Tuesday, March 9, 2021

The Golden Calf

sculptor Tommy Zegan polishes Trump statue at CPAC (John Raoux, AP)

One way you know Covid-19 vaccines are working is the reaction they create. Whether it’s fever or lethargy, you're reassured the shot is effective if you have an adverse reaction to it. From an epistemic point of view this underscores a significant point about many things of a benign and even lifesaving nature. For instance, the body rejects organ transplants. Those lucky enough to find donors must take anti-rejection medications. In the mental health arena one of the problems with patients who take neuroleptics is that their refusing the regimen. You know something is working when it produces an effect in the body whether in the form of antibodies or neurotransmitters. The same applies in the realm of psychotherapy for example where an insight can produce what analysts call an "abreaction," which is defined as “the expression and consequent release of a previously repressed emotion, achieved through reliving the experience that caused it.” One of the most salient examples of such behavior often occurs when a prosecution witness is being cross-examined. You find this kind of scenario in many of Earl Stanley Gardner’s Perry Mason novels. Sufferers from the Stockholm Syndrome may experience this on the way to being deprogrammed. A Retrumplican might scream like hell when they’re faced with the fact that the election was not stolen and rigged. In fact, they might even try to invade the capitol. Some will continue screaming for the rest of their lives instead of facing the fact that they've been worshipping the golden calf.

Read "MAGA and the Coronavirus" by Francis Levy, The East Hampton Star

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