Archive for the ‘musings’ Category

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Freud on Election Day

November 8, 2016


November 8th, 2016 is the 58th Presidential Election and regardless of whether you are voting for Hillary, Trump, Stein or Bernie, there is an overwhelming feeling of disappointment, anger, and frustration. This election is the antithesis of the 2008 President Obama election where HOPE truly seemed to personified, if not by a person, then by a collective action.

While Trump offers the possibility for either radical economic growth or meltdown, Hillary brings political experience and savvy that is fraught with insider concerns. Many people argue, or are simply resigned to the fact that they will vote for the lesser of two evils. As Julian Assange stated it is like choosing between Cholera and the Plague.

My voting record is relatively progressive, however I don’t believe, nor do I particularly care for, any politician. I am a staunch critic of the political process–from the unknown top down. And, I also believe that this type of criticism and analysis, along with voting, is essential to the continued existence of a democracy.

What I found interesting about this voting experience is that when I started to really think about my experiences voting, and what each candidate inspired within me, I realized that I was not being driven by Eros, or love. Rather, in having to choose between either Trump or Clinton my vote was being motivated by what Freud described as the death drive, or Thanatos. The death drive is typified as the movement toward self destruction, aggression, and risk taking. Decisions made by the Eros drive are done by a life instinct, which favors creation, productivity, and construction.

In thinking about how the death drive was present in this 58th election, I saw it in two parts. First, as a voter in my thirties, there is a frustration with the system that has been symbolized in the hypocrisy of the two main presidential candidates–the rule of big businesses and old families. With that came a compulsion to act out aggressively, to move the system toward destruction, rather than toward creativity. Secondly, as I was voting, it became really obvious that the main challenges that this next presidency is going to have to deal with is how to turn our country, if not the world, away from one long drive toward impending doom. Whether we are looking at the environment, welfare, racial tensions, refugees, and present/future wars, there is definitely a message that someone needs to forcefully change directions.

Perhaps we are suffering from a bit of deflation: if Obama couldn’t do it, than who will? Or, perhaps the constant barrage of negative current events has finally gotten us a bit road weary? What I felt voting had nothing to do with the possibilities or limitations of either candidate, it was a reflection of the fatigue, frustration and anger of our countries culture.

But, as Freud noted, the drive toward death is powerful and that may just be the inspiration needed for positive change to happen? This election could be synonymous with our country jumping out of an airplane–giving everyone a chance, regardless of affiliation, to feel some existential adrenalin and re-prioritize the important stuff. At the end of the day, regardless of who is president, or even if we have a president, we are still going be  forced to live with our neighbors, provide for our children, and strive toward a better future.

Proust.

[I am writing this before the election results are in…Regardless of the outcome, this is how the election felt and does not reflect my thoughts, or predictions of how any administration will function or lead this country.]

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Maiden, Mother, Crone, Not ME!

November 7, 2016

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Dani Mathers, the 29-year-old Playboy model who body-shamed a 70-year-old woman in the LA Fitness gym, has been charged with a crime and could face jail time. While this has been ongoing, and somewhat salacious news for a while now, I recently revisited the case and wanted to share some thoughts.

The caption reads, “If I can’t unsee this then you can’t either” and the image is seen over and over again as a side-by-side of the 70-year-old-woman and the laughing Mathers.

Traditionally in Mythology, there is the Maiden, the Mother and the Crone. The Crone, or old woman, is portrayed as the archetypally as being withered and ugly, but as also being known as a Wise Woman. The Crone is the keeper of secrets and has the wisdom of old age. She is the final stage of the lifecycle and is held in reverence as she is she is associated with destruction, decay, and death.

In contrast, Mathers is not just apart of the Maiden archetype, but as a Playboy model she personifies the Goddess of Love through her beauty, which inspires love and passion. Ideally, the Maiden should represent enchantment, inception, expansion, the promise of new beginnings, birth, and youthful enthusiasm.

What happens with the Goddess of Love laughs at the Crone?

Obviously, there has been a hugely negative reaction from the community. Mathers failure to respect privacy is a social and legal transgression. Mathers thought it would be funny to play the role of a trickster by posting the photo, but found that she in turn, was made the fool.

However, beyond that, Mathers has also failed to understand the power of archetypes. She states, “If I can’t unsee this then you can’t either,” but clearly she isn’t really seeing what she is capturing. For whatever reason, the image portrays the message that Mathers thinks she is immune from becoming a Crone. Apparently she is truly a Goddess, blessed with eternal good looks and desirability. The sensuality and beauty that Mathers depicts is the other side of coin from the wisdom and maturity that of the Crone.

I think we all have a bit of Mathers in us and that is part of the horror that we feel toward this story. We would love to laugh at the Crone and say “hahahaha, not me!” But at the end of the day, that old woman is definitely going to get in the last word.

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Île de la Cité

April 19, 2015

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The city surrounds the island, the flow of the two rivers breaks the urbanscape of buildings and the crush of industry is composed of cars, families, machines. The island itself is the same. Surrounded by water, the buildings push against the limits of land and reach toward the opposing shore. Within these labyrinths of survival, we find that what is within the island is also without. One is the shadow of the other, refractions of light revealing lines on the portrait of civilization. But it is not the similiarities that engage us to cross these boundaries. It is the distance. The break that separates the one from the mass. The experience of the bridge that either prefaces the experience of one, an island alone in itself, or the one, whole, together, with all.

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Days of Lightness, Days of Darkness

April 19, 2015

Ahhh voice, what do you have to say today? The months are passing so quickly now and I wonder what happened to all those old conversations. From November to February the days had only five hours of light. Cold. Short. Confined. But, now the sky has opened up again, extending infinite hospitality. Longer days, with light and warmth. And, yet the voice I wait for is silent. There is no rebirth. There is no resurrection. But, haunted by memories, I ask: Voice, what do you have to say today?