Showing posts with label 1960s. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 1960s. Show all posts

Monday, April 17, 2017

Ken Kesey Wisdom

Man, when you lose your laugh you lose your footing.

You don't lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case.

Take what you can use and let the rest go by.

To hell with facts! We need stories!

People think love is an emotion. Love is good sense.

The trouble with super heroes is what to do between phone booths.

Ken, on a bus trip heading east, stopped in Yellowstone and saw a sign that said "Beware of Bear" and said : This used to mean be aware of the bear. But now, it means "be afraid of the bear."

Of offering more than what I can deliver,

I have a bad habit, it is true.
But I have to offer more than I can deliver,
To be able to deliver what I do.

Always stay in your own movie.

You're either on the bus or off the bus.

... you think this is too horrible to have really happened, this is too awful to be the truth! But, please. It's still hard for me to have a clear mind thinking on it. But it's the truth even if it didn't happen. (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest)

When Shakespeare was writing, he wasn't writing for stuff to lie on the page; it was supposed to get up and move around.

To hell with facts! We need stories!

Good writin' ain't necessarily good readin'. (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest)

The frontiers we broke into in the '60s are still largely unexplored.

When you're around the whole Dead scene, they're there as a tribal thing; they're there as part of a rendezvous and a pow-wow.

The truth doesn't have to do with cruelty, the truth has to do with mercy.

Leary can get a part of my mind that's kind of rusted shut grinding again, just by being around him and talking.

The fundamentalists have taken the fun out of the mental.

He knows that you have to laugh at the things that hurt you just to keep yourself in balance, just to keep the world from running you plumb crazy. (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest)

I'd rather be a lightning rod than a seismograph.

Nowhere else in history has there ever been a flag that stands for the right to burn itself. This is the fractal of our flag. It stands for the right to destroy itself.

You've got to get out and pray to the sky to appreciate the sunshine; otherwise you're just a lizard standing there with the sun shining on you.

Listen, wait, and be patient. Every shaman knows you have to deal with the fire that's in your audience's eye.


Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Slender Thread movie with Anne Bancroft and Sidney Poitier

By Jack Brummet

We have an annual screening of the film The Slender Thread at the Crisis Clinic, and I finally made it for the showing tonight. It is a pretty amazing movie on a topic (suicide) that was not really talked about in the 60s. Or the 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s, and even now. Anne Bancroft, Telly Savalas (and his brother George), Sidney Poitier, and Ed Asher are the lead actors. Bancroft and Poitier—the suicidal woman and the phone worker—are the focal points of the story. A lot of it is outdated and nothing like how we work now, but it is still fascinating and touching if you have ever done this kind of work. The movie, directed by Sydney Pollack, was based on the Seattle Crisis Clinic, which was one of the first hotlines in the country.

I worked on a crisis line in 1971-72, and the movie is pretty realistic about that era. We were flying by the seat of our pants, without a lot of professional help from shrinks/MSWs, etc. When I returned to this work a couple years ago, it was much more buttoned-down and professional (and effective). When I was on the Kent crisis line, we had four hours of training provided by the Seattle Crisis Clinic (where I work now): two hours on active listening and communications skills and two hours on suicide work. The next time around, it was 80 hours of training, with four days of in-service training each year, and continual ad hoc feedback on your work.

As corny as it was at times, 
the movie was moving. They got a lot of it right, which, for Hollywood, is pretty good. It's an almost noir looking black and white movie with footage (including aerial) of 1960's Seattle. Another reason this really hit home was that the woman committing suicide lived a few blocks from us in Ballard, and a lot of key moments occurred at Golden Gardens, just down the hill from my house.

I don't know if it is available streaming, but the DVD is for sale on Amazon.