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Pushing Limits - July 20, 2012 at 2:30pm

Pushing Limits, for July 20, 2012 - 2:30pm

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Pushing Limits

“Hey man, are you crazy?” “Sister Friend, I think you need some counseling.” “Are you off your medicine bro?” Many of us hear those phrases everyday. They can be said teasingly by friends, or rudely shouted from a car waiting for you to cross the street. Many people hear these phases from doctors and government leaders in ways that are neither cute or funny. What happens when someone with a mental disability smashes into the institutions and services of state and county government. How much help is available? Which state hospitals are more dangerous than jails? Where’s the hope? We’re joined by Susan Rogers who has been active in the consumer/survivor/ex-patient movement since 1984. Susan is director of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse, a peer-run national technical assistance center and one of the organizers of the successful Occupy the American Psychiatric Association (APA) protest in May. Karen Rose is here too. A local therapist who lives with a visual impairment, Karen has spent 28 years in the field of mental health, including many years supervising and counseling graduate students at John F. Kennedy University and San Francisco State University. Plus, a new commentary by Jacob Lesner-Buxton on how disability issue fare in left organizations.

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After the show, one of our

After the show, one of our listeners sent us this poem:


Last night I was at the local bar/restaurant
dancing with the usual crowd
that shows up there every Thursday night
to dance to the local Grateful Dead cover band.

We were all having fun
grooving to our own beat.

I glanced over at one of the big screen TV’s
that always has a ball game on
and there was a commercial for the new Batman film
and there were horrible scenes of murder and mayhem,
car crashes, explosions, and multiple shootings—
all in less than a minute.

I turned to the guy I was dancing near
the good hearted liberal guy
I run in to at all the peace demos
marches, and eco events I go to around the county
and said,
“They shouldn’t make movies like that. It’s horrible.”

“Oh,” he replied. “It’s just entertainment.
Nothing wrong with that.”

I was surprised by that response coming from
a guy like him.

“It’s not ‘just entertainment,’ “
I replied heatedly.
“It sets people up for the idea
that violence is cool, ordinary, acceptable.
It prepares them to go to war and kill people.”

He, taken aback by my vehemence
on the matter,
just kind of smiled and danced away.

And then this morning
when I turned on Amy Goodman
she started talking about the mass shooting
in Colorado last night
at a midnight premiere showing of that Batman film.

Twelve or more dead, dozens wounded, mass panic
and hysteria.

A lone young man
who started out by tossing a tear gas canister
and everyone thought at first
it was some kind of stunt the theater was putting on.

Of course, I immediately thought back
to my conversation of the night before.

And I imagine my liberal friend did, too.

Lilith Rogers
July 20th, 2012

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