April 2007


I’ve now and again toyed with the idea of going on medication…

I keep coming up with reasons not to, with some lingering sense that it’s just not quite right to tinker with one’s brain in such a fashion. And I’m not terribly proud of that…the brain is not altogether mystical, and the personhood of an individual does not ride on having untouched brain chemistry. That, and I drink coffee and beer on a regular basis, so who the hell am I kidding when I say I’m unmedicated. I just choose drugs that aren’t prescriptions.

Save for one. I have an emergency supply of a muscle relaxant…basically just enough optiate to bring me down in case of severe panic attack, and give me a chance to sleep it off and otherwise avoid potential harm.

Observant viewers noted that major news networks were reporting on the VT shootings, saying that Cho had not been taking medication. How’d they know?

Records.

The federalization of medical information is a threat to the well being and treatment of the mentally ill. Against the chance that I resell my 4 little pills, the government has wagered the trust and safety my community. They’re not even supposed to be able to access that information in a situation like this. But when that data is sitting right there, do we expect the states to stand up to illegal requests from an increasingly reckless administration? The very people who may have a hard time forming trusting relationships of care with medical professionals are now being told that the government is there in the room to watch.

When they record that information us…who will find out? Are you really paranoid if they’re actually out to get you?

-sly

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Dear Fellow Yalies Who Are Coming to My Humble Blog After Searching for Marquand Chapel:

Please consider dropping a comment, or even saying hi in person. I’m flattered by the interest, really, but it’s vaguely unnerving to know my classmates are reading this silently. I know, I’m paranoid, but I’ve also been really happy to hear from some of the folks who’d been reading.

As stated in the contact page, free drinks available to loyal readers who contact me in a bar.

-sly

Devious Diva has been outed by some of her lovely, hateful trolls.

This ain’t good. This is apparently in retribution for her blogging on the Roma in Greece, which has been some of the best first hand reporting I’ve seen here on the net. She’s requesting that friendly people make contact with an email or through her chat sessions. What happens to one of us, happens to all of us.

Go on, show the love.

-sly

Why won’t these people disappear when I want them to?

In the various outcries about how Cho had been hospitalized, i’ve noted a disturbing undercurrent. There seems to be an expectation that once identified as “mentally ill” that this would somehow guarantee that the individual would be safely and indefinitely removed from society.

For the record, most states require that threat to others not be documented by general attitudes or such, but specific and credible information.

Part of the problem that we’re hitting here is that the mental health care system is so broken that in all but the most extreme cases, it is not possible in terms of logistics or finance to provide in-patient care. More over, this highly confrontational and crisis oriented model of care does little to give long term help those who are brought through it.

Beds are only made available in extreme circumstances, leaving simmering problems until they have finally boiled over…with little to no preventative care available for lower income individuals.

Finally, and importantly, the system at present lacks the moral and ethical basis that we might reasonably require individuals to participate in it. We have the legal power to coerce an individual to be at a hospital, but if all they will do is drug them and then cast them out again, we have not used that power in an effective way.

“But he was even hospitalized” seems to be the perceived injury that the memory hole of institutionalization did not sufficiently destroy and hide the individuals who were placed there.

At some point, I should stop being shocked at how low the world can go, right?

You get jaded eventually? Is there a guarantee on that?

-sc

Pretty much everybody has a post up about the shootings at VT. I’m tempted to offer some coverage of the coverage (hint: it’s racist and sexist) and otherwise add my voice.

But… What else does one say?

-sly

One of my least favorite phrases in the world is “I think we can all agree…”

It most often precedes the most asinine re-phrasings and framings that totally elide the point of disagreement by stating the perfectly obvious or fallacious.

I think we can all agree that Iraq is better off than under Saddam.

BFP recently took down an article about this, but I just saw this take on queer issues in Iraq not connected to a certain British neo-colonial attention whore.

So.

“In the past three months, more than 30 gays have been executed in Baghdad. The bodies have been found tortured, mutilated – sometimes with signs of rape,” said Mustafa Salim, spokesman for the Rainbow for Life Organisation (RLO), a Baghdad-based gay rights NGO.

Full Story here.

-sly

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