View the daily comic strip for Scenes from a Multiverse by cartoonist Jon Rosenberg created Jun 20, 2018 available on GoComics.com
Zen Pencils by Gavin Aung Than for Jul 27, 2015 | GoComics.com
Everyone’s worried that the end of the “The Book of Kevin” spoiled the series, when the beginning was even worse. It showed a woman faithfully following a preacher who foretells an end of the world that never happens, and is ostracized in the end. Which will be the outline of the series. Nora will follow Kevin through his trying to stop the end of the world, and he’ll succeed, but when the end of the world doesn’t happen, Nora will be ostracized and deny she’s the mad woman on the roof.
I wonder how many times the world has been saved by those who warn of the end and go unacknowledged, even by themselves. Or just give the world a little reprieve, while the rock slips a little bit more.
Biologists at Harvard Medical School have announced the ability to create synthetic embryos from stem cells instead of fertilization, in effect making synthetic people. These “sheefs”, for “synthetic human entities with embryolike features”, present ethical considerations, while possibly avoiding legal restrictions on human experimentation. Framed as “human structures”, sheefs may be grown to maturity and provide tissue for experimentation and organs for transplant. Or they may be altered to have non-human traits. I mean, “structures”.
Words for our times.
The following is my reply to the opinion piece Mental Illness Is Not a Horror Show – The New York Times.
Mental illness is an easy plot device for writers and directors to go to to insert drama, action, and suspense into their stories, just as slapstick is an easy plot device they go to for comedy. Anything and everything will be used at some point as a plot device, depending on the current societal triggers.
Mental illness and physical misfortune are emotional triggers, and writers are going for emotion. Police abuse has been a trigger and is more so now, and has been used as a plot device in dramas and sometimes horror. Food safety was a trigger when Upton Sinclair wrote “The Jungle”.
People are going to write about triggers, and it can’t be avoided. The problem with emotional triggers as plot devices is they affect people who have had personal experience with real situations that have not been romanticized, satirized, or dramatized.
The fiction is a constant reminder of the reality, and they can’t help but feel ostracized. That can’t be avoided either, but nor should it be. Rather than trying to censor dramatized or satirized depictions of mental illness, gun violence, alcoholism, drug abuse, etc., which is a losing fight, those affected by the reality can use the fiction as an opportunity to educate people about the real consequences, as Dr. Solomon has done here.
Censorship is unproductive, but education produces more knowledge and care about the reality than if the fiction didn’t exist at all.