Perhaps unsurprisingly, the upsell of public discussion around mental illness has not resulted in a sudden increase in films about the subject. It’s a complex topic, rarely box-office gold. But the acknowledgement that mentally ill characters shouldn’t be consigned to the asylum of the criminally insane, like Psycho’s Norman Bates, dates back some time now. From One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) to A Beautiful Mind (2001) to Silver Linings Playbook (2012), there has been more of a consensus that the mentally ill are protagonists, not villains, and deserve a sympathetic hearing.
Photo: Sydney Sims @Unsplash
The story goes that ‘Blue Monday’ is the ‘most depressing day of the year’ based on a calculation of factors such as weather, debt levels, time since Christmas and time since failing our new year’s resolutions. In truth, Blue Monday was created in 2006 by PR people to sell summer holidays – to hook us into spending money to make us feel better. In the decade since Blue Monday was conceived in an advertising agency brainstorm, public awareness of mental health has improved greatly, but there is still a lot to do.
Photo: Chuttersnap @Unsplash
Through the nineteenth century, national resentment of the abuses of alcohol and its consumption in saloons grew slowly but incessantly. Alcohol consumption was considered a demoralizing and dangerous habit, a deplorable institution, and a form of social slavery. The proposals for prohibiting the manufacture, sale and transportation of alcohol started at a local level, initiated by prohibition movements such as the Anti-Saloon League and the Woman’s Christian Temperance Movement. Large-scale producers went bankrupt, and corruption reached unprecedented levels. Instead of reducing crime, poverty, and violence, prohibition had sparked organized crime, bootlegging, and worsened drinking habits.
They’ve been called magi, kings, and wise men. But who were they, really? We know that the Bible is inerrant, but do we know that throughout time traditions have been added to the true Biblical story? You may be shocked to hear this, but there are multiple myths surrounding this brief story written in Matthew 2. They were most likely the King’s personal advisors. Their responsibilities included reading the stars, and a host of wisdom-seeking work. Some early church traditions say there were twelve. Today, we choose to honour three, because three very significant gifts were offered. Over time, church traditions have assigned them names: Melchior, Caspar, and Balthazar.