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2013-10-06 Loneliness
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Varthonai



Joined: 19 Jul 2013
Posts: 34

PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

fritterdonut wrote:
Also, due to the Ludovico technique, Alex is unable to commit violence, even in self defense; this is why he has to just sit there and take it when Dim and George almost beat him to death once he's out of prison.

Also, aversion therapy (which is what the Ludovico technique is equivalent to) can break people. It used to be a somewhat common form of 'treating' homosexuality, until the APA ruled that such use was dangerous. It's only usage in modern psychology is, afaik, dealing with drug and alcohol addiction. It's use in the past (specifically electroshock) has been linked to patient suicides, and was found almost completely ineffective for changing deep behavioral characteristics, such as homosexuality (or, in Alex's case, a natural disposition for extreme violence).

Edit: A relevant section of the wikipedia article on Aversion Therapy, seeing as in the book Alex is 15 years old:
Quote:
Aversion therapy is still sometimes forced on children and teenagers who violate sex laws, and especially on individuals believed to have deviant sexual feelings. These youths have been forced to smell ammonia, describe humiliating scenarios, or engage in other uncomfortable acts, while looking at nude pictures, listening to audio tapes describing sexual situations, or describing their own fantasies. In order to measure sexual response, devices such as penile plethysmographs and vaginal photoplethysmographs are sometimes used, despite the controversies surrounding them.[citation needed]

In 1992, the Arizona Civil Liberties Union challenged the Phoenix Memorial Hospital for its use of these methods on children as young as 10. They were defended by the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers. Since then, policies have usually discouraged the use of forced aversion therapy on children under 14.


I think you misunderstood me. I'm not endorsing the Ludovico Technique or aversion therapy except possibly in the most tacit way imaginable: by saying that it's infinitely preferable to the existing institution of prison. For all its horrors, it a) doesn't institutionalize people into a nightmare world to the point where they are better-adapted to life in prison than in civilization, b) doesn't force people to remain in confinement with a high risk of being assaulted physically and sexually, and c) doesn't make them more likely to commit crime after being released due to institutionalization. All the other problems of the Ludovico Technique--i.e. that it breaks people--are equally true of prison. So Burgess' moral outrage over it, while understandable, feels very out of place to me.

Yes, the procedure destroyed Alex's ability to act in self-defense. But once a group of people has committed to hurting you, self-defense is rarely going to help as much as escape or calling for assistance anyway.

Also aversion therapy being ineffective for its intended purpose IRL is a little beside the point. The fictional procedure applied to Alex is presented as effective for purposes of the story in A Clockwork Orange and that's the context I'm discussing it in.

swicked wrote:
Agreed. With everything.
There can be no kindness for monsters.


You misunderstood me, too. I'm all about kindness for monsters, that's literally like the forefront of my philosophy, and there are a lot of lines I would never willingly cross (folks may remember the terrified hissy fit I threw when Lil Sis killed a spydrone). But this specific treatment for the specific transgressions of the specific character of Sleaze does not bother me.

Monkey Mcdermott wrote:
I'd normally never say this but you might try watching the movie instead of reading the book. It was made back in the sixties or something so the violence and rape scene are all a lot more toned down than you'd find in movies or tv today.


I should note before you take this advice, Valerie, that the rape scene in the movie of A Clockwork Orange disturbed me more than any rape scene I have ever seen in any other film, including movies and TV today. This is because rape scenes in movies and TV today, while ostensibly more "graphic", always strike me as sort of formulaic and hard to take seriously because they are closer to the average filmgoer's imaginary typical rape scenario than any actual rape as perceived by an actual rape victim, if that makes any sense. They tend to be kind of quick and perfunctory, with the same dramatic pacing as like, a character witnessing the death of a close friend or family member or something. As if those kinds of trauma are somehow comparable.

By contrast the scene in A Clockwork Orange has a very tense and drawn-out build-up while Alex's victims look on helpless and terrified and I had a very difficult time getting all the way through it in one sitting. Especially once the scissors came out. Sad

The book version of the scene (and other scenes) would have been worse for me, I'm sure, but I am much less easily disturbed by things like that when they are presented in a pure text medium.


I am actually a huge Stanley Kubrick geek btw. I think A Clockwork Orange is a masterpiece if we're strictly talking in terms of raw filmmaking technique. It's just that I don't find its central argument about human nature and human dignity persuasive.
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Dogen



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 10658
Location: Bellingham, WA

PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 1:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

fritterdonut wrote:
Also, aversion therapy (which is what the Ludovico technique is equivalent to) can break people. It used to be a somewhat common form of 'treating' homosexuality, until the APA ruled that such use was dangerous. It's only usage in modern psychology is, afaik, dealing with drug and alcohol addiction.

Even at this it's not very effective. In both cases the most recent research I've seen (there hasn't been much since the 1990s and early 2000s, though) has found that it mainly works for people who have less antisocial and problem behavior anyway. Those with disordered personalities, who engage in other illegal or antisocial activity, or who have experience with aversive stimuli (such as frequent hangovers) don't respond well to aversion therapy.

Also, aversion therapy is still done for homosexuality but it has to technically be voluntary (though I doubt that it always is) because homosexuality isn't disordered behavior. There's a Canadian researcher who studies it, but I don't follow his work.

This has been a random mental health interjection! I now return you to your regularly scheduled Ludovico Technique.
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fritterdonut



Joined: 24 Jul 2012
Posts: 1171
Location: Hedonism

PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 2:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dogen wrote:
fritterdonut wrote:
Also, aversion therapy (which is what the Ludovico technique is equivalent to) can break people. It used to be a somewhat common form of 'treating' homosexuality, until the APA ruled that such use was dangerous. It's only usage in modern psychology is, afaik, dealing with drug and alcohol addiction.

Even at this it's not very effective. In both cases the most recent research I've seen (there hasn't been much since the 1990s and early 2000s, though) has found that it mainly works for people who have less antisocial and problem behavior anyway. Those with disordered personalities, who engage in other illegal or antisocial activity, or who have experience with aversive stimuli (such as frequent hangovers) don't respond well to aversion therapy.

Also, aversion therapy is still done for homosexuality but it has to technically be voluntary (though I doubt that it always is) because homosexuality isn't disordered behavior. There's a Canadian researcher who studies it, but I don't follow his work.

This has been a random mental health interjection! I now return you to your regularly scheduled Ludovico Technique.




Was that a Canadian researching it or a Canadian performing it? If it's the latter, that just pisses me off.

Anyways, I'd still argue that the Ludovico technique would be less preferable than a prison sentence, and is morally reprehensible (as is, I find, any form of aversion therapy).
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