The Chronic Malcontent

A zine for constructive complaining
RANTS 1999
There is no point to pretend that this is a quarterly rag. So we'll
change the name to the moniker above. And we now go forth
gripping reality.

So, what could we complain about now? Want to take a wild
guess?

There's our favorite groupie, Monica;

Our millions going to independent counsels;

Our representatives overturning our elections to salve their
collective consciousness;

Our favorite Iraqi leader, wasting our time and our resources.

Merry Christmas.

ARTICLES

Bill, Monica and Ken, the people of the year (arrgh!)

Also Part 1 of a thought provoking article by Keith Marlowe, "Are
You Ready for Love?"


ARTS & LIT

First poem - I never thought this poem would be as true now as
it was during Desert Storm. Dammit.

Then some works by Thom Kellar: Perfect World, Dead Men,
and Primer Gray.

And finally another seasonal poem a little more hopeful than the
first one!

Copyright 1998 Sue Klaus

ARTICLES

Bill, Monica and Ken, the people of the year (arrgh!)

Holding a President to a standard...

I am starting to wonder why the people in Washington D.C. and
the ones who run this country are basically as stupid as they
are. To me it seems no surprise that the greater percentage of
American people don't want to know anything else about Bill
Clinton's personal life. But national leaders are somehow
disturbingly different - they're appalled that we don't want to see
the videotaped testimony their home, they're amazed that we
are disgusted by the Ken Starr report.

What I don't understand is, how could so many people forget to
the famous biblical precept "thou without sin cast the first
stone." Do these politicians and reporters really believe that
anyone is perfect? I hate to be the one to tell you this, but there
hasn't been a perfect person on this planet since about 2000
years ago. The rest of us are all fallible human beings. There's
not one person on this planet that has not done something that
they regret. There isn't one soul on this sphere that hasn't done
something stupid in their lifetime. Even the Pope is only infallible
in matters of religious dogma. So when a Democratic politician
is held up as having a low standard of character because of
personal indiscretion, it seems that Republican politicians are
surprised when their own behavior is brought up in reference.

Henry Hyde can blame whoever he wishes that his extra-marital
affair three decades ago has come to light again. Dan Burton
spills his guts to any member of the press you can find about
his extra-marital affair and child born on of wedlock. The rest of
us out here in the country know that we are only human beings.
We know that we make mistakes. We know we sometimes hurt
those who we care about the most. We also know that we still
seem to do our jobs even with all this going on.

And since this has been in the news lately, are we going to
somehow say that Thomas Jefferson was an incompetent just
because he had an affair? Are we going to say he wasn't a
genius? That he was not a renaissance man? That he wasn't an
inventor? I don't think so.

Or let's put this in another context. Let's think about the Fortune
500 companies. Are we actually to believe that all of the chief
executive officers of all 500 corporations are of high moral
fiber? Are we all to assume that these very successful
companies with apparently very effective chief officers suffer
because maybe their chief officer has had an affair ? If this is
the case for the executive officer, is the effectiveness really
hampered by the fact that he's a jerk? Or for some people is
actually the converse true?

Personally, I am sick of hearing about this Clinton problem.
Mere months ago we bombed sites in two countries; and yet all
our press reported was the Ken Starr report. I am sick of
hearing it on the news, I am sick of hearing about Monica, Ken
and Bill. Bill Clinton is not the first man to make stupid mistakes.
He also will not be the last person to make this stupid a mistake.
No matter what a person's position if they make this mistake,
they stand to lose more than their jobs. They hurt their families,
and they hurt their friends, and really hurt themselves the most.

Copyright 1998 Sue Klaus

Are You "Ready For Love"? (Part 1)

North Americans spend millions, if not billions,
of dollars every year in pursuit of a satisfying,
fulfilling intimate relationship.

Yet many fail repeatedly in their quest
because they forget the first most important
step.

They do not determine their own "readiness
for love." Whether you are single at present
and pursuing, or you are in a relationship that
is not as satisfying as you dream it could be, I
have a time tested strategy that will work to
make you ready for the relationship fulfillment
you long to create in your life.

These lessons are based upon my own
journey into intimacy. They also reflect over 25
years of working in therapy with many brave
souls. I have truly enjoyed working with
straight and gay couples who have trusted me
with their difficulties and shared in the joy of
realizing a deeply enriched relationships.

My discovery of this strategy began with my
work as a therapist of couples whose
relationships had endured an affair. I
marvelled at the success many, although not
most, had in recovering from the trauma of an
affair. Literally, they taught me what is
required for truly intimate and loving
relationships. I have made available freely to
those interested a web site that details the
stages of recovery to the trauma of an affair.
In the past four years, over 200,000 people
have passed through this web site "After the
Affair." Their journey to recovery is chronicled
at this site through a wealth of postings to the
discussion forums..

The lessons learned from those courageous
souls who faced the skepticism of family and
friends and stayed together apply to all
relationships.

Recovery is only the first step, however. To
transform one's relationship into one of bliss,
or to create the opportunity to begin a
relationship that could be described as
blissful, requires concerted effort and the
strategies outlined below.

Are You Ready For Love?

It is often said, that to begin any journey, one
must take the first step. No less is true of the
romantic journey. Are you willing to take the
first step? These strategies require a deeply
thought out and honest answer. Each of the
four strategies require a willingness on your
part to proceed. If you are waiting for a
relationship, these strategies will simply not
work. If you are willing to create a relationship,
then read on.

Are you willing to take responsibility for
yourself?

A seemingly simple question! Yet when faced
with life circumstances that are not up to our
expectations, we quickly look to blame some
one or some thing. Especially in our intimate
relationships, blame does not promote the
conditions required for problem solving and
then resolution and deepened intimacy. Blame
always pushes our partner away. We are each
responsible for our thoughts, feelings and
behaviour. Learning to bring this level of
accountability to our relationship is a required
step for intimacy.

Are You willing to Keep Your agreements?

Relationships, especially the one with our
intimate partner, depend on "being able to
count on my partner." However, we get into
very complicated, even impossible,
agreements. Take "I'll love you forever." In all
honesty, such an agreement is beyond the
capacity of anyone I know. I may do my best to
be loving all the time, especially to my partner.
but I am sometimes quite "unloving" in my
behaviour. And certainly quite a bit of the time
I think of loving myself above all others. In fact,
psychologists point out how essential it is to
love ourselves above all others to be
emotionally healthy. So agreements need to
be based on observable behaviour and time
limited. All the rest are intentions. Nothing
wrong with intentions, but one must be clear of
the difference. If I don't "always" follow through
on my intentions, I haven't breached my
agreement or integrity. The other advantage
of learning to base agreements on behaviour
is that there will be increased possibility that
the two partners will agree on what actually
happened. Many ongoing disputes result from
an unclear agreement that results in a dispute
on whether the agreement was broken.

Keith Marlowe, Reg. MFT

http://www.willingspirits.com

Copyright 1998 Keith Marlowe