My good friends Lisa Klein and Doug Blush screened their documentary, Of Two Minds, in San Francisco this weekend. The film explores what it’s like to live with bipolar disorder, and portrays the subjects with compassion, humor, and dignity. Their goal was to educate people about bipolar disorder, and erase some of the stigma that often reduces individuals to living in a closet of shame.
So Franny and I went to San Francisco to see the film, and to visit relatives.
Actually, Franny and Lisa and Doug’s daughter are too young to see the film, so I hung out with them during the screening.
We spent a lot of time walking and eating in the city’s Mission District, which is cool and edgy like New York’s Lower East Side. We passed lots of townhouses like this.
We ate at one of the world’s best pizza joints.
Franny played at a really cool playground.
We visited my half-sister, my birthmother’s daughter, who lives in the Mission…
…in a house like this one.
We ate Thai food at a restaurant that Franny picked out because of the “butt chairs.”
We met up with the filmmakers Lisa and Doug, and my cousins Sandy and Richard. Sandy’s ex-husband was in Of Two Minds, and she and her new husband composed a whimsical song about bipolar disorder that’s in the DVD. Sandy and Richard are musicians who write and perform hilarious riffs on the sorry state of politics.
Franny and I went back to Petaluma, where we were staying with Sandy and Richard. While Franny slept, Sandy and Richard and I drank wine around their wooden table in the kitchen, and talked seriously about another form of bipolar disorder: the extremes of the political parties in this country, a country which now appears ungovernable.
We discussed the prospect of progressives seceding if Romney and Ryan are elected in November. We tried to figure out how it would work. Would the coasts and various college towns band together to form a bicoastal government? Would Republican Californians agree to move to Red areas and all the blues would take their place in the Western state?
Medication can even out mood swings for the psychiatric mood disorder, but what will help what ails contemporary politics, now that moderate Republicans are fleeing their own party?
I don’t know about you, but I’m not crazy about living in a country run by a Wall Street honcho who made a fortune acquiring companies that he then bankrupted after piling on debt, and another fellow who thinks nothing of stomping into smithereens the rights of the elderly, the poor, the middle-class, women, and anyone else he deems unimportant.
I find the prospect of a Romney-Ryan America deeply terrifying, so deeply terrifying, that secession is starting to seem like the only hopeful option. I’m serious. Anybody with me? Or have a better idea?