Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Meshuggenosis: 21st Century Neurosis

Originally posted on April 1, 2012

(Meshugginah: Yiddish word for crazy. Maybe just eccentric.)
My grandkids will not be neurotic in the way their grandparents were, products (so it was thought) of the parenting of their parents. We were scolded too much or not enough, given too much freedom or not enough. Always the analysts—the arbiters of blame—could find a problem with the parents. Joke funny in the 1950s: “Mine son the doctor goes to see a psych-in-alist, and pays tventy-dollars, a fortune! Anflusteredfashiond vot does he talk about? (Smiling proudly) Me!”

My kids (bless their hearts) are great parents. If their kids are messed up, it won’t be because they were less than perfect. But the culture! Oy! You’d have to be crazy not to be driven crazy!

Diagnoses for the 21st century: Overchoice—too many options for not just clothes, but surgery, chemotherapy, and everything else! A Culture of Maximal Discontent: Look at all you aren’t that “everybody else” (it seems are) or have, do, wear, achieve. (Of course the image is a composite of all the victories and none of the prices paid, the time and money and energy devoted, and the reality that one person couldn’t begin to do or be all that.) Unrealistic Expectations. Straight A’s. Enuff said.

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