Thursday, October 27

Don't You Wish You Were Psychologically Rich?

I'm used to hearing art (narratives, performances, and other depictions) being described as "psychologically rich". But last night on public television there was a snippet of a woman who was claiming the suffering certain people had undergone made them "psychologically rich", and what a great thing that was. So you suffer tell yourself it makes you "psychologically rich". Better yet, when you see someone else suffer, tell them it's making them "psychologically rich" Lucky them!

I think it was in the preview to Episode Four of Destination America (Breaking Free: A Woman's Journey) that I heard this remarkably stupid explanation. It's not unlike what Norman Geras quotes of Dylan Evans, who writes
Look at the way we live now, in the west. We grow up in increasingly fragmented communities, hardly speaking to the people next door, and drive to work in our self-contained cars. We work in standardised offices and stop at the supermarket on our way home to buy production-line food which we eat without relish. There is no great misery, no hunger, and no war. But nor is there great passion or joy. Despite our historically unprecedented wealth, more people than ever before suffer from depression.
Ah, for a little misery! So then, war is a good thing?

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