Indirect Language.

George Carlin had a great moment where he talked about “shell shock” in World War 1. He was upset with America and their use of euphemistic language. He found that surrounding the issue of mental illness in soldiers in euphemism was a great deal of bullshit. Shell shock was to the point.

It was direct and it told you basically everything you needed to know about the issue at the time. Your nervous system was stretched to it’s limits and it was at a point where it had or was about to snap.

Then in WW2 it became “battle-fatigue.” It was more syllables, much less direct, and didn’t sound like such a terrible condition to be suffering from. Perhaps you needed more naps.

Heading into and out of the Vietnam War the term became “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.” Not only did he find this incredibly long winded.. But it was a past tense sounding description of a present tense problem. While this may be more politically correct and applies to more people than soldiers, it still takes the urgency out of the issue. My friends have mild forms of PTSD from their childhoods.

There is a poetic and despicable irony in the way that our brains will associate these two groups of people and color our experiences of their suffering, in some cases trivializing or negating it.

The reason this even came up was because I was watching a brilliant Ted talk about “Leadership Training” over “Sensitivity Training.”

The speaker talked about a linguist who illustrated how the human mentality is naturally inclined towards victim blaming with 4 sentences.

1. John beat Mary.

2. Mary was beaten by John.

3. Mary was beaten.

4. Mary is a “battered woman.”

I like the first sentence. It’s direct, clear, and the perpetrator of the action Is the first thing you witnessed, followed by his actions, followed by his victim.

If you follow the order of nouns in the sentences and ask why this happened you may notice something interesting. In the first sentence. The question posed would look like this:

“Why did John beat Mary?”

In any of the subsequent cases, we start asking about the victim. Victims are not the ones who take the action that they are a victim of… So why do we shift the blame on to them. And why do we describe them in ways that divorce them from the actor’s will?

Melancholia

There was going to be an entire depressing post here about my insignificance and lack of purpose, but I deleted several drafts and decided to put this here instead.

You are valuable.
You can achieve something.
You can succeed at something.
And someone somewhere loves you.

The Essence of Style

Here is a fashion tip for those who think they have none.

Today, my friends… vanity is not a dirty word.

Actually…. To
day, It’s the keyword.

Today…
Vanity means you care about yourself.
Vanity means you love yourself and how you look.
Vanity means you want to feel confident when you walk out the door.

And because of this I want you to look at yourself in the mirror. What do you see when you look? Do you like it? If the answer to the second question is yes, congratulations.

But if the answer is no…

Then why don’t you fix it? Why don’t you find something to wear that says something about you? Why don’t you make a statement?

Because that’s what style is. Saying what you want to say on your own terms.

Don’t be ashamed to love the way you look.

Only you can be you. So own it.

Balance it out.

Every so often I have this feeling. My friend’s mother likes to call it “existential angst.”

I’m sad for no reason and there seems like there isn’t anything I can do about it.. The world is a shitty place, full of shitty people and there’s no reason to do anything.

Every so often I have this other feeling. I’m pretty sure it’s mania.

Like if the full force of my potential was released I would conquer the world in fifty seconds flat and solve every problem mankind ever had.

 

Both perspectives in my opinion are sort naïve. No one is so inconsequential that they can’t do anything. And no one human is so powerful that they can do everything.

I think the issue though, is that everyone can do something. But because of their perspective on reality at any given point chose to do whatever makes the most “sense” in their opinion. I think it’s time to change our world views.

the philosophical definition of “reality” is:

a. something that exists independently of ideas concerning it.
b. something that exists independently of all other things and from which all other things derive.”

 

Nothing actually exists independently of ideas relating to it, because ideas and facts are derived relative to the experience of it.