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H2O Man

H2O Man's Journal
H2O Man's Journal
April 20, 2021

Enjoy this day!

April 16, 2021

Important! Please Help!

To the DU community: Below please find two links -- one for mental health professionals, one for the general public -- demanding that Dr. Bandy Lee be reinstated at Yale University. Dr. Lee was fired for her efforts to educate the American public on the dangers that Donald Trump posed to this country, including her most recent, must-read book, "Profile of a Nation: Trump's Mind, America's Soul."

In 2020, I did a series of three interviews with Dr. Lee that I posted on this forum. In the first, we discussed the specific personality features that made Trump a dangerous president. The second focused on how Trump was tearing the nation apart. In the third, we provided a discussion predicting January 6. I am currently working on another interview.

I am hoping that community members will not only sign the petition, but will share it with family, friends, neighbors and co-workers, in support of Dr. Bandy Lee. Thank you in advance for your support on this important issue. I will be sending Dr. Lee a link to this OP/thread, so please feel free to express your support for her to read in the comments.

For professionals:

General public:

H2O Man

April 8, 2021

"The Second Birth"

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
- W. B. Yeats, The Second Coming, 1919

A century later, Yeats' finest work still holds. Yet, with another horrible shooting being reported in the news and Derek Chauvinst's murder trial playing on live television, we see that our society's center is not holding. What might we make of Yeats' poem in our current context?

The poem is more than a modern twist on the ancient allegories of the religion that had just finished World War One in Europe. A revolution was brewing in Ireland. And, perhaps too often forgotten, Yeats was influenced by the flu pandemic of 1918-19, which was threatening the life of his pregnant wife as he penned the poem's haunting lines.

Might we consider if we are again at a time of extremes in both human violence and the reality of the microscopic virus?

Rather than the image of a falcon turning in widening gyre, let's consider a different model. Frequently over the years I've posted on this forum, I've used the model of a mobile hanging over an infant's crib to illustrate the dynamics of a family system or other relatively small group. Since we are looking at the United States, let's expand that model to that of our solar system.

As the center -- those core social values that people express, if not live up to -- begins to lose its gravitational force, we witness an increase in marginalized, angry individuals like the young man in DC who killed a police officer after ramming his car into a barricade -- become either meteors that burn out before striking our planet, or meteorites that cause a crash. We are in a shower as we speak, though it is difficult to predict exactly when and where the next one collides with civil society. However, if we walk the halls of any school across the nation, we may encounter potential meteors and meteorites.

Within larger structures -- including the republican party, which I cannot in good faith call a "heavenly body" -- we see levels of turbulence that can only and will always result in what appears to start off as organized destruction. It is "organized" in the sense that sociologists identify the pattern it will follow.

Since the Civil War, for example, clusters of white nationalists tend to be visible when there is a "conservative" in office, yet their numbers increase at a greater rate when there is a "liberal" in office. Frequently, that growth involves disaffected young men with an eternal locus of control, answering the call of the gym coach figure to strike out violently for the team. And like the meteorites, they have access to firearms.

The gym coach tends to be an older man, often with a military and/or law enforcement background. His inner cowardice has matured to the point where he only threatens violence when his opponent is out-numbered -- think January 6 -- or may be the type to plant explosives in, say, the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, or the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Their names change over the decades, but the lack of character remains constant.

There has long been a romance between the modern republican party and the unstable, authoritarian racist right in America. The "established" republican leadership, including repulsive figures from Patrick Buchanan to Newt Gingrich, believed that they could capitalize upon the right-wing's paranoia, and welcomed the unhinged into their party. Today, as we have all seen, the extremists have become the establishment of their party, and has spawned the likes of Matt Gaetz.

This is not to imply that everything is gloom and doom. The current Department of Justice appears to recognize the very real dangers that the malignant white nationalists pose. For once, we are seeing good law enforcement officials testifying that George Floyd's death was the result of a thug with a badge. And few things are as entertaining as the recent reports on Matt Gaetz's crimes.

More, I remember while working with Onondaga Chief Paul Waterman, a Clan Mother saying that when the world is spinning out of control, we should seek to center ourselves. As more of us do this, the larger center of society will stabilize. I suppose that we all have individual ways of doing so ...... in my case, it comes from sitting quietly in the natural world, gardening, interacting with my animals, and listening to good music. And there are small group activities that, as we get the vaccine, will be more available for centering.

While ugly episodes of extreme violence are likely to increase, most of us are far more likely to see reports on them in the media, rather than being a direct victim. More, we are more likely to experience the toxic behaviors of Trump cult members in public places such as grocery stores and parking lots, that while unsettling, do not result in physical violence. Indeed, we are probably more likely to see the very pathetic breed of tiny authoritarian males who pretend to be police officers, until caught.

H2O Man

Note: "The Second Birth" was the working title of the poem as Yeats was writing it.
April 4, 2021

Wild Turkey

Three days ago, a wild turkey hen began hanging out at my bird pen/coup. I raise Guinea hens and chickens. While they are "outdoor" pets, they earn their keep. Guinea hens can consume a huge amount of deer ticks daily, and considering how many people on my road got Lyme disease last year, I appreciate their efforts. I have chickens, because Guinea hens will follow them back into the coup at night.

The turkey hen stuck her head into the pen several times to get cracked corn, but one male Guinea hen would peck at her. He pecks at everyone but me or my cats. So I began feeding her at the edge of the pen. By the second day, she associated me not only with food, but a variety of treats not commonly found by wild turkey.

Evenings, she would roost in the pine tree nearest to the coup. From my window, I could see her neck & head, peering up like a periscope in a sea of green.

This morning, as the weather has turned warmer, I opened the bird pen. From a lawn chair my son set out for me, I enjoyed the sunshine, and feeding the birds. The turkey is comfortable enough to come within arm's length of me, while the others scurry around my feet. Soon, they are exploring the lawn. The cats are fascinated by the birds, including one cat that serves as a border collie when one bird strays from the others.

This has provided a break from concentrating on two issues -- my friend Dr. Bandy Lee's being fired from Yale, and a new threat to the water supply in the rural neighborhood that I grew up in. Tomorrow, I'll bring a spiral notebook & pen out with me, and work on what I used to be able of accomplishing in an hour.

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