23 November 2016

Happy Bloody Thanksgiving!

The latest thing in journalism and sociology on the eve of Thanksgiving is writing ‘survival guides’ for dealing with relations who may not share your political beliefs. This isn't anything new, but after this election, many familial relationships are turning fratricidal.

What I mean is that people are being threatened with hellfire, being disinherited, having their college money pulled and things of that nature. This is really getting sick and the country is getting sicker by the day. Thankfully (ha!), I won’t have that issue this Thanksgiving as my wife, my son and I are in total agreement.

After dipping my toe in enough political talk on Facebook, I’ve had enough. I will enjoy my bubble of personal friends and acquaintances while keeping my eye on the Trumpsters through the Internet. Life is too short to argue with intractable hateful people.
Just try not to think about it

Anyway, so I had a Thanksgiving family memory to share. I call it ‘Thanksgiving 1975: The Year of Blood on the Turkey.’

It started out as a usual Thanksgiving. Mom was struggling with the whole turkey dinner and tension was growing between her and dad. This happened for many reasons. The first was that my mother was a failed cook in the eye of my dad’s mom, who could create the greatest feasts known to man and boy I miss them.
Not our family

Mom had a tendency of boiling everything which accounts for my dislike of most vegetables that are good for me: asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts – all boiled to limpness. The smell of such atrocities still makes me retch so my wife has standing orders never to prepare those dishes, well, like my mother.

So my mom would try her best and inevitably fail. WE never said anything but my dad would occasionally offer a small critique here and there, just enough to set mom’s teeth on edge. Inside she knew, she KNEW she was being judged.

Another reason was when my father decided it was time to eat, it was time to eat. However, inevitably, mom wasn’t quite finished with everything and kept rushing back and forth to the table to put the rolls out (inevitably burned), the side dishes, etc. My father would yell “Jeezus Christ, would you please just SIT down already – we’re all (I’m) hungry.”

And, also without fail, the tension would get to my mother by Christmas which would be observed by the annual ritual of her smashing a dish to the kitchen floor and screaming “Merry Christmas God-damn it!”
Yeah! Like this. Except, um, not her.

Well anyway, the tension was so thick this particular Thanksgiving that you could cut it with a knife which was exactly what my father did.

As the former Marine who should know something about using knives started to slice the turkey, he cleanly sliced into his own thumb, going almost to the bone.

Do you remember that old Saturday Night Live bit from the 70s with Julia Child cutting herself spurting fake blood all over the kitchen? Well, that’s pretty much what this looked like except the blood was real.

After this I don’t remember too much except there was a lot of yelling and screaming to get a towel to wrap the thumb in and for mom to drive dad to the ER.

My sister and I sat and looked at the Turkey which looked like it had been freshly butchered except we knew whose blood it was and it was gross.
Gratuitous Sarah Palin turkey photo here

I went off to watch the Cowboys-Lions game and we waited for dad to come home. When he did, he had his entire hand wrapped with a metal splint to keep the thumb in place. He would wear that for week and then spend weeks more squeezing a rubber ball in his hand to get his strength back.

Mom offered to clean off the bloody parts of the turkey and re-heat it but we had long stuffed ourselves on mashed potatoes and rolls and wanted nothing to do with the bloody beast. After all, the blood had now soaked even deeper into the bird.

“Christ Con(nie) just throw the damn thing away,” my father said. Not quite as dramatic as old man Bumpus’s dogs hauling the carcass away but my mother had this look of eternal sadness that was shared by Ralphie’s dad in ‘A Christmas Story.’
You will never know the feeling

It wasn’t her fault, but in her eyes, it was.

And we did not go out for Chinese. At the time there were no Chinese restaurants in Chardon and dad was expecting a big ER bill anyway so he wouldn’t have spent the money.

All in all, it really sucked that year, but I learned my lesson – buy an electric knife and let it do the work for you.
I actually have this exact knife - Parents wedding gift

I hope none of you deal with a Thanksgiving disaster in your life and for God’s sakes, toss the giblets. Who the hell really wants to eat those?

19 November 2016

From my mother on the occasion of my birthday

Hello Mom,

This is about the time of the morning where I would get the call from you - the birthday call.

Every year on my birthday I would get my special birthday wish from you.

The main subject was how difficult your labor was and how my big head had to be slowly extracted from you using forceps (this was 1962, almost medieval conditions).

And how dad had to drive you in the '57 Chevy to the hospital (Lake County East, no Hillcrest until 1967) in the rain, snow, thunder and lightning.

And how the hospital was working on backup electrical generators during my deliver.

Always sounded exciting. I was there, but I don't remember any of it.

I always found it funny the obstetrician that deliver me was Dr. Thanos, whose name is uncomfortably closes to 'thanatos,' Greek for 'death.'

So I came into this world with a lot of sturm and drang but you would always tell me that despite all of it, you were the happiest person in the world when I was born and that you always loved me and always would.

It's been five years since I've gotten that call and frankly I miss it. You were still alive four years ago on my birthday but had lost the ability to communicate. But I knew what you were thinking.

I miss the call. I still in some weird way, wait for it.

I hope that wherever you are (and if anyone could walk in Heaven's front door, it would be you) I hope you're not too disappointed in me and how it all turned out.

And I know you would say "I could never be disappointed in you."

I know.

Sing Sto lat in Heaven for me today mom.

15 November 2016

The Rise of a New Savior

“By their fruits ye shall know them” -- Matthew 7:16-20
White evangelicals were so key for Trump that, had no white evangelicals voted, Clinton would have won in a landslide, 59 percent to 35 percent. – The Washington Post
“I would rather spend countless millennia in Hell than one day in Pat Robertson’s Heaven” – Keith Gottschalk, WJBC-AM, 2003
I think I’m going to Hell.

Wait, I pretty much believe I’m going to Hell and have for some time now.

I was born and raised Roman Catholic; fell out with divorce and tried other faiths and didn’t care for any of them.

Most of what I know is Christianity, either in training or practice. I think Jesus Christ was a pretty righteous dude. His followers are another matter entirely.

But they will see glory and I will be cast into the Lake of Fire™ for things I have done and said – too many here to list.

I’m not sure if Heaven is the place pictured in Monty Python’s ‘Meaning of Life’ where it’s Christmas every day and everyone ‘looks smart and wears a tie.’ Or, if it’s like the images in churches where everyone lolls on clouds all day forever praising God and eating grapes. Either way, it seems rather boring.

I, on the other hand, have always pictured Heaven as the biggest, newest and bestest football stadium. Heaven are all the people sitting in the luxury loges (like Jimmy Falwell and Pat Robertson and Billy or Franklin Graham) the box seats are for the saved who aren’t the Superstars of Christianity (sounds like a late night record offer, I know – 12 original hits, 12 original stars), purgatory people (see, I didn’t forget about the Catholics) are in the cheap seats waiting for a ticket exchange, sort of like the Green Bay Packers season ticket wait list. Those in Hell are divided between working the concession stands and restrooms or serving those in the luxury loges. The babies in limbo get to forever wander the concourses, looking out into the field but they can never go in. They get an occasional beer and hot dog to keep them happy.

Except if you're a Browns fan. 

 As far as being in Hell though, it won’t take much getting used to for me. I’ve worked in the service industry during the holiday season.

But the real reason for this post is this story in The Washington Post:, Hopeful and relieved, conservative white evangelicals see Trump’s win as their own. The writer interviewed a number of people who described how easy it was to cashier in all their moral scruples to vote for Trump. Makes for fascinating, insightful reading and causes me to reflect on my experiences with Christianity.

If honesty is going to get you into Heaven, this guy might make it to the big box:

“People wanted to vote for Hillary because they’re like, ‘Trump is a bigot.’ He is! But Hillary is 10 times worse,” (Cornerstone Church member) Scott Risvold said, sitting on an overstuffed couch in the lobby at Cornerstone Chapel, 45 minutes early for the Wednesday night worship service.

I admire that, I really do. The only thing he didn’t say was what Hillary was 10 times worser at. But that’s probably because that libtard journalist wouldn’t put that in there.

“Every church is going to be influenced by the culture,” (Cornerstone Church Pastor) Hamrick said. “The issue becomes, will the church rise up and become an influencer of the culture?”

Good God man, you’ve only had 2,000 years to do it and had a stranglehold on public morals for many centuries of those. Maybe that was the reason for God allowing Democrats and Gays, I dunno.

On the opposite couch, (CC member) Rob Cole nodded. “My sister, I just wanted to unfriend her on Facebook today. Because she’s a die-hard Democrat,” he said. Cole told Risvold, who worked in military intelligence before leaving the service last year at 29, about a video he watched online in which a Christian speaker abroad hailed Trump’s victory. “It really makes you feel great to be a Christian,” he said.

So you must be feeling really, really good, since you resisted the temptation to reject the sister sinner (at least for now). And, of course, this was foretold:

“For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.” – Matthew 10:35

OK, I didn’t see anything about brother against sister, but maybe that’s a given. It was in my family anyway.

And, after all, in the first part of that verse, Jesus says:

“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.”

Remember THAT this Thanksgiving.

So, see, Trump is prophecy. I can’t see him riding a pale horse, however. Putin yes, Trump, not so much.

On we go:

That’s how (CC member Rose) Aller, the substitute teacher, felt, too. “There’s been a big attack on our Christian faith. I think Christians took a big stand this time and said we’re going to stand up for our faith.”

That ‘big attack’ was no doubt launched by the same people who brought us The War on Christmas™ Hmmmm. Maybe Python was right and Heaven is a place where every day is Christmas and those who dare to say happy holidays are thrown into The Lake of Fire™
Feelings. . . 

The morning after the election, Aller said, a black second-grader came into her school and declared, “Trump was elected, so we’re moving.” Aller said she responded, “We’re going to miss you. Let me know when your last day is. We’ll throw you a goodbye party.” She says she’s sure the boy knew she was joking.

Har de har har. Of course she knew. She could see his heart!

Hamrick preached Wednesday night about the culture that has bewildered and infuriated evangelicals during the Obama years. “There’s gender confusion. There’s sexual identity confusion — people are inventing words now,” he said in his teaching. Mentioning the pop star Miley Cyrus, he continued: “Pansexual. What do all these words mean?”

I know that new and big words are difficult for you types but remember -- Google is your friend. Unless you consider the Internet the Devil’s Playground™

But hey, VP-in-waiting Mike Pence believes you can pray the gay away (and probably all matter of sexual perversion) and if that doesn’t work there are ways. . . other ways.
Cardinal Biggles. . ..  the RACK!

And finally:

“It’s like every day our morals in America are being chipped away. Now on the radio you can say words you couldn’t say eight years ago,” said Risvold, the military veteran. “The more we go immoral and crazy, and everybody’s feelings count — I feel this and I feel that.”

Yeah, I know how you FEEL man. I just know it. OUR morals are being chipped away. Damn, pretty soon the pastor’s wife (that harlot!) will probably get a tattoo.

And as for feelings, I get ya’. Men shouldn’t have them. They’re supposed to be reserved for the wimmen folk especially at that time of the month where they pay for Eve’s sin. Feelings get us into a lot of trouble. It’s best we keep them inside us.

I dunno, I remember all the Christian folk talking about their feelings that the world was persecuting them. They didn’t want to make that cake for the gay person because it made them feel like sinners. Stuff like that. I guess certain feelings are OK, others aren’t.

Before you join me in the snark fest, remember: these are the people who are going to Heaven. Not me, not you – them, because their bible tells them so, IF they do everything God commands.
Which always confused me during that time I was a Lutheran and was taught that we were saved by Grace Alone™ I wish these Christian churches would get together and come up with an agreed upon way to stay out of hell. I guess no matter what you believe, voting for Donald Trump was a start.
Again, though, I’m confused. Not all the Christian churches supported Trump. Many Christians thought his views and actions were very un-Jesus-like.

But I guess these are not the ‘Evangelical’ Christians, so perhaps they are Fake Christians. I guess that’s a problem: people can call themselves whatever they like and Risvold says that’s a problem.
I looked up the word ‘evangelical.’ Merriam-Webster online says this:

of or relating to a Christian sect or group that stresses the authority of the Bible, the importance of believing that Jesus Christ saved you personally from sin or hell, and the preaching of these beliefs to other people
having or showing very strong and enthusiastic feelings.

It’s funny, I read this article and have been in and out of Christianity all my life and I don’t think Mr. Trump has anything to do with it or evangelicals. I mean, he’s never even talked in tongues. Well, wait, maybe he did.

But the people who claim to be Evangelical Christians are supposed to remain apart from convening with those whose lifestyle is an abomination to the Lord.

But in this case, they cast their lot with the unrepentant sinner because. . . they wanted power; not to protect themselves but for themselves so that they may conquer in the sign of the cross via the U.S. Code and the Supreme Court.

Other Christians have cast their lots with dictators throughout history and it never went well for them.
So we seem to have a dispute, simply enough, between those wanting Trump to use God’s law to trump man’s law. And it seems that some Christians now see the rise of their flawed champion as their golden opportunity to create a world that the Commander in The Handmaid’s Tale would be proud of.

It’s all so confusing. They all seem to be trying to save themselves from perdition by making the rest of us conform to their belief system whether we like it or not. And they believe they have finally found their savior.

This reminds me of something from a long-ago play where these same issues were fought over:

Roper: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law!

More: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?

Roper: I'd cut down every law in England to do that!

More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you — where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast — man's laws, not God's — and if you cut them down — and you're just the man to do it — d'you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake.
A Man for All Seasons

At this point, I’ll vote for the Constitution over the Bible, thanks.

See you in Hell!

11 November 2016

"And the Union workhouses." demanded Scrooge. "Are they still in operation?"

Everyone’s talking Trump and the election and either it’s a new day in America or the doorstep of Armageddon.

I don’t mean to sound crass, but I predicted Trump would win the day he announced – with the caveat: if he really wants it. My wife is witness to that.

I’ve been an American all my life and if there is one thing I do know, I know my people. And they were ready for someone like Trump.

The only thing that surprised me is that any candidate for public office could so shoot themselves in the foot so often and still win. THAT surprised me – a little.

But what it all comes down for me, is a phrase I’ve not heard used in election post-mortems; at least not yet.

The term is ‘compassion fatigue.’ Remember that?
This happened in 2008. Did anything change? Or course not.

It can mean something different to people who care for the disabled but in the popular vernacular, it means “indifference to charitable appeals on behalf of those who are suffering, experienced as a result of the frequency or number of such appeals.”

It was sometime in the latter half of the 1980s when concern for ‘the poor’ in American political discourse was replaced instead, with concern for the middle class. The poor became invisible to the politicians largely because they didn’t vote or contribute campaign cash, and, invisible to many Americans because they were an intractable problem that Lyndon Johnson had failed to solve. So they were done with them. Besides, they kept blocking the sidewalks downtown with their incessant demands for change. 

Remember this song?

Standing in line, marking time
Waiting for the welfare dime
'Cause they can't buy a job
The man in the silk suit hurries by
As he catches the poor old lady's eyes
Just for fun he says, "Get a job."

I remember an interview with Hornsby some time ago where he recounted that a well-coiffed young lady came up to him and said she really loved his song and agreed that ‘those people’ should go out and get a job.

So this has been going on for some time now but primarily under the surface. 

Skipping through a lot of history since then, we can come to the point where the problem with providing people with basic health care reached a critical mass important enough for the political class to do something about it.

But it wasn’t going to be a Canadian or British-style national health care plan, oh no. Because socialism.

But the President said this:

“Millions of our citizens do not now have a full measure of opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health. Millions do not now have protection or security against the economic effects of sickness. The time has arrived for action to help them attain that opportunity and that protection.”

It wasn’t President Obama. Those were the words of Harry Truman who proposed a universal national health insurance plan in, wait for it. . . 1945.

The American Medical Association (AMA) led the charge to shoot it down, of course. Because socialism.

I was amazed that the ugly chimera that came to be known as ‘Obamacare’ actually got as far as it did. Now it will probably be undone.

Because socialism. Because compassion fatigue. Because you’re not gonna give ‘free health care’ to ‘them who didn’t work for/deserve it.’

The rallying cry of compassion fatigue is ‘not with my tax dollars you won’t.’

Health care for the poor? See above.

Pre-natal or contraception services/abortions for women? See above.

Quality school lunch programs and expanded education opportunities for kids from poor families? See above.

Halfway homes for recovering addicts or those released from jail? See above.

A new generation of jet fighters for an expanded war in the Middle East? Whoa, wait, let’s not be hasty here.

Well, you see where I’m going with this. 

But compassion fatigue, over time, does other things to society. It makes us coarser to those less fortunate than us and we begin to believe that’s because these people didn’t take responsibility for themselves or it was God’s will

We begin to lack empathy for each other when we can so cavalierly dismiss their suffering. These people, the poor, the disabled, the disadvantaged, jeez, we’ve been listening to them whine for this and that for decades. We’ve cared enough and paid enough and, gosh darn it, we’ve had it pretty rough too and no one gave us a handout.

Let me speak now for the physically and mentally disabled.

I noticed an attitude of eye rolling when I used to cover city council meetings back in the 90s and early 00’s when the subject of the Americans with Disabilities Act came up. Expensive and ugly ramps we have to build the city engineers said. Parking spaces no one will use. Expensive handicapped restrooms and other modifications to building plans. And yet they want more – can you imagine? My grandmother was in a wheelchair and no one ever built HER a ramp with taxpayer dollars!

Public programs for the mentally ill? Don’t get me started. Ronald Reagan freed the mentally ill from the horrors of institutionalization to the tender mercies of unfunded community care and unaffordable for-profit treatment centers. Why in God’s name do we waste money on people that will add not one dime to the GNP? Now they’re everywhere in public being a nuisance and demanding their rights, just like the cripples. 

Compassion fatigue does horrible things to society.

According to Snopes.com, New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski suffers from arthrogryposis, a condition which limits the movement of joints and is particularly noticeable in Kovaleski's right arm and hand.

You know where I’m going here. You all saw what President Elect Donald Trump did in front of God and everyone. He mocked Kovaleski’s impairment.

Funny, right? And so Presidential
People were, for the most part, shocked. I wasn’t. 

I remember seeing it for the first time on TV and feeling nothing except the inexorable inevitability of historical trends. I knew we would get here, because history.

It’s been a while in coming, but I knew we’d get to the point where a candidate for President would mock the disabled, not to mention all the other groups of people that were mocked.

I thought of my son, an adult with autism. His mother, my mother and I had to fight every step of the way for special services for him in a public school. You would have thought we were stealing the Superintendent’s own money. My son used to get harassed on the playground by other kids. I know because once when I was a playground monitor, it happened right in front of me. 

Other parents made their feelings known at school board meetings that too much money was being spent on ‘special education’ to the detriment of their little achievers, bound for the Ivy League.
And my son did the whole hand flapping phase which brought quite a few disapproving looks in public. I had to take him out of church and many restaurants because I didn’t want anyone to get mad at him for ruining their dinner or service. 

The Clinton campaign not only did a political ad criticizing Trump for mocking the reporter but also an ad from a Republican mom with an autistic son who saw her son in that reporter and was aghast at Trump’s behavior.

I would say about 20 years ago, it would have been enough to sink any candidate, but not now.
You’re kid has autism? Too fucking bad, take care of him, don’t ask for any help from us. Life is tough. And hey, when your kid does that flapping thing, it makes my kid nervous, OK? We shouldn’t have to see that. 

Nope. I wasn’t surprised at all. As I wrote, I know my people all too well.

Many, many disenfranchised groups are stating their fears of this Brave New World of Trumpism this week. So, I will chime in and say I fear for not only my son, but for all the people with physical and mental disorders, including the bipolar, anxiety and depressive illnesses I share with countless others. We are now all on notice that we’re officially ‘in the way.’

It’s time to put all of them back where they came from – to the asylums, the work farms and the institutions -- because no one who is a normal, God-fearing, taxpaying, hard-working American has time or money for that anymore. And that goes for ALL the special snowflake, overly sensitive, social justice warriors too! 
Right, back you go, out of sight, out of mind
Vince Lombardi (who probably would have loved Trump) was famous for saying that fatigue makes cowards of us all. 

I think compassion fatigue makes heartless ghouls of us all – if we let it.

07 November 2016

Psychiatry R Us

I went to see my drug pusher today.

She has a nice office, of course, in a nice building and she has a lot of pretty professional plaques on the wall and a special chair given to her by the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh. And she’s been listed as one of the top psychiatrists in the metro area by Pittsburgh Magazine for at least two years in a row.

And, frankly, she stinks at what she does. And I probably should find (yet) another psychiatrist, but I am so tired of it all.
Maybe she's still practicing?
Today was the day I knew I wasn’t going to get any more help from her than I already am. 

I told her about my ER visit and how, after all the tests, they could find nothing wrong with me. I also told her that since then, things have not been getting better with the reprimand still hanging over my head and a supervisor who gave me a yearly rating guaranteeing between the two personnel actions, that I will not be able to leave this job, even if we want to move.

I made it very clear that the drug regimen is not working.

I made it very clear that the work situation was untenable. 

All she wants to know is whether I’m going to kill myself. And how. And she wondered about my rusting shotgun.

Exasperated, I said, no, I’m not going to kill myself but if I did I know it wouldn’t be with a shotgun that doesn’t work. 
It was Col. Mustard in the bedroom with the bungee cord

Well, how, she asked.

I gave this a few seconds of thought. Drowning myself in the koi pond sounded romantic but I didn’t think she’d buy that.

Um, how about a bungee cord from a doorknob? Seems easy enough, and, like those exercisers you see Ronco pushing at Christmas, they fit over any doorknob anywhere – at home, at work, even in your doctor’s waiting room!
Seriously, I wouldn't kid you

Instead of seeing the humor (hell, no one ever sees the humor, I think they’d rather see you off yourself since it would demonstrate that at least you’re a serious person), she asked me if I had any bungee cords at home.


Yes, seriously.

Doctor, do you want to come over to my house and take all my bungee cords? Because if I ever must bring home something large in my car or move, I’ll have to buy a whole other set.

Words fail me some times. This was not one of those times.

I really think we're making progress here
“Look, while you’re there taking my greasy bungee cords, why don’t you help yourself to all the knives and forks in the kitchen too,” I said. “I mean I don’t mean to be disrespectful (but I did), but there are so, so many things you can use to off yourself, it’s only limited by your own imagination!”

See why I’ve gone through so many, many mental health professionals in my life? 

As for the drug regimen that is clearly no longer working, that seemed to panic her about as much as the phantom bungee cords (I mean seriously, have you even LOOKED at pictures of suicides doctor? I could show you a few sites. . .).

Her solution was to double down and prescribe more of the same, which we did six months ago. 
Happy happy happy happy

Yes, if it’s clearly not working, let’s do much more of the same.

With that kind of thinking, I think she has a clear shot to be the next general manager of the Cleveland Browns.

As for the job, her solution was quite novel.

“I just think you need to find a different way of thinking about your job,” she said. 

I am seriously not kidding. 

And that’s when I knew it was game over.

You see, I think my psychiatrist is probably pretty book smart. But I think judging from what I’ve seen of her credentials and FB site (yes, I spy on everyone – I was in Military Intel, it’s in my blood) that she can’t put herself in the shoes of her patients. I asked her to do that today and she said “I’m trying.”

She can’t. She has never known the want, the pain and the fear inside of people she is looking to help. She can’t relate to it. There’s always a book solution, always another pill, always some, well, bullshit rationale that will keep the patient from bleeding out mentally. At least until they do. 

But for Christ’s sakes, don’t die on my watch. The paperwork is such a pain.

Often time I have caught her looking at me as if I was some sort of exotic insect. I suspect many other patients have noticed the same thing as well. We fit somewhere into the diagnosis matrix of the DSM V. Some of us are just a little harder to identify, classify and index.

So, the next time I go back to see her, everything will be fine. I won’t waste her time by whining about intractable issues of jobs and medications and she can get me in and out in enough time to protect her billable hours because her nice Lexus in the parking lot needs paid. 

No sense fighting for treatment or a solution. There is no solution and treatment, it seems, is pushing the latest drug the pharmacy rep has just given her samples of (I’ve seen all manner of trinkets on her desk with drug trade names on them). 

I should have given up on treatment a long time ago. I was stupid. I believed the advertising, the hype, the caring professionals who said, in the nicest ways, that they wanted to help you. 

It’s an industry, like everything else. As for your mental concerns, what it comes down to is this:
You’re on your own sucker.