November 13, 2017 (Monday)

by Yule Heibel on November 12, 2018

Not wearing my reading glass is causing more dis-focus than usual this morning. My right eye, through which I can see distance reasonably well (if not 20/20, then fairly close), but which therefore has succumbed to age-related presbyopia (farsightedness which leaves the up-close indistinct), wants to be dominant. It – or rather my brain – is saying, “Let me see far, let me see through the right eye.”Also: the dominant right eye makes everything on the page in front of me blurry.

When I look up from my page here and gaze out the window, even my left eye, which is bad at distance vision but actually really good at seeing everything clearly up close, even this left eye seems to want to fall in line with my right, to look far across the increasingly bare tree tops, the jumbled rooftops, toward the sea. I see the sky, cloudy and therefore not exposing me to a broiling sun, and every once in a while, a bird. The clouds seem immobile; they are full, plump, and deeply gray.

I feel satisfied looking out at this, like a person of prehistory who found a place of prospect and refuge. My refuge, which juts out from the house a bit, really does feel like a perch at times, and best of all, when the sun isn’t boring in on me, it feels protected. That’s refuge. At the same time, it affords me prospect: I can oversee from where I watch.

Yesterday I decided to kick my barely extant social life by texting X. We will meet for coffee tomorrow. Maybe she’ll start in on something Trump did which personally traumatized her, in which case I’ll have to deflect the conversation. It is a bit appalling that I can’t go anywhere, meet anyone here, without running into a very narcissistic version of Trump Derangement Syndrome.The people who are popular I distrust, and I question them all.

I gather that Seth Moulton (who never completely passed my sniff test, even though he’s adored by practically everyone – something just struck me as “off” even as I voted for Hillary Clinton) figured out which side his bread is buttered on, for he has turned into a complete “Muh Russia!” shill. The “Russia did it” narrative dominates here. And the crowd (i.e., the locals) love Moulton for getting on that bandwagon. Oh, aren’t we so virtuous, blessèd in the sight of the Great Blue God! And that we have elected this person [Moulton] is proof of our virtue. “We,” “I,” same difference.

Looked at like this (i.e., through my mock statement), all politics at the voting level has a strong component of narcissism. The “big sort” effect amplifies it. We want to feel “virtuous” and good. We think that if the “right” person is elevated – elected by us – then that reflects on us as virtuous. It’s narcissistic. Likewise, the blanket demonization of entire swathes of the population who voted for the “wrong” guy is equally psychologically suspect.

Actually, “you” are not virtuous just because you voted, say, for Hillary Clinton and Seth Moulton. And if you didn’t vote for either, you’re not evil, either. We’re losing sight of this. The demonization of the “other side” is a deformation of analysis. And thinking that “you” are personally virtuous (or better) for voting for the right guy or gal is the beginning of narcissism, now cultivated and encouraged.

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