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View Diary: Glenn Close offers an awareness raising message on Sandy Hook and mental health issues (22 comments)

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    "the big four" -- schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, serious depression and post-traumatic stress
    No mention of psychopathology/sociopathology? They have to be nearly as prevalent as schizophrenia and are actively anti-social, by definition.
    Certainly, mental health issues need to be discussed and better treatment supported, And there's no question that some form of mental illness differentiates a mass murderer from other people. But that's so not predictable in so many people. You always hear it: "Who could have ever guessed that this nice boy would do a thing like that?"
    But the problem weighs more on the supply side: easy availability of major firepower turns a temper tantrum or a bout of depression into a major tragedy in a hurry.
    If a tragedy like Newtown causes us to do better by the mentally ill, that's a good thing, but if that's where it stops, it's a disservice to everyone and double for people with mental health issues.
    This has to ALSO be about gun availability.
    And it has to address gun culture ("your man card"?).
    And it has to, at least, examine our entertainment culture.
    As an artist and free speaker, anything that externally limits artistic expression is out of bounds, but there is a responsibility that artists (and that includes performers and game creators et cetera) should understand that they have. A popular actor has a following of hundreds of thousands, millions of fans, what she says is listened to by a lot of people and can be very influential. That goes for on and off stage. People creating art should keep in their minds that some of their fans might take their output wrong, misinterpret and act out. The higher up the food chain you go, the greater that responsibility is.
    I'm not calling for censorship or review boards or rating systems (they all fail and end up stifling creativity), but I am councilling artists to think about what you are doing, think about the ways your work can be misinterpreted, think about how that can effect individuals and society as a whole.
    We have a culture that is perfectly fine with incredibly brutal images and stories, sees nothing wrong with the fact that by the time an average kid has reached 18, watching an average diet of Tv, they've witnessed 16000 murders. "Bang, you're dead" is the end of the story. It's the solution to the problem. In all too many cases, the story leading up to it has loaded it up such that that end is justified and applauded.
    We have extremely well designed computer games that are so good at desensitizing people to violence that the military uses them as training tools. That has to be dangerous to a mind that is already bending that direction.
    Why is that OK?
    How do the people that created these games justify their product?
    I know, they have to claim that it's not the game, it's the player, just to prevent their employment from evaporating, but to completely divorce any thought that there might be a level of responsibility is just wrong.
    Just as the Gun lobby makes that same kind of claim, it's not the guns, it's the people....
    End's up, nobody is responsible....

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 01:22:57 PM PST

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