Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Masks of Stillness

When I received my summons for speeding recently, it was a summons for a substantial speed over the limit: 81 mph in a 60 mph area!  Did I have any options?  I suppose I could try and do a Huhne, or grin and bear the fine and the points.  I seem to be surrounded by friends and family who have all been speeding recently  - what's going on?  However all of them have opted to go on the safe driving course.  And all of them have said it was worthwhile and they learned something important.

One friend summed it up by saying that he realised he did not need to speed in his car - also he could stop speeding and rushing around in life.  He gave me a wry smile and said 'You know, WRS', 'What?, 'White Rabbit Syndrome - I'm late, I'm late...'

So if I am not rushing everywhere, what shall I be doing in this non-existent time?  I decided not to create a new interest but revive an old one.  It was time to start mask making again - sometimes I make them on my own face, but these masks I moulded on another mask. Each one represents another layer of myself as I went deeper into my stop speeding self!

I leave you to guess  the order of the masks!  And yes I am going on the course!

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Masks of madness

Teaching History of Madness, and contemporary practice in psychiatry, never ceases to amaze me about medical  and public ignorance.  Such unwillingness to go beneath the labels and try to understand what is really going on.  Everyone ought to read Thomas Szasz 'The Myth of Mental Illness', and re-think their own bias and prejudice.

But we live in a blame culture so it has to be someone's fault: almost always mothers are accused of causing autism or schizophrenia...  Does any century go by without women being vilified for some major demeanor - Eve seems to have a long, long birthright!

However schizophrenia is blame free: it still is not clear if it is a single 'disorder' or a cluster of different ones.  Yet we still lock up people with the label, deprive them of their rights, deny them their freedom, enforce medication, and to all intents and purposes treat them like criminals.  The very, very few who are potentially violent are seized upon by the media, and authorities are exhorted to lock them all up and throw away the key!