NPR: Invisibilia Podcast: Emotions Part One
June 3, 2017 12:07 AM - Subscribe

We offer you a truly mind-blowing alternative explanation for how an emotion gets made. And we do it through a bizarre lawsuit, in which a child dies in a car accident, and the child's parents get sued by the man driving the other car.
posted by ellieBOA (3 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
This is fascinating, and I really want to find it useful as a person who deals (sometimes poorly) with anger, as did my father, as does my son. When I experience that combination of arousal and discomfort that I've been trained to see as anger, what concept or framework can I retrain myself to?
posted by rikschell at 7:17 AM on June 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

This was really interesting.

I'm not sure I've ever actually experienced true emotions in the way other people do. I recognize injustice, and fondness, and loss, and a desire for self preservation - but I've never actually felt anger as it's described by others. When I have good reason to express personal anger, it always feels like play acting. Shouting on stage and shouting in a real life are equally forced. It's always been impossible to fight with any of my significant others, 'cause I can't convince myself that any thing we disagree about actually matters. (Which makes for pretty chill relationships.) I don't actively diffuse anger with humor, but I do genuinely believe almost all interpersonal conflict is pointless and laughable.

I've never been in a fight except over national-scale politics, and then only because it seems strategically useful and it's being filmed.

Starting from the assumption that everyone in the audience experiences emotions with telenovela passion is a bit weird. But, clearly most people do. I'm not sure if liking a podcast that directly supports my weird, possibly autism-spectrum world view is a good thing, but their thesis certainly sounds true to me.

Also, can I sue a podcast for turning me into a victim-blaming, right wing talk radio asshole? I don't want to see myself as a jerk, but maintaining any respect at all for the truck driver in this piece requires an amount of empathy and suspension of disbelief that's impossible to maintain. I wish there were better public resources for people with mental illnesses. The guy needs counseling , and probably medication. But, in lieu of a mental health support network, paying for his treatment by suing the parents of dead children is a thoroughly unfair solution. The host's ability to treat the story as something other than a farce is a remarkable feat of acting.
posted by eotvos at 10:01 AM on June 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

I found this incredibly. Difficult to listen to. First, the subject matter is emotionally difficult. Second, they seemed to make an extraordinary leap of logic and totally gloss over it. Yes, emotions are subjective and culturally dependent; how does it follow that we can change or control them? The natural analogy that occurred to me was addiction, also something that both is and is not under someone's control.

Also OF COURSE the lawsuit was because of insurance companies. My angry takeaway from this story is that this country needs a decent social safety net.
posted by bq at 1:11 PM on July 1, 2017 [1 favorite]

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