In Texas, is a rose still a rose?

In Texas, people usually like to call a spade a spade. But, is a rose still a rose?

You may have heard on the news about a California man who was put under 72-hour psychiatric observation when it was found he owned 100 guns and allegedly had 100,000 rounds of ammunition stored in his home. The house also featured a secret escape tunnel.

By West Coast standards someone like this would be considered ‘mentally unstable.’ What California lacks is the proper perspective—as usual.

  • In Arkansas, he’d be called ‘a novice gun collector.’
  • In Utah, he’d be called ‘moderately well prepared,’ but they might reserve judgment until they made sure that he had a corresponding quantity of stored food.
  • In Kansas, he’d be ‘a guy down the road you would want to have for a friend.’
  • In Alabama, he’d be called ‘a likely gubernatorial candidate.’
  • In Georgia, he’d be called ‘an eligible bachelor.’
  • In North Carolina, Mississippi, and South Carolina, he would be called ‘a deer hunting buddy.’

And in Texas,
he’s just ‘Bubba, who’s a little short on ammo.’
—Anonymous

Coming from Texas myself, I get this.

Forwarded to me recently, I thought this email message was funny, but I also considered seriously the fact that people have a wide spectrum of notions about others whose behavior seems to them to be outside accepted social norms. Our movies this fall provide us an opportunity to examine evidence of such viewpoints that may have entered our minds through the work of filmmakers. The following is a comment on the first film in our series, Side Effects:

The depiction of the pharmaceutical industry in the film is accurate—and just because it’s accurate does not mean people will not take offense. But from my perspective as a psychiatrist, I think we should depict things in a realistic way. The only way that we will ultimately deal with the stigma of mental illness is to be more realistic, open and honest about the illness, its treatment and how it all works (Grigoryev, 2013).

REFERENCES

Grigoryev, Y. (2013). Psychiatrist Sasha Bardey discusses Hollywood’s Side Effects. Retrieved from http://blogs.nature.com/spoonful/2013/02/psychiatrist-sasha-bardey-discusses-hollywoods-side-effects.html

Soderbergh, S. (Director) (2013). Side Effects [Motion picture]. USA: Open Road Films (II).