The Thistle Volume 13, Number 2: Dec., 2000/Jan., 2001.

Welcome to the Thistle

Here we are, in the holiday season. A joyous time of year, to be spent in the pleasant company of friends and family. Of course, for those dry spells when there's nothing to do, there's nothing like a little reading material to pass the time. Which is why we present you this holiday issue of the Thistle.

Now, it may seem to you, because of certain goings-on in the American political arena, that the world is in chaos, ready to fall apart. Nothing could be farther from the truth: fear not, the establishment is still firmly in place. In fact, certain members of the Thistle staff are of the opinion that the current debacle won't result in any significant reforms to the electoral system of this country.

Rather than turn this issue into a polemic on democracy, voting, and long rants about the idiocy of not having a runoff system like every other democracy on the planet, we at the Thistle felt your time would be better served discussing other business. This falls in line with our general principle of presenting you, the reader, with news that the mainstream media would not otherwise present to you. So forget about those two jerks and their squabble for the big purse.

The main thrust of this issue is mental health. Depression runs rampant in this country, especially amongst members of the academic community, and rather than explore the roots of this problem, the most frequent solution is to drug the problem into non-existence. While we cannot debate the efficacy of seratonin reuptake inhibitors like Prozac, or challenge their ability to maintain a perpetual high, we feel that such artificially induced happiness is a poor solution.

Depression on the vast scale we are seeing speaks of a deep-seated social ill. The society we live in is becoming increasingly maladjusted, more and more unable or unwilling to deal with people's emotional needs and wants. As technology and culture change around us, we are lost in the whirl, left to fend for ourselves, to "tough it out."

We feel that these problems will not be solved easily. They require real examination and real energy to be devoted to them. Mental health is not an incidental, to be corrected quickly, like the flu, so you can successfully perform your job. Mental health is the most important single consideration, as it deals with the only real standard of living: your own happiness.

We hope that by writing about mental health, it will be easier for others to engage in productive discussion about it; we also hope that reading the stories contained herein will make it easier for you to reach out to someone in need - or to ask for help for yourself.

We hope this makes enjoyable and informative reading. As usual, we encourage you to write us your responses to any of the articles you read. Happy holidays, and remember: Jesus hated commercialism, too.


The Thistle Volume 13, Number 3: Dec., 2000/Jan., 2001.