One hallmark of the Pandemic in the United States is that we seem to be in a slow-motion collapse marked by incredible denial by the government and even the media. While many news outlets take the pandemic very seriously, there doesn’t seem to be any public reckoning of the full scope of the unfolding economic and social collapse. The federal government just prints up and ineptly distributes vast quantities of money, and people keep buying stuff on Amazon and and acting like this is just a temporary setback.
The devastating 1972 earthquake in Nicaragua is credited for sparking that country’s 1979 revolution. It took seven years, but it is widely accepted that the enormous, deadly natural disaster and the kleptocratic government’s response was what led to the eventual overthrow of Somoza regime.
We may be living through a similar scenario in the United States in 2020. While we have a widely complacent and relatively comfortably wealthy population compared to 1970s Nicaragua, we also have infuriating systems of social oppression that have stubbornly stayed with us throughout our history, sometimes morphing into different manifestations, and in some cases getting worse.
Most obviously in the light of the demonstrations organically emerging across the country, systemic racism has eaten at the heart of this country since its inception. Past generations fought slavery, only to have it replaced with Jim Crow and fought segregation and disenfranchisement only to have it replaced with racist policing, prosecution and mass incarceration. When people are out on the street demanding justice for the latest known victim of casually murderous cops, many of them also have the pent up rage from being directly affected by the criminal justice system. This means being treated as less than human at all stages of the justice system, from local cops to prison guards living out their power fantasies to asshole probation officers trying to control their lives when they get out. If it hasn’t happened to them, it’s happened to people close to them. No wonder they’re mad at cops, the street-level symbols of this racist, oppressive, dehumanizing system.
Also fueling anger is the worsening income and wealth gap that epitomizes the United States, a country of unfettered capitalist exploitation. Some of this frustration was exposed in the Occupy Movement. Rhetoric of wealth inequity made its way into mainstream politics. But things have just become worse and there’s no indication that it makes any difference whom you elect to office; the rich get richer and the rest get screwed making the rich richer.
As all of the outrage, generational anger and resentment bubble to the surface, as corruption by politicians becomes more and more blatant, as the facade of democracy crumbles, it may be the 2020 pandemic that people will look back on as the start of the end of America.
It’s time to squeeze more puns an anagrams out of the wilted cabbage that is my brain.
Travel logs sound unwieldy for travel. I would suggest travel twigs.
If you have stage fright and you’re making a public speech at a nudist colony, should you imagine the audience fully clothed?
Every Christmas I feel cramped, because I always try to live in the present. But that’s a long time to stay still in a box under a tree.
When I think about the looming prospect of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, I am unsettled by the following indisputable facts:
The letters of “Russia” can be rearranged to spell Sir USA, which makes Russia just a medieval version of the USA, which itself is the most violent country in the world, having invaded more nations than any other country in history.
“Ukraine” can be rearranged to spell air nukes.
“Sanctions” cast no sin.But “warfare” causesraw fear.
It makes sense that “European” sounds like “You’re a-peein’,” since “Europe” is our pee.
The Russians better watch out for Kamala Harris, since her name rearranges to spell Am liar shark. (Or Ma Liar Shark).
Joseph Biden presents as a bit more passive, with the anagrams Bed Pies John and Needs hip job.
I don’t know what it means, but Joseph Biden can also be rearranged to spell “Hep jibes, son!” Which sounds like something he’d say.
Most alarming are the Vladimir Putin anagrams: A Invalid Trump,Laid Vain Trump, VIP Admiral Nut, VIP until drama, Mad Turnip Vial, Variant Mud Lip, Invalid Apt. Rum, Animal Turd VIP, Valiant Rum Dip, Timid Pun Larva, Valiant Rump ID, Dim Lava Turnip, Avian Dirt Lump, Valiant Mud Rip, Limp Avian Turd, Putrid Anal Vim (has he sent the assassins after me yet?), Lava Rim Pundit, Invalid Rat Ump, Laid Up Varmint, Maudlin Rat VIP, Diurnal Vat Imp, Plain TV Radium, Primal Nut Diva, And Virtual Imp.
Whereas Ukraine’s “Zelensky” is simply El Zen Sky.
In other world news, “global warming” is a blaming growl,an aging warm boil, and an all raging womb. I like the imagery of the all raging womb of Mother Earth fighting against the aging warm boil of the planet caused by the blaming growl of humans in denial.
That’s all the blog I have time for before whatever it is I do besides blogging. Come visit me on Medium.
Sometimes Qi Going can feel like the ugly stepchild of Yoga in the Unites States. Sure, they’ll let a few qigong classes into their yoga spa centers, along with cooking classes and other self-improvement workshops. But, yoga is the multi-billion dollar industry in the US, not Qigong. The dichotomy is weird, since at their cores, yoga, qigong, tai chi and all energy-based systems of movement and meditation have the same goal: health, wellness and progress toward enlightenment, through facilitatingthe flow of life energy.
Yoga is a wonderful life-enhancer. When I do a regular yoga routine several days per week I feel physically invulnerable and much more grounded. But in the US, yoga often strays away from its energy flow roots and into the latest version of Jazzercise. There are all sorts of yoga studios that have abandoned any hint of spirituality in favor of regimented muscle and physical flexibility training. I know that a lot of advanced yoga poses look really cool but if accomplishing them is just feeding your ego, you are missing out on the inherent promise of yoga, the cultivation of body-mind self-awareness and higher consciousness.
Both yoga and qigong encourage quieting the mind and freeing up the flow of life energy, called Prana in yoga, and qi, or chi, in qigong. Perhaps qigong hasn’t caught on commercially to the same degree as yoga because it doesn’t lend itself as easily to bastardization in the pursuit of Western body ideals. A good qigong practice will enhance muscles and flexibility but it’s not conveniently sold as a way to make you look like Jennifer Anniston.
I have attended many yoga classes that are nice workouts. I have also attended yoga classes led by teachers who incorporate the intentional manipulation of prana. In those classes, as in the practice of qigong, I feel the immediate benefit of the flow of life energy. Focusing on that flow brings wellbeing. For me, it brings calmness and a reconnection to the energy of the universe. The more I do, the more I feel and even see the energy. I encourage you to seek out those practices centered on the healthy flow of prana or qi. It is instantly and increasingly rewarding.
are some of the many anagrams for Donald Trump, all of which seem right on point
whereas Joe Biden has very few anagrams, including be joined and I need job.
If I opened up a burrito joint in Alaska, I’d call it Brrritos.
And finally, from my cousins Judi:
Why daydreams but not nightdreams? Is a nightmare a nocturnal horse? Why is there yesterday, today, but no nextday? Why are there day lilies, nightshade, morning glories, evening primrose, but no afternoon flower? Why did humans decide freezing cold climates were OK places to live?
Daisybrain has migrated to two Medium blogs: Daisybrain and OCD-Free. Check out both and please follow!
I’m 56 years old and yesterday I tried a tab of acid for the first time. I’ve always been pretty wary of psychedelic drugs, but what with quarantine and already being in my 50s, I was just thinking, “What the hell….”
Also, when I was younger and my friends were trying drugs like acid, I was too afraid of my OCD-riddled brain to take anything. But now that I’ve rid myself of OCD (see previous posts in this blog) I am not afraid of adverse effects that might be particular to my type of brain.
I’m also in a stage of my life where I want to explore stimulating my pineal gland, through various techniques including drugs, to have as much of a mind-opening experience on Earth as I can.
And so, my friend and I placed tiny squared of acid-laced paper on our tongues and went for a walk in the new spring weather.
This acid did not have the hallucinatory effects that I expected from movies about hippies — I didn’t see the walls melting. It was easy to function normally, but colors were very bright and everything was BEAUTIFUL. The trees, the flowers, the houses, the dumpsters… I found beauty everywhere and I was very happy. It was a wonderful day saturated with feeling of pure love.
Then today happened. Things look dull by comparison. I’m having trouble seeing beauty even as much as I did before I took the acid (I always intentionally notice beauty in nature and am grateful for living in the age of trees). Trees look like, well, trees, and dumpsters are ugly again.
My friend who took the drug with me is experiencing the same thing, and is pretty sad about life today.
This got me thinking about the heart chakra. My first thought was that I had to fix this — I had to recharge my heart chakra with energy work, maybe with teas made from herbs like hawthorn that affect one’s heart.
But now, I’m thinking that my energetic heart is just tired — it was super-charges and extremely opened up all day yesterday. It’s natural for it to close and rest, and for my thoughts to turn inward. My friend and I are not trying to push our feelings away, not trying to “fix” them, but just to observe them.
I am still planning to do lots of energy work — reiki, qigong, to keep the qi flowing. But I am going to allow myself to be grateful for my experience on LSD and to give my body and mind a little quiet recuperation time.
I think there can be benefit for me in trying drugs like LSD, and being open to any insights that come to the surface during those altered states. But, though at the time I thought it would be great to live every day on acid, I recognize that my heart chakra needs balance. You don’t run a marathon the day after you run a marathon!
Need another metaphor? I spent the whole day in the sun; The sun felt great, sunlight is good for me, but I got burned and I need to let my skin heal before I jump back outside and get more sunshine.
Time to appreciate the balance that resting provides, and keep enjoying this life journey. And you know, the tree right outside my apartment door is still beautiful.
This post first appeared in OCDFREE.BLOG. Please follow me there. And for my other blogs and YouTube channels, see https://linktr.ee/EricIndiana.
I attended college in the years that President Reagan was supporting both the brutal South African slave state and murderous right wing terrorists in Central America. It seemed natural to split the world into good and bad. That was perfect for me at my level of moral development, which could be categorized as “absolutist.”
I held that same air of all-knowing rightness when I went to see local bands. On the day of the Spring Festival, I walked around to check out the various bands. I was careful to step over all sidewalk cracks with my right foot. This took some concentration so I wouldn’t have to do a double-step right before a crack. On patches with cracks near one another, I took small steps, on other patches, big steps. I got to an old section of sidewalk that was broken up by lots of cracks created by years of weather. I had to let my left foot walk over a crack now and then, but made up for it by stepping over a whole lot of cracks with my right foot. 19, 20, 21, 22 … that should counter the effects of the one left foot step-over … I also had to drag my toes behind me now and then. I tried to appear to be walking normally, but ever so slightly let the toes of my rear foot scrape the ground. I had no idea that this ritual would wreak havoc on my knees over the years.
There was an alleged rockabilly band playing on a low hill on the edge of campus. I was happy to get off the crack-laden sidewalk. I walked over in my torn jeans and ripped New York Dolls shirt held together by safety pins. In my musical world view, fifties rock’n’roll was an acceptable genre for a punk rocker to like, as well as ska and reggae.
I shouted out requests for Eddie Cochran songs, but the band stuck to more mid-sixties music. I was standing near the back of the sparse crowd, arms folded, only allowing my head to nod to the beat of their better songs. I walked across campus to a group playing original music. They sounded like they were trying to play aggressive rock and roll. I judged all such bands by how much the music sounded like the only real rock and roll band recording at the time, the Ramones, or whether the singer had the same energy and attitude of my friend John back home, who had been the singer of the Panics. The beat here wasn’t quite fast enough to dance to. Plus, the singer didn’t belt out the lyrics in a hybrid of singing and yelling, like John. I would have even been impressed by out-of-tune screaming, but it was just too radio sounding. I stood back, arms folded as usual, trying my best to look somewhere between unimpressed and disapproving. Boring, corporate pseudo-music, I thought.
I felt a compulsion to touch a certain light pole on the edge of the field. I walked by the pole and pretended to be looking for someone and then surreptitiously touched it with my fingers on the way back to where I had been standing. But then, I had to touch it a second time, so I walked back and casually leaned against the pole, my arms folded, touching the right spot on the pole with the fingers of my left hand, under my folded right arm. There was another pole about 20 feet behind me, but I decided that I didn’t need to touch it. If I walked away from my pole, I’d have to go back repeatedly to touch it. Better to stay leaning against it.
I wished that I had a dark pair of sun glasses to complete my detached punk look. As the band played in pointless precision without a hint of rawness or self-depreciation that could have partially redeemed them, I started my huge band-naming ritual, going through a list of all the bands I liked from my record collection. The order always had to be the same: “The Ramones, the Dead Kennedys, the English Beat, Black Flag….” I repeated those four sixteen times, but then realized that I needed to add four more: “The Sex Pistols, Fear, the Rezillos, the Who….” I did eight sets of eight, but then accidentally thought of another great band, the Avengers. So, I had to think of seven more bands. This made the list 16 long, which I repeated 16 times, plus an extra two times in case I had miscounted, along with a few repetitions of the first four bands, ending, of course, with the Ramones. At that point, it hit me that I had to do the same thing over again, but put the whole thing in quotation marks, “Quote the Ramones, the Dead Kennedys….” But then I couldn’t end with the quotation mark version, so I needed to repeat the original version of the list of 16, 16 times. I hardly noticed the live show ending and the crowd trickling away.
It was extremely frustrating that I could never just relax and experience a moment; whatever was going on around me — conversation, class, a party, or that outdoor band playing — I was constantly repeating rituals in my head, touching things, re-reading words over and over, etc. I decided after the spring festival to go to the library that night on campus to see if I could find out anything about my mental condition. It must have a name, maybe even a treatment.
I headed over to the Rockefeller Library and spent several hours looking for information about repetitive habits. Finally, I came across a description of a mental illness called obsessive compulsive disorder, or OCD. People suffering from OCD felt compulsions to perform repetitive tasks even though they hated doing them. The book didn’t describe my rituals exactly, but I knew that this was it, I had found a description of my condition. It had a name. And this meant that other people suffered from it as well. I felt a wave of relief sweep over me. It was so good to know that it was something real, and I wasn’t alone.
The description of OCD made a lot of sense: it’s a neurosis, not a psychosis, the literature said. That meant that even though they couldn’t stop themselves, sufferers knew that what they were doing was irrational. This knowledge wouldn’t reduce my symptoms, but it was reassuring. I sat at the little library desk smiling and thought, I’m not crazy about being crazy, I really AM crazy!
Back in my dorm room, I took off my shoes, carefully placed them facing the window, touched the doorknob, my record player and the desk. I touched the desk a second time then sat on my bed. I wanted to finish the book I had been reading, Robert Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land. I looked at the book, but didn’t open it up. The last time I had tried reading it, I was stuck for hours re-reading the words at the end of one of the pages and I knew that I’d just end up getting stuck again. I looked out the window up at the stars, thinking about the countless beings on other planets who must be looking up at the stars, too. I closed my eyes and focused on sending them a telepathic message: I’m here.
I switched from blogging in WordPress to posting my writing on Medium because WordPress had “updated” to become too annoying to use. I realized when I got to Medium that it’s a paid service. Visitors can see a few articles every month for free but then have to join Medium for full access to content like my blog.
I am asking you to join Medium. I don’t know what they charge per month – I don’t have to join to read my blog posts – but if you join, you will have unfettered access to all of the wacky and insightful daisybrain content you have begrudgingly become accustomed to, *PLUS* my 2nd medium blog, where I post articles of a more spiritual nature.
That’s write! (pun) You get twice the Daisybrain/Eric Indiana content by joining Medium! Along with access to thousands of of other blogs from thousands of other writers, you get all content from…
If you like this blog, please visit my Home and Index pages to see more posts. You can also share Daisybrain by clicking on these handy buttons.
If submitting to Reddit, be sure to copy and paste the URL of the specific post you like, instead of submitting the URL of Daisybrain's home page.
If you're like me, you'll want to know what I'm thinking. Well now you can be the first person outside my head to know what's inside my head. Enter your email address for updates on my blog. Sometimes you may know what I'm thinking before I think it. In those instances, please inform me of what I'm about to think so that I can send you an email announcing my thought. Subscribe to Daisybrain by Email
ABOUT THE ADS
I don't make any money from Daisybrain. Any ads that appear come from Wordpress and are a result of me being cheap and using their free blog-hosting service.
This is my 2006 report on the structural violence of institutional racism and poverty that produce an inadequate and unequal public school system in the United States. The case study is of Central High School in Providence, Rhode Island:
Central High School
Here are two large posters that I created that show the Citric Acid Cycle and Photosynthesis: