Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Six Years with a Rotten Unicorn? Cheer Up, the Worst is Yet to Come!

Let's discretely change the subject and get back to what this blog does so well, which is what now?

In these latter days of totalitarian triumphalism, it's easy not to be our usual optimystic selves. And I mean this literally. Dennis Prager talks about how unhappiness is the cheap and easy path. It is the way of the Weak Man. Happiness, however, is a Serious Problem, and if nothing else, Raccoons are dead serious about their utter frivolousness.

Prager makes the excellent point that happiness is a moral imperative. Why? Because being around miserable people makes one miserable. Therefore, it is your cosmic duty to be happy, or at least confine your unhappiness behind closed doors, because seriously, you're bumming everyone out.

As they say in China, a fish rots from the head down. But as Iowahawk says, a unicorn rots from the horn down. Thus, it is an extra challenge to be happy with this rotten unicorn in office.

Why should this unicorn be so grim? After all, his wife has everything a man could possibly want: broad shoulders, muscled arms, a strong jaw, a 34 inch waist...

Not unlike Ronald Reagan. Now, there was a happy man, and his infectious happiness seemed to flow to the rest of the citizenry -- trickle down euthymia.

But it had the opposite effect on the permanently aggrieved, AKA the flightless wing of the left. They weren't happy under Reagan, and they are just as unhappy under his pneumagraphic negative. I detect a pattern, or at least an independent variable. One senses that the left won't be happy until everyone is as miserable as they are.

In contrast to President Buzzkill, Reagan didn't mope around like some misunderstood adolescent. But then, Obama's only qualification for office was having written a juvenile autobiography revolving around the psychic hole where his alcoholic and polygamous father should be. I guess that makes him our first alienated teen president.

Does anyone else find it ironic that an enthusiastic pothead should be such a morbid buzzkill? Maybe he just got high in order to flee from his depressed self. I would too. No, that's not true. I'd drink more.

Depressed characters can also be drawn to depressing ideologies and people, because it normalizes their depression. Or in other words, if you're married to Michelle Obama, you have a ready explanation for your depression. And an ideology like morbid neo-Marxism is both a cause and consequence of depression. Like Hitler, Marx was anything but a happy kampfer.

One thing I often tell patients is that a clinical depression is very much like a viral illness. Once it takes hold of the psyche, it's analogous to the virus that infiltrates the nucleus of the cell and starts making copies of itself.

In the case of depression, it starts producing depressed, morbid, and worrisome thoughts and feelings. At a certain point you have to tell the patient -- or yourself -- "Knock it off already! That is your depression speaking. It is no longer you speaking."

This is especially true in cases where medication is indicated, because then it really is an absurcular psycho-biological phenomenon. Such individuals pour out a steady stream of negativistic thoughts and feelings that easily affect the people around them.

Politics got you down? Feeling a little like this lately?:

Well, get used to it. This is how it's going to be for the rest of your life. These demon possessed political vampires are not going to go away, and they will never give up until everyone is as miserable as they are. You're just going to have to learn to be happy in spite of them, and in fact, just to spite them. If you are unhappy, then you've allowed these psychic terrorists to win.

I was looking for a quote by Ratzinger to the effect that Christianity will shrink to something analogous to what it was during its first three centuries. He is the temporal pessimyst to Pope John Paul's eternal optimyst. I didn't find the exact passage, but this is even more to the point. He sounds like a new testavus for the restavus prophet:

"The church will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning.... As the number of her adherents diminishes... she will lose many of her social privileges... As a small society, [the Church] will make much bigger demands on the initiative of her individual members....

"It will be hard-going for the Church.... The process will be long and wearisome as was the road from the false progressivism on the eve of the French Revolution -- when a bishop might be thought smart if he made fun of dogmas and even insinuated that the existence of God was by no means certain....

"Men in a totally planned world will find themselves unspeakably lonely. If they have completely lost sight of God, they will feel the whole horror of their poverty. Then they will discover the little flock of believers as something wholly new. They will discover it as a hope that is meant for them, an answer for which they have always been searching in secret.

"And so it seems certain to me that the Church is facing very hard times. The real crisis has scarcely begun. We will have to count on terrific upheavals. But I am equally certain about what will remain at the end: not the Church of the political cult, which is dead already, but the Church of faith. She may well no longer be the dominant social power to the extent that she was until recently; but she will enjoy a fresh blossoming and be seen as man’s home, where he will find life and hope beyond death."

Just don't count on it. That way you won't be disappointed. The Wee Church of Perpetual Slack is for the few. If it starts attracting the rabble, then we're doing something wrong. Just thank God reality is never what it is, but is always pointing above and beyond itself to our true home, which this world can't be. If it is, then the rancid unicorn has a point.

16 Comments:

Blogger Paul Griffin said...

You're just going to have to learn to be happy in spite of them, and in fact, just to spite them

Made me think of Proverbs:

"If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; For you will heap burning coals on his head"

They say a life well lived is the best revenge, but we don't tend to think of it as an actual, active vengance. And yet there are those that could not be pissed off by anything so much as to see someone enjoying their life. It's almost a paradox, something we are actually enjoined to do "out of spite", although banishing spite for kindness is the very means by which we are to avenge ourselves...

And so I can see, if I squint, how even something as base as spite and the desire for revenge has all of the diabolical burned out of it, is redeemed, and is added unto us when we seek His kingdom first. How strange!

5/14/2014 08:57:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

These demon possessed political vampires are not going to go away, and they will never give up until everyone is as miserable as they are. You're just going to have to learn to be happy in spite of them...

Yes, just so.

And Paul - great points. Mushroom had a good post along those lines this week. I will admit, I try to remember to pray for our leaders. And that, yes, there's a certain amount of spite involved, inasmuch as if they ever truly receive the Lord's blessing, they will likely find themselves suffering beyond anything I can imagine when they understand what they have wrought...

5/14/2014 09:49:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Apropos today on Cracked, success as revenge. Particularly interesting is #4, the one about Bowie.

5/14/2014 10:20:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

"...One senses that the left won't be happy until everyone is as miserable as they are..."

Perhaps for one fleeting second, but then they will be miserable about there being no one more miserable than they are, and immediately set about working to correct the problem. Cycle restored. Rinse. Repeat.

5/14/2014 10:27:00 AM  
Blogger Magister said...

This is how it's going to be for the rest of your life. These demon possessed political vampires are not going to go away

This seems to be all the argument one needs for limited government.

Surely the image of vampire-as-bloodless-bureaucrat could gain some cultural traction.

I'm with VDH on all this. The cities and their fleshpots are rotten. The political elite is characterized by narcissism and decay. The old republican and rural virtues are in decline. I sympathize with farmers who look on the whole sorry national spectacle and turn back to the earth in disgust. Even in the countryside, a black government car will eventually pull up alongside your fence, and there will be problems.

The remnant's approach to all this can't just be defensive. Benedict sounds too resigned there. Where is there latitude given for critique? Sometimes it helps to keep shining light on how dark the darkness is.

5/14/2014 10:29:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Heh - I'm suddenly reminded of an old Far Side cartoon, where the overseer demons in hell are talking. One guy who's supposed to be toiling and suffering is whistling while he works, and one of the demons says to the other, "We just can't seem to reach that guy!"

5/14/2014 10:33:00 AM  
Blogger Magister said...

then they will be miserable about there being no one more miserable than they are

Maybe this is granting too much intelligence to them. The city of Brownsville, Texas, for example, is the poorest metro area in the nation. It's run by Democrats. Note that their city officials are designated as "non-partisan," as if to obscure their ideological origins. I think they're just stupid. The spreading permanence of misery there isn't so much projected from the damaged psyches of democrats than it is from a kind of unchallenged stupor. Their whole congressional and senatorial district is mired in political stupidity. I think they're just lost.

But yes, the LGBT crowd internationally is screaming "normalize my psychic damage!" The winner of the Eurovision contest for example is a drag queen. He stamps his heels and cries about not being allowed to express "just who he is," and others join the jacobin chorus. No one stops to question the irony of his making a stand for the dignity of his identity by means of parody, confusion, and disguise.

So much of the world is willfully confused.

5/14/2014 10:39:00 AM  
Blogger Nellie said...

From the crisis of today the Church of tomorrow will emerge—a Church that has lost much. She will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning. She will no longer be able to inhabit many of the edifices she built in prosperity. As the number of her adherents diminishes, so will she lose many of her social privileges. In contrast to an earlier age, she will be seen much more as a voluntary society, entered only by free decision.
As a small society, she will make much bigger demands on the initiative of her individual members. Undoubtedly she will discover new forms of ministry and will ordain to the priesthood approved Christians who pursue some profession. In many smaller congregations or in self-contained social groups, pastoral care will normally be provided in this fashion. Alongside this, the full-time ministry of the priesthood will be indispensable as formerly.
But in all of the changes at which one might guess, the Church will find her essence afresh and with full conviction in that which was always at her center: faith in the triune God, in Jesus Christ, the Son of God made man, in the presence of the Spirit until the end of the world. In faith and prayer she will again recognize her true center and experience the sacraments again as the worship of God and not as a subject for liturgical scholarship.
The Church will be a more spiritual Church, not presuming upon a political mandate, flirting as little with the Left as with the Right. It will be hard going for the Church, for the process of crystalization and clarification will cost her much valuable energy. It will make her poor and cause her to become the Church of the meek.
The process will be all the more arduous, for sectarian narrow-mindedness as well as pompous self-will will have to be shed. One may predict that all of this will take time. The process will be long and wearisome as was the road from the false progressivism of the eve of the French Revolution—when a bishop might be thought smart if he made fun of dogmas and even insinuated that the existence of God was by no means certain—to the renewal of the nineteenth century.
But when the trial of this sifting is past, a great power will flow from a more spiritualized and simplified Church.
Men in a totally planned world will find themselves unspeakably lonely. If they have completely lost sight of God, they will feel the whole horror of their poverty. Then they will discover the little flock of believers as something wholly new. They will discover it as a hope that is meant for them, an answer for which they have always been searching in secret.
And so it seems certain to me that the Church is facing very hard times. The real crisis has scarcely begun. We will have to count on terrific upheavals. But I am equally certain about what will remain at the end: not the Church of the political cult, which is dead already with Gobel, but the Church of faith. She may well no longer be the dominant social power to the extent that she was until recently; but she will enjoy a fresh blossoming and be seen as man’s home, where he will find life and hope beyond death. Rather than copy it out of my book I lifted it from Godandthemachine at Patheos

5/14/2014 11:05:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

So at the store just now, the guy at the checkout register looked, at first glance, like he'd be comfortable in a yarmulke. Seemed pleasant enough, in a wispy, jug-eared sort of way. Then I noticed his arm had a sleeve tattoo, and he was wearing a rather prominent pendant which I'm pretty sure was a satanist's pentagram.

Anyway, it got me to thinking about what would draw somebody into admiring that sort of thing. In short, Happy People do not delve into, er, alternative religions. Obviously, somehow, this poor little prototypical 98lb. weakling got it into his head that satanism is Something Better. In another setting, it might even have been interesting to engage him in a conversation - nobody wears that sort of thing if they don't want to talk about it - as to what he thinks it has to offer, and what about, say, Judeism or Christianity, is so off-putting.

His parents must be proud.

If he really wants to tick them off, he should convert to Islam.

5/14/2014 12:36:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

What if "none" means none, "whole" means whole, few" means few, and "by faith" means by faith.

Rm 3:10-12
…as it is written,
“THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;
THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS,
THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD;
ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS;
THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD,
THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE.”

Mt 7:13
“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

I Jn 5:19
We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.

Acts 26:18
...to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.’

Hmmm, "by faith"...certainly helps explain the "few".

5/14/2014 12:56:00 PM  
Blogger James said...

You are right Bob. I got absolutely nowhere with my depression, until I decided to man up and make a decision to stop being unhappy. Mindfulness and Prayer carried me the rest of the way.

5/14/2014 01:40:00 PM  
Blogger John Lien said...

Thinking on julie's satanist at the checkout story reminds me of this.

I may have told this here before or at Mush's site. But it's been awhile.

Years ago, when I was accepting of many religions, a Pagan friend of mine and I went to lunch. He needed cash so we went to the ATM which rejected his card for some reason, he was a little ticked off and mumbled something and waved his hands at the machine. I asked, "What did you just do?"
He said, "I just put a hex on the ATM."

For some reason that really bothered me. Couldn't put my finger on it until years later.

Ahhhh...POWER, that's it. It's POWER they want. Power to bend the world to their will.

5/14/2014 03:23:00 PM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

I'll admit that I'm attracted to power. It's a weakness, for sure. But in it, I find that I am happily unsatisfied by this world's pretense to having it, and by Satan's attempts to blind others to his lack of it.

I've already seen what God can do: create, sustain, and cause to flourish.

Satan cannot create a thing. He can only pervert truth, and attempt to kill, steal, destroy. Puny, indeed. No wonder he's miserable.

5/14/2014 05:28:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

That is your depression speaking. It is no longer you speaking.

I resemble that remark.

I ought to be the happiest person in the world, but it's not always allowed.

5/14/2014 05:44:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Excellent advice, Bob!

I have noticed that i'm much more prone to being unhappy when I don't exercise my thankfulness or a grateful attitude, or when I do it less than I ought to.

Kinda scary how often that can happen.
Encouragement like today's post is a real Godsend to me every time I hear it.
Thanks man.

5/15/2014 01:29:00 AM  
Blogger Magister said...

Julie

These armband satanist weaklings you see would be, in the words of Burke,

a valuable addition of nondescripts to the ample collection of known classes, genera and species, which at present beautify the hortus siccus of dissent.

(laughing) I just had to drop this in here. I'm reading the Reflections these days and, Burke's monarchism aside, just love how beautifully acidic he can be when characterizing something he justly finds ironic.

5/15/2014 08:28:00 AM  

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