June 10, 2006

Hope She Gets Some Help


Since the unconscious went out of fashion; psychotherapy went underground; psychological symptoms came to be equated with moral failure; mental institutions — even the high class ones — became obsolete; and childhood exuberance (as well any adult form of psychic dysphoria) became the province of big Pharma, a strange phenomena has taken place.

People don’t go crazy anymore  — at least, not all of a sudden.  (And, not in a way we have any non-biological language to describe.)

What we tend to see, instead, is a painful, progressive, over-defended and humiliating deterioration into emotional, intellectual and social dysfunction.  It’s horrible when this occurs quietly to someone we know.  But it’s especially ugly when it happens to public figures.

Ann Coulter has always been pathologically angry.  And, it is typical for someone that self-loathing to direct those impulses outward to buy herself some room.  What looks to be happening now, however, is a further drop-off from Coulter’s previous — if already, deeply neurotic — baseline functioning.

The intimidating stare; the need for superiority; the pathetic pretense of seduction; the desperate preoccupation with, and bitter condemnation of the weak; the insatiable need for attention — and hostile engagement is all vintage Coulter.  And on top of it, we now have this incredibly reviling onslaught directed at the 9/11 widows, and this mad attack on evolution and appropriation of God.  (Not to mention, the conversion of the the cocktail dress into a regular uniform.)

It’s almost impossible to interpret photos of public figures without taking character into account.  What’s the point, however, when that character is so weak, and damaged besides?

I don’t think we should give Ann Coulter any credence to what she says.  I think we should do her a favor and ignore her — and hope she gets some help.

(image: Jim Cooper, File/AP.  Aug. 11, 2003.  Via Yahoo News.  Caption: Political commentator Ann Coulter is seen in New York’s Central Park in this Aug. 11, 2003, file photo. Coulter, the conservative pundit with a penchant for creating controversy, caused a ruckus when she called Sept. 11 widows ‘witches’ and wrote they were pleased when their husbands died at the World Trade Center.)

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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