April 28, 2006

Mental illness, and a proposal for next Friday (May 5)

Posted in Mental health, Movies at 2:35 pm by The Lizard Queen

A little less than a year ago, Tom Cruise criticized Brooke Shields for treating her post-partum depression with medication and psychotherapy. Soon afterward, he appeared on the Today show to promote War of the Worlds and ended up expanding on his opinions of psychiatry, calling it a “pseudo-science.” I’ve been trying to forget Cruise’s rant, chalking it up to just another celebrity taking advantage of his fame to pontificate on his chosen subject. (I can’t blame them—I’m sure I would do it, too.) Still, the more I think about this particular incident, the angrier I get. People struggling with mental illness have enough problems without celebrities—who, like it or not, the general public pays attention to—disparaging them. I defy anyone who’s experienced clinical depression to tell me it’s not real. I defy anyone who’s had to witness one of the most brilliant people she knows descend into madness to tell me that can be fixed by vitamins and exercise. I certainly have no argument against people seeking treatments other than psychotropic medications for mental illnesses, nor do I claim psychotropic medications are a panacea; I do, however, believe that criticizing those who take such medications so that they can function is akin to criticizing epileptics for taking medication to prevent seizures. Such criticism is unfounded and damaging. My hope is that someday the stigma can be removed from mental illness, so we as a society can focus instead on understanding it and treating it more effectively.

To increase awareness of this issue, I have a suggestion that may seem like a non sequitur: an anti-Mission Impossible: III movie night. MI:3, starring Tom Cruise, premieres on Friday, May 5. Don’t go see MI:3 that night—instead, you might do as I plan to do and get together with your friends to watch a movie featuring one of the other MI:3 cast members (Capote, anyone?). Or perhaps you might watch a movie that deals with mental illness in some way, like One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest or Girl, Interrupted. (Or perhaps you might just go out and celebrate Cinco de Mayo and avoid the movies altogether.) No matter what, I encourage you to skip MI:3 (does it really look that good anyway?) and talk about this issue. Will boycotting Tom Cruise’s movies make any dent in his paycheck or his beliefs? Probably not. However, breaking the silence surrounding mental illness is the first step toward removing that aforementioned stigma.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
-Margaret Mead


Friday catblogging

Posted in Animals, Personal at 11:16 am by The Lizard Queen

Respect my authoritay
Originally uploaded by Bassclefgirl.

Hi everyone!

Opus here. Mom wouldn’t share her scone from Satellite Coffee with me (well, she let me have a little nibble, but I wanted more!), but she said I could post an entry in her blog if I wanted to. She said it had something to do with lizards, so I agreed–I like catching lizards lots! I don’t see any here, though. Other things I like: whatever Mom’s eating, sitting in the window, pushing things off tables and dressers (Mom calls it my kitty feng shui–I just call it fun), and napping.

And speaking of napping, that sounds good right about now. Peace out!

April 27, 2006

Feminism and conservatism at loggerheads

Posted in Conservatives, Feminism, Musings at 8:29 pm by The Lizard Queen

I haven’t been posting as much as I’d like to lately, because I’m a grad student and the end of the semester is nigh. As a result, my lovely readers have probably already heard about the posts and articles I’ll be referencing momentarily. However, I feel like this is an issue that’s important enough that it bears repeating.

Feministing recently discussed a piece by Nathan Tabor stating that feminism is dead. On the other hand, on April 19, Phyllis Schlafly published a piece questioning whether or not feminism controls the Bush administration. Since there seems to be some confusion over on the right about this issue, I thought I’d respond to those two articles. Read the rest of this entry »

April 26, 2006

Holocaust Remembrance Day

Posted in History, Religion at 3:37 pm by The Lizard Queen

I’m a day late, but I still wanted to mark Yom Hashoah, the Day of Remembrance for the Holocaust. There’s a moving piece over on NPR.org about one person’s story, and PoMo Golightly wrote a lovely post on her blog the other day about her friend’s project commemorating the lives lost in the Holocaust.



Apparently my butt is big because I’m a feminist…

Posted in Feminism, Wingnuts at 3:31 pm by The Lizard Queen

…good to know!

Go see why Ann Coulter makes me nauseous. Good grief.

April 23, 2006

A bit of fun for Sunday

Posted in Memes, Music, Personal, Poetry at 7:36 pm by The Lizard Queen

First, a meme that all of you have no doubt seen floating around: set your digital music player to play ten songs at random from your entire collection. Report what gets played, no matter how shameful the results.

My problem is not shame; my problem is that were I to actually listen to this mix, I think my brain might explode:

1. Led Zeppelin – “All of My Love”
2. The Shins – “New Slang” (from the Garden State soundtrack)
3. The Push Stars – “Drifting Away”
4. Ani DiFranco – “Gravel”
5. Concerto in F: Preludio (Adagio); Composer: Corelli/Barbirolli, Soloist: Gheorghe Zamfir
6. The Brian Setzer Orchestra – “Straight Up”
7. Michael Nyman – “The Wounded” (from The Piano soundtrack)
8. Enya – “Pax Deorum”
9. Jesse Cook – “Tempest”
10. Cello Concerto, opus 129: 2. Langsam; Composer: Robert Schumann, Soloist: Mstislav Rostropovich

We have eclectic tastes in music ’round here… 🙂

And here’s another poem for Poetry Month. This one is one of my favorites.

This Is Just to Say
by William Carlos Williams

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

April 19, 2006

Good stuff over on Pharyngula

Posted in Religion, Sex, Wingnuts at 1:22 pm by The Lizard Queen

First, a post on “Purity Balls” in South Dakota: “My career as a porn impresario is over”
My take: a) I forsee chastity belts becoming all the rage sometime soon…; b) Saying that people who think condoms are great contraceptives (or water balloons… y’know, whatever) and should be available to everyone (including teens, most of whom are going to have sex, Purity Balls and True Love Waits rings notwithstanding) worship condoms sounds to me a lot like the old standard, “I love Diet Coke.” “So why don’t you marry it?” Trust fundies to elevate the discourse…

Next, a fascinating map of the percentage of religious adherents in the U.S., by county. I grew up in a yellow county (35.1-50.0%), then moved to a salmon-colored one (50.1-75.0%), then moved to a yellow one, then moved to a salmon-colored one, and am now poised to move to a yellow one in the next month or so. Weird.

Awesome headline

Posted in Government, Media at 12:46 pm by The Lizard Queen

I know, I know, this is terribly juvenile of me. But how did this headline make it to the Yahoo news site without anyone noticing it could be taken the wrong way and trying to rephrase it?

Bush, After Some Changes, Vows More Coming

Also, quotable Bushism from that article: “I’m the decider and I decide what’s best.”


And speaking of changes in the White House, buh-bye, Scotty…

Hat tip, of course, to Shakespeare’s Sister

April 16, 2006

Another poem

Posted in Poetry at 7:35 pm by The Lizard Queen

Here’s a good poem for today: “Easter 1916” by W.B. Yeats. Enjoy!

April 15, 2006

National Poetry Month

Posted in Poetry at 10:59 pm by The Lizard Queen

And now for something completely different…

As PoMo Golightly mentioned a couple of days ago, April is National Poetry Month. I just spent about an hour trying to decide on a poem I wanted to post. I might end up posting several throughout the rest of the month, because it was really hard to pick just one. The one I decided on is the first Billy Collins poem I ever heard. I hope this might prompt some of my lovely readers to go check out what some of the great poets out there are writing these days. Enjoy!

I Chop Some Parsley While Listening To Art Blakey’s Version Of “Three Blind Mice”
by Billy Collins

And I start wondering how they came to be blind.
If it was congenital, they could be brothers and sister,
and I think of the poor mother
brooding over her sightless young triplets.

Or was it a common accident, all three caught
in a searing explosion, a firework perhaps?
If not,
if each came to his or her blindness separately,

how did they ever manage to find one another?
Would it not be difficult for a blind mouse
to locate even one fellow mouse with vision
let alone two other blind ones?

And how, in their tiny darkness,
could they possibly have run after a farmer’s wife
or anyone else’s wife for that matter?
Not to mention why.

Just so she could cut off their tails
with a carving knife, is the cynic’s answer,
but the thought of them without eyes
and now without tails to trail through the moist grass

or slip around the corner of a baseboard
has the cynic who always lounges within me
up off his couch and at the window
trying to hide the rising softness that he feels.

By now I am on to dicing an onion
which might account for the wet stinging
in my own eyes, though Freddie Hubbard’s
mournful trumpet on “Blue Moon,”

which happens to be the next cut,
cannot be said to be making matters any better.

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