It’s almost here, bunnies! The sole reason for Julia Allison’s pathetic existence: BURNING MAN!! As Donkey prepares for OMG! Camp Septic – hope she brings along an extra pair of eyelashes – our burro makes another case for communal living. Heaven for fend anyone disagree with her or the woo grifters, many of whom need someone to hold their hand when they take a dump.
Our girl quotes – oh dear – David Brooks:
“In 18th-century America, colonial society and Native American society sat side by side. The former was buddingly commercial; the latter was communal and tribal. As time went by, the settlers from Europe noticed something: No Indians were defecting to join colonial society, but many whites were defecting to live in the Native American one.
The native cultures were more communal. As Junger writes, “They would have practiced extremely close and involved child care. And they would have done almost everything in the company of others. They would have almost never been alone.”
It raises the possibility that our culture is built on some fundamental error about what makes people happy and fulfilled.”
NO S–t!! Our culture IS based upon a fundamental error about what makes people happy and fulfilled – and let’s be clear: it’s not a huge investment portfolio or a McMansion for your nuclear family or a “sick loft” in Soho by yourself or even a lot of followers on Instagram.
IT IS TRIBE. Community. Shared goals and responsibilities. IT IS EACH OTHER.
Though she’d forbidden Cancer-Free Dan from responding to her half-baked posts, respond our hero does:
In 18th century America, whites weren’t exactly welcoming to indigenous peoples. They didn’t ‘sit side by side,’ they fought to the death — armed Europeans were straddling the Americas, cutting into their flesh and bleeding their peoples white. There was no ‘defect to settler cities’ option for most natives because Europeans were deeply racist, deemed natives savages, made enslaving them lawful in many places, and refused to acknowledge their property rights. To them, genocidal expansion wasn’t just acceptable – it was considered normal and ordained by God.
Ultimately, more than 90% of the continent’s indigenous peoples were wiped out. By the 1700’s, they were being systematically slaughtered and, once tendered safe and exotic, turned into curiosities (just like the slaves Colombus took to Spain) – that – not the appeal of tribal community – is why whites were fascinated by them, why natives were desperate for allies and unable to resist infiltrators, and why they couldn’t flock to European lifestyles.
Even now, throughout the hemisphere, natives tend to occupy the bottom rung in settler societies. The fact that their inferior status hasn’t been corrected in the last 4 centuries says a lot about the thoroughness of colonial repression and the durability of racism. And this has serious health and happiness consequences:
This article is just absurdly resistant to the possibility that ‘forcible disempowerment’ rather than ‘ennui’ is a causal factor in misery even when it’s obviously in play. Racism here, class in the other section you quoted.
To illustrate how unfriendly the Europeans were, try to imagine ‘joining’ Spain’s ‘tribes’ as an Inca. (This is a series of letters from Pizzaro’s soldiers describing a ‘battle’ at Cajamarca in which 168 Spanish conquistadores killed 7,000 Incas and captured their emperor):
The governor then gave the signal to Candia, who began to fire off the guns. At the same time the trumpets were sounded, and the armored Spanish troops, both cavalry and infantry, sallied forth out of their hiding places straight into the mass of unarmed Indians crowding the square, giving the Spanish battle cry, ‘Santiago!’ W had placed rattles on the horses to terrify the Indians. The booming of the guns, the blowing of the trumpets, and the rattles on the horses threw the Indians into panicked confusion. The Spaniards fell upon them and began to cut them to pieces. The Indians were so filled with fear that they climbed on top of one another, formed mounds, and suffocated each other. Since they were unarmed, they were attacked without danger to any Christian. The cavalry rode them down, killing and wounding, and following in pursuit. The infantry made so good an assault on those that remained that in a short time most of them were put to the sword.
“The Governor himself took his sword and dagger, entered the thick of the Indians with the Spaniards who were with him, and with great bravery reached Atahuallpa’s litter. He fearlessly grabbed Atahuallpa’s left arm and shouted ‘Santiago!’ but he could not pull Atahuallpa out of his litter because it was held up high. Although we killed the Indians who held the litter, others at once took their places and held it aloft, and in this manner we spent a long time in overcoming and killing Indians. Finally seven or eight Spaniards on horseback spurred on their horses, rushed upon the litter from one side, and with great effort they heaved it over its side. In that way Atahuallpa was captured, and the Governor took Atahuallpa to his lodging. The Indians carrying the litter, and those escorting Atahuallpa, never abandoned him: all died around him.
“The panic-stricken Indians remaining in the square, terrified at the firing of the guns and at the horses-something they had never seen-tried to flee from the square by knocking down a stretch of wall and running out onto the plain outside. Our cavalry jumped the broken wall and charged into the plain, shouting, ‘Chase those with the fancy clothes! Don’t let any escape! Spear them!’ All of the other Indian soldiers whom Atahuallpa had brought were a mile from Cajamarca ready for battle, but not one made a move, and during all this not one Indian raised a weapon against a Spaniard. When the squadrons of Indians who had remained in the plain outside the town saw the other Indians fleeing and shouting, most of them too panicked and fled. It was an astonishing sight, for the whole valley for 15 or 20 miles was completely filled with Indians. Night had already fallen, and our cavalry were continuing to spear Indians in the fields, when we heard a trumpet calling for us to reassemble at camp.
“If night had not come on, few out of the more than 40,000 Indian troops would have been left alive. Six or even thousand Indians lay dead, and many more had their arms cut off and other wounds. Atahuallpa himself admitted that we had killed 7,000 of his men in that battle. The man killed in one of the litters was his minister, the lord of Chincha, of whom he was very fond. All those Indians who bore Atahuallpa’s litter appeared to be high chiefs and councilors [sic]. They were all killed, as well as those Indians who were carried in the other litters and hammocks. The lord of Cajamarca was also killed, and others, but their numbers were so great that they could not be counted, for all who came in attendance on Atahuallpa were great lords. It was extraordinary to see so powerful a ruler captured in so short a time, when he had come with such a mighty army. Truly, it was not accomplished by our own forces, for there were so few of us. It was by the grace of God, which is great.”
Judy can’t stop quoting seriously misguided Brooksie:
“As we’ve gotten richer, we’ve used wealth to buy space: bigger homes, bigger yards, separate bedrooms, private cars, autonomous lifestyles. Each individual choice makes sense, but the overall atomizing trajectory sometimes seems to backfire. According to the World Health Organization, people in wealthy countries suffer depression by as much as eight times the rate as people in poor countries.
There might be a Great Affluence Fallacy going on — we want privacy in individual instances, but often this makes life generally worse.
Every generation faces the challenge of how to reconcile freedom and community — “On the Road” versus “It’s a Wonderful Life.” But I’m not sure any generation has faced it as acutely as millennials.”
But Cancer-Free Dan zooms in again to challenge Judy Albertson’s air quotes:
I don’t buy the woe-to-the-Americans because: richer = sadder arguments.
There are any number of reasons to doubt the validity of such global mental health comparisons. Poor states don’t have reasonable mental health infrastructure. If your village gets massacred by Boko Haram, you’re not getting a PTSD screening.
Other data, adjusted for data availability shows what you’d expect – poor, conflict prone countries with nasty autocratic governments have depressed populations.
Rates aren’t highest in the richest places: Afghans are the most depressed people on Earth. Because: no shit.
And a lot of depression here is likely a function of not* getting richer. Suicides spike during recessions*, not growth. Our society has gotten richer in the aggregate, but the average American today is working much* more than their parents did and making much less money in relative terms, and has far less job security. Developed countries with relatively equitable distributions of wealth and good safety nets tend to do very well on ‘happiness’ metrics.
The least happy countries are poor, autocratic, highly unequal and* have no social safety nets for their people.
The ball’s in your court, Donkey. Now’s the time to display those New Trier honed debate skills!
Bottom Picture: Aliens Jena la Phlegm and Rio de Janeiro huddle and plan the invasion of the pleasure snatchers! #yearoftheeyelash #somethingstupidiscoming