Episode

8/7 The Politics of Mental Health w/ Micha Frazer-Carroll

August 7, 2023

Happy Monday! Sam and Emma speak with Micha Frazer-Carroll, columnist at The Independent, to discuss her recent book Mad World: The Politics of Mental Health. First, Sam and Emma touch on Trump attorney John Lauro, who made the rounds on the Sunday shows yesterday, and specifically the strategy that he and Trump are attempting to cast doubt on holding the January 6th trial in D.C., and moving it to the…”diverse” location of…West Virginia. Then, they’re joined by Micha and get started by discussing Micha’s journey and struggle with her own mental health, and how those experiences shaped her reporting and scholarship that went into “Mad World.” She then discusses some of the history behind how mental health issues and other characteristics of people’s gender & sexuality, their marital status, among other things were traced as pathologies for people’s mental state in a way to categorize and stigmatize them, as opposed to identifiers and signifiers of someone’s emotional and mental state that were simply lived experiences within the context of their personal lives. Micha, Sam and Emma also discuss how the idea of “stress” and the struggle with mental health within society, especially under global capitalism, is extremely individualized, as opposed to an idea of approaching stress as something systematized and baked into the trappings of labor, incarceration, homophobia, and other issues within and without the workplace. They discuss the history of asylums within the UK and how that, and how “mad” people or people suffering from “madness”, paralleled that of how mentally ill people were treated in the U.S. as well. Emma brings up this idea of mental health “awareness” and how awareness of the vitality of mental healthcare has been completely saturated without any tangible approach to actual policy that would mitigate the structures and circumstances that exacerbate people’s mental health struggles, the ones that require that so-called “awareness”.

And in the Fun Half, Sam and Emma discuss Israel’s National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir’s recent comments about military action against Palestinians, something Sam referred to as “Praise-To-Slay”, before diving into Steven Crowder’s advertisement (featuring the Majority Report!) promoting a great” Re-Platforming” that’s coming up tomorrow. They then discuss striking LA hotel workers outside the Fairmont Miramont getting forcibly dispersed by LAPD officers and hotel security basically masquerading as Pinkertons deputized by police. They also touch on some of Universal Studios’ hardball against WGA and SAG-AFTRA picketers by, as Adam Conover, outlines, literally uprooting the sidewalk the picketers are attempting to walk on. They then turn to Ron DeSantis desperately trying to get Iowans to care about him seeing a guy in San Francisco shitting on the street, then touch on a huge appeals court decision in Mississippi turning over a Jim Crow-era voting law. Plus, your IM’s!

Check out Micha’s book here: https://www.plutobooks.com/9780745346717/mad-world/

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