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  •  "Cuckoo’s Nest" (17+ / 0-)

    From the New York Times: 'Cuckoo’s Nest’ Hospital Is Now A Museum

    Nurse Ratched slept here.

    The punctiliously cruel psychiatric ward tyrant in the book and movie “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” was brought to cinematic life by the actress Louise Fletcher during filming here at the Oregon State Hospital in the 1970s.

    But the melding of real life and art went far beyond the film set. Take the character of John Spivey, a doctor who ministers to Jack Nicholson’s doomed insurrectionist character, Randle McMurphy. Dr. Spivey was played by Dr. Dean Brooks, the real hospital’s superintendent at the time. Dr. Brooks read for the role, he said, and threw the script to the floor, calling it unrealistic — a tirade that apparently impressed the director, Milos Forman. Mr. Forman ultimately offered him the part, Dr. Brooks said, and told the doctor-turned-actor to rewrite his lines to make them medically correct. Other hospital staff members and patients had walk-on roles.

    Now jump cut to the present: the office and treatment rooms of the hospital, which opened in 1883, have been turned into a Museum of Mental Health — one of only a few around the world that are part of a still-functioning hospital, which sprawls behind the old brick structure.

    One thing the article touches on is the question of how much in 'Cuckoo's Nest' was accurate to the conditions of the time it represented, and how much of it was Hollywood? Since one of the questions raised by the museum is how many of the patients of the 1960s & 1970s would actually be considered mentally ill by modern definitions? For example, until 1974, the DSM listed homosexuality as being a mental illness.

    The author of One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest,  Ken Kesey, was inspired by his time working the graveyard shift as an orderly at a mental health facility. And Randle Patrick McMurphy's ultimate fate within the story is based on one of the most horrifying periods of psychiatric medicine.

    One of the most disturbing documentaries I've ever seen was done by PBS' "American Experience" & called The Lobotomist. It details the work of Dr. Walter Freeman, who championed transorbital lobotomy (aka ice pick lobotomy). Basically, you shock the patient into unconsciouness with ECT, take a leucotome, insert it into the top of the eye socket under the eyelid, take out a mallet and knock the leucotome into the brain, dig around in the patient's frontal lobe, and hope the damage being done would correct whatever behavioral problem the patient was suffering from.

    "If housewives found their early 1950s existence too depressing for words, why Freeman had a solution that would help them get through their day as happy as little clams. If children were misbehaving, conditions we might now see being called hyperactivity disorder, why they might need a lobotomy.

    In all, Freeman lobotomized 19 children under the age of 18, including a 4-year-old."

    •  OMG. And I thought (10+ / 0-)

      mental health treatment today wasn't very good. Freeman was the one who should have been lobotomized.

      In all, Freeman lobotomized 19 children under the age of 18, including a 4-year-old."

      The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.― Neil deGrasse Tyson

      by maggiejean on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 09:19:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Speaking of Jack Nicholson films... (7+ / 0-)

      You missed my comment in last night's OND about the documentary "Room 237."

      Have you heard anything about it?

      •  Haven't Seen It, But Heard About It..... (6+ / 0-)

        Before I heard about the documentary, I remember reading the theory that argued Kubrick inserted a subtext into 'The Shining' of Native American genocide. I always thought that interpretation is pretty thin.

        Stephen King, who hated what Kubrick did with his book, has said that at its core the story was born out of his own frustrations with his children.

        "Sometimes you confess. You always hide what you're confessing to. That's one of the reasons why you make up the story. When I wrote The Shining, for instance, the protagonist of The Shining is a man who has broken his son's arm, who has a history of child beating, who is beaten himself. And as a young father with two children, I was horrified by my occasional feelings of real antagonism toward my children. Won't you ever stop? Won't you ever go to bed? And time has given me the idea that probably there are a lot of young fathers and young mothers both who feel very angry, who have angry feelings toward their children. But as somebody who has been raised with the idea that father knows best and Ward Cleaver on 'Leave It To Beaver,' and all this stuff, I would think to myself, Oh, if he doesn't shut up, if he doesn't shut up. . . . So when I wrote this book I wrote a lot of that down and tried to get it out of my system, but it was also a confession. Yes, there are times when I felt very angry toward my children and have even felt as though I could hurt them. Well, my kids are older now. Naomi is fifteen and Joey is thirteen and Owen is eight, and they're all super kids, and I don't think I've laid a hand on one of my kids in probably seven years, but there was a time ..."
    •   dr(?) freeman, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ek hornbeck

      A real life monster!

      Brought To You By That Crazed Sociologist/Media Fanatic rebel ga Be The Change You Want To See In The World! Gandhi

      by rebel ga on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 01:44:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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