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Showing posts with the label depression

Holding a Mirror up to Hamlet

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It was the worst of plays; it was the best of plays Hamlet is either the best play ever written or the worst, depending on your perspective. I have, at different times, held both opinions. T.S. Eliot was very critical of the play and of critics of the play. Ultimately he was categorical that “the play is most certainly an artistic failure” (Hamlet and His Problems. T.S. Eliot. 1921. The Sacred Wood; Essays on Poetry and Criticism).
The problem of many Hamlets Eliot reminds us that Shakespeare’s Hamlet was a “revised” version of earlier Hamlets, most notably one by Kyd—and Eliot seems convinced that the play is inferior for this among other reasons. Eliot also points out the tendency of “creative critics” (he mentions Coleridge and Goethe) to imagine a Hamlet character rather than the one actually in the play. Hamlet is so vague and inscrutable that the character invites speculation, confabulation and imaginative interpretations of his “true” nature.  Hamlet is a young man's play--…

Money Can Buy Happiness. The Question Is: “How Much Happiness Is Enough?”

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How much money buys happiness?Thanks to Malcolm Gladwell we can now say that increased wealth correlates with an increase in happiness up to an annual salary of $75,000 USD—that’s $100,000 Canadian  (See Good Teachers Are Always Underdogs).  After $100,000 CAD, more money produces less and less happiness, until wealth eventually causes more problems than pleasures.  
= < $100,000 CAD


We are left with the question: “How much happiness is enough?”  Strange question?  I hope so.  


Being unhappy is not a mental illnessListening to a lecture given by Thomas Szasz, the psychiatrist who denied the existence of anything that could be called a “mental illness” (see also Terrorism and Madness:  Between Sympathy and Understanding), I was struck by his description of people who came to him thinking that they were mentally ill because they were not happy.  As Szasz reported, being unhappy is a perfectly reasonable, sane response to some of life’s events and circumstances.  


The pressure to be happy…