Saturday, August 29, 2009



Apparently, even if you take the time to call their attention to reality, this is what transpires:

Mike, You do remember that Lee Harvey Oswald was a communist right? And the plot to kill Kennedy was either a Castro payback or a Mafia payback (given that Jack Ruby was a known associate of the mob). You do know that Sirhan Sirhan was a Palestinian Activist and Bill Ayers, a Weathermen member and friend of Obama, dedicated one of his books to him, right? Are you that ignorant or do you just think we are? I was born in 1957 and I do remember.

Malloy responded thusly:

[Expletive redacted], you're stupid. Oswald was as much a commie as you are. Go back to school, dummie. What the [expletive redacted] do you know about Sirhan. Nothing. Go away. I don't tolerate dumbasses Scram.

Mr. Malloy, you can tell reality to "scram" all you want, but it's just not going to go away because you don't have the courage to face it.

In "The Consequences of Denial" I wrote:
In the vacuous recesses of their own minds, those who deny reality manage to convince themselves that they are "reality-based". One might justifiably ask them why they have an almost obsessive need to so aggressively tout their connection to reality, like some sort of celebrity name-dropper expecting to increase his stature in the eyes of the world: "Oh, by the way, did you know that I'm reality-based?"

Sadly for them, just because one repeatedly claims a close connection to the Big R, does not prove anything one way or the other; nor does it absolve the boaster of providing the requisite evidence to back up their claim. Feelings won't do, I'm afraid; though it is often to those arguments of emotion that the denier will ultimately resort when impeded in his quest to avoid reality.

As a psychiatrist, I would be the last person to suggest that even a primitive and immature psychological defense mechanism like denial didn't have some positive results for the individuals who use it. Obviously, if it resulted in the outright death or dismemberment of the person using it, denial would probably not last long as a viable strategy in the real world; nor would it be particularly helpful for the species as a whole.

The truth is that frequently denial works--at least for a short while--and that is why it is so often resorted to in extremis.

Some of the positive consequences of psychological denial include:

• In the short-term, psychological denial can help a person maintain their sanity--which would be threatened by awareness of a painful truth or reality
• In the short-term, denial can help a person function day to day
• In the short-term, denial can prevent a person from having to acknowledge painful thoughts, feelings or behavior and help them maintain a world view threatened by an unacceptable reality or truth

The operative word in all of the above is "in the short-term." In the short-term, even the unhealthiest of defenses--such as denial, projection, paranoia-- may be creative, healthy, comforting, and coping. And, while their use may strike observers as downright peculiar at times, in the short-term, they may be transiently adaptive.

In fact, psychological denial is a way to integrate one's experience by providing a variety of filters for pain and mechanisms for self-deception. It creatively rearranges the sources of conflict the individual faces so that the conflict becomes manageable.

Today's political left are the hands-down, gold medal winners in the Denial of Reality Sweepstakes. Watch them spin, lie, distort and finally resort to personal attacks on their critics without any debate on the facts--and learn all you need to know about their creatively dysfunctional coping.

UPDATE: Via The Other McCain : greased porcupine grappling!

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