James Gandolfini has died of a heart attack at 51. What a loss to the acting world. He was one of those actors who was always worth watching in whatever he was in. Often I’d be watching a film and would be overjoyed to discover him in it, he never got lead roles in Hollywood which is a crying shame but whenever he did pop up in a film his charisma owned the screen. The man had a natural acting talent and by all accounts a really nice guy. If he were here today he’d no doubt tell the generously proportioned to eat their greens.
There are a few actors I’ve learned as film lover that you should always watch, Brad Dourif, Kurt Russell, Jeff Bridges, Bill Murray, Samuel L Jackson, Jean Reno, they may not produce epic roles or be showered with Oscars, mainly because they are rarely cast in Oscar bait, but everything they are in is always made better by their appearance.
Its funny that there aren’t more women in that list, the dearth of strong female roles offered up by Hollywood is the root cause. Sigorney Weaver and Charlize Theron perhaps fit into this category but I’d say they fit into the more widely known great actors like Al Pacino, Daniel Day-Lewis and Clint Eastwood.
Ok now onto a bit of a dark subject, but recently I’ve been having trouble getting the help I need for my depression. Bar my therapy I’m not getting any other treatment because SSRI’s simply don’t work for me (and are all that is ever doled out). My current theory is that my depression is more severe than most professionals realise because my religious beliefs prevent me from acting on suicidal thoughts. (Thank God!). But because I’m not a risk to myself in that regard I haven’t even had a mental health assessment. My theory is lent weight by the fact that Malta and Greece have the lowest suicide rates in Europe, and I am sure an important factor in that is religious belief.
The Eastern Orthodox don’t give suicides Christian burial! That is an extreme and potentially heartbreaking position for the family of victims, and doesn’t take into account the understanding of the necessity of free choice for mortal sin that the Catholic Church has. But and its an interesting but, the suicide rate in Greece is very low (or maybe suicides are covered up by families in order to secure a Christian burial?). Anyway I’m sure there are other factors, maybe a closer family unit, more sunlight and warmth, a Mediterranean diet and lifestyle, but I still sure that religion plays a big, perhaps even preeminent role in the wonderfully low rate of suicide in those countries. As a side note three people I know have been hospitalised in the last few weeks for mental health issues, St Dymphna pray for us!
I’ve also been encountering more horrendous stories of how transsexuals are appallingly treated in this country by the NHS. It leaves me filled with fear for my future. My therapist has decided he’s not comfortable with reffering me for gender dysphoria, says its important that we keep our theraputic relationship as a purely psychological one. To be honest I feel betrayed and that this was a decision made purely to cater to his comfort rather than my needs as a patient. I’m really not looking forward to taking this before a useless GP and being made to go through the difficult process of baring my soul to some stranger all over again, all for the sake of jumping through arbitrary hoops.
It reminds me of Joan of Arc, her faith, her visions, were dissected and denied by an inquisition of men determined to see her dead. She fought a valiant intellectual battle with people with far more worldly wisdom. Eventually she was burnt alive for the crime of wearing men’s clothes! Gender identity is not determined by what clothes you wear, it is an internal identity. People shouldn’t be forced to conform to society’s gender roles in order to get treatment for gender dysphoria! St Joan of Arc, pray for us!
A female psychology is made female simply by the virtue of it being held by a woman. Pushing prams, motherhood, wearing dresses, watching romcoms, listening to soppy ballads, posting cute pictures on facebook, none of those things makes you female… so why should a transsexual have to conform themselves to absurd gender stereotypes in order to receive treatment to deal with their gender dysphoria? Why do transsexuals constantly have to prove themselves? surely the drastic desire for a sex change is proof enough of gender dysphoria?
Men and women constantly have to affirm their gender role in this society and it is crushingly tiresome. This constant objectification of humanity is deeply destructive, this is the battle of the sexes and its a battle we as a society are all losing. Finally why have their been six Superman movies and eight Batman movies, but not a single Wonder Woman movie? I call shenanigans on that!