Monday, December 31, 2012
Thoughts On 2013 and Yearend Reflections
This being New Year's Eve, I thought I'd let my head take its lead and wander over subjects at its own direction. I will not interfere unreasonably. Jonathan Swift famously wrote, "It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into". And so I permit myself to garrulate on a broad theme. At my age, I do not know where it will end but it will begin, I think, in Arizona Territory in 1891.
Photo over this essay was taken of the town of Tombstone, in the 1880s. Old American towns, as you can see, differ from modern ones; they were blurry. But in this particular town the modern psychological bromide was born. A theory that would find popular publication a century later as I'm Ok You're Ok began here at an outdoor clinic called the OK Corral.
Under the medical direction of Doc Holliday (a dentist who minored in 20th century pop-psych, which hadn't happened yet and wouldn't for 90 years.), famed therapists, Morgan, Virgil and Wyatt Earp conducted a mental health session with the brothers McLaury and Clanton and, by general account, greatly improved them. But it's New Year's Eve now and getting blurrier. Oooh here's something:
Spanish and Portuguese Conquistador/Psychologists and several new kinds of idiots used to try to circumnavigate the world with maps like this one. It reflects the wishful thinking of many centuries, but mainly this one and the one the cartographer lived in. My beloved California was thought to be, assumed and hoped to be, an island off Nevada's Pacific coast. The chief explorer, not that one with the unlikely name of Cabeza de Vaca who explored something else but Brazos Largos, discovered the non-existence of the Nevada Channel. He was named Brazos Largos because he could tie his shoes without bending over --much to the admiration of his crew.
Also, to the admiration of his crew, Largos found an early surfer culture in California that celebrated fitness, suntans and beach parties. They forgot about the Lost Cities Of Gold and the Fountains Of Youth in favor of their new discovery, which they named Curvas Buenas and called its natives Sirens. Contrary to envious historical records, these Sirens did not cause any shipwrecks. Brazos Largos and his crew dismantled their own ship deliberately to make surf boards.
I would continue this examination of the history of psychology but it is not yet midnight and I have further preparations to make for my own mental improvement. I resume treatment for the jumps this week. To all, I wish a safe and sane new year.