May 9th - the Russian V-Day - makes me think about why my people are culturally depressogenic. There is neuropsychology to this. I'll quote from one of the best "archeologists of mind," Jaak Panksepp: "Throughout the first six years of childhood, early social loss - excessive separation (from parent figures) - sensitizes the child to chronic anxiety and insecurity, often heralding depression later in life." Furthermore, this so-called Grief neuro-circuit system "for feeling the sting of social isolation appears to have arisen evolutionarily from brain systems that mediate the affective intensity of physical pain."Everyone I grew up with had lost one or more to WWII. My mom, by age of 5, for example, had lost her father who was missing in action already in 1941. Her uncles on her father's side were wounded or killed in the next couple of years. Her mother, my grandmother and my mom's older sister, and my mom, of course, before too long found themselves under German occupation and were all eventually separated... Things weren't much better on my dad's side: while his father, my grandfather, survived 5 years in the trenches of WWII, he came back broken and emotionally unavailable. In short, my parents' generation was effectively orphaned and emotionally abandoned. And that starts off a pretty shitty domino effect... until another war curtails any partial cultural healing...Things weren't much different for my parents' parents - WWI, the Bolshevik revolution, the civil war, the Stalinist purges... When you roll Russian history back, you see a lot of this. The result? Trans-generational neuropsychology of grief, with its depressogenic cultural signature of escapist coping into drinking, or, when the cholinergic resources are at a surplus, escapism into Kibbutz-style martyr-like collectivism...And yet it is this history of cultural grief that "carves out" the space to feel profoundly, to dangle your feet with a chuckle over that Nietzschean abyss...May 9th is as much a V-day (Victory Day) as it is a G-day (Grief Day). And a P-day (Peace Day).Let us learn to coordinate our survival goals, Earthlings.