Recorded at the Rustbelt Regional Poetry Slam in 2013.
If you want to listen to Neil Hilborn talk more about the genesis of the poem, his own experience of OCD and what he feels he has learned through the experience of the ‘viral’ success of this YouTube recording you could listen to this TED talk >click here<.
Sandra, a young Belgian mother, discovers that her workmates have opted for a significant pay bonus, in exchange for her dismissal. She has only one weekend to convince her colleagues to give up their bonuses so that she can keep her job.
The dwarf, the disfigured, the blind man, the homosexual, the ex-mental patient and the member of a racial or religious minority all share one characteristic: they are all socially “abnormal”, and therefore in danger of being considered less then human. Whether ordinary people react by rejection, by over-hearty acceptance or by plain embarrassment, their main concern is with such an individual’s deviance, not with the whole of his personality. “Stigma” is a study of situations where normal and abnormal meet, and of the ways in which a stigmatized person can develop a more positive social and personal identity.
Inspired by an image of Christ’s suffering, Dostoyevsky set out to create a protagonist with “a truly beautiful soul” and to trace the fate of such an individual as he comes into contact with the brutal reality of contemporary society. The novel begins when the innocent epileptic Prince Myshkin – the ‘idiot’ – arrives in St Petersburg and finds himself drawn into a web of violent and passionate relationships that leads to blackmail, betrayal and eventually murder.
Jonathan Lloyd HYMS: themes epilepsy, social class, ostracising effects of illness.