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Old April 10, 2010, 10:02 AM   #55
Uncle Billy
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Join Date: June 10, 2009
Location: Small city in New York
Posts: 482
I made a mistake of inattention when I took the link that Antipitas posted on page 1 of this thread that led to the "American Thinker"- I didn't catch that all of what was on the page that came up were essays by "Robin of Berkeley" only. Taking Doc Intrepid's link on this page which revisited Robin of Berkeley's essay collection again, and finally realizing she was the author of all of that, and reading most of it, requires that I correct what I wrote about the OP essay.

Boy, she's one angry, emotional basket case!

I wrote ""Further, if this is the case, she will eventually return to some more careful, thoughtful, reasoned attitudes and not be so virulently hateful of all of liberal ideology..."

Originally Posted by Doc Intrepid responded:
Somehow I don't think that will happen:
"The Weird Failure of the Left"
I don't think so either, now that I think I have a more complete understanding of Robin.

Here's what I get from what she has written about herself in these essays:

She grew up in a family where her parents weren't much interested in her in favor of their friends and "partying, drinking and carousing" (her words), and her sadistic brother (also her words) hated and tormented her and nearly killed her; as a child she was rejected by her peers and had no close friends (often the experience of Jewish kids in upstate NY where she's from) and so created an alter ego of herself that she could love and understand, I think to gain aspects of her real life she lacked.

Probably while she was a student in a large university she found a community wherein she was, for the first time in her life accepted, liked, made welcome, valued, and respected: "Doing political work in young adulthood, I suddenly had a purpose, a reason to get up in the morning. Working with others in groups, marching with thousands of people, was not only an emotional high but a physical thrill, almost like an aphrodisiac. A legal high. And feeling like you're saving the world is positively orgasmic.", and which was incidentally politically very liberal. But the ideology probably didn't matter, membership in the group was probably what she valued most because the group of politically active and passionate students provided her with the emotional needs that didn't get met in her childhood- a lot of disaffected and emotionally hungry youth in those days found themselves what they needed in odd places of the "counter-culture", the worst, most pernicious one being Charlie Manson and his girls (not that Robin was anywhere near that insanity).

Later in her life she moved to Berkeley, which is a center of far-left rabid liberalism, where she probably found the same sort of nurture among the radical left. Again she took up with their ideology (severely leftist in this case), not because she gave it a lot of thought and objectively decided it was her ideology too, but because she got the nurture of the group that was always a basic need for her which she could earn by pandering to their ideology as before.

But it came to pass that she was mugged, beaten up and maybe raped (her essay "The Rape of America" has the ring of "biography" about it). The group- radical liberals in Berkeley, maybe including her husband- offered her no sympathy and instead was sympathetic to the creep who did it, and that was a sharp betrayal to Robin and was why she included liberals and their ideology, that she blamed as the source of the crime against her, in her raging anger and lashing accusations.

As she states, writing "memoirs" is popular among the left; psychotherapy recognizes "journaling" as a sometime useful tool in sorting out confusions, uncertainties and anger when one is "in a tizzy 24/7 and every belief is up for grabs". Her friend Virginia (who might also be a psychotherapist) urged her to write of her boiling anger... at the liberals who had abandoned her, and including a blanket accusation of all of liberal ideology which she blames for creating the crime. (Accuracy isn't the goal in this sort of catharsis, venting the bile and anger so that reason can return is). The editor of AT realized that posting such an essay would become hugely popular with conservatives so he put it online. The resulting comments offered support, agreement and sympathy which her former allegiances didn't and so the new group- conservatives- became the supplier of the group nurture that the betrayal of her by the liberals in Berkeley denied her. And once again she didn't care much what their ideology is, writing from the right got lots of warm fuzzy which got warmer and fuzzier the further right it came from and so encouraged a whole series of rants from a far right perspective. This also gave her a receptive audience to express her utter disgust and rejection of those who had rejected her and their ideology, sticking it to them in a blizzard of revengeful put-downs and humiliations.

In short, I think Robin, who was incidentally a member of the radical left for reasons other than their ideology, has become a member of the radical right for exactly the same reasons- she needs to belong to a group who accept her, who support her, who are sympathetic to her, and who are innocent of betraying her and denying her the emotional stuff she needs a lot of, since no capability of creating it internally ever evolved in her. The ideology is trumped by the need to be accepted, admired and supported now and before, in both iterations of Robin's politics.

She recognizes rejection though- not all the feedback she got from her contributions to AT were positive and some were outright evil. That rejection and condemnation, while legitimately creating fear of physical reprisal, also begets in Robin the need to "make nice" which shows up in her surprisingly gentle and deeply hypocritical essay called "A Letter to Liberals". It seems to me to be more than just a plea to reduce the direct threats to her, it has an echo of some remorse in her for having condemned liberal thought so completely and so vehemently and thereby alienating people who respond by rejecting her, the ultimate anathema.

Meanwhile, I think politics and ideology aren't what drive her, they are whatever brand feeds her emotional needs best. And as one who needs to find a center, who needs to understand what she is better than she admits she does, her capabilities as a psychotherapist are pretty compromised, in my opinion.

Last edited by Uncle Billy; April 10, 2010 at 10:10 AM.
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