His Other Hobby Is Stuffing Things.

001Normally misspelling irks me but for some reason I like Syko. I’ve seen Syko’s tag around a few places, but I especially like this one because the dark design on the bright red is very striking. And I like the name “Syko” because it feels like this is someone reclaiming “psycho”, a term that used to be extremely derogatory. There’s still some stigma attached to mental illness but I think—and hope—we live in a culture that’s getting over it. And the stigma isn’t nearly as great as it once was. If you’ve read A Separate Peace by John Knowles think about how ‘Leper’ Lepellier is regarded when he’s kicked out of the army for being “psycho”. It’s a terrible insult and he’s treated very differently because of it.

Or there’s that famous film psycho. All I have to do is say Norman Bates and I bet you hear those squealing violins that suggest someone who’s dangerously unstable.

Source: Wikipedia

It’s hard to imagine how anyone could stay sane through the horrors of war but being declared “psycho” could affect a person’s ability to get a job, have a place to live, and how they were treated generally. It was at one time a label with such dark and profound power that only a brave few were crazy enough to take it on, to wear it with pride. And I think we’ve benefited from the example they set.

Source: TV.com

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9 Comments

  1. Sandra

    Eeeek, you mentioned psycho, I immediately heard the violins.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      It’s inevitable. Psycho was really the first slasher movie–it had sex and violins.

      Reply
  2. Margot

    We’ve come a long way in how we think about mental illness, but I wish we’d have come even further by now. For example, if a celebrity dies in a car crash the media will often mention that they’d had an antidepressant in their system, and then speculate about suicidal ideation. Really?!

    I always thought that Klinger was faking his mental illness to get discharged from the military. Can you imagine how offended people would get if we still called cross dressing a mental illness? I wonder if they’ve removed “Gender Identity Disorder” from the DSM yet.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I always thought the funniest thing about Klinger is that cross-dressing and all his other schemes to get out of the military proved how truly sane he was. He was caught in the classic catch-22: he could only get out of the army if he was crazy but only a sane person would want to get out of the army.
      And I believe I’ve heard that “Gender Identity Disorder” has been removed from the DSM, or at least it’s not considered a dangerous condition. People with gender dysphoria need treatment but aren’t considered “ill”.

      Reply
  3. Ann Koplow

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0X3YuZYhPDM

    Syned,
    A sykotherapist

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      That is brilliant. Long before I saw Psycho or even knew of the movie I heard the music and was terrified by it. Now I get a little thrill from hearing it played so well, and so unusually.

      Reply
    2. Margot

      How fun and creative. That was a treat to watch.

      Reply
  4. kdcol

    I’ve always associated psycho with crazy DANGEROUS and just regular crazy as crazy. I suppose it’s because the whole Norman Bates connection?

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Yeah, Norman Bates has really become part of our culture, although it seems like the use of the term “psycho” to describe someone dangerous has diminished. Now people refer more frequently to Hannibal Lecter.

      Reply

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