Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Fail Better: "Best Of Prozacville"

For a period of five years, I drew one of these on an almost daily basis. Here is a selection (in chronological order). 





i-want-to-die one-draws-a-magic-circle so-i've-been-wrong,-wrong,- no---colour








Click here for larger version. the-man-from

To see the original TV ad, click here. who-came-first

Riffing off a drawing by Nadler and Cowboydog



(In the collection of Dr. J Glover, London)


Text taken verbatim from a profile on jdate.com


If you've yet to experience the delicious dissection of bowel movements and beveled, even bedeviled moments that make up the 'secret' life of my therapist, I commend you to pay him a visit.


Text taken verbatim from metrodate.com


Text taken verbatim from http://www.encounters.timesonline.co.uk



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I quite like the idea of a doctorate awarded 'on the basis of life experience'.

With the pound-dollar exchange rate being quite favourable at the moment, I'm tempted to buy myself a PhD in Psychiatry. What do you think?


Drawing on + digital manipulation of a Simon Averill image





Text taken from loveandfriends.com


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Text taken verbatim from Match.com


Text taken verbatim from match.com profile. i'm-moving-soon

  christmas you-know-when-you're-ill




Another one of Nadler's Perfectly Useless Machines



A natural history of Christianity. But don't take my word for it.

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How to lose weight without having to go on diet


Four Fs link


More tips on how to lose weight without having to go on a diet


"The large brain, like large government, may not be able to do simple things in simple way." (Donald Hebb, 1958)


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"The male has instinctual urges and predatory ideas. The female has a breast, the power to provoke lust, and the idea that she would like to be attacked by a hungry male. These two phenomena do not come into relation with each other till the woman and man live an experience together. I think of the process as if two lines came from opposite directions, liable to come near each other. If they overlap there is a moment of illusion - a bit of experience which the man can take as either his hallucination or a thing belonging to external reality."

(From D.W. Winnicott, 'Primitive Emotional Development', in Through Pediatrics to Psychoanalysis (London: Hogarth Press, 1975), p152 - Prozacville edition


Virgins/raisins (click to read)


I am haunted by this image.

(Quote from Adam Phillips' essay 'Depression')

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It's Richard's 40th today.

I wanted to come up with an equal number of reasons to be cheerful. But faltered after the first five.


(In the collection of my therapist, Brighton)





Watched this monumentally depressing film recently which was probably in the back of my mind whilst drawing this.

psychosis Psychosis=The Ego Assailed



Lord knows it would be the first time (click to watch video)

Nadler's drawing of his Therapeutic Echo Chamber


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I think Schopenhauer would have also liked the following quote: "If you use a physical regimen like Bikram yoga to punish yourself for being alive, at some point the body will rebel."
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I've slightly changed my Nadler character. Having seen Guru Nadler in the flesh last night, I realised that glasses are probably as important to his persona as my own. A spectacles-less Nadler just ain't a Nadler.

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[Click here to see Nadler's original drawing of The Switch]


At the moment I'm running away from laryngitis. If April is the cruellest month, May is the is the gruelest month.

[Title from Bon Iver song: a man who did something useful with his running-away-from]


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I am very excited at the moment by the new Mozza video: basically him cavorting around his LA garden with his bruised, glowering, National Front eye-candy bovver-boys (aka The Band).

Roland Barthes would have a field day with The Tambourine As Signifier in this video.

Watch how he uses it as a baton, a frame, a peephole, pacemaker, a camera-lens, a hula-hoop, a discus, a bolt of lightening (Zeus!), a flyswatter, a punching bag, a crown, a matador's cape, a ring-master's cane, a shield, a security blanket, an ersatz vagina (notice the fluttering, masturbatory fingerwork), and of course, a, um, tambourine!


Herriman homage.

Herriman homage.


Do you see it?

To see what is probably blindingly obvious to everyone except these two, click here.

For more on Therapism click here.


Isn't it great that the first Charles Schulz comic strip ever published has within it the angry seed for everything this daily-strip would become over the next fifty years. It's really just a big fuck-you to the world (and himself). Tres punk.

I found this of course on page one of The Complete Peanuts 1950-52, a present I got from Richard today (thank you, Rich). I am always struck when I read some of the less-fluffy Schulz by just how dark and dysthymic his vision of human relations was/is. My little pills wouldn't exist without him.


"The early connection between the epistemophilic impulse [cf. epistemology] and sadism is very important for the whole mental development. This instinct, roused by the striving of the Oedipus tendencies, at first mainly concerns itself with the mother's womb, which is assumed to be the scene of all sexual processes and developments. The child is till dominated by the anal-sadistic libido-position which impels him to wish to appropriate the contents of the womb. He thus begins to be curious about what it contains, what it is like, etc. So the epistemophilic instinct and the desire to take possession come quite early to be most intimately connected with one another and at the same time with the sense of guilt aroused by the incipient Oedipus conflict."

Melanie Klein (1928) 'Early Stages of the Oedipus Complex'. In J. Mitchell (ed) The Selected Melanie Klein. Harmondsworth:Penguin, 1986; p.72


"Faeces, penis and baby, are all three solid bodies; they all three, by forcible entry or expulsion, stimulate a membraneous passage, i.e. the rectum and the vagina, the latter being as it were 'taken on lease' from the rectum." (Sigmund Freud, On Transformation of Instincts as Exemplified by Anal Eroticism)

In this essay, Freud suggests that a baby, a gift, a penis, money and faeces are all "ill-distinguished from one another" and "easily interchangeable". Common sense really.



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Words: Leo Tolstoy (My Confession)



When Prozac heard via
Zizek about the Self-Hating and Israeli-Threatening (S.H.I.T) list he got very excited.


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getting-better-all-the-time crop
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"The terror of death is ubiquitous and of such magnitude that a considerable portion of one's life energy is consumed in the denial of death. Death transcendence is a major motif in human experience - from the most deeply personal internal phenomena, our defenses, our motivations, our dreams and nightmares, to the most public macro-societal structures, our monuments, theologies, ideologies, slumber cemeteries, embalmings, our stretch into space, indeed our entire way of life - our filling time, our addiction to diversions, our unfaltering belief in the myth of progress, our drive to 'get ahead', our yearning for lasting fame."

(Irvin D. Yalom, Existential Psychotherapy, p41)


[Click here to listen/download Getting Better and here for a fabulous Gomez cover-version. I'm not a big fan of covers but I think Gomez are an exception to the rule that 'covers=watered down original'.]



I found a definition of this expression here, but I don't think it fully captures the flavour of this South-Africanism.

In substance, it's a very Beckettian phrase. Think Waiting For Godot, set in South Africa- that moment at the end of the play when Vladimir says to Estragon 'Shall we go?', and he replies 'Yes, let's go.' And neither of them move.

That's a very ja-well-no-fine moment.

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The direct, and in some way more evocative translation of Guido (aka 'The Geek) Romani's pronouncement to L'Osservatore Romano is: "The Pope doesn't wear Prada, but Christ'.

Most English newspapers fiddled around with the mordancy of this soundbite and came up with: "The Pope isn't dressed by Prada but by Christ".

Being the Italionophile that I am, I originally read the article in lingua originale (I subscribe to the above paper if you must know), and hence the inspiration for JR's Necrotic Jewellery. Though undoubtedly Bill Hicks must've been floating around in the back of my mind too.


Nadler's Specjewcles are based, I believe, on assertions made by Jung in his 1918 essay "The Role of the Unconscious" in which he states:

"As a rule, the Jew lives in amicable relationship with the earth, but without feeling the power of the chthonic. His receptivity to this seems to have weakened with time. This may explain the specific need of the Jew to reduce everything to its material beginnings; he needs these beginnings in order to counterbalance the dangerous ascendency of his two cultures. A little bit of primitivity does not hurt him; on the contrary, I can understand very well that Freud's and Adler's reduction of everything psychic to primitive sexual wishes and power drives has something about it that is beneficial and satisfying to the Jew, because it is a form of simplification."

I've never really been able to warm to Jung; I wonder why.

What's particularly galling of course is that some of what he says is quite true. I have very little feeling for 'the power of the chthonic'.


Listening to Masha Gessen on Start The Week being interviewed about her book Blood Matters: A Journey Along the Genetic Frontier.


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I always used to think this song was about an embittered ex, stalking his former lover. But I now realise that it has a wider remit: death, disappointment, the ego stalked by a hungry, braying demented id(iot).

The squalor of the mind.



To find out what this painting means, click here.


"Automatic thoughts, as the name implies, are those interpretations/ideas/thoughts that seem to come automatically to mind; they are our pop-up thoughts. They are the immediate, consciously available thoughts, require little or no effort and seem plausible. They are not arrived at through reflective reasoning.

In depression they are often self-evaluative and future directed. Automatic thoughts are not necessarily in clear/syntactic language and can be poorly formulated, using fragments of grammar. Also, it is common for them to occur in images or inner scenes, daydreams or fantasies (Gilbert, 1992; Hackman, 1997).


For example, what goes through a person's mind when their lover promises to phone at a specific time but does not phone as promised? For a moment just close your eyes and image such an event; you have a lover who you are expecting to phone you tonight. You are looking forward to the phone call. As the time goes by and the phone does not ring what goes through your mind?

In real life this type of event may lead us to fantasize about the possibility that the lover has lost interest, or does not care enough to remember, or is out with someone else....Sometimes we may not be fully aware of our automatic thoughts but experience only emotions. For example, when the telephone does not ring we may find ourselves becoming anxious, sad or irritated, but our awareness of our thinking may be hazy or poorly recognized.

Hence, the depressed person may need to train themselves to attend to their automatic thoughts so as to sharpen their focus and make them subject to more detailed analysis, communication and challenge. The client can be taught to say to themselves: 'Okay I am feeling sad or angry about this so how am I actually seeing it; what am I saying to myself?'

This is called thought catching."

(Paul Gilbert, Counselling for Depression, p51)



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Homage to Mr O.

The Hora: possibly the naffest dance ever to grace a festive occasion.



"The infant needs to be able to discover his/her capacity to light up the mother's face - for here is to be found the fundamental basis of self-image and self-esteem."
(Casement, p93)


[Click on image to enlarge] [Soundtrack]



Visited The Museum of Hopeless Expectations yesterday. This was my favourite exhibit.