Cosmos Café [1/22] - "Anger and the Road to Hell," a selection from Election 2016: The Great Divide, the Great Debate by Mark Jabbour

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(Douglas Duff) #1

“Anger and the Road to Hell,” a selection from Election 2016: The Great Divide, the Great Debate by Mark Jabbour

In your time zone: 2019-01-22T19:00:00Z

ZOOM video conference: https://zoom.us/j/711610894


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The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realized that you control your own destiny.
Thinking rationally is often different from “positive thinking,” in that it is a realistic assessment of the situation, with a view towards rectifying the problem if possible.
—Albert Ellis

Join us as we go to hell in a handbasket with our basketcase country in tow, as depicted by resident creative writer Mark Jabbour. This conversation, sure to go down in history as a great debate, will revolve around the great divide of an angry country, or the anger than divides a great country.


Reading / Watching / Listening

@Mark_Jabbour has selected a chapter of his book called “Anger and the Road to Hell, May 23, 2016”

Anger.pdf (73.7 KB)

Seed Questions

  • Anger, contrary to what many say, is not a primary emotion, but a secondary emotion. Recall, or meditate on the point/time in your personal history that you were your most angry. What was the root it? [Share or not. This is not a substitute for therapy.]
  • Share, or not, an event, personal or general, that demonstrates ‘the road to hell …’
  • In general, what do you think the function of emotion is? i.e. why do they exist? and how stable are they historically? Are there new ones?

Context, Backstory, and Related topics

Agenda items

Purchase, read, review the book. Enjoin The Great Debate. Bridge The Great Divide.


About the book

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Election 2016: The Great Divide, The Great Debate is a collection of essays written in real time, reacting to and predicting the emergence of Donald J. Trump as a viable then winning candidate—interrupted periodically by fictional analysis from the author and fictional characters, demonstrating the psychological aspects of the campaign regarding the American psyche. In addition, there are fictional futuristic happenings and speculations about what could happen. There are a number of footnotes, some cite sources, some are explanatory, and some are updates of relevant subject matter. Taken as a whole, it a story about an unprecedented event in American and world history.

From the preface of Election 2016:

The great divide seems only to have widened, now fourteen months plus into the Trump administration. There is no bridge, no coming together, and certainly no evolved consciousness. Instead, we (Americans) seem to be on the brink of another civil war, another war between the states. The electorate now appears to be sorting itself out geographically. The internet, specifically the social media, looks to have, rather than connecting people in friendly ways, augmented and exacerbated their differences to the point of not only hostile speech but behavior as well. This election, more so than any other event since that war, begs this question: Who are we? Obviously, that question wasn’t settled then, and remains open today.


Framing Proposal for Cosmos Cafe, Year 2019
(Mark Jabbour) #2

I suggest that (if you can’t wait for the new year) before you read the chapter, you read Imogene’s article as an introduction to the chapter. That would not be the case were you to start reading at the beginning of the book for it all weaves together in book form as presented, but chapter by chapter (which it can be read that way also) the subject(s) present differently. I’ll have more to say and add later. In the meantime, have a great time, however it is you choose to celebrate (and I hope you do.)


(Mark Jabbour) #3

Just saying, if any one wants to engage:


(Ed Mahood) #4

OK, my humble offerings:

There’s a bit more of what could be expected:

but there’s also a bit otherwise:


(Mark Jabbour) #5

yeahyeahyeah - good thing we’ve four weeks, b/c this rabbit hole has great potential …


(Mark Jabbour) #6

I’ve added seed questions, agenda items, the full Preface to the book, and a link to the paper about "concept creep’ by Nick Haslan referenced in the book on page 118 regarding the operational definition (mine) of Love - a primary emotion. It is in the chapter titled “Boundaries”. We’ve talked a lot about words and language and communication - Concept Creep, I think, has created much to the general anger evident in our society today.
I wanted to link a paper by David M. Buss on the evolutionary basis for happiness and how our society today undermines that, but was unsuccessful. you can google it and maybe find it. I may, or may not, keep updating as we move toward January 22, earth time.


(Mark Jabbour) #7

Willie Nelson, w/r/t Time: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVkDJ3hL9s0


(Marco V Morelli) #8

Hey @Mark_Jabbour & @Douggins: I am posting my regrets in advance because I am not going to make this talk. I had previously signed up for a school field trip w/ my older daughter. While you are hopefully having a radically civil and evolutionary conversation on these timely issues, I will be at the Colorado Symphony, enjoying the musical fruits of some good old 18th-19th-century Western Civ.

One thing I’ll just put out there: as a Café audience member, I would love to hear some other voices on these issues, in response to Mark. For example, @care_save wrote a whole collection of essays—the “Trumpocalypse” series—which Jabbour read and gave feedback on while it was still being written. (I conveyed this feedback to Caroline but to my shame, or in my editorial wisdom, did not share it directly while the pieces were still coming together.) I also wonder if @KPr2204 might like to chime in…

What would it take to get to the root(s) of the conflicts we are witnessing in the country and wider world? What greater wisdom is waiting to be birthed through the meeting of these disparate minds? This could be one of the great Cafés: can you keep it radically civil and mix it up at the same time?

@Eduardo_Rocha’s (yet unanswered) post from a couple months ago could also be a dynamic reference point, as Brazil has very recently elected a very similar kind of figure to Trump in Jair Bolsonaro: Questions on The State and public and private administration.

I’ll look forward to the recording and any follow up. Trumpocalypse Now?


(Mark Jabbour) #9

Yes, my friend. Your copy of my book, signed, is still sitting on a table in my apartment, wrapped in pretty paper. And yet, I think I understand why we haven’t met and exchanged gifts. It is a f — complicated world. I wish for you all that you desire, and am grateful for our meeting. Cheers.


(Marco V Morelli) #10

Cool, man. Let’s do our own café in person sometime after this one. I got your promotional postcard, btw. Direct marketing: smart. You are learning from your hero.


(Mark Jabbour) #11

I think this chapter, “Anger and the road to hell” follows neatly the last Cafe’s question regarding the root of psychic conflict. It could be that natural selection in all its “wisdom”, or good intention, created (evolved) with the consciousness of modern man the bane to mankind’s existence, i.e. the road to hell. It remains to be seen if “we” can figure a way out of the fix were in. Is the @ccafe , our conflicting thoughts and ideas and civil discourse, the point of the spear? The beginning of the solution? I look forward to Tuesday’s chat. cheers mates.