Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Movie "Bug" - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

I just watched the psychological drama Bug - the 2006 William Friedkin directed movie - that takes the viewer into two worlds. One of possible conspiracy, the other of possible madness.

I have always been fascinated by the mind, and the psychological phenomenon of emotional contagion (how emotions and beliefs of one person can find their way into another).

One of the rarest forms of emotional contagion is known as a "Folie A Deux" - which means "shared madness of two".

Emotional contagion like this is not just limited between two people, though. It can be shared by three people, four people, etc. - entire families and in mass groups.

History is full of "Folie A Plusieurs" - mass madness.

The Salem Witch Trials

The Holocaust

El Chupacabra


The Jim Jones Cult Mass Suicide

The McMartin Child Sexual Abuse School Allegations

And many more.

Helplessness, fragility and loss of one's self are a few of the reasons why some people are more susceptible to emotional contagion than others. And if you view* the movie "Bug", you can understand how and why such things happen.

* Trigger alert for the movie. It may be scary and disturbing for some viewers.


Casdok said...

Sounds fasinating!

Ian Lidster said...

This is a phenomenon of which the police are well aware in dealing with groups of young people where an act of bullying, for example, will get increasingly out of hand with the mob until somebody is either very badly hurt or even killed.
I assume this is a similar effect. You cite Jonestown, there would also be the national madness of Nazi Germany.

Deb said...

Dear Casdok,
I find it very compelling.

Dear Ian,
Yes, the Holocaust is there on my list. And the group phenom is very similar! You are such a smarty.


Dream Writer said...

I love the mind as well that is why I am going back to school for Psychology.

It looks like a good movie and I love Ashley I have to see :)

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Hi Dr. Deb,
The movie is not yet shown here in our country. I will be seeing it as soon as it is released here. One of the most bizarre event I remember is the Jones mass murder in Guyana. Rev. Jones and his cabal of misguided zealots made their whole congregation drink poison (arsenic, if I remember it right). They were trying to prove the Biblical truth of the passage in the Bible wherein one can drink poison and not be affected by it. Of course, they took the whole Biblical verse out of context and the whole congregation have to die because of their misguided misinterpretation. Thanks for the wonderful post. God bless and have the best time of your life in the US.

jumpinginpuddles said...

just wanted to say thanks for al lthe good work you do on this blog here,

Deb S. said...

Intriguing post. The phenomenon explains a lot about some of mankind's darker moments.

IntelligentLayPerson said...

We get a bug like that every year here in our neighborhood, it's called the dreaded Home Owners Association!

It only takes two phrases by the head bull dog, "We do OUR part! THEY should do THEIR part!"

Run for your lives! Senior citizens with hours on their hands to do lawn work chasing you with gas powered yard equipment at 7 a.m. on a Saturday morning!

Beth said...

This one is definitely on my list to watch. It Has Harry Connic Jr in it and I love Harry. Love him.

Deb said...

Dear Dream,
Every actor in this movie was fantastic! I was mesmerized with the characters.

Dear Mel,
"Bug" was a play that originated in Chicago - then it made its way to Broadway NYC. It is a movie that is compelling, but could be hard to watch for some. Blessings to you and your family. Hope you are feeling well these days.

Dear JIP,
So happy ya'll feel that way.

Dear Deb,
#1 - So happy you are back blogging. #2 - yes, this movie shows how fragility can morph into madness.

Dear Intelligent,
Oh that is way funny. And scary.

Dear Beth,
Harry Connick JR was so good in this one. It reminded me of his performance in "Copycat" with sigorney Weaver and Holly Hunter. He is so talented. Great singer, composer, musician AND actor.


traci said...

I'm most grateful for the trigger alert at the end of this post. I'm also grateful that I know enough about me to know that I need to listen to that warning at this particular time. Thanks Deb. I'm sure there will be a future time when I'm able to watch this movie...just not right now. :)

~Deb said...

Wow. That explains much of the cults and "brainwashers" out there. This movie sounds really fascinating. I'll have to look this up and see if it's available.


Jade said...

I will definitely have to check that show out. Sounds fascinating! Hope 08 is turning out to be a good one for you so far Deb!

Barbara K. said...

How would you describe the way the U.S. elects its Presidents? Is that folie a nation?

Wendy C. said...

Neat - I am looking forward to the movie coming on Netflix!

Not intending to offend anyone, but I also thought of organized religion (all of them) when I considered your post.

STAG said...

When the Royal Canadian Mounted Police established a profiling department, they discovered that about 10% of serial killers had a partner. Those partners tended to be of a type....shockingly enough to investigators they tended to be (and I quote) "all poodle skirted barbie dolls". It was so common that that is now considered to be a red flag in the search for serial killers.
Reference....Dark Paths, Cold Trails by Doug Clark ISBN 0-00-200078-4

I don't know if the same phenomon could be applied to large groups..."group think" is dangerous in itself...President Kennedy's advisors during the Bay of Pigs fiasco comes to mind, (though of course one wonders why the British didn't mutiny at Passchendaele or the Somme. That may have been a very intense example of group think.)

Then there is the question, which comes first, the violence in the hood or the violent music and lifestyle which make up life in the hood?

STAG said...

Or have I totally missed the point here?????


Raine said...

i'll have to watch it I think

MYSTI said...

Sounds very interesting, and as someone who was very fragile, and did not believe in myself, I did tend to pick up others beliefs easy. I was also brainwashed at one point because of this very deal. I will have to see the movie. Thank you for sharing this info with all of us.

United We Lay said...

I have a whole list of movies I want to see when my son is at my mom's or my husband and I actually get to the video store. I am a phsychological thriller junkie, though I still haven't been able to watch arachnaphobia. This movie sounds particularly interesting given my student body. I'll have to watch it, and show it to the other staff. Know any good babysitters in PA?

Big Brother said...

I wonder if is has to do with the fact that our ancestors were social, depending for their survival on the pack. The pack had to hunt as one, much like wolves do when they hunt.

Barbara said...

Yes, when I saw the movie I too pondered about how one's vulnerabilities can render one ripe for suggestion.

Clare said...

There was actually an episode of The X-Files entitled Folie A Deux in the fifth season that dealt with the phenomenon. It was fascinating.

Fallen Angels said...

I think I'll heed the trigger warning...I've not done that in the past and it was definitely a mistake!

Marj aka Thriver said...

I'm sure I won't see the movie, but this is a very interesting thing for me to think about. I can see how "helplessness, fragility and loss of self" would leave the door wide open.

CrackerLilo said...

I've heard my relationship described as a "folie a deux"...

Seriously, I never read that phrase "folie a plusiers" before, so thanks for sharing it. This is my second cool foreign phrase I learned today! (The first is the German "Eisbar-baby", or "polar bear cub.")

Ms.L said...

Oooh that sounds good!
I love movies that help a person gain better insight like that.

I've always wondered about myself. Would I follow along with the others or not?? I like to think not but who can really say?

Anonymous said...

Honestly, the movie wasn't that fascinating. I got it but I wasn't really moved by it. I felt it was a bit overdone. It was like a car accident, hard to turn away. Different strokes I guess.

But this is from today's headlines and it is interesting.

Anonymous said...

sorry, had to break the link up.

therapydoc said...

It's similar to group think, right?

heiresschild said...

i fall under the scary & disturbing category for the trigger alert, but i'm sure it's interesting and informative. i just want to be able to sleep peaceably, and if i watch it, i won't.

dragonflyfilly said...

Hi Dr. Deb;
(NOW that is a movie I want to see) - and how timely your Post is; I am observing this phenomen first hand, although I can't say that we are ALL going crazy. I certainly FEEL like I am. Since September I have been having the most horrendous experience at school. It is bad enough that I am coping with a steep learning curve (and I know that I am not exactly stupid, having achieved "A"s and "B"s in University level courses) but I am being subjected to bullying, harressment and humiliation by our two Instructors. What I have noticed is a slow degineration of student confidence. Notable, yesterday, I listened and watched as a formerly strong and confident young woman approached the teacher nervously, and using her "little girl voice" asked the teacher a question. The one instructor directs her harrassment to me only, the other one does not discriminate, but what I have observed is how different they are now as opposed to the first week of class where we all chatted freely and asked questions. Now, when we ask questions we are tentative, we seldom talk amongst ourselves, and listening to grown woman talk in these little girl voices!!!! They see me being harrassed and they behave in a way that will keep that from happening to them. I don't know if the instructors are aware of the affect they are having on us,; sometimes I think that on an unconscious level they must know (????)- I will be so glad when this class is over next month!

Kawana Aminata Oliver said...

Great Post Deb ;-)

if ~ever said...

This is wonderful...

Deb said...

Dear Traci,
I am alwasy mindful of what I write or recommend.

Dear ~Deb,
YEs, cults too.

Dear JAde,
Hope things are good for you as well.

Dear Barbara K.
LOVE LOVE LOVE your comment!!!!!!

Dear Wendy,
I liked it and thought it was psychologically frightening.

Dear STag,
You are right-on.

Dear Raine,
There is a backstory of child that is kidnapped, just so you know.

Dear Mysti,
There are certain movies and books and art that I cannot experience. This, however, was something that I could take in. It is so important that we know ourselves and what will trigger us. Life is hard enough withouth walking into something you could have avoided.

Dear United,
I didn't really love Arachnaphobia. But then again, I don't like spiders at all.

Dear BB,
I can always count on you to add a great thinking question to the mix. You are onto something about that, I believe.

Dear Barbara,
It was like a tidal wave once one of the characters (I won't name who incase some are reading this) fell into the experience.

Dear Clare,
Oh yeah, that's right. I loved that show !!!!!

Dear Fallen,
I always heed such warnings too. Last thing I need is a trigger to make things harder. I should have never seen the movie "Sophie's Choice". I was told by a close friend that he thought it would be too much for me, but I didn't listen. I saw it back when it opened years ago, and it still haunts me.

Dear Marj,
I think of our elder seniors living alone or isolated, and how such loneliness and helplessness make them ripe for cons. So much can happen when we are fragile - as you and many of us know.

Dear Crackerlilo,
I only know of these phrases because of the work I do. And you taught me a new phrase now!!

Dear Ms. L,
I like to think that you'd kick some serious butt and know when something isn't kosher.

Dear Anon,
Well said, different strokes. Gonna check out that link now.

Dear Therapydoc,
Yup, akin to that.

Dear Heiress,
I hear you. That's why I always put a trigger alert in if the material seems cautionary.

Dear Dragon,
Sorry this is happeneing. Sounds awful.

Dear KAwana,
When you are feeling better, you may want to check it out.

Dear If-ever,
Thanks for stopping by.


jde said...

Hey, my friend, I can't believe you watched the movie! I saw the stage version of this when it played Off-Broadway, and it was chilling enough for me as a play. I decided it would be too scary as a movie. Ah, brave you are. As so frequently, though, you raise fascinating, uh...hmmm, food for thought.

Deb said...

Hey my friend! I wasn't able to catch it when it was off broadway - and I am really mad now. I bet it was a great thing to experience in person. I actually was thinking of you when I watched the film. As a playwright, I wondered if you saw it. Amazing how minds work sometimes.


jde said...

It was an excellent production. Actors are so brave, I think. Sometimes I wish I could write a straight forward thriller like that!

I may see the film now that you've sat through it. Dunno....hmmmm.....

Glad we are occasionally mind-melding!

Wendy C. said...

We watched Bug last night...ewwww!
It creeped us both out so badly! The tooth scene was over the top!

Anonymous said...

What's with the last scene after the credits... a flashback to the Son's clothes hanging on a tricycle and the phone ringing?