Haven’t been reading much lately but bought Žižek’s book of jokes. It gets crude, interesting that he points out jokes are anonymous and will have some reasoning behind them say to let off steam in regard to issues with authorities etc. Why I thought I would have a look was that after reading a pretty difficult book by Žižek the one part I remembered was a joke and I really laughed out loud on the bus. There were a few moments like this with the current book but a lot of the jokes were archival say of Soviet era politics, religion and so forth. This is a joke that wasn’t particularly funny but I liked it, a man is crazy and thinks he is a kernel of grain. If he sees a chicken he becomes terrified as they love feasting on such morsels. The therapists try their best to convince the man that he is not a kernel of grain but a man and after a while succeed curing him of his delusion. One day though the man sees a chicken and becomes terrified, going into a panic. When the therapists arrive they point out that he is cured and is in fact a man. The man replies ‘I know I am a man……but does the chicken?’. So there you go, a bad joke but it has an interesting side to it and there a couple of variations in relation to commodity fetishism etc. The point that Žižek makes is that it is fine to make the patient aware of the unconscious in psychoanalysis but when does the unconscious become aware of itself? In regard to creating self aware systems which is at the vanguard of current technological pursuits, say for instance Google’s self driving cars. We have as well NASA testing drones for possible space missions which will be able to make decisions in regard to what they explore as the gap in real time human operation will be too great. It is interesting watching these ideas and technologies unfold but at the same time it is hard to completely trust technology especially when it becomes able to direct itself in difficult terrain such as deep space. What really worries me though is the malfunctioning driver less car but really what is the difference? Technology can become its own bad driver and we can throw in a loud speaker for some road rage.
What constitutes recovery is an interesting issue, in my own recovery I took the role of it as a personal journey fraught with mishaps and then resolutions. Personally I wanted my recovery to be heroic, the fallen who will rise and conquer. It is a bit misconstrued to forget the role of other agents in my recovery. Even though I felt the need to create myself in recovery as in the ways I have in which, such as in the way I have painted some murals or presented my art work the role of government, pharmaceutical companies and factors human and non-human have made the journey easier. The fact that I managed to stay in employment was mainly due to the effective application of existing anti-psychotic medication and a fast referral process. I wasn’t stuffed around basically, my issue was assessed and a referral was speedy. My psychiatrist was professional and got it basically right at a critical moment. The other issues were changing medications after four years when my own independence lead to poor management decisions. Luckily the issue was resolved but due to a process of going backwards due to my own ignorance though I can’t blame myself as I didn’t realise the range of physical symptoms associated with schizophrenia. The main factors in my own recovery have been due to the medication blocking symptoms so in general I hardly have any occurrences and I personally feel that my decision to stop drinking alcohol has been the best personal decision I have made. Even in individuals not effected by psychosis or psychotic symptoms can be greatly effected by alcohol, it isn’t that alcohol is the main problem but it inhibits anti-psychotic medications for those with psychosis and creates problematic behaviours in normal individuals. With my medication if I want to drink alcohol I have to manage it and that is fine but the issues I would have after a night of drinking which with my initial diagnoses I continued to do were difficult. If I could describe the symptoms as either active or inactive the addition of alcohol made the symptoms active or more active in sleep than without alcohol and that is why now due to my abstinence from alcohol I rarely have active symptoms while asleep or awake. Every month or so I may hallucinate some sounds but it is rare and only lasts for a split second. The other issue is avoiding non-prescription medications with amphetamines as an active ingredient such as cold and flu tablets.
I don’t agree that we should feel that it is a personal journey because that plays into the hands of political types trying to minimise public spending even though I have painted that picture literally to rally support for my art or create a heroic trajectory. Heroes are for movies and art as a theme but the reality is more complex. I read a lot of books on storytelling and movie plots to understand those particular constructions and feel it is valid to help yourself deal with issues but I take my hat off to the complexity and effective treatments made available to everyone. It isn’t about being a hero it is about recovery but whatever story you concoct or little things that help can only be of benefit. I did it all on medicare and I feel public services have been good to me so lets keep these services working and continue to support governments that understand the importance of universal healthcare. We aren’t running a business we are providing an environment that is conducive to healthy lives and the best outcomes. We need a surplus of best outcomes.
Have been focusing on sound based art since August, trying to keep it a bit dodgy and inventive. Made a small recording set up which fits in my tiny workspace. The Macmini is in use everyday now too enlisted to produce sound and my laptop records, it is pretty messy and I need to connect my microphone directly to the Macmini so I can add effects to it through jack-rack. Otherwise it is through my mixer and pretty raw, who cares anyway it is good fun either way. Have been sick with the flu on and off last three weeks and I am losing patience but a really bad flu can last up to four weeks like the whopper I had in 2010 that lead to a sinus infection thus adding the up to four weeks part. So far I have a bad cough and I was really looking forward to going to Tai Chi in the park tomorrow with a group so I hope I feel better in the morning. Have been doing a lot of Tai Chi when I have felt better and it seems I have remembered a bunch more moves from looking up videos on YouTube. Even though I have improved and extended my range I still feel like crap so it is probably better I just take it easy. So I am making headway and I feel happy but I have had niggling issues with flu and some other old injuries playing up. My body is saying don’t push it. My mental health has been outstanding but my body has some issues. I would love to feel better physically and I will keep trying to mend and heal, in general I am pretty lucky because the issues I have had haven’t been serious. Over the years it has been catatonia that has been a problem so I am trying to keep my body moving even though it is difficult and carrying injuries doesn’t help but I am more a fool for optimism anyway. Trying to remember the last time I felt great, it wasn’t that long ago really. I am rarely sick too, usually it is every four or five years I get a flu, damn it gotta get over the man flu bit.