Links of Great Interest: Hooray for Links!

Major, major signal boost: A black police officer was shot 28 times… and is going to jail for somehow attacking other police officers while this was happening. 

JUSTICE FOR TRAYVON.

Woman describes world after “fetal pain” law.

You’re pregnant… right now. 

From Jenn:

“According to Jezebel, there appears to be a group of fans who are displeased that black actors were cast to portray Cinna (Lenny Kravitz), Rue (Amandla Stenberg) and Thresh (Dayo Okeniyi). While Cinna’s complexion isn’t described in the novel, author Suzanne Collins does describe the latter two characters as both having dark skin.”

From CloudTigress:

The War Against Obesity now starts well before toddlerhood now!!
Sheeeesh!!!!

From Amy:

Barely covered in the news: Rick Santorum calls the president a
“government nig-” then stutters a bit. If it makes you feel any
better, the article’s writer has a learning moment on privilege.

 

From Casey:

A woman named Ciara LaVelle of the Miami New Times wrote a very
ignorant, condescending article about going to Wrestlemania 28 and
sure enough, she’s been dogpiled with misogynist insults in the
comment section. One comment (on another forum) that made me cringe
was a female poster and self-professed feminist calling the author a
bitch and a stupid cow. *face-palm*

Planned Parenthood says “no” to a donation, because it’s from a misogynist. HOORAY FOR PLANNED PARENTHOOD, and politically and economically supporting women’s rights to medical health in a safe, RESPECTFUL, feminist environment!

The Miscarriage Chronicles continue

Pink Slime going out of business.

Race and A Game of Thrones

The myth of the suffering artist

The hoodie march vs SlutWalk

From Casey:

From Shakesville, a poll conducted by Jamelle Bouie exposes White
Americans’ willful ignorance/antipathy towards the systemic economic
disparities of Black Americans, AKA: LOL BOOTSTRAPS

From SF_Drama, Riley AKA Gisei_Ni_Nashi is a misogynist, rape
apologist, ableist fuck-wad. They also don’t know how highlighting and
color theory works.

From Ara:

I’m specifically calling your attention to number nine on the table,

where it requires a note from your doctor or your Christian Science
Practitioner to get out of jury duty– I refuse to believe Christian
Scientists are the only religion out there that prohibits its
adherents from seeing a doctor, and therefore there is no reason to
specifically allow them rather than having a broader rule about a note
from your religious practitioner if your religion prohibits you from
seeing a doctor.

Protesting for an education

Internet racism/haterade for ABG.

On the animosity towards women and reproductive justice.

From SunlessNick:

An article talking about how Mitt Romney knows what women want because his wife Ann tells him. Aside from some of the claims he makes (apparently, you women who are reading this don’t really care about contraception rights), the article later makes a point about Mitt sending Ann to campaign to women for him:  “It’s a fact of political life that candidates’ wives, who generally enjoy high favorables, hit the trail to tout their husbands, humanizing them in a way that no one else can. But given the mounting evidence that Romney will have to work tirelessly to woo women to his side, admitting that he doesn’t engage with a constituency that’s roughly half the U.S. population directly seems a bizarre strategy.”  Or as a commenter on the forum where I heard of the article succinctly put it:  “Getting women to vote for you is apparently women’s work. It’s just not worth the time of important men.”

Comments

  1. Dani says

    Re: Howard Morgan; the same jury that found him not guilty of firing at the other officers somehow couldn’t decide on whether or not he was guilty of attempted murder?! How does THAT happen?

  2. Casey says

    Thanks for posting my stuff! :D
    I should also add that the woman who wrote the Wrestlemania article also wrote an article titled “It’s Not Racist If It’s True”. OTL
    So yeah, she’s a racist shitbag and an asshole when it comes to other people’s fandoms but insulting her with misogynist remarks just makes wrestling fans look bad.[/preaching to the choir]

  3. says

    Re: the CPD shooting. It seems we’re a nation full of people who mindlessly buy into the idea that, when confronted with white authority figures with guns, the normal response of a sober, rational black man is to go apeshit on them. It’s like this is the racist version of the “I couldn’t help raping her, she looked really good” defense. Sick, people, sick.

    RE: fetal pain law. So that baby was tortured for a few weeks, and then died painfully, but Republicans would have us believe abortion is somehow worse.

    The pregnant two weeks before you’re pregnant thing really DOES smack of learning one’s biology on the playground. I have never been so pleased to be infertile. I used to think of infertility as reducing my choices, but now it’s… making me an honorary man and thereby restoring the rights I grew up thinking I had? What is going on in these people’s heads?

    The myth of the suffering artist: “It is absurd and insulting to assume artists are assisted by despair or hunger in a way that, say, plumbers are not” Ha! Yes! Any creative person whose suffering has caused depression can tell you it doesn’t help the creative process (or any other process – depression is soul-sucking). But he goes way beyond that: this myth exists to justify and rationalize suffering, frequently in the form of social Darwinism. Also, abusive personalities frequently tell their victims that the suffering they are imposing will make the victim a better person. This is often in reference to their character or morality, but it’s really the same idea: cull the herd, so only the strong survive! Well, the difference between survivors and people who just sort of flail through life is emotional support. You take that away from anyone, and you will create weakness that didn’t exist before, not cull weakness that was already there.

  4. Casey says

    Abortion opponents have hailed the law, and legislators in 12 other states — Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Mexico and Oregon — are considering similar restrictions.

    FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU
    (not to be self-centered or anything, but…)

  5. says

    The more I think about what Republicans are determined to put wanted babies and children through in the name of saving babies, the more I think it’s going to take violence against the living to get anyone to realize what’s happening. The fetus/baby described in the link suffered horribly, if it was capable of feeling pain, as the Republicans insist it can, based on inconclusive science. Why should a Republican lawmaker not be tortured for an equal amount of time, you know, to prevent someone murdering him?

    Or here’s a compromise. We’ll let the Republicans restrict abortion the way they want for ten years IF and only if EVERY SINGLE REPUBLICAN MALE gets a vasectomy. Any Republican male caught fathering or adopting a child will be fined $8 billion. And Republican male caught passing his Republican values onto other people’s kids will be fined $8 billion. We give up our rights to avoid motherhood; they give up their rights to be fathers of any sort. After those 10 years are up, things go back to normal, but with a very shrunken Republican base, or – just as satisfactory in my opinion – a renewed Republican party that’s more concerned with economy and theories of good government than forcing their personal extrapolations of Jesus down everyone’s throats.

  6. Amy McCabe says

    Jennifer Kesler: The pregnant two weeks before you’re pregnant thing really DOES smack of learning one’s biology on the playground. I have never been so pleased to be infertile. I used to think of infertility as reducing my choices, but now it’s… making me an honorary man and thereby restoring the rights I grew up thinking I had? What is going on in these people’s heads?

    This is done for practical reasons. It is extremely difficult if not impossible to determine when someone has conceived. Pregnancy usually follows roughly 14 days later, giving a quick and easy way for your OB to figure out your due date. (If you have irregular periods, you’ll likely be asked to have an early sonogram…those lovely transvaginal ones). The extra two weeks also have a biological reason, as that is the time the one egg is selected and matures for ovulation.

    Perfect? No, but for practical medical uses, it does make a kind of sense. Applying it to law is more than a little silly though. Given the way the GOP has been with women’s rights, let me change that silly to scary.

    As for abortion post 20 weeks, I’d imagine most post 20 week abortions are due to health reasons. I’ve always hated the way those against abortions act like this is something a bunch of women are doing for fun or something. Imagine just how devastating it was for that couple to have that happen, then all the extra hassle they had to go through. It is hard enough learning you were going to lose a wanted pregnancy.

  7. Amy McCabe says

    Jennifer Kesler,

    Jennifer Kesler: The more I think about what Republicans are determined to put wanted babies and children through in the name of saving babies, the more I think it’s going to take violence against the living to get anyone to realize what’s happening. The fetus/baby described in the link suffered horribly, if it was capable of feeling pain, as the Republicans insist it can, based on inconclusive science. Why should a Republican lawmaker not be tortured for an equal amount of time, you know, to prevent someone murdering him?

    The argument against allowing this couple to abort would be the same as the argument against doctor assisted suicide I think.

    One of the things that surprised me, actually, was that she was denied (if I read correctly) not an abortion but an induction which would have likely led to giving birth to a live child. At 22 weeks, the chance of living is very low, but there is a slim chance whereas it would probably be a lot lower at 23 weeks given the conditions the fetus was in for the extra week. I’d imagine an argument could be made that inducing then was the fetus’ best chance of survival (granted, both rates of survival would be very low).

  8. Ara says

    I don’t think there’s a connection between art and suffering per se, but considering the number of (moderately successful) writers I’ve met who have psychiatric disorders but say going on medication robbed them of their creativity and ability to write, I do think there’s some kind of connection between art and psychiatric disorder. The problem is less with the existence of the connection than with the fetishization by society of the concept of “suffering artists,” which creates the problem mentioned in the article of artists going out and trying to suffer.

    The medical analogy would be autism and sensory processing disorder: while the most well-known form of autism involves major sensory issues and vice versa, it’s completely possible to have one or the other separately; there’s just a sufficiently heavy overlap that there’s assumed to be some kind of connection between the two, but it’s way too complicated and with too many factors to have any idea what that connection is yet, especially since each also shows up in people without the other.

  9. says

    Amy McCabe, ah, so that’s where the two-week window idea comes from. But it still is just absurd the way they’re trying to apply it.

    Ara, I think the fallacy is in assuming a cause and effect connection (not saying you were doing that, just following from your point). I don’t think any mental illnesses lead to creativity, partly because that just doesn’t track. I’ve known loads of mentally ill people who weren’t creative at all, and loads of creative people who were happy and well-adjusted. I think the connection is actually fairly convoluted:

    –Creative people are different, and this isn’t a world that tolerates difference well. Therefore, just being a creative person can cause a degree of depression/frustration, unless you have a very solid base of emotional support.
    –”Different” people are more likely to be diagnosed with psychiatric issues.
    –Mentally ill people are different, and the intolerance they encounter can compound their symptoms – i.e., you’re already depressed when someone decides to treat you like shit for being depressed.
    –”Different” people frequently need to find innovative ways to navigate life.
    –Ergo, if you’re “different”, you will be pushed to be as creative as you can be.

    So, having a mental health issue can indirectly push you to be creative, by exposing you to intolerance and thereby forcing you to try new ways of getting along in a world that’s fairly hostile at best and out to kill you at worst. But I think it’s at least as common that creative people suffer because people are shitty to them, and of course that’s going to cause depression or anxiety. It might also trigger disorders like schizophrenia (correct me if I’m wrong, anyone; going off things I’ve read), which ARE biochemical, but the onset seems to be triggered by various things including, possibly, stress/trauma.

    It’s important to note the difference, because the assumption that mental illness leads to creativity is part of why creative people have been institutionalized, imprisoned and even killed by societies that saw them as a threat. It’s also reinforcing the idea that mentally ill people are inherently “weird.”

  10. says

    Jennifer Kesler,

    That’s an interesting theory, Jennifer; how do you account for the point Ara made about psychiatric medication often reducing creativity? That wouldn’t happen if this was a purely social phenomenon. Medication does not automatically make one “normal”, in fact some feel it makes them less able to function.

  11. Alara Rogers says

    Why should a Republican lawmaker not be tortured for an equal amount of time, you know, to prevent someone murdering him?

    yes. Republican lawmakers who are going in for life-saving surgery should be denied anesthetic, because, you know, anesthesia can kill you! If what’s most important is preserving life and not preventing suffering, then why add the complication of depressing the central nervous system with chemical sedation during a time of stress like open heart surgery?

    Except, unfortunately, Republicans actually *are* also against appropriate pain medication for the sick and dying, because god knows, it’s more important to keep one black guy from getting high than to save 100 people of varied races from excruciating pain as they die from cancer or suffer pain disorders like fibromyalgia. (It is not at all important to prevent white guys from getting high, at least if they are rich influential Republicans, so Rush Limbaugh hasn’t seen jail time.)

  12. Alara Rogers says

    Sylvia Sybil,

    Because psychoactive medication has psychoactive effects.

    Depression is a “natural” biochemical process. It’s one that makes you suffer and can kill you, so it’s important to shut it down. But the same drugs that shut it down can have other effects on the brain that are not intended. Thus, any psychoactive medication *could* have the potential of interfering with a person’s creativity, not because it helps them with their depression or their schizophrenia, but because in the process of helping them it also inhibits *other* brain processes. I mean, Paxil completely shut down my sex drive, and no one argues that anxiety and suicidal depression makes people more libidinous. Prozac made me gain weight, and no one argues that depression helps you slim down.

    That being said, I’d strongly recommend that anyone who has found that their psychoactive medication inhibits their creativity should try other medications, if they haven’t done so already. For me, Paxil killed my sex drive, and Prozac made me kind of emotionally flat and thus impaired my creativity, but Wellbutrin improved my depression, gave me mental and emotional energy to actually *do* the creative things in my head, gave me a greater sex drive, and impaired my appetite (useful to me, at least for now, because I’m overweight and would prefer to be at the weight I was before I had kids.) Not everyone’s psychiatrist is as eager as the ones I’ve worked with to help someone find a med that’s really right for them.

  13. says

    Sylvia Sybil,

    Mostly “What Alara said”. Additionally, I think some people who don’t need these meds at all are being given them anyway because no one recognizes the actual source of their unhappiness. Paxil slaughtered my creative ability, totally, and made me numb rather than happy. Zoloft gave me a psychotic break. Getting my father diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder made it clear that my depression was not a brain chemistry problem, but rather a perfectly healthy reaction to a deeply unhealthy situation, so I opted not to keep trying to medicate it. I worked on changing my life and my coping skills instead, and that eventually did the trick. I suspect the reason I reacted so badly to both meds was that my brain chemistry was just fine in the first place, so all I was getting were the side effects.

    In either case, I don’t think that in treating mental illness, these drugs are also “treating” creativity. Like Alara said, it’s just side effects, like the ones they can have on libido, sleep habits, etc. Hell, some blood pressure meds can cause hallucinations. Welcome to the fun and exciting world of trying to find drugs that don’t give you something as bad as what they cure! :D

  14. Patrick McGraw says

    Sylvia Sybil,

    I’m on the Autism Spectrum and live with mental illness, including depression and anxiety. My personal experience was that depression and anxiety killed my creativity for years.

    When I started psychiatric therapy a year ago, we tried several different medications with varying results (Celexa made my anxiety much worse, for example) but have found good results with Zoloft, which has resulted in more energy and creativity. It’s also lowered my sex drive, but given my severe social anxiety I find that a pretty acceptable side effect at this point in my life.

    So here’s one experience where mental illness hurt my creativity rather than fueling it, and medication has improved it.

  15. Patrick McGraw says

    Jennifer Kesler,

    Getting my father diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder made it clear that my depression was not a brain chemistry problem, but rather a perfectly healthy reaction to a deeply unhealthy situation, so I opted not to keep trying to medicate it.

    I had a similar experience when I was diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. So much of my life, especially my childhood, makes a lot more sense now, and that education has given me and my doctors a better perspective for treating my mental illness, particularly my Social Anxiety Disorder.

  16. says

    Thanks for the great answers, everyone. I was thinking the relationship between mental illness and creativity was complex and highly individual, and that’s what I’m getting from y’all’s experiences/interpretations.

    My experience with psychiatric drugs was very similar to yours, Jennifer Kesler. I was prescribed a smorgasbord of medications, half of which were to counteract the side effects of the other half. None of them helped; many just made me worse. Then my abuser got evicted and I got a restraining order against him, and “magically” all my psychiatric symptoms cleared up. My take-away from that experience was that while medications are helpful for many, they are not one-size-fits-all as pop culture (and some of my doctors!) believe.

    In my personal experience, I found that mental illness greatly boosted creativity – because one of my symptoms was mania, a euphoric boost of energy.

  17. says

    Patrick McGraw: My personal experience was that depression and anxiety killed my creativity for years.

    I was thinking about this earlier. I always thought I got a lot of creative work done when I was depressed (and using writing to try to sort through the depression), but I’ve actually gotten far more done during those periods when I was either happy or at least just not particularly depressed or anxious.

    Patrick McGraw: So much of my life, especially my childhood, makes a lot more sense now, and that education has given me and my doctors a better perspective for treating my mental illness, particularly my Social Anxiety Disorder.

    It’s depressing how often psychiatric counselors are working without a proper context. While that can be due to lack of skills or effort on the clinician’s part, it’s also just difficult because things like privilege get in the way. I’m thinking of Valium for “hysterical” housewives in the 60s (because these women had it so easy, they had to be crazy to be unhappy, right?), and the classification until 1974 of homosexuality as a disorder – disorder being defined as behaviors/ideas that make people unhappy – when it was really the intolerance of others that was causing unhappiness.

    Sylvia Sybil: Then my abuser got evicted and I got a restraining order against him, and “magically” all my psychiatric symptoms cleared up. My take-away from that experience was that while medications are helpful for many, they are not one-size-fits-all as pop culture (and some of my doctors!) believe.

    In my personal experience, I found that mental illness greatly boosted creativity – because one of my symptoms was mania, a euphoric boost of energy.

    I’m all for meds for those who need them, but not only are they not one-size-fits-all – they can also mask the real problem that needs to be solved. Even if a pill makes you feel better, a clinician needs to be concerned about problems in your life that might do you more harm than the pills can fix – such as, an abuser who could harm you physically, destroy your family relationships, wreck your job or chances of promotion, etc.

    Re: mania. Stephen Fry, who is bi-polar, did a documentary where he talked to other bi-polar celebrities, and most of them described what you’re talking about here. There’s a lot of focus on creative types who have manic episodes, but non-creative people also have this disorder. They tend to do risky things, believing they can’t lose – gambling, risky sex, etc. So, is it really that mania directly boosts creativity, or does it just boost a person’s energy, which she then channels in whatever way she’s personally inclined? I.E., for a creative person, that would be creative works, but for a not-so-creative type, just basic human appetites like risk taking, sex, etc. ??

  18. Lindsey says

    Sadly the over-reliance on pills for psychiatric treatment is a direct result of insurance economics. Therapy is expensive, much more expensive than even flinging a few brand-name pills at someone. This is coupled somewhat with the fervent arguments that have been made for depression as having a biological/chemical source–and sometimes, it certainly does. But having had to work so hard to establish that it can be biological, a lot of established belief has turned to seeing all depression as having that root, when some is surely causes such as abusive family members or the stress of poverty or legion other obstacles.

  19. says

    Lindsey,

    Additionally, and this feeds right into your last sentence, one of the long-standing uses of psychoactive substances has been to keep the oppressed in their place/make them less unhappy about their depression. This is just continuing that narrative because on one hand, insurers are happy to maintain the status quo, and on the other, many clinicians actually don’t understand stuff like why poverty should be stressful, because they really have no clue how much poverty shrinks one’s options.

    Perhaps the biggest threat of therapy is that it helps people understand when they are being abused or oppressed, and then depression turns to anger, and then they dessert the abusers/oppressors who were relying on them or even decide to start actively fighting them. Get a lot of people on that path, and so much for the 1%.

  20. Alara Rogers says

    There can be external chemical causes of depression as well — my first depressive episode that I managed to get treatment for happened at a time when a lot of shit was going on in my life, but getting my shit together didn’t fix things, and Prozac turned out to be a band-aid. The real problem was that my birth control pills were making me paranoid, anxious and depressed. When I changed birth control formulations, the problem went away. (For another three years, anyway.)

    Doctors aren’t always careful enough to make sure your symptoms aren’t coming from another medication you take, let alone your life circumstances.

  21. Patrick McGraw says

    Lindsey,

    Sadly the over-reliance on pills for psychiatric treatment is a direct result of insurance economics. Therapy is expensive, much more expensive than even flinging a few brand-name pills at someone.

    Absolutely. Psychiatric medication needs to be used as part of a treatment program. The sort of thing I didn’t have access to until I became disabled and gained access to that evil, evil socialized health care.

  22. says

    The connection between creativity and mental illness is a Venn diagram showing a couple of circles intersecting, in my opinion. Yes, some meds would likely reduce creativity while reducing mental illness; but others might reduce creativity and increase mental illness as well. The one thing I’ve learned over the years of doing Pharmacology Roulette with my schizophrenic son and with myself is that most people have really weird biochemistry, and it’s amazing any chemical works the same way on two people. My mother-in-law, for instance, interpreted Valium as speed, which made for some really interesting conversations with her doctor (and a family intervention with the nurse’s station during her last days, in case they thought she ought to have some. Er, no.).

    My current antidepressant keeps me more creative, because I can actually sleep. I find that St. John’s Wort works on mood control, but flattens things a bit (ok, I enjoy a mild bipolar effect, at least the high notes. So sue me), so I quit using it. The first time I drank Ruby Mist herbal tea I sat up and giggled for half the night (never worked that way again, blast it!).

    I suggest that a certain amount of experimentation, within safe limits, is called for. Note: any med that turns one into a zombie is probably best avoided, unless the people around you are physically threatened without you being on it (I knew a guy like that. We were all very happy when his medication was adjusted. I am not normally in favor of overmedication, but if you knew this guy, you’d hum “The Thorazine Shuffle” right along with me. The nurse who took a while to recover from being hit over the head with a metal Cardex by him was certainly happier…).

    Just a few musings on the subject.

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