In the “comments” section of Salon.com, I wrote:
My comment, a conscious instance of the trauma reaction it described, didn’t go into the behavior’s rationale. My own understanding is that trauma is a primary wrong that redefines the child’s life in an unacceptable way, and therefore takes precedence over everything else. Children express themselves through play. When they are disabled by the kind of lethal, “soul murdering”* overwhelm or crazy logic** of trauma, their play may manifest the constant force of the wrong. Lenore Terr, psychiatrist who researched the notorious Chowchilla kidnappings, wrote:
The state of being troubled and stunned, one moment walking in a benign world and the next in a twilight zone or cartoon world, is to be forced to perseverate. The drone of Orange has hegemony. Our leader might be a fascist demagogue who loves himself to the point of solipsism, the world’s entire purpose a stage and spittoon? Our president might be a man without nobility, dignity, subtlety or vocabulary, but possibly a spasm of humanity when being watched? We cannot stop thinking of or imaging him, secondarily his brown smog of followers. I read quite a few online articles. If a piece is not about Trump, something as innocuous as a “Dear Prudence” column, I’m likely to think: Why is Trump not mentioned in this? I have an urge to foist his foul echo into every comment I write – mostly because I’m drawn to articles he headlines. Other commenters have noticed the same. His name, signifying a ludicrous wight, seems to have become a default theme to the times, a brain implant through which we see and feel.
What can we do about living in such an off world, where a carnival barker is thought to be sound, competent, a leader? We may be feeling like Steven Mallory in The Fountainhead:
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* Soul Murder, Leonard Shengold, M.D.
** By “crazy logic,” I mean a traumatic event that has happened – it is in the real world – but which is impossible to assimilate. Not unlike my father’s saying (fortunately, in jest), “When Tuesday falls on Friday.”
*** Lenore Terr, M.D., Too Scared To Cry – Psychic Trauma in Childhood, Basic Books, 1990.
**** Idea taken from an old Roald Dahl short story in which (as I dimly remember) post-apocalypse, a starving old man and a little girl resignedly cut off their limbs for food.
***** Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead, pdf – http://pieceofmind.publicrealm.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/The-Fountainhead.pdf. Pages unnumbered; search “drooling.”