selene_13: (Labyrinth)
Yesterday it was World Alzheimer’s Day, and with 2 colleagues I went to see a documentary about Alzheimer’s (called “Lost down Memory Lane” and shot in Belgium) at the nearest movie art house.

It truly is a horrible disease and I feel for everyone who has experience with it in their lives. My grandfather passed away suffering from this condition, and seeing it so detailed in the movie just again emphasised its tragedy.

I have to say that I would be ecstatic to get the chance to grow old (and not die young, which is a great fear of mine); but getting truly old, whereby everything you do – getting up out of bed, getting dressed and washed, eating and drinking, walking, going to the bathroom – becomes an extremely difficult chore, that takes time, and you need help, and it probably hurts, and you have no privacy, is not something I look forward to obviously.

But to lose your mind until you are alone in a home, where you cannot remember your children, or your life and accomplishments, or your dead husband, or even what you did yesterday or how you got where you are today, until you forget how to eat and drink, is a nightmare.

One lady in the film, who was still aware enough that she knew was in a home and had Alzheimer’s, and could be quite laconic about this fact, was most terribly upset about the fact that society had written her off. That there was no more use for her. It was incredibly sad.

Ramblings

Sep. 17th, 2010 02:41 pm
selene_13: (Default)
I'm glad that week's over: Frustrating days at work when others aren't doing their work as they're supposed to (as in, I tell them we need promotional material at an important conference I'm going to, I even tell them what they can do, but have to trust they will do it because I don't have the time to do their job for them, and then they deliberate over it, and a little more, hem and hum, la di da, and 2 weeks later tell me "oh we actually haven't got anything yet, and now it's too late to send over any shipment so we'll just drop it", leaving me with nothing to show for when I go meet these important people... gah!).

Anyway, I sort of sabotaged myself by leaving a big pile of manuscripts on my desk that I was going to check today (free day, but I'm two weeks out of the office soon so need to finish this stuff), and then getting into my car home without them. So, now I do have a free day after all. Oh well! :D

This week I saw the movie Four Lions, a British farcical satire about four jihadists in London. The guys are thick as bricks and have an ideology that's ridiculous (disparaging Western consumerism even while recording their (blooper) threats on camera, referencing Mortal Kombat and playing with their cell phones in Pakistan), but the film manages at the same time to carry a message that shows how far people, even people who hardly have a clue what they're doing or getting manipulated into, will go. In the end, it was quite tragic - tragi-comic I should say.

The subject is of course a touchy one. During the film five people walked out of the theatre, but I really enjoyed it. It had me in stitches, but it's message in the end was clear, and you have to accept that for what it is. It's a very sensitive topic, and some people might feel it's one too serious to toy with, but in reviews I've seen it compared to Charlie Chaplin mocking Hitler, as in mocking that which is fearsome, to disempower it. And I like that analogy.

I remember reading about a similar anecdote, where a guy infiltrated a white rights supremist group in the US whose membership was on the rise, and then what he'd pick up at their meetings was publicly mocked on the radio: All the ridiculous nick names and safe words and rites and rituals were made fun off, and that caused their popularity and membership to drop. People couldn't take them serious anymore because their little club was exposed as intrinsically silly (despite the terrible things they did besides that). And so by mocking what is threatening, you disempower it.

It doesn't take away the threat per say, but maybe disparages some people from joining what's been exposed as destructive ideology. And anyway, better to laugh than to cry at life.

(I'm pretty sure that last anecdote was from Gladwell's The Tipping Point).

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January 2012

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