9:41 a.m. July 9, 2013

A scribble

After we topple the NSA, we need to wage a war on psycho-hucksters...What kind of shithead culture would define nostalgia—or just plain thinking about shit you did in the past—as a disorder. Reminds me of Obama's decision to "look forward" and not prosecute Bush era financial crimes.


SOUTHAMPTON, England — Not long after moving to the University of Southampton, Constantine Sedikides had lunch with a colleague in the psychology department and described some unusual symptoms he’d been feeling. A few times a week, he was suddenly hit with nostalgia for his previous home at the University of North Carolina: memories of old friends, Tar Heel basketball games, fried okra, the sweet smells of autumn in Chapel Hill.

His colleague, a clinical psychologist, made an immediate diagnosis. He must be depressed. Why else live in the past? Nostalgia had been considered a disorder ever since the term was coined by a 17th-century Swiss physician who attributed soldiers’ mental and physical maladies to their longing to return home — nostos in Greek, and the accompanying pain, algos.

Back channel chatter

  1. The same kind of shithead who'd call shyness one. By me in the Irish Times a few years ago. The DSM is a horrible fucking joke.

  2. You know, criticizing the DSM is a disorder. You feeling alright, Jason? Is there a DSM crisis hotline you can call over there? You need someone, a professional, to talk you down from this perilous ledge you're on.

  3. Now that you mention it, maybe the Scientologists got to me…

  4. You give up secrets too easily. You'd be no fun to waterboard.

  5. I'm no good at surfing anyway. That's what you mean, right?

  6. I'm more of a windboarding guy myself. But yeah, you suck at waterboarding, dude.

  7. Tangential touristy note: Scientology isn't shy here. Or even nostalgic. It's right out there in your face, a huge white marble block on the Alameda Central, "Scientologia Mexico." Much more impressive in its blank Soviet look than the fancy Palacio Nacional. (Especially because I can't get the irritating internal rhyme in that term out of my head: "Palaaaaacio Naaaaacio-naaal.")