Category Archives: News

“Strangers In Their Own Land”

“Strangers In Their Own Land”

“Anger and Mourning on the American Right” is the subtitle of this book by Arlie Russel Hochschild, a Berkeley sociologist. Based mainly on interviews with Tea Party Republicans in Louisiana, she delves into the “why” of poor white votes for Trump and other Republicans. Louisiana is one of the poorest and least-healthy states. It is heavily polluted because weak enforcement of weak regulations make it attractive to oil and chemical plants. Polluting industries seek the “least resistant personality profile” in the residents of the area they plan to poison (page 81):

  • Longtime residents of small towns in the South or Midwest
  • High school educated only
  • Catholic
  • Uninvolved in social issues, and without a culture of activism
  • Involved in “nature exploitative occupations” such as mining, farming, ranching
  • Conservative
  • Republican
  • Advocates of the free market

Hochschild develops a “deep story” to explain their traditional values of loyalty, sacrifice, and endurance. Polluting industries manipulate them into fearing the loss of their income if they don’t turn a blind eye to the secret pollution, the dying trees, the disappearing fish, the increasing illness. Church, state, and politicians tug their loyalty strings to believe in Capitalism at the expense of the environment. They endure the secret spillage into their waterways, staying close to home and their traditional values. They resent Liberals who point to the contamination and tell them they “are not feeling the right feelings.”

These white people work hard and they scorn the shiftless, no ‘count people below them in the social order who live on government handouts and never work. They identify with the white plantation owners, the 1%, and believe that through hard work, luck and family connections, they too will live in the white-columned mansions along the Mississippi River. But they don’t go to college and they don’t learn new technology or new ways of thinking.

They are resentful of affirmative-action types (women, blacks, refugees) who “cut in front of them in line” for the good jobs. They believe the government paid for Obama’s education, and for Michelle’s Harvard education, too. Because they never bought and read his books, they don’t realize that their education loans were paid for with the book royalties. They believe the government subsidizes this “line-cutting” that has stagnated their wages and lives.

They don’t want to feel like downtrodden victims like blacks, women and gays. They want to feel like the white 1%. Their endurance is a matter of honor. Honor is sacrifice. With their tight communities and limited education, their feedback loop is small and fed by Fox News.

Trump cashed in on Identity Politics for white men who felt trapped in 1950s ethics and values. The ones holding the KKK signs in Atchafalaya.

Empathy and Lack of Empathy

Empathy and Lack of Empathy

Two videos: one from Brene Brown on how empathy differs from sympathy. The second, a TED talk, on how narcissists lack empathy, and how ordinary narcissism differs from covert narcissism.

How are Covert Narcissists different from the garden-variety kind? According to Spartan Life Coach

You are Told: Narcissists are always brash, loud, assertive, flashy and Confident.

The problem is: Coverts are quiet, insecure and passive.

You are Told: Narcissists will never apologize for things they do.

The problem is: Coverts can learn that a quick and TOTAL apology is a really slick way of getting their target to “go back to sleep” if it looks like they are waking up.

You are told: Narcissists are ambitious, successful, go-getters full of energy and pumped with charismatic charm.

The problem is: Coverts are marked by failed ambition, chronic feelings of emptiness, fragility, low functioning and when depleted can frequently sink into outright depression.

You are told: Narcissists can be detected because they will always tell you how amazing they are and by bragging about their achievements.

The problem is: Coverts are known for presenting themselves as vulnerable victims who can even use that vulnerability as a hook to bait you in!

The article goes on to say that while the overt narcissist believes they are awesome, the world largely agrees with them. On the other hand, the covert narcissist believes they are awesome and the world largely disagrees with them. Narcissistic supply is scarce, forcing them to be more cunning and deceptive than the overt narcissist.

PSYCHOLOGY TODAY offers the Seven Signs of a Covert Narcissist. A key differentiator is passive-aggressiveness.

Some introverted narcissists deal with disagreeable people or circumstances in passive-aggressive ways. Upon receiving a reasonable request from you, they might say ‘okay,’ “yes,” “of course,” or “as you wish,” then either do nothing, or behave however they please. When you inquire why they didn’t follow-through on an arrangement, they may shrug it off with an excuse, or say nonchalantly that their way is better.

Perhaps SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN said it best. “23 signs You a Covert Narcissist Masquerading as Sensitive Introvert

In a post on The Narcissistic Life, Amanda says in the comments:

Gary, thank you for bringing up the Empath. As a daughter and sister of Narcissists, I do not see myself as an “inverted narcissist.” After a failed marriage of 24 years, I was told my ex was a narcissist. The signs were all there right in front of me, but I couldn’t see them or didn’t want to. Since the divorce I have been in a few relationships and most were narcissistic. The Narcissist is attracted to the Empath so they can gain control, power and they know the Empath will submit. The last relationship lasted for 2 years instead of 24 and he is a sociopathic/narcissist. The signs were there, but I ignored them because the “love bombing” was intoxicating and almost suffocating. I believed every word he said.

When he began to tire of me he started finding ways so I would push him out of my life. I ended up telling him he had 24 hours to get his things. I already knew he had shut me down or “discarded” me..

I can see my part in the desire for being loved from these type of men. Since I couldn’t find that in my dad and brothers, I sought this need through men.

In each relationship, there is a longing to show and express love, but they don’t seem to want this love. Maybe I never was able to attach to my dad because he was not able to love himself. As his daughter, I could sense this and tried over and over I tried to tell him how wonderful he is and how much he is loved.
He has never accepted this from me or accepted this within himself.

The fixer…

Commenter Tmoney goes on to say:

… “the inverted narcissist is a person who grew up enthralled by the narcissistic parent … the child becomes a masterful provider of Narcissistic Supply, a perfect match to the parent’s personality.” is what sets it apart. The Empath is never looking to feel like a masterful provider (someone with power over someone else), Empaths serve because they want to, its natural. Its not a way to control people.

The Inverted Narcissist is ultimately seeking to feel POWERFUL by having a Narcissist depend on them. (Because if they are the supply, they can manipulate the one who needs it.)

The Empath is seeking to feel LOVED by having someone depend on them.

This is why I feel they are separate beings/personality types. I THINK THEY CALL THEM MIRROR NARCISSISTS BECAUSE THEY PUSH AND PULL JUST AS MUCH AS THE NARCISSIST DOES, SO THEY ARE THEIR EQUAL OPPOSITE.

EMPATHS ON THE OTHER HAND ARE NOT PUSHING AND PULLING SO THEY ARE DIRECT OPPOSITES TO NARCISSISTS. THEY ARE THE LACK OF PULL/PUSH TO THE NARCISSIST’S PULL/PUSH. I’m not sure if that makes sense, but that’s the only way I can describe it.

Inverted Narcissists and Narcissists play an equal tug of war. Narcissists invite Empaths to play tug of war and the Empaths drop the rope, which is why the Narcissists find them so interesting.

Woman Lives Undersea for 8 Days

Woman Lives Undersea for 8 Days


Here I am with Dr. Dawn Kernagis, a member of Women Diver’s Hall of Fame, who spoke at SRJC today about doing biomedical research on the effects living underwater for eight days as part of NASA’s NEEMO 21 crew. Here is a video of her talk, “Dr Dawn Kernagis talks about life undersea during NASA s NEEMO 21 Mission.” So impressive! This was part of Women’s History Month.

Hello, Mr. Fishy

Hello, Mr. Fishy

Cichlid Fish
When I lived in San Francisco, I shared a house with Charlie who had a pet cichlid fish in an aquarium in the kitchen. The fish was as big as my hand.

When Charlie came downstairs in the morning, the fish would squirt him with water and Charlie would laugh and feed the fish.

When I came downstairs in the morning, wearing my silk blouse for a day in television sales, and the fish squirted me, I would shriek, upset that now I would have to find another blouse to wear, iron it, and be late for work. I was furious. I learned to enter the kitchen each morning saying, “Hello, Mr. Fishy. Please don’t squirt me.” Instead, he would do a little dance to greet me.

One time, Charlie and I went on vacation and Charlie had his younger sister come over daily to feed the fish. When we returned, the aquarium was murky with excess food, and the fish was sulking.

Even though Charlie promptly cleaned the tank and went back to his old schedule, the fish would not “speak” to him for a couple of weeks.

WordPress v. Squarespace for Blogging

WordPress v. Squarespace for Blogging

Here is a quick note I wrote to a friend to follow-up on the Facebook discussion about the best platform for her to start sharing her writing online.

1. Who owns your content?

2. Can you reclaim it if you decide to leave the platform?

WordPress is ideal for blogging, that’s what it was designed for.

Wordpress v. Squarespace
Squarespace is designed for “flat files” which are faster to load (important for Google ranking). Blog functions are available on Squarespace, but I believe its first function is fast, good-looking, easy-to-build static websites. If I were to start a new website today, I would use Squarespace if I did not need an Email service from the host.

https://www.squarespace.com/tour/create-a-blog

Although Squarespace does not offer you a free plan, they do have a 14-day risk-free trial for you to thoroughly test out their website builder before you make your decision. … So the ongoing cost for Squarespace ranges from $144 per year (Personal plan) to $480 per year (Advanced plan).

WordPress is powerful, cumbersome, widely-used, and for that reason, the target of a gajillion hack attempts per day (I have a counter on one of my WordPress websites). My personal blog is on WordPress (self-hosted with hosting company A), and my business website is on WordPress (self-hosted on hosting company B). I built a business website for one of my advertising clients on WordPress.com, which is NOT self-hosted, and he pays them small annual fees.

WordPress.com

Matt Mullenweg, co-founding developer of WordPress, launched a company called Automattic which provides “restricted” free blog hosting service at WordPress.com, and you can pay/upgrade to unlock features such as CSS modification etc. However, to get the full power of WordPress.org on WP.com service, you have to spend over $3250 per month for hosting.

It is not your imagination that this can get complicated. Two things:

1. WordPress.com is “free” blogging platform where Automattic takes care of all the updating, security, etc. This might be a good choice.

a. It is not really free for someone like you. You have to pay a small amount to keep ads off the site, and a small fee to have your domain name directed to the cloud-based site.

b. Be sure to own your domain name separately, under your own name, on your own account, that you can direct wherever you want. If you want to change platforms, you will have the ability to do so. I register my domains at Domains.Google.com

c. Using WordPress.com removes the website security issues. On the other hand, all your content is created in the cloud. You will have to make sure all your content is backed up to a place where you can find what you are looking for should something (unlikely) happen to your cloud-based website.

d. If you decide to try this, check out the website I built to support my students who took my SRJC Continuing Ed classes “Blogging for Business.”

2. Self-hosted WordPress.org (which is that I do) is not recommended because it is cumbersome, slow and old fashioned, but gives me more control over the appearance and ownership of the material. Plus, I can create Email accounts like anet@anetdunne.com

I do not know the Squarespace answers to the ownership quandary. Those websites are created in the cloud, and I think you would need a way to keep an archive copy of your writing. I don’t know what they offer in this regard.

I hope this helps. Please let me know what you decide to do.

Movie Review: Rogue One

Movie Review: Rogue One

star-wars-rogue-one
Rogue One is much better than the previous Star Wars installment, “The Force Awakens” by J.J. Abrams. The Rogue One script is first rate, telling how Princess Leia’s came to be in possession of the schematics for The Death Star, the information she embedded in R2D2, forty years ago..

In that movie, Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker were untouched by thousands of rounds sent their way. We all saw the excessive shooting in The Matrix, and Rogue One brings it to where it should be. Hundreds of thousands of rounds whizz by, but in Rogue One our people are not mysteriously shielded from harm. It is much more realistic about the real toll, physical and spiritual, of war.

The image above shows the small band of renegades at the heart of the action and I was impressed by the performances. Diego Luna as Cassian was especially compelling. There is a line where Cassian talks, with great pain, about how each of the men regrets the betrayals and killings in the name of the rebellion, and yet they are unwilling to let go of the cause. In an argument with the heroine, Cassian shuts it down with a quiet, chilling warning on a par with the line from The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, “We don’t need no stinking badges.” Bravo!

I have been a fan of Ben Mendelsohn since “Bloodline” where he plays a brilliant, self-destructive brother in a wealthy, irrational family. I thought he was miscast in this, and he had not mastered how to wear a cape with the panache and intimidation of Darth Vader. Ben’s voice lacks the gravitas to compete with the elocution of the Imperial brass. Too bad, I usually like his work.

I found the movie to be very satisfying. Recommended.

Art, Dance, Movies, Los Angeles

Art, Dance, Movies, Los Angeles
Art, Dance, Movies, Los Angeles

zgardenrestaurantMy friend of 30 years, Beth, was having surgery and I wanted to be nearby in case I could help her. My new friend from the Danube trip, Sue, was kind enough to pick me up at the airport on Thursday 6th of October and take me to the hospital where the surgery was performed. My friend’s procedure had gone so well that they released her rather than keep her overnight as planned, but she only let me visit her for one hour over the four days I was in Los Angeles.

The first night, Sue and I we had a great meal at the Z Garden Restaurant at 2350 Pico near 23rd St. It is run by a Tunisian family that filled a corner of the restaurant with laughter, kisses and kids and we each had a different, delicious lamb dish, then off to folk dancing at Felicia Mahood center. Had a great time.

Museum Bowl

In The LACMA Pottery Gallery Where Sue’s Cup Was Featured In A Recent Show


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The next day, Friday, we walked with the Walkie Talkies, then met Kiki for breakfast at Urth near the beach. She told us about her work as a nurse and with special-needs children who prepared gift bags for breast cancer patients. Before I left, Kiki stopped by Sue’s house and gave me three to give to my friends coping with cancer. Then we went to LACMA but missed the Chinese lecture Sue wanted to see. Instead, we went to the Guillermo Del Toro monster show that Sue had been avoiding. She loved it, then we went to see more treasures there. That afternoon we saw “Queen of Katwe.”

suelacma

Saturday morning had breakfast at Bundy Ave. cafe not far from my old neighborhood, then we danced barefoot, madly, at the Africo-Cuba Drumming Dance with 5 drummers and 12 dancers. Enormous fun, then off to Bergamot Station for some mint lemonade and wonderful art. Went shopping at Trader Joe’s and made a fun dinner for ourselves and saw “Miss Peregrine’s School For Unusual Children.”

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Sue has a beautiful house that reflects her soul as an artist. I have never been to Santorini, but the bright white punctuated with cobalt blue made me feel I was visiting a Greek island.

sue's living room

Santa Monica is very beautiful and her house, close to Clover Park and Clover Field airport, is in a beautiful section. Her 7 a.m. morning group, the Walkie Talkies were so much fun.

Pamela, Lucky, Sue, Anet, Dorothy

Pamela, Lucky, Sue, Anet, Dorothy

Sunday breakfast Daisy cafe and I visited my convalescing friend. I had a great walk along the Venice boardwalk and through Santa Monica. We visited the Open Studios of the Santa Monica College students in the re-purposed buildings at Santa Monica airport, then we dashed off to see the Palestinian movie Sand Storm which I found very moving. Sue and I had dinner at Indian restaurant. Monday, I rented a car to drive to Chinatown to meet my friend from high school, Jane Argento. Sue dropped me off at Enterprise and when I got to the counter they said, “Oh, you didn’t make the reservation here but in Santa Monica.” I heard myself say the words I hate to hear come out of my mouth. “Where am I?” “Marina Del Rey.” I got the car and was on time for my brunch with Jane at the HomeGirl cafe. Jane told me about the priest that started Homeboy Enterprises and a recent fundraiser she attended with him in San Marino, adjacent to Pasadena where she lives.

I returned the car to the airport for an 8 p.m. flight. I was so happy that my good friend Janice picked me up at the airport. Had a great trip.

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