At some point I need to do a post round up of the three plays I saw in something like a week and a half—and all really good!
Before I get to that, I had one of those things this week when a couple of things seemed to happen that commented on something I was reading and thinking myself. And it's very much related to fandom things.
I'll start with last week's Community,
which as you've probably heard (hopefully not entirely from Community fans that annoy you!) is being put on hiatus. There were a bunch of comments about last week's episode, in which the Dean tried to make a commercial for Greendale college, with Abed also making a documentary about the process because, as Abed and Luis Guzman both agree Hearts of Darkness
(the documentary on the making of Apocalypse Now
) is much better than Apocalypse Now.
The ep has naturally spawned really interesting meta about the process of having stories and how the stories create reality, because they are a way for people to explain their experience of something via emotion.
I was particularly eager to think about that because of a book I've been reading, Sybil Exposed
by Debbie Nathan. Perhaps you already know Sybil, because she was a huge cultural phenomenon in the 1970s. She was the subject of the "nonfiction novel" Sybil
by Flora Schreiber, which told the story of Sybil Dorsett, a woman with 16 personalities who was cured via therapy with her brilliant, caring psychiatrist, Cornelia "Connie" Wilbur. The book was huge and later was made into an awesome TV movie with Joanne Woodward (who once herself starred as multiple personality Eve in The Three Faces of Eve
) and Sally Field, who until then was known for her goofy sitcoms.
I hadn't realized, since when I read/saw Sybil
in high school it was years after either came out, was that Sybil essentially created the modern understanding of multiple personality/dissociative identity disorder, and the idea of repressed memories brought out through therapy. That, of course, eventually peaked in the 90s with thousands of people diagnosed with the disorder (before Sybil
it wasn't even in the DSM) without half the symptoms described in the book, and many therapists sued when the memories they recovered turned out to be completely false. ( Memory, it turns out, doesn't work like a Pensieve. )
I don't if this is interesting at all if you haven't heard of Sybil, but I do recommend the classic TV movie. Apparently it was remade with Jessica Lange at some point and I didn't even know, but it's just not the same if it's not the classic tale of multiple personalities and endlessly weird, torturous child abuse. The pajamas in this clip got them sued on homophobic grounds!