STIGMATIZATION - 06.08.2022
June 8, 2022
Good Wednesday morning! I'm novelist Richard V. Rupp, writing from Burbank, California. Welcome to RUPP'S NOTES/FBI SPECIAL AGENT HARTMANN SERIES posts.
As I'm getting ready to post this newsletter, I'm finishing off my usual second cup of coffee. I feel good today about my coffee. This is because I'm looking at an article that indicates coffee drinkers are 21 percent less likely to die than those who don't drink coffee. I drink my coffee black, so I was a little disappointed to note that if you add a teaspoon of sugar to it, you are 31 percent less likely to die. I'm not going to add the sugar, but I wonder if the two teaspoons of brown sugar I add to my oatmeal will work instead.
I'm not sure I agree with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle on this saying of his –
"Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent."
At one time, I kind of felt this way, but that was before the metaverse, artificial intelligence, digital media, real housewives, conspiracy theories. . .
People are overwhelmed with words and ideas. An experiment in the 1960s showed that when too many rats are forced to live in a cage of a given size, they soon display abnormal behavior. According to the original experiment and replications, the rats became hyper-aggressive; some rats kill others, some self-mutilate, some failed to nurture their young, and some withdraw and groom themselves.
I believe the world has become overpopulated like the rats living in a cage of a given size. On top of this, humans are becoming overpopulated with words. Hence anarchy (a state of disorder due to the absence or nonrecognition of authority or other controlling systems)!
Do novels stigmatize people to do things? Considering all of the gun violence occurring, I wondered if the types of stories I write might be contributing to it. Yes, my concern was triggered by what is happening in society today, and I wondered how much words were contributing to it. A new story about Nancy Crampton Brophy, an Oregon-based novelist who wrote a 2011 essay titled "How to Murder Your Husband," and the fact she did murder him made me think about my writing.
Then I found an article about a Brit titled "Does crime literature contribute to stigmatization of those with mental health problems?" – published online by CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS, January 2, 2018, where an individual diagnosed with schizophrenia questioned if reading crime novels by Agatha Christie "with their usual starting point of a murder, could actually contribute . . . to such stigmatization. . . ." I do not wish to blame Christie for things that have become sensitive issues and uses of language that were when she wrote the books concerned, part of everyday culture. . . .However, these novels do contribute to the stigma of mental health problems, albeit in a subconscious rather than conscious way. They rely on the assumption of the association of violence and madness."
But, I suspect books are not alone in conveying stigmatization. Here's the 'R' rating description for David Cronenberg's latest movie, "Crimes of the Future" – "R, for strong disturbing violent content and grisly images, graphic nudity, and some language." Here are some things about the movie I picked up in reviews. In the future, it envisions humans regularly sprouting mysterious new organs, pain has been erased, and surgery is the new sex. Cronenberg is always highly cerebral, and here he has made yet another "outre nightmare" that "keeps telling you what to think about what it means." Humans adapt their imperfect selves to new circumstances. The future is grim, Cronenberg might be saying, but it also looks hilariously out-there. Ugh!
Oh, wait. Screen time for the millennials and GenX and Z plays a role. A family has just sued Meta for their daughter's eating disorder. First, of its kind, the lawsuit indicates in its filing that a preteen girl's "addictive" use of Instagram resulted in an eating disorder, self-harm, and thoughts of suicide over several years. The suit also features previously unpublicized documents from the leaks, including one in which Meta identified "tweens" as "herd animals" who "want to find communities where they can fit in."
The above makes me feel better about trying a new genre with SKYWARD. I must admit that my moving for the moment to SciFi is to comment on what is happening today here on earth. Some of which are prompted by my comments above.
Speaking of book genre, a recent report indicates that the top five most profitable categories of the genre on Amazon.com are:
- Romance/Erotica ($1.44 billion)
- Crime/Mystery ($728.2 million)
- Religious/Inspirational ($720 million)
- Science Fiction/Fantasy ($590.2 million)
- Horror ($79.6 million)
I still stay up on what is happening in the crime world and noticed an article in the CRIME REPORT that suggests I need to consider including drone use in my stories. Here's the latest on them - The U.S. Air Force has awarded defense technology developer ZeroEyes a $750,000 research grant to develop and deploy a "Drone-Robot Enabled Active Shooter Deterrence" at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota, using drones to respond to active shooter threats on the base. According to a statement issued by the Pennsylvania-based ZeroEyes, founded by Navy SEALs and Special Operations military veterans, the gun detection software employs artificial intelligence to identify a shooter and the location of the threat and then eliminate it. When the software identifies a gun, it will deploy a drone kitted with non-lethal strobe lights and sirens to distract active shooters until authorities intervene. ZeroEyes claims it can proactively identify guns before the first shot is fired, using preexisting networked security cameras with a 3 to 5 second time between detection and reporting.
Until next Wednesday,
Richard V. Rupp, Author
Website – www.richardvrupp.com
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright©2022 by Richard V. Rupp