A suggestion to our readers: you may want to read Shrinkwrapped’s response to El Inglés’ recent essay here on possible scenarios regarding the future of Europe as it deals with the onslaught of unimpeded immigration.
What dismays me is that the good doctor — whose essays are usually thoughtful and modest in their approach — has, in this case, chosen to give El Inglés a diagnostic label based on this single post, while ignoring the warning that these scenarios were descriptive, not normative. To describe possible scenarios is not “to toy with them,” but I doubt everyone can discern the difference between a consideration of an outcome and its endorsement.
Shrinkwrapped has decided on the evidence of this post that El Inglés is “exhibit[ing] all the signs of a regressive response to anxiety.”
As I said in my comment on Shrinkwrapped’s post, “Say What?” Since when does a responsible member of the psychiatric profession go around assigning diagnoses based on such sketchy evidence? Prior to this demonstration, I would have sworn an affidavit that Shrinkwrapped was too professional, and his boundaries too solid, for him to theorize so carelessly, so wantonly, so unreflectively. Anyone can throw diagnoses around. It’s quite another to prove them.
Nor is that all. Shrinkwrapped uses for his proof Charles Johnson’s ideas regarding the essay. Normally, I ignore Mr. Johnson’s pontifications. I give them the gravitas they deserve. That Shrinkwrapped would choose this man, who has viciously attacked our blog since last October, as his “evidence” is absolutely breathtaking.
He knew full well what ammunition he was handing out to a man who appears negatively obsessed with us.
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Thus, Mr Johnson has reams of material to further scapegoat and attack us, using the credentials of a respected psychiatrist to back him up.
I was talking to Pamela Geller (Atlas Shrugs) a few months ago and our conversation turned to blogs. Pamela stated unequivocally that there was no blogger you could fully trust not to betray you. I offered Shrinkwrapped as a counter-argument and upon thinking it over, she agreed. Well, Pamela, after today’s post I am forced to agree with you. Don’t trust anyone who blogs. Including me.
My psychiatrist often remarks upon the notion that betrayal is a commonplace event; the most common, frequent human experience we will encounter. He says that we must all learn to process and metabolize these events when they occur, especially when we are blindsided by someone we had heretofore trusted. That is what I will do with this one, though it will take awhile. I admired Shrinkwrapped and am sad to be bereft of that admiration of him. I had thought him one of the Righteous Ones, but as it turns out, he’s merely human, an average joe like anyone else.
What is most interesting, clinically speaking, is Shrinkwrapped’s own public dysphoria — quite regressed and anxious now that I think of it — over the fact that he believed Israel had “lost the will to live“. I didn’t agree and told him so. In fact, I sent him several news articles that I hoped disproved his alarmist thesis.
To sum up what I am attempting to convey, I offer this passage from Neal Stephenson’s The Diamond Age:
“‘Nell,’ the Constable continued, indicating through his tone of voice that the lesson was concluding, ‘the difference between ignorant and educated people is that the latter know more facts. But that has nothing to do with whether they are stupid or intelligent. The difference between stupid and intelligent people — and this is true whether or not they are well-educated — is that intelligent people can handle subtlety. They are not baffled by ambiguous or even contradictory situations — in fact, they expect them and are apt to become suspicious when things seem overly straightforward.
“In your Primer, you have a resource that will make you highly educated, but it will never make you intelligent. That comes from life. Your life up to this point has given you all of the experience you need to be intelligent, but you have to think about those experiences. If you don’t think about them, you’ll be psychologically unwell. If you do think about them you will become not merely educated but intelligent…’”
As a result of all this, I am going to take a vacation from Gates of Vienna for a while. I’ll be back sometime. In the meantime, I ask our roster of contributing writers and tipsters to fill in the gaps so that the Baron will not have to carry on by himself. He is already too busy as it is. Had I another choice, I would not leave him to carry on without me.
For the moment, I will concentrate on the smaller, day-to-day minutiae at my other blog, “The Neighborhood of God,” which I have grossly neglected. At least that is my intention, once I get past this sense of having been slammed in the stomach by someone I used to consider as a man of integrity.
Live and learn. It’s the best cure for sadness.