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Aren’t we aware of stigmas? Aren’t we aware of mental health?

Now, aren’t we aware of what mental health is … now?

Aren’t we aware that it, mental health, is not mental illness?

Or, are we not aware that it, the unusual, is an illness?

Is the unusual an illness?

Is the usual healthy?

Are we aware that the stigma of mental illness is actually mental health?

Or is it the opposite?

We’re aware of misnaming, aren’t we?

Are we?


Are we?


Do we know what a stigma is? Do we know enough about mental workings and health to claim we know anything?

Every other piece of fiction in which we indulge seems to be about (expose?) weird people.

Good. Do that. People are nuts. Diagnosed, locked up, or not. The unusual is out there.

But don’t paint over your exploitation by claiming to “raise awareness.”

Have those who mess up be messed up.

Sometimes they’re heroes. Sometimes they’re criminals. Sometimes they’re both.

The movies and books are missing this and incorrectly analyzing the mentality of the human species. Failing to expand our minds and arms to all populations.

Raise awareness?

To what lengths, for what type of sacrifices, are they (Hollywood studios, accomplished book publishers) raising?

Unfortunately, the norm seems to be to acknowledge the less fortunate, that is, people with mental issues, and then watch how interestingly they are, since they can’t deal with life as most can.

That theme and theory are catastrophically inaccurate.

Where’s the movie that shows (addresses, formulates, what have you … got?) the mentally unusual as the hope for the future? Or at least write a book that reads crazy as an option. Chaos as a place to thrive.

Some people understand this. The reason there is a bad Lisa Simpson movement and horror-genre merchandise all year round (to celebrate characters like Beetlejuice‘s Lydia who validates many when saying, “I, myself, am strange and unusual,” as a murmur and not as a Billie Eilish advertisement … nothing against Eilish’s performance).

Personally, I never understood raising the middle finger in place of a smile for a photo. The action seemed lowbrow or lazy.

However, I can relate flipping the bird to something more when attached to this theory/article. I laugh when Arthur Fleck says, “You wouldn’t get it,” because I do. I don’t need the whole thing, the missing the point (the pointlessness of having a point) explained to me. I finally grasp what extending the digit can mean. (I’m still not going to do it.)

So, I’m going to figuratively raise my middle finger to raising awareness. Because I’m just crazy enough to do that.


I was going to finish with examples of books and movies that use the mental workings of outsiders as a ploy and a façade for human compassion, but I decided to be more positive.

Off the top of my weirdo head, here are a few fictional stories (movies) that acknowledge differences and people as they are:

As Good As it Gets


The Family Stone


Lars and the Real Girl

Lust for Life

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Silver Linings Playbook

Skeleton Twins

Touched with Fire

What about Bob?

(I haven’t finished the series, but Hulu’s “The Patient” may be a version of how to respect one’s personal dealings instead of labeling the individual as an oddity to observe from an elitist view.  Netflix’s Limited Series “Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” rightfully explores and exposes a serial killer and the multiple factors that go into creating such a being.)

Dan Jones

Author Dan Jones

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