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Does Everyone Suffer From Freud’s Alleged Death Wish?

In Entertainment, Health, Media, Opinion, psychology, Science, television, Uncategorized on April 30, 2012 at 10:52 pm

Sigmund Freud, by Max Halberstadt, 1921

By Gery L. Deer

Deer In Headlines

Sigmund Freud said that most people have a death wish, a desire, often deeply repressed, for self-destruction, often accompanied by feelings of depression, hopelessness, and self-reproach. Arguably, Freud’s theories have been the subject of considerable controversy and debate over the years but his impact on psychology, therapy, and culture is undeniable.

Debunked or not, psychology’s most famous figure may have hit this proverbial nail right on the head. At least that’s how it seems taking into account how many things people do while fully aware of potentially lethal consequences; for example, smoking, alcohol, recreational drug use, skydiving, auto racing, base jumping and other high-risk behavior.

It could be argued that some of these activities are no more dangerous than getting in the car in the morning and driving to work. Considering the safety measures involved in the case of something like skydiving, a quick spin in a Chevy would most likely be far more dangerous.

Of course, once someone starts taking drugs or abusing alcohol, a chemical addiction takes over and impedes their ability to stop. But they’re not the only ones.

Some experts suggest that so-called adrenaline junkies are not all that different from their AA-going counterparts. Similar addictive reactions occur in the bloodstreams of extreme athletes and even serial criminals, not for drugs but adrenaline. The high brought on by the endorphin rush can be overwhelming and highly addictive.

If the experts are right, treatment may be in order to help quell the desire for such extreme behavior. But, that doesn’t answer the main question – how do they start in the first place?

Could there actually be an inborn drive that blinds some people to the relative, even inescapable dangers, associated with risky behavior? Is it possible that some people are genuinely motivated by an involuntary drive akin to Freud’s death wish?

Blaming television and other entertainment media for romanticizing risky behavior is always an option, but only to a point. While these influences do affect modern society, they can hardly be blamed for anything prior to about 75 years ago.

Before the mass media evolved into what it is today, habitually addictive activities like smoking and alcohol use were predominantly passed on through families or influenced by social circles. Plus, the detrimental effects of these substances was not yet widely known or accepted.

It could be that people are just examining these issues far too closely. Maybe, to use another Freudian colloquialism, a cigar is just a cigar. Isn’t it at least possible that people simply do dumb things sometimes without deep, psychological forces at work? Of course it’s possible.

Psychoanalyzing risky behavior may rack up tons of cash for shrinks, but it’s entirely possible that some people just enjoy these activities for their own sake. Unfortunately, some of them become addicted to the rush, the drug, the adrenaline, or whatever it is that hooks them, and some even die as a result.

Life is dangerous – even if it’s unintentional. No matter the lifestyle, no one escapes Freud’s alleged death wish. Whether it’s a compulsion for that first cup of morning coffee or an obsession with shoe shopping, extreme behavior hits everyone in one way or another.

Sometimes the things a person appears to enjoy in life the most are exactly what may be killing them, or may eventually. Lifestyle changes or even therapy may be necessary, but the individual is the only one who can change the behavior.





Live Bullwhip Show To Open Indy Jones Film at Murphy Theatre

In Entertainment, Local News, Senior Lifestyle, Sports News, Uncategorized on April 28, 2012 at 10:09 am

Raiders of the Lost Ark was the first of 4 Indiana Jones movies. It will play at 7PM on May 12 at The Murphy Theatre in Wilmington, Ohio.

WILMINGTON, OH – Award-winning bullwhip artist and writer, Gery L. Deer of Jamestown, will perform at the Murphy Theatre in Wilmington on Saturday evening, May 12th in conjunction with the showing of the blockbuster film, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. Working in the traditional “Indy” costume, Deer will entertain for a short time outside the theater beginning around 6:30 p.m., and then move to the Murphy’s historic stage for full performance before the movie begins at 7 o’clock. Tickets are just $5, sold at the door.

A successful entrepreneur and columnist, Deer, 44, is internationally recognized as an expert whip artist and instructor. He is the founder of the Society of American Whip Artistry and holds multiple titles in whip speed and accuracy. In 2007, he was selected Wild West Performer of the Year by the International Knife Throwers Hall of Fame.

In addition to working on stage from Ohioto Las Vegasover the last two decades, Deer develops custom whip holstering equipment for feature films, including the 2003 movie, The Rundown. He appears regularly on national television programs like NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” and local broadcasts including WRGT-TV’s Fox 45 in the Morning and WDTN-TV/Channel 2’s Living Dayton.

“The Indiana Jones movies gave rise to a worldwide interest in the whip and the momentum has kept up over the years,” said Deer, who is also a professional freelance writer and marketing consultant. “It’s always better with a live audience and I’m looking forward to giving movie goers at the Murphy something they will always remember.”

In early 2010, Deer’s work was featured in a segment of the ThinkTV/CH16 program, Our Ohio, in a feature story about The Whip Artistry Studio, his whip performance and educational facility based inJamestown. The exclusive whip school is the only one of its kind in theUnited States and provides certified, professional instruction in the use of the bullwhip as a sport and performance art.

The Murphy Theatre is located at50 West Main Streetin downtownWilmington,Ohio. For directions or more information go online to http://www.themurphytheatre.org and click on the Events link, or call, toll-free, (877) 274-3848. To learn about The Whip Artistry Studio visit http://www.thewhipstudio.com.

Jamestown Entrepreneur Featured Expert on Monthly TV Segment

In Business, Economy, Entertainment, Jobs, Local News, Media, Senior Lifestyle, television, Uncategorized on April 28, 2012 at 9:16 am

(From Left) Nathalie Basha, Gery L. Deer and Zuri Hall on the set of Living Dayton.

JAMESTOWN, OH – Beginning at noon on Thursday, May 3rd, writer, entrepreneur Gery L. Deer, managing director of GLD Enterprises Commercial Writing in Jamestown, will be the guest expert on the first in a series of monthly small business segments on the WDTN-TV, Channel 2, show Living Dayton. Each interview will cover one of a wide variety of topics from creative marketing techniques to time management.

Best known locally for his work as a freelance columnist and author of the weekly opinion/editorial series, Deer In Headlines, Deer’s entrepreneurial career started in 1993 when he established one of the area’s first on-site, computer support companies – Deer Computer Consulting.

In 1998, with the computer firm well-established, he opened an entertainment and media promotions company but changed its focus several years later. Today, GLD Enterprises Commercial Writing is an award-nominated business writing and marketing practice based in Jamestown, Ohio.

The firm provides concierge (on-demand) freelance business writing, public relations and marketing consulting services. In addition to working with small business, the company also provides marketing and publicity assistance to independent, self-published authors.

“My goal each month on the Living Dayton segment is to offer Dayton area small business owners useful insight and suggestions that they can put into practice immediately,” Deer says. “There’s only so much you can talk about in a few minutes on the air, but if someone can take that information and better their situation then we’ve done what we set out to do.”

Hosted by Nathalie Basha and Zuri Hall, Living Dayton is a live, one-hour lifestyle talk show featuring a variety of news and entertainment information from around the Miami Valley. The show premiered in February of 2012, replacing the noon-hour news program on Channel 2.

In addition to his commercial endeavors, Gery L. Deer also serves as the volunteer public relations coordinator on the board of advisors for the Fairborn Community Center and director of the Western Ohio Writers Association, which offers educational, critique and networking opportunities for writers in southwest Ohio. The small business segment featuring Deer as guest expert will air on the first Thursday of each month. For more information go online to www.gerydeer.com or visit the Living Dayton page at WDTN.com.

Winners Announced in DNT TXT ‘N DRV PSA Video Contest

In Education, Health, Local News, Uncategorized on April 18, 2012 at 7:41 am

Students from 46 High Schools in 6 Counties Competed for Prizes

Featured (from left) John Zeller of Farmers Insurance, Anna Knippling, David Butcher and Olivia Ramage, all of Yellow Springs High School, and Laurie Fox, Greene County Safe Communities Coordinator. Students from Yellow Springs High School were awarded prizes for entries submitted in the DNT TXT N DRV PSA video contest.

Xenia  – The Greene County Safe Communities Coalition and the Drug-Free Healthy Communities Coalition in Greene County recently teamed up to tackle the issue of Texting While Driving with a 30-second video contest aimed at high school students.

The contest was developed to encourage teens to create a thirty-second public service announcement that could be used by the local media to show the dangers of texting while driving and encourage drivers to refrain from this very dangerous behavior.  Forty-six high schools in six counties – Champaign, Clark, Fayette, Greene, Madison and Miami – were invited to participate.  There were two divisions: 9th/10th grade and 11th/12th grade.  Prizes for 1st – 3rd place in each division were secured through the generosity of Farmers Insurance and Walmart that included a Kindle Fire for 1st place, a Kindle and a $25 Amazon gift card for 2nd place and a $100 Visa gift card for 3rd place.  Judges for the contest included members from both coalitions, students from Xenia High School and staff from WDTN TV.  Winners were announced at Ohio SADD’s Prevention Convention in Sharonville on March 8th.

In the 9th/10th grade division, 1st place was awarded to Olivia Ramage, a 10th grader at Yellow Springs High School, 2nd place was awarded to Anna Knippling, a 9th grader at Yellow Springs High School, and 3rd place was awarded to Benjamin Lusk, a 10th grader at Xenia Christian High School.  In the 11th/12th grade division, 1st place was awarded to Cody Walborn, an 11th grader at Springfield High School, 2nd place was awarded to Holly Black, a 12th grader at Piqua High School and 3rd place was awarded to Kendrick Link, also a 12th grader at Piqua High School.

The coalitions are working with WDTN TV in hopes of having the 1st place videos aired this fall when the station runs their WAIT2TXT campaign.  Both coalitions are planning to work together again in 2013 to hold a similar contest focusing on teen driver safety.

For more information about the contest or the coalitions and how you can get involved, please contact Laurie Fox, Safe Communities Coordinator, at 937-374-5669 or by email at lfox@gcchd.org.  For more information on texting and driving, visit http://www.distraction.gov.

Revising the Book of Romney

In Business, Economy, Jobs, National News, Opinion, Politics, Religion, Uncategorized on April 17, 2012 at 8:38 am

Mitt Romney will have to work hard to earn the 'regular guy' vote in November. Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images.

By Gery L. Deer

Deer In Headlines

Presidential GOP front runner Mitt Romney has been repeatedly criticized as being elitist, out of touch, self-aggrandizing and focused only on his capitalist endeavors for gaining wealth. Critics say that he has absolutely no idea what the average American has to go through just to make ends meet in today’s economy, and, unfortunately, his own words have reinforced that image.

During a speech on theMichigan campaign trail, Romney commented that his wife had two Cadillacs. He was attempting to show people that his family owned American-built cars, trying to relate to theDetroit audience. Instead, he left the impression that he thinks that every stay-at-home mom can afford to own two luxury vehicles. Out of touch, or just bad speech preparation?

During the run of the GOP primaries, Romney has often presented himself as snobby, elitist and completely misunderstanding of the challenges faced by today’s worker. His multi-million-dollar income affords him at least two homes, vacations all over the world and much more. But while people are criticizing that kind of success, it’s important to remember that President Obama has also spent a great deal of his adult life in the lap of luxury.

As he finished his first year in office the president reported more than $5 million in personal income; not bad for a junior senator fromIllinois. Like Romney, his fortunes have accumulated because of good financial decisions and investments in the capitalist system – a fact Democrats like to downplay whenever possible.

The truth is, neither man can truly grasp what it’s like to have to scrape together enough money to feed a family or worry that his paycheck won’t be enough to keep the electricity on for another month. But some are working to help change Romney’s image.

Author Jeff Benedict has just released an updated edition of his 2007 book, The Mormon Way of Doing Business, featuring a new chapter about Republican front runner Mitt Romney. Benedict touts a lifetime of the formerMassachusetts governor’s selfless good deeds; from his church-going youth to his big-business adulthood.

No doubt the author added the chapter to use Romney’s fame as a way to refresh book sales, but whatever the motive he does reveal a softer side to the Mormon candidate. In one story Romney grabbed a shovel to assist a family friend after a wildfire nearly destroyed their home. In another, he mobilized a city to search for a missing girl.

In 1996, when the 14-year-old daughter of a business partner disappeared, Romney mobilized the business community and local authorities, creating a command post at his office and utilizing his position to leverage assistance wherever possible. Thankfully, the girl was found, but relatively few know of Romney’s involvement in the incident.

While these stories are emotionally compelling and help to humanize a man who is often seen as cold and without compassion, the timing of their release is precarious. At this point, trying to throw out selfless tales of heroism and personal generosity will likely be reflected by critics as grandstanding from the Romney camp in an effort to win over a few bleeding hearts.

Romney’s business savvy is without question, but can the same be said for his integrity and commitment to working on behalf of a country shackled by an ever-increasing deficit and floundering economy? It’s hard to imagine that a few kind anecdotes will be enough to change his harsh, all-business image enough to sway voters to unseat the president in November.

Given the number of delegates he’s earned in the primaries, the former governor certainly seems a shoe-in for the GOP nomination. If he is chosen to run on the Republican ticket, the challenge will be to convince the majority of the country to give up Obama-ism and follow the book of Romney. It’s too bad the Prophet Moroni didn’t leave behind another golden book to guide his way like the one Joseph Smith found. Romney will simply have to rely on opinion polls and CNN, just like everyone else.


A Night To Remember – 100 Years Later

In Local News on April 9, 2012 at 10:56 pm

Most photos labeled to be the Titanic, including those used in the White Star Line advertising, were actually her sister ship RMS Olympic, the first of three identical ships built between 1911 and 1914.

By Gery L. Deer

Deer In Headlines

“Titanic, name and thing, will stand as a monument and warning to human presumption.” –  The Bishop of Winchester,Southampton,England 1912.

On April 14, 1912, somewhere on the frigid north Atlantic, three words echoed from high atop the mast of the largest moving object ever created. “Iceberg, right ahead,” became the death knell for one of man’s mightiest technological achievements and equally remarkable failures.

Almost a folktale of human arrogance, countless books, movies, television shows and songs tell the story of how the Royal Mail Ship (RMS) Titanic struck an iceberg and shortly thereafter slipped quietly below a calm sea, seemingly gone forever. More than 1,500 passengers and crew perished that night, having either gone down with the ship or frozen in the icy water waiting for rescue.

Even her state of the art double bottom hull and 16 water-tight compartments couldn’t prevent the ship from proving Archimedes’ most basic principal of buoyancy. The exact location of Titanic’s final resting place remained a mystery for more than three quarters of a century. Then, in 1985, oceanographer Dr. Robert Ballard found the decaying remains of the great liner wrecked and scattered on the ocean floor more than two miles beneath the surface.

Though some survivor accounts described the ship as sinking intact, it actually broke apart, collapsing under its own weight and hydrodynamic pressures during its long plunge to the bottom. While the stern section lays crushed and nearly unrecognizable, 2,000 feet away the bow of the ship sits upright and, at first glance, appears relatively intact; a ghostly reminder that the site is more than just a shipwreck, but also the gravesite of all those who perished along with her.

Interest in Titanic is one of the most widespread hobbies in the world, generating millions of dollars in revenue for media, artifacts and a myriad of Titanic-related works. Along with the 100th anniversary of the disaster comes a revived interest in the disposition of the wreckage, today with more emphasis on the people involved, how they died or what they did to survive.

But the obsession with the sinking is far more than morbid curiosity. It’s a study of human behavior; the reaction of normal people to a seemingly impossible situation that came about because of arrogance, vanity and corporate greed.

For decades, armchair quarterbacks have speculated about how Titanic and her passengers might have been saved or even how the accident could have been prevented. In reality, only those who were there really know what happened and, given the potential for more loss of life, the fact that more than 700 people survived is somewhat of a miracle.

Though Titanic was marketed as the crowning achievement of the White Star Line, many have forgotten that she was not the only ship of her kind. In fact, there were three: Olympic, Titanic and Britannic. Physically identical in nearly every way, the other two cruise liners suffered uniquely different fates than their sister ship.

First to be built, the RMS Olympic, certainly deserved the title of unsinkable more than Titanic. In May of 1918, after being fired upon by a German U-boat, the ship rammed and sank the sub, making her the only merchant vessel to ever do so. The Olympic stayed in service until 1935 when she was finally scrapped and sold off in pieces.

Launched in 1914, RMS Britannic never made a transatlantic crossing. During the First World War she was refitted, relieved of bulky extravagancies, and converted to a hospital ship. In 1916, Britannic struck a German mine and sank off the Greek island of Kea. Fortunately, out of a crew of more than 1,000, only 30 people died. Britannic is still on the bottom, lying on her side and relatively intact, in only 400 feet of water.

Lost on her maiden voyage, Titanic had a short life, but her memory will likely never fade completely, even as the shipwreck continues to deteriorate in the hostile environment of the deep. Hopefully her legacy will forever serve as a reminder to future generations that life is precious and humans are fallible.

Don’t Believe Everything You Read. Seriously, don’t.

In Entertainment, Local News, Media, Opinion, Politics, psychology, television, Uncategorized on April 3, 2012 at 12:29 pm

By Gery L. Deer

Deer In Headlines


For reasons I still can’t totally understand, many people insist on believing whatever they read on a printed (or digital) page, regardless of how inane or baseless the material may seem. Generally the topic or tone falls in line with the reader’s interests or personal opinions and if it strikes them just the right way they fall for it, bait, hook and headline.

For example, while I appreciate the loyalty of my readers, I always encourage them to explore for themselves whatever topics I present and not simply take my word for it. An op-ed (opinion-editorial) column like mine offers one or two viewpoints about a particular topic but always has a ‘slant’ to it. For the author, the column can serve several purposes.

Some op-ed columnists are simply trying to put a voice to a particular viewpoint and provide food for thought to the reader. Others are doing everything they can to sway public opinion, by whatever means available to them, even by misrepresenting the facts.

Talk radio personalities and television news commentators offer the broadcast version of a written editorial column, usually with a much wider reach and, thus, a larger audience. Broadcast celebrity opinionists (my word for them) have one goal which is to please the advertisers by increasing ratings.

Banging on the desk and yelling, playing sound bites out of context and using as much spin as possible, these over paid blowhards ply the mushy brains of audiences with a lot of self-appointed authority. That authority is false but accepted by the masses, leaving them unable to tell the difference between fact and sensationalism.

Eventually, the Internet provided yet another outlet as audiences took to the computer screen for their news and information. So much pseudo-journalism has flooded the web that many now question the legitimacy and accuracy, not to mention the political slant, of modern news agencies. Take blogs for example.

The word blog is a shortened form of web log. Blogging started out simply enough as the ramblings of disgruntled workers or bored housewives who found an audience for their personal diatribes in the vast wasteland of the information superhighway. Over time, the number of blog followers has begun to surpass broadcast news and print journalism.

Depending on the content, a blog can attract millions of readers worldwide. According to the website InitialTraffic.com, the official blog of The Huffington Post was the most visited blog website of 2011 citing millions of hits for the publication. Other blogs have become mainstream resources, having transformed from op-ed material to news and video content.

Competition for subscribers and high-volume audiences is fierce between media outlets and some will do whatever it takes to keep advertising and subscription revenue coming in. It’s important that readers know the difference between opinion, editorial, news and sensationalist content. But how do you tell the difference?

An article or broadcast story that can be considered ‘news’ will provide the reader with the who, what, why, when and how of a topic, giving you the information without commentary or speculation. An opinion or editorial piece will include conjecture or literally offer the writer’s views in an attempt to slant the story or alter public perception of the topic.

In my columns, I generally cite the facts of a current event, a quote by a politician (in its entirety, so the context is clear), express the concerns of fellow citizens or I will base the work on a historical reference of some kind. The idea is to provide the solid, factual basis for whatever argument I wish to make.

For all of the chatter online, on television and on the radio, your local newspaper, in my opinion, is still your best bet for accurate news coverage regarding events immediately affecting you and your family. Online or in print, it offers a ground-level look at the day-to-day happenings without the ‘noise.’ Whatever your choice for news and commentary, be an informed reader.



GLD Enterprises Commercial Writing