Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Table of Contents:

Current Events

Before Cell Phones

Stephan Pastis, who draws the “Pearls Before Swine” cartoon strip, did one lately that touched my sense of growing older. Says it all, doesn’ it?

Challenging Psychiatry

I have been re-thinking my profession in preparation for giving a talk on the changes it has gone through over the last fifty to a hundred years. The title is “We Don’t Do That Anymore,” but alas, we do, at least some things that maybe we shouldn’t. I’ll post it on my website when I’ve […]

Challenging the “War on Drugs”

Building on a Lecture by Adam Blatner, Senior University Georgetown‘s Summer Program, June 9, 2004, posted on website November 18, 2004) For over sixty years, and with some significant escalation beginning in the late 1960s, local, state, and federal efforts to arrest and imprison those found to possess even small amounts of illicit drugs has […]

Changes are Happening!

Things that are changing at an ever-increasing rate: – People learning that other people have other opinions     … and what those opinions are          about religion, politics, etc.   – People are feeling free to change denominations,       or join this or that religion, or no religion        or make up their own, or […]

Changing Times

    We are living in a time when in fact a great deal of our culture is in transition on a great many issues. Here are some, as a warm-up to your thinking: – It used to be not only okay to smoke, but fashionable. – Keeping slaves was okay for much of history in […]

Chauvinism and Preference

What if part of the problem in male “chauvinism” is that many—perhaps most–people lack a clear awareness that people have different preferences—even women!—and this category must be recognized and dealt with consciously ! Many men a century ago were devoted to their wives, loved them deeply. It just never occurred to them that their dear […]

Cheap Diplomas!(?) Shop and Compare!

I’m dismayed at the sheer volume of spam email about “genuine” diplomas for sale—cheap! On one hand, I playfully want to join the bandwagon: I’m allied with The Wizard of Oz who created a Diploma for the Scarecrow because of his “cleverness” in rescuing Dorothy. Hey, why not? I can make up one for you […]

Coleg Degrees 4 Sale

So what are diplomas worth nowadays, really? Here’s an addition to a previous blog, with some further thoughts about a recently received ‘nother bit of spam: Subject: “The education it’s prestigious !   (Really their words!) To: (recipient) Date… whatever..  Actual text: You have a choice today!  We are an experienced company, who will give you […]


I like this cartoon because it illustrates the prevalence of non-communication in people who sincerely believe they communicate fine, about everything. They dissociate what is a hidden assumption so they don’t even know they’re not communicating.

Compelling Songs and Stuff

I’m getting older, have topped out, noticing that young people are taking things in may new directions. I’m older, wiser, or at least wise enough to notice my past follies and contemplate my present degrees of ignorance. There are still many, many things I want to do, but I am also realizing that there are […]


That’s a word that talks about when one ties together images so that they seem to make sense—at least to the person doing the connection. It’s flagrant in cases of  alcoholic encephalopathy—Korsakoff’s Psychosis; or in some strokes of the right parietal cortex. It happens also when you’re dreaming—stuff that happens in your dreams seem plausible […]

Considering Cultural Trends I

Reading Jeremy Rifkin’s excellent and recommended recently published book, The Empathic Civilization, makes an erudite and extensive case for the emergence of a more complex type of consciousness. Recommended! But what occurred to me is that not only is he right, but that also history has been moving towards the emergence of other cultural and […]

Contemplating Entitlement

I addressed the theme of entitlement six years ago, but more needs to be said.     First, this is mainly unconscious, and were I to confront most people, if they didn’t punch me in the nose, they’d look with wide-eyed and sincere bewilderment: “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” After all, entitlement is sometimes […]

Critical Thinking Needed!

We are given so very many ways to think and so many things to think about. (I’ve chosen to not think about an ever-increasing variety of things that I used to feel obliged to think about, but now I’m focusing a bit.) We’ve also begun to be given more ways to think about the ways […]

Dear “Kids” (To mid-life adults!)

What a funny phrase, “kids.”  On one hand, you’re “our” kids, and on the other hand you’ve moved through young-adulthood, career development, parenting, and are now middle aged!  You have kids!  But what else should we call you?!  I still hear the verse from the song, “Sunrise, Sunset” from the 1960s hit Broadway Musical, Fiddler […]

Deconstructing Multi-Perspectival-ness

(…or is it multi-perspectival-osity? I mean, can you just make up words like that?) The scene opens at an unnamed university, not in a secret bunker under a mountain, but right out in the open looking like a normal college campus. Zoom in on one nice-looking building, into a window in which a nice looking […]

Diagnosis and Therapy in Psychiatry

As the American Psychiatric Association has now come out with their fifth revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual—the DSM-5—a number of controversies have arisen. My critique aims at a fairly basic theme: Should we think of all psychiatric disorders as a unitary category, or might they be as different as, say, skin rashes or […]

Disney Getting Metaphysical?

The Walt Disney Corporation apparently has sponsored this song about the way we’re all in this together, a song, “One Everything.” (It is sung by the group, They Might be Giants.” The implications are significant: If it is indeed so that we are part of an “Everything” (and Spinoza equated this mind-boggling idea with God), […]

Disruptive Technologies—Photographs?

My son David told me about "disruptive technologies”—automobiles disrupt horseback or horse-drawn travel; telegraphy disrupted handwritten letters somewhat, and in turn this was disrupted in turn by telephones, emails, cell phones. In the past knights wearing armor disrupted attacks by archers: The armor deflected arrows—at least crossbow arrows. Cannons disrupted walls, and armor. As we […]

Don’t Watch It—Do It!

The number of screens is multiplying—movies, television, hand-held electronic devices, e-books, computer “games”—all “shadows on the wall,” illusions seductively fashioned to offer a hyper-reality, “bigger than life,” more wonderful than anything puny you could actually do yourselves. You can partake of this far more excellent world while in fact in your actual body-mind turning into […]

Drama Therapy and Psychodrama: How They Belong

Last month I responded to an email announcing a workshop for psychodramatists and other creative arts therapists titled “Where Do I Belong?" I wrote: You belong in the ranks of the cultural creatives, those seeking to help promote the transformation of consciousness on this planet. We’re at a tipping point of learning how to re-integrate […]

E-Journals: The Coming Thing

I  received an email from a friend in Turkey—the country—they spell it Turkiye —where they write in Roman letters—about their e-journal. This reminded me of  the idea of an  e-journal itself, which may easily outstrip the idea of the printed journal within a decade. In some ways, I regret this, because I was a "book-hound" […]


Have you noticed? Other people let you down, clearly because they don’t care for you enough to really try! But this is mistaken often because: (1) we believe they should try. (The idea that they don’t care is too far to be considered a possibility). Or maybe (2) they are trying but can’t (the idea […]


A recent “Hi & Lois” comic strip struck home! Could it be that there are many people with less intelligence, vocabulary, and correspondingly more entitlement to their own prejudices who are inclined to condemn offhandedly anyone with more critical thinking as “elitist?” For example, consider this exchange: … and his office mate replies: … so, […]

Embarking Into Philosophy

I have a young friend who is interested and asked me about what to read. This challenged me to think of how to respond. Philosophy, after all, is a very broad game. I think the key is to be found in a phrase used by one of my favorite philosophers, Alfred North Whitehead (1865 – […]