TUESDAY, OCTOBER 6, 2020
Could commander in chief "Wag the Roids?": Before we return to lingering concerns about the global conflagration which has been described as Mister Trump's War, let's revisit the hero's journey.
We were introduced to the concept when we were juniors in high school. Our literature class was taught The Hero With A Thousand Faces, the book in which Joseph Campbell defined "the monomyth."
We won't offer a critique of Campbell's presentation or reasoning, mainly since we have none. But we thought of Campbell last evening as a chopper touched down on a lawn.
The chopper carried a classic hero returning with the boon.
The leading authority on the monomyth thumbnails it as shown. Last evening, a fellow who may have been stoned on roids was performing this ancient tale:
In narratology and comparative mythology, the hero's journey, or the monomyth, is the common template of stories that involve a hero who goes on an adventure, is victorious in a decisive crisis, and comes home changed or transformed.
Various scholars have introduced theories on hero myth narratives, including Otto Rank and Lord Raglan...Eventually hero myth pattern studies were popularized by Joseph Campbell, who was influenced by Carl Jung's analytical psychology. Campbell used the monomyth to deconstruct and compare religions. In his famous book The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949), he describes the narrative pattern as follows:
"A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man."
Last Friday afternoon, the commander was airlifted out of "the world of the common day."
He ventured into "a region of supernatural wonder," encountering "fabulous forces." Last evening, he returned from his adventure, and he said that he carried the boon.
In the current case, it has long seemed possible that the hero in question may be mentally ill in some significant way. Complicating the current tale, journalists have agreed that this obvious possibility must never be discussed.
Also, the hero may be juiced on steroids at the present time. Still and all, Campbell's universal pattern prevailed as he described what he'd learned:
TRUMP (10/5/20): I just left Walter Reed Medical Center, and it’s really something very special. The doctors, the nurses, the first responders, and I learned so much about coronavirus.
One thing that’s for certain, don’t let it dominate you. Don’t be afraid of it. You’re going to beat it. We have the best medical equipment. We have the best medicines, all developed recently, and you’re going to beat it.
I went—I didn’t feel so good. And two days ago, I could have left two days ago. Two days ago, I felt great. Like, better than I have in a long time. I said just recently, better than 20 years ago. Don’t let it dominate. Don’t let it take over your lives. Don’t let that happen.
We have the greatest country in the world. We’re going back—We’re going back to work. We’re going to be out front.
As your leader, I had to do that. I knew there’s danger to it, but I had to do it. I stood out front. I led. Nobody that’s a leader would not do what I did. And I know there’s a risk. There’s a danger. But that’s okay, and now I’m better. Maybe I’m immune. I don’t know.
But don’t let it dominate your lives. Get out there. Be careful. We have the best medicines in the world, and they’re all happened [sic] very shortly, and they’re all getting approved. And the vaccines are coming momentarily.
Thank you very much. And Walter Reed, what a group of people. Thank you very much.
John Wayne once claimed to have "licked the big C." Now, the commander has followed suit
He has returned from his adventure with a vast store of new knowledge. Last evening, he told his fellow man [sic] that the virus isn't going to hurt them unless they let it do so. It will all be OK!
For what it's worth, this statement seems to conflict with the current projections from the science-soaked eggheads at the IHME.
As Nicholas Kristof noted in Sunday's New York Times, the IHME is now projecting that nearly 3,000 people will be dying from the virus on a daily basis by the end of the year.
On a daily basis! For the record, if that projection turns out to be accurate, the virus won't be "dominating" those people's lives. It will be ending their lives, and possibly ours and yours.
This projection has largely been ignored within the upper-end press corps. On what basis has this projection been made? Why would anyone think that such a killing field will develop?
We've seen no interviews with the people who have advanced this prediction. We've seen no serious attempt to evaluate the worth of this projection, or even to report it.
More importantly, the commander was back among us rubes last night, and he carried the boon. He'd learned about the virus while he was gone, and he's getting back to work.
Meanwhile, a second opinion:
In the world of everyday cable, some observers were suggesting that this proclamation might be the steroids speaking. With that thought in mind, we offer a basic question:
Is it possible that this disordered commander could end up "wagging the roids?"
The commander still holds the nuclear codes. As far as we know, there is no back-up procedure that could ever stop him from using the codes.
In the wake of his recent crazy behaviors, the commander's poll numbers seem to be plummeting. If the commander really is mentally ill in some serious way, might he decide to create a distraction?
More crazily, might he decide to bring the temple down around him? It's been done before!
Back in 1997, it was largely viewed as an amusement when Wag the Dog appeared. (It starred De Niro and Hoffman.) Today, various strands of incomprehension merge within the public discourse as we pose our questions.
In January 2018, the New York Times instructed the upper-end press corps not to discuss the possibility of serious mental illness.
The people who would later produce a reality show to explain their dual endorsements for president told us that we can observe the commander's behavior. They said we didn't need additional insight or speculation.
Sadly, we'd have to say no. The possible problem with a major disorder would be this:
At some moment of truth, the person with the major disorder might behave in a deeply "crazy" way—in a way which no one in those everyday huts would have foreseen or foretold.
At some moment of truth, the hero with the major disorder might even decide on the craziest course of all.
For ourselves, we always would have liked to see (carefully selected) medical experts interviewed about this president's mental health. The editorial board at the Times told the guild not to go there.
In the past few years, we've been reporting something we've been told. Major experts have repeatedly told us that they're communicating from the years which lie beyond a global conflagration—a conflagration they describe only as Mister Trump's War.
Last evening, a heroic commander returned from an adventure saying he carried the boon. If his fellow humans decide to rejects him, what might this apparently disordered person possibly choose to do?
Could he decide to wag the roids? We'd have to suggest that he could! Is there any way that decision could be blocked? As with the resistance, so too here:
You will see that discussion start right after the war breaks out.
Events are moving very quickly at the present time. The commander still has a large gang of "willing enablers." Our own tribe is angry but soft.
On the bright side, unfolding events have created a remarkable chance to study human nature as it truly is, as it always has been. These events continue to create a large anthropology lesson.
On the other hand, a person who may be mentally ill does hold the nuclear codes. Also, the giants of the upper-end press refuse to discuss this problem.
If memory serves, our literature class was taught The Hero With A Thousand Faces in the spring of 64. If memory serves, this type of instruction helped us robots earn a boatload of 5's on our AP tests.
Since then, the vast appeal of the monomyth has been widely ignored. Last night, the ancient tale was enacted again, above the White House lawn.
Tomorrow: Who has the slightest idea?
"Last evening, he told his fellow man [sic] that the virus isn't going to hurt them unless they let it do so. It will all be OK!"ReplyDelete
Perfect. God bless The Commander.
As for your zombie cult's new God, The COVID, again, check the excess mortality, dear Bob: there's none, or virtually none. Here: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid19/excess_deaths.htm
Your God is dead, dear Bob.
ma0 ma0 * ,!, ,!,Delete
Trump is God.Delete
No, thou art God.Delete
If Trump can pull off killing the entire Republican Party (including himself) through the Trump virus, I say more power to him.Delete
I am more than willing to have sex with Trump.Delete
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"science-soaked eggheads at the IHME"ReplyDelete
Way to increase faith in expertise! The only thing that will protect people these days is listening to the advice of experts (epidemiologists, public health officials, physicians). Somerby's disrespect for these people parallels the attitude of Trump and Republicans in general. Every time he knocks those who devote their lives to knowing about disease and medicine, he undermines those who are fighting to control the spread of covid and keep people safe. If Somerby doesn't understand this, he is dumber than Trump.
Somerby is being sarcastic.Delete
Right. This Anon is simply a Somerby hater. His posts are always some combination of boring and stupid.Delete
That's the point, the sarcasm is misplaced.Delete
"As far as we know, there is no back-up procedure that could ever stop him from using the codes."ReplyDelete
Actually, there is such a "backup procedure." It is the willingness of those who perceive Trump's disorder at first hand to disobey unlawful orders to blow things up. The military has expressed its willingness to evaluate (second-guess) Trump's dictates and decide for itself whether to execute his orders. This isn't the way the system is supposed to work, but it is what has been happening all along, as Trump's staff talk him down and talk him out of his worst impulses. No one is going to let Trump blow shit up. The joke the Republicans have played on our country doesn't extend that far.
No one in their right mind would discuss Trump's trip to Walter Reed as if it were a hero myth. It glorifies Trump in ways that play into his grandiosity. Somerby pretends to take a semi-ironic stance with today's essay but the surface message (Trump is a hero who has vanquished covid) is what sticks. In this way, Somerby carries water for Trump, the Republicans and the Russians while pretending to be a super-ironical lib steeped in ancient Joseph Campbell crap no doubt inspired by Somerby's meditations beneath his pear tree.ReplyDelete
John Wayne didn't beat cancer. He died of it. No liberal refers to Trump as The Commander. If Somerby holds his high school lit class in such disdain, why does he borrow that myth to highlight Trump's journey out of the maw of ugly covid death? Myths are about the virtues of heroes. Why does Somerby cast Trump as such a hero when he is a bumbling fool and villain? And how did Somerby ever get a 5 on an AP lit test when he clearly didn't pay attention in class?
Somerby is too smart for the AMT!ReplyDelete
Trump's odyssey is to Make America Gasp Air.
Excess deaths have been up by as much as 50% during the Covid pandemic, which indicate that Covid deaths are under-reported.
Mr. Trump Can't Breathe (because he has the Trump Virus)
The consumers of covid models are not members of the general public, especially not stand-up comedians, former grade school teachers, or retired philosophy dilettantes. They are the business planners, health care professionals, government staff, administrators and leaders who will have to cope with greatly increased case loads coming down the pike due to failure to wear masks and avoid social gatherings, constrained by such realities as budgets and production timetables. They all need to know what is likely to happen before the vaccine arrives.ReplyDelete
It doesn't matter how accurate the model is, since the limits on resources will determine preparedness, not the numbers themselves.
The press has nothing to gain by panicking the public about rising caseloads, especially when Republicans are pretending all is well and their news reports will not be believed by a substantial proportion of readers. It isn't their job to try to wake people up (that would be advocacy, not reporting), only to present the info. Local leadership can try to prepare the people in their jurisdictions and lay the groundwork for an effective response.
Somerby has never mentioned the death threats received by public health officials all over the country, coming from Trump's supporters. Trump briefly mentioned "first responders," a phrase that typically refers to police and fire department, not ER doctors and nurses. But the first responders in the coming resurgence of covid will be ambulance drivers, triage workers and health care providers.
Trump himself should be a consumer of such models, but he is too busy lying to the people ("you'll get through this) in order to get re-elected. Anyone with half a brain knows already that Trump himself may not survive covid. He cannot promise that everyone else will survive either -- he doesn't have that power. Meanwhile, Somerby is focused on the press, God knows why, since they are not the source of anyone's problems.
Funny. You're greatest of them all.Delete
There is no way they are serious. They are satirizing a boring, stupid person. It's brilliant comedic writing.Delete
I don’t know why Mao bothers to dispute Somerby’s critiques of Trump.Delete
There’s a swarm of Anonymices here to do that and they work very hard on this blog in not allowing Trump to upstage Somerby’s villainy.
This comment has been removed by the author.Delete
These people do the monomyth better.
What a pathetic site.Delete
Dexamethasone is not like the anabolic steroids that are abused by those trying to bulk up or gain strength. Somerby's unfortunate phrase "wagging the roids" is ugly and doesn't work as a metaphor, but what else is new?ReplyDelete
Notice Trump's assumption that whatever experimental treatment he has access to, others can get too. Notice his assumption that Americans have health care as good as his. That assumption, on Trump's part, is a kind of false promise since the covid experience of every day Americans is far different from that of a pampered president.
Trump has either ignored the standard of care for using dexamethasone or misrepresented the severity and symptoms of his own illness. Dexamethasone is reserved for those with lung involvement, generally moderate to severe covid cases. It isn't a preventative medicine.
If Trump has demanded these experimental treatments and also demanded that information be withheld by his physicians in their reports on his health, then his doctors are not in charge of his case. He is still dosing himself and that sets a poor example for the nation.
"Notice Trump's assumption that whatever experimental treatment he has access to, others can get too."Delete
Everyone has access to the treatments President Trump had. Stop being stupid every second of the day. Do your research. Take a vitamin.
Trump is using government run healthcare that is providing him with treatments that only a handful of people in the world have access to. Even so, he is gasping for air. It is what it is.Delete
Research shows that taking vitamins provide no health benefit.
"Take a vitamin", should be what you're told when you want to buy a gun.Delete
"treatments that only a handful of people in the world". That is false. That is what I am saying. All the treatments he took are available to anyone.Delete
Name one treatment he took that is available to "only a handful of people in the world".
Trump's waiting to release that list with his taxes.
Polyclonal antibody treatment and Remdesivir are not approved for covid use yet. Dexamethasone is not available for use by anyone who doesn't have covid pneumonia (e.g., severe cases).Delete
Most people cannot just demand a certain drug from their doctor the way Trump may have done.
???? Lol. They have been using Remdesivir in hospitals to treat ordinary citizens for months. It was monoclonal antibody treatments which have been around for years. And dexamethasone is available every where you dingbat. Dexamethasone is not available for use by anyone who doesn't have covid pneumonia according to who? I'm getting real sick of you guy's' stupidity.Delete
Remdesivir and Polyclonal antibody treatments are still in clinical trials and do not have FDA approval for widespread use treating covid yet. CNN reported that only 10 people have received treatment outside of such trials.Delete
My daughter is a pulmonologist who works in an ICU treating covid (among other things). Standard of care is to only give dexamethasone to moderate to severe covid cases with lung involvement.
If you cannot participate here without calling everyone stupid, it is better for you to go somewhere else.
Regeneron's experimental antibody therapy, you fucking moron.
Sorry wimp. Remdesivir has been given to all Americans for months and months and months.Delete
Dexamethasone is a cheap, ubiquitous drug that is available to all Americans at all times and Regeneron's experimental antibody therapy is a monoclonal antibody treatment. 2 other companies have been making the same thing and distributing it to Americans for months. Do you think Regeneron's experimental antibody therapy is only available to a handful of people in the world? Being ignorat, you probably do.
The dumb original claimant with the idiot liar daughter said Trump was taking "treatments that only a handful of people in the world" could take. And that is totally false as I have proven.
While these drugs have been available as well as hydrochloroquine and bleach they have not been available whatsoever to the general public with the mild disease described by Trump’s obfuscating but otherwise brilliant DO.. A three day hospitalization and the administration of such drugs are incompatible with their use by anyone in the general public. IDelete
Yes, no one who is admitted to the hospital for Covid-19 has a mild case. You're doubly stupid if you ever believed that. So sick of you people's lies and stpidiuty.Delete
6:31 AM. I spend a part of my every working day in a hospital ICU as an MD with over 30 yrs of experience and have been in and out of rooms housing COVID patients. Not sure who you were addressing.Delete
From Steve M at No More Mister Niceblog:ReplyDelete
"Yesterday, when the president returned from the hospital, he released a video statement in which he suggested that beating the virus -- although there's good reason to believe he hasn't done so yet -- is largely a question of mind over matter:
“Don’t let it dominate you. Don’t be afraid of it. You’re going to beat it. We have the best medical equipment. We have the best medicines, all developed recently,” Trump, who was not wearing a mask, said in a video message taped at the White House and disseminated on his Twitter account.
“Don’t let it dominate. Don’t let it take over your lives. Don’t let that happen,” Trump continued.
The Conley statement was criticized at the time -- how can a doctor's words describing a patient's condition to third parties affect how well the patient responds to treatment? -- but the president's statement makes clear that the official coronavirus policy of the United States, derived from the religious teachings of the twentieth-century minister Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, is that if you want to defeat the coronavirus, the best medicine is the Power of Positive Thinking. The implication is that only negative-thinking losers get seriously ill from COVID-19."
Covid cases have risen in 33 states and Puerto Rico, according to the Washington Post.ReplyDelete
This comment has been removed by the author.Delete
US Daily deaths are flat or declining. The corporate mass media is not going to talk about projections until deaths start to rise. I've looked at the projections Somerby is talking about and they show a slow rise in deaths but nothing dramatic until Nov-Dec.Delete
"The corporate mass media is not going to talk about projections until deaths start to rise."Delete
Typical. The corporate mass media is treating the projections like Right-wing fascism.
Corporate mass media has already covered the projections, not sure what you are on about.Delete
"Sociopathy and its Discontents"ReplyDelete
This is a play on the title of Freud's book "Civilization and its Discontents"
But the rest of Somerby's essay doesn't deliver anything relevant to that play on Freud's book title.
I suppose we are supposed to think that Somerby is super smart because he throws around references to esoteric books that were popular back when he was in college, but he is more like Dennis Miller, someone who throws around such gratuitous references so that his audience can feel hip because they "get" them.
But Somerby never delivers anything that refers back to the promise of his titles, which makes him just a name-dropper and not a truly clever essayist, who would bring his argument around to something relevant to Freud or his book's actual content. Maybe, once upon a time, Somerby was actually able to complete such literary intentions, but he is either too tired to put in the effort, or no longer able to keep his train of thought reined in. Lazy at best, mentally deficient at the saddest. It would be better if he didn't pretend to be clever without delivering.
Dear Bob, talking about psychos, are you faithfully practicing your cult's latest ritual of wearing three masks simultaneously between each bite, when you eat?ReplyDelete
And please don't forget to replace them - without touching them! - after each bite; please, please, please! Your life depends on it, dear Bob.
...and also, as usual, please confirm that your mailbox is safe. Or has it been already snatched by The Dark Lord Putin and triumphantly nailed to the Kremlin wall? Please do tell, don't keep us wondering...
Trump’s latest foray into promoting the spread of this virus, taking with him 11 staff members, was a brilliant move aimed at consolidating only the very best and brilliant of his admirers. A few more college educated females have peeled off as well as others. Hang in there. Your acerbic wit is a ray of sunshine. It will more than suffice when you emerge from your mother’s basement after the election and are required to ruefully remove all those lawn signs.Delete
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