Mental illness is not only used as a metaphor to cover a broad swath of conditions of the state of the human mind, it has also been literally called a metaphor by some who have studied the issue. In his renown book The Myth of Mental Illness (published in 1960), Thomas Szasz introduced the controversial idea that "mental illness" is not a true disease in the same sense as cancer and the concept termed as mental illness is in reality "a metaphor for human problems in living". Szasz actually comes to a conclusion that those who say they have a mental illness have a "fake disease.
While some might deem the variant popular terms related to mental illness as disrespectful and flippant, many of us use descriptions like nuts, loony, crazy, and whacked to describe a number of human conditions. Love has often been cited as the cause for driving one mad or crazy and not in a true psychological sense of the condition described.
In the following post-Valentine's Day Battle of the Bands I present a popular song that has nothing to do with what we would normally think of mental illness, but uses the condition of being in love as a metaphor for a disruptive mental condition...
Battle of the Bands
Battle of the Bands is the blogging event started by Far Away Series and now hosted by StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands. This event happens twice each month on the 1st and 15th. The premise is simple: Listen to the songs presented below and then in the comments vote for your favorite and tell us why you liked it. Then visit the links listed near the bottom of this post for more Battle action
Goin' Out of My Head
I was still in middle school when Little Anthony and the Imperials hit the pop music charts with the lovely "Goin' Out of My Head". Living in the Chicago Land area at the time, I'd hear this song played often on radio station WLS and it became a theme song of sorts for my own adolescent longings for love. In reality I had little idea of what romantic love was really about, but like many a young fellow I thought I was in love more than a few times and it was never easy. Unrequited love, lost love, or any love that leaves one unsatisfied or unfulfilled has been the inspiration for so many songs.
For the purpose of reference only--DON'T VOTE ON THIS VERSION--here's that original version of "Goin' Out of My Head" in case you've forgotten or never heard it before.
Since that first recording of "Goin' Out of My Head" was released, the song has been covered by many artists both vocally and instrumentally. In this current Battle I present two versions that are quite different from the original. The tempo and energy gets stepped up a bit to give the song a distinctly different flavor. So get your dancing shoes on and get ready to move and groove and go out of your head...
Gloria Gaynor "Goin' Out of My Head" (1978)
After ten years of paying her dues in the music business, Gloria Gaynor finally broke out as a well known artist with her disco album that included her hit "Never Can Say Good-bye". However her signature song "I Will Survive" will always be the one most identified with her. The album that featured that song also included Gaynor's fine cover of "Goin' Out of My Head". I'll have to admit a bit of a weakness for disco music so I happen to like her cover though I know there are some of you who might not be so keen on this music genre. Hope this doesn't drive you out of your head...
La Lupe "Goin' Out of My Head" (1967)
"The Queen of Latin Soul" La Lupe was a popular Cuban entertainer who was no stranger to controversy when it came to her frenzied performances as well as her life outside of music. Exiled after Castro took power, La Lupe eventually landed in New York performing with Tito Puente among other notable musicians. Her career was short-lived as she descended into a life of drugs and destitution. A long adherent to the religion of Santeria, she eventually ended up crippled and homeless until healed at an evangelical crusade after which she became a born again Christian. Her final recordings were albums of Christian music. She died in New York City in 1992 at the age of 52.
Get up and dance to the crazy Latin sounds of La Lupe...
Time To Vote!
Maybe not your favorite musical styles, but hopefully you have an opinion of some kind. Which version do you like the best? Surely one version drove you less crazy than the other.
Please vote on your favorite by letting us know your choice in the comment section and tell us why you prefer the version you chose. Then after you've finished here, please visit the other blogs listed below who may or may not be participating this time around. And if you've put up your own BOTB contest let us know that as well so we can vote on yours.
Here are some other places where you might find BOTB posts:
StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands
‘YOUR DAILY DOSE’
'Curious as a Cathy'
Sound of One Hand Typing
The Doglady's Den
Cherdo on the Flipside
Jingle, Jangle, Jungle
Winner Announced on Wednesday February 22nd
I'll tally the votes next Tuesday and announce the winner of this match-up the following day Wednesday February 22nd. However, since we'll have a week-end that gives adequate time for everyone to stop in to vote, I'll be continuing my topic on mental illness on Monday the 20th. If you missed the first installment, you can find it here.
What are your thoughts about the "Mental Illness is a myth" theory? Are you offended by non-pc terms like crazy, nuts, mad, and others? What do you think is the "cure" or solution to mental illness or do you think there is one?