The infamous exchange between Matt Lauer and Tom Cruise about the efficacy of psychiatry, re-staged by a pair of aliens speaking through text-to-speech synthesizers. Back in June when the interview originally aired, it was widely regarded as an example of a typical Scientologist going off his nut. Which is why this “alien” rendering is so interesting: Take out the star power, take out the vocal intonation and the finger wagging, and you’re left with pure dialog. Without having your anti-celeb, anti-nutjob radar bleeping away in the foreground, you get to focus on the words. And somehow, I expect that most people listening to this exchange, stripped down to its actual words, will find a lot to agree with in what Cruise was trying to express.
We may not share his adamant stance, as pretty much everyone is close to someone whose lives really have been helped by psychiatry, but at the same time, it’s good to see someone famous look out on an over-medicated world and say “This is getting ridiculous.” Scientologist or not, he’s not all wrong.
Oh, and it’s funny too.
2 Replies to “Cruise/Lauer via Aliens”
sorry, didn’t find anything “tom” said that i can agree with. he kept repeating that he’s the only one who knows the history of psychiatry – ?! that there is no such thing as a chemical imbalance – ?! that depression can be remedied by diet and vitamins and exercise – ?! that Brooke Shields’ near salvation through anti-depressants was what, a manifestation of her ignorance of the history of psychiatry?
I think it’s one thing to say that we shouldn’t overvalue norms or that there’s a wide range of healthy chemical/hormonal brews, and that not everyone needs to be medicated, etc etc. but that’s not what i heard him say
anyway, just my 2000 lira.
> that he’s the only one who knows the history of psychiatry
Yeah, that was pretty hilarious. Although I seriously doubt he meant that as it sounded (I think he must have meant the only one in the current conversation, which Lauer acknowledged).
> that there is no such thing as a chemical imbalance
That was just a flat-out stupid thing to say. If he really believes that… OK, he’s a nutjob.
I certainly wouldn’t dispute that diet and excercise can have an impact on depression. That’s not a controversial thing to say, is it?
I think all I’m getting at is that there are too few people willing to stand up to dramatically increasing SOMA-fication, because it’s so hard to do so without sounding unsympathetic to people’s real needs. I do think psychiatric medications are over-prescribed, and that when they’re given to people who don’t need them, we end up over-doped as a culture.
If a person hasn’t tried a variety of techniques (including meditation, diet, excercise, therapy) and just jumps straight to medication because psychiatry and the pharma industry has made it so easy to do so, then I think we have a growing trend of escapism.
But chemical imbalances are real for many people. If a person has tried other means and gotten nowhere, then by all means they should be using medication. I would no more begrudge a chronically depressed person medication than I would begrudge any medical aid to a person with a physical injury. That’s where me and Tom Cruise part company.