The Clare Spark Blog

April 22, 2010

Links to blogs on military psychiatry

Roy R. Grinker, Sr. (I added an excerpt from leading military psychiatrist Roy Grinker up front)

Note that military psychiatry evolved from the perspective of the officer class, not that of the enlisted men. Here is a telling excerpt from Paul Fussell’s The Great War and Modern Memory (Oxford UP, 1975):

[Fussell, pp 84-85:]   No soldier who has fought ever entirely overcomes his disrespect for the Staff. David Jones is one in whom forty-five years after the war that disrespect is still vital and fructive. In his essay “The Utile,” in Epoch and Artist (1959), his point is that to make art one must hurl oneself into it, get down into one’s material, roll in it, snuff it up: know it, in fact, the way troops know fighting, rather than the way the Staff conjectures about it: [quoting Jones:] Ars is adamant about one thing: she compels you to do an infantryman’s job. She insists on the tactile. The artist in man is the infantryman in man…all men are aboriginally of  this infantry, though not all serve with this infantry. To pursue the analogy, this continued employment “away from the unit” has made habitual and widespread a “staff mentality.”

[Fussell, cont.] Which is to say that the artist is overweighed by critics, reviewers, discussants, conjecturers, manipulators. “Today,” Jones concludes, “most of us are staff-wallahs of one sort or another.”


  1. […] played by Mark Harmon) protects his cohesive fighting family, ever the uncomplaining “team.” On blundering diplomats see […]

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  2. […] (Much of this material was incorporated into my book on the Melville Revival, Hunting Captain Ahab.) In sum, all my studies strongly suggested that scientific method was questioned and usually discarded for the sake of “the moderate men,” social cohesion, and political stability. Some reviewers of my book ms. prior to publication accused me of liking my own readings too much: I was obviously another bossy Captain Ahab. Is it any wonder I emphasized his declaration of independence: “Who’s over me? Truth hath no confines.”  (For related blogs see, and […]

    Pingback by Power, relationships, identity | YDS: The Clare Spark Blog — August 1, 2013 @ 7:42 pm | Reply

  3. […] So Ziva now has a heart, unambiguously, and I’m wondering if she will still wear her Star of David necklace. [Added, Oct.21, 2009: on last night's episode her neck was conspicuously bare, made even more visible by a low cut draped blouse. In the January 12, 2010 episode, the necklace is back, now gold. Ziva is preparing for her citizenship test and knows more about the Constitution than (Gibbs?).] [Added Nov. 11, 2009: this blog has been read consistently since it was first posted, and I can see why it remains current. After reflecting upon the apparently sequestered field of military psychiatry in the wake of the Hasan jihad, it seems to me that NCIS in its very conception reflects the tight team bonding of a military unit. No one questions the hierarchy, and the team, brilliant and versed in the most advanced technology, adores Gibbs and is fiercely loyal to each other. No one ever questions U.S. foreign policy or the possible mismanagement of American wars, past or present. I.e., the show bonds the audience to military authority as if we were all part of the team, and these attractive young people part of our own families. The unqestioning obedience to upper members of military hierarchies is domented in this series of blogs: […]

    Pingback by The Christianization of Ziva David (NCIS)? | YDS: The Clare Spark Blog — April 24, 2013 @ 6:32 pm | Reply

  4. […] Personally, I remain fond of Freudian concepts such as the ambivalence inside ourselves in our primary attachments to parents, siblings, and other love-hate objects, a subject developed by such as John Bowlby and other attachment-theorists. And without understanding regression, we are helpless in the face of fairy tales, Oscar weekends, pornography, and popular culture in general (See […]

    Pingback by Peter Gay’s “Freud” | YDS: The Clare Spark Blog — February 23, 2013 @ 9:45 pm | Reply

  5. […] psyche see For more on military psychiatry, see I may have made too much of the militarism theme in Obama’s speech, but I stand by my […]

    Pingback by The State of the Union Stinks « YDS: The Clare Spark Blog — January 26, 2012 @ 6:15 pm | Reply

  6. […] Links to blogs on military psychiatry […]

    Pingback by Veteran’s housing (post world war two), Elmhurst, Queens « YDS: The Clare Spark Blog — June 15, 2010 @ 4:08 pm | Reply

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