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Caring is not helping

bellcurve of caring vs helping

My mother taught special ed for years and years. She said you could tell when a volunteer was going to wash out in the first week, because she’d be all, “oh, the poor darlings!” You have to be able to make retard jokes to hack it in the retard biz.

Me, I tend to be pretty far over in the boo-hoo end of the scale. “Well, isn’t that special, Princess,” I says to myself, “you care too much to help. We call that: FAIL.” So I make myself do whatever half-assed stuff I can manage, like give blood or visit the pussoes. Then I go home and drink. I’m Mama’s special little throbbing raw nerve ending.

I have huge admiration for the people who shovel the world’s shit for a living. Doctors and nurses. Soldiers. Cops. There’s a reason all the hardest professions have a reputation for black humor: it’s the only way they can bear to do what they do. And it’s awfully easy to slip off the tippy top of that bell curve into one of the unhelpful places on either side.

I got here thinking about Ingrid Newkirk, wondering if she started out okay and went batshit insane staring into the abyss. I don’t think so. There’s another kind of person that thrives in dark places: the kind for whom misery is like oxygen. Doctors, as a class, have given the world more than their fair share of serial killers.

Sometimes I think only religious people should tackle the hard jobs. Specifically, religions which teach of an afterlife (or a future life) chock full of justice. Or retribution. At the very least, a damn good reason why things have to be the way they are.


Comment from porknbean
Time: August 6, 2008, 4:54 pm

I’m more on the end of ‘shit happens’, now what are we going to do to try to take those lemons and make lemonade.

I taught retards, related to a retard, and befriended many bordering on retard. Nicest, simplest, folk you would ever meet. (Many with much more common sense than some considered ‘normal’.) But if they use their retard status as an excuse for sympathy or to weasel out of ‘trying’, I don’t buy that sh*t. If they do something stereotypical retarded, I call them on it gently, or tell ’em to knock it off, or redirect to a more positive behavior. Goofy crap, that draws attention or scares small children, doesn’t cut it out in real life.
Did I use black humor to get through it? Sure, because some things were just damned funny.

I can empathize with their hurdles, but coddling and sympathy I won’t give. That is life. It is beautiful and it is cruel, so you make the best of what you are given, and be happy it isn’t worse.

I cringe everytime I see my dad do everything for my brother because 1. it is going to make my life harder later when dad croaks off. I’m going to be too old to care for my bro like a cripple. He’s Downs. He may be slow, but he isn’t an idiot. 2. What an adjustment he will have to make when his personal butler (dad) croaks off.
He knows he is different. He wants to be like everyone else. It is cruel to not give him the skillz he needs to become as independent as possible.

Now psychology/psychiatry, I could never do. It would be like having to read an Oprah Winfrey selection everyday. I don’t have the patience for what I see as a lot of problems that can be solved via a good kick in the rump or finding a purpose in life or having a good laugh.


Comment from Farmer Joe
Time: August 6, 2008, 5:10 pm

I always figured I couldn’t be a cop or a doctor or a paramedic or something is because everyone you’d be dealing with is pretty much having the worst day of their life. I don’t think I could last very long with that.

Comment from Lemur King
Time: August 6, 2008, 5:32 pm

Well Weas, for what it’s worth I think that just like sometimes people are *born* evil, some are just born batshit. Like their wiring is all FUBAR’ed from the git-go. Same with Newkirk.

Thank God for people like my brother (cop) and people that do EMT work… was first on a scene where a guy was pinned to the railroad tracks. He went through the windshield then crawled around the truck and got stuck. I discovered then that there are some things I could never do.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: August 6, 2008, 6:03 pm

I’m just not up to it. I’m not proud of that. Lots of people who were up to it in my family (doctors, nurses, soldiers). Call me Nancy. It’s not my name, you understand, but you can call me that.

PnB, I read a book about the kids of psychiatrists once (yes, I are). One of them became a pshrink himself. He said there were many, many days he wanted to reach across his desk, grab his clients by the lapels, shake them hard and yell, “oh, just get the hell over it, you whiner!”


Comment from Matt
Time: August 6, 2008, 6:16 pm

Never trust anyone for whom the words, “Then I go home and drink” don’t ring familiar.

I wouldn’t worry too much Weasel — as someone with one of those jobs (at least on some days), I can tell you that you are just being more honest than most people. You never really leave the office unscathed, if you’re lucky you have something/one to go home to. If someone is arrogant enough to think they can do better than that you just burn out and go nuts.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: August 6, 2008, 6:23 pm

Matt, whatever shitty thing you do every few days, thanks. You free up arty alcoholic wastrels like me to draw pictures of cats.

If that isn’t worthwhile, I don’t know what is.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: August 6, 2008, 6:50 pm

Oh, and LK? One of my uncles was a psychologist in the penal system in Louisiana. Not a religious bone in his body, and he sure as shit believed in evil.

Probably the darkest human being on the planet (and one of my favorite writers) is Theodore Dalrymple, pen name of a psychiatrist(?) who worked for the British penal system.

People in a position to know believe in evil. That should count for something (and scare the hell out of us).

Comment from porknbean
Time: August 6, 2008, 8:28 pm

“oh, just get the hell over it, you whiner!”

Ding, ding, ding!

LOVE Theodore Dalrymple! He has a new book coming out in October called, ‘Not With a Bang but a Whimper: The Politics and Culture of Decline’.
All of the chapters from his other books can be found at city-journal.com.

At the very least, a damn good reason why things have to be the way they are.

They don’t. Some things are just the inevitableness of life. Stuff happens. Asshats given the wheels of power, plus apathy, political correctness, loss of a moral compass – call it religion if you want, and ‘tolerance’ for the intolerant, have blown the brakes off the bus, the guard rails off the road, the filter out of the pool.

Comment from porknbean
Time: August 6, 2008, 8:30 pm

Dang it, tried to fool akismet, but he was on to me…er…HALLOOOO…*feeling around looking for the lights*

Oh shit, what just ran over my foot?

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: August 6, 2008, 9:06 pm

Oh Sorry PnB – didn’t see you there.

Comment from wendyworn
Time: August 6, 2008, 9:20 pm

when I was growing up, my parents sent me to psychologists a couple of times. They would see me for a couple of sessions and then say they couldn’t find anything really wrong with me. Turns out the rest of the family was screwed up! Hmmmm….

Comment from Jill
Time: August 6, 2008, 9:42 pm

Free-range threads: http://mydarndog.com/ read about Badly Behaving Badger 🙂

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: August 7, 2008, 2:00 am

Huh! That weren’t no badger.

Comment from Lemur King
Time: August 7, 2008, 10:37 am

pnb and Weas…

Man, “darkest person on the earth”? What does this Theo Dalrymple write anyway? “How to BBQ Live Puppies” or “A Tuxedo for an Execution”?

I’ll go check out the links you mentioned, pnb.

I can imagine some pretty damned dark people. Like that sick **** of a (almost) human being that kept his daughter penned up for years, or those family members that would snack on their still-living kid. You can’t (or shouldn’t) make this stuff up.

Comment from Surly Ermine
Time: August 7, 2008, 10:43 am

Anyone who does not believe in the existence of evil must be living in one hell of a fantasy world. Booze and head trama aside how do I get a ticket? Just watching the local news gets me all misty-eyed. To think these sick bastards who shoot, cripple, molest and kill other humans including kids are living in my back yard makes me wanna huddle the family, board the windows and load the Mossberg.

Comment from Matt
Time: August 9, 2008, 9:05 pm

The kitty pictures help, but as I’ve said before I can watch the galloping weasel animation (the one up yonder) for a long time. For some reason I find it extremely therapeutic. Maybe I can get my doctor to prescribe a real one for me — I wonder if my insurance will cover it?

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