Author Topic: In the New Yorker...  (Read 563414 times)

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #650 on: June 23, 2013, 01:11:19 pm »
I enjoyed Deborah Friedell's short article in the June 24 issue on the origins of Superman. I'm glad I got to read it before I saw Man of Steel last night.
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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #651 on: June 25, 2013, 06:16:57 am »
Finally finished the Larissa McFarquahar (sp?) piece on suicide in Japan. Fascinating and genuinely enlightening. Took me forever, since I'm traveling and my son was reading it, too, but worth it.


Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #652 on: June 25, 2013, 09:10:36 am »
Finally finished the Larissa McFarquahar (sp?) piece on suicide in Japan. Fascinating and genuinely enlightening. Took me forever, since I'm traveling and my son was reading it, too, but worth it.

I read that over lunch yesterday, I found it fascinating as much for its description of the life of a Buddhist monk and priest as for what it had to say about suicide in Japan.
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #653 on: June 25, 2013, 09:28:09 am »
Yes, and the shocking part about the growing number of hikikomori...shut-ins who "play video games and surf the Web and are served meals on trays by their parents". (How do they get their parents to do that?) Japan is like looking into a mirror of our future! Maybe...

The article on Alzheimers research was also very good. I thought I was up to date on this topic since I contribute funds and get reports from the Alzheimers Foundation all the time. But nothing has been presented so clearly as this article by Jerome Groopman.
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Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #654 on: June 25, 2013, 09:55:35 am »
Yes, and the shocking part about the growing number of hikikomori...shut-ins who "play video games and surf the Web and are served meals on trays by their parents". (How do they get their parents to do that?) Japan is like looking into a mirror of our future! Maybe...

That part really surprised me. And why do the parents do it?  ???

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The article on Alzheimers research was also very good. I thought I was up to date on this topic since I contribute funds and get reports from the Alzheimers Foundation all the time. But nothing has been presented so clearly as this article by Jerome Groopman.

Haven't read that one yet. Groopman's articles are usually quite good, in my view.
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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #655 on: June 27, 2013, 05:09:01 am »
Yes, and the shocking part about the growing number of hikikomori...shut-ins who "play video games and surf the Web and are served meals on trays by their parents". (How do they get their parents to do that?) Japan is like looking into a mirror of our future! Maybe...

I found that part interesting, too, because I know an American hikikomori -- a relative of my ex-husband's, an intelligent young man in his mid-20s who won a National Merit Scholarship and then lost it because he fought with a teacher and refused to turn in a paper. So he never attended MIT as planned, eventually did attend a few semesters in Texas (where the family lives), but didn't come close to finishing. He lives at home and sits at his computer. He has never had a job, a driver's license or a girlfriend and, from what I gather, has few or no friends, at least in real life. His behavior has mystified the extended family for years, but I've always just assumed he has major depression or some similar illness. His parents don't talk about it, so nobody knows whether he's getting treated or what.

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The article on Alzheimers research was also very good. I thought I was up to date on this topic since I contribute funds and get reports from the Alzheimers Foundation all the time. But nothing has been presented so clearly as this article by Jerome Groopman.

As someone who had a parent who died of Alzheimer's and who also writes about it from time to time at my job, I was a little disappointed. It laid out the schools of thought but, like conflicting schools of thought over weight loss and other medical mysteries, it didn't really point to any clear new direction in treatment or prevention. I just hope the researchers keep busily working on it, but from what I hear -- for example, from the head of the Alzheimer's department at the Mayo Clinic or an official at the Alzheimer's Association -- research money is getting scarcer and scarcer, even as cases, of course, are ever increasing.

I like Groopman, too, although to be honest when it comes to medical writers for the NYer I prefer Atul Gawande.



 




 

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #656 on: June 27, 2013, 09:31:47 am »
I found that part interesting, too, because I know an American hikikomori -- a relative of my ex-husband's, an intelligent young man in his mid-20s who won a National Merit Scholarship and then lost it because he fought with a teacher and refused to turn in a paper. So he never attended MIT as planned, eventually did attend a few semesters in Texas (where the family lives), but didn't come close to finishing. He lives at home and sits at his computer. He has never had a job, a driver's license or a girlfriend and, from what I gather, has few or no friends, at least in real life. His behavior has mystified the extended family for years, but I've always just assumed he has major depression or some similar illness. His parents don't talk about it, so nobody knows whether he's getting treated or what.

As a nonparent, I probably have no business commenting, but it seems to me that these are situations where the whole family needs "treatment" of some sort. After all, the parents are "enabling" by providing the hikikomori with food and a bed and a roof over his head, not to mention the electricity to run that computer. I'm sure that sounds harsh, but. ...

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As someone who had a parent who died of Alzheimer's and who also writes about it from time to time at my job, I was a little disappointed. It laid out the schools of thought but, like conflicting schools of thought over weight loss and other medical mysteries, it didn't really point to any clear new direction in treatment or prevention. I just hope the researchers keep busily working on it, but from what I hear -- for example, from the head of the Alzheimer's department at the Mayo Clinic or an official at the Alzheimer's Association -- research money is getting scarcer and scarcer, even as cases, of course, are ever increasing.

I'm only half way through--no time to read yesterday--but my impression so far is because right now there are no clear new directions in treatment of prevention. That's unfortunate, but my impression from what I've read so far is that we need to learn more about the plaques and so forth and how they form and how they work to creat the disease before we can treat it or preven it--but maybe I'll have a different impression when I get to finish the article. From what I've read so far, the biggest revelation in the article--because I see so much about the use of them in my work--is that donepizil and memantine don't really do much.

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I like Groopman, too, although to be honest when it comes to medical writers for the NYer I prefer Atul Gawande.

Agreed. Plus I've seen Dr. Gawande on the Today show, and I think he's hot.  ;D
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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #657 on: June 30, 2013, 08:43:41 am »
As a nonparent, I probably have no business commenting, but it seems to me that these are situations where the whole family needs "treatment" of some sort. After all, the parents are "enabling" by providing the hikikomori with food and a bed and a roof over his head, not to mention the electricity to run that computer. I'm sure that sounds harsh, but. ...

I guess it comes down to what causes people to become hikokomori. That's why I say the son seems to need treatment: diagnosis, medication, counseling, or whatever. Let's assume he's got depression, an actual clinical disease. Are the parents "enabling" by caring for him and providing a home? Without their support, would he pull himself up by his bootstraps -- that is, are they in some sense making him worse by sheltering him from the responsibilities of life -- or would he just go untreated and perhaps face some worse fate -- suicide, homelessness? I don't know, to be honest, but I do know that if the case of disabling physiological disease, others are far less likely to criticize a family for supporting the afflicted, or blame them for "enabling" the person to be sick.

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I'm only half way through--no time to read yesterday--but my impression so far is because right now there are no clear new directions in treatment of prevention. That's unfortunate, but my impression from what I've read so far is that we need to learn more about the plaques and so forth and how they form and how they work to creat the disease before we can treat it or preven it--but maybe I'll have a different impression when I get to finish the article. From what I've read so far, the biggest revelation in the article--because I see so much about the use of them in my work--is that donepizil and memantine don't really do much.

Right. I'm not really blaming Groopman for failing to provide any earth-shattering news if there isn't any to report. But without it, the piece becomes simply a look at how things are going with Alzheimer's research. An informative piece, to be sure, but more like a good, in-depth newspaper story than groundbreaking magazine journalism.

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Agreed. Plus I've seen Dr. Gawande on the Today show, and I think he's hot.  ;D

Agreed on that, too!



That whole issue of the New Yorker is packed with good stuff. Yesterday, I read Jill Lepore's fascinating look at the history of privacy, secrecy and mystery. The perspective she takes is as philosophical as it is historical. Malcolm Gladwell's review of a biography is good, too, mainly because the man profiled was intriguing. Now I'm reading the short piece about the original artist and writer of "Superman," also good.

Always enjoy Anthony Lane, haven't yet gotten to the review of Kanye West's album but will probably at least skim it because I like Kanye. I'll probably skip the Gang of Eight thing and, most likely, the Thomas McGuane story (I think he's good and all, just not really my cup of tea).

One disappointing part, as is so often the case, was the Shouts and Murmurs column. It seems like there'd be much better ways to skewer the Boy Scouts' homophobia, and this seemed slightly tasteless besides.





Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #658 on: June 30, 2013, 04:44:07 pm »
I guess it comes down to what causes people to become hikokomori. That's why I say the son seems to need treatment: diagnosis, medication, counseling, or whatever. Let's assume he's got depression, an actual clinical disease. Are the parents "enabling" by caring for him and providing a home? Without their support, would he pull himself up by his bootstraps -- that is, are they in some sense making him worse by sheltering him from the responsibilities of life -- or would he just go untreated and perhaps face some worse fate -- suicide, homelessness? I don't know, to be honest, but I do know that if the case of disabling physiological disease, others are far less likely to criticize a family for supporting the afflicted, or blame them for "enabling" the person to be sick.

I guess I still see it as "enabling" if they aren't doing anything to get help for the hikikomori. Maybe that's not strictly speaking considered "enabling" behavior, but that's how I see it--one thing to provide that kind of support for someone who is making an effort at recovery, another thing altogether if they're just letting their kid go on that way indefinitely. And if they are just allowing their kid to drift and not make any effort to recover--well, that's why I say the whole family needs therapy.


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That whole issue of the New Yorker is packed with good stuff.

I agree.

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I'll probably skip the Gang of Eight thing.

That's my "duty article" in this issue. I'm reading it because I think it's probably important and good for me and all that.

And there is one important reminder that I'm taking away from that article: While the media tends to focus mainly, I think, on interparty conflict, the article reminds me how much conflict and rivalry can exist within each party's caucus.

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #659 on: July 01, 2013, 09:41:26 am »
I guess I still see it as "enabling" if they aren't doing anything to get help for the hikikomori. Maybe that's not strictly speaking considered "enabling" behavior, but that's how I see it--one thing to provide that kind of support for someone who is making an effort at recovery, another thing altogether if they're just letting their kid go on that way indefinitely. And if they are just allowing their kid to drift and not make any effort to recover--well, that's why I say the whole family needs therapy.

Oh, I agree with the getting help part. If they're not actively seeking treatment of whatever kind, they're not just enabling but ignoring a mental-health problem, which is on par with ignoring a physiological illness.

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That's my "duty article" in this issue. I'm reading it because I think it's probably important and good for me and all that.

And there is one important reminder that I'm taking away from that article: While the media tends to focus mainly, I think, on interparty conflict, the article reminds me how much conflict and rivalry can exist within each party's caucus.

My "duty articles" are the ones I never quite get around to. Finally, when I weed through a stack of old issues, I rip out the duty articles and staple them and keep them in a pile and still never get around to them. If all goes well, by the time I go through the pile again there'll be a new president in office, the issues will have changed or been resolved, and I can throw the duty article into the recycling.