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Interesting read: Dubya from a shrink's POV

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  • Interesting read: Dubya from a shrink's POV

    I stumbled upon this interesting read while doing a Google for something else. It was written almost exactly two years ago, but I thought it was interesting to read this in light of some of the reactions and behaviors of Bush family members in recent days. Most of it seems pretty spot-on.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/...033904,00.html

    So George, how do you feel about your mom and dad?

    Psychologist Oliver James analyses the behaviour of the American president

    Tuesday September 2, 2003
    The Guardian

    As the alcoholic George Bush approached his 40th birthday in 1986, he had achieved nothing he could call his own. He was all too aware that none of his educational and professional accomplishments would have occured without his father. He felt so low that he did not care if he lived or died. Taking a friend out for a flight in a Cessna aeroplane, it only became apparent he had not flown one before when they nearly crashed on take-off. Narrowly avoiding stalling a few times, they crash-landed and the friend breathed a sigh of relief - only for Bush to rev up the engine and take off again.

    Not long afterwards, staring at his vomit-spattered face in the mirror, this dangerously self-destructive man fell to his knees and implored God to help him and became a teetotalling, fundamentalist Christian. David Frum, his speechwriter, described the change: "Sigmund Freud imported the Latin pronoun id to describe the impulsive, carnal, unruly elements of the human personality. [In his youth] Bush's id seems to have been every bit as powerful and destructive as Clinton's id. But sometime in Bush's middle years, his id was captured, shackled and manacled, and locked away."
    One of the jailers was his father. His grandfather, uncles and many cousins attended both his secondary school, Andover, and his university, Yale, but the longest shadow was cast by his father's exceptional careers there.

    On the wall of his school house at Andover, there was a large black-and-white photograph of his father in full sporting regalia. He had been one of the most successful student athletes in the school's 100-year history and was similarly remembered at Yale, where his grandfather was a trustee. His younger brother, Jeb, summed the problem up when he said, "A lot of people who have fathers like this feel a sense that they have failed." Such a titanic figure created mixed feelings. On the one hand, Bush worshipped and aspired to emulate him. Peter Neumann, an Andover roommate, recalls that, "He idolised his father, he was going to be just like his dad." At Yale, a friend remembered a "deep respect" for his father and when he later set up in the oil business, another friend said, "He was focused to prove himself to his dad."

    On the other hand, deep down, Bush had a profound loathing for this perfect model of American citizenship whose very success made the son feel a failure. Rebelliousness was an unconscious attack on him and a desperate attempt to carve out something of his own. Far from paternal emulation, Bush described his goal at school as "to instil a sense of frivolity". Contemporaries at Yale say he was like the John Belushi character in the film Animal House, a drink-fuelled funseeker.

    He was aggressively anti-intellectual and hostile to east-coast preppy types like his father, sometimes cruelly so. On one occasion he walked up to a matronly woman at a smart cocktail party and asked, "So, what's sex like after 50, anyway?"

    A direct and loutish challenge to his father's posh sensibility came aged 25, after he had drunkenly crashed a car. "I hear you're looking for me," he sneered at his father, "do you want to go mano a mano, right here?"

    As he grew older, the fury towards his father was increasingly directed against himself in depressive drinking. But it was not all his father's fault. There was also his insensitive and domineering mother.

    Barbara Bush is described by her closest intimates as prone to "withering stares" and "sharply crystalline" retorts. She is also extremely tough. When he was seven, Bush's younger sister, Robin, died of leukaemia and several independent witnesses say he was very upset by this loss. Barbara claims its effect was exaggerated but nobody could accuse her of overreacting: the day after the funeral, she and her husband were on the golf course.

    She was the main authority-figure in the home. Jeb describes it as having been, "A kind of matriarchy... when we were growing up, dad wasn't at home. Mom was the one to hand out the goodies and the discipline." A childhood friend recalls that,"She was the one who instilled fear", while Bush put it like this: "Every mother has her own style. Mine was a little like an army drill sergeant's... my mother's always been a very outspoken person who vents very well - she'll just let rip if she's got something on her mind." According to his uncle, the "letting rip" often included slaps and hits. Countless studies show that boys with such mothers are at much higher risk of becoming wild, alcoholic or antisocial.

    On top of that, Barbara added substantially to the pressure from his father to be a high achiever by creating a highly competitive family culture. All the children's games, be they tiddlywinks or baseball, were intensely competitive - an actual "family league table" was kept of performance in various pursuits. At least this prepared him for life at Andover, where emotional literacy was definitely not part of the curriculum. Soon after arriving, he was asked to write an essay on a soul-stirring experience in his life to date and he chose the death of his sister. His mother had drilled it into him that it was wrong when writing to repeat words already used. Having employed "tears" once in the essay, he sought a substitute from a thesaurus she had given him and wrote "the lacerates ran down my cheeks". The essay received a fail grade, accompanied by derogatory comments such as "disgraceful".

    This incident may be an insight into Bush's strange tendency to find the wrong words in making public pronouncements. "Is our children learning?" he once famously asked. On responding to critics of his intellect he claimed that they had "misunderestimated" him. Perhaps these verbal faux-pas are a barely unconscious way of winding up his bullying mother and waving two fingers at his cultured father's sensibility.

    The outcome of this childhood was what psychologists call an authoritarian personality. Authoritarianism was identified shortly after the second world war as part of research to discover the causes of fascism. As the name suggests, authoritarians impose the strictest possible discipline on themselves and others - the sort of regime found in today's White House, where prayers precede daily business, appointments are scheduled in five-minute blocks, women's skirts must be below the knee and Bush rises at 5.45am, invariably fitting in a 21-minute, three-mile jog before lunch.

    Authoritarian personalities are organised around rabid hostility to "legitimate" targets, often ones nominated by their parents' prejudices. Intensely moralistic, they direct it towards despised social groups. As people, they avoid introspection or loving displays, preferring toughness and cynicism. They regard others with suspicion, attributing ulterior motives to the most innocent behaviour. They are liable to be superstitious. All these traits have been described in Bush many times, by friends or colleagues.

    His moralism is all-encompassing and as passionate as can be. He plans to replace state welfare provision with faith-based charitable organisations that would impose Christian family values.

    The commonest targets of authoritarians have been Jews, blacks and homosexuals. Bush is anti-abortion and his fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible would mean that gay practices are evil. But perhaps the group he reserves his strongest contempt for are those who have adopted the values of the 60s. He says he loathes "people who felt guilty about their lot in life because others were suffering".

    He has always rejected any kind of introspection. Everyone who knows him well says how hard he is to get to know, that he lives behind what one friend calls a "facile, personable" facade. Frum comments that, "He is relentlessly disciplined and very slow to trust. Even when his mouth seems to be smiling at you, you can feel his eyes watching you."

    His deepest beliefs amount to superstition. "Life takes its own turns," he says, "writes its own story and along the way we start to realise that we are not the author." God's will, not his own, explains his life.

    Most fundamentalist Christians have authoritarian personalities. Two core beliefs separate fundamentalists from mere evangelists ("happy-clappy" Christians) or the mainstream Presbyterians among whom Bush first learned religion every Sunday with his parents: fundamentalists take the Bible absolutely literally as the word of God and believe that human history will come to an end in the near future, preceded by a terrible, apocaplytic battle on Earth between the forces of good and evil, which only the righteous shall survive. According to Frum when Bush talks of an "axis of evil" he is identifying his enemies as literally satanic, possessed by the devil. Whether he specifically sees the battle with Iraq and other "evil" nations as being part of the end-time, the apocalypse preceding the day of judgment, is not known. Nor is it known whether Tony Blair shares these particular religious ideas.

    However, it is certain that however much Bush may sometimes seem like a buffoon, he is also powered by massive, suppressed anger towards anyone who challenges the extreme, fanatical beliefs shared by him and a significant slice of his citizens - in surveys, half of them also agree with the statement "the Bible is the actual word of God and is to be taken literally, word for word".

    Bush's deep hatred, as well as love, for both his parents explains how he became a reckless rebel with a death wish. He hated his father for putting his whole life in the shade and for emotionally blackmailing him. He hated his mother for physically and mentally badgering him to fulfil her wishes. But the hatred also explains his radical transformation into an authoritarian fundamentalist. By totally identifying with an extreme version of their strict, religion-fuelled beliefs, he jailed his rebellious self. From now on, his unconscious hatred for them was channelled into a fanatical moral crusade to rid the world of evil.

    As Frum put it: "Id-control is the basis of Bush's presidency but Bush is a man of fierce anger." That anger now rules the world.
    “I’ve always stated, ‘I’m a Missouri Tiger,’” Anderson said March 13 after Arkansas fired John Pelphrey, adding, “I’m excited about what’s taking place here.”

    Asked then if he would talk to his players about the situation, he said, “They know me, and that’s where the trust comes in.

  • #2
    Hey Rasshole, where ya been bud?

    How come you showed your ugly ass just after a major national disaster?
    When you say to your neighbor, "We're having a loud party on Saturday night if that's alright with you," what you really mean is, "We're having a loud party on Saturday night."

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by WinstonSmith@Sep 7 2005, 09:03 PM
      Hey Rasshole, where ya been bud?

      How come you showed your ugly ass just after a major national disaster?
      Wasn't really necessary now was it?

      "Can't buy what I want because it's free...
      Can't buy what I want because it's free..."
      -- Pearl Jam, from the single Corduroy

      Comment


      • #4
        I've seen this before but no one's ever sourced it for me.

        Surely this guy didn't have access to the Bush family household 50 years ago...so where'd he get all that history?

        Anyone know?
        "It would have been difficult for us to discuss it with his dick in my mouth, so evidently I don't know him that well."

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by *007*+Sep 7 2005, 09:07 PM-->
          QUOTE(*007* @ Sep 7 2005, 09:07 PM)

        • #6
          Originally posted by Razzy@Sep 7 2005, 06:42 PM
          I stumbled upon this interesting read while doing a Google for something else. It was written almost exactly two years ago, but I thought it was interesting to read this in light of some of the reactions and behaviors of Bush family members in recent days. Most of it seems pretty spot-on.

          http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/...033904,00.html

          So George, how do you feel about your mom and dad?

          Psychologist Oliver James analyses the behaviour of the American president

          Tuesday September 2, 2003
          The Guardian

          As the alcoholic George Bush approached his 40th birthday in 1986, he had achieved nothing he could call his own. He was all too aware that none of his educational and professional accomplishments would have occured without his father. He felt so low that he did not care if he lived or died. Taking a friend out for a flight in a Cessna aeroplane, it only became apparent he had not flown one before when they nearly crashed on take-off. Narrowly avoiding stalling a few times, they crash-landed and the friend breathed a sigh of relief - only for Bush to rev up the engine and take off again.

          Not long afterwards, staring at his vomit-spattered face in the mirror, this dangerously self-destructive man fell to his knees and implored God to help him and became a teetotalling, fundamentalist Christian. David Frum, his speechwriter, described the change: "Sigmund Freud imported the Latin pronoun id to describe the impulsive, carnal, unruly elements of the human personality. [In his youth] Bush's id seems to have been every bit as powerful and destructive as Clinton's id. But sometime in Bush's middle years, his id was captured, shackled and manacled, and locked away."
          One of the jailers was his father. His grandfather, uncles and many cousins attended both his secondary school, Andover, and his university, Yale, but the longest shadow was cast by his father's exceptional careers there.

          On the wall of his school house at Andover, there was a large black-and-white photograph of his father in full sporting regalia. He had been one of the most successful student athletes in the school's 100-year history and was similarly remembered at Yale, where his grandfather was a trustee. His younger brother, Jeb, summed the problem up when he said, "A lot of people who have fathers like this feel a sense that they have failed." Such a titanic figure created mixed feelings. On the one hand, Bush worshipped and aspired to emulate him. Peter Neumann, an Andover roommate, recalls that, "He idolised his father, he was going to be just like his dad." At Yale, a friend remembered a "deep respect" for his father and when he later set up in the oil business, another friend said, "He was focused to prove himself to his dad."

          On the other hand, deep down, Bush had a profound loathing for this perfect model of American citizenship whose very success made the son feel a failure. Rebelliousness was an unconscious attack on him and a desperate attempt to carve out something of his own. Far from paternal emulation, Bush described his goal at school as "to instil a sense of frivolity". Contemporaries at Yale say he was like the John Belushi character in the film Animal House, a drink-fuelled funseeker.

          He was aggressively anti-intellectual and hostile to east-coast preppy types like his father, sometimes cruelly so. On one occasion he walked up to a matronly woman at a smart cocktail party and asked, "So, what's sex like after 50, anyway?"

          A direct and loutish challenge to his father's posh sensibility came aged 25, after he had drunkenly crashed a car. "I hear you're looking for me," he sneered at his father, "do you want to go mano a mano, right here?"

          As he grew older, the fury towards his father was increasingly directed against himself in depressive drinking. But it was not all his father's fault. There was also his insensitive and domineering mother.

          Barbara Bush is described by her closest intimates as prone to "withering stares" and "sharply crystalline" retorts. She is also extremely tough. When he was seven, Bush's younger sister, Robin, died of leukaemia and several independent witnesses say he was very upset by this loss. Barbara claims its effect was exaggerated but nobody could accuse her of overreacting: the day after the funeral, she and her husband were on the golf course.

          She was the main authority-figure in the home. Jeb describes it as having been, "A kind of matriarchy... when we were growing up, dad wasn't at home. Mom was the one to hand out the goodies and the discipline." A childhood friend recalls that,"She was the one who instilled fear", while Bush put it like this: "Every mother has her own style. Mine was a little like an army drill sergeant's... my mother's always been a very outspoken person who vents very well - she'll just let rip if she's got something on her mind." According to his uncle, the "letting rip" often included slaps and hits. Countless studies show that boys with such mothers are at much higher risk of becoming wild, alcoholic or antisocial.

          On top of that, Barbara added substantially to the pressure from his father to be a high achiever by creating a highly competitive family culture. All the children's games, be they tiddlywinks or baseball, were intensely competitive - an actual "family league table" was kept of performance in various pursuits. At least this prepared him for life at Andover, where emotional literacy was definitely not part of the curriculum. Soon after arriving, he was asked to write an essay on a soul-stirring experience in his life to date and he chose the death of his sister. His mother had drilled it into him that it was wrong when writing to repeat words already used. Having employed "tears" once in the essay, he sought a substitute from a thesaurus she had given him and wrote "the lacerates ran down my cheeks". The essay received a fail grade, accompanied by derogatory comments such as "disgraceful".

          This incident may be an insight into Bush's strange tendency to find the wrong words in making public pronouncements. "Is our children learning?" he once famously asked. On responding to critics of his intellect he claimed that they had "misunderestimated" him. Perhaps these verbal faux-pas are a barely unconscious way of winding up his bullying mother and waving two fingers at his cultured father's sensibility.

          The outcome of this childhood was what psychologists call an authoritarian personality. Authoritarianism was identified shortly after the second world war as part of research to discover the causes of fascism. As the name suggests, authoritarians impose the strictest possible discipline on themselves and others - the sort of regime found in today's White House, where prayers precede daily business, appointments are scheduled in five-minute blocks, women's skirts must be below the knee and Bush rises at 5.45am, invariably fitting in a 21-minute, three-mile jog before lunch.

          Authoritarian personalities are organised around rabid hostility to "legitimate" targets, often ones nominated by their parents' prejudices. Intensely moralistic, they direct it towards despised social groups. As people, they avoid introspection or loving displays, preferring toughness and cynicism. They regard others with suspicion, attributing ulterior motives to the most innocent behaviour. They are liable to be superstitious. All these traits have been described in Bush many times, by friends or colleagues.

          His moralism is all-encompassing and as passionate as can be. He plans to replace state welfare provision with faith-based charitable organisations that would impose Christian family values.

          The commonest targets of authoritarians have been Jews, blacks and homosexuals. Bush is anti-abortion and his fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible would mean that gay practices are evil. But perhaps the group he reserves his strongest contempt for are those who have adopted the values of the 60s. He says he loathes "people who felt guilty about their lot in life because others were suffering".

          He has always rejected any kind of introspection. Everyone who knows him well says how hard he is to get to know, that he lives behind what one friend calls a "facile, personable" facade. Frum comments that, "He is relentlessly disciplined and very slow to trust. Even when his mouth seems to be smiling at you, you can feel his eyes watching you."

          His deepest beliefs amount to superstition. "Life takes its own turns," he says, "writes its own story and along the way we start to realise that we are not the author." God's will, not his own, explains his life.

          Most fundamentalist Christians have authoritarian personalities. Two core beliefs separate fundamentalists from mere evangelists ("happy-clappy" Christians) or the mainstream Presbyterians among whom Bush first learned religion every Sunday with his parents: fundamentalists take the Bible absolutely literally as the word of God and believe that human history will come to an end in the near future, preceded by a terrible, apocaplytic battle on Earth between the forces of good and evil, which only the righteous shall survive. According to Frum when Bush talks of an "axis of evil" he is identifying his enemies as literally satanic, possessed by the devil. Whether he specifically sees the battle with Iraq and other "evil" nations as being part of the end-time, the apocalypse preceding the day of judgment, is not known. Nor is it known whether Tony Blair shares these particular religious ideas.

          However, it is certain that however much Bush may sometimes seem like a buffoon, he is also powered by massive, suppressed anger towards anyone who challenges the extreme, fanatical beliefs shared by him and a significant slice of his citizens - in surveys, half of them also agree with the statement "the Bible is the actual word of God and is to be taken literally, word for word".

          Bush's deep hatred, as well as love, for both his parents explains how he became a reckless rebel with a death wish. He hated his father for putting his whole life in the shade and for emotionally blackmailing him. He hated his mother for physically and mentally badgering him to fulfil her wishes. But the hatred also explains his radical transformation into an authoritarian fundamentalist. By totally identifying with an extreme version of their strict, religion-fuelled beliefs, he jailed his rebellious self. From now on, his unconscious hatred for them was channelled into a fanatical moral crusade to rid the world of evil.

          As Frum put it: "Id-control is the basis of Bush's presidency but Bush is a man of fierce anger." That anger now rules the world.
          If that crap was music, it'd be a symphony....

          "Can't buy what I want because it's free...
          Can't buy what I want because it's free..."
          -- Pearl Jam, from the single Corduroy

          Comment


          • #7
            Oh my, fuck, this shit is hilarious.

            We can't beat him at the polls, so let's bring in Dr. Phil on acid to make us feel better.

            Best Post of the Year.

            Razzy:

            Did you breast feed as a lad?

            Or was it the playground beatings that fucked up your psyche?

            I thought you were supposed to get your act together during your hiatus.

            Something tells me your therapist doesn't have access to this site.

            If so, he/she would be very upset.

            Comment


            • #8
              I remember many years ago a piece was published with the title "Why the President Can't Think" or something like that.

              It was a psychological profile on Bill Clinton. Went into his childhood, relationship with his mother, etc.

              oh, excuse me.

              Anyway, It's getting hard to keep track of which "real American heroes" are on a hot streak and which ones are on a cold streak.

              The important thing is to keep score.

              And the letter in parentheses right after the name is critical.

              Most definitely.

              Comment


              • #9
                Check that. The title was "Can the President Think" - the author was Edith Efron - and the publication was Reason (normally a pretty good rag).

                http://reason.com/9411/fe.efron.9411.shtml

                Comment


                • #10
                  Originally posted by WinstonSmith@Sep 7 2005, 09:03 PM
                  Hey Rasshole, where ya been bud?

                  How come you showed your ugly ass just after a major national disaster?
                  Winston,

                  I have been doing other things. I was hoping that during my time away, you would have moved up higher on the food chain. But as I have been reading your posts on here directed at me, I can plainly see that you are still the #1 douchebag here.
                  “I’ve always stated, ‘I’m a Missouri Tiger,’” Anderson said March 13 after Arkansas fired John Pelphrey, adding, “I’m excited about what’s taking place here.”

                  Asked then if he would talk to his players about the situation, he said, “They know me, and that’s where the trust comes in.

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    That would be #1 right behind you.

                    Take care, big guy and make sure you keep your flashlight loaeded in case the Baptists come after ya.
                    When you say to your neighbor, "We're having a loud party on Saturday night if that's alright with you," what you really mean is, "We're having a loud party on Saturday night."

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Originally posted by The Skeptic@Sep 7 2005, 09:30 PM
                      Oh my, fuck, this shit is hilarious.

                      We can't beat him at the polls, so let's bring in Dr. Phil on acid to make us feel better.

                      Best Post of the Year.

                      Razzy:

                      Did you breast feed as a lad?

                      Or was it the playground beatings that fucked up your psyche?

                      I thought you were supposed to get your act together during your hiatus.

                      Something tells me your therapist doesn't have access to this site.

                      If so, he/she would be very upset.
                      Skeptic,

                      I didnt expect you to understand it. Some of the words are large and profound, and require a dictionary. <_<
                      “I’ve always stated, ‘I’m a Missouri Tiger,’” Anderson said March 13 after Arkansas fired John Pelphrey, adding, “I’m excited about what’s taking place here.”

                      Asked then if he would talk to his players about the situation, he said, “They know me, and that’s where the trust comes in.

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        Originally posted by Razzy+Sep 7 2005, 09:52 PM-->
                        QUOTE(Razzy @ Sep 7 2005, 09:52 PM)

                      • #14
                        Originally posted by King@Sep 7 2005, 09:33 PM
                        Check that. The title was "Can the President Think" - the author was Edith Efron - and the publication was Reason (normally a pretty good rag).

                        http://reason.com/9411/fe.efron.9411.shtml
                        King,

                        That was a real long-ass article that I was only able to skim. I guess Americans have an affinity for damaged, neurotic presidents <_<
                        “I’ve always stated, ‘I’m a Missouri Tiger,’” Anderson said March 13 after Arkansas fired John Pelphrey, adding, “I’m excited about what’s taking place here.”

                        Asked then if he would talk to his players about the situation, he said, “They know me, and that’s where the trust comes in.

                        Comment


                        • #15
                          Originally posted by *007*+Sep 7 2005, 09:55 PM-->
                          QUOTE(*007* @ Sep 7 2005, 09:55 PM)
                          Originally posted by [email protected] 7 2005, 09:52 PM
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