Monday, 5 May 2008

When it was popular to watch lunatics for entertainment

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In the 18th century, watching and taunting "lunatics" in an asylum was a popular form of entertainment.

The cost of admission at the Hospital of St. Mary in London, the oldest psychiatric hospital in the world (later renamed Bethlem Hospital), was one penny. The asylum was so chaotic that it became the basis of the word "bedlam."

Via Neatorama

15 comments:

  1. In the UK, we have a programme called Big Brother. It could be considered as watching lunatics

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  2. They knew the simple art of enjoying yourself those days.
    "I know what we'll go watch the loopers.

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  3. Anon, If they'd had Jade Goody in those days they'd exorcise her, then drown her as a witch!

    MM, haha! Let's go for a picnic down the nuthouse.

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  4. Didn't they used to treat "lunatics" with LSD at some time in psychiatric medicine?

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  5. Istvanski, I'm not sure but I bet it didn't help them recover much!

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  6. Joanne have you seen the play or the film "Marat/Sade"?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marat/Sade

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  7. John I have seen it, sounds interesting!

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  8. I have a copy on video here at home, you are invited

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  9. (Or, there's YouTube)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VW--UBI8xk0

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  10. I'll have to turn down your kind offer, John, I fear I wouldn't be back in time for work in the morning.

    Are those people in that clip really mentalists?

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  11. Mentalists? heh
    They are the Royal Shakespeare Company, my darling, and choosing work over movie night chez Jean is a poor choice indeed

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  12. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLC9rShGXt0

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  13. Then of course there's "Bedlam":

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dy72y2jLVOc

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  14. Actually, I didn't know where the word came from.
    I think it's ugly that people use other's people suffering as an entertainment source, like super power countries' tourists visiting the Third World the photograph the marginal neighborhoods.

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