Saturday, November 10, 2012

Politics and depression

God grant me the courage to change what I can,
the serenity to accept what I can't,and the wisdom to bury the bodies where they won't be found.
I started the Politics and Propaganda blog this election season in order to write some thinking down about that morass of politics, economics, propaganda, religion, and so on that I lump together in my head as "how society works".  This allowed me to ignore it and get on with paying work, and the programming that I expect to improve my life.

There is evil in the world.  It causes me considerable pain to see people I love and respect eaten by it, knowing that there isn't one single thing I can do about it. Hence the second part of the title of this note: depression.

I've struggled with depression since adolescence.  It's a useless way to live. It makes everything feel insurmountable, sometimes even taking the next breath. You can game yourself into a manic state and plow through things, but in the end you slump back down into the darkness.

The only way to avoid depression is to deflect it.  You focus on things you can do, things you know you're good at, and you just ... watch the depression go away.  It does, every time, but it's like relaxing your leg when you wake up with a charlie horse - it doesn't feel natural or even possible until after the fact.  And the cramp still hurts for the rest of the day.

Politics is something I can't do.  Encountering wrongness at the personal level is just too much for me.  Like a leg cramp, where the muscles knot up and fight themselves, my emotions and ideas snarl together into a morass.  The outrage is just too painful, and it drains away my life.  A single off-hand remark from someone I respect can kill a day or more, and I can't afford it.

It's my hope that the ideas I explore on this blog will someday allow me to comprehend politics at a scientific level - an automated level - safely removed from the personal conflict that I have such difficulty with.  Because there really is evil in the world, and I see it as my duty to counter it in whatever small way I can.

But in the meantime, when somebody is wrong on the Internet, I'm just going to let it go.

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