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Jules van Schaijik

The personalist significance of involuntary emotions

Sep. 17, 2010, at 2:29pm

In a recent post at Contentions, Jennifer Rubin opines that in an effort to regain his popularity, President Obama has decided to “show some emotional connection to the American people.”

What makes this mock-worthy, of course, and also somewhat sad, is the fact that emotions cannot simply be manipulated like that. They are not at the disposal of our will. We can decide to fake them, but not to feel them. And the problem for Obama is that the difference between the two is usually pretty obvious to the onlooker. (Though Rubin brings up the interesting case of Bill Clinton whose play-acting was so convincing that he might be described as a “real phony”.)

Rubin’s post nicely

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Katie van Schaijik

Another frowned-upon emotion

Oct. 12, 2009, at 10:49am

A Wall Street Journal review of two pessimistic books meshes nicely with Podles’ point about anger denial.

“Bright-Sided” opens with Ms. Ehrenreich’s discovery that she has breast cancer. Immediately she finds herself drawn into the intensely feminine, beribboned world of the modern sufferer, with its cuddly stuffed bears, personal-testimony Web sites and insistence that the patient put on a happy face: “Positive thinking seems to be mandatory in the breast cancer world,” she realizes, “to the point that unhappiness requires a kind of apology.”

Americans disallow unhappiness; Christians disallow anger.
I’d say American Christians have a serious reality-deficit problem to contend with.

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