Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Read These (And Weep) -- Arthur Silber on Alice Miller
Noticed the sadism underlying the current administration's policies, have you? It's not an accident.
Noticed that funny stuff about James Dobson beating his dachshund to punish it for behaving like a dog? Noticed that stuff about Dobson recommending adult males to shower naked with little boys? Noticed that stuff about George Bush torturing animals in his youth? Noticed how Rummy doesn't know what torture is, and how Cheney knows, but doesn't care?
There's a theme happening. Please take time to read Arthur Silber's very important work.
Instilling Obedience and Denial in Childhood: A review of two news stories that reveal our culture's preoccupation with the irrelevant and/or the trivial, a discussion of some of the reasons such stories are not deserving of any serious attention whatsoever -- and concluding with a horrifying news story that received almost no notice at all but most certainly should have, a story that serves as an introduction to the importance of Alice Miller's work about commonly accepted child-rearing practices and their consequences. . .
Mel Gibson, A Public Case Study in Obedience and Denial: A summary of Miller's major thesis, and an examination of Mel Gibson and fundamentalist religious belief more generally as one kind of example of the mechanisms that Miller discusses. . .
The Demand for Obedience: A review of the fundamentals of Miller's work, including her definitions of "poisonous pedagogy" and of a "helping witness," with some autobiographical details to make the latter concept clearer. I also examine the psychological dynamics underlying articles by David Brooks (condemning "narcissism" and calling for a return to "a creedal order") and Joseph Farah (condemning homosexuality, as he frequently does, specifically on the grounds that God has condemned it: "There is a reason most people frown on homosexuality. It is not prejudice. It is not bias. It is not irrational. It is because God has pronounced it wrong, immoral, abomination, sin."). . .
And many more essays. Well worth a look.