June 27, 2010

I Know Cool People, Part One

Joe Pantoliano
"Gordon, you know I can get you a DVD if you want," my former co-worker turned pal asserted.

We were dining with several other assorted friends in a very nice Italian restaurant. She was a freelancer where I work, and we developed quite a casual friendship. But one thing about her that I really loved...is that she worked with Joey Pants.

She also knew of my mental health/substance abuse advocacy background, so she was eager to hear my thoughts on Joey's new documentary, No Kidding, Me 2!), available for sale exclusively through Amazon.

(Sorry, had to put the plug in there).

In all honesty, I wasn't expecting a polished, PBS-style documentary, and I'm glad...because as a good primer for these issues, Joey (or is it Mr. Pants?) does a great job in hitting all of the key arguments around "stomping the stigma" of mental health. Even though I have a strong belief (and active interest) in removing the stigma from mental health issues, it is sometimes hard to describe to the lay person, especially now in the "see-your-doctor-about-our-wonder-drug" era.

Joey does a great job of not only hitting all the high marks, but has assembled a rather diverse group of individuals who are sharing their story. Yes, you will hear from experts...but you will also hear from people who were "on the front lines", both figuratively and literally. From visiting a brain bank to a nearly painful moment of self-examination (where Joey wonders about the relationship between his depression and his acting), there's a really strong effort to advocate on behalf of those with mental illness (or "dis-ease"). We've had years of academic arguments...Joey goes straight for the gut. And wins.

(Ironically, I viewed this after receiving a "free" DVD from a Scientology-backed group around the evils of psychiatric medication. Even though I know better, I might have been more convinced by the Scientology documentary had it not used people I had seen in informercials).

Normally, I wouldn't push that people buy anything, even though shilling for my online Amazon store means getting a little more money for kitty treats. However, since Joey's documentary is only available (as I know) from Amazon...please go ahead and either rent or purchase it. The cause is too great to not take action.

Buy two copies, and send one to your favorite couch-jumping actor, if you wish. I'm sure he'll appreciate it.

No comments: