“Oprah Winfrey would make an excellent education secretary. Dr. Phil could look after the nation’s mental health. And, if you stretch the imagination a bit, Jack Bauer of 24 – minus the predilection to torture that regrettably seems to animate him – would be ideal for homeland security.” Times Online’s Gerard Baker’s response to Barack Obama’s plans to appoint a television doctor as U.S. Surgeon General.
Jack Bauer would probably be ideal, yes, but as long as we’re voting for fictional characters, my yays go to Michael Scofield and Lincoln Burrows.
For both mental health and homeland security purposes.
I’m just in love loyal like that.
Anyway, it’s time for another Weekend Psychings – enjoy!
As for movies, Todd Drezner, a Columbia University Film MFA graduate, is currently making Loving Lampposts, a film FilmStew.com says will “include a close-up look at ‘neurodiversity,’ a movement which posits that curing autism is something that is neither possible nor desirable.” As the father of a son diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, Drezner takes special interest in the subject and the film will reportedly feature celebrity advocates like Jenny McCarthy. (For those who’re interested, Loving Lampposts is Drezner’s directorial debut, but he also worked as an editor on I Paint Pictures, a 2007 documentary about a New York street artist with schizophrenia.)
In book news, “One in every five homeless people has a severe or persistent mental illness” and Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne assistant professor Phyllis Agness is trying to help bring more light to homelessness, the many related factors, and how it all affects America’s homeless children in her new book No Place at the Table. The topic of mental illness and homelessness is often a “the chicken or the egg”-type of discussion – which came first? I’m interested to see how, if at all, Agness addresses mental illness and homeless children.
And, keeping with the kiddie theme, Chicago-based psychiatrist Dr. Kourosh Dini also has a new book out, Video Game Play and Addiction: A Guide for Parents, that aims to examine the effects video games have on youngsters.
Walking the red carpet, please tell me I’m imagining things. Are people really taking bets on which celebrity will be involved in the first drug bust of 2009? I mean, really? Good grief. Anyway, going right along with my post about celebrity stalkers earlier this week, Ashley Shaw, the PAVE Coordinator for Mental Health America of Licking County, Ohio, offered some interesting and helpful facts about stalking at NewarkAdvocate.com (and guess what – no one was “crazy”).
Sports enthusiasts, especially those across the pond, may be interested to know the UK’s Channel 4 has created a new documentary series about Paul Gascoigne (the football player who has very publicly battled with mental health problems) and his family called Surviving Gazza. You can learn more and catch up on episodes (I think only one has aired thus far) at Channel 4’s page for the series.
I’ve read some pretty crappy things written about Gascoigne, so…I hope this documentary doesn’t do more harm than good.