That “Sick and Broken Spirit”: Excerpts from My Interview with Rob Kall


    The following are a few excerpts from the second half of the interview I did with Rob Kall, the head of opednews, on his radio show.

    The whole transcript can be found in these two places.  2nd half here. 1st half here.

    Here are those excerpts:


    Schmookler: ‘The greedy person is a person for [whom] there’s no such thing as enough, because they are not feeding the real need.  Alan Watts once said, “You can’t get enough of what you don’t really need.”‘


    Rob Kall:   [Regarding “defeating” this force:] Is there a different way to frame it than defeat, or does defeat use the same language and way of thinking?

    Andrew Schmookler:   I’m all for battling.  There are times when you do have to fight. I’m a fan of Winston Churchill.  We do have to defeat this thing, and we defeat it, I say, by spreading the truth.  We don’t have to become like them.  We have to become as bold as they, as determined to prevail as they, but we have to be Churchill to their Hitlers, and to speak the truth and to stand up for the things that we know are valuable to civilization, like truth, and justice, and the ideals that our country is about.


    Rob Kall: I would put to you that what you’re characterizing is a demonic archetype.

    Andrew Schmookler:   The archetype could be used as one way of envisioning it.  When you see cruelty in action for example… And here’s another one.  I posted something called The Sick and Broken Spirit.  I think I posted it on your site, and I posted it on a few others, and I used an image of Death.  I used the image of a skeleton wielding a scythe.  Then I connected it with something that wee see in a force of this destructive sort.  At the beginning of an Erich Fromm book about destructiveness, I believe, he tells about the Fascists –in Spain, I believe– who had a toast, “Vive la muerte”; “Long live death.”  There is something in Fascism that turns to death, that serves death, that creates death.  And so the archetypal image can help to convey, in a sense, the spirit of the thing.  

    Even though I don’t think there is a being, such an image is a way of visualizing; whether it’s torture, or the willingness to sacrifice the planet or vulnerable people in order to get more power, we can see that spirit, and it has an ugly face.  The dungeons in the Middle Ages and the waterboarding in an American Rendition Center have something in common, and when we see that, we could see a demonic image that gives expression to how it acts in the world.


    Rob Kall:  I’ve written about how I believe that we’re transitioning from an information era to a connection era, and I guess the ultimate connection is wholeness.

    Andrew Schmookler:   Well it depends on the nature of the connection.  The hierarchical society we were discussing earlier also is full of connection.  They rally as a tribe.  They are connected with one another before they go off into battle.  The salute the same banner.  They wear the same uniform.  So, it all depends on the nature of the connection, and how far it goes, and what the connection experience is about.  Is it beating the enemy?  That’s the war version of connection.


    Schmookler: ‘There is a line from Yeats, a famous poem:  “The best lack all conviction, and the worst are filled with a passionate intensity.”  In America today, the worst have that intensity because they’re coming from such a wounded place.  We need to have that intensity because we’re coming from such a spiritually alive place.’


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