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May 16, 2011

Sad Muppet

Jim Henson died 21 years ago today, so this is for the three or four people with internet connections who've never seen it:


For another famously sad comic, go here.

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at May 16, 2011 08:50 PM

I remember feeling very sad the day Jim Henson passed away. He was so young.....
Life is so fragile and unpredictable!

And the way Hobbes is pouting, reminds me of my young friend when he was four yrs old...
When he got upset ( like when not being allowed to help carry the stroller with his little sister in it up the steps of Field Museum ), he would fold his arms against his tummy and make a face....... it was very cute and amusing but I guess, Hobbes is upset because he is missing out on all the fun playing in the snow!!!! THAT indeed is very disappointing!

Posted by: Rupa Shah at May 17, 2011 10:34 AM

As much havoc as ADHD-PI has wrought in my academic life, I'm fortunate(though, I still slightly cringe to acknowledge the wasted time) to have spent my childhood undiagnosed. With the limited perspective a person in her mid-twenties can possess, I guess it's better to have seemingly limitless anxiety and multiple neuroses; the result of being much to often misunderstood and unwisely punished, than to have become a blank slate of an adult.

Posted by: Amandasaurus at May 17, 2011 01:16 PM

As one of those three or four people, I thank you.

Posted by: David in NYC at May 17, 2011 02:15 PM

Amandasaurus, does ADHD recede in adulthood? Or is it fairly static throughout one's life?

Yours in anxiety and neurosis,

Posted by: Mike of Angle at May 17, 2011 02:27 PM

MoA - the latter. Options include medication, developing coping skills and using cognitive crutches, and accepting that it's never going to get better.

Jonathan - I'd never seen the Ernie & Bert, or the Calvin & Hobbes. There are worse ways to lose a friend, though:

Posted by: mistah charley, ph.d. at May 17, 2011 04:02 PM

there's good comments on the henson comic. one pointed to which tell individual stories from the wreckage of 2008 earthquake in china.

Posted by: hapa at May 17, 2011 04:27 PM


In my experience, the only thing I've noticed to be different with age is an increase in my self-awareness, which is what led me to question the way I had been labeled by my parents and past educators. I assume ADHD-PI becomes more difficult to diagnose with age because evolving beings with an impenetrable will to survive can construct sufficient ways to do so. I can't really give you an accurate perspective on ADHD with physical hyperactivity because the kind associated with my particular subtype is almost entirely localized within my head, but I will try to explain how it feels:

My thoughts run through my consciousness at an alarming rate, and I am almost painfully aware of each and every nuance of my surroundings to the smallest details. Because we humans are capable of developing mechanisms to cope with the outliers in our genetic makeup that do not fall within the current range of social norms, I've learnt to mask characteristics which have in the past brought me shame, but they haven't gone away. I possess an unmatched awareness to detail, but still often fail to see a random grouping of words on a page of instructive material after multiple readings. With time and Adderall I've been able to train myself to quiet some of my daily experience, but unfortunately while medicated what seems to be silenced is my ability to utilize mental imagery in learning, something so fundamental to higher understanding, especially in the realm of mathematics and physics. I think most of my struggles stem not from an inability to learn and retain information, but rather the unimaginative and uninformed approach that has been employed to teach me. I'm a visual-spacial/global learner in a predominantly auditory/linear system. I sit through class because it's required, then I go home and teach myself for hours on end.

Posted by: Amandasaurus at May 17, 2011 05:03 PM

What Amandasaurus says fascinates me. I have a spouse with pretty significant ADD, a teen child with even more significant ADD, and another adult child with something more with big components of ADD built into it, while I myself am what might be called neurotypical, though atypical in some other ways (which ironically is typical).

What I can definitely attest to is that the educational system and "real world" is not set up to make life easy for people with ADD, which in children leads to self-esteem issues and related problems. Things that are easy for me are not easy for much smarter people with ADD, maybe because so much of our educational system and "real world" was designed for compliance, obedience, efficiency, etc. (A lot of Rockefellor money went into that.)

And I miss Jim Henson too, and Calvin and Hobbes is great literature. That particular cartoon too, but the meds for some people really are important and don't have to change personality or dampen creativity. at least they don't always

Posted by: N E at May 17, 2011 05:44 PM

N E,

At twenty-four, I was already complete with years of negative feedback that I think play a tremendous role in how my brain interacts with chemicals. As a TAG child a year ahead of my peers in school, receiving substantial positive reinforcement before my "troubled years" began, likely I would have had a better experience with Adderall. But, then again, would I have ever needed it if life had continued on as it were? Alexander Shulgin was drawn to chemistry because of an experience he had with a placebo. I try to ignore what I know about the determined effects of medication, like Adderall, and instead attempt to discern how my body is interacting with it. Adderall doesn't hinder creativity in my case, but it definitely channels it pretty narrowly. If Calvin had started playing with Hobbes before he took his medication, likely he would have played with Hobbes OMGSOHARDFOREVER until suddenly he felt like all of his dopamine stores had been drained down and out of his brainstem at high speed. ...that part sux bad. (Odwalla Superfood juice blend takes the edge off almost immediately!)

What's it like living with so many ADHD family members?

Posted by: Amandasaurus at May 17, 2011 06:22 PM

To add:
Medication is a necessary evil that allows me to function within the broken American education system. I guess it allows me an ability to be respectful of authority, to which I must be submissive to get through school if I ever have any hopes of influencing change.

The bigger problem here is the ass-backwards American belief that education is an unworthy investment of our tax dollars.

Posted by: Amandasaurus at May 17, 2011 07:23 PM

"What's it like living with so many ADHD family members?"

It's probably better for me than them, because they're all nicer than I am. Nice is a luxury I can't afford.

My teenage daughter won't take Adderall or anything else now and is pretty much in adolescent meltdown. Even a few years ago, she was the most talented amateur poet I've ever read, but she struggles as you have and doesn't think of herself as smart. To make matters worse in some ways, she's a very beautiful girl and can compensate for this blow to her ego in ways that won't help her. Plus, she needs to get back to something for the ADD and won't do it right now. It's a mess.

By the way, I'm going to burn the health insurance industry to the ground. Figuratively, of course, not literally, but the figures are going to be the kind they understand. Thus I have no time for spiritual growth--it'll be the next lifetime for that.

Posted by: N E at May 17, 2011 07:55 PM

...I used to know that girl.

Have you read anything by, or watched anything about Wendell Potter?

Posted by: Amandasaurus at May 18, 2011 12:46 PM

What up with the duck?

Posted by: godoggo at May 18, 2011 12:47 PM

That is Ernie's bath ducky. I still immediately associate yellow bath duckies with Ernie.

Posted by: Amandasaurus at May 18, 2011 12:50 PM


Yes, I'm familiar with Wendell Potter, who got lots of attention (including at ATR) during the great health care debatcle that led to the dreaded Obamacare, which somehow manages to be associated with communism and terrorism and other scarey foreign things despite leaving the "made in America" morass of waste and theft pretty much in place. I haven't heard about Potter lately though, maybe because I'm pretty busy what with that girl and our kin when not trying to battle some of The Titans that Potter used to work for.

Posted by: N E at May 18, 2011 03:55 PM

As the second of those 3 or 4 people, thanks.

The Calvin remix is also spot on. Sigh.

MoA, you should consider checking whether your ADHD symptoms are caused by a food sensitivity. My son was recently asked not to re-enroll at his nursery school due to his impulsiveness and hyperactivity. We tried out a hypoallergenic diet and saw big improvements immediately.

Here is a link to an NPR interview with Lidy Pelsser:
Our experiences have mirrored what she reports in her studies.

Posted by: thundermonkey at May 19, 2011 01:17 AM

N E,

My boyfriend once jokingly referred to President Obama as "O'bummer" because he's done little while in office that hasn't contradicted the issues he campaigned on. If Obamacare has done anything for us, despite its association by the willfully ignorant masses with terms they seem not to fully grasp, I think it has sealed the coffin on the dying hope possessed by the remaining egalitarian Left of a rational and respectable cure for what ails the US. But, to twice quote the man I love: "You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into."

I still possess hope for the generational saviors, though I wish everyone would do a small part to stand up for their rights so we wouldn't have to martyr someone every few decades for the common good.

Thank you for standing up against the megalomaniacs of the health industry.

Posted by: Amandasaurus at May 19, 2011 03:44 PM

Thanks, Amandasaurus, for sharing your experiences and insights--very interesting; and NE, too, I hope all in the household are thriving. You know if your poetess daughter shows the humor or publishing quirk, you have my email. Making a humor magazine can be a wonderfully focusing experience, and not necessarily a linear one.

Thundermonkey, for good or ill my massive amounts of anxiety and depression are not ADHD-related (as far as I know, but I'd perhaps be the last to know); my only saving grace has been an ability to concentrate that burns holes in metal (or wears through the seats of chairs). My question to Amandasaurus was more general. But funny you should mention it, my food sensitivities and intolerances (the Drs don't like it when I call them "allergies," but they're so severe no other term really conjures up the right images in others' minds) are legion. Getting enough calories is my current problem; once that's solved, I will go back to investigating the more subtle effects of food on mood, the connection between which doesn't surprise me a bit. Meanwhile meditation is the only thing that's ever helped me cope without making my own mind a stranger, which explains my occasional rants about it here in ATR's comments; but not everybody took those in the right spirit, and it's probably better practice for me not to smile and be quiet as much as possible. Commenting is very bad for me; comments lead to bickering, and bickering with strangers on the internet is simply not an indulgence I can afford, emotionally speaking. It makes me deeply miserable.

Anyway, peeps, I wish you the best of Friday nights (I'm going to go watch the original Dracula).

Posted by: Mike of Angle at May 20, 2011 09:41 PM