they usually were,” that is, to return to reality. It was the first appearance of those elements which were always present in later sensations of unreality: illimitable vastness, brilliant light, and the gloss and smoothness of material things.*

After a big, schizophrenic weekend, returning to the routines of work emails & spreadsheets can feel soothing in its predictable tediousness. I give thanks to Philadelphia & Richmond for hanging out so crucially as to make my desk job seem like a psychic balm!