RANGER AGAINST WAR: Feeling A Little Angsty <

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Feeling A Little Angsty

Mike Allen reports in Time (Frustration Nation) that President Bush, when asked if he felt frustrated about the war, said, "These are challenging times...they're straining the psyche of our country."

What exactly is he saying? What does our collective psyche usually look like? Do countries have psyches? People do; Bush may. Perhaps it was his earlier reading of Camus'
The Stranger that got him in this angsty way. He may have checked out the crib notes, and discovered a reference to the existential concept of "bad faith", and is suffering a tinge of anguish.

Editorial comment
: as Jim's editor, I felt a definition of the term "national psyche" was in order. Below is my discovery. Jim indicates that he was only a soldier; he knows how to salute and align his sights. The following editorial comments on the national psyche he feels are beyond his psyche.

Psychiatrist Stephen Ducat claims in his book,
The Wimp Factor: Gender Gaps, Holy Wars, and the Politics of Anxious Masculinity (2004), that our nation is obsessively focused upon masculinity, and he paints a picture of a "national psyche defined by a deeply flawed definition of manhood."

O.k.--I could work with this. The national psyche is strained because it's on steroids, and we all know the havoc they wreak. So there is no anima to the animus in the USA; it's all Johnny Goes Marching Off to War, and we're feeling, well, strained. All Stanley, no Stella. We're all taut sinews, no fat, so to speak.

Ducat said in an interview, "The problem with our current notion of masculinity is that it’s a definition of manhood based on domination. The problem with a definition of manhood based on domination is that domination can never be a permanent condition (Someone needs to tell that to ranger.)

"It’s a relational state – it is dependent on having somebody in the subordinate position, which means that you may be manly today, but you’re not going to be manly tomorrow, unless you’ve got somebody to push around and control. This definition goes back to the ancient Greeks, and it makes masculinity a precarious and brittle achievement – which has to be constantly asserted. It has to be proven over and over again. It is the ultimate Sisyphean pursuit."

So there it is--if Bush will now only round out his reading with Camus' The Myth of Sisyphus, he may understand better how to stop draggin' our psyches around.

--Jim and Lisa


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