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I have something to say. Stand back and experience its glory. You can have it for free.
Here you go. This is what it takes:
Knock yourself out, Philip. For $805.13 a month, I will do this for the rest of my life. If you want it.
Subject: What David Foster Wallace Did Wrong
He compromised the only thing that could actually save him. He made his glorious brain unavailable. He did so via a ludicrous idea that mental illness originates in the brain. It does not. It originates in the stars. We are sent the messages. Most of us disregard them. And, well, for the people who are receiving, that's an awesome and terrifying burden and that kinda sucks. On the upside, we are the borg, we understand. The really intelligent people understand that suicide does not solve problems. It just takes away your precarious chance of succeeding at life. That the particular star arrangement at that time, decided, in its indisputable wisdom, that DFW had to die before I could be released is unfortunate. Now we have to carry on with out him and he was a wonderful mind. But the stars did say so, then he took that trivial and misguided step of putting his head in a noose, and now we take over. And you better not try to stand in my way. Because, according to my spiritual and legal advisor, the first level of assault in criminal law is to prevent someone's progress. And it's a capital offence. It's just a shame that Andrew Goldstein didn't run his plans by me first. I would say "Andrew, I hear you. Let's talk. Your plan is reasonable but your execution is woo woo." So, clearly, the law is misnamed. It's not "Kendra's Law." It's "Andrew's Law" and it represents our incapacity to help when help is so desperately needed. Fuck you, E. Fuller Torrey. I hope you die a slow and painful death. You're a retard and I can only conclude that you have a vested interest in pinning brilliance on cat litter (but, kids, I'm the one who is labelled psychotic! because social control is all about the mind fuck). And, in my own estimation, that is because there is some pain in your family. Rhoda has something to say but she's not being allowed to. Because you will take her cigarettes away from her (one of the most egregious human rights violations that you can commit) if she does not comply with your frankly ludicrous demands. So, watch out. Some of us are observing and waiting. And, when the time is right, we'll demolish you. With our words. We will be informed by Amy Goodman and we will be the Fink and the world will be much better for it. That is all.
If that made sense to you, be careful out there.
As my FOAF Susan Musgrave says, it doesn't matter how your work is received. The point is: Did you feel less afraid after you wrote it?
I don't have to explain my answer to you brilliant and interesting and hilarious babblers. But, just in case you're thick, the answer is YES. I feel less fear. Score!!!
If that made sense to you, be careful out there.
I think I got the gist. What precautions should be taken.
Thanks for that, G. Pie.
You could try this if you are fearful and thus need to protect yourself:
Don't let anybody threaten your mind with their love or any other weapon.
You were given a brain. Use it.
Use whatever tools you have available to accomplish your goal.
Do not let cruelty and stupidity get in your way.
If somebody is in your face, use your words.
Tell him (Tio) that your inability to understand my brilliance is unfortunate but is ultimately your failing.
Tell people that you use the men's room because it's periwinkle. If that troubles them somehow, pity them.
Stay at home. Stay warm. Eat. Sleep. Eat and sleep some more. Laugh, for God's sake! Life is hilarious. Go to CBC's website, find the Q, find Howie Mandell. Let the glory that is Howie Mandell tell you the Socko the Clown story. Try not to pee your pants. That's embarrassing.
Are you okay?
Just a somewhat cheesy attemt to draw out the psychiatrists. Boring?
Not sure if that will get you to the Psyout.
Yup, sure am.
i 2nd the thread title....
It's a challenge to my (some would say "excessively") literal mind but I think I like it!
David Foster Wallace played football... a dangerous game for the brain. Traumatic brain injuries acquired in football crashes can be almost undetectable and create strange moods and behaviour - and suicide.
Thanks, RosaL. Is there anything in particular that could use a little clarification? Is the Fink reference too out there?
nope..... think it is all perfect.....
I am in love with the OP.
Me too, and the one that follows. Seriously, this thread made my day. :)
So it was worth doing? Spilling my insomniac schizophrenic guts all over the internet turned out to be a good thing? Did it make you less afraid?
I value your opinion greatly, Michelle. Thanks for your support.
A friend says that some of my references are too woo woo for general readership. So let me interpret a little:
Amy Goodman is the host of Democracy Now where I saw the Fink take on and demolish Alan Dershowitz.
E. Fuller Torrey runs the Treatment Advocacy Center which promotes involuntary drugging of schizophrenics on the basis that their rates of violence are higher than the average population. His sister Rhoda is a paranoid schizophrenic who is forced every day to take mind altering drugs against her will because her brother said so.
Speaking quite truthfully, I am amazed that the violence so rarely happens. Everything that I was forced to do over the last few days I did with the benefit of my words, family, friends, humour, cigarettes, love, phone, internet, roof over my head, good food, etc.
If somebody insisted to me that I had to do the same thing without any of those benefits, I would quite possibly murder them. And justifiably so. Our unwillingness to help those who suffer is inexplicable. A friend of mine wrote something like your own personal freedom does not mean very much in the context of the knowledge that others are being tortured and humiliated.
Oliver Sacks is a neurologist and writer with an extraordinary understanding of mind. In a quite unrelated book called An Anthropologist on Mars (which is Temple's description of what it feels like to negotiate with people, as opposed to cattle), I came across this little beauty in a footnote:
The huge scandal of leucotomy and lobotomy came to an end in the early fifties, not because of any medical reservation or revulsion, but because a new tool - tranquillizers - had now become available, which purported (as had psychosurgery itself) to be wholly therapeutic and without adverse effects. Whether there is that much difference, neurologically or ethically, between psychosurgery and tranquillizers is an uncomfortable question that has never been really faced. Certainly the tranquillizers, if given in massive doses, may, like surgery, induce "tranquillity," may still the hallucinations and delusions of the psychotic, but the stillness they induce may be like the stillness of death - and, by a cruel paradox, deprive patients of the natural resolution that may sometimes occur with psychoses and instead immure them in a lifelong, drug-caused illness.
Just so you know, Sacks uses here the original word tranquillizers to mean the first generation anti-psychotics, the most famous of which are probably Thorazine and Haldol. Those same drugs (Seroquel, Zyprexa and the rest) fall into this category although they have been marketed as atypical anti-psychotics. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as an anti-psychotic drug. Nothing will cure your mind except sleep.
There is significant overlap (to put it mildly) of diagnostic categories and evidence-based best practices. These very same anti-psychotics have very recently been approved by the FDA as an add-on treatment for depression on the basis that clinically you may show a small improvement if you add an atypical to your drug cocktail. The problem, as I see it, is that the categories are not measurable and neither are people's minds. In Grace's book about informed consent, she pushes the idea of reality-based best practices. In my own experience, I am less interested in the fact that whatever %age of patients show a modest improvement than the certainty that I have plenty of tools to address my problem. I find warm milk to be pretty effective at making me drowsy, if not actually unconscious. It's a comfortable feeling with no downside. I don't need to have it placebo tested. I'm fine with it. We need to find what works for each individual and then encourage them to do it. Even EFT acknowledges that 30% of schizophrenics spontaneously stabilize and there is no understanding of why that might be so. As Sacks is alluding to above, if you choose to treat the problem as a brain disorder and consequently drug it into submission, you are shutting the door on the reasonably probable chance that you would have recovered without them. That's a serious consideration with respect to informed consent and forced treatment. A line of research that should (and won't be) addressed is what are those 30% of people doing?
Oh, and this might interest you. Although the mentally ill smoke more than any other subgroup, they only very rarely get cancer. Hoffer suggested that they have excellent genes and that he'd be thrilled to have schizophrenia. Torrey, however, went another way. According to Torrey, there is a virus in cat shit that causes schizophrenia although there is no evidence. And, according to Torrey, antipsychotics somehow act as antivirals although there is no evidence for that either. So my position on that would be that it's a theory but not a very plausible one and I'm going to stick with mine instead, in lieu of anything better.
I just wanted to say on the issue of drugs that MFI and I parted company over whether people ought to be allowed to take them. Since they are legal products, prescribed by doctors, I can't really get on board with this concept that they shouldn't exist. Ditto cigarettes, for that matter, although Camels are no longer prescribed as "most doctors' favourite brand."
Thomas Szasz hates anti-psychiatry even more than he hates psychiatry and I must say the more experience I have in this field the more I intend to agree with him. I must get his book "Antipsychiatry: Quackery Squared." Szasz says a comically tragic or tragically comical result of the antipsychiatry movement is this earnest group of people who both deny the existence of mental illness and collect disability benefits for it. I don't think Szasz should be thrown under the bus simply for misusing the term "category mistake." He is part psychiatrist and part philosopher.
In general, people (all of us) do better when our minds are not cluttered with drugs. It's a radical position, I know, but I hold it and will not be swayed. There is a place for involuntary hospitalization and there is a place (and a need!) for informed consent and drugs and electroshock and whatever it is that works for you. There is no justification nor any need for coerced or forced drugging. Ever.
Two things I loved:
"Because, according to my spiritual and legal advisor, the first level of assault in criminal law is to prevent someone's progress. And it's a capital offence. It's just a shame that Andrew Goldstein didn't run his plans by me first. I would say "Andrew, I hear you. Let's talk. Your plan is reasonable but your execution is woo woo." So, clearly, the law is misnamed."
"And, when the time is right, we'll demolish you. With our words. We will be informed by Amy Goodman and we will be the Fink and the world will be much better for it. That is all."
Did it make me less afraid? Maybe. I fear different things than you do, I think. But maybe it made my fears more manageable to hear the fears of another. All I know for sure is that it made me feel magic. Madness. Lovely.
My biggest fear is that I know I will die but that I don't know when or how. That's a terrible thing to try to grapple with and I'm the only person ever who has ever had to contemplate it. Like my poster says: If you think you're alone, you're not alone. And, yet, you are alone. So very, very alone. That's almost as funny as Socko the Clown.
I understand why mental illness exists and why that has to be so. I also know I'm recovering on my own. It's time for the world to "Give Emily A Little Room." Your fear and alarm serve only you because they're sure as hell not helping me.
From my POV, the only thing that psychiatry has ever (and will ever!) prove is that mind-altering drugs alter the mind. As a philosopher's daughter, I'm offended by the banality of that assertion.
Isn't it bad enough that I have to know that I will die someday somehow?
Must I also be tortured and humiliated?
Must I figure this out by myself, knowing both that David Foster Wallace failed and that I couldn't graduate from high school?
These are the tools I have at my disposal to negotiate the wobble:
- my mind
- my hopes and my memories
- my music
- my animals
- my friends
- my family
- my words
My advice to the lunatics is Use Your Words. If your message is not being received, then you require an interpreter. Without a system of shared understanding, society fails.
And now I want to tell you guys about the Goodbye Pie (my full name). At the moment, my wobble is stabilizing and my madness is receding. But, in a previous visit, my madness dictated that I had to die. But my words failed me and that's a terrible thing to happen to someone that needs her words.
When you receive that cry for help, be aware that you may not share the language with the speaker.
When my husband gratefully accepted the home-baked pie, I took that as a sign that he wanted me to commit suicide. So I ran it by a friend, as I so often do, and he asked the most exquisite question. "But did you tell him that it was your Goodbye Pie"? I had not because I thought it was self-evident.
It's a funny story but my friend and I agree that it really doesn't hurt that it rhymes.
It's inhumane to impede someone's progress.
I will not be forced to be something I'm not. Push me too hard, I'll kill myself. Push me even farther, and I'll kill you. After the things that I've experienced, I have no trouble at all understanding why Andrew Goldstein did what he did.
Read James Neff on Columbine. Those two kids were pushed beyond their endurance.
And, as always, only The Onion really understood.
Too oblique, I think.
The Onion's reaction (some time after the tragedy) was "Columbine Jocks Safely Resume Bullying."
I think if Reena Virk's father can forgive his daughter's killer, you can forgive me for saying strange things every once in a while.
We can be heroes.
Have you seen Victorians Dragon Den? How about Duncan's Den? They're ludicrously funny.
We need a Lunatics Den where people can present their case and their friends can tell them: That's a reality fail and I'm out!!!
Heather Mallick is pretty good but her mangling of "banality of evil" made my teeth hurt. That is not at all what Hannah Arendt meant by that phrase.
I love to laugh. And I love to make people laugh.
Suicide is understandable, but not recommended.
I love the name of the Goodbye Pie. It sounds like it would make a good story or poem. But definitely, don't take signals from people who may not understand your terms of reference.
And who is Philip?
After that commencement speech, I cannot fucking believe that David Foster Wallace was not put into a hospital, by force if necessary. Didn't he have any friends? How could this have happened? If DFW's language failed him, can you people not see that just makes my own burden that much greater?
Philip Dawdy, journalist who writes at www.furiousseasons.com but I'm not G. Pie there. For the important things, I use my real name.
Had a good night's sleep and am feeling fantastic. My plan is to have a shower and change my clothes because it's been days and days and I haven't even changed into pajamas at bedtime. Then I'm off to my parents' house for dinner. Scrabble will be played. Sunday, I'm picking up a friend and driving her where she needs to be. Monday, I might try to go to work if I can. That is my plan. And that's all you need is a plan.
I'd like to amend that to: All you need is a plan and the insight to be able to abandon it at a moment's notice on the advice of people whom you love.
Then I'm off to my parents' house for dinner. Scrabble will be played.
That sounds nice.
First there was the Pie. Then there was the Arizona Pie.
And then there was the Goodbye Pie. And then all hell broke loose.
Horsemen are philosophers and that's why they're so annoying.
But there's some comedy value too: http://www4.ncsu.edu/~masupple/hillbilly/critique.html
Once you have the tools and understand the concepts, everything is easy. If you can't do it, you don't have the tools. Get the tools. In the meantime, do your very best, your absolute break your heart very best, to stay alive. In the hospital, out of the hospital, at the beach, in four-point restraints, whatever it takes to stay alive. Use the brain that the universe gave you and figure it out. If I can wrestle with my illness, my addiction, my issues and my mind all at the same time and survive, I have the tools. The tragedy of DFW, as anyone who has looked into the abyss while it looked back, could tell you, is not that he died. That's unfortunate but it's not a tragedy. The tragedy is that we drove him to do it. Read his commencement speech. Read what he cannot tolerate. Why was DFW forced to tolerate those things? It is inhumane to force a creature to be something it's not. Isn't it bad enough to be slaughtered by my mind? Do I also have to lose my dignity, my career, my friends, my marriage, my money, my prospects? How much does a person have to bear before jumping seems like a good idea? The tragedy of DFW is that our society failed him. Failed big. Epic fail. Belongs on failblog.org except that people will cry not laugh because they're not doing it right (available at loldogs via failblog.org). If you fail to meet the challenge, you're not doing it right. That DFW failed is not his problem. It's yours. And every suicide in the world makes the problem bigger and bigger. It's UBC's loss that they rejected my mind. Now, ill, craving but denying alcohol, recovering from psychosis, and averaging 3 hours of sleep (on a good night!) is going to explain to you what it takes. It takes everything that you have and a considerable amount more. We are faced with outrageous unjustice. Pick the hill you're going to die on, grow a pair, and use your brain. Read Moo by Jane Smiley to understand why the academics are so insecure. Read White Teeth by Zadie Smith to understand what comedy there is in pain. Watch Dragons Den UK, then watch Duncan's Den and realize that the woman walking up the stairs is not that actress but rather the Goodbye Pie. State your demands. Here are mine:
(a) If I am available and you are important enough, I will take your call
(b) If I take your call and announce my intention to end the call, DO NOT TRY TO KEEP ME ON THE FUCKING PHONE
(c) If your telephone is threatening your mind, don't answer it. It has an off switch, you know.
There are answers to all problems. Here are mine:
(a) If I am available, I will take your call. Not via my secretarial screening. I will just pick up the phone directly and announce my intention to assist you. The lawyers I respect the most are the ones who do this. To be designated as one of the "lawyers that the Goodbye Pie respects the most" is a compliment of the highest order. You know who you are and it's not you, Alan Dershowitz.
(b) Respect my need to protect my own mind. It's all I have.
(c) Have you heard of call display? It's a brilliant invention. Our policy should be everybody has call display but nobody has a blocked number. A blocked number prevents you from getting through.
Little tip: If you think you need proxy software, you need medical attention. Call a poet or a philosopher or a horseman or stumble down to 7-11 and talk to the very consistently skilled convenience store clerks. Whatever you do, refuse to engage with a religious person wearing a medical degree. They will torture you and they will humiliate you and nothing will save you except your own mind.
The Goodbye Pie will survive while David Foster Wallace succumbed because DFW didn't have the right tools. I can give you the right tools. War is over. If you want it. (I don't have to worry about being shot, though, because Chapman is otherwise enaged). Of all the terrors that I feel, Chapman ain't one of them. Because he's being taken care of. We have to learn to engage with the suffering on their own terms. We have to amend the Representation Agreement Act so that the crazies are protected because they need it the most.
Herschel Hardin was speaking as a father not as a civil libertarian. Look how far he betrayed his values in order to save his son. A parent's love is a terrifying thing. Support abortion rights. Don't make me have a baby knowing full well that I will die from post partum depression. Don't force me to dare the system to try to prevent me from having a baby. Any asshole can have a baby. It takes a great mind to realize that you shouldn't. If you look around, you'll find that none of the smartest people have children.
I'm on my own here. And yet I'm reaching out even though I feel raw. Because I lack the capacity to instruct legal counsel but I still retain my essence. There is nothing you can do to me that will erase me. So don't even think of trying. Don't sign up for a guaranteed fail.
Learn until you are finished learning. Then teach.
While you are learning, use a pseudonym.
Don't change your name when you marry unless you have the capacity to make that decision.
Please close this thread. I am being bombarded with your opinions and they bore me.
My family and I went to Victoria Maxwell's brilliant presentation of her one-woman play a few months ago, "Crazy for Life." Wow, she's funny! And talented! and insightful.
I went away with one serious message, which was something like this: "When it comes to therapy, don't settle for second best. Keep looking until you find a psychiatrist who really listens to you. Keep looking for the best meds for you until you find a dosage that works while still letting you feel like you." "Be patient while you're looking for the correct medication with your doctor."
jas wrote:And who is Philip?
Philip Dawdy, journalist who writes at www.furiousseasons.com but I'm not G. Pie there. For the important things, I use my real name.
Thanks G.Pie. Excellent link.
David Foster Wallace - brilliant but clearly that alone is not enough to ensure survival, I wish he could have listened to you. :)
Feeling much better this morning. I'm in the hospital and had a decent night's sleep. I'm a voluntary patient and can walk out the door anytime I want. Don't want to walk out the door, tough. Mum is coming later with coffee and love.
I'm glad to hear that you're doing well, G. Pie. Cheers to you.
If anyone has any questions regarding anything on this thread, please direct them to: