Mad class, anyone?

Wow! I did an internet search for Mad Pride, and instead of March Madness and football games, a real Mad Pride subject came up on the top of the return list this time. This was a story about a mad professor; or rather the subject of his class is the mad movement. The header in Health Zone Canada runs Mad professor? Sure, and he’s full of ‘mad pride’. The professor in question is a Canadian, one David Reville.

As with all good jokes, there’s truth in that, because Reville does, in fact, proceed to talk non-stop for more than two hours — even though he still has a stack of papers to mark for the courses he teaches at Ryerson: A History of Madness, a liberal arts course, and Mad People’s History, a similar course offered online for the first time this year by the G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education.

Too few people, in fact some of them that would be a part of the mad movement, have a good grasp on what it is all about, or where it came from.

The mad liberation movement that gave rise to, and is explored in, Reville’s courses, along with the horrors, ignorance and indignities that preceded it, owes a debt, he says, to other human rights and liberation movements: feminism, black pride, gay pride.

“We have the same roots,” he says, “but have not been as successful, perhaps because we’ve been even more marginalized and because it’s so dangerous to come out as a mad person. Many of us pass for normal – and that’s a rational decision to make.”

A video clip is attached to the article. It’s a video clip that David Reville shows to his classes. The video clip I felt was more impressive than the article itself. This is something people should see. In it people who have experienced the mental health system from the receiving end discuss how they have come to identify themselves in the context of the mad movement.

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