Showing posts from April, 2019

Jacques Chevillet (1786-1837), a rare emotional voice of a Napoleonic amputee

By Bert Gevaert L’invalide (around 1823) by Nicolas Toussaint Charlet (Musée de l’Armée, Paris) Under Napoleon (1769-1821) the face of warfare changed dramatically: huge armies consisting of thousands of soldiers, equipped with firearms, were involved in massive battles resulting in more (deadly) casualties. While edged weapons, which were still the main weapon of the cavalry, caused ‘clean’ and easy to be treated wounds, the nature of gunshot wounds was completely different. Bullets penetrated the body and drove pieces of clothes inside the wound, this, usually in combination of severe fracture of bones, increased the risk of gangrene. More serious wounds were caused by artillery in the shape of iron balls, canister (small pieces of iron or balls) or explosive shells and grenades. This kind of ammunition caused such serious damage that entire limbs could be blown away or shredded to pieces. In the eyes of surgeons, only an immediate amputation could save the life of soldier

Goodbye "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend", the show that revolutionized popular depictions of mental illness

By Ylva Söderfeldt The musical sitcom Crazy Ex-Girlfriend just finished its fourth and final season. Up until the end, fans were biting their nails and debating which of her three love interests the main character Rebecca would end up with. Throughout, we got to enjoy the creative, funny, and intelligent song and dance numbers the show has become known for. But there’s more than the musical element that sets Crazy Ex-Girlfriend apart from other sitcoms. In particular, it’s an unusual series in that it makes mental illness a central topic. Of course, mental illness in not an uncommon theme for film or television. But characters with psychiatric illnesses are rarely the heroes, usually the villains. The idea we get from media about people with psychiatric disorders is that they’re either dangerous, ridiculous, or both. Even in a story set in a psychiatric clinic, such as One flew over the cuckoo’s nest, the patient-hero is not “truly” mentally ill. For all its criticism of oppressi