Friday, January 4, 2019

Mrs. Randolph Churchill

   "Daughter of the millionaire New York sportsman Leonard Jerome, she was born with the proverbial silver spoon and in her teens was taken to Paris for the 'finishing' every wealthy girl was supposed to receive before being presented to Society. There she became a talented pianist and an accomplished linguist.

    Wife of Lord Randolph Churchill, the younger son of the Duke of Marlborough whom she married at 20, she was an instant success in the top circles of London society, being singled out for particular attention by the Prince of Wales, later Edward VII, who remained her devoted admirer for the rest of his life. Her brilliant career was paralleled by that of her husband whose spectacular rise to Parliament was snuffed out too soon by an illness.

   Mother of Winston Churchill, she received from him first the complete devotion of a little boy and then the open-hearted confidence of an ambitious young man whose career she did everything within her power to further. She firmly believed he would become Prime Minister although she did not live to see it.

    Mrs. Churchill grew older, of course, but never 'old' keeping her beauty, charm and drive to the end. Her star was not dimmed by two subsequent marriages, one of which ended in divorce, and her relationship with her son never faltered."  - Anita Leslie 

Monday, December 10, 2018

Destructive Violence

"The availability of guns has a curious and macabre relation to violence. This form of technology not only vastly increases the range and the effectiveness of violence but also has an effect - generally dulling - on the consciousness of those who use them. My having in my hand a pistol with which to shoot some living thing changed me into an entirely different person psychologically. I could deal out death to anyone since I was possessed by this instrument of death; I had become an irrational man of hostility. The gun had me rather than my having it. I had become its instrument. Seized with a dislike for the person I had become, I took the gun back into the house and put it away. We understand only vaguely the effect that technology can have on the consciousness of a person, but it is clear that the possession of guns can radically change personality. Glenn Gray remarked that, as an officer in the army, he did not feel dressed when he went out without his pistol strapped to his belt.

An extreme form of such an effect on personality can be seen in the career of Charles Fairweather, the teen-ager who went on a rampage in Nebraska and murdered eleven people before he was caught. 'I love guns,' he had said as a boy. 'They give me a feeling of power like nothing else.' It is obvious that the person on a binge of violence must become unfeeling and detached, like a soldier mowing down the enemy with a machine gun, or else he could never do what he feels he has to do. The symbol of the gun as a phallus and its relation to sex is well known. Both are long and slim, both eject a substance that can radically change the person into whom it is directed. Hence the gun has become, especially with simple people, a symbol par excellence of masculine power. Stanley Kunitz remarks, 'we hunted with guns to eat, we hunted with guns to make the land safe for our homes, and we hunted with guns to live in the pioneer period. In all these ways the gun was valuable, a laudable symbol of power, and handling it well was also laudable.' Many a person feels that when he possesses a gun that he now has a power that had been unfairly taken away from him. And what a power it is! He can now make this big explosion and hurl that projectile to kill things much larger than himself. …  The consciousness is surrendered willingly." - Rollo May

Monday, November 12, 2018

On Fascism, Nazism And Stalinism

   "Side by side with the development of the positive aspects of the matriarchal complex we find, in the European development, the persistence of, or even further, regression to its negative aspects -- the fixation to blood and soil.  Man -- freed from the traditional bonds of the medieval community, afraid of the new freedom which transformed him into an isolated atom -- escaped into a new idolatry of blood and soil, of which nationalism and racism are the two most evident expressions.  Along with the progressive development, which is a blending of the positive aspect of both patriarchal and matriarchal spirit, went the development of the negative aspects of both principles: the worship of the state, blended with the idolatry of the race or nation.  Fascism, Nazism and Stalinism, are the most dramatic manifestations of this blend of state and clan worship, both principles embodied in the figure of a 'Fuehrer.' These totalitarianisms are by no means the only manifestations of an incestuous fixation in our time. … Nationalism is our form of incest, is our idolatry, is our insanity. 'Patriotism' is its cult."  -  Erich Fromm

Monday, October 29, 2018

Inner World

    "A chronic hatred or even a cherished grudge tears to pieces the one who harbors it.  A strong feeling of resentment is just as likely to cause disease as is a germ.  The worst thing one can do to oneself is to let resentment dig in and for hatred to become chronic.  … Fear is another indispensable element in the human make-up. Even in its simpler form we cannot dispense with it; on the streets of a modern city a fearless man, if the phrase be taken literally, would probably be dead before nightfall. And fear can be a powerfully creative motive. In a profound sense industry springs from fear of penury, medical science from fear of disease. But fear's abnormalities - hysteria, obsessive anxiety -  may tear a personality to pieces.

   Human life is full of secret fears, thrust into the dark corners of the personality.  Fear of the dark, of cats, of closed places, of open places, fear of responsibility, of having children, of old age and death; guilty fears, often concerned with sins long passed religious fears, associated with ideas of a vindictive God and an eternal hell; and sometimes a vague fearfulness, filling life with anxious apprehension - such a wretchedness curses innumerable lives. The disruptive effect of such secret, chronic fearfulness is physically based.  The adrenal glands furnish us in every frightening situation with a 'swig of our own internal fight-tonic.'  A little of it is stimulating; too much of it is poison.  Habitual anxiety and dread constitute a continuous false alarm, turning the invaluable adrenal secretion from an emergency stimulant into a chronic poison."   -  H. E. Fosdick

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Please Read: "The Gettysburg Address"

  "Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

   Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war.  We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

    But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate-we can not consecrate-we can not hallow-this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.  It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.  It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us-that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion-that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain-that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom-and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth."
  - Abraham Lincoln, November 19, 1863.

Friday, September 21, 2018

You Won't Be Snubbed

"If in speaking to a woman you reveal that you are primarily interested in her personally or as a member of the opposite sex, she will instantly resent it, as she has every right to do. In effect, you are insulting her by the assumption that her attention may be so cheaply won. But speak to her as one human being to another, as one interested in the same scenery, the same music, or the same social problems, and she will extend her ready fellowship. Both men and women love to use their minds, and women especially regard it as a distinct compliment to be met on the intellectual plane common to both sexes." - H.M. Robinson

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

A Merry-Go-Round

G. Whillikins was a writer bold
Who never lost a chance;
While good at many sorts of work,
His best hold was Romance.
He wrote a lively, stirring thing,
A tale of love and youth,
With a dashing maid and a clashing blade,
But never a word of truth.

G. Whillikins then headed home
To make another start.
He studied up psychology;
He took men's souls apart;
He learned the naïve, the morbid,
The crazy, quaint, and queer,
And wrote a book without a plot.
The time elapsed - one year.

Once more G. Whillikins set out
With economic lore
He soaked his very being full -
It oozed from every pore.
He proved all poverty a crime,
And chose a 'workingman'
For hero, one who ran a strike
Upon a novel plan.

G.Whillikins did some thinking,
And thought this time he'd wait
Until the wheel had made its turn,
Instead of chasing Fate.
"I'll bide my time," said Whillikins,
"Until Romance comes round,"
But when the cycle reached Romance,
It found him underground.
                       -  Tudor Jenks