Instead of entertaining through devices and plots, Bike&Chain tracks those random insights everyone has but few are motivated to record. Motivation: What a concept! Living requires challenges that work provides; once done in a perfunctory way, what drives bodies and souls to excel? Managers struggle with this, try ruses and scams, use competitions to squeeze last drops of effort out of those reluctant. This mostly results in passive aggression and resentment. Ambition serves only one master, ego. Stubborn mules who are comfortable with themselves can’t be easily prodded. Most fear and hate strangers. More than half of relationships go bad. Life's a beach ebbing and flowing, flotsam and jetsam adrift or cast overboard.
Key symptoms include anxiety (worry with no specific stimuli, for example phobias), ASD (Aspergers, autism, possibly fetal alcohol syndrome), bipolar disorder (extreme highs & lows, manic depression), dementia (anything from Alzheimer to senility), depression (acute or chronic anhedonia, all too common despair, also postpartum), mania (hyperactive at nothing useful), narcissism (care only for self, do anything to succeed), OCD (body dysmorphic, compulsion, or obsession over trivialities, hair pulling, hoarding, skin picking), PTSD (victims of traumatic events, like wars), schizophrenia (delusions, hallucinations, totally out of touch with reality), and sociopathy (violent interaction typical of serial criminals and killers). Personality disorders are discussed in clusters: A - paranoid, schizoid and schizotypal; B - antisocial, borderline, histrionic, narcissistic; and C - avoidant, dependent, obsessive compulsive (similar but not same as OCD).
Mental defectives do cause problems, but how society reacts isn’t proportionately rational. Eccentric disrupters, those who run around naked blurting obscenities, elicit severest penalties, while heinous bastards get a pass. Americans execute petty thieves and grant amnesty to the biggest criminals in history. Is this because they so fear power of sociopathy? Or do officials hope to herd more sheep through fear? Anyone who wants to be in charge must be insane. Masses of people doing harmless things pose no threat. Criminals do. Do you let victims suffer, or should society force perps to partake in self remedies?
Do books, films and theater that explore frightening or negative topics instigate more of the same, or do such art forms help others work through issues? You have to face facts to heal. Internalizing them, letting issues under your skin, causes harm. Therefore, you should devote time to experiencing art. Meanwhile, just try to get a computer to do anything without frustrating you into babbling lunacy. Working for a living is counterintuitively stressful and cumulatively debilitating leading directly to antisocial eccentricity.
Unresolved issues have a way of expanding in scope. By analogy, if you don't maintain your car, you eventually wind up stuck on the roadside at 3:00 AM in some bad neighborhood calling for help or risking your life. Likewise, childhood traumas dog your career and taint every relationship you must establish to thrive. You’re on a one-way street to tragedy. Before drugs, psychotherapy was tried. It worked sometimes. All sorts of therapies exist, each with specific purposes: Anger management, aversion, body wrapping, cognitive, counseling, detoxification (alcohol, drug), diet (niacin improves brain chemistry in chronic alcoholics), educative, immersion, musical, root cause analysis, sex, stimuli reduction, talking. Vacationing helps a lot of supposedly normal people cope for months on end. Sometimes you simply have to exit a toxic alliance, environment or situation. Psychiatric medicine has become nothing more than pill pushing. Hospitals don't seek cures, just write scripts and toss sufferers out to fend for themselves. Artistic pursuits and avid bicycling work in some cases.
Caretakers have it worse than patients they care for. They teach therapists to detach themselves, not get involved. They consider a patient an interesting problem, not a human crying out. Many who go into psychiatry already have some disorder themselves. Suicide is more prevalent among them than any other group, and not just because they experience insanity up close and personal.
Lately been considering Montenegrin performance artist Marina Abramović, all of whose work involve absorbing abuse by being both publicly accessible and situationally poised nonstop for long durations in galleries and museums. She speaks to a multitude of servants throughout bureaucracies and businesses who listen attentively and stifle emotions every day while needy confess their unrealized cravings. Naked, spread eagle on a bicycle seat, she resembles planet’s billion bicyclists who don’t compete, take whatever pavement lies ahead in wide-eyed attention, test limits of what human bodies can handle, wear little, and wind up misunderstood for their nonviolent, self-imposed hardship by consumers hoping to escape such painful inconveniences. Differences include mobile versus static levels of danger. Bicycling can also be seen as a performance art form, but one that only participants appreciate. For an age where spirituality has returned to the individual, this mimics habits of monks who for millennia gave up physical delights for an imagined good, which arguably did succeed. Freedom to choose will always entail restraint; separation defines objects, space and time, which explains why roads are more deserted than jammed.
In previously mentioned film Requiem (dir. Hans Christian Schmidt, 2006), Sandra Hüller plays an epileptic girl who gradually becomes convinced she is possessed by demons. Has the look of an underfunded epic that ends just before anything is resolved. In fact, bicycling protagonist eventually dies according to a preemptive placard. It's painfully obvious that her mother smothered her with contempt and repression. Mother should have been under therapy with an undiagnosed control fetish, someone instigating trouble but refusing consequences, while those surrounding have to cope and deal, sometimes break down from constant pressure. In contrast, also viewed autobiographical trilogy An Angel at My Table (dir. Jane Campion, 1990) in which celebrated New Zealand author Janet Frame suffers following a false schizophrenia diagnosis but survives to flourish. The only scenes in which she seems carefree are when she bikes about, like her 12-year-old character from her first novel, Owls Do Cry, Francie Withers commuting happily to the drudgery of woolen mills, even imagining bicycle parts shown on cover as a magical incantation she recites with her sister; otherwise, Janet totes around a burdensome typewriter bewildered by incessant inhumanity while she inks inspired inklings which persists as a testament to psychiatric absurdity.