It's darker here.


DTG: 06:16 Friday, 23 June 2023

I listened to outgoing Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry's "exit interview" on First Coast Connect, the local public radio station. Probably not worth a blog post, but a few impressions:

Lenny hasn't changed. I think he mentioned no less than three times, "I've never lost an election."

This is a man who is incapable of viewing politics and governance in any way other than as a zero-sum game. And an ego-centric one at that. It's all about Lenny.

He was not forthcoming about JEA, though I didn't really expect him to be. He complained, rather bitterly to my ears, about "lies" that were told about him or people who worked for the city or with him, but offered no specifics.

From my point of view, many people had opinions about what Lenny, Timmy, and Bri-bri were up to with their henchman Aaron Zahn; and in the absence of transparency, offered their interpretations of what they were observing. Many of those interpretations were unflattering to "the boys," and perhaps some of them were mistaken.

But, from my point of view, nobody was "lying" about what Lenny and his crew were up to.

Perhaps he's projecting.

He largely laughed off his history with social media. Because of course.

He did say he needed to take some time off. That he had no immediate political ambitions. He lacked "the fire in the belly." I think he said something about working on himself and his relationship with his family. That's about the only encouraging thing I heard.

I expect we haven't heard the last of Lenny, Timmy and Bri-bri. I know Timmy will still be around, in the "private sector," stirring shit up. I'm sure Bri-bri (City administrator Brian Hughes for those just tuning in. Official member of "the boys," the "misfit mafia.") will either be a "consultant" or a "lobbyist" in the "private sector." I'd be surprised if he didn't have his next gig already lined up.

But for a little while anyway, Jacksonville will be far better off with them at least temporarily sidelined.


DTG: 06:06 Wednesday, 7 June 2023

Heather Cox Richardson:

But for all those noisy accolades, it was the letter of June 5, that he wrote in secret, alone and unsure whether the future would find him right or wrong but willing to take both the risk and the blame if he failed, that proved his heroism.

Politics, for much of the Republican Party, has devolved into farce. Entertainment for the purposes of power and ambition. That their party offers an eager audience, a clamoring mob, for this charade is more troubling than the vain and hollow people who seek to profit from it.

Shakespeare was referring to something different when he wrote "stars," but the words remain true in our celebrity culture:

The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.

Anger Management

DTG: 13:00 Thursday, 1 June 2023

This could go in either the marmot or here, but since "It's darker here," I figured I'd put it here.

Jason Kottke posted a link to a Guardian piece in his Mastodon instance. The PS in the in the "toot" to read to the end relates to irony being the fifth fundamental force of the universe. You should read, or at least skim, the whole piece.

I replied to the post because I disagree with the part of the piece Jason chose to quote in his post.

"Anger does not take place in a void. It is largely a moral emotion, most frequently triggered by perceived injustice, and profoundly important for social change."

The kind of anger that sends people to anger management classes is problematic, the kind of anger that hurts others. It is most emphatically not a "moral emotion." It's a loss of control in the presence of strong feelings.

I know this because I've been to many years of therapy, and I didn't start going to therapy because I had an "anger problem." I went to therapy because I was profoundly unhappy and uncertain about the prospects for ever experiencing happiness and so, what was the point?

I'd reached the end of my rope, tied a knot in it and I was losing my grip.

But in my intake interview, my therapist detected my anger problem, and knew that I was hurting people; because that's what hurt people do. She made that the first priority in my treatment.

And that just pissed me off.

Sandy wanted to talk about my anger all the time. She gave me lots of reading to do as homework, which I did. And as I read each assignment, I was much like the author of the Guardian Piece, justifying and rationalizing my anger in the context of a "larger picture." And so I would argue with her in every session for weeks turning into months.

Fortunately, I had an extremely patient therapist, because I probably would have fired me as a client/patient.

For much of my career as a naval officer, I was what was called "a screamer." I would yell at people, verbally abusing them. Didn't happen all the time, but it happened often enough. Nobody ever deserved it, because nobody ever does.

And let's just say I'd been on the receiving end of my share of verbal abuse as well. Both on the job and at home.

Anger is a feeling, and feelings pass. You must be very careful when acting on your feelings. Too often, we allow feelings to give us permission to lose control.

The kind of anger that the author of the Guardian piece has won't be addressed in any kind of "management" class. That kind of anger requires therapy. Therapy to heal the wound that's causing the pain. Or at least finding a way to live with it such that you don't pass the pain onto others.

I don't think the corporate world has invented the anger management class industry to suppress dissent. I think it's a reaction to what seems to be ever increasing levels of people losing control. It's a bandaid to a growing problem.

And all the injustice and unfairness in the world isn't an excuse to hurt anyone.

It's not a good piece.