Archive for November 6th, 2022

Anxious Nation

GC Myers- The Angst

Society cares about the individual only in so far as he is profitable. The young know this. Their anxiety as they enter in upon social life matches the anguish of the old as they are excluded from it.

Simone de Beauvoir, The Coming of Age (1970)

Last year, I was approached by a film production company for permission to use the painting at the top, The Angst, for use in a documentary on the massive anxiety that afflicts this country, focusing mainly on how it affects the youth.

It had an incredible team working on it. It was led by Academy Award winning documentary director Vanessa Roth, written and produced NY Times bestselling author Laura Morton, presented by model/designer/activist Kathy Ireland, and a whole bunch of others with multiple awards and credits.

It looked like a no-brainer. I was told that there was no guarantee that the image would make the final cut. But that didn’t really matter since the subject was right in my personal wheelhouse and The Angst is a painting that has more personal meaning and connection for me than almost any other piece. I agreed and forgot about it.

I was contacted recently that The Angst was, indeed, used in the film and that the film was complete and premiering at the Newport Beach Film Festival and being screened at a number of other film festivals.

I will be eager to see how the image is employed. It’s gratifying to see it play a small part in a quality project, even if only for a moment or two in the film, especially one whose subject is so close to my heart.

Anxiety has plagued me for most of my life. When we moved to a new school district in the 8th grade, my anxiety skyrocketed. I remember my hair coming out in clumps at the time and the alarm it raised in my mom.

I got through it at the time, but anxiety, along with the depression that often comes along for the ride, has been a constant companion all these years. I have learned to live with it with assorted coping behaviors that evolved through the years and have done what I consider a pretty good job in masking it.

Most people I have met or known over the years would be surprised to learn how anxious I am at any given time. I don’t know if that’s good or bad or if I am even correct in assuming that I was successfully masking my struggle. Or that the strategies I employed were truly healthy or successful. I guess that doesn’t really matter. What matters is that I got through to this point and have adequate tools and support to live my life.

I can’t imagine being a kid today with the kind of anxiety I had back then. Though I grew up in stressful times, the stress levels today in every aspect of life seem to be off the charts. It’s constant and pervasive, not giving kids much time or room to develop tools or strategies in order to deal with it.

I wish I had advice to give but it’s kind of like giving advice on being an artist– it’s such a personal path that there is no one way that applies to all. Or even most. Each of us has our own set of circumstances, relationships, history, emotional triggers, etc. What works for me might well be a disaster for someone else.

My hope is that this film helps brings this plague to light. It, and other associated efforts, will hopefully forge some better understanding, helping us develop strategies to cope with and possibly stave it off somewhat for future generations.

We can hope.

I will keep you apprised on when the film will be available for future viewing, or you can get alerts and other info through their site at AnxiousNation.com.

Well, I wasn’t planning on writing on this subject this morning and certainly wasn’t planning on pulling back my mask. But there it is. Let’s move on to some Sunday Morning Music. Here’s something that has nothing to do with the painting or subject. It’s the Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra playing Skaravan in a hotel room. Though I like this and think it’s great fun stuff, if I see these guys getting off the elevator on the floor of my hotel, I might well head down to change to another room, many floors away.

I needs me sleep, mateys. Carry on…

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: