August 30, 2016

Status Update

I'm deeply sorry for my long silence. I'm especially sorry with regard to those people who so kindly responded to my last cry for help, five awful months ago.

The explanation for my silence is very simple: I've been a bedridden invalid for most of this period. On several occasions, I thought I might well be dying. That didn't happen, so ... yay, I suppose. I say "I suppose" only because I still feel so godawful most of the time. But not quite as awful as I had been feeling. I manage now to get out of bed for a few hours each day, although I can't accomplish all that much when I'm up.

But goddammit, there's still some writing to be done. Just recently, I discovered -- quite by accident, as it happens (where are my spies when I need them? I can't believe no one told me about this book) -- Tribe, by Sebastian Junger. I've just begun reading it, and -- oh, boy. The short Amazon description accurately provides the book's perspective:
We have a strong instinct to belong to small groups defined by clear purpose and understanding--"tribes." This tribal connection has been largely lost in modern society, but regaining it may be the key to our psychological survival.
Those readers familiar with my work will know that this subject is one I've addressed in some detail. They will also know that Junger's perspective represents the complete inversion of what I consider the correct and psychologically healthy approach.

Once I've finished reading Junger's book, I expect to have quite a few articles to write, to clear up confusions, to explain many issues he appears to neglect entirely, and to offer some new material to build upon my earlier argument. (For that earlier argument, see this essay and this one in particular. They contain some of the best analysis I've ever offered here, in addition to which I am convinced that my thesis is both true and important.) I suspect that reviews of Junger's book might also provide illuminating material for analysis. If any of you come across reviews that strike you as particularly interesting, please let me know. Junger's book has been very successful, and most readers think his ideas are absolutely swell. That explains a lot.

So there's that to be done. And I suppose I should try to offer a few words about this Marx Bros. election. I apologize: what a terrible insult to the Marx Bros. They were inspired and wonderfully funny. This election is merely ridiculous and nauseating, although not for the reasons offered most frequently.

Now I have to go back to bed, and try to regain some energy for this work. I must add that I only was able to survive these last months because of a few dear friends, as well as all those donors who have been so generous -- and among that last group, I also must especially mention the few individuals who continue to make donations even when silence prevails here. And, of course, my financial situation remains extremely dire, so any and all assistance is greeted with tremendous gratitude, as always.

P.S. Here is something that is very cool. Be sure to explore the map for at least a few minutes.