On Anxiety

“Remember, babyhood is not a time of bliss; it’s one of terror. As babies we are trapped in a strange, alien world, unable to see properly, constantly surprised at our bodies, alarmed by hunger and wind and bowel movements, overwhelmed by our feelings. We are quite literally under attack. We need our mother to soothe our distress and make sense of our experience. As she does so, we slowly learn how to manage our physical and emotional states on our own. But our ability to contain ourselves directly depends on our mother’s ability to contain us—if she had never experienced containment by her own mother, how could she teach us what she did not know? Someone who has never learned to contain himself is plagued by anxious feelings for the rest of his life, feelings that Bion aptly titled nameless dread. Such a person endlessly seeks this unquenchable containment from external sources—he needs a drink or a joint to “take the edge off” this endless anxiety.”

This is from The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides.

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Rocketman, Censored

Rocketman is being shown in Russia in a censored version. Sex scenes and drug use scenes were eliminated. As a result, some parts of the movie make no sense. When the protagonist starts behaving in a weird way because he’s in drugs, the Russian viewers have no idea what’s happening.

The final credit that informs viewers that Elton John met the love of his life and is raising children with him has also been eliminated.

Paramount is fully aware of the censorship and is not opposed to it.

Book Notes: Anacristina Rossi’s Limón Reggae

This novel by a Costa Rican writer is so bad that I actually finished it just to make sure the author is really that inept. I kept waiting for a punchline of some sorts because it’s hard to imagine anybody writing such a crappy novel in all seriousness.

Between endless discussions of how white women stink while black women smell nice, extremely repetitive and probably copy-pasted descriptions of the female protagonist’s breasts, pages and pages of atrocity porn mixed up with the cheesiest sex scenes in existence, serious explanations of how MS-13 members are violent because they don’t get love from the government, lamentations of the horrible tragedy that was the fall of the Berlin Wall, and an inane celebration of 9/11, it’s truly one of the most idiotic books I ever read.

But all of this isn’t even the worst part. Rossi doesn’t know how to write novels. The mechanics of writing is all wrong. The plot is ridiculous, the shifts in perspective are clumsy, the characters are cartoonish, and every third sentence is a slogan of the tritest imaginable kind.

The promotional blurb describes the author as “a writer, translator, journalist, environmentalist, and a specialist in development and women’s studies.” I wonder if she sucks as badly at all of these professions.

Litter

Piles of trash left after a progressive protest:

I’m sure all of these people care deeply about the environment.

Here is a relevant quote from Tucker:

Our environmental leaders don’t care about litter anymore, or even about the state of the natural world, the birds or the riverbanks. They’ve got bigger concerns now—global concerns, moral concerns—that ordinary fishermen stepping over dirty diapers and Tecate bottles couldn’t possibly understand or appreciate. But they feel good about themselves, and that’s what matters.

And one more:

As a theology, environmentalism speaks deeply to America’s elites. Its moral absolutes affirm them, adding meaning to their otherwise secular world. The collapse of mainline Protestantism left a void in the hearts of America’s ruling class. The environmental movement fills it. Seen this way, the movement’s new priorities make sense. Environmentalism as a religion is more compelling than environmentalism as a means to save birds or clean up some river in Maine. After a while, details about the natural world begin to seem irrelevant. Compared to questions of virtue and salvation, they’re not that interesting.

Back at Yale, students organized a protest once in support of the rights of the janitorial staff. There were great speeches about the solidarity with the janitors and the need to treat them with dignity. After all the speeches were over, students left. The building was completely trashed. There were heaps of litter everywhere. The janitorial staff had to pick it all up.

BFFs

Trump and Sadiq Khan are not enemies. They are best buddies who desperately need each other and lend each other a helping hand. Both are failing their voters in a pretty spectacular way and are putting on this ridiculous show to distract the voters from that failure.

Both are lucky in that their voters are not very bright and are easily duped into falling for this pathetic trick.