Archive for December, 2008

girl_interrupted1I watched the movie Girl Interrupted. I found it highly disturbing! For those of you, who haven’t seen the movie or know the storyline, click here.

Susanna Kaysen, questions the idea of being sane and insane. What is perceived as sane? Is being sane really about hiding the insane parts of you so that they will let you out of a mental institution? Maybe “Sometimes the only way to stay sane is to go a little crazy.”

When Lisa and Susanna break out of Claymoore with the intention of going to work in Walt Disney resort, they meet a gang of hippies. The conversation with one of the hippies goes:

Susanna Kaysen: You don’t want me, Tony.
Tony: Yes I do, baby.
Susanna Kaysen: No, you don’t, I’m a crazy girl.
Tony: You’re crazy so we can’t one night of bliss?
Susanna Kaysen: I am a crazy girl, seriously.
Tony: You’ve been in a hospital.
Susanna Kaysen: Yes.
Tony: Do you see purple people? My friend, he saw purple people. And so the state came and took him away. He didn’t like that. Some time went by and, and he told ’em he didn’t see pueple people no more.
Susanna Kaysen: He got better.
Tony: Nah, he still sees ’em.

So here we see that the purple-visions friend has really not been cured of his purple visions. He lets people think he has been cured of them, so girl_interrupted2that they would let him go. So is he sane because he was smart enough to know which part of himself he had to suppress or was he insane because he was still having the purple visions? When he stopped telling people about his purple visions, people stopped thinking he was crazy. Is being sane or normal the equivalent of trying to fit in and be part of the crowd? What about Joan of Arc, she had visions and heard voices? The church called insane, heretical and burnt her at the stake and a few centuries later hailed her as a saint. So is sanity really about acting smart and survival?

Another character in the movie, Daisy Rathbone, a sex abuse victim in an incestuous relationship with her dad is also let out of the mental institution. She goes back to live with her dad, though everyone including her therapist knows that her relationship with her dad is skewered. Also her stay at the institution had not in anyway dampened her enthusiasm for her father. She has a love and hate relationship with him. Love or strong feelings; some thing keeps her coming back to him. She is also shown to have strong hatred for him, because she’s girl_interrupted3constantly trying to kill herself because of the incest. She also has an eating disorder.

But she’s let out of the mental institution. Other inmates deem “it unfair.”  She commits suicide within a few weeks of her release. So is being sane, really about proving to society that you are sane and not real sanity?

Georgina Tuskin: Lisa, is Daisy really getting out?
Lisa Rowe: Yeah, she coughed up a big one.
Susanna Kaysen: But how could – I mean she’s… insane.
Lisa Rowe: Yeah, well that’s what ther-rape-me’s all about. That’s why fuckin’ Freud’s pictures on every shrink’s wall. He created a fuckin’ industry. You lie down, you confess your secrets and you’re saved. Ca-ching! The more you confess, the more they think about settin’ you free.
Susanna Kaysen: But what if you don’t have a secret?
Lisa Rowe: Then you’re a lifer, like me.

Daisy’s father was obviously a mean, bad guy. When the insane people  – Susanna and Lisa – could guess there was something wrong in the relationship, how come the guys with the Ph.Ds in psychology didn’t guess there was something terribly wrong? Why is Daisy allowed to go to this man’s apartment in the first place? And obviously society considered Mr Rathbone, a sane guy or they would have him put in a padded cell along with his daughter. So is being sane really all about showing your best face in society and doing all the horrible, insane things in private? All these questions and more Susanna brings up to break our own comfort zones.girl-interrupted4

When Angelina confronts Daisy, she tells the truth, unsparingly:

Daisy Rathbone:My father loves me.
Lisa Rowe: I bet. With every inch of his manhood.

Daisy Rathbone: You’re just jealous, Lisa… because I got better… because I was released… because I have a chance… at a life.
Lisa Rowe: They didn’t release you ’cause you’re better, Daisy, they just gave up. You call this a life, hmm? Taking Daddy’s money, buying your dollies and your knickknacks. And eating his fuckin’ chicken, fattening up like a prize fuckin’ heifer. You changed the scenery, but not the fuckin’ situation, and the warden makes housecalls. And everybody knows, everbody knows that he fucks you. What they don’t know is that you like it, hmm? You like it.
Susanna Kaysen: [to Lisa] Shut the fuck up!
Lisa Rowe: Hey, man, it’s cool, it’s okay. It’s fine, it’s fucking fine! A man is a dick is a man is a dick is a chicken… is a dad… a Valium, a speculum, whatever, whatever. [to Daisy] You like being Mrs. Rathbone. Probably all you’ve ever known.
Daisy Rathbone: Have fun in Florida. [goes upstairs to her room]

girl_interrupted5Angelina or Lisa Rowe is diagnosed or in the girls own words “diag”-nonsense d ” as a sociopath. In a way, Susanna seems to blame Daisy’s death on Lisa, because she commits suicide the morning after the showdown with Lisa. But Lisa was just a trigger, Daisy would have any committed suicide or died within; pretty tough to try liking and living with abuse.

At some point, Susanna gets enchanted with Lisa and is almost shown in love with her (witness the kissing scene in the car during the break out). But then, Susanna gets to know who Lisa really is at Daisy’s apartment. Not only does Lisa show no remorse for her earlier comments or for the dead body hanging in front of her, she goes on to steal cash from the dead Daisy.

Susanna Kaysen: What the fuck are you doing, Lisa?
Lisa Rowe: I’m playing the villain, baby, just like you want. I try to give you everything you want.
Susanna Kaysen: No you don’t.
Lisa Rowe: You wanted your file, I found you your file. You wanted out, I got you out. You needed money, I found you some. I’m fucking consistent. I told you the truth. I didn’t write it down in a fucking book! I told you to your face. And I told Daisy to her face – what everybody knew and wouldn’t say, and she killed herself. And I played the fucking villain, just like you wanted.
Susanna Kaysen: Why would I want that?girl-interrupted6
Lisa Rowe: Because it makes you the good guy, sweet pea. You come back here, all sweetness and light, and sad and contrite, and everybody congratulating you on your bravery. And meanwhile, I’m blowing the guys at the bus station for the money that was in her fucking robe!

I suddenly realised this is the first time I’m posting adult content and I still haven’t even started out saying everything that I wanted to say…But that will have to wait…as its 2 am and I have work tomorrow….Its fascinating the movie and I have lots of insights to share!

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Back after a long break!

My system at home crashed and I’m just trying to re-configure it. Meanwhile, I’ve been reading and reading till my head ached. I have decided to post one book review every week (since my reading is decidely veering towards the classic, don’t get mad at me if I’m reviewing something 200 years old.

I’m also mightily please with my new dashboard from wordpress and new themes available on Igoogle.


I getting too addicted to changing my themes and my status messages on gmail chat. Also I’m not getting any work done on the net with gmail chat open. Which brings me to the question of etiquette in status messages.


What would be an appropriate status message? “Hi, I’m back from vacation,” “Ive got lots of work to do” “Busy, but buzzing” “I have a baby girl” or “I have cleared my exams” are all quite unexceptionable. But some people seem to take vicarious pleasure in posting absurd status message.

Some people post messages like  “My friend X is gay.” What are you trying to prove? That you are friendly to gays? Or are you teasing someone who is probably as straight as a line and making his life miserable? And besides what will your or Mr X’s potential employer or colleague think of the message? Sheer irresponsibility and definitely not funny.

Then there are even brainier people who put up status messages like “I flunked my exam” and “I broke up with my boyfriend.” What is this? A siren call for sympathy? All and sundry help me as I go on self-pity mode?

One of my friends who had put up the status message “my heart is bleeding after broke up,” got a sympathy call from her ex-boyfriend, who told her to be sensible and get over him. Guess what her next message was, “I’m over my first  boy friend, its the second one whose breaking my heart.” Sheesh!

There also those who want to declare themselves anti-socials, so they put up messages like “I don’t give a bloody @$#^*&)*_(+| . Mr So and So %%*(&^()&_) my life!”

There was another super intelligent friend of mine, who once put up her status message as married. She had apparently got the idea for this practical joke from a boy in her office. Next thing she knows, her dad is yelling at her. Most of her friends, thinking she had really got married, called up her dad to convey their best wishes.

Then there is the intellectual moron, who wants to flaunt his/ her knowledge through the express medium of status messages,  so we have sayings by Sara Teasdale, Pablo Neruda, Czelaw Milosz or some other well known poet whom everyone claims to have read but has never done so.

There was another friend of mine, who put up the status message, “I’m going to die,” and consumed shampoo 14 hours later. A bit scary! Luckily he hadn’t consumed too much of it.

So, what do I do the next time I see status messages like “I’m not going to wed Mr X,” “I love sexy stuff,” & “I’m going to run away.”?

Sign out I guess 😉

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America, America!

I first heard this at an activist’s house. I was so fascinated that I was hung-ho on playing it at our college film festival. It became a big hit at the MCC college film fest; with people singing the song and asking for encores. Once our schedule got a little messed up because people wanted to hear this song again and again and again. On a more serious note, the message in this song is both true and sad. The lyrics of this fantastic song go:

America, America, American War Paruda

War War War American War

American War Paruda

America so free I am dying to see,

Disneyland and Statue Liberty,

Choose between Coca-Cola and Pepsi,

Home-made prison with colour-TV,

America so strong with nuclear bomb,

Big one, small one and one long,

Vietnam napalmed, Afghanistan bombed,

America decide what is right, what is wrong.

America, America, American War Paruda

War War War American War

American War Paruda

America never sad, only go mad,

Blame someone say the world is bad,

First communist, then terrorist,

If not this maybe some other list.

America friends all over the world,

Fanatics, Dictators and Murderers,

America so sad for the world to see,

Bin Laden is paid to be an enemy.

America, America, American War Paruda

War War War American War

American War Paruda

If you have might, everything is right.

While you bark, you also bite.

Killing everyone best way to manage,

Then tell your friends collateral damage.

Saddam you scoundrel where are the weapons?

These inspectors instead of eyes have buttons.

Now, we’ll show how everyone is wrong,

Saddam your belly is actually a bomb.

America, America, American War Paruda

War War War American War

American War Paruda

America has a package for every country,

First CIA, World Bank and MNC,

If bribe don’t work destroy the whole place,

Put puppet regime with UN First Aid,

We can see through American tactics and tricks,

Armament deals and Oil politics,

World War III no need to worry,

God save us from American Peace and Liberty.

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