Leaded Gasoline: Causality and the Unmeasurable

The study that correlated regional and national crime rates to the geographic distribution of leaded gasoline raises questions about whole generations of Anericans.  If lead instigated greater criminality, did it also change “noncriminal” behavior such as norms for sex, drinking, and drugs?  Could it have affected parenting norms, leading to increases in emotional abuse? Kevin…

Hiroshima podcast on Public Radio

pri.org/hiroshima- a podcast addressing the trauma of the atomic bomb.  Also addresses the mental health considerations.  (And don’t forget the severely constrained Smithsonian exhibit.)  I’m especially interested in the concept of the memory keepers – those who were not there for the bombing, but who carry forward the memory of family members who were.  But there…

Mental Illness, Triggers, and Public Safety

The recent attention given to mass shootings has raised many complex issues of individual freedom and public safety – namely, we have no reliable institution means of determining who may commit murder due to neurological/psychological “imbalance.”  Our tools for “diagnosis” and “pathology” aren’t just limited – they are also suspect, given long histories of racism,…

Ferron and Massa – “Studying collective memories in Wikipedia” to Amanda Knox, Trayvon Martin, and Cultural Trauma

Ferron, Michela and Paolo Massa – “Studying collective memories in Wikipedia.” They found that Wikipedia articles related to traumatic events (such as September 11th, Chernobyl, and the London Train Bombings) received more editing during anniversary periods than during the rest of the year. Although I do find this interesting and perhaps useful, I feel as…

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study: Childhood Trauma Affects School Performance

My questions: Has the ACE Study been addressed by and incorporated into Trauma theory? How can creative writing classrooms recognize and address the results of childhood trauma without exacerbating the situation for at-risk students? Can the medical epidemiology used in the ACE study be used to determine what “counts” as trauma? Does the quantification of…

Persepolis changed my views on Iran

We’ve seen so much fear and misunderstanding about the nuclear deal with Iran, especially Mike Huckabee’s comment on “leading Israel to the oven.”  I’m guessing that many of these commentators have not read Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, or Mark Bowden’s Guests of the Ayatollah.  Those books personalized the people of Iran for me (especially Persepolis).  Also…