Culture of Complaint

Last December an Op Ed piece by Arthur C. Brooks ran in the New York Times.  Reading and contemplating of it and a little follow-up research could lead to the easing of minds obsessed with grievance. See, The Real Victims of Victimhood. The Op Ed posits that our society has become infantilized by its progressive drift toward embracing promoters of complaint, particularly those who peddle in nothing but complaint. They are not hard to identify provided one retains some degree of objectivity. They offer no solutions or alternative vision. Instead, they capitalize on engendering ‘us vs. them’ mentality.  The solution to all of us’ complaints is the destruction of them. A diabolically simple formula to appeal to denialist-inclined minds.

Brooks refers to the 1993 book Culture of Complaint by former Time art critic Robert Hughes that sparked his observations. Hughes warned of what the book’s subtitle called ‘The Fraying of America.’ Hughes broke down the origins of ‘us-as-victim vs. them’ thinking in the U.S. He ably demonstrated how it has been an integral feature of Americanism since the days of the first Puritans. He contended that PC – political correctness of the left and patriotic correctness of the right – was exacerbating the cultural disability to frightening levels of ignorant and irresponsible black-and-white thinking.

That Hughes identified a real problem might have been clear to rational minds within a decade of its publication. By the year 2000 that polar mentality was so prevalent, our future two-term President would play on it without even identifying just who the ‘them’ was:

“When I was coming up, it was a dangerous world, and you knew exactly who they were. It was us versus them, and it was clear who them was.  Today, we are not so sure who they are, but we know they’re there.” (George W. Bush 21 January 2000, on the campaign trail in Iowa)

In less than two years W found ‘them’ and distinguished himself with the rallying cry: “You’re either with us or you’re with the enemy.”

Of course, the 2016 Presidential candidates make Bush look like the model of judicious wisdom by comparison.

An entertaining look at how such dichotomous thinking pervades our culture is contained in Jon Ronson’s book Them: Adventures with Extremists. Ronson’s self-deprecating humor helps to shed light on how the process of polarization works subjectively.

Tony Ortega – The Underground Bunker

Mark my words.  Tony Ortega and his unnamed sources will rue this day when they declared Monique Rathbun as fair game and subjected her to intentional libel.

 

Texas Tropics – Kindle Version

Texas Tropics is now available in ebook format at this link,  Kindle.

Texas Tropics – a novel

I  just self-published my first novel.  It is a genre blender: a mystery adventure with a lot of mysticism, philosophy, religion and history mixed in. It can be obtained through Amazon books at the following link: Texas Tropics.  I am focusing on such writing these days and have created another site for those interested in that endeavor (as opposed to subject matter normally expected on this site), markcrathbun.wordpress.com.

When Distraction Becomes Destructive

In 2001 Germany’s largest domestic spy network was riveted on scientology.  For years they had been treating scientology as top priority for infiltration and elimination.  The prime locus for attention was scientology’s greatest German stronghold, Hamburg.

Remarkably, the following facts were given next to no attention over the next fourteen years of media obsession with terrorism.  The 9/11 attacks in America were planned, trained-for, and staged from Hamburg Germany;  all the while Germany’s law enforcement intelligence apparatus was chasing scientology.

From 2009 through 2011, the US Department of Justice assigned some of its most experienced and decorated agents to make a case against scientology and its leader David Miscavige.  During that time period, and since, the Department of Justice failed to even attempt to prosecute a single one of the billionaires whose greed created the international recession we are still feeling the effects of today.  A handful of criminals destroyed 40% of the wealth of planet Earth – and profited handsomely in the bargain – and continue doing business at the same old stand.  If you’ve bought the line that jailing Wall Street gangsters would only constitute vengeance or wreak greater financial disaster, think again.  Once their lucrative housing bubble burst, they turned to speculating on food commodities.  Notice what’s been happening with your grocery bills over the past seven years? Ever wonder why?

In November 2015 Belgium’s justice department is making hay out of its attempted prosecution of scientology.  While the trial proceeds, again only after the fact European law enforcement is frantically scouring Belgium since it has been exposed as a critical terrorist planning and staging ground in the wake of the 13 November 2015 Paris atrocities.

How to trek the Great Middle Path

 

Suggestions on how to trek the Great Middle Path:

Seek balance of intellect and intuition

Harmonize reason and compassion

Make concert of heart and mind

Modulate the need to do or say with the abilities to observe, to share and to let be

Spice the syntheses with rhythm

Recognize the oft-intruding, peculiar notion that you have arrived and let it pass

Repeat as indicated, striving toward ever more penetrating and radiating degrees and forms of balance, harmony, concert, modulation, spice, synthesis and rhythm.

Purpose

 

Purpose of life might be reducible to the following simplicity:

We serve that which and those whom we care about in the best manner we see fit.

Life becomes most complicated by the arrogant who attempt to dictate to others whom, that which, and how they must serve.