Anna wrote:Oh Monocheres, don't make it to much dramatic
Heh. Well sometimes I can't help myself ... :-/
Anna wrote:(Please don't forget, 1. my worse english,
Actually, I was going to say that you do pretty well for someone who's coming at English as a second language. English can be a daunting language to master, even for native speakers. But I've found that you always manage to get across what you mean, and it's even interesting to see the German constructions hiding behind your English words. Every now and then I try to help you out by giving you what I hope is a careful explanation of some difficult or subtle English idiom, or what preposition to use in a given context (always a difficult thing, in any language), or some such. I hope you don't mind when I do that, it's really just my way of trying to encourage you.
Anna wrote:Alikat had writtten earlier that she did get the diagnosis Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD, or often abbreviated ADHD).
Yeah, I kind of recall that too now. You know, my wife has a cousin. Young guy, smart kid, very talented, wants to be a film-maker. He's got narcolepsy. Always at risk for dropping off to sleep with no warning. So that means ... well, he just can't drive a car. Can't be trusted behind a wheel, ever. That doesn't make him a bad person or a loser, it's just something he shouldn't be allowed to do. Something he's going to have to make allowances for, throughout his life.
If Alikat has some sort of condition that makes it difficult to control her impulses when she's under emotional stress, well okay, we can make allowances for that ... but then (and I'm trying to say this as kindly as I can) perhaps she just shouldn't be put in any position that gives her power over other people.
Jennifer just mentioned "the beast" and that reminded me of that thread I steamrolled a while ago... you know, the one where I related the theory that humans evolved intelligence because of human-human war, and I concluded that we all have a "beast" within us as a potential. That reminded me of George Washington ...
You know, I read a theory once by a famous doctor and science writer (I think it was Oliver Sacks) regarding Washington. He suggested that Washington may have had an XYY chromosomal abnormality. It would fit with his tall, gangly frame, big hands, out-sized nose, bad teeth, possible infertility (he and Martha never did have any kids) ... and -- get this -- a tendency towards rage bordering on anti-social behavior. (Many of the inmates in our prisons today are XYYs.) In fact, there are are some anecdotes about Washington that hint that he may have been plagued by a fiery, almost uncontrollable temper. For instance, when the Continental Army was suffering from a particularly bad patch, he was know to sometimes go out into rainstorms on his horse and charge around at a mad gallop. And yet, his reputation in history is that of a sober, rational, dignified, prudent, thoughtful, measured commander-in-chief. The soul of discretion and moral clarity. The only way to reconcile this is that he must have had to make a conscious choice to overcome his temper by sheer force of will. If that's true, it makes his achievements all the more remarkable.
Oh and yes, I see the irony in Alikat's situation as well. (I wish I could look over that thread now, I only saw snippets of it ... but, oh well.) It's the irony that makes me compare it to Greek tragedy. In Greek tragedy, the hero falls not because of some external enemy that defeats him, but because his own fatal flaws reveal him to be
the very enemy he hates and fears. Dan Rather hated Tricky-Dick Nixon so much, that in the end he became
Nixon, and suffered his own fall when his own Dirty Tricks were exposed ...