The Rwandan prescription for Depression: Sun, drum, dance, community. “We had a lot of trouble with western mental health workers who came here immediately after the genocide and we had to ask some of them to leave. They came and their practice did not involve being outside in the sun where you begin to feel better, there was no music or drumming to get your blood flowing again, there was no sense that everyone had taken the day off so that the entire community could come together to try to lift you up and bring you back to joy, there was no acknowledgement of the depression as something invasive and external that could actually be cast out again. Instead they would take people one at a time into these dingy little rooms and have them sit around for an hour or so and talk about bad things that had happened to them. We had to ask them to leave.” ~A Rwandan talking to a western writer, Andrew Solomon, about his experience with western mental health and depression.

Under The Blue Door

dance community

From The Moth podcast, Notes on an Exorcism.

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interesting piece

This is an interesting piece, but I cannot help buy feel that the element of witchcraft that is described in the article has been totally misunderstood and misinterpreted. The force of the white man’s witchcraft was NOT in setting up a country with an infrastructure that would take some skill to manage. Rather, the real witchcraft was in the psychological undermining that took place through the assertion that there was something done in the past that would make it impossible for the new regime to rule. This kind of psychological trickery was something the Rhodesians had became very skilled at (I should know, because it was also used on me).


Certainly the common idea of the “soul” or “psyche”, as brought down to us
through monotheistic religion, is too simple.  There is hardly a universal
soul or psyche that one can refer to or pattern oneself on.

At the opposite side of the analysis, I would not go along with
postmodernism either, which asserts that we are clever machines.  I am sure
that some people are happy to be clever machines, but they tend to get in my

If we lose the humanness side of us, but remember having had it, even if the
memory is not exact, we feel a tremendous loss.


There is a river called Lesapi
From whose bedrock, like ghost of weeds,
Passion’s flames vainly yearn to surface,
To rise
To bolt-burst
And retire, confirmed by the sparkling-clear Air.

And this London-returned ghoul
Withdraw his live-coal tears
Into his stone-hewn eyes.

Here, childhood drowned never to rise
No bloated floating corpse ever was seen:
Only these flameweeds on the bedrock of a river
Known as Lesapi.

Rome:Lullaby For Georgie

At the first light of dawn
I’ll get my clothes out of pawn
For as we grow older
The rats grow bolder
And when they sound the retreat
I’ll get you out of this heat
For they might sent us alone
Into what won’t be home

O, Rhodesia, were you ever mine?
I thought you should know that we
Are now guiltily wolfing your poetry
Oh, Rhodesia, buried in the sands of time
I thought you should know that we
Are now hastily chasing each memory

Always guarded by another man’s sons
We felt it dishonorable for one
To stay out of it and how could it be wrong?
But we were fighting on the wrong side of a losing war and time
Has made orphans of us all
Has made cripples of us all

I just won’t flee down south
Where the oceans collide
To die a broken man
To die a sorry man

surviving a psychopath

Vlog CXCII – YouTube.

To survive a psychopath, you really need to stop thinking in terms of social protection or even social norms. “Society” is largely made up of a tacit psychological agreement not to really see what is “out there” beyond the margins of society. You — and everything that occurs when you are attacked — are already way, way beyond the margins of “society” where anybody can see what is happening to you. Therefore cut your losses and give up on whether you will be believed or not. I think if you are the victim of a psychopath, you need to realize that you are on your own and you need to stop worrying about perceptions, because most people’s thinking will also be too fuzzy and untrained to help you in your time of distress. Almost certainly you will have to temporarily wear some of the projected traits. The point is, can you clean yourself afterwards?

The paradox of the colonised mind

IN my case, I think the part I struggle to relate is the paradox of my upbringing. Although I am/was a “colonialist”, my mind was also deeply colonised, which is to say that everyone in the developing world looked to those in the developed world as our superiors. I guess I can relate to what Marechera (the Zimbabwean writer) says about “a savage who goes abroad” suffering a lot of cerebral shocks. Actually in this sense I was/am also a “savage”. looking up to my superiors and expecting much, much more from them than I eventually got.
Actually I am not so much into criticising Australia or anywhere for that matter, so much as the pretension of people to be beyond colonialism (hence we get the faux-leftism with its posturing of extreme impotence in relation to helping out those close to them — those far afield being deserving of our sympathy first, and unless all of these unknowns feel safe and secure in their identities first, we cannot begin to lift a finger or express ourselves in a mode of action.) They also do adopt a mode of superiority — not so much “father knows best” but “mother knows best” and that it is best to tear something down rather than to build it up.
These were MY cerebral shocks, which is why I consider the majority of folk within contemporary culture to be unconscious or unwitting trolls. It really is too much. My mind was extremely colonised by them, right from the beginning, in a more or less preparatory sense before I left Zimbabwe, but all I have encountered, in all honesty, is big dicks. And I have encountered a few petty cunts.
On the plus side, each encounter has of course been a revelation and brought an epiphany. Each shattering of an illusion or exaggerated sense of reverence has returned me to myself. That process has been slow but firm. And here I am.
Once my mind was extremely colonised, but then the faux-leftists attacked me. Nowadays I welcome the trolls, since they have bought me overwhelming good. They always reveal to me where they are most spiritually limited, and thus they set me free from my mental chains.


Marechera sayeth:

To be able to read and write is […] only the first downward step towards the first circle where black fires rage inconsumably. Candide’s experience of the world is the nearest we can get to the series of cerebral shocks which await the savage who is earnestly in search of culture. ‘There is nothing here but illusion, and one calamity after another.’ The experience is not unlike that of one organism living on and at the expense of another. (p 33, The Black Insider).

TED talk

Once you get the lay of the land, things do not necessarily improve, but it all makes sense. I just came from watching at TED talk posted by one of the Rhodies (diehard colonialist/homelover) on the Rhodesia Military site. It was about why soldiers miss war. I took a deep breath because I know by now that the defining factor of American culture is their gender essentialism. Sure enough, he mentioned that men are physiologically suited to extreme adrenalised states. Since women were not also mentioned, I assumed he must have considered that women were not. People in the audience looked at him with bland, empty faces. (I have a certain horror of audiences, much more than speakers, because of the passivity they embody.) I thought his speech was good for the most part, but imparted in a very binary fashion as a knower to un-knowers, and he sounded like a protestant preacher when he resorted to stating tired old truisms about gender.
Similarly women in America (I am presuming that the one mentioned in the post might have been) are extremely infantalised. They are culturally conditioned to try to up your mood or put a smile on your dial when you are looking down and pathetic. If you are looking normal — or normatively aggressive — they have no idea what to do with you. It’s like you don’t exist.
I’ve learned to stand back and observe and respect the fact that people often are zombies. There’s also a predictable zombie nature to many people, based on culture and political land mass (modern Zimbabweans are very close to Americans in attitude and temperament, I find).


If Noni the cat vanished we were in for some bad times.  Noni was our good omen, our heartening sight in distress for we knew that if she could survive in these conditions, anything could be possible.   Noni was our sign that our proper organic relationship with nature would one day be restored, foretaste of paradise.  Should we feel no sound of rustling in the bush, we heard no gentle pawing, everything in disarray.  How would we latch onto meaning without a rhythm?

A cat’s scratching at our door filled our heart-gaping wonder.  Life had not ended, despite the fact that we had given up.   Of meaning, the rhythm.    A sound of meaning.  At the door.

For us, as if fortune has supplied it.   We were down to this now.  Tender playthings of fortune.  Not without needs, but that was to our credit.  Dead then? 

We couldn’t open the door of our cell.   The light would be intense.

Cats scratch.

We wanted to leap out and hug her.  This also had been outlawed.  The cry of impotence our own.

There had once between men and women who would ride a steely mount.  We risked life and limb in those days and in all sorts of weather.  Now now.  Those realities had been forgotten and people spoke in all manner of ways but not laconically.

I suppressed my feelings, seeing only shadows.   Dark shadows looming on the wall.  A cat’s face featured there, but the real cat was outside.  I felt her presence but was denied the possibility to touch her.

Tumbulations were on our mind.  This fateful mode of transcendence.   Fateful because half of us would die under their impact.  Tumbulations returning to Earth were a frightening event, worse than a meteorite strike in many, many ways. We lived under the mental shock of their ricocheting.

And now all I wanted to do was stroke a cat.  This was the pretty reward I’d got for trying to move my way up out of the infantry stage.  To be captured in this way, forbidden action, and have to work solely from one’s mind.   The shadows of the mind were sometimes too intense.  

We had to make the tumbulation, and then we would be free, we would free ourselves.  

We’d had things in the past and now we only had things in our minds.   The tunicked characters made sure of that, although we hadn’t recognised them yet.  They were our guardians and our keepers.  We were their prisoners of war.


The New Atheism is really not a healthy phenomenon at all.  The overestimation of narrow, narrow rationalism as a means to live shows a severe lack of philosophical acumen and even perhaps common sense.  Actually what is more interesting is that in a way Nietzsche predicted the New Atheist movement.  He said when Christian truth seeking makes its final judgement against itself, namely that Christianity is untrue, it will culminate in atheism.   He saw this as a historical development taking place over time.  That’s why another way of looking at the New Atheist movement is that it is a more severe form of Christianity because of its belief in (what Nietzsche termed) the “ascetic ideal — that is, the compulsion to pursue the truth no matter what.  But looking at if again from Nietzsche’s perspective, this attitude, although historically determined and inevitable, is deeply unphilosophical.   To have acquried the compulsion to believe in the redemptive power of truth telling is to be extremely unfree to ask one’s own questions about reality or to engage with it more broadly (outside of and beyond the compulsion of  the ascetic ideal).  The ascetic ideal demands the sacrifice of religious feelings because it judges religion, at this historical juncture as “untrue”, but this sacrifice itself is irrational — because it comes from a historically engendered compulsion and one ought not to blindly make oneself a slave of a historically engendered compulsion.  One ought to be free.  One ought to be more philosophical than this.


I was being attacked from two sides, from the side of the guilt and shame at having lost a war and from the side of the pseudo-left, who laid on guilt and nitpicked over petty issues. Those were the aspects that caused me destruction — and in this two-part video I also discuss my acquired knowledge and shamanic mode of recovery.

Intellectual shamanism heals through violence, sex and aggression

And, speaking from experience, it really does heal the mind as well as the body.


*I’d say the ailment is very real and very physical once it sets in, but that it most probably comes about due to exposure to excessive and prolonged psychological stress in most cases.  Then one ends up with a debilitated body that has to recover from the huge onslaught, which takes time.

My chronic fatigue came about through directing my substantial aggression inwardly.  When begun not to do that, I was on the road to recovery.  My emotional health and physical health improved in tandem, one pulling along the other (mostly it was my increasing emotional health coaxing along my biological health, with the addition of strength of will.)

Humorless Comedians | Clarissa’s Blog

Humorless Comedians | Clarissa’s Blog

One of the best underrated comedians is Dambudzo Marechera. He’s such an interesting phenomenon in terms of this notion that comedy should serve a political agenda, because the Western leftists (whom I call faux-leftists) do not see his comedy at all. They just feel sorry for him and think he is insane. But he makes fun of his intellectual role in Zimbabwe for instance, by suggesting he is the not to be taken as an enemy of the state, but just the court jester. He begs the big black chief (depicted in colonial terms as a savage) not to hang him upside down in his chicken coop. This is deadly political humor — indeed it may have turned out to be deadly for Marechera. But Western intellectuals are like, “no, no, no, you can’t make fun of a black person, especially Zimbabwe’s new prime minister.” As it turns out, Marechera had prophetic insight in making fun of Mugabe for his repressive politics as far back as 1980.

Tourist Feminists | Clarissa’s Blog

Tourist Feminists | Clarissa’s Blog

I’m not sure it is disgusting any more than French high fashion is disgusting. What it is, is pointless. HIgh art is always pointless though, conveying a message that most people have no use for. IN any case, someone puts up some useless posters and someone else gets some money. The only error would be to assume that communication of any sort has taken place across cultures.

New for 2015 and saving the Gnicuf Rhino

New for 2015 and saving the Gnicuf Rhino

By the way, I take my self-regeneration project as an expression of elitism. I know from dipping into the realm of current notions about health or unhealth that there’s basically a middle-school approach being offered, whereby “emotions” are seen as having to do with issues of egoistic contention from experiences not worked out in adolescence. This is where contemporary Western culture and my own experiences diverge sharply. Those issues of contemporary adolescence formed in the context where everybody basically has most of what they need could not be more different than the ones I had to contend with. So much so that only recently did I get the fundamental insight I needed regarding myself. I’d been listening too much to theories and suggestions that come out of contemporary Western culture — which of course apply to those who have been brought up in it. Western cultural pathologies are Western cultural pathologies, which is why it always confused me almost to the point of insanity to be accused of having a Western pathology.
Actually this was my key insight after working on it since 1997. People will accuse me of having the Western cultural pathology of narcissism if I congratulate myself at this point, as it can be virtually impossible for people to understand my wry humor. Perhaps they do not think that such a “working out” can take effort? It waas certainly not delivered to me through a KFC drive through service hole.
I do view my efforts and capacity to break through in a cultural context almost the opposite to my own (where the traumatic structure was made) to be the sign of my elite status.

Marechera and poststructuralism

The Dilemma of the Dense | Clarissa’s Blog

Poststructuralism did not help me, personally, that much, apart from getting me to understand my environment better.  Well, surely that is a significant thing, but what I needed was far, far more, because I had to open up some subjective space for myself to repair my damaged psyche.  This wasn’t about acknowledging gender and status lines in the industrialized worlds and working with such knowledge to gain ascendency.  Rather, I had basic structural repair work to do.  I really had no space for myself within my own psyche.  That was the fundamental problem.  I had to try different forms of experimentalisation to open some up.  Freudianism proved the least useful of all things so far as this project went, since it places all sorts of things under the auspices of pathology and does not allow that it is possible to do anything other than acknowledge the character structure one seems to have ended up with.  I am speaking about academic Freudianism here.

Also much of poststructuralism borrows from Lacanianism, which has the same problem of rigidity as Freudianism.  You don’t need rigidity piled on when rigidity is the problem in the first place, creating a very narrow psychical space to inhabit.  Dambudzo Marechera’s writing was, however, liberating.  You had to go deep into the trauma of the war experience (which was specifically useful to me as war had been the cause of my psychical limitations).  You had to re-experience these historical events and then unite the resulting emotional energy with a realization that identities are also a product of history and therefore fluid and changeable.

This is why Marechera’s writing “worked” for me in a way that other systems or theories did not.

Red Wine Compound May Help Age-Related Memory Loss | IFLScience

Red Wine Compound May Help Age-Related Memory Loss | IFLScience

Since resveratrol has been shown to help reduce inflammation and also trigger the growth of new blood vessels in lab studies, scientists wondered whether it might be able to counteract age-related memory and mood impairments. That’s because a region of the brain known to be important for learning and memory, the hippocampus, experiences inflammation, cell death and diminished vasculature as we age, which is thought to contribute to decreased memory and mood function in the elderly.

This is what I was saying.  The resveratrol has enabled me to think much better, removing the plaques lodged in my brain by traumatic experience, which was causing me some difficulties.   I believe it facilitated a much higher degree of emotional connectivity than I had before.