Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Three Things We Should Know

From Paul

Odds and ends...

DEPRESSION is good for you. That's the thesis of "Against Happiness: In Praise of Melancholy by Eric G. Wilson.

PRESIDENT BUSH has decided to LATERAL THE BALL ON IRAQ. Bear with this one a few seconds.

DEAR ABBY received some really weird letters, including:

"Dear Abby,
I have a man I can't trust. He cheats so much, I'm not even sure the baby I'm carrying is his."


"Dear Abby,
What can I do about all the sex, nudity, fowl language and violence on my VCR?"

Many more REAL letters HERE.



  1. Love Wilson's book cover. I know it's wrong but your 3 things made me smile. As we all know, clinical depression is a serious condition, but in my book toughing out brief periods of sadness qualifies as AFGO.

  2. I thought it was odd that Wilson said that he had merely considered psychiatrists and prescription drugs. That suggests to me that he hasn't been terribly deeply depressed for an endless period of time, when your mind is sluggish to the point of mud, your neurons aren't firing correctly and you can't accomplish the smallest task. Sadness, dark and gloom and severe, chronic depression are two entirely different animals.

    I know that I would far rather be alive and richly vibrant than stagnant, and huddled in a hole within your mind.

    Oh, and I guess that we know what color the cover of Patty's fifth Tucker epistle will be now. :o)

  3. Surely there's a difference between being clinically depressed and having "the blues." Frankly some people have a reason to be "depressed," a lot of what's going on in the world is depressing. Malcontents, however, are just unsatisfied with their lives, no matter how much they are blessed; nor are they clinically depressed. Make no mistake, I am not suggesting that clinical depression is not a serious condition. But, on the other hand, perhaps we are too quick to look for instant fix psychopharmaceuticals. Some people are just negative....Some sort of pseudo- Dread seems to be what Wilson is calling melancholia. It seems to me what he calls melancholy is in truth a philosophical choice in response to the "human condition."

    The again, if I had to ask Dear Abby on how I should live my life, I'd be a little melancholy too........and looking at those submitted letters, I'd be worrying about a competency hearing....or at the very least, I'd have to accept my lot: "not the sharpest tool in the shed.".......oh well, there goes my Mensa application!


  4. I've been in therapy for many years. Finally my therapist and I had a break through. We discovered my underlying problem : I think I am a piece of shit, that the world revolves around.

    Barb Dwyer

  5. Fowl language? Cluck, cluck, and not another peep!

    Tom, T.O.

  6. Just found this blog through Jacqueline Winspear's website.

    I liked Garrison Keillor's review of Wilson's book in the NYT. In Keillor's opinion, if the blues and depression lead to creativity, than Wilson's book should be much better written than it is.

    Wilson obviously also cherry picks his examples of creativity correlating with depression. What about Mozart, Picasso, Monet, Austen? I'm not impressed with Wilson's logic.

  7. Paul,
    You turned me onto Snopes a few months back. This is just an added bonus for the site.

    Good job as always.