A Flight of Ideas – High Art

My cheeks are red; like cuts of fresh beef.

This clarity of complexion is significant but I can’t locate its source.

The source of significance is always obscure, like the meaning of “High Art’.

Let us assume for a moment that ‘high art’ is art that makes no sense.

Let us also assume that high art is useless.

By virtue of assumption, we enter the realm of critic: one responsible for deciding what is high and who goes low.

They name what we haven’t.

Delusional grandiosity is the basis of all civilized discourse.

What we say is true, is true, because we say it is.

Thus, I poke my complexion and objectively call it clear, but can I
call it high?


(c) Rob Goldstein 2017 All Rights Reserved

Broken

This post was first written and posted in November of 2014.

I was battling with the Kaiser Mental Health System and
struggling to understand what I needed to heal.

I got what I needed. Many people don’t.

 

1.
I’m in a strange frame of mind over this struggle with my health care provider.
It frightens me and the fear spills out everywhere.
I know that I have to file a grievance but the conflict over it is painful.
I look for someone or something else to blame; something not caused by a corrupt health care system that forces its patients to file grievances to get the treatment they need.
I keep thinking that I have survived this far because the part of my brain that isn’t damaged functions very well.
I have a mental health background that includes an understanding of psychodynamic psychotherapy.
I wonder how someone without this background and insight would manage an illness as confusing and destructive as Dissociative identity Disorder under the same circumstances.
The most insidious aspect of corruption is the way it insinuates itself into every day life.
It’s like a malignant spirit.
We feel sickness but we normalize it; especially, if the negative consequences seem incidental, petty or better, don’t seem to apply to us.
What happens to the mind of a man who sees the pain caused by our political and social corruption everywhere he looks?
Do other people see it too?
Does it make them feel crazy too?
And the corruption is arrogant.
It presumes weakness.
It presumes apathy.
It knows that people prefer to do nothing;
especially over things that seem small.
Like making us sign a form and mail it back to opt out of corporate data sharing.
Corruption corrupts everything, one small thing at a time.
It is insidious as it breaks our spirits and poisons our bodies.
But who am I?
I’m one of God’s nobodies.
I don’t do much of anything really,
I read, I write, I like to take pictures.
My passion in life is social justice and to that end I am still a bit of an activist.
I love the field of psychiatry though I don’t have a degree.
I have worked in that field as a paraprofessional and my greatest joy was to see people discover their humanity: the emotional insight of being worthy.
That feeling is important to people.
It is the food of the soul.
2.
When we speak of the spirit of the times, we speak of the passions of the people.
Like this picture that I found at the internet archives:


Freedom of Worship

As I understand the history of World War Two, the average person in the United States believed that he or she was fighting to preserve a way of life based on respect for independent thought and speech,  religious differences, basic economic security, and freedom from war.
In his January 1941 State of the Union Address President Franklin D. Roosevelt enumerated four essential freedoms for which we as a Nation stand and for which we will fight.
“The first is freedom of speech and expression—everywhere in the world.
The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way–everywhere in the world.
The third is freedom from want—which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings, which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants—everywhere in the world.
The fourth is freedom from fear—which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor—anywhere in the world.”
The inescapable fact is that in 1941 the nation went to war with human evil as it was expressed in Germany by the Nazis.
Two very different versions of civilization had emerged after World War 1 and they had to clash.
U.S propaganda focused on human rights:

Before The Idea of Government was Demonized

German  propaganda focused on fear:

Antisemitic propaganda

The first poster presents freedom from want and a degree of economic security as a measure of freedom.
The second poster focuses on freedom from reason.
It is the freedom to blame, scapegoat, steal, and murder.
It is a world without negative consequences for the “right” people.
It is a world in which the state can legalize murder and use assembly line technology as the weapon of choice.
It is a world of people who believe that what they pretend they don’t know makes them innocent.
3.
What is faith?
I ask myself this as I contemplate the grievance I have to file to get the treatment I need to make this pain go away.
Why don’t my treatment providers care that I’m in pain.
Why haven’t they studied this disorder and acted on its seriousness?
Why don’t they care that I must live in fear of myself as I use every skill I have to survive the increased fragmentation that is essential to getting well but is dangerous because of  the resistance and anger by some of my alternates?
Why do I have to do something as negative as file a grievance?
What am I “grieving”?
Maybe I’m grieving the time that I’m losing to my illness as I contemplate filing a grievance.
In the cynical version of history Roosevelt lied; cynics look at that generation of people and point to the racism, the homophobia, and they are right.
The people who followed a president into a war based on the premise of  the preservation of essential human rights were flawed.
But they tried.
Hope is what gave birth to the Civil Rights Movement.
The idea that we as a Nation of people will talk to each other and listen, and the idea we will use our economic system and government to realize a vision in which each of us benefits from the creative wonder of the human mind.
Good and evil is always right where we stand.
We cannot defeat evil but we can regulate it and be alert to its seductive power.
I suppose that what I cannot understand is why I feel as if I’m living in a world that refuses to even try.

(c) Rob Goldstein 2014 All Rights Reserved

Save

Save

Save

Save

American Eugenics in the 21st Century

If Trump and the GOP have their way, 23 Million of our fellow
citizens will be without access to healthcare.

Most of he GOP is OK with this.

The GOP agenda closely mirrors an economic and social agenda first proposed in 1918 by the American Eugenics Movement.

The idea at its simplest is the poor deserve to die and letting them die is an act of mercy for everyone.

Read this excerpt from Applied Eugenics:

A page from Applied Eugenics by Paul Popenoe, that recommends using poverty to reduce the population of 'inferior people'
A page from Applied Eugenics by Paul Popenoe,

Doesn’t it sound familiar?

The Eugenics movement thought Social Security was evil.

A page from Applied Eugenics by Paul Popenoe, that argues against social security because it supports inferior people
A page from Applied Eugenics by Paul Popenoe,
photograph of a homeless disabled person sleeping under a blanket next to his wheelchair
This is what it looks like to be old and sick in America

What do we mean when we call someone a Nazi?

Read Applied Eugenics and you’ll find that Nazis were
the most extreme manifestation of a cruel theory proposed
by wealthy Americans who believed they had the right
to murder the poor.

American Eugenics in the 21st Century

I live in one of the wealthiest cities in the United States.

What can you say about a city that spends a fortune to obsessively
clean the streets but won’t fund an adequate mental health system?

San Francisco’s mental health system insists that a person whose
judgement and insight is lethally compromised has a ‘right’ to refuse
treatment.

Mandated treatment for people whose brains are broken is more offensive to human dignity than letting then die in their filth on the street?

Art by Rob Goldstein
And the streets are perfectly clean

San Francisco has only one 71 bed Psychiatric Crisis Clinic for a population of over 200,000 people.

71 beds?

71 beds in the only clinic for psychiatric emergencies for over 200,000 people?

How can that be right?

We Never Talk about the Link Between Homelessness and Eugenics, Why?

Unfit Human Traits and Triangle of Life

For discussion of the American Origins of the Eugenics Movement I recommend the History News Network.

The 1918 handbook of the Eugenics Movement, Applied Eugenics, by Paul Popenoe,  described what he called Lethal Selection at work during World War 1:

“…Poverty becomes rife, and sanitation and medical treatment are commonly sacrificed under the strain…”

“…During a war, that mitigation of the action of natural selection which is so common now among civilized nations, is somewhat less effective than in times of peace.”

In Applied Eugenics Popenoe  proposed the artificial creation of the conditions of extreme poverty as a means of executing mental defectives.

Life Unworthy of Life
Lethal Neglect: the failure to provide the goods or services necessary for functioning or to avoid harm.

Popenoe called this method of execution Lethal Neglect or Passive Execution

The American Eugenics Movement was the template for Nazi Germany.

In fact, the Warsaw Ghetto meets the criteria for execution by Lethal Neglect.

The Nazi’s removed all critical supports for urban survival and took daily photographs of residents to document their decline and death.

Art by Rob Goldstein
Just Imagine



The American Eugenics movement was such a powerful global movement that Nazis on trial at Nuremberg after World War II cited American Eugenics programs as a defense of their policies and mentioned Buck v. Bell in their testimony.

Shrug
                   

Ronald Reagan was a young adult when the American Eugenics
Movement was at its peak.

He was almost 70 when he began his first term as President.

Isn’t it possible that Eugenics theories influenced his decision
to close State Hospitals while simultaneously cutting funds
for Community Mental Heath?

A quote from an early 201th Century Eugenics advocate, Alexis Carrel, who says that the disabled should be executed.
From a December 2010 article in The New Statesman: When America believed in eugenics

In 1937, a Gallup poll in the USA found that 45 per cent of supported euthanasia for “defective infants”. A year later, in a speech at Harvard, WG Lennox argued that preserving disabled lives placed a strain on society and urged doctors to recognize “the privilege of death for the congenitally mindless and for the incurable sick”. An article published in the journal of the American Psychiatric Association in 1942 called for the killing of all “retarded” children over five years old.  The New Statesman

As President  Reagan destroyed the public mental health system in
the United States.

“Selection by death may result either from inadequate food supply, or from some other lethal reason. ”

Review of Applied Eugenics, By Paul Popenoe and Roswell H. Johnson, Eugenical News (vol. 4)

Indiana Republican: ‘No One Has the Guts’ to Let the Poor ‘Wither and Die’

 

The Courage of a Nation for all to See
San Francisco shows its guts

(c) Rob Goldstein 2016-2017 all rights reserved

 

mhwgmember2015

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

I Am That Child

I am that child who watched in horror
as a policeman shot and killed my
Father.

I am that child gunned down
at school; my last words were,
Help me! I don’t want to be here!”

I am that child tortured and beaten
and left in a field to die because
I am gay.

I am that child who listens
fearfully as a rich white lady
on TV says that my life does
not matter.

I am every child who has ever gone to
bed hungry

And cold

And homeless

And illiterate

And sick

Because of the evil of adults who know what
they do.

And If I grow up I will shit on your streets

And feed your prisons

And live as evidence of your contempt for life

And the human spirit

And your bestial need for more.

I am the battered face of your hate.

Look at me!

 

Art by Rob Goldstein
I Am the Battered Face of Your Hate

 

Poem and Image (c) Rob Goldstein 2016

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save