The rise of grief policing. The notion that there is but one way to grieve, and that deviation from that way is wrong. Grief policing was on display recently, during the aftermath of David Bowie’s death. Camilla Long, the film critic for The Sunday Times, witnessed the outpouring of emotion posted online as people learned, and tried to make sense, of Bowie’s passing. She did not like the way they mourned. Their grieving, she suggested—or, well, “grieving”—was self-indulgent, and, like so much else on social media, purely performative. “Bowie Blubberers,” she called the grievers. [more inside]
How Obama Let Big Oil Drill in the Pristine Alaska Wilderness. Alec MacGillis (of ProPublica) writing in Politico Magazine (Dec. 21, 2015), shows how one well-connected man (and big lobbying money) can really make a difference. [more inside]
@sadtopographies: An Instagram account cataloging the most unfortunately named places on Earth, from Shades of Death Road in New Jersey to Mamungkukumpurangkuntjunya (or "Where the devil urinates") Hill in Australia and everywhere in between.
SLNYT - Suicdal treatment-resistant depression vs. DBT One man's experience with dialectical behavior therapy, or DBT. Previously, and again. [more inside]
Pre-therapy, this is the only thing I was ever taught, implicitly and explicitly, about sadness: It is bad.Journalist and author Mac McClelland explores the relationship between recovering from PTSD and learning how to live in the presence of sadness: How I Learned To Be OK With Feeling Sad. [more inside]
You do not want it. If you've got it, you should definitely try to get rid of it, fast as possible. Whatever you do, don't subject other people to it, because they do not like that.
Sadness can be legitimately problematic, absolutely. If your sadness comes from seemingly no place or even an obvious place but keeps you from participating in life or enjoying anything and refuses to abate no matter how long you go on letting it express itself, you of course can't keep living like that. But culturally, we aren't allowed to be sad even for a little while. Even when it's perfectly sensible. Even when, sometimes, we need it.
Grantland: "This is the Animated Movie Sadness Index. It’s very simple, though perhaps easy to get confused by. This is not a ranking of sad moments from animated movies. For example: Charlotte dying in Charlotte’s Web was a sad moment. But Charlotte wasn’t a sad character, nor was Wilbur, so they aren’t here. Because this Sadness Index charts characters with sad backstories — tragic figures with dark histories, who endure the most awful of circumstances."
Why do we feel happy when we listen to sad music? A study from the Tokyo University of the Arts and RIKEN says that while we expect sad feelings to result from sad music, often the emotions are more neutral or even positive. [more inside]
Home Sweet Home "'I told him I did live my life forward, but sometimes I couldn’t help thinking about the past, and it was rewarding,' he says. 'Nostalgia made me feel that my life had roots and continuity. It made me feel good about myself and my relationships. It provided a texture to my life and gave me strength to move forward.' The colleague remained skeptical, but ultimately Dr. Sedikides prevailed. That lunch in 1999 inspired him to pioneer a field that today includes dozens of researchers around the world using tools developed at his social-psychology laboratory, including a questionnaire called the Southampton Nostalgia Scale. After a decade of study, nostalgia isn’t what it used to be — it’s looking a lot better."
Every year, Animation Magazine holds a pitch party, where, for the low-low price of $375, you can send a 2 inch by 5 inch card to represent your idea for a cartoon, and get judged by a panel of professionals. The actual results are a near-endless parade of bad ideas, bad art, and a liberal use of comic sans. (4chan archive, NSFW ads)
The Center for Cartoon Studies (previously), in association with the National Cartoonists Society, has assembled The Cartoon Crier (pdf), a 36-page collection of comics being intentionally NOT comical, including newspaper strips old-school and new, alt-comics, webcomics and even a few editorial and magazine cartoons. Plus Shaenon K. Garrity writing about the saddest comics ever. Some will make you cry, others will make you go 'eh', some will make you chuckle very guiltily, but altogether an impressive collection. (Originally in dead-tree form handed out at MOCCA)
Food Mourn: the opposite of food porn.
By helping other people look happy, Facebook is making us sad. The human habit of overestimating other people's happiness is nothing new, of course. Jordan points to a quote by Montesquieu: "If we only wanted to be happy it would be easy; but we want to be happier than other people, which is almost always difficult, since we think them happier than they are." But social networking may be making this tendency worse. Jordan's research doesn't look at Facebook explicitly, but if his conclusions are correct, it follows that the site would have a special power to make us sadder and lonelier. By showcasing the most witty, joyful, bullet-pointed versions of people's lives, and inviting constant comparisons in which we tend to see ourselves as the losers, Facebook appears to exploit an Achilles' heel of human nature. And women—an especially unhappy bunch of late—may be especially vulnerable to keeping up with what they imagine is the happiness of the Joneses.
Why are our kids so sad? Positive psychology (previously) and our friends at Pepperidge Farm thinks its all a matter of fishful thinking. [more inside]
The most popular blog on Myspace isn't about sex, drugs, or white girl gang signs. It is the tale of 5-month old Kaleb Schwabe, who suffered serious injuries believed to be caused by abuse at the hands of a caregiver. 21-year-old mom Kristy details Kaleb's recovery with doses of faith, sadness, and hope, and MySpace users have rallied in a big way.
Sad -- such a sweet-looking kid, the smile on the face of a future suicide. Sad -- "If she only knew then how things would turn out…" Sad -- "I chose to kill her." Sad -- "You could see her personality break through the coma." Life is dukkha, said the Buddha -- a Pali term that means something like "suffering" or "the incapability of satisfaction." (Or as Mick Jagger put it, "I can't get no...") Here's the tangible evidence.
Goths for Bush: We began with a short reading from Poe and discussed the true horrors of life under George Bush. It was agreed that there is no hope, only pain and sadness and that he would continue to provide us with the same. (via WOW)