Thursday, January 23, 2020

The Divided Brain - Part II

Okay, so the US Democrats are hell bent on impeaching President Trump.  Australia is burning while Prime Minister Scott Morrison does a good imitation of Nero fiddling around while Rome burned. This is happening while the US and Australian stock markets are going up, up, up which makes one wonder if there is any correlation at all between what is happening in the real world and that of any stock market anywhere is reporting.  And to step up the chaos, President Trump has just recently signed a bill guaranteeing the rights of American students to pray in public schools during school hours whenever the students feel the need.  


This will consolidate already existing religious tensions. I’ve been against the impeachment of Trump on two grounds, one, in my opinion there are no clear charges of a crime worthy of impeachment and secondly, if Trump is removed from office Mike Pence would immediately become president. Pence is a true believer in the second coming (of Christ returning to earth) and a staunch warmonger. Margaret Atwood in her novel The Handmaid’s Tale, may have dreamed up (or forecast) a political scenario more possible than she realized.


In my opinion Donald Trump could be described as a religion pimp in that he trades on the communal bodies of religious people for political gain. I don’t think he cares about religion himself, only how to use it, how to weaponize it in order to manipulate religious people of all faiths. Trump sends death and devastation to those Muslims he doesn’t like, such as the long suffering Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank while extending loving arms to the princes in the land  of the Wahhabis in  Saudi Arabia. Wahhabism is the most extreme form of Islam, the form that stones adulterous women to death, cuts off hands for stealing, beheads and even crucifies people for a multitude of acts deemed to insult the prophet, and of course kills people and chops them up for acts considered to be treasonous. So I’ve changed my mind, I think Trump should be impeached and not for the unprovable misdemeanors he has been accused of, but for a real crime…that of deliberately creating disorder and possible rioting in the American public school systems.  


I think our world leaders, but especially the ones I know, or know of, are mostly thinking with only one side of their brains.  Which brings me again to Dr. Ian McGilchrist, the author of The Master and His Emissary. McGilchrist is a world authority in neuroscience. His book begins with elementary stuff that you probably studied in school and have long forgotten. But you probably do remember that the brain is divided into two parts, a right side and a left side, and that the sides are asymmetrical. Gilchrist instructs us that the two sides work together even though each side is  constructed to better handle certain functions than the other, that is, one side is best handling word problems for instance, or language, the other images, but the two divided sides also stand in opposition to each other.  And it is in this tension between the two different sides of the brain that our decisions are made and of course this is also where our creativity is fostered. Where humans make and remake ourselves, and in so doing, also make our collective decisions that in turn makes and remakes civilizations. But what does this tension actually consist of?  And how do the two different sides talk to each other? Next time.


January 23rd, 2020

Art by Sandusky

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