Archive for the ‘psychology’ Category

I Try To Live My Life By This Creed….

August 29, 2008

The epigraph to Simone de Beauvoir’s Le Sang Des Autres: ”Each of us is responsible for everything and to every human being.’

(Attributed to Fyodor Dostoevsky.)

But then I realized that this is a tad impractical.

So I tried to replace it with this:

‘God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.’

…but then I realize that this leaves me open to charges of bystander apathy.

Research cognitive dissonance and remember that ambivalence is not a crime. Sometimes it is the only sane response.



September 17, 2007

We know how he died but we don’t know why. A few nights ago a neighbour killed himself by jumping from the balcony of his sixth floor flat. He died, they said, of ‘horrific’ internal injuries. We don’t know how long his broken body lay on the grass before he was discovered. His closest neighbours cannot even remember his name. They only remember that he was ‘very mentally ill’. He was deemed worthy of a couple of columns in the local paper.

We know how he died but we don’t know why.
Perhaps we never will.


September 14, 2007

Commodity Fetishism. Note to Apple Evangelists: Steve Jobs is not God. I know because Richard Dawkins told me. In fact, that’s the title of his next book. And Bill Gates is not Satan. Get it?

A little online temper tantrum in response to some spoilt little brat who said that she would never date a shelf stacker:

I find it shallow. Shallow and thoroughly unpleasant. You are aware, I’m sure, that there are many reason that individuals may end up in the situation you describe. As it happens I have a friend who is, at this moment, stacking shelves. He developed schizophrenia in his mid-twenties. He has a first class degree from a rather prestigious university. Ask (deleted) or one of the other medics just how difficult it is to sustain a successful career and remain on a high dose of neuroleptics. You may well be academically brilliant but you need to work on acquiring an imagination and a capacity for empathy.

Oh, and how’s this for the very epitome of the Karpman Drama Triangle: Victim/Perpetrator/Rescuer? Each playing their alloted roles. Balding middle-aged men on white horses, anyone? No, it doesn’t appeal to me much either.

The blogger makes a good point about rampant, untamed typography.

My Neighbour

August 22, 2007

…Doug who is ninety told me of a dream he had. He was standing in a clearing in a forest with his wife and a childhood friend. ‘Where have you been?’ she asked him. ‘We’ve been waiting such a long time.’ Variations upon a theme – Doug has had this dream before. It is not always his wife who is waiting for him. Sometimes it is his wartime comrades. Sometimes it is me. Any dream analysts in the house?

From the profound to the trivial – my new Mac Mini arrived today. Pictures to be uploaded soon.

Less exciting news: I also bought a Dyson. All the better to clean Bella Cat’s fur with. She is an indoor cat and sheds all year round. She is also a tortoiseshell white so the fur she sheds is multicoloured – black, white and brown. No fabric is left unmarked by Bella’s presence. She is sitting at my feet now, plump and smug. An old-lady feline.

Website Of The…

July 28, 2007

Millennium. Not least because it mentions Little Modest Old Me:

Spin off site:

although I’m not sure I like the implication that the art created by its participants is engendered primarily by their mental health problems. Madness = genius is a tired old Cliché in my oh so very humble opinion. I am also disturbed by the ‘psychological ghetto’ this mindset almost invariably leads to. No one should be defined solely by their illness and this includes the mentally ill.

By the way PC Copperfield, none of them eat newspapers. Credit where credit is due though in the chapter entitled ‘Proper Crackers’ he did portray the issue of mental illness in both a compassionate and empathetic way. He wrote the following about a man suffering from a severe mental illness:

‘Imagine thinking your family is at terrible risk and no one believing you. Just because they weren’t didn’t make Bill’s agonies and fears any more bearable’ (Wasting Police Time, p. 219)

With these words PC Copperfield displays more empathy than many psychiatric nurses manage to conjure up in a lifetime.

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