martedì, marzo 13, 2012

Barking mad

Things are calming down and getting better here, which gives me more time to think about the university course I'm going, and gosh. I'd forgotten what undergrads are like. Of course it's even more dramatic by correspondence since what the loud ones say is there, written down, forever. The teaching assistant is being so sweetly encouraging, several times more than any ever were in Canada, and basically in a different universe from Paris. And you know what . . . I'd acclimatized to a near-constant of criticism or indifference. This is weird and juvenile now.

Anyhoo. Some of the readings are interesting and I'm going to do a sort of fun report on a terrorist organization that is even more likely than most to not exist. Combine my love of absurdity with constant studenticism.

Continuing down the humanerdities track. Since I got my e-reader I've picked up the unhealthy habit of downloading semi-random journal articles at will and reading one or half a night before conking out, and last night, while I was reading a paper by Christiane Sourvinou-Inwood about deity personalities in the Hellenic world - she had a very punchy style. Very punchy.
"This is evident, this is wrong, this has never been argued, this is indefensible -" and I realized halfway though that she, and just about every classical scholar, and indeed just about any humanities scholar and a fair chunk of them in other disciplines is absolutely barking mad, by modern definitions of madness.

I'm morally certain that there would be an established label, a psychiatrically defined pathology in 2012-era Western civilization for a man who chose to devote several months of his life to studying the foundation myths of one particular Greek colony in southern Italy for a "salary" that hardly kept him in pot noodles, or for a woman like Sourvinou-Inwood, who was almost visibly angry in what she was writing about how wrong so many people were, and how right she was, about how the Pan-Hellenic notion of Persophone was so different from the Epizephyrian Locris local "Persephone". There is certainly something deeply obsessive in all that which, if caught as a tendency in a child, would - I'm certain - result in medication, autism diagnoses, etc.

Don't get me wrong - I've worked with autistic children, autism isn't some tabloid myth, it's a real pain in the ass - but the more I see parents saddled with pathology labels for their children who are just a bit wierd and who might do something perfectly worthwhile but utterly bizarre with their lives, like ancient philosophy or something, the more I think our behaviour and social burdens are almost as, well, burdensome as they ever have been. At least for children.

I don't know. I'm thinking a lot these days about what motherhood is likely to be like, and being home at the moment, and so conscious of my mother and my daugher-love, that I'm a little bit more in touch with the wierd little kid I used to be. I grew up before the deluge of child-psychology-pathologies young ones seem to be swimming through at present but if I hadn't, or if I'd had more frustrated or less experienced parents, who knows what I would have got dosed up with. I haven't lived conventionally and the only reason I haven't been written off as a nutter by most people who know me yet, I think, is that I make a lot more money than most people without selling my pussy.

Not sure where I'm going with all this. Mostly just to say, I think, that I really distrust a world that distrusts madness so much.

9 commenti:

Dr Wommm ha detto...

Damn right, I couldn't agree more. The over-medicalisation of society and the assumption that if someone has something'wrong' with them they must be moulded back into shape (whatever the fuck that is) is way more fucking dangerous than most people give it credit for, I mean, you see this in public life all the time now, just imagine someone like Churchill (first one to pop into my head) rising to the position of Prime Minister, it just couldn't happen today, egomaniac functioning alcoholic that he was he'd just instantly be deemed unfit for office.

I can't begin to imagine the fun a present day psychologist would have had with my weird brain when I was a kid...

Ever read any Thomas Szaz? Very interesting anti-psychiatrist with a considerably more pragmatic bent than Laing. And he's brilliant on this exact area, as well as having the most sensible attitude to addiction I've ever encountered from the medical profession.

You sound a lot less frazzled now too, hope all is well.

Mistress La Spliffe ha detto...

Much less frazzled, thank you. Canada always calms me down, and it's become staggeringly obvious any danger from my mother's accident seems past. She looks better than I do in the mornings.

Have just geeked on Szasz's Wikipedia page and it all looks awesome. I'm reading further. Thanks!

Baywatch ha detto...

There's at least one thing wrong with everyone, for which big pharma can sell you a cure.

oh, and have you received your implant chip yet? "it's blisssss"

#treehouse of horrors V, 'time and punishment' segment

sorry, just jizz-riffing here.

truly, this rampant pathologizing turn has been around since modern medicine took it's seat at the enlightnment table, but these days it's just one more ideological state apparatus.

Let's not forget female hysteria.

And sure, hey, on the other side of that coin, at least gays finally got out of the fucking DSM.

But it certainly seems as though everyone else is going to be pleasantly plotted somewhere along some aberrant behavior "spectrum"...

Mistress La Spliffe ha detto...

I'm an unabashed feminist and all the rest of it, and I don't believe you can call a woman mad and unreasonable all her life without destroying a lot of her decision-making abilities.

But it's the pathologizing of childhood in general that's really getting me at the moment. Being a child is really hard and miserable as well as lovely and delightful, and it's time for some of the most intense emotions and revulsions a person is ever going to feel. I'm frightened of a world in which that's effectively not allowed. What the fuck is going to happen to those people when they're adults?

e.f. bartlam ha detto...

Have we really closed the book on Hysteria...are we certain about that one?

:) ducks.

Dread Pirate Jessica ha detto...

No no, hysteria remains an important element of the psychological sciences.

When men would rather believe that straight women are cranky because their wombs are wandering around thier bodies than because they're saddled with helpless incontinent animals for sexual partners, it's an important diagnostic for picking out the delusionals.

e.f. bartlam ha detto...

I'm not subut understand all the fancy words but I think the gist of what yer sayin is that I'm an animal in the sack.

True true.

:) I better get outta here before I get hurt.

Dread Pirate Jessica ha detto...

And it's for Martha to confirm the diagnosis of delusional anyways.

e.f. bartlam ha detto...

If we're keeping score based on Martha's reactions....I got chuckles. You got belly laughs.

S--t's rigged.