Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Psychology 101

I am an armchair psychologist. Ever since my first psychology class in high school (shout out to Mr. Beck, what a wingnut), I have been endlessly fascinated by how the human brain works and why people do (and say) what they do. When I took a psychology class during one summer of college (shout out to the uber-cool Professor Schultz), I fell in love. (Ummm, with the subject, not Mr. Schultz, just to clarify.)

And yet not enough in love to abandon the worthless music degree I was pursuing and actually make something of my life.  But that's another Oprah show...

I have been blown away recently with the behavior of people in our country over this healthcare "reform" bill (heretofore to be referred to as The Healthcare Mandate Novel of 2010, or if you will, HMN 2010). Off the bat I suppose I'll share that I'm for much of it but vehemently opposed to some of it. But I'm not writing to get into all that. I'm writing to discuss the absolute embarrassingly miserable way people are treating each other over it.

Enter Facebook. I've read status updates that veer from gleeful giddiness over HMN 2010 proclaiming "Finally! Free healthcare for all!" ( it ain't) to absolute outrage over the cost and the shutting out of conservative ideas (kinda true, though this bill is better than the last) to the weeping and gnashing of teeth, pleading for Jesus' immediate return because we are surely experiencing the Apocolypse RIGHT! BEFORE! OUR! EYES! (no comment) And then you have those that just live in complete denial of anything of import going on in this country and just keep posting nauseatingly about what a beautiful day it is(!), how lucky they are to be alive(!), how happy their lovah makes them(!) or what a GREAT career they have(!) despite the fact that everyone else is getting their economic asses kicked. (Hello, residents of Stepford)

Did I get everyone? Just making sure. I take the South Park Method with my one's safe here.

In between all this...I've witnessed the most dispicable showing of human behavior I may have ever seen in all my years online. It is startling...absolutely startling...what people feel free to say when safely hidden behind a computer monitor. The cyber-bullies come out in full force, in an attempt to belittle and take down anyone who thinks differently than they do. The mud-slinging ensues. The name calling is hurtful (yet hardly even creative...if you're gonna call me a name, make it intelligent..."fat pig" is the best you got...really?). The inability and absolute refusal of people on ALL SIDES to listen to each other and even TRY to understand the points from which their SUPPOSED FRIENDS are coming is astounding. All trickling down from how our elected officials have been treating each other, which is unacceptable in and of itself.

I have to say that 2010 has been full of people behaving badly at every turn. From the famous to the unknown. And boy am I sick of it. The first week of the year everyone was all "Yay, 2010!!! Things are gonna get better, woooot!" And then it seemed everyone started bottom-feeding by week two...the hold outs gave in by February. Out of fairness I must include myself in this too, as I can't seem to shake this constant gloom hovering over my head since the start of the year. I am making a valiant effort to choose Joy, but dang, Misery just can't accept our break up and he's TOTALLY stalking me now. But at least I do think I'm doing an okay job of not taking it out on everyone I see. I'm trying to save Dark Darci for my couch and dvr whenever possible.

But I digress. Well, sort of. Sometimes I think Dark Darci wouldn't appear so much if people around her started treating each other better and accepting each other just for who they are and by at least TRYING to understand that everyone's viewpoints are born form a genuine desire to make things better in our world. Really, they are. I have friends and family on both extremes of the political spectrum. I can't think of a single one of them who are for or against points in the HMN 2010 out of pure selfishness. EVERYONE believes in their heart of hearts that what they want is the best thing for our country in the long run (except maybe the politicians, who are more concerned with keeping their jobs come next election, I think we can ALL agree on that). To doubt this is pure foolishness. To doubt this is un-American, in fact! We are a country of every race, color, creed, sexual orientation, ability and disability, religion and non-religion, shape and size. We've got it all. It only makes sense to make at least an attempt at understanding another view besides yours. Must you agree? HAYULL NO! Stand your ground, by all means. Apathy and wishy-washiness is just gross. But must we debate and discuss with the idea that the individual to which we are speaking is wonderfully made, a perfect creation in and of him/herself, a child of God or this Universe (according to whatever you believe), JUST AS YOU ARE and worthy, therefore, of your time, attention and understanding?


It took me many years to get this concept. I grew up an exceedingly judgemental person. I realized finally that my judgements were based in fear of things that I didn't know and when I finally took a step to make the smallest effort to understand where another person was coming from, the most amazing thing happened. I found there were virtually no monsters under my bed! Naturally, there are always exceptions to this rule. Some people, I think, are hopeless cases, sick at heart and mind and there is nothing one can do to help except to remove them from polite society so as not to endanger themselves or others (Manson and Dahmer come to mind - and the extremely self-absorbed, though sadly the latter are somehow still allowed to run around freely wreaking havoc upon innocents). But in general, even the staunchest rightie or leftie on the block is driven by the love of at least ONE stranger...and usually many more than just one. For a bleeding-heart liberal, it may be the millions of individuals living in poverty all over the world. For a Limbaugh-lovin' conservative, it may be the lives of millions of unborn children who never get a chance at life. The short of it being that it is in our nature as humans to preserve the continuation of our race. We are all driven to save each other in one way or another, on both sides of the spectrum. Yes, I said driven to save each other. And from this subconscious drive, our opinions and convictions are born.

So why do we stay continuously at each others' throats instead of joining together on the basis of this powerfully driving life-force? What a heart-breaking mystery, indeed.  I only know that we all (of course, including me) need to check ourselves on a daily basis. The things that could happen in this world for the good, if only we'd all take a step toward each other instead of demanding the other come to us...

"No occasion justifies hatred; no injustice warrants bitterness. I choose love."  ~Max Lucado

“Be not disturbed at being misunderstood; be disturbed rather at not being understanding.” ~Chinese Proverb

American Idol fans - WMR of top eleven is up!

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Darci Monet's Working Musician's Review

Thursday, March 11, 2010

New Reviews Up for American Idol fans

Last week of semi-finals...the heat is on.

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Thursday, March 04, 2010

American Idol fans - WMR's of top ten girls AND guys now posted

American Idol fans, both of my reviews for this week are posted.

Come share your two cents!

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Darci Monet's Working Musician's Review

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