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Remembrance Day, St. Michael’s Cathedral

In memory of all those who gave their lives, health and livelihoods to preserve the ideals of freedom. These are ideals which we should never take for granted. And I believe they could be easily lost if the struggle between good and evil went too far in the wrong direction. That’s why we have to use our gift of freedom to say what we mean and mean what we say. Otherwise, the truth could be swallowed up in a murky sea of political correctness and hypocrisy.


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The greatest show on the planet right now?

Let’s imaginatively turn the tables for a sec and ask: If this were Trump supporters on the streets protesting a vast Clinton majority, how would the liberal-slanted media handle it? Would the connotation be “healthy American protest” or “disgruntled, uneducated, unsettled losers”?

I think we all know the answer.


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The “Deplorables” Have Spoken

I’ll be honest. As the US election race proceeded I grew into a position of wanting Clinton to lose. I was so tired of hearing her politically correct talk and the double standard that went with that. Up in Canada, where I am, that’s a rare position. Last night the news said that something like 3% of us are Trump supporters.

I don’t know if I’d call myself a Trump “supporter.” It’s too early to see how his changes will affect my country and people. But I do feel that an Obama/Clinton legacy would have been like continuing in a bad relationship just because one fears the possibility of change. That leads to stagnation and inauthenticity.

The world is still turning this morning. Katy Perry doesn’t have to walk around naked anymore. Not that I mind that. And all the other entertainment celebs can go back to their mansions, not having to worry about paying their monthly bills.

They can look forward to their next world tour, which, incidentally, burns up oodles of jet fuel… carbon based jet fuel. Why, some of them can fly to Europe just to party in a European castle again. Who knows. They’ve done it before.

Sure, the business markets are down a bit. Our dollar is down a bit. But this is nothing like Brexit. Hopefully, this change can stimulate positive changes for everyone.

Congratulations to the winners. Oh and by the way, did you notice that Trump’s campaign manager was a woman?


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New ways of thinking about psychological discomfort and distress

Note – As we see on CNN and elsewhere, for educational purposes the following talks about the n-word (in reference to black people) and the f-word (in reference to gay people) 

Today’s tweeted story reminds me of a somewhat unpopular viewpoint of mine and a few others.

I don’t expect this view to be embraced overnight. In my opinion society is not yet in a place to fully get it. Sometimes I feel like a feminist, black or gay rights activist must have felt in the 1940s. It’s not too hard to imagine how most people back then would have reacted to innovative thinkers concerned with social justice. And it is not so different, I believe with the idea of mental illness.

The word “illness” lends support and legitimacy to the current medical model. And the term is used so often that to simply question it is usually met with indifference or, worse, hostility.

But there are other ways of looking at psychological discomfort and distress. Ways that involve personal transformation, spirituality and, yes, our largely unknown and mysterious universe.

Catholic devotional image of Saint Dymphna, the patron of those afflicted with mental and nervous disorders

Catholic devotional image of Saint Dymphna, the patron saint of those with mental and nervous afflictions

So when I see the term “mental illness” a red flag goes up.

Several corporations have launched “Let’s talk about mental illness” campaigns. I’m not certain how sincere these campaigns are. They may be genuine. They may also be an effort to publicly shine with the hope of boosting profits. Possibly both.

But what concerns me most is the persistent and widespread use of the phrase mental illness.

Consider:

  • In the doctor’s office I saw a sign that read, FACE MENTAL ILLNESS
  • On an Ontario highway a large billboard said I GOT MY DEGREE DESPITE MY MENTAL ILLNESS, replete with a smiling, slightly unusual looking woman wearing a mortarboard
  • At Catholic Mass a Jesuit priest and a Monsignor repeatedly offer up prayers “for those suffering from mental illness”

And, as I say, corporations regularly advocate discussion and promote charities for “mental illness.”

Sounds good, right?

Well, not to me. Sometimes I’ve felt that these drives are tantamount to saying something like:

  • It’s okay to be a n*****
  • Face being a n*****
  • I got my degree despite being a n*****
  • We offer our prayers for the n*****s among us
  • Let’s talk about being a n*****
  • BEING A N***** IS NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED OF. BUT STIGMA AND BIAS SHAME US ALL

Or, perhaps, something like:

  • It’s okay to be a f**
  • Face being a f**
  • I got my degree despite being a f**
  • We offer our prayers for the f**s among us
  • Let’s talk about being a f**
  • BEING A F** IS NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED OF. BUT STIGMA AND BIAS SHAME US ALL

If that’s not clear enough, I am alluding to the old, pejorative n-word once commonly used for black people, and the old pejorative f-word once widely used for gays.

For those who question or see beyond the overly medicalized understanding of psychological suffering, many signs and slogans about so-called mental illness seem strangely paradoxical and indicate just how unenlightened we are in 21st century.

It’s time to not just talk about mental illness in the mainstream sense, but also about the negative and limiting connotations carried by the very phrase, mental illness. This phrase is widely and unconsciously used today, just as the n- and f-words were once ignorantly tossed about in the past.

Words have power. They affect how people think and act. And the built-in assumptions and implications of many words can be harmful or helpful.

So I offer this perspective as something to think about. It’s time to talk. Not unconsciously, just kicking the same old ideas around—but consciously, with open, discerning minds.

About the Author

Michael Clark did his PhD in Religious Studies at the University of Ottawa, Canada (1997). His doctoral thesis focuses on Carl Jung’s concept of synchronicity and Michel Foucault’s postmodern theory.


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Clinton seems to have her own secrets to hide (re-tweet see note)

I should make clear that I am a Canadian and have no real preference for who wins the US election. I think Trump is a bit of a loose canon but his advisers might be able to keep him in check. Clinton, on the other hand, would probably do more for world peace, mainly because she knows the system and has been there. But again, I don’t know. Politics is not my thing. I watch it out of psychological, sociological, rhetorical and historical interest.

But since everyone is going to be on Trump’s case for the next few days, and possibly some projecting their own holier-than-thou shadows onto him, I think it only fair that this news piece gets a bit of press:


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Clinton forgave her husband when it paid off for her..?

English: Monica Lewinsky, from her government ...

Monica Lewinsky, from her government ID photo by Office of the Secretary of Defense. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Again, I want to stress that I am a Canadian and have a disinterested interest in the US Elections.

Last night Hillary Clinton tweeted “This is horrific. We cannot allow this man to become president.”

Isn’t this a bit hypocritical and sanctimonious considering her husband was caught having sex with someone less than half his age, lied about it, and HC forgave him and went along with his not being impeached as President?

I can’t stand holier than thou posers. That’s one thing that really turns me off.