So British!

Well, this morning, my question was “how much did the post war era influence the next generations, and by which cultural tools”.

Sailor caps, Lennon glasses, officer coats or Oxford shoes; I am definitely not a brit, so, how do I knoe that much about the Royal Family? ever been in a beauty salon, hairdresser’s? 

The western society 60’s to me mean that change is possible, and protest as well, the leit motiv was music and fashion. In fact, I am feeling very brave and rebel when I am wearing my stylish wellies at office (with all these french, ouch). Or a mini skirt in the public transportation filled with african american “mamies” (with much affection) and arabic (not so many where I work, actually, or perhaps I would be more careful, and aware of what I put on, and this is sad but true).

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With courtesy of Kimberly Watson, here you find a pretty smart article about 60’s in Britain. Because I am an ignorant person, I have put Swinging London on a previous blog article, dealing with jazz as main topic. Jazz came first than 60’s, would you agree, …so, this vintage spot is meant to apologize with my readers who will definitely get lost in time traveling with my latest blogging.

The 1960s The Decade that Shook Britain

If the Fifties were in black and white, then the Sixties were in Technicolor. The ‘Swinging Sixties’ remain the defining decade for Britain. In just ten short years, London had transformed from the bleak, conservative city, only just beginning to forget the troubles of the Second World War, into the capital of the world, full of freedom, hope and promise. It was the centre of all excitement; the city where anything and everything was possible. And yet, does anyone truly know how it was possible for decades of change to take place in just ten years?

By the 1960s, the first teenage generation free from conscription emerged in Britain. Young people were finally given a voice and freedom to do what they wanted. The parents of the Sixties teenage generation had spent their youth fighting for their lives in the Second World Warand wanted their own children to enjoy their youth and be able to have more fun and freedom. By the early 1960s, teenagers were already significantly different to those of a decade ago.

One of the biggest, defining aspects of the 1960s was music. Although rock and roll began having an effect on Britain in the 1950s, it wasn’t until the early Sixties and the emergence of ‘British Invasion’ groups like The Beatles, that music truly began its revolutionary changes. The Beatles are an excellent example of how music influenced the lives of young Britons. Although they continued the rock and roll genre of the 1950s for the early part of the decade, by 1967 Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band became the turning point in music and inspired other musicians, such as The Beach Boys and The Rolling Stones, to experiment with new sounds and develop innovative pieces of music. Their later albums included lyrics encouraging rebellion against the authorities, as seen in ‘Revolution’. Young people began to stand up for their beliefs and their individuality.

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Recreational drugs were also synonymous with the Sixties and became more commonly used in the latter part of the decade. Images of the Woodstock festival show people high on marijuana and LSD, dancing in fields with paint on their face and their hair flowing free. It was very difficult for anyone in show business to avoid becoming involved in drugs in some way and as easily influenced young people looking for fun, many were encouraged to follow their idols and take hallucinogenic drugs. LSD made people feel happy and optimistic and helped bring about the ‘hippie’ movement. The effects of these drugs were also reflected in psychedelic art and films, bringing new, vibrant and exciting colours and patterns to the forefront. The ‘Yellow Submarine’ film with its combination of psychedelic pictures and music illustrates this perfectly.

Although Britain wasn’t directly involved in the Vietnam War, British musicians such as John Lennon brought it to the attentions of British people through protests against the conflict. Songs like ‘Give Peace a Chance’ showed people the horrors and pointlessness of war and fans followed in the footsteps of their idols to pursue peace and freedom. This became one of the biggest aspects associated with the ‘hippie’ movement. People began to challenge and question authority, something that would have been unheard of a decade ago.

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The Profumo Affair, a scandalous mix of sex, spies and government, captured the public’s attention in 1963. The Secretary for War John Profumo was discovered to be having an affair with a woman who was also seeing a Russian military attaché. Profumo denied the affair but later admitted that he had lied to the House of Commons and resigned. The affair changed the relationship between government and press forever and seriously undermined the public’s trust inpoliticians. The traditional deference to figures of authority was now gradually being replaced by suspicion and mistrust.

Fashion in the decade mirrored many of the social changes of the Sixties. Mary Quant became famous for popularising the mini skirt which became the epitome of 1960s fashion. The mini was designed to be free and liberating for women, allowing them to “run and jump”. Her fashion designs used simple geometric shapes and colours which gave women a new kind of femininity. Women were free to wear more playful, youthful clothes that would have seemed outrageous ten years before. By the late Sixties, psychedelic prints and vibrant colours began appearing on clothes as the hippie movement gathered pace.

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Feminism began to become a more influential ideology as more jobs became available to young women in the Sixties. This allowed them to move away from home and become more independent. The contraceptive pill became legalised for all women in 1967 and gave them the opportunity to broaden their hopes and dreams far beyond motherhood and marriage. The Women’s Liberty movement was in its infancy when in 1968 at a Ford factory in Dagenham, 850 women went on strike, arguing for equal pay with their male co-workers. This action resulted in the passing of the Equal Pay Act of 1970. Furthermore, women were becoming increasingly involved in politics. For example, in 1968, Barbara Castle became the first and only woman to be appointed First Secretary of State and women began finding a voice in society and the running of the country.

Technological advancements of the 1960s drastically changed how people spent their leisure time. The increase in employment in factories and increase in money allowed people to spend more on leisure activities. Colour television and pocket transistor radios allowed people to spend their free time listening to music and watching TV. Every teenager owned a transistor radio allowing them to listen to pop music on the move. The microwaveoven shortened the amount of time women spent in the kitchen, further allowing them more freedom and time to enjoy themselves. By the end of the decade, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin achieved the impossible by becoming the first men on the moon in 1969. It ended the decade on a note of optimism and the ability to dream for something bigger and better.

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The 1960s was a decade of rapid change. Blink for one second and you would have missed it. It was the period that finally allowed people the liberty and individuality people had fought for and what we take for granted nowadays. The sixties began bleak and restricted, but by the end, people were full of hope and optimism for a better future. Now we know what Charlie Fleischer meant by, “If you remember the ’60s, you really weren’t there”. I guess I wasn’t really there…

Written by Kimberley Watson, aged 17. It’s true, I wasn’t really there, but it has always been the most interesting decade for me because of the huge changes that took place in just ten years. I hope to study History at university to continue discovering more of the past.

 

 

 

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Swinging London. And post-war jazz era.

 

The Age of Jazz in Britain marks 100 years of jazz in the UK, exploring the impact that jazz had on Britons from 1918.

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Jazz provoked reactions ranging from devotion to abhorrence when the idea, and then the sound, of the music first entered the consciousness of the British public in the aftermath of the First World War. Visiting American groups such as the Original Dixieland Jazz Band and the Southern Syncopated Orchestra offered Britons their first chance to experience the music live.

Rhythm & Reaction: The Age of Jazz in Britain will highlight how the new jazz sound in post-War nightclubs and dancehalls provided exciting and dynamic material for British artists. Bold depictions of lively dancers by William Roberts and Frank Dobson, will be displayed alongside the Harlem-inspired paintings for which Edward Burra, one of Britain’s foremost Modernist painters, was well-known.

The growing interest in jazz brought black and white musicians, artists and audiences together, and was crucial in influencing changes in British society, moving from stereotypes descended from the minstrel show to a more nuanced understanding of and interest in African American and black British culture.

The exhibition brings together painting, prints, cartoons, textiles and ceramics, moving film, instruments and the all-important jazz sound, to explicitly examine the influence of jazz on British art, design and wider society.

The exhibition is curated by Catherine Tackley, Professor and Head of Music at the University of Liverpool and one of the UK’s leading authorities on jazz.

On display at London’s Two Temple Place until 22 April 2018. Admission is free. A series of events will accompany the exhibition.

PTSD and Gene Kelly’s Lost Wartime Star Turn.

Since a young Italian girl, the impact of the aftermath of WWI and WWII, into music and cinema took my attention. It goes without saying, that also justifies why I am running this website in english, British and American cultures still have a huge influence on the Italian mood.

Something that was so evident, for example, was the massive musicals after WWII. Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Fred Astaire were the leading Hollywood stars of a joyful, but yet moving and educational movie making. They were made to convey a message of hope and spirit up lifting after misery, loss and grief.

Today wars are dispatched all over the world, and governements name them “Peace Missions to bring democracy“. Words are important, they give a meaning to thoughts. Modern wars are lasting fifteen years? Ok, I will keep my thought silent for respect to deployed, right? But my reflection goes to music then. Which impact do these ‘missions’ have on our social and civil environement, today? None.

Movies …very good for action which guys are keen on, and then videogames. Outburst of violence which lead fragile minds to no sense. True story, I was driving through a Normandy highway, visiting Omaha, and Sainte-Mère-Eglise, when my ex boyfriend (for a reason) told me excited as a cow “Look at that, I have already been there!!!” “What you mean?” “Yes, I fell out an helicopter with my riflegun and shot all those fu*kers around on these plains.” He was serious, and seriously damaged on his cells brain. This is it. Parisian region, and especially suburbs, are made of young vulnerable minds lost in a combat videogame. What’s the purpose? None.

Before there was PTSD there was shell shock and combat fatigue and Gene Kelly’s Combat Fatigue Irritability.

Circulating Now from NLM

by Michael Sappol

Gene Kelly, in a flotation divice stands in front of a bank of gauges looking up.Before there was PTSD there was shell shock and combat fatigue and Gene Kelly’s Combat Fatigue Irritability.

Combat Fatigue Irritability was made during World War II as a “naval training film” (although, unlike most military training films, there is very little training going on in this film). First screened in 1945, it was probably only shown to two select groups: men who were being treated in military facilities for what was then called “combat fatigue” (a category that eventually gave rise to our term, “post-traumatic stress disorder“); and to health professionals who treated such men. It was a “restricted” film, only for military viewing. After the war it was forgotten. It has never received any attention from film historians, and very little from fans (a few of whom did know of it but never got to see it). It is missing from the Gene Kelly…

View original post 1,061 more words

The PTSD Beautiful Trauma Project.

RAIN-Community-OrganizingThe PTSD Beautiful Trauma Project was born in France, in 2018, after 3 years from terrorist attacks to the “Charlie Hebdo Magazine” Board Office. Despite not being an activist, neither politically, nor labour councillor, I felt soon concerned and, in fact, I was. They say that, if you want to grow and evolve, in a lifetime, you get what you need, and not what you want. This was my case.

After multiple and unfortunate events, in Paris suburbs (2015), I woke up from burn out one mild day in mid-September, and I finally began my journey with struggling with PTSD as trauma survivor.

The social, both personal and professional, context I have been through this Parisian terror season, not only put me in a diseased mental health condition, but also forced me to a life-changing transformationUnderstanding, first, talking and taking actions, in the aftermath, were the only way to move forward.

Today, although, my work position is still in progress, as well as my emotional, physical and psychological statemy Body/Mind Health and Wellbeing are developing and improving one day at time. Panic attacks are over. Anger is a best friend of mine. Finally, I could find my purpose, and stick into my big dreams and life goals.

One side, the technique of Self-Discovery, thanks to the professional help of a kind lady, from the Occupational Psychologist Service, led me to a process of looking at my own identity, and therefore finding my True Self (Empathic and Highly Sensitive). On another side, my personal journey with PTSD recover was a chance to explore my potential, gifts and spiritual Path.

What could I ask more from a tragic event, and a chaos state of mind, other than survival? This project and my present life driving’s force speak out loud.

A couple of valuable aims will be sharing my personal tips about coping with PTSD, and ultimately, co-creating a community around Mental Health awareness, as well as Common Values.

Motto: What goes around comes around

We are all related.

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via The PTSD BT Project

What’s PTSD?

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If you agree, we – as human beings – were born to be a wholebalanced, and strongindividuals. Greek philosophers, and physicians, say that the natural state of things is calm and, sophrology – the science that studies the Consciousness – promotes body, mind and spirit harmony (SOS = free from diseases, balances. PHREN = diaphragm, emotional heart and by extension, spirit, conscience. LOGOS = Science, study, speech).

So, naturally, PTSD occur as a consequence of a lack of it. The fact is that you don’t realize at which cost, until your life becomes a mess, when you finally admit that something has broken, and you need help to fix it. It can be a physical wound, or invisible, when it concerns heart and soul, or if you are blessed enough, as brits would say, both.

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Before 2015, I used to practice Yoga, once a week, basically to keep healthy, in a good shape and mood, it was relaxing, and I could fully stretch my body, especially my neck, happily turning 40.

After the 2015 events (january and november), I got completely unbalanced, both emotionally, and physically, put on weight, panic attacks, anger outbursts, no way to do my job anymore, like dealing with typical visitors problem solving (e.g. lost baggages, fully booked restaurants,..), or simply baring mood swings of my bipolar colleague. As soon as someone started crying or yelling for any reason, my self defense felt in danger (“that freeze, fly or fight thing”).

In february 2016,  I was diagnosed obviously inadequate to my position, until today.

For the short storytime, I knew panic and fear on a terrorist attack at workplace and PTSD soon started with insomnia, poor emotional intelligence like Hulk’s syndrome,  inability to put words on my own feelings, anxiety and fear of going crazy, exhaustion and chronique fatigue disease, after sleep burn out, tremors (mouth, legs, hands), tachycardia, and memory loss, just to mention a few. Others symptoms you can’t just describe, like a sort of electrochemical pinching in your veins, especially in legs, or warmth flames in the back, which give you the right sense of burning inside.

“A short circuit of your soul.” 

It goes without saying, my health was severely damaged, as you know stress is quite dangerous for neurons, once they are gone, they don’t regenerate, so you start aging earlier, that’s also why, today, it’s not so rare to see stress effects in people who suffer Alzheimer’s syndrom much younger than 60, or stroke and heartattack victims.

By the way, I lost three colleagues between 27 and 43, in 5 months, does it count for stress disorders statistiques? Of course, it doesn’t, except if you can prove it. And you can’t. Occupational joke between Medicine and Managament states that it’s confidential.

During my journey, back from burn out, I have been told several times that this is the illness of the strong. And this is one of the main reasons why I feel a proud trauma survivor, today. Of course, you have to consider a deep cleaning of your personal life, as well as a full transformation of your jobcareer and lifestyle. 

You can’t figure out coping with PTSD and holding on the same life schedule than before trauma. It involves stop overthinking, letting go, and modulating negative emotional responses compared with the healthy controls.

“You need some yoga in your life.”  

Yoga practice really made a difference for me. It brought “justice” to my body and mind, especially since I am doing it regularly, almost everyday.

Check out Ted Nevins’s story “a soldier’s surprising journey to becoming a yogi” on the following: Warrior Spirit Retreat

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Thanks to a welsh penpal, and army brit, nicknamed Salad Dodger, my attention was caught by an association for Combat Stress, and reading an article I was quite shocked, because some of my burn out symptoms were perfectly matching with war vets PTSDafter battlefield.

This study led me to another article written from the american journalist, Sebastian Junger, published by Vanity Fair, who experienced PTSD on his way back from Afghanistan, where he spent 15 months on a mission with a Battle Company.

“Sometimes, we ask ourselves if we can save the vets, I think the real question is if we can save ourselves.”

To resume up, PTSD symptoms can be:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Dissociation
  • Flashbacks
  • Nightmares
  • Irritability and outbursts of anger
  • Suicidal thoughts and suicide
  • Alcohol misuse and dependence
  • Sexual problems and confusion about sexuality

Other effects:

  • Eating disorders
  • Self-injury and self-harming behaviour
  • Transient psychotic episodes
  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Dissociative Identity Disorder
  • Somatisation – Emotional distress experienced as physical pain
  • Increased rates of physical conditions like heart disease and cancer
  • Homelessness Re-victimisation Prostitution
  • Criminal behaviour (including, for a small minority, sexual offences)
  • Low self-esteem
  • Lack of confidence
  • Sleep problems
  • Parenting problems
  • Relationship problems
  • Trust issues

 

 

via What’s PTSD?

Oil pulling.

Not so regular yet, but improving. Coconut Oil is my fave and I use it for plenty of things. Hair, as first. You feel so pampered.

I fist learned how to oil pull about a year ago even though I’d heard the phrase much, much earlier than that. For some reason it sounded strange, technical, and maybe expensive like something you’d read about in Goop and only do at a high end zen spa. It’s actually not that technical and strange […]

via What The Heck Is Oil Pulling? — The OM Project

Bullying and Mental Health — The Bipolar Writer

Hi dear, I just went through your blog article about bullying and I feel like I want to say something. Bullying in the 80s, in Italy, at school? Once, I remember I had a fight against 4 school mates who wanted to beat me, and I reacted so violently that I could gain their respect. Btw I was such a tomboy, and I couldn’t simply accept that my mates would try to hurt me, for real. They were just playing, right? Were they?

Self-harm and mental illness came in my early twenties, too. Forget about talking to anyone. In 1994, internet wasn’t still developed, it arrived only in 1996-7. There was no means to learn about it, except in tv series, or rehab centers. The first time I heard about eating disorders, for example, it was in “Fame” tv show. A few years after my despair, I found my self in a hospital to pay a visit to a school friend, same than minute 8″, in the following video. Same exact situation.

But, please, don’t put weight issue at first place on eating disorders scale.  It goes so far deep inside, there is a 10 per cent of body self image, and the rest is related to perfectionism, and control, or parents relationships, self worth and self esteem issues. You really go through hell on earth, like a drug addicted. Food, calories, obsessions start from the first minute of your day until the very last minute. Social happenings like a pizza party, become a torture. Go away. You start lying to your self, and your friends, all of your peers (my mother used to invite cousins for a lunch on sundays and I hated it, I had to explain why I was eating just a mozzarella, instead of lasagne and tiramisu’ and I didn’t need to loose weight). Anorexia wasn’t worse for me, binge/bulimia was the worse. In fact, I didn’t loose so much weight as I would wish, and that explains why the Mental Health Center rejected me. Yes, because I wasn’t skinny enough. Honestly, if I look backward I feel so much relief because the two guys, brothers, who live in front of my parents home, still today, were accepted and got medical treatment, and no one of them could recover from their mental illness, until today.

Ok, James, I did my part, sorry, I will add plus details another time. Thank you for sharing. And go, get your memory published soon.

This is perhaps the most important topic I have covered on The Bipolar Writer blog. It is also the most talked about, and today as I write some new posts for the remainder of the week, I wanted to repost thing blog post, because there has been so much feedback posted on this post. I […]

via Bullying and Mental Health — The Bipolar Writer

Radiate peace. Yoga time.

When is your fave moment in a day to take time for your Self? Here you find a video from my (not so) personal coach, since at least one year now. With courtesy of Michelle Goldwin from LA, California. Since last stress peak, I’ve actually started feeling more balanced, focused, flexible and in a better mood after starting being regular. Before, I thought that it was simply not possible for me, finding the time. Thank’s to this nice lady, I can vary any time, and stick into my progress, when I feel like. Does it sound like a spot? It actually is. But it’s for free, as it is following and subscribing to this You Tube Channel.

One of the purposes of this blog, it is to give away without asking for any bills. Let’s start from yoga practice. It’s free, but it doesn’t mean it is not working. The harder you work, the quicker you get the results.

Yoga means no agenda. Forget “quicker”. Relax and get moving, slowly but surely.

You’ll tell me.