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    Fear Knot

    FEAR Knot: Rebuilding Bridges To Achieve a More Perfect Union


    A person would have to be an automaton if he, or she were not currently experiencing some serious levels of fear. For one reason or another, all of us are frightened about what will happen (or not happen) next, as all of us are uncertain about what we should do next - as individuals, as communities, as a nation and as global citizens. Yet our very survival (forget prosperity) may depend on how we handle the circumstances with which we are confronted -- right now and in the foreseeable future.

    For far too long we have been at odds, at ideological impasse, here at TPM. We tell plenty of yarns but, for the most part, they are hopelessly twisted into impenetrable knots. of So I thought -- in the hope of unraveling some of those knots and bridging some of the gaps that divide us with more flexible cat's cradle spans -- that it might be a useful exercise (for those who want to participate) to talk more candidly. Starting with admitting what we fear. Not fear as a phenomenon experienced only by others and therefore necessarily distanced from ourselves  .... but, rather, the fears we ourselves are living with, 24/7, those in our own hearts and minds that may wake us at 3am -- whether our fears are for ourselves personally, or for our families, our communities or for the country as a whole, or all of the above.

    Such a discussion could be illuminating and constructive. Some solutions might be suggested, some constructive plans drawn. Links aimed at problem-solving could be provided in a co-op of solution-oriented discussion. To bridge the gap. 

    But. How may we have such a discussion and sharing of solutions without it deteriorating into our habit of reciprocal attacks or disparagements? What is a framework for discussion that provides minimal assurances of individual safety? 

    Perhaps we could start by following AMike's format on his recent survey; each of us could begin by answering the following questions, before we reply to anyone else:

    1) What are your fears for yourself?

     2) What are your fears for your parents/ /children /extended family?

    3) What are your fears for your ethnic, religious or socio/economic group?

    4) What are your fears for the country as a whole? 

    5) What are your fears for the world?

     If in reading the list of another, you think you know a solution -- a source of constructive help in one category or another -- please reply affirmatively with that information. But pledge (yes, this is the pot calling the kettle black) that you will not be derisive or scornful of anyone's list, or of any person offering that list, no matter how much history of bad blood there may be between you, and how tempted you may be to fall into the bad habit of baiting, rather than switching to constructive solution.

     Let's rebuild the communication infrastructure of America, eh? One bridge between polarized points at a time, starting here, starting now.

    Note: the impetus for this topic was the convergence of Sleepin's blog yesterday, and those of Ickyma and Barth today.


    1) What are your fears for yourself?
    That suicide is truly painless. O.K. O.K. that was an icebreaker. I would suppose loss of income.

    2) What are your fears for your parents/ /children /extended family?
    Being able to get the child through college, my/her ability to keep a roof over our heads and the wolves at bay.

    3) What are your fears for your ethnic, religious or socio/economic group?
    That we will disappear (socio/economic-lower middle class. Perhaps we already have.)

    4) What are your fears for the country as a whole?
    Continued decline.

    5) What are your fears for the world?
    Those would be environmental. The floods in Pakistan. The fires in Russia. The dire state of our fragile ecosystem.

    Great idea, Wendy.

    First of all, thank you for providing this forum, Wendy. If we cannot build bridges here at TPM, then the country truly is doomed, because there is much less of a divide here.

    1) What are your fears for yourself?

    Few. I am in good shape unless the whole country disintegrates.

    2) What are your fears for your parents/ /children /extended family?

    Again, few. My kids are grown, and as long as we have resources, they will not starve or have nowhere to live.

    3) What are your fears for your ethnic, religious or socio/economic group?

    ethnic - none
    religious - I am afraid that my continued disappointment in my fellow Christians will ultimately eat away at my faith...
    socio/economic - Although technically I fall into the upper class, I self-identify with the middle class, and fear that it is going away. And since I believe the country needs a strong middle class to survive, my fears here are mostly for the health of the country.

    4) What are your fears for the country as a whole?

    That we will cease moving forward, and instead chose the path that leads back to where we have been. This area is where I find most of our problems around here...and where the bridges need to be built. I see only 2 viable paths. Not because I am not "open" to more paths, but because I have been unable to see how they ultimately lead back to anywhere other than the one I don't want to take.

    That our country has lost its moral compass, and has become so deeply divided that we never be able to put it back together again.

    5) What are your fears for the world?

    That we have taken a break from the hostilities of the Crusades, and they are now heating back up...that ultimately we will destroy the world because of the clash of cultures.

    That even if we can somehow avoid the clash of cultures, the shortage of oil or water will cause the same destruction.

    As the discussion advances, I may have more.

    Thank you, Bwak, for braving and breaking the ice.
    I do have a suggestion to combat one of your worries, but I will add it, later, when more people have answered the questions.

    My own answers are these:
    1) for myself, I am afraid of a politically-calculated, if impersonal premature death.... and all the unresolved issues that eventuality would leave behind. Why? Because I am more than three years too young to qualify for Medicare, but I can no longer afford the medical insurance I need, right now, that was going to run out in December anyway.
    I also fear failing to live in grace -- as compared to living grandly -- for whatever time I have left, with enough security and peace of mind to spend my time seeing family and friends, trying to contribute something of value, wherever.
    2) I fear for my son -- for his heart and soul -- not because he still needs to be educated or is in financial jeopardy (far from it) but because his value structure as a Gen X man is, in his mother's opinion, already warped. Not only by the amoral views of a Wall Street father and stepfather I exposed him to, but also by the attitudes of a peer group who embrace Wall Street amorality group think as perfectly natural and desirable. This frightens me more than anything else, as his own instinct was once to be generous and lion-hearted, yet he has been taught and he has absorbed the "lesson" that his own mentality of common good is "girly."
    I fear for the equanimity of my older sister, who is well-off, but for valid reasons pertaining to the different experiences we had as children and young adults, is far more frightened than I am, or was, by the spectre of losing "everything" which translates to a sense of safety, whether in financial, emotional or psychological terms.
    3) I fear for my beloved South, as it persists in its dysfunctional habit of braying outmoded, outdated and mean-spirited conservative political positions, all of which I know, but cannot forgive for being, based on inherited fear of loss and perceived subjugation in the form of white male false pride.
    4) I fear for my country, which I love and to which I am, in principle, still loyal, despite its willful taste for imperalism, denial and retro reaction, rather than proactive reVISION. I fear for the men and women of whatever generation who believe in the alleged American Way of inherent tolerance, justice and reward for effort. I fear for their children, destined to grow up without belief in the common good, as they see no evidence of it around them.
    5) I fear for this exquisite globe, threatened by too many countries whose decision-making is driven by a primitive testosterone level that is too high. In consequence, I fear for this miraculously lovely planet that is still, just barely, a redeemable Garden of Eden. More than I fear for the extinction of mankind, I fear for the senseless extinction of all the creatures who "know" better -- they who are far more innocent that we are. AsI fear, as well, for the beautiful flora that is a miracle of design and evolutionary excellence. Why, why do we disregard and dismiss these gifts that even I, as an agnostic/atheist, see as divine?

    Now. I realize that what I have written may strike others as an uncomfortable level of self-exposure. But never mind. Isn't false pride the greatest of sins, in the end? When individual ego transcends the chance for communication that might promote the common good?

    You decide. Next?

    Side note: I have heard it said that anger is nothing more than a reaction to fear...something to consider.

    I have heard that the two emotions are quite similar as far as brain patterns are concerned.

    Doesn't seem all that profound, really.

    1. I am afraid of dying and I am afraid of living.

    2. I am afraid that my children will find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. I have a 34 year old daughter who informed me that she wishes to 'get on with her life' because she figures she has only about 60 years left.

    3. I am a fat old white man. I fear that God, if there is a God, will be mighty angry for what our generation wrought.

    4. I fear that my country will continue to be THE great imperial power for the next full century. And China will eventually surpass us and continue to steal whatever world resources are available.

    5. We need new clean tube socks. Everybody in the entire world needs tube socks. And the world must be devoided of Lucy re-runs.

    the end

    Wendy - Thanks for posting this (I think! -- I may regret my words).

    1. My fears for myself: I had breast cancer and it didn't scare me as much as it should have probably, because I never gave it any respect -- I just told it to get lost, and I think it did. On the other hand, I have always enjoyed writing, and always had a good vocabulary, but I find myself searching for synonyms when I can't retrieve a word. I forget things, but I also see that I try to cover up the forgetfulness -- am I on my way to dementia? That is my fear.

    2. Fears for family: My parents are dead, and my kids have the advantage of supportive parents who have the resources to help them launch themselves. My fear is that the world they are inheriting is going to be so much less than I had hoped for them.

    3. Fears for ethnic, religious, socioeconomic group: Unlike me, my kids (adopted) are all Latino. They have had every advantage; good education, and as I said above, supportive parents, but I don't know that they are safe from this xenophobic trend. Religious? I fear that everyone who is not a bible-thumping idiot will be in danger. Socioeconomic fears? Well, when the only people who do well have 99% of the wealth, if you don't fear the result of that, you have to be nuts!

    4 and 5. See above, and the environment. The fundamentalists of all persuasions have no sense of responsibility to the world because they are so wrapped up in rewards once they die. They are happy to kill everyone else with the warped and screwball idea that THEY will be better off when the whole world is ruined!

    Gee, thanks, Wendy, for letting me get this off my chest!

    Er....can I have some of your money? ;-)

    I have more serious responses to what you wrote, but in response to your relative fear of forgetting things, etc. it might amuse you, on a Saturday night or Sunday morning, to read this:

    Oh, Chicken! The beetle! How sweet!

    Between fear and rage, rage is a much more modest emotion, and that's why rutabagas don't see no future nor feel no fear!

    The blogosphere is overloaded with fearful or pollyanna prognosticators, and none of them can foresee fuck all. Some idiots predicted Obama would inaugurate a New Age of Wonderfulness, while other idiots predict he will socialize their underpants and sell their children to UBL.

    Meanwhile the Ragin' Rutabaga (TM) merely observed Obama endorsing FTA-Peru in October 2007 (while 4,000,000 Peruvian workers and farmers were out on general strike against it) and raged.

    "The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction!"

    Rec'd for the title alone.

    Ruta: I agree with you --"Between fear and rage, rage is a much more modest emotion..."

    Obviously I agree Wendy. I can see you put a lot more thought into this then I have. I'll wait for a few more entries, though and see what I can come up with.

    LOL! That's great!

    LOL! That's great!

    Dang- my biggest fear - a TPM double post! Now I look like a flipping fool in front of everyone here! Just because I let spoon I was stirring my tea with drop on my keyboard while I was thinking of a clever and poignant list of my fears. Dang and double dang.

    I can't help thinking that we have entered a time in which we have completely lost understanding of what's happening around us and any possibility of controlling destructive impacts of technology, loss of natural resources, global environmental collapse, economic instability and ethnic and religious strife. All this stuff has been around, but it seems to have gone beyond a tipping point. We just won't admit to ourselves how dire the chances of survival will be. Have a nice weekend.

    Oh its okay, I have been looking like a fool for some time now.

    You get used to it. ha



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    1) What are your fears for yourself?

    I fear that I will chicken out because of a desire to keep the peace with friends. I fear that I will fail in the service of a good idea because I clothe it in lousy language and feeble argument. I fear "goblins and ghosties and long-leggedy beasties and things that go bump in the night"--which I define as stuff I don't know...my own ignorance. I also fear my obsessive-compulsive efforts to know everything...why in the world would I ever need about 5000 bookmarks?

    2) What are your fears for your parents/ /children /extended family?

    I suppose I have a few, but I don't think of them often... My extended family is dispersed, and I often wish that wasn't true... (see #4)

    3) What are your fears for your ethnic, religious or socio/economic group?

    I'm members of privileged minorities in all of these areas, so I don't have much reason to fear for them. I am more often angry at them for abusing the privileges they have. For example, my grandparents were Swedish immigrants, my generation has to a large extent left the working class and in the process has stopped respecting the blue collar world that my grandfathers (a tailor, a grain elevator foreman) and grandmothers (maids, cooks) inhabited.

    4) What are your fears for the country as a whole?

    I fear the various groups in the country are deliberately isolating themselves from one another. The substance of this is dispersion into low density-highly mobile communities with homogeneous populations -- "relovilles" as one of my favorite books has it. We are unwilling to make capital sacrifices for communities where we expect to live only a short time and we if we can avoid "the other" we don't have to know who they are, what they contribute, or what they need from us. The end result is a lot of boredom and addiction to sensationalism as a remedy, and minimal civic engagement.

    5) What are your fears for the world?

    The wrong kind of globalism. Globalism of "stuff," which is energy inefficient and tends to drive wages of those who make "stuff" down. I'm very happy with globalism of ideas, and this age is marvelous for that. I'd like more globalism of people--not forced migrations but free migrations. I suppose we'll have to wait until life is discovered on other planets before we have global citizenship and free migration similar to the European Union scheme, but on a global scale.

    I fear that we will not find a way out of this dilemma;

    If we return to economic growth then the environmental effects of our "lifestyle" will eventually become catastrophic.

    If we do not return to economic growth then politics devolves into zero-sum Malthusian chaos.

    WW, this is great. I know I was a little flippant above but after thinking about my fears all evening and this morning I realized something - my fears connected to your list are basically all about me not getting mine and when I look at that thought it is so unsustainable I have to laugh. And that thought process has given me a little (so very little) understanding or compassion for the right wing nutters. Thank you for helping me to get to here.

    Wendy, Thanks for that! I love it, and will keep it and re-read it whenever I need to (which will probably be often!)

    Swaying rope bridges= taking outward bound action to banish fear? Or an exercise in reinforcing fear? (not crazy about heights myself, or swaying bridges. Photo selected for imagery of start chasm to be crossed and to work the cat's cradle/knot theme to death. -;)

    Interesting discussion here. I just might add that there are three standard fear-types, classed according to the kind of reaction provoked
    1. the fight reaction (which can superficially resemble anger and the 'revenge' impulse)
    2. the flight reaction
    3. the freeze reaction

    Fear can be paralyzing, but as Aristotle says, that is not really fear; it is dread: the feeling you have when you just passively wait for events to unfold. Fear necessarily involves (a search for) action that can avoid the danger envisaged.

    But beyond that, there is a different kind of passivity involved in fear. There is a big difference between deliberating about dangers to be avoided and deliberating about hopes and dreams to be realized. In the former you are just, as it were, playing 'defense'. and defence alone will get you nowhere, as any coach will tell you. And often the best form of defense is offence.

    I know, platitudes, but that is all I have today. Fine thread though...

    1) What are your fears for yourself?
    My deepest personal fear is that I will have to bear cognitive witness to my own personal decline as I age.

    2) What are your fears for your parents/ /children /extended family?
    My deepest fear is for my grandchildren who may have to witness our species’ spiral into extinction.

    3) What are your fears for your ethnic, religious or socio/economic group?
    In the age of globalization, my biggest fear is that the slicing and dicing of our species into groups based on ethnicity, religious upbringing and economic status will continue. We are in an age of deepening divisions throughout the world and my fear is that it will continue. It’s not just the visuals of Katrina, it’s also the visuals of a $8000 shower curtain or the richness of papal adornments clashing with the sorrow of a molested child. I am bearing witness to tragedy.

    4) What are your fears for the country as a whole?
    I view America as in decline with our self-anointed leaders congratulating themselves as they move more into roles as world leaders--leaving anyone “lesser” behind. The “prosperity doctrine” emphasizes that God smiles in this world upon those who serve him--merely reinforcing the Social Darwinism that has overtaken those who manage to cling to inherited wealth or who succeed in today’s world where economic status defines the ‘best” of humans. Enron has become our norm in the business world; and hard-nosed and rigid preachers are our norm in the religious world; in the political world, the spin and message discipline is more important than the common good. Our greatest hope is in the under-30 crowd.

    5) What are your fears for the world?
    I don’t actually fear for the world--Earth will survive. Right now, though, I believe that the trajectory of the human species is toward extinction.

    2) Your children. If we can't change the fact that our children will inherit a world that has never been more polluted, more fraught with dangers (diminishing water supply,etc.) and increasingly tribal/xenophobic, what actions can we take to prepare them to face that experience with fewer fears or sense of helplessness about those issues than our generation may have?
    3) Religion. Are there pro-active steps to be taken by those of us who see religions of all persuasions as an increasing danger in the modern world? What constructive steps can be taken to defuse fundamentalist extremism? No matter the religion?

    I was going to quip yesterday that my fears might take a 4MG flashdrive to contain, but they are mostly concerning some joint problems I have, so don't qualify for group solutions.
    As for the others, I gurgle all over the boards about them, but in a this-is-horrid, let's-get-it-stopped or we-need-this-alternative stuff.
    (But yes, I fear for my grandchildren's futures, and others' as well.)

    Just now I'm fired with righteous rage, and don't want to stop to enummerate the fears.
    I'd rather be pissed, and write it out.

    And since Stiili is willing to give me some pots of money, it sort of takes care of some of the personal/family ones, anyway.

    Thanks, Stilli! ;-)

    Now, now! I didn't say pots of money, I said "some." I got a money order for $1.50 for you...now all I need is an address! heeheehee!

    Well...ya can't blame a girl for tryin'!

    And it's:
    The Reverend Wendy Davis
    Box 666
    Bumfrick, ID 666661


    I started reading and thought, "holy crap! I'm gunna hafta actually go out and get one!" I'm not sure if it was the 666, Bumfrick, or ID that made me realize you were just joshin' with me! Thanks for the laugh!


    1) Personal and Family. I am glad you feel relatively secure, personally and for your family.

    I learned, the hard way, however,that economic catastrophe is rarely a singular event but, rather, is a series of events that may occur concurrently or sequentially, without time out to regroup, and which may be accompanied by "tipping point" events which, even in the literal sense, may converge into a perfect storm. So I hope, for your sakes, that you do have a backup plan should you encounter a covergance of unforeseen economic catastrophe/natural disaster.... you do live in troubled times in earthquake country, after all.

    I didn't have such a plan, simply because I could not envision a convergence of events that would cause the level of personal loss I sustained. So do feel free to learn from my experience, some of which I could have prevented -- if I had been less optimistic and lessnaive. Instead, I had too much faith in the advice of market financial advisors (their fault) + too much money invested in real estate (my fault) + lived in ground zero of a major hurricane that devastated that real estate (no fault, except maybe the gods') + a year and a half of double living expenses without any insurance payout whatsoever (corporate fraud and malfeasance) + a marital meltdown (our fault) ..... you get the picture. No one counts on that many factors happening at once, or even serially.

    3) Class. It's been a long time since class was defined as character, or even as relative levels of education, etc.; now it's defined, instead, by balance sheets in terms of dollars and cents. Therefore, I finally see that traditional class designations have become irrelevant. There is the uber 1-2% in the "upper" monied class and then there is everyone else, who differ one from another only in relative degrees of perceived safety and/or desperation.

    This realization is quite freeing in a way, even though it took a prolonged six year free-fall for me to grasp it. The bad news is that there are now only two classes -- the robber barons and the rest of us. The good news is that we're out of the boxes that socio/economic designations used to represent.

    The result? Most of us can now consider ourselves to effectively class-less, even class-free (maybe in more ways than we think, eh? -;)

    I see a danger to all of us, though, not only from power wielded by the 1-2%, but also from the apparent blindness/paralysis of the traditional middle class:

    There is a faction within the remnants of those who perceive themselves to be traditional middle class that has a lot to answer for in terms of inaction -- those who support the robber barons and look down on, separate themselves from, an identification with those with less than they have. These people are a danger to themselves and others, in failing to perceive how slippery the slope and how precarious their safety is, pending future events.

    So, what actions can one take, what actions can we take, to impress upon the ostriches that their safety is illusory, to one degree or another? Because only when they see that will they be motivated to see themselves as "one of" rather than "separate from."

    Religion: what can we do to counteract the rise of fundamentalism in every religion? Those of us who are atheist/agnostic have no persuasive clout whatsoever with fundamentalists, so the burden of that responsibility must fall to those who have a more enlightened, tolerant faith. What can you do, as a person of faith, to make a difference in this regard?

    You most definitely are...Is that a good thing????

    I do a lotta holy crappin' these days! um...I don't think that came out right..hahahahaha! Or that either. K, I'm gunna be quiet now. This is supposed to be a serious post. (sorry Wendy!)

    Thank you for that link, DD. Our endless warmongering and economic ostrichism both represent "deja vu" all over again.

    Now, about tube socks as the answer to everything; s'plain please?

    That is a valuable distinction you make, Obey -- between fear that may result in action and dread that engenders paralysis.
    What suggestions to you have for turning the tide back to optimism/action from depression/paralysis?

    Ha! Fishy!

    About the view from the upper floors of the WTC: first of all, the elevators were terrifying -- claustrophobic and moving at reckless speed = bad combination. But the view from WotW? Incredible. I remember having the oddest sensation that the building was floating, as if we were on a boat, rather than being grounded by structure. The view was breathtaking, if the sensation of movement a bit unnerving.

    Btw, with great sorrow for all who died there, and all who lost people there, and for all who experienced the apocalypse of its collapse, I never liked the WTC as architecture, as an arrogant imposition on an otherwise integrated urban plan -- the buildings were too presumptive, showing no inclination to honor general height or infill guidelines in the neighborhood. I hated the way they dwarfed the skyline, with all that space around them. In that sense, the best they ever looked was after they were gone, when the two power beams of light in their place spoke for them.

    I'm just doin a blog later on the subject of tube sox.

    In response to your list:
    What are your options for converting part of your house to a rental unit? I ask because I rejected that opportunity at a pivotal point; instead I sold the house (for a profit but before the bubble) when, in hindsight, giving up the space, for a while, would have permitted me to retain home ownership and all the stabilization/advantages that pertain thereto.
    I'm sure you've already looked into this, but can you ease your financial strain by your daughter qualifying for grants rather than student loans for college? There used to be so many of them, and more of them than I expected were geared toward women with even a trace of foreign/native American/or other "minority" affiliation.
    I responded to the issue of demographics you raised in what I wrote to Stilli. (see below)
    Is the "decline" of America necessarily a bad thing? Perhaps if we were no longer obsessed with a "We're #1" mentality, we might become better world citizens, stop waging futile, destructive wars, etc. Or were you referring to the rusting infrastructure and inadequate social safety net of our own lives in America?
    What to do about the environment and natural disasters? Good question. In terms of the environment, I guess evaluate our political candidates for their track record, rather than their campaign promises, before pulling the lever in the voting booth.
    In terms of natural disasters, all we can do is send money and keep up awareness of the impact of natural disasters -- which lasts far longer than the immediacy of the disaster itself. Hurricane Ivan and the year of insurance malfeasance that followed it was one of the tipping points in my own experience, and to consider what happens to people's prospects when they have survived not one, but two or more disasters is mind-boggling. Our habit of being vociferously interested in a disaster for the week or two it is in the news, but then putting it out of our minds, costs more than economic stability; it costs lives.

    I misplaced my response to you, Obey, which is below.

    We are a ship of fools, BlueSplashy. And just remember: double posting is not nearly as badly-behaved as is double-dipping, whether at the trough or at the bank. ;-)

    Thanks, ClearThinker -- if you meant that you especially liked the title but thought the topic worthwhile, too.
    If that is the case, what part do you think fear plays in our political paralysis?
    If, on the other hand, the title was the only thing you liked, how might I have framed this blog differently, in your opinion, to increase its usefulness?

    Kali? If those are your fears, may I commend you for the time, effort and passion you devote to your blogs? Because it takes a person of courage and commitment to continue to participate, to look for and recommend courses of corrective action, if he or she really believes that all is already lost.

    AMike --
    To question #4, you said:
    "....various groups in the country are deliberately isolating themselves from one another. The substance of this is dispersion into low density-highly mobile communities with homogeneous populations -- "relovilles" as one of my favorite books has it. We are unwilling to make capital sacrifices for communities where we expect to live only a short time and we if we can avoid "the other" we don't have to know who they are, what they contribute, or what they need from us. The end result is a lot of boredom and addiction to sensationalism as a remedy, and minimal civic engagement....."

    I agree, absolutely. This inherent planning flaw will now be exacerbated by all the foreclosures that result from people being laid off, and by the rising cost of gasoline with few suburbs connected to urban centers by public transportation.
    Question: from an urban planning point of view, what's the long-term solution? Is it to let the suburbs die as a bad idea? Or to target some of them that are the furthest outliers from a population hub for loss and demolition? Or to build public transport connectors so that people can still live in them without being bankrupted by transportation costs?

    To question #5 you said:
    "The wrong kind of globalism. Globalism of "stuff"....... I'd like more globalism of people--not forced migrations but free migrations....."
    What can we do, as American citizens, to stop the war against immigration, as well as soften the impediments to emigration?


    How might we change our goals, as a nation, to correct the problems you cite? And, because you appear to be young -- what does your generation want for its future? And what are you willing to do, or do without, to have it? How can we help you achieve that?

    BlueSplashy -- if you have achieved more sympathy for the nutters, please retrace your thought process so that others of us may find similar compassion or understanding of them. Really.

    I'm sorry, Stlounick, that I misplaced my response to Obey as one to you.
    I was deeply moved by what you wrote; what you said was compassionate even in the face of a certain fatalism.

    My own grandparents were fantastic role models for me. So. How can we become role models for our children and grandchildren in a meaningful way? How can we at least give them the reassurance that we did everything in our power to correct the excesses in our culture for their sakes? (I don't have grandchildren yet, but I keep hoping.)

    Wendy, you said:

    "Just now I'm fired with righteous rage, and don't want to stop to enummerate the fears. I'd rather be pissed, and write it out....."

    Rage is a great energizer, my friend, as I know from personal experience. Whatever it takes to keep your remarkable research/analysis going works well for all of us.

    Thanks for the song.

    I'll look forward to it. An ode to tube sox....ha!


    It is an amazing song, ennit? To get down so low, and then come back up with such intention?

    Well, I was hoping she was going to give us the big answer!

    Seems like the more you try to understand, the more questions you have. But I guess no one ever said evolving was easy.

    BTW, check your e-mail, and sit down before you read it...

    It's all about the basic fear of not getting mine - my love, my money, my power, my place - that I "deserve". Or, losing my love, my money, my power, my place (in my society or tribe). And that is so silly when I look it in the face, just stare right at it and think about the energy I could expend on that fear. Not worth it mainly because I have enough - more then enough when I think about people that have less. But what I connected to and recognized was that FEAR and it made me think about what the tea partiers are yelling about. Behind that anger is the same FEAR I had (and will have again I'm sure). I can relate to that. It is the first of a tiny little crack of compassion I have ever felt for those nutcakes but it is a start. Still think they are dead wrong and stupid and all that but I never thought I would begin to even slightly understand them and thinking about your questions got me there. Thank you
    PS. I don't know if I am yet willing to get close enough to one to talk to them - might get cooties!

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