Fromm Sir, With Love. (Or, Dressing Down Sam Sewell)

Too Many Skirts Makes It Hard To CYA

Birther Sam Sewell, of The Steady Drip blog, recently penned a short piece, Children of the Beast. He explains the underlying analogy in this fashion:

Most people see the conflict between limited government and big government as a political battle between conservatives and liberals. This conflict is much more profound than political theory can encompass. In this essay the metaphor of “The Beast” is used to represent big government, and “Children of The Beast” to reveal the nature of those who support, or are dependent upon, big government.

You can find the whole thing here.

I don’t intend to review the whole article because that isn’t within the purview of this website.  But the fact that Sewell drags observations by psychologist and philosopher Erich Fromm into it does get my attention. First, here is the Fromm excerpt:

What is the human motivation that allows people to overlook the dangers of “The Beast” and choose a politician for his charming personality traits, rather than donning the warrior spirit capable of subduing “The Beast?”  A partial answer to that question was provided by Erich Fromm in his book “Escape from Freedom.”   He moved from Germany to the United States in 1938, giving witness to his love of freedom.  Freud thought human personality was determined by conditioning having an effect on biology. Marx saw peoples’ lives as determined by their society and economic systems.  Erich Fromm challenged these two reigning intellectual systems of his time with the idea of freedom.

Freedom is a difficult thing to have, and Fromm believed that when they can, the unenlightened man tends to flee from it. Escaping from freedom is now an important motivating factor of our species.  Because the need to escape from individual freedom emerged in human consciousness, mass movements began to appear in human society.  Fromm sheds light on the dynamics with these two quotes:

“The person who gives up his individual self and becomes an automaton, identical with millions of other automatons around him, need not feel alone and anxious any more. The price he pays, however, is high; it is the loss of his self.”

“This loss of identity then makes it still more imperative to conform, it means that one can be sure of oneself only if one lives up to the expectations of others. If we do not live up to this picture, we not only risk disapproval and increased isolation, but we risk losing the identity of our personality, which means jeopardizing sanity.”

Erich Fromm can tell us a lot about what is behind how most people vote. He makes the point that most people are terrified of being an on-their-own, take-care-of-themselves, free, adult human being.

True, Erich Fromm teaches that unenlightened people tend to escape from the reality of their own freedom. But what gives any Birther the moral right to opine about that, when the single most distinguishing characteristic of any Birther is the wholesale denial of  reality???

And then Sewell blithely pops off with the “mass movements began to appear in human society” remark??? WTF is Birtherism if not the bad kind of mass movement that Fromm so feared, one based on paranoia, delusion, lies, and irrationality.

And this is coming from a Mensa member??? An ex-military officer??? A psychotherapist and clergyman??? Oh no, Sam Sewell, you don’t get to skirt this issue!. You are a prominent person in the Birther movement. Your group either can’t figure out, or bring themselves to admit two simple facts:

1. That there is no two citizen parent requirement;

2. There is a verified Birth Certificate showing Obama was born in Hawaii.

Birthers cling like torpedo survivors on a rubber life raft to the most insane and bizarre belief system to come along since the Heaven’s Gate cult boarded the Mother Ship, and here you are, a supposed clergyman,  playing the role of Marshall Applewhite and selling tickets to the Hale-Bopp Express. You ought to be ashamed of yourself.

Some of these poor stupid deluded Birthers are just people who don’t know any better.  All the Vattel crap, and the quack legal mumbo-jumbo is over the heads of a lot of them. They are just repeating the nonsense they hear from gurus, slicksters, and liars.  But I don’t think that is true of you.

Personally, I don’t think you believe any of the stupid Birther crap. If your background is what you say it is, you’re not that stupid. It doesn’t take a Mensan to understand the court decisions that have come down over the past year, or the Wong Kim Ark and Ankeny decisions, either. It doesn’t take a Mensan to recognize the significance of a verified birth certificate when it comes to figuring out where Obama was born. Particularly in the near-complete absence of any contrary information.  But then again, I could be wrong. Maybe you are not that smart after all. In the Sane Society, Erich Fromm also noted:

In observing the quality of thinking in alienated man, it is striking to see how his intelligence has developed and how reason has deteriorated. . . . Even from the nineteenth century to our day, there seems to have occurred an observable increase in stupidity, if by this we mean the opposite to reason, rather than to intelligence.

Well, Sam . . . Which is it??? Liar or idiot???

Squeeky Fromm
Girl Reporter

Note 1. The Image. This is a photo of Judy Geeson, who played Pamela Darein the 1967 film,  To Sir, With Love.  That is a movie about a dedicated teacher who tries to bring enlightenment to a bunch of disrespectful and rowdy brats. Kind of like me, trying to educate Birthers.

And, on the word play, many skirts (mini skirts), before you say , “That’s a mini-dress not a mini-skirt!”  True, mini-dress is more appropriate, but it has  a “mini skirt” in that a “skirt” is also a part of a garment:

skirt (noun):

1. The part of a garment, such as a dress or coat, that hangs freely from the waist down.
2. A garment hanging from the waist and worn by women and girls.

skirt (verb)

1. To avoid, go around the edge of, or keep distant from (something that is controversial, risky, etc.): The senator skirted the issue.

Note 2. The Image Easter Egg.  A word play on the line,  and Sweeney guards the Horn’d gate  from T.S.Eliot’s “Sweeny Among The Nightingales.”

Here is a adequate explanation:

The circles of the stormy moon
Slide westward toward the River Plate,
Death and the Raven drift above
And Sweeney guards the horn’d gate.

Sweeney’s laughter belies the ominous mood of the evening. Outside, the moon trails westward in a stormy sky toward the River Plate (Spanish: Ro de la Plata, meaning River of Silver.) Ravens gather and the air reeks of death. Inside, Sweeney is on the threshold of sleep, guarding an exit gate from Hades, one made of horn.

In Homer’s Odyssey, Penelope, the wife of Odysseus (Ulysses),says dreams arise from phantoms in Hades and pass through either of two gates. One is a gate of ivory; through it pass false dreams that confuse the dreamer. The other is a gate of polished horn; through it pass “images of truth . . . with visions manifest of future fate” (The Odyssey, Book XIX, “The Discovery of Ulysses to Euryclea.” Alexander Pope, translator).

Apparently, Sweeney does not wish to know or does not care to know what the future holds for him. He is probably unaware of the ominous portents of nature suggesting that his death may be near, although he seems to become aware later (Stanza 7) that he may be in danger.

Ro de la Plata (River of Silver) could be a very oblique allusion to Agamemnon’s bathtub, which had silver sides.

No doubt a hedg’d gate has some meaning, also. . .

Note 3. Links. Sam Sewell’s blog, The Steady Drip,  is located here:


About Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter

Hi!!! I am a Girl Reporter on the Internet. I am 34. Plus I am a INTP. I have a Major in Human Kinetics, and a Minor in English. I have 2 cats, and a new kitten! I write poetry, and plus I am trying to learn how to play guitar. I think that is all??? Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter View all posts by Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter

6 responses to “Fromm Sir, With Love. (Or, Dressing Down Sam Sewell)

  • LMK

    IMO, Sammy is one of the most vile birfers in all of birferstan. He once mistook me for a Mormon cellist on youtube because of the video I had highlighted on my youtube page (completely appropriate for any audience … skydiving cello, yeah!). The comment was so vile that I asked him if he would want his wife and daughters to read what he wrote. Sammy’s comment is not at the youtube thread for the above video. I wouldn’t link to that.

    Sammy isn’t a psychologist; he likes to pretend that he is a “pastoral psychotherapist” but he isn’t. That is a job title he made up to con people into believing he was a professional pastoral counselor. He went so far as to create his very own licensing organization; he and one other “pastoral psychotherapist” are licensed through the “organization”. There are some serious questions about whether he was formally ordained by the denomination he claims to belong to and pastor with. He refuses to say where he attended college, let alone divinity school. Sammy is a fraud.

    I challenged Sammy about his educational background and certification. Once I began posting about his lack of qualifications, he created his “licensing organization”. I have seriously considered reporting him to the State of Florida, but he is so vindictive that I decided against reporting him. He is in his 70’s, and I don’t think he is practicing much, if at all. In addition, if anyone googles him, all of his birfing and online church info pops up immediately; the only clients he would get are birfers. But most are too poor to pay Sammy; he doesn’t take insurance because he doesn’t have the certification necessary to do so.

    • Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter

      OH, Sam is a complete STINKER. Him and Jerry Collette are out there peddling those DIY Birther lawsuit kits knowing full well the people using them are going to get dismissed right out of court. That is very cold and calculating. It is the intentional use of human beings for some ulterior motive, which Erich Fromm would have bopped Sam right upside the head for doing if he was still alive.

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

  • Kate520

    Sammy is a real piece of work. He’s the guy who tried to get Bad Fiction Patrick fired from his day job.

    Squeeks, I love your writing. You are so erudite and witty! I love the photos and your literate asides

    I think I’m a little envious, so it gives me great pleasure to ask if you meant purview up top, instead of purlieu, although, technically both would work. Purview is one of my favorite words, so I already know that one. I’d never heard of purlieu, so looked it up.

    It means a piece of land on the edge of a forest. Do you live in the forest? In that case, it would work. Or are you just trying to see who’s still awake?

    I need the little smilie that means I’m needling you. Got one?

    • Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter

      Hi Kate520!!!’

      Ooopsies! Thank you for pointing that out. I changed it to “purview”. I am used to using “purlieu” in talking about other people, but it doesn’t apply very well to what I was trying to say at all.

      Purlieu also has a meaning which relates to a person being in their own little area, but it kind of has an disparaging edge to it. I am glad that you like the stuff here, and I hope people get a good laugh out of it, too.

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

  • Kate520

    I loved Orly as advice columnist. Are you going after the Human Tick, er, Corsi any time soon? You are my first daily stop after Fogbow, where I live and breathe.


  • Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter


    Corsi is coming up for my “One Nice Thing” series. I have hit him twice in the last few months with “L’Mrelle Jerome Corsi” and the “Corruption of Blood” thing. But I have not noticed as many stories coming from him lately. Am I just missing them???

    Thank you for stopping by here every day. I am trying very hard to do at least two, and maybe 3 Internet Articles a day in the lead up to the election, but I don’t always make my goal. If Obama loses, all this Birther stuff will probably fade away until Marco Rubio or another person with non-citizen parents runs for the office.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

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