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OpEdge: The American Grand Guignol

MASS MURDER AT A SCHOOL ONCE AGAIN WHILE RIGHTWING POLITICIANS MAKE EXCUSES FOR NOT TIGHTENING GUN LAWS by Marc Jampole TO BLAME MENTAL ILLNESS as the reason that Nikolas Cruz, a 19-year-old boy, used his legally purchased automatic weapon to kill 17 people at a Florida high school is to commit the logical fallacy to […]

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Diary of a Mad Housewife

Sue Kaufman, author of The Diary of a Mad Housewife (1967) and six other works of fiction before committing suicide after a long depression at age 50, was born on Long Island on this date in 1926. She was a graduate of Vassar, achieved early success as a freelance writer, and published her first novel, The Happy Summer Days, in 1959. Kaufman had […]

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The Uncivil Servant: Leonora Carrington’s Madness

by Mitchell Abidor Books discussed in this essay: Down Below by Leonora Carrington. NYRB Classics, 69 pages, 2017; The Milk of Dreams by Leonora Carrington. New York Review Children’s Collection, 54 pages, 2013 [first publication in English, 2017].   THERE ARE FEW more harrowing, more unromantic accounts of that too-often-romanticized experience that is madness than Leonora Carrington’s Down […]

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Adam Duritz and Counting Crows

Adam Duritz, lead singer and primary composer for Counting Crows, was born in Baltimore on this date in 1964. Duritz (who wears dreadlocks and describes himself in one of the band’s songs as “a Russian Jew American, impersonating African”) assembled the seven-member Counting Crows in 1991, and they have released seven studio albums and sold more than […]

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Son of Sam

David Berkowitz, who terrified New York between the summers of 1976 and 1977 by shooting strangers, usually young women, often sitting in parked cars, in eight separate incidents, and who claimed responsibility as “Son of Sam” in letters to the police, shot his first victims in the Bronx on this date in 1976. (The Christmas […]

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Going Mad

AND GETTING MAD ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT from the Autumn 2016 issue of Jewish Currents by Anonymous   LIKE TOO MANY other people, I can’t remember a time in my life when I haven’t been bullied. I’ve always been the weird, uncool, socially awkward girl. In middle school, I was made fun of for being […]

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January 10: Delmore Schwartz

Poet and short story writer Delmore Schwartz became the youngest-ever recipient of the Yale University’s Bollingen Prize on this date in 1959 for his collection of poetry, Summer Knowledge: New and Selected Poems. Schwartz (1913-66) broke upon the literary scene at 25 with In Dreams Begin Responsibilities, which was enthusiastically praised by T.S. Eliot, William […]

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OpEdge: Gun Control Is the Issue

We’ll All Feel Good about Pulling Down the Confederate Flag, But It’s Not the Issue by Marc Jampole DON’T GET ME WRONG, I have been opposed to the flying of the Confederate flag for decades. I immediately become physically revulsed when I see the blue X with white stars across a field of red — […]

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March 22: A Father of Psychopharmacology

Nathan S. Kline, a psychiatrist credited with founding the field of psychopharmacology, was born on this date in 1916. In 1953, he explored the use of reserpine, a new tranquilizer, to treat schizophrenia. He also pioneered in using lithium as an anti-depressant. Kline’s efforts to treat medically two of the major categories of mental illness […]

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