Israel’s Monsters: “What is at work here is the same matrix of nihilism now at work everywhere, and underneath everything, from blasé celebrations of war crimes, to crazed calls for genocide, to preening statements of affected indifference and delusional arrogance and empty rhetoric and hollow gestures. But perhaps what we are also witnessing is the end of this too. Already in 1970 McLuhan predicted that World War Three would be ‘a guerrilla information war, with no divisions between military and civilian participation.’ With the atrocities that flooded social media on Saturday, and are still continuing to flood it, this war has now begun. What is desperately needed at a moment of extraordinary danger is genuine moral courage and leadership: whether or not it is found will determine if the West can save anything from what happens next.”
Struggling with Assurance or Is it Religious OCD? “The DSM defines obsessions as ‘persistent ideas, thoughts, impulses, or images that are experienced as intrusive and inappropriate that cause marked anxiety or distress.’ A lot of people call them ‘sticky thoughts’ that you can’t get rid of and they plague you like swarming flies that won’t leave you alone. The DSM says compulsions are ‘repetitive behaviors or mental acts, the goal of which is to prevent or reduce anxiety or distress.’ In the case of religious OCD, the repetitive mental acts actually become repenting or focusing on the promises that have the goal of quieting the obsessive scary thought. Thus, if you just focus on assurance, you are helping them keep their cycle of obsession-compulsion.”
The Living Water: “Water has been sacred forever. Watery places are liminal ones, and archaeology has shown us enough offerings cast into lakes, rivers, bogs and wells over millennia to demonstrate the spiritual significance of fresh water. The place where a spring emerges clean from the ground has an obvious imaginal power. Clean water emerges from darkness: dirt and sickness are washed away; nature provides; life springs eternal from the underworld.”
The Most Dangerous Thing in Culture Right Now is Beauty: “…the folks who told you that aesthetic beauty is shallow or vacuous or superficial have it all wrong. Beauty of this sort—like Helen of Troy’s—can sink ships and topple empires. That’s what’s happening right now.”
Also, please consider contributing to the funding for friend Logan Berry‘s trilogy of Chicago plays exploring grief, technology, and intensity. “The Sarcoma Cycle” will be the first repertory production in Chicago in a decade.