When I'm not researching or writing, I'm learning the guitar. When I'm not learning the guitar, I'm reading. When I'm not reading words related to the work I do, I'm escaping with novels, mainly John Grisham, whose words still relate to the work that I do.
A breath of fresh air then would describe the latest novel I have just finished.
'Cell' by Stephen King isn't one of his classics but it did get me thinking that there's a book out there ready to be written along the same lines as 'Cell'.
For those of you who haven't read King's 'Cell' it's book of pure fiction whereby a pulse is sent through satellites to owners of cell phones... or mobile phones as they are known outside of America. The pulse sent makes people crazy who in turn kill one another... they don't know why, they just act on the pulse.
So, why am I wring about this?
It got me thinking.
Let's say each time we picked up a gun which had that same [pulse] - that urge to kill. It was the gun that, somehow, had been coated with a substance that leaked into the pores of the skin and made the person holding it want to go out and kill. Pure fiction, I know but it echoes the work of King.
Cast aside the work of fiction for one moment.
Let's put together the work of another novel.
Let's just assume for one minute that there's a pill that makes people crazy, let's assume that those taking the pill want to go out and kill. Let's assume that there's a power behind the mass production and ingestion of the pill.
You get where I'm coming from yet?
A book about a pulse being sent down a phone line... sent to parts of the brain that makes people crazy is believable because authors like Stephen King have a great knack of making fiction become reality. If he were to write about a gun with a special coating that also made people crazy then I'm sure he could do it just as well as 'Cell'.
A book about a pill making people crazy and turning them into killers wouldn't really be that sexy... it wouldn't be fiction either.
We could take it a step further than King did in 'Cell'. King's characters got the pulse and went on a killing spree. The characters in our book, 'Pill' could not only kill others they could also kill themselves.
Now that would be just too far-fetched, right?
There's a novel waiting to be written. It could, if desired, be set in New Zealand or even Bridgend in Wales. Of course in our book a pill wouldn't almost wipe out the human race as we know it. The Pill would just contribute to a certain amount of deaths and/or slayings, just enough to stop people from making the link - just enough so that the regulators of medicines can dispute any link and keep the pill on the shelves.
Sounds crazy, eh?
1988 - Laurie Wasserman Dann walked into a second grade classroom at Hubbard Woods School in Winnetka, Illinois carrying three pistols and began shooting children, killing an eight-year-old boy - Nicholas Corwin - and wounding five others before fleeing. She entered a nearby house where she shot and wounded a 20-year-old man before killing herself. Dann was taking the antidepressant Anafranil [clomipramine] for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. [Not a Stephen King novel - Link]
1992 - Stephen Leith, a school teacher shot and killed his superintendent at school. Leith, from prison, later wrote to the FDA explaining how Prozac had made him hostile. He writes, "My temper became shorter and anything could set me off. My anger burned so intensely it was scary. I had never experienced anything like it either before going on PROZAC or since I was taken off of it. I had a headache all the time and was confused much of the time. Something inside felt as if it wanted to crawl out of me, leaving a shell behind; my brain felt like it was sloshing in my skull. After nearly two years of decline, I snapped and killed the Superintendent at a grievance meeting pertaining to my bizarre behavior". [Not a Stephen King novel - Link]
In the same year Calvin Charles Bell opened fire at the Southwest Houston School in Texas. Bell had apparently been "upset about his second-grader's progress report". Just like Leith and Dann, Bell was taking psychiatric medication. [Not a Stephen King novel - Link]
1995 -Toby R. Sincino, a 15 year old, shooting dead a teacher before killing himself. Toby's aunt, Carolyn McCreary, said, "he had been undergoing counseling with the Department of Mental Health and was taking medicine for emotional problems." [Not a Stephen King novel - Link]
1999 - Of the many number of school shootings none have been more reported than Columbine where 15 died and 24 were injured. Eric Harris, one of the shooters, "was taking Zoloft before he switched to Luvox and that he reported 'feeling better' when discontinuing the Zoloft before starting the Luvox." [Not a Stephen King novel - Link]
2005 - Jeffrey Weise first murdered his grandfather before going on a a shooting spree where 9 people were killed and 7 were left wounded. Weise had increased his dosage of Prozac a week prior to the shootings. [Not a Stephen King novel - Link]
There are many more.
In May 2012, an article in People magazine reported that between January 2007 and February 2012, 79 people in the Bridgend area of South Wales had taken their own lives by hanging. AntiDepAware author draws comparisons to the antidepressant link here.
I currently live with my partner Maria Bradshaw out here in New Zealand. Maria's son, Toran, killed himself after just 15 days on Prozac. The New Zealand government and Mylan, the manufacturer of the generic form of Prozac Toran was taking have both concluded that it was probable that Prozac induced his suicide.
Good friends of mine Leonie Fennell and Tony Donnolly lost their son, Shane Clancy. Shane, like many of the above, went berserk killing a young man before stabbing himself in the chest 19 times, resulting in his death. Three weeks prior Shane had been prescribed Celexa, known as Cipramil in Europe.
Brennan McCartney was just 18 years old when in November 2010, he was prescribed Lexapro [known as Cipralex in Canada]. 4 days later Brennan hanged himself.
Again, there are many more.
I'm currently reading King's novella, Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, a small story in King's Different Seasons, a collection of short stories. Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption later went on to become a movie, The Shawshank Redemption. The screenplay by Frank Darabont being, in my opinion, much better than the original work of King.
Shawshank is one of my favorite movies, I love it all, the spine-tingling narration of Morgan Freeman [Red], the innocence of Andy Dufresne played superbly by Tim Robbins. The brutal warden and guard, Samuel Norton [Bob Gunton] and Byron Hadley [Clancy Brown] whose individual downfall was most welcoming. The message of hope Shawshank gives and its hinting of David v Goliath. Everything including the moving musical score by Thomas Newman.
Ironically, back in 2010, I created a video using the score from The Shawshank Redemption.
It fits well with this post.
It's a crazy world that we live in... even without pulses and coated guns.