Let’s Have a Look – Crazy, Criminal or Insane? #Documentary Commentation

Welcome back to my ‘Let’s Have a Look’ series where I talk about random subjects that grab my attention and give me pause. In today’s segment I want to talk about a question posed from a documentary I watched called Crazy, Not Insane.

 

This doc was created from the writings of forensic psychiatrist, Dr. Dorothy Otnow Lewis who worked on many cases involving serial killers and murderers. Dr. Lewis was a pioneer who began to question the makings of murderers – both notorious and not, stating that people aren’t born evil, but states when physically abused from childhood, those children grow up damaged, either recoiling from the world with their inflictions or taking on multiple personalities summoned by the child to help them endure living the nightmares of abuse. She was one of the first doctors to bring up the diagnosis of multiple personalities killers, diagnosing cases of Multiple Personality Disorder (aka Dissociative Identity Disorder). Dr. Lewis was summoned to many court cases to offer her opinion and diagnosis. She also believes that many killers who were physically abused had been left with integral parts of the brain damaged, which in part contributes to a killer’s motivations. For Dr. Lewis, it was all about the ‘why’ of the crime, more than the crime itself.

 

Dr. Lewis had taken a lot of flack for her diagnosis of multiple personalities over the years, and in this doc, she indicates – those in question of her work have been touted as heretics who believe the humanity of killers is non relevant.

 

Dr. Lewis basically states that her intentions when evaluating violent criminals are to assess where the rage stems from – because it always does stem from something, and she states that the criminal system is a one stop shop – prosecute, jail or execute without taking into consideration mental health inclusions. She by no means advocates to free these killers, but mostly speaks up about the decisions of execution. For the multitude of criminals in the system, they are punished for life and/or executed where she feels many of them should have been sent to a mental institution instead of executed.

 

This is all a very touchy situation as I can well understand that as a doctor of psychiatry that she would wish to get to the root of a convicted killer’s motivations, while at the same time states about the over abundance of criminals in the system where concern is not something that’s recognized in most cases about why someone acts out in violence, but resolve is to punish. This is the stance Dr. Lewis takes. Despite the skepticism of some of the doctor’s analysis of crazed killers, many agree that punishing by death penalty is not always just.

 

 

Below is the trailer for the documentary

 

I suppose the matter in question is that Lewis being called upon to testify in several reknowned serial killer cases with her expertise on such murderers seems confusing because she is asked for her professional opinions on such cases and feels as though her testimonials don’t figure into the punishments, whereby most of these types of trial outcomes never factor in any rehabilitation for these criminals, only punishment. Honestly, this is a toughie because in essence, the criminal justice system works to put murderers away as a justice, yet nobody seems to care about the whys of the criminals. I feel like the situations are double-edged swords, but the bottom line is to take these dangerous people off the streets. Sadly, these types of criminals aren’t usually seeking physciatric help before they kill, and once they kill, it’s understandable the people seek justice. If I put myself in the shoes of the loved ones left behind seeking justice for the murder of their loved ones, I should think that I too would be concentrating on justice, despite my agreeing that these killers obviously are damaged from some incidence.

 

Comments are open for opinions.

 

©DGKaye2021

 

 

#Series: Let’s Have a Look – Diving Deep Into Components of A Book Review -Quichotte by Salman Rushdie

Welcome back to my ‘Let’s Have a Look’ series. Where I post on a topic or incidence I come across that triggers a need to share and/or respond from me.

 

So in this post, my curiosity was sparked one night as I was checking out an author’s book when I saw him interviewed on TV – Salman Rushdie, to be precise. Well, when something catches my ear, I like to have a look around Amazon for their books, and if the blurb grabs me, I then go right to reviews (See! That’s how important reviews are ) which always give me a better insight as to what to expect from the book.

 

Sure, reviews are opinions, but when you read quite a few, you get a general consensus and better feel of what the book is really about, a better assessment to learn whether or not the book is a good fit for us. Now, there’s always going to be the odd, usually unjustified low star review for a mostly 4 and 5 star rated book, that’s inevitable, just ask an author. But often, those reviews will stick out like a sore thumb among all the golden reviews because often, when that happens, a reader doesn’t care for the genre (of which they should have checked first, again, that’s what real reviews are for) or they may be disgruntled at the seller in actuality because they weren’t happy with their delivery. Or quite possibly, some just won’t always like our books, our writing styles, our subject matter – you get the drift. Reviews are personal and yet, when the majority of them are either high stars or low stars among scattered opposites, that’s generally a good indicator of the happiness factor of the book.

 

So I digress (as usual), but what I was initially getting at is, before I buy a book, I don’t just want to read the author’s blurb, I want to get a feel for what others got out of the book, what they liked or loved or didn’t, to help boost my decision to want to read that book.

 

I love reading reviews, they tell me what I want to know about a book and often help my decision to either read or not read, regardless if it’s free or not. I have enough books on my Kindle right now to last me the rest of my life, lol. I don’t need to fatten it up with books I’ll probably never read when everything on there are all books I want to read.

 

So anyway, digressing again, from reading reviews, I sometimes come along a review that I find so refreshingly honest and somewhat more is not less, and quirky, but nonetheless, an insight or two not usually repeated in other reviews making it all the more genuine. So I thought it would be fun to highlight one of these interesting comments I came across that caught my interest. It was what prompted me to write this post while checking out Rushdie’s books, of which I’m familiar about his writings, but have yet to read one of his books. And after reading several reviews for one particular book I was looking at, I came across this one:

 

This almost sounds like something I’d write, because I find Rushdie’s books so deep sometimes I get lost. I can so relate, especially the highlighted parts I’ll discuss after  ‘Erb’s’ review for Salman Rushdie’s novel, Quichotte.

 

 

Blurb:

 

SHORTLISTED FOR THE BOOKER PRIZE

 

Quichotte is a love story of profound tenderness and humanity from a great storyteller at his brilliant best. Wise, beautifully written, as heartbreaking as it is wildly comic, its characters unforgettable, its plot dazzlingly suspenseful, it illuminates our corrupt times where fact is so often indiscernible from fiction.

Quichotte, an aging travelling salesman obsessed with TV, is on a quest for love. Unfortunately, his daily diet of reality TV, sitcoms, films and soaps has distorted his ability to separate fantasy from reality. He wishes an imaginary son, Sancho, into existence, while obsessively writing love letters to a celebrity he knows only through his screen. Together the two innocents set off across America in Quichotte’s trusty Chevy Cruze to find her and convince her of his love.

Quichotte’s story is told by Sam DuChamp, a mediocre spy novelist in the midst of a midlife crisis, and as the stories of DuChamp and Quichotte intertwine, we are taken on a wild, picaresque journey through a familiar country on the edge of moral and spiritual collapse.

 

 

Reviewed in the United States on July 16, 2019

Vine Customer Review of Free Product

“In 1989, I tried to read Satanic Verses, and while years later I sort of got through it, it was at such a low level of comprehension that I should be embarrassed to even use the word “read” in this context.

 

So a few years after that and I was offered this review copy of Rushdie’s new book, and I decided I’m a smart person now, and very well read, and I can certainly appreciate Salman Rushdie’s obvious writing skills as who I am today.

 

The answer remains “no, I can not.” That’s entirely my fault – my interests are nonfiction or fairly straightforward fiction as opposed to experimental or stylistic fiction like Rushdie has generally been known for. No doubt one of his books would prepare me for his style in a slightly more accessible way but I haven’t read it. I probably should give “Joseph Anton” a try.

 

So this reminded me of Marlon James “A Brief History of Seven Killings” that was hugely praised and award winning and that I totally couldn’t connect with no matter how hard I tried. In a similar vein with this book, I tried to start at the beginning, then I tried to start in the middle, and I tried to jump around and I couldn’t figure out what was going on, or even what I was supposed to be thinking.

 

Look – I did not give it any sort of truly honest effort. I gave up. It was too hard, too detailed, too stylized – it demanded an investment from the reader that I am simply not prepared to give. So if you think I sound like you, then you’re probably not going to be the audience for this book.

 

But – if you’re ANGRY at me, and you think I’m a big joke and an uneducated lazy rube – THEN maybe the book IS for you, because you’re the type of reader who will go into Rushdie with your eyes wide open in a way that I didn’t.

 

So I tried, I failed, maybe I’ll try again one day, but this book’s just not for me.

 

I’m giving it four stars because OBVIOUSLY he can write at a supreme quality – I would say every sentence went through ten drafts. Any oblique meaning on his part is totally intentional – he wants this to be an off-kilter Don Quitote experience…so it’s no accident. It IS well-done, but it is NOT for casual readers or the hoi polloi like me.”

 

***

 

My Summation:

..
Now that’s what I call honest, with good explanation about why it wasn’t for them, not that it was a bad book, but not their type of read. Praise was given to the author and a 4 star rating, despite. All round, I think this was a great review. It told me what I wanted to know about the readability factor. And I, like this reviewer, don’t have the appreciation for ‘too detailed, too stylized’, may be brilliant prose from a brilliant writer, but I like meat and heart, analyzing characters and the thrill of a page turner and not having to work so hard to find the meaning.
x
So, what do you all look for before purchasing a book by an author you haven’t read before?
x
Leave a Review
©DGKaye2021
x

Let’s Have A Look – Spirit World #Sunset – Do you believe?

Today I want to share a weird photo experience I had. As many of you know, I recently moved into a smaller condo within the same building. I have to say, I don’t love it here. I don’t love living back on my own without my husband, but I also don’t like living in dark places.

 

When I agreed to take the unit, before getting to actually see it because it was under renovations, I was told it was a western exposure. That was music to my ears as the unit we’d lived in for six years together had an eastern exposure. The morning sun lit up our home for a good part of the day, but the trouble was, other balconies looked on in if they chose to look over their balconies, thus, having me keeping the blinds closed most of the day in the living room where I spent much of my time. I always complained to my husband that we would never move anywhere again if sunlight didn’t fill our rooms. But I was duped.

 

Sure my new place has ‘barely’ a western exposure, but once again, the way the building is laid out, an extended part blocks the sun, leaving a partial view of the small forest behind blocking sun with the trees. Needless to say, I got very depressed over this once I got the rude awakening. The sun only peeks out through the section of trees through my balcony livingroom window after 4pm and if I hadn’t purchased all new LED white daylight lightbulbs and a huge standup lamp with heavy duty large white light bulbs that actually can fool one into believing the sun is beaming through the windows, it would be like living in the dark 24/7.

 

So now that I’ve given you the lowdown on the quasi dungeon-like condo I live in, let me tell you about the weird sunset story. I don’t often see much of any sunsets here, and I don’t often go on my balcony, other than to put yet another item out on the shelving unit I put out there because of lack of room for some of my storage items, but the other evening something compelled me to take my phone out and snap a few photos.

 

I was walking by the window around 8pm when I noticed an extremely orange beam of sunlight shining through the trees into my window. I thought it unusual as in the almost two months I’ve lived here, I’d never saw that strength of sun peeking through. Now, most of you know I’m quite spiritual and interested in the world of spiritual beings and messages from the beyond so I wanted to share these photos I felt compelled to take. The photos that appeared on my camera were quite vivid with color and orbs, but were NOT visible to my naked eye. I’m still awe inspired by these photos and still trying to figure them out.

 

I know some of you here are also spiritual readers – you know who you are, and I’d be thrilled for feedback on thoughts about what you all get from these images below. Don’t forget to enlarge the photos to get a better view.

 

sunset through the trees

Do you see the orb near the bottom right corner encased in an oval circle?

 

purple light

Check out the beam of purple light streaming from the sunlight.

 

purple light 2

In this shot, the purple light almost takes on a shape of a figure, maybe angel wings? Note the orb at the bottom.

 

burst of sunset

Another magnificent shot. Note the orb again, encased in a separate oval-shaped circle.

 

 

If you aren’t familiar with orbs, below are two links from Soul and Spirit that explains what to look for.

 

https://www.soulandspiritmagazine.com/10-things-you-need-to-know-about-orbs-in-pictures/?fbclid=IwAR3AnD-ZkT7lQyEd_L_fjJ0PG6zpKwNjg4Ze4BzI8gvmjyZ9w3sN05ULZ2Q

 

This article describes various orbs. Number 3 resonated with me:

 

“Brightly-coloured orbs are worth a real look, as those caused by dust and water are usually just off-white. When you get a bright red, blue or golden orb, it can be a sign that a spirit has a message for you. Anyone who gets a bright orb, should be looking for the message in it.”

https://www.soulandspiritmagazine.com/6-signs-to-spot-when-looking-for-orbs/

 

Have any of you even seen orbs or spirit in your photos?

 

©DGKayewriter.com

 

 

 

 

Let’s Have A Look – FDA curbs unfounded memory supplement claims – Harvard Health Blog – Harvard Health Publishing

Let’s Have a Look at this. How well do many of those pharmaceutical ‘miracle’ drugs they tout in advertisements work? Putting aside the long drawn out, often dangerous side-effects always recorded at the end of a commercial ad, in haste, in hopes your ears may miss a few, is it worth it to take this drug?

 

So this little question came to mind when I Googled the memory touting drug, Prevagen. To be honest, I looked it up out of curiosity because whenever I watch American news channel MSNBC (which I pay a premium to have), I can’t get over the same three or four themed advertisements that play over and over – pharmaceuticals, insurance companies, and more of it’s ilk. And the same ad for Prevagen comes on no matter when I watch that channel. But I digress, and after seeing that commercial numerous times I was curious about what exactly is in this ‘miracle’ drug? I mean, I know my short term memory sometimes plays tricks on me, so maybe I should take this?

As a person who does her damnest not to have to take pharmaceuticals, and thankfully, I don’t, except my compounded natural dessicated thryoid medication, my little meno-moments got me curious enough to look up – or try to look up, what is in this stuff? It led me to this page of Harvard University medical educators and contributors on various topics. Dr. Robert Shmerling, Senior Faculty Editor at Harvard Health Publishing, gave a great scientific explanation of the touting of Prevagen, it’s actual efficacy, and mentions the protocols the FDA takes before allowing a drug on the market, and the stipulations of wording that can be used by the advertisers.

 

Here are some of the points Dr. Shmerling makes:

“Like many heavily-advertised supplements, this one makes many claims. The bottle promises it “improves memory” and “supports: healthy brain function, sharper mind, clearer thinking.” Never mind that the main ingredient in jellyfish (apoaequorin) has no known role in human memory, or that many experts believe supplements like this would most likely be digested in the stomach and never wind up anywhere near the brain.”

“As “proof” of power, a bar graph shows a rise from 5% to 10% to 20% over 90 days in “recall tasks.” But there’s no way to know what these numbers refer to, how many people were studied, or other important details. And no information is provided about effects on memory after 90 days. The fine print under the graph says that the supplement “improved recall tasks in subjects” without explaining what this means. While a company-sponsored study reported improvements in memory after people took apoaequorin, the published version demonstrated minimal improvement (summarized here).”

“The US Federal Trade Commission wasn’t convinced of the supplement’s benefits. It charged the supplement maker with false advertising back in 2012. In the legal filings, the company was accused of selectively reporting data and misleading the public by claiming that Prevagen is “clinically proven” to improve cognitive function. The lawsuit has not yet been decided.”

You can read the full article, where it continues on about what claims pharma companies are legally allowed to make, and which claims are not allowed as disclaimers.

According to what I’ve read from the above articles, I am personally not convinced I’d want to take that drug. Interesting the wording permitted to use in advertisements leaves me feeling a bit duped, and without the long term benefits or side-effects, a lawsuit still pending on whether or not the efficacy has been proven for effectiveness and listening to claims in the ad how it’s ‘given them back their peace of mind’, I’m not convinced either.

If you’d care to share your thoughts on FDA issues with claims you don’t agree with from your own experience, please share your thoughts here with us. And if any of you readers here take Prevagen, I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts about.

 

Source: FDA curbs unfounded memory supplement claims – Harvard Health Blog – Harvard Health Publishing

 

©DGKaye2021

bitmo live laugh love

 

Let’s Have a Look – About #Writing – Writing Fiction vs. Nonfiction

 

Welcome to my new series in this new year. I decided to call it – Let’s Have a Look. #LetsHaveALook

 

So what exactly will we be having a look at? How do I describe this? Random topics or incidence I come across in daily life – from reading or watching the news, to a blog I may have read that gives me pause, are things I’ll be looking at. A spontaneous thought if triggered about a why or that raises a question to myself – I’m going to bring discussion to the event or article here.

 

So, Let’s Have a Look!

 

Today’s post came about inspired by a reply from my author friend, #fantasy writer, Diana Peach, who mentioned in reply to my comment I’d left on her recent post, when she shared about how one of her characters in her WIP sometimes directs where the story leads.

I had commented that I have enough trouble writing nonfiction about real people – implying that I could only imagine all that is involved in the creating of characters and fantasy storylines and Diana responded with this:

 

“Part of me thinks it would be harder to write real people, Debby, because a non-fiction author is writing from a particular perspective as well as making interpretations about others, all the while trying to represent the truth. It’s easier to just make everything up! Lol. A post from you about how you navigate that would be really interesting.”

 

***

Okay Diana, here’s the post!

Well yes, Diana brought up a good question in her reply, and prompted me to respond with a post about perspective and truth when writing nonfiction as opposed to creating fictional characters – whom often hold many real truths within their characters as well. Is it harder writing about real people? Let’s have a look.

Okay, I thought it would be fun to look at our differing perspectives on difficulty differences between writing in fiction or nonfiction. Diana claims it’s easier to write fiction (in gest?) because, she claims ‘it’s easier to make stuff up’. But in my opinion, I think writing in every specific genre brings its challenges.

As Diana claims, writing nonfiction entails finding the right perspective, while interpreting what we believe to be our truth. That’s what nonfiction writing is in essence, but there are other conditions to take in consideration as well:

  • The subject matter, and who will my story affect, regarding the ‘real’ characters in my stories?
  • By telling a truth that involves other people in the story, we have to be careful with descriptions and identities to avoid getting sued.
  • We don’t have the luxury to ‘alter’ a character in our story because that would be distorting the truth. So if that character has exhibited bad behavior, which is often a feature in our nonfiction/memoir stories, we have to take care how we present those people, leaving us having to be creatively truthful about exhibiting some of their most despicable behaviors.

 

I believe there are more barriers for nonfiction writers. Whether writing about characters or in an informative  self-help nonfiction book, the author must speak truth, and facts must be varifiable. Anything left unchecked or untruthful, will certainly create pushback on the author.

On the other hand, writing fiction allows for a lot more room for creativity, but it still must be a coherent telling and the actions and scenery must depict the setting. A good example of keeping the story flowing accurately is a story I remember reading about a long time ago, regarding the importance of continuity. I’d read that when the movie Ben Hur was being filmed, someone had caught a man wearing a wrist watch in one huge crowded scene – not a good look while wearing a toga. Well, it’s not hard to figure out nobody had watches back in those biblical times so this was a major faux pas. But it’s a good example of little incidental things that may go unchecked and can hinder a story from keeping real and true to the time period the story reflects.

So in summation, in reply to Diana’s comment where she expressed that it is easier to write fiction, I don’t exactly agree with that because to produce a good story, having all the elements tie in, writing engaging characters, and not to mention, worldbuilding, I should think it is an equally intense task writing for fiction writers too. Every genre requires research whether it’s fantasy, historical or literary fiction, or nonfiction. It’s a lot of work to write a book – any book, as all us authors here know. So as much as I appreciate Diana’s nod to nonfiction, I’m nodding right back at her.

 

What do you peeps have to say? Do you think writing in any one particular genre is more difficult than another?

 

Original post from Diana for reference https://mythsofthemirror.com/2021/01/19/when-characters-mutiny/comment-page-1/#comment-80280

 

©DGKaye2021

bitmo live laugh love