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Category:
Mental Health and Insanity

Art of the Insane

In early 1946, the St. Anne Insane Asylum in Paris exhibited some of the art work of its inmates. Collecting the art of people identified as insane seems to have been a trend at the time. See, for instance, the book of "Poetry of the Insane," published in 1933, that I posted about back in Feb 2013.

The Associated Press caption on the top picture notes, "The writing is a miscellany of seemingly unconnected Gibberish, with no apparent relationship to the drawing."



Posted By: Alex | Date: Fri Mar 21, 2014 | Comments (4)
Category: Art, 1940's, Mental Health and Insanity

Fear of Phobias

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You should be able to amuse and educate yourself for some time at the Phobia List site.

Here are some of my new favorites.

Fear of chickens: Alektorophobia.

Fear of dust: Amathophobia or Koniophobia.

Fear of nosebleeds: Epistaxiophobia.

Fear of virgins or young girls: Parthenophobia.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Sun Dec 08, 2013 | Comments (15)
Category: Mental Health and Insanity

Special Delivery



Perhaps reviewer GE_Pretzel said it best:

Subject: A sedative masquerading as a bus safety film

There are few films that can surpass or even equal the mediocrity of Special Delivery, a horrendously cumbersome safety film for schoolbus operators that fails to captivate. Instead of simply attempting to discuss the fundamentals of schoolbus safety and procedure in a concise, forthright manner, the film's creators place the necessary educational elements within a dry, unengaging story involving Mickey Miller, a recalcitrant little boy who has developed a strong distrust of the local schoolbus and its driver, Bill Marshall. It appears that Mickey has been reading far too many James Fenimore Cooper novels, as he wears a feathered headdress and continually shoots toy arrows at the schoolbus, a vehicle that he refers to as the "white man's stagecoach." Mickey is miffed when he isn't allowed to board the bus because of his age, but shortly after he reaches "age more than five," he and his older sister Millie are taken on a special bus ride by Bill in an effort to gain the young boy's respect. After a mishmash of schoolbus operation information is conveyed during the trip, Mickey alters his attitude and begins to take well to Bill. At the end of the film, however, Bill humiliates a diminutive boy who isn't allowed to ride the bus by calling him "Shorty" right in front of all of the other children. If Bill is striving to establish a rapport with his future passengers, he certainly isn't doing a good job. This lengthy production is quite a chore to watch.

It should be a crime to wear garish horn-rimmed glasses like the ones Millie sports throughout the film.


Posted By: Paul | Date: Thu Oct 10, 2013 | Comments (3)
Category: PSA's, Children, 1960's, Mental Health and Insanity, Bus

The Healthy Mind

Take a psychopath test and see how you rate. My score was as follows; The Healthy Mind, 82% empathic, 24% delutional, 75% sociable, and 74% law abiding. You don't have any gross defects of character at all. You might have your problems, but for the most part you're simply a normal person and most definitely not a psychopath in any way.
Please share your scores in comments, we are all friends here after all.
Posted By: patty | Date: Wed Apr 03, 2013 | Comments (26)
Category: Mental Health and Insanity

Poetry of the Insane

While he was attending physician at the Illinois State Hospital for the Insane, Dr. Charles Mayos collected poems that were written by his patients. Of course, all poets are a bit insane, but the ones that interested him were actually locked up and labeled psychotic. Eventually, in 1933, he published a collection of this verse in a book he titled Poetry of the Insane. [St. Petersburg Times]

The publisher mustn't have thought there was a large market for such a book, because only 300 copies of it were printed , which now makes it quite rare — and valuable. Copies fetch up to $200.

I've never got my hands on a copy of the book. (Not willing to pay that much for it.) Below is the only poem from it I can find online. I've read much worse poetry from people who are supposedly sane.

Awakening
by Anonymous
The hue of sorrow everywhere
The jagged rocks seem marble tombs,
Yet through the barren waste way over there,
A lily blooms.

As up the rugged heights revealed,
I creep, and deem the world as wrong;
A singer trills above the love unsealed,
His mating song.

I pierce the gloom with purer eyes,
For here I know that Heaven is —
I yield my empty self and realize
These are all His.
Posted By: Alex | Date: Fri Feb 15, 2013 | Comments (7)
Category: Books, 1930's, Mental Health and Insanity

Your Brain on Mescaline

In the early 1950s, German photographer Leif Geiges created a series of abstract images in order to try to portray "exactly what the mescaline subject sees and hears during the course of his artificial psychosis" — as Newsweek put it, which ran his images in its Feb 23, 1953 issue. This was before mescaline was made illegal, back when psychiatrists still believed that the experience of taking mescaline approximated the mental state of a schizophrenic and therefore could be of great experimental value.

As for the mescaline imagery itself, Newsweek explained:

On taking mescaline, first there is nausea, but this is soon followed by a derangement of the brain centers of sight and sound, which causes a constant stream of scenes of incredible beauty, color, grandeur, and variety. The contents of the hallucinations always jibe with past experiences; they are wish-fulfilling fantasies (an air pilot sees mechanical dream cities; an ex-archeologist, mythological people and monsters). The form most frequently perceived is a tapestry, such as a wall-paper pattern that breaks into grotesque shapes. Other familiar forms are (1) lattice work of checkerboards, (2) spirals, (3) tunnels, funnels, alleys, and cones. The mescaline action begins 30 minutes after taking and lasts from ten to twelve hours.



"Wallpaper patterns come to life, change to demoniac caricatures, threaten immediate destruction"
More >>

The Complete Blacky Pictures!

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Thanks to the stellar research powers of Alex B., we now have the complete set of these oddball Freudian prompts.

Click on the image to enlarge.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Thu Jun 28, 2012 | Comments (9)
Category: Art, Children, Alex, 1950's, Mental Health and Insanity

Harmless



"The story is about a husband and father and his battle with pornography. Actual home movies and interviews tell the story of the terror the family faces when a box of pornography is opened and something is unleashed."

Backed by a religious group. Surprised?

And if you haven't guessed, despite the subject matter, it's Safe For Virginal Eyes.
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All original content in posts is Copyright © 2008 by the author of the post, either Alex Boese ("Alex"), Paul Di Filippo ("Paul"), or Chuck Shepherd ("Chuck"). All rights reserved. The banner illustration at the top of this page is Copyright © 2008 by Rick Altergott.