Hace buen tiempo as they say in Spanish.
I’m sitting outside at my favorite coffee shop. There’s no wind. It’s not hot. There aren’t too many people.
I just read the New York Times. I enjoyed it. There was a good report about the City of New York’s efforts to find apartments for its’ 60,000 homeless, and the opposition that the city receives. The opposition especially does not want shelters for men in its’ neighborhoods.
I can’t blame them, but most of the homeless are men, at least here in Sacto. What is America going to do? Our city council just approved a 16-20 bed facility for terminally ill homeless people. That is a great idea.
Also in the NYT were letters in response to an article about a college student who committed suicide. Of course the university gets blamed for the death.
People say that professors should say something to a student who has started to behave strangely. But what is a professor supposed to do?
He would say that he isn’t a mental health professional, that he would be stepping out of his domain. He might also say his students’ problems are none of his business. If a courageous and empathetic professor approached a student who seemed to be on the edge, the student might curse him, or sue him for being nosy.
We complain about the invasion of privacy by the government and business, but we want universities to keep tabs on their students’ mental health.
It would scare me as a college student if I knew that the software that reads my papers for class sends a report to the dean when I write: I am lonely.; They should throw the scum in jail.; I get plastered every weekend. It’s a gas.; If somebody breaks into your apartment you should be allowed to kill him.; There’s nothing wrong with spanking your child.
The more we try to monitor people’s mental health, the more mentally unhealthy we become. Who can I trust if any negative, angry, lust-filled, profane statement might be interpreted by the authorities to mean that I need help – forced prescribed drugs or required counselling?
It’s a double whammy for people who are on the edge. You don’t want to tell your family and friends you are suicidal because you don’t want to burden them.
Yet you can’t trust the mental health profession. It keeps an electronic record of all your appointments and what you revealed about yourself. That’s scary because all your information can be sent to insurance companies, hospitals, and police departments with the click of a button.
So We’re here to help, but Our neighbors are watching you. And We report all suspicious persons to the police. And Smile. You’re on camera.
I think I said this before – no wonder people don’t seek help. We are trained to be afraid. If we were not a police state there would be good mental health. There would be more trust – of yourself and of others.
Remember last year when I wrote to you about the new building for the natural foods co-op? I told you it made me feel good because of the natural light, healthy electric light, and a great view of the sky from the outdoor eating area upstairs. What I was saying was that it was good for my mental health. I really needed the shot-in-the-arm.
But now I hate it. Like one of my friends said, “It’s so yuppie.” Now they want to sell hard liquor, just like all the stores they think they are different from.
We keep talking organic in America, but we are so full of fear and alienation and anality that we are light years away from an organic state of mind. However we might get an organic police state.
You will have a view of the mountains and eat organic beans and rice when you are in jail for something you didn’t do. The mountains and organic food will help your healing process.
I feel like I am in jail. Crazy people feel trapped. We are exiled in our own country.
Sorry to bitch Jim.
Copyright © 2021 by David Vaszko