Woody and Soon-Yi Source: Wikimedia Commons Woody Allen’s new memoir, Apropos of Nothing, is the book that almost wasn’t published—his first publisher canceled it—and that many people say they don’t want to read. Interestingly, having nearly been denied publication, much of this book consists of denials. Purporting to be about nothing, the book brims with information about everything, from Woody’s long, improbably successful life to his two sudden descents into tabloid news. The first eruption began several decades ago when, late in his 13-year relationship with Mia Farrow, she discovered an affair between the then 54-year-old Woody and her 21-year-old adopted Korean daughter, Soon-Yi Previn. She retaliated by accusing him of sexually abusing the pair’s 7-year old adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow. The second explosion burst into the dawn of the #Me Too era, attracting a new, bigger, and more believing audience, when Mia, the now-adult Dylan, and Mia and Woody's … [Read more...] about Woody Allen’s “Apropos of Nothing”
“The rain is a blessing in disguise The flood’s coming and it’s drowning all the lies” — from “ Face Everything And Rise ” by Papa Roach There is a parable about the “Good Wolf” and the “Bad Wolf.” A grandfather tells his grandson that there is a battle between two wolves inside all of us. The bad wolf is filled with feelings of anger , resentment and lies, whereas the good wolf is filled with kindness, empathy and compassion. When the grandson asks which wolf “wins,” the grandfather replies, “the one that you feed.” Source: Bryan Roatch, used with permission Jacoby Shaddix – founding member, singer and songwriter for the band Papa Roach knows all too well the power of the bad wolf. Shaddix has struggled with depression and substance dependence throughout his life. And in the past, he has turned his anger and resentment on himself as he struggled to recover. During our conversation for the Hardcore Humanism Podcast , Shaddix described how he … [Read more...] about How Jacoby Shaddix Feeds the Good Wolf
“Don't feel you've got to hide” —from “ Stay Hungry ” by Twisted Sister I grew up fearing metalheads. Metalheads can be defined broadly as anyone who is either a fan or performer of heavy metal music. I would see metalheads at school and think that they looked … different. They had piercings, carried chains, wore black clothing, and had tattoos. And they wore t-shirts with names that felt intentionally threatening to me like “Black Sabbath,” “Iron Maiden,” and “Judas Priest.” I assumed they were unstable and violent. Source: Yasmeen Anderson, used with permission I had metalhead friends (yes, “some of my best friends” were metalheads). They’d play the music and encourage me to listen. I tried but it was too loud, too intense. All the screaming, the supernatural imagery – vampires, monsters, satanic symbols — it was ghoulish and grotesque to me. And I wanted nothing to do with it. My dismissive attitude was perhaps best summarized in a scene in The Breakfast … [Read more...] about How Heavy Metal Helped Me Break the Chains
In a previous post, I wrote about how the ultimately all-too-similar populist beliefs of the Right and the Left today put us at real risk. ( See "A Very Disturbing, and Dangerous, Situation—Political Polarization and Populism Run Amok." ) A red flag for the presence of such beliefs is worth noting. We see people taking the posture of the angry victim. We must take some care with using this recognition as a marker as it can result in conclusions that only reinforce old bigotries. And many people on both the Right and the Left, at least initially, will not at all like what I have to say here. But the recognition helps bring a nuance to understanding that becomes increasingly important in our highly polarized times. I’ve written extensively about the importance of acknowledging real limits. In the face of complex circumstances, it is important to be as clear-eyed as we can not just about what is possible, but also about limits to what may be possible. Acknowledging the fact of … [Read more...] about The Trap of the “Angry Victim”
As human beings, our lives are profoundly influenced by how we experience, handle, and express emotions. At some point in our lives, we all experience extreme sadness, fear , stress , joy, and love. When something good happens to us, we feel lightness and joy in our hearts. When we experience losses and defeats, we have a sinking feeling at the bottom of our stomachs. But imagine not being able to do that. What if you could never identify if you are sad or happy? What if you are indeed grieving or depressed but don’t even know it yourself? Can you imagine how confusing that is? That is the world that a person with alexithymia dwells in. Living with Alexithymia Alexithymia, derived from the Greek language, means "no emotions for words." This psychological construct is used to describe people who struggle with feeling and expressing emotions. It represents a reduced ability, or sometimes a complete inability, to be connected with the internal emotive signals your body … [Read more...] about Alexithymia: Do You Know What You Feel?