Showing posts with label media. Show all posts
Showing posts with label media. Show all posts

December 17, 2022

Pictures that say 1000 words

Pictures That Say 1000 Words

By Hal Brown

Archives on Right >

Background from InPixio, Hal Brown

Updated Dec. 19: 

As Elon Musk and Donald Trump compete for headlines with their self-defeating bizarre behavior I watch how editors decide to illustrate their stories. Today I found a opening page story for  Elon Musk Posts Twitter Poll Asking If He Should Step Down As CEO on HUFFPOST. It is no longer the top of the page story so you can't the it online the way I did.

It fits right in with the theme of the following story. Of all the photos of Musk they could have used they found one where his gaze was directed upward as if he was looking at the headline. For posterity, here it is:

Click above to enlarge

The symbolism of this above photo was lost when the story moved down the page because while his gave was up the title was under the much smaller photo. It happens to be to the left of another Musk article which happens to be about Mastodon which is the platform I now am active on.

Below is my original blog story:

This was the top story on the HUFFPOST website this morning linking to this article:

I don't know whether it was an actual photograph of was photoshopped and made into a dark silhouette. 

I did a Google Image search and found the photo was used several times before:

Click above to enlarge

It is credited to Justin Sullivan of Getty Images. It was used in this article among others:

Whether it was photoshopped or not I think the black background was added because most people who are photographed have a background behind them.

As I write this the top of the site article on HUFFPOST is about Trump's malevolent doppelgänger Elon Musk for this article. It isn't nearly as dramatic as the Trump illustration:

I would guess that the black background  was also added to replace whatever was in the background of the photograph to make it more dramatic but I can't prove it.

I would characterize the photo of Musk as not particularly flattering but not appearing as obnoxious as he does in some of the photos published of him.

When the Musk article was no longer the lead story and moved down the page this is the Photoshopped image HUFFPOST used which shows him as looking ominous:

A Google Image search shows the first photo being credited to Jim Watson of Getty Images. It has been used frequently:

For example, it was used to illustrate a New York Times June 9, 2022 article.
There are so many photos of Trump and Musk showing such a range of emotions for editors to choose from to illustrate articles. Editors do not decide which to use by accident. 

Generally the photos we see of people in the public eye come with some kind of copyright protection and there is a legal gray area about how they can be republished. On this blog I often use the amazing Photoshop manipulated images made by DonkeyHotey since they are free to use as long as you give him his well deserved credit.

I used two of them in this blog story:

I took the photo HUFFPOST used and with BeFunky made it look like this:

With InPixo I made this with Jan van Eyck's Crucifixion and Last Judgement diptych from Wikipedia as a background.

December 12, 2022

The normalizing of delusional sociopathic grandiose narcissism

 The normalizing of delusional sociopathic grandiose narcissism
By Hal Brown

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I was a practicing psychotherapist for 40 years before retiring, the first 20 of those I work as the director of a small mental health center. I have posted numerous articles online about the dangerous psychopathology of Donald Trump. 

There are myriad examples of people in the news who demonstrate by their behavior, their actions and words, that they, to put it bluntly, have one or all of their hinges so loose that if they were the door on the jam it would be hanging and about to fall.

Creative Commons Flickr

I don't have to tax my brain by coming up with a list of clinically deranged people in public life. Just a look at the stories on various websites will provide many examples. A Salon article by one of my favorite columnists, Amanda Marcotte, this morning offers a list of five:

Of course these five are just losers even though Trump could actually become president again. We still have winners like Marjorie Taylor-Greene and Loren Boebert who are still in the House and now that the GOP controls it have even more power.

From Elon Musk whose unhingedness knows no bounds as he just yesterday tweeted "My pronouns are Prosecute/Fauci, a sentiment supported by said Rep. Greene who is saying that if she was in charge of the January 6th attack on the Capitol the crowd would have been armed (something that could end her in front of a grand jury), to Ye and Herschel Walker (who I wrote about here) 

There are enough people to be analyzed for in a PhD dissertation titled "Abnormal psychology as manifest in people in public life."

In some ways it is more disturbing to know that there are so many ordinary citizens who embrace the Big Lie and the conspiracy lunacy of QAnon. There are uncountable millions people not just in this country but around the world who, if objectively assessed by mental health professionals, would be diagnosed with one or more psychiatric conditions listed in the DSM-5.
There are several hundred diagnostic categories in the DSM  and new ones are periodically added, for example:

  • Binge Eating Disorder.
  • Caffeine Withdrawal.
  • Cannabis Withdrawal.
  • Disinhibited Social Engagement Disorder.
  • Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder- DMDD.
  • Hoarding Disorder.
  • Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder – PMDD.
 "According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), about one in five adults lives with a mental disorder (any mental illness in the US, and about one in 18 American adults has a serious mental illness. Some psychiatric conditions may be temporary, occur occasionally, and never return again." Reference includes entire list.

It should be obvious that most people with psychiatric disorders actually suffer, thus the term "suffering from" one or another disorder. There are other people who don't suffer themselves. They make  people in their lives including family, friends, and co-workers, suffer. Just consider the number of books about being married to a narcissist.

Of all of these the two most relevant disorders to consider when looking at the people I am writing about are what is now called antisocial personality disorder but is often referred to by the previous name, sociopathic disorder, and narcissistic personality disorder. Some people meet enough of the criteria for having both and would be considered to be malignant narcissists. This diagnosis never made it into then DSM but in my opinion and the opinion of many mental health professionals including, notably, Dr. John D. Gartner, the founder of the Duty to Warn society, Donald Trump has this disorder. Gartner wrote about this in 2017:
If any single person could be described as causing an extreme and dangerous mental pathology as becoming normalized it is Donald Trump.

Gartner is, as far as I know, the only mental health professional critical of Trump to appear on Fox News. In 2017 he was on "Watters World" in an interview which, to put it mildly, did not go well. Here's the video:

Full disclosure: Dr. Gartner and I have had a relationship since the formation of his Duty to Warn society. 

Currently the media, with some notable exceptions like MSNBC which regularly has clinical psychologist Mary Trump on and others experts discussing Donald Trump, reports the behavior of Trump and people like those mentioned above as if it is normal. 

I have followed the media closely since 2017 to see whether any mainstream publications addressed the issue of public figures like Trump, Taylor-Greene, Herschel Walker by interviewing mental health experts. 

Salon stands out for having Chauncey DeVega who often publishes interviews with mental health experts like psychiatrist Lance Dodes like "Trump is a dangerous sociopath — but he's sane enough to stand trial" and Psychiatrist Bandy Lee says White House officials told her Trump was "unraveling".

Of course, Salon with its progressive slant, can't be considered mainstream the way USA Today can. As far as I have been able to tell USA Today is the only widely circulated publication to publish a story about Trump's dangerous psychopathology.

It is about time that the mainstream media, including publications that the far right fringe considers to be fake news like The New York Times and The Washington Post, have regular columnists who are mental health experts who can analyze the behavior of public figures based on their knowledge of personality.

It is about time dangerous psychopathology stops being normalized by the media. It must be called out for what it is.

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