April 2012

The wingnut mind is a wonder to behold.

“Gingrich won’t drop out Tuesday, no matter what happens in Delaware, spokesman says.”

Thank FSM! Newt is really adding a serious dimension to the race.

Grifters gotta grift.

An excerpt from my favorite book, and why it’s my favorite book in part. This is a thing that is very hard to describe, and it is described very well here:

…[He] isn’t old enough yet to know that this is because numb emptiness isn’t the worst kind of depression. That dead-eyed anhedonia is but a remora on the ventral flank of the true predator, the Great White Shark of pain. Authorities term this condition clinical depression, or involutional depression, or unipolar dysphoria. Instead of just an incapacity for feeling, a deadening of soul, the predator-grade depression [she] always feels [when she is triggered] is itself a feeling. It goes by many names–anguish, despair, torment, or q.v. Burton’s melancholia or Yevtuschenko’s more authoritative psychotic depression–but [she], down in the trenches with the thing itself, knows it simply as It.

It is a level of psychic pain wholly incompatible with human life as we know it. It is a sense of radical and thoroughgoing evil not just as a feature but as the essence of conscious existence. It is a sense of poisoning that pervades the self at the self’s most elementary levels. It is a nausea of the cells and soul. It is an unnumb intuition in which the world is fully rich and animate and un-map-like and also thoroughly painful and malignant and antagonistic to the self, which depressed self it billows on and coagulates around and wraps in Its black folds and absorbs into Itself


Its emotional character, the feeling [she] describes It as, is probably mostly indescribable except as a sort of double bind in which any/all of the alternatives we associate with human agency–sitting or standing, doing or resting, speaking or keeping silent, living or dying–are not just unpleasant but literally horrible.

It is also lonely on a level that cannot be conveyed. There is no way [she] could ever even begin to make someone else understand what clinical depression feels like, not even another person who is [themselves] clinically depressed…


The authoritative term psychotic depression makes [her] feel especially lonely. Specifically the psychotic part. Think of it this way: Two people are screaming in pain. One of them is being tortured with electric current. The other is not. The screamer who’s being tortured with electric current is not psychotic: her screams are circumstantially appropriate. The screaming person who’s not being tortured, however, is psychotic, since the outside parties making the diagnoses can see no electrodes or measurable amperage. One of the least pleasant things about being psychotically depressed on a ward full of psychotically depressed patients is coming to see that none of them is really psychotic, that their screams of are entirely appropriate to certain circumstances part of whose special charm is that they are undetectable by any outside party. Thus the loneliness. It’s a closed circuit: the current is both applied and received from within.

The so-called ‘psychotically depressed’ person who tries to kill [themselves] doesn’t do so out of quote ‘hopelessness’ or any abstract conviction that life’s assets and debits do not square. And surely not because death seems suddenly appealing. The person in whom Its invisible agony reaches a certain unendurable level will kill [themselves] the same way a trapped person will jump from a window of a burning high-rise. Make no mistake about people who leap from burning windows. Their terror of falling from a great height is still just as great as it would be for you or me just standing their speculatively at the same window just checking out the view, i.e., the fear of falling remains a constant. The variable here is the other terror, the fire’s flames: when the flames get close enough, falling to death becomes the slightly less terrible of two terrors. It’s not desiring the fall; it’s terror of the flames. And yet nobody down on the sidewalk, looking up and yelling ‘Don’t!’ and ‘Hang on!’ can understand the jump. Not really. You’d have to have personally been trapped and felt the flames to really understand a terror way beyond the fall.


I’m glad It and I are only casual, if lifelong acquaintances.

(The author hung himself 15-20ish years after he wrote that.)

Basically fright-fetish-porn to me. Up there with my worst nightmares. If being stranded in the middle of a life-force more powerful than you can imagine with predators about scares you, you’ll like the film, provided you like to be frightened. You might also like it if (you like to be frightened, let’s call that a constant for being able to enjoy the movie) being eaten alive rather slowly strikes you as a bad way to go.