Friday, September 01, 2006

Roger Simon Sees the Problem as Bigger than BDS

I’m going to be a little self indulgent here and relish a small validation I feel in thinking along the same wavelength as the fabulous Roger Simon.

Y’ see, I wrote an e-mail on August 18th concerning the roots behind the craziness of Catherine C. Mayo that parallels Mr. Simon’s observations today on the larger picture behind the Valerie Plame affair. When I wrote the e-mail I thought about blogging it as well - and now I’m kicking myself for not doing so earlier.

Here’s what I wrote to some friends on the 18th, about Ms. Mayo and her ilk:
Is BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrome) a distinct form of mental illness and if so, what would it have been called before there was a Bush? Should BDS really just be considered a colloquial reference for a subset of a larger pandemic: the Aging Hippie Syndrome?

AHS seems to be brought about by too little adult guidance and/or instruction in western classical thought in the formative years coupled with cornucopian drug abuse and possibly overexposure to black lights. There is evidence that those individuals with over-inflated senses of self and entitlement are particularly vulnerable (Hence the apparent overrepresentation of ‘elite’ university alumni in the affected group).

The condition may lay dormant within these poor flower-children for years until their fragile psyches suffer one or more cataclysmic events that threaten their established world view. These types of events include:
1. Loss of political power: When this happens, the AHs must confront the reality that they are not in the mainstream.
2. Sudden Trans-Cultural Conflict: While initial effects of this can be dampened via ‘projecting’ fault as it fits an existing world-view, over time the web of self-deception breaks down and an overwhelming angst can result in episodes of irrational and random ‘lashing out’.
3. Increased Leisure Time: As AHs reach retirement age, and/or become ‘empty-nesters’ they find themselves with more time for reflection and eventually, if not still/again engaging in the recreational use of drugs, they may come to realize two previously unrecognized facts of life. One is the realization that the world moves on with or without their involvement and the other is that they are actually mortal.
At this time in our society, we seem to be hitting a ‘trifecta’ of sorts. Only time will tell if this current calamity will be subsumed by or tragically amplify the effects of other normal age-related dementia...
Now, here are two excerpts from Mr. Simon’s post (emphasis mine):
So next step - why this phenomenon? Why the acceptance of this narrative whose result is so negative to world history and seems in continuous aid of the destruction of the Enlightenment itself? Is it just Bush Derangement Syndrome? Well, I think that's a large part of it. But the term (BDS) is too narrow to encompass the phenomenon. A variety of psychological forces are in the mix, but most notable to me is a sense of deprivation. 9/11 stripped the left of its self-perceived idealism that was the mainstay of its "personality.” Forces (like Bush) that lefties once dismissed as reactionary were taking the lead in the preservation of the West instead of supporting dictators as they once did. Furthermore, in the old days the left could take concilation that the enemy (communism) had at least a theoretical rationale - economic fairness to all. The new enemy was more troublesome…

In the beginning the left went along with Bush, but the minute things began to lag in Iraq, they deserted him in a flash. At first glance the reason was political but on a deeper (and I believe more important) level the reason was psychological. The left was in a rush to reclaim its lost idealism (the "it's about oil" nonsense was but an obvious example of this), to preserve its disintegrating sense of self

About the only significant differences I see are:
1. I am much more wordy and flippant in writing to my friends and,
2. I have offered a name to that larger-than-BDS “phenomenon” and,
3. I wish I could write about this kind of stuff with half the skill of Roger Simon.

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