This morning (Friday morning) Mark Vonnegut was being interviewed on The Current so I recorded it with my iPhone as I was driving home. He’s written another memoir talking about schizophrenia, or manic depression and psychosis I suppose–the definitions are more than subjective. I confess I was pretty excited to hear him speak as I haven’t heard his voice before, and I hung on to every word, especially any references to the “hippie commune.” I kept thinking, “Mine. Mine. Mine.” So there’s definitely some interest there.
I sat in the car to listen to the rest of the interview to get the whole thing recorded on the phone (which worked pretty well, actually; Voice Memo is not a bad app–it even fades out when you stop the recording) and was compelled to note a couple of thoughts (I need to keep a notebook in the car).
In no particular order:
–psychosis as a metaphor for the dystopic canker within the utopian impulse
–the thin line between spirituality and mental illness
–family; generations and family history, family care (as in the father-son or mother-daughter relationship) and the aspect of the care that is specifically about generations; I’m searching for the words: the force or nature or attribute of parental care that is generative or productive (producing) and belongs to or emerges from family as an historical entity
–the notion of family (as above) as opposed to the infantilism that is so emphasised in Brave New World, that facilitates the state-imposed doctrine in that novel that “everyone belongs to everyone else.” I take this all to be a kind of utopian ideal, and a core notion of the utopian impulse that directly relates to communalistic social movements. Therein lies the similarity between BNW and the back-to-the-land commune (at least, one iteration–I suspect I will begin to perceive types as the thinking goes along).
–Vonnegut commenting on the idea that if you’re pissed at your mom, you’ll get more health by getting more pissed at your mom–gestalt therapy, emoting, expressing, confrontation, catharsis. The sort of thing that went on quite a bit.
–V: taking care of other people keeps me healthy
–V: (on his mom) “‘it’s nice bright people like you who are going to grow up and save the world'”; if you’re hearing voices, just go with it; “hippies were the ones who took my mother seriously”
Here’s the link to the interview.