Monday, 13 January 2014

Worst thing about "Man of Steel": perpetuates misunderstanding of depression.

Depression Comix (015)
Just from looking through a couple sites like Depression Comix (via io9) and Hyperbole and a Half (also via iO9) it should be painfully obvious that depression (like most/all mental illness) produces impediments to mental functioning that simply can NOT be willed away.

Also, personal experience has really highlighted how arbitrary mental state can be; uncorrelated to outside events that might be reasoned to induce happiness/sadness. But when I take a little tyrosine, I clearly feel the (positive) effects of dopamine and adrenaline, hours or days down the line. This supplement leads to motivation but also agitation and anxiety if not balanced with tryptophan, the essential amino acid for human synthesis of serotonin and melatonin (happy and calming modulators).

Sure, I'm only one particular case, in that I seem to be naturally short of all (essential) amino acids (probably due to maldigestion). But these same effects are widely known (1, 2, etc). This leads me to feel strongly that diet and digestive (not to mention metabolic) health interventions almost certainly have more scope to cure 'mental' maladies than the minimal prescribed doses of talking and/or mono-drug therapies...

So anyway, I watched a couple of films the other nights, while otherwise useless due to a food related fatigue reaction. I opted for entertainment to match my impaired cognition, so had low expectations. I'm not going to pick at "After Earth" (that continues Will Smith's downward trajectory in sci-fi, with a script so lazily cliché that it would insult a pre-teen demographic); I couldn't watch more than 20 minutes anyway.

Meanwhile, "The Wolverine" has almost as many gaping plot holes as the protagonist, but is only partially guilty of the sin I'm lamenting here: Doing something that's clearly supposed to be impossible, (according to the premises set up in the movie itself) just by sheer force of certitude and gritting one's teeth extra hard! (Logan does eventually hit his limitations.)
Screen Captures from Man of Steel.
To be fair, "Man of Steel" avoided dwelling too much on this, compared to the previous Superman reboot, which concluded with him lifting a mountain of kryptonite out of the sea and throwing it into space... At best this is an horrendously boring and meaningless type of plot resolution mechanism. But I'd say it's almost a little evil in it's implication that one can do anything if one simply tries hard enough, is motivated enough and has enough heart...
 Adventures in Depression Part 2
Adventures in Depression Part 2
Which is flat wrong. Especially when the foundation of the problem is an inability to try hard, itself. I guess this misconception lines up nicely with the beloved fallacy of 'The American Dream' (in the land of ever falling social mobility).

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