Detective Pikachu 11 Pokémon We Think Could Be Murderers

first_img Detective Pikachu comes out this week, and we’ve been fastidiously avoiding anything that even smells like a spoiler for the first live-action Pokemon movie. So we have no idea what the case is that teams up everybody’s favorite electric mouse with a human kid. But one thing we do know is that all the best mystery stories revolve around murder. And in a world full of bizarre animals with fantastic powers, there have to be at least a few cases of Pokemon killing people. We consulted the world’s leading Pokemon trainers and criminologists to profile 11 Pokemon we think have the capacity to murder in cold blood.MarowakThe first generation of Pokemon had some odd concepts in it, but few were as menacing as Marowak. A lizardlike creature who wears a skull on its head, it’s the evolution of Cubone and can be found in the Pokemon Tower as a ghost. The Marowak’s origin story is terrifying – every Cubone is born to a Marowak, which is its mother. When the Marowak dies, the Cubone experiences intense grief that bonds the skull to their head and allows them to evolve into a Marowak themselves. That’s the kind of intense psychosexual backstory that could easily drive a Pokemon to murder.GrimerComposed of toxic sludge, Grimers are one of the most disquieting entries in the Pokedex. These Poison-types are amorphous blobs of waste animated by radiation from the moon. They are so deadly that merely being exposed to the bevy of bacteria growing within them can leave soil infertile for a generation. It also constantly secretes toxic garbage juice from its pores. If one of these wanted to murder you, all it’d have to do is lay itself across your face while you slept like an evil pillow and watch you asphyxiate. The only plus is that it stinks so bad it can’t really sneak up on a person unless they have a bad cold.DrifloonThis one’s actually a murderer in canon – and a murderer of children, no less. Drifloon is a spherical purple Pokemon that floats lazily above the ground, with a pair of stringy arms dangling below. What biological process keeps this beast afloat? Well, it’s inflated with the souls of lost children that mistook it for an ordinary balloon and were abducted and killed. When it’s punctured, those souls escape with a hideous shriek. While we certainly doubt that a PG-13 movie about a crime-solving electric mouse is going to to deep into wholesale child slaughter, there’s no denying that Driftloon is a very shady beast indeed.ArbokIt’s… a big snake. Arbok is one of the most fearsome-looking creatures in Generation 1, a fanged cobra standing a horrifying eleven feet tall. While many of the other Pokemon on this list would kill you secretly and subtly, this big bastard would just wrap its massive muscular body around your fragile frame and crush your bones to powder before slithering off to join the rest of Team Rocket. Oh, and it can also survive for extended periods of time underwater and regrow any body part that gets cut off up to the head. That’s some Terminator-class deadliness there.LitwickThis Generation V Pokemon certainly doesn’t look like a dangerous thing – it’s a cute little candle, shining in the darkness to light your way! But here’s the truth about Litwick: this Ghost/Fire type survives by luring unsuspecting prey deeper and deeper into the dark, leaching away their life energy as it does so. When it’s had its fill, your body will collapse into dust as your soul becomes a ghost, forever haunting the stygian depths where you perished. That’s pretty freaking creepy.Mr. MimeCrime fiction has a long history of serial killers with effete, mincing traits, and the appearance of Mr. Mime in the Detective Pikachu trailer definitely raised some hackles with his horrifying quasi-realistic appearance. The mute Psychic / Fairy dual type is noted for his ability to solidify air molecules into invisible solid constructs with his mental powers, and it’s also canon that he becomes very upset when his performance is interrupted, sometimes to the point of violence. While an unspeaking antagonist might be tough to write around, imagine this little rat bastard sneaking up on you in utter silence to stick an imaginary knife in your jugular. It’s chilling.BanetteAll of the Ghost-type Pokemon are dark and disturbing, but some take it to a much deeper level. Banette, introduced in Generation III, is a grayish doll that was animated by a malevolent spirit and brought to life. It attacks its foes by sticking pins into itself, causing them to experience sympathetic pains, and it’s now obsessed with hunting down the kid that threw it away. That’s a murderer backstory if we’ve ever heard one, and the only way to release the curse and return it to plaything status is to love and care for it – not an easy task when it’s trying to kill you.HonedgePicture this: you’re walking through an old mansion, scared out of your mind, when you see a dope-ass sword hanging on the wall. Looking for a way to defend yourself against things that go bump in the night, you pick it up. Surprise! You just got got by Honedge. This Steel / Ghost type Pokemon has a very adverse reaction to being grabbed by the hilt, wrapping its blue fabric sash around your arm and sucking away your life energy until you perish. That’s not even taking into account the fact that it’s a freaking sentient sword.DarkraiBasically the Freddy Krueger of Pokemon, the mythical creature with the ability to trap unsuspecting victims in never-ending nightmares was introduced in the Rise of Darkrai film. It’s a denizen of the night that is attracted to trauma and suffering, feeding off of the dreams of its victims. You can only break its hold with a Lunar Wing from Cresselia. Some speculate that its entrapment in a ceaseless horror is actually a defense mechanism, but if the end result is death who has time to argue?KangaskhanThere are many different motivations for murder, and protection of a child is one of the purest. Kangaskhans are massive armored creatures standing seven feet tall with a pouch on their stomach that they use to carry their young. If anything moves to threaten that baby, they go buck wild, striking with powerful blows until they are certain that the child is safe. Imagine the carnage that could happen if a baby Kangaskhan got abducted and the mother went on a John Wick-style path of rage trying to get it back? There’d be blood all over the walls.JigglypuffSerial killers need to be able to get their victims helpless in order to deliver the finishing stroke, and what better way to do so than with a hypnotic song? Jigglypuff has typically been portrayed as a spherical diva who just wants to be adored for its singing voice, but listening to it immediately puts the victim into a nearly comatose sleep. Imagine if Detective Pikachu is all about a jilted Jigglypuff who just can’t take the irony anymore and starts brutally murdering the audience after they’re rendered insensate? Some pretty scary stuff there.Pokémon Detective Pikachu lands in theaters May 10More on‘Pokemon: Detective Pikachu’ Toys Blur The Lines of RealityRanking Every Pokemon Movie‘Detective Pikachu’ Trailer Is a Live-Action Pokemon Fever Dream Enter the World of ‘Pokemon: Detective Pikachu’ at SDCC 2019‘Pokemon Sleep’ Puts Pocket Monsters in Your Dreams Stay on targetlast_img read more

Living Well with Dementia What It Means and What It Doesnt Mean

first_imgby, Dr. Al Power, ChangingAging ContributorTweet142Share988Share158Email1K SharesI have had some interesting experiences in my years speaking about Alzheimer’s and other forms of cognitive change. One thing that has surprised me is that the articles written about me—or those that quote me—can generate a very strong and negative response from some readers. Some become quite angry or even offended when I suggest that the tragedy dialogue around dementia can be harmful.I think I can understand this. I think many people feel that when I say it is possible to live well with dementia, I am somehow dismissing the very real struggles and challenges they face in caring for a loved one. Or that I am saying that if their loved one suffered at all, it’s because they did not do a good enough job of caring. Most of these people have never actually heard me speak in detail or read my books, and it’s understandable that reading “sound bites” could lead to these feelings.My colleagues who joined me in criticizing the tone of the recent PBS documentary, Every Minute Counts have no doubt experienced a similar reaction. So for my part, I’d like to expand a bit on my thoughts, in an attempt to set the record straight about my feelings, my objections, and my appreciation of the nuances of caring for another person. And since sound bites are so easily misconstrued, this will need to be rather wordy.First of all, I believe that the two most complex things in the known universe are the human brain and human relationships. When a person faces a diagnosis of dementia, she and her loved ones are thrown into these two most complex worlds like never before. It is very hard to navigate, and it can create a great deal of stress, anger, and sorrow. I would never try to deny that people experience this with Alzheimer’s every day. Nor do I think that we are fundamentally uncaring or incapable as carers if our loved ones suffer.What I am trying to say is that our predominant view of dementia puts those caring people in a system that is stacked against them—a non-level playing field, if you will. My primary message is: This is not about bad people, but rather inadequate systems—systems of thought and systems of care—that prevent us from achieving all that we had hoped.While it is impossible to put all of these aspects into a brief post, I will list four examples of how the predominant view of dementia actually makes our jobs as care partners much harder and—as I said in a recent comment—can actually lead to more suffering for those living with the diagnosis.Stigma. The language we use and the ways in which we portray people—”The Long Goodbye,” “fading away,” or as the program stated, an “empty shell” serve to dehumanize the person in the eyes of society. Researcher Susan Behuniak describes the media view as ranging from “piteous to repulsive.” She mentioned the common view of the person as being just like a “zombie,” and added that this dehumanizing view of people not only robs them of death with dignity but also a life with dignity. This also leads to social isolation, which further increases your burden as a care partner.Another consequence of this view is that the person is immediately seen as incapable and becomes disempowered from Day 1. There are highly touted education programs that tell people, “Your loved one will slowly disappear” and “They are incapable and you must take over everything.” Even the name “caregiver” suggests that it’s a one-way street—you must do it all, and they can offer nothing in return. So the carer is told to take on an inordinate burden from the very start.The person with dementia, who is already struggling to navigate her own grief with the diagnosis, now lives in a world where she too often has no opportunity to give an opinion or make any decisions about her life. And it happens as soon as the label is applied, no matter how well preserved one’s capabilities may be. People with dementia tell countless stories of this happening to them in everyday life, from family members and professionals alike. This is a major, reversible cause of suffering.The Wrong Education. As implied above, much of what we are taught about caring for people living with dementia does not give us the insights to find durable solutions and can actually make things worse. Let me share a story that illustrates this:Yesterday, I had the opportunity to help a family member change a flat tire. I know from years of experience that the lug nuts on the flat tire are very sticky and hard to loosen; therefore, you must loosen them before you jack up the car, or else the tire will just spin around when you pull on the wrench, and you will get nowhere.Most people know that; but suppose you had been taught in your driving education that you must begin by jacking up the car. You would be constantly frustrated and angry by a technique that wasn’t working, and you would conclude that changing tires is always a miserable experience, doomed to failure. And if someone came along and said it didn’t have to be miserable, you might think they were delusional.You might figure out the better approach through trial and error; but if the authorities constantly told you that, no, you must always jack up the car first, it would leave you lost and failing repeatedly. This is obviously an oversimplification, but is used to illustrate the point that much of our available education is inadequate, or simply wrong. Not your fault when things don’t get better; you were given a broken playbook.One of my greatest epiphanies—and sources of embarrassment—is the knowledge that can be gained by listening to the wisdom of people living with dementia. This began with meeting people like the late Dr. Richard Taylor, who traveled and spoke quite eloquently; but those insights also helped me to find important clues to understanding those who could not speak well, or at all. And it’s embarrassing to think of all my years as a doctor when I discounted people as being confused or even delusional, because I did not understand how they were expressing themselves.This is why I talk about care partners. Even if people are at a stage where they can do very little for themselves, they almost always can express choice through their words or actions. When these are dismissed as “behavior problems,” we miss these clues and also deprive the person of one of the most basic human rights: the right to be heard and understood.So part of care partnering is understanding that people with all levels of ability can teach us volumes about how to care for and support them. We must become the students in order to fully succeed.This lack of the right education is complicated by our…Biomedical focus. Our intense focus on brain disease leads us to ignore the experience of the person who lives with the diagnosis. Everything becomes a symptom of disease. When we don’t understand how to support the person whose worldview is shifting, and our professionals tell us that the difficulty they experience is a “behavior problem” and a “symptom of dementia,” we use dangerous and sedating medications, instead of learning how we can shift to accommodate their worldview (just as we have learned to build ramps for people in wheelchairs, instead of forcing them to walk up steps as we do).My work has shown that the majority of episodes of distress that we see are not the direct result of the brain damage (which may enable their distress, but is not the root cause). Usually, the root cause is a loss of various aspects of well-being (such as a sense of autonomy, meaning, or security). There has never been an educational course that teaches us how to recognize and respond to threats to well-being—only how to “manage one’s behavior,” which means either to medicate the person, and/or respond with an array of “interventions” that distract, but do not fulfill the underlying needs, so the distress occurs over and over.When I teach a proactive well-being approach, care partners often find solutions to distress that they had never found before—I have heard of seemingly miraculous transformations in people with whom they had struggled for months, even years. These care partners aren’t bad or ignorant people—they have just been taught the wrong approaches—in essence they were put on the non-level playing field.Family members (and professionals who have cared for loved ones) often say to me, “I so wish I had known this 5 years ago,” or “…back when my Mom was alive.” We have all followed this path to greater knowledge, and we have all made many mistakes along the way, none more than I. I began my first book, Dementia Beyond Drugs, with a story of one of my greatest failures. And I finished the story with Maya Angelou’s quote, “You did then what you knew how to do; and when you knew better, you did better.”Misplaced priorities. This is the last aspect I will discuss here, but it’s a huge one. There is a desperate need for more than just better education. Family members and professionals alike need a much better infrastructure for care, as the documentary correctly pointed out: better home care services, respite, enabling technology, community redesign, transportation, better long-term care options, and community awareness and capacity immediately come to mind. Another important need that was not fully addressed is the need to provide “habilitative” therapy and purposeful engagement, in order to forestall loss of ability and faster decline.Unfortunately, as the documentary echoed, our solution always comes down to, “Give us more money to find a cure.” This is problematic for two reasons.First, dementia is intricately tied to our long lives and to the aging process. Of course, younger people are diagnosed as well, but most people do not have a strong genetic link and many of the younger people likely represent the end of a bell curve or an earlier diagnosis, rather than a distinct illness.As a geriatrician, I know that we can’t cure aging and mortality, and it follows that there will never come a time when many aging people do not experience changes in their cognitive abilities. To think we can eradicate Alzheimer’s like smallpox is as much a fantasy as curing mortality. We can and should do research to find better treatments to delay the onset or progression of the illness; but the inordinate focus on The Cure creates false hope and produces a subtle, but very real societal intolerance for those who can’t be cured.The second result of focusing excessively on The Cure is that all of the other needs I outlined above are given much less attention and far fewer resources than the drug companies. So we, as care partners, are too often left to fend for ourselves without those other areas being adequately addressed. Most countries have rebalanced their priorities to elevate these needs alongside drug research—the US has not. So here we are again on the non-level playing field, with our day-to-day needs being unfulfilled while the promise of The Cure is touted over and over.So to summarize this lengthy post: Yes, I feel your pain; I see your struggles. They are very real. My message is that you have been let down by our system and our model of viewing dementia, and that it can be much better if we are open to challenging the status quo and working proactively to improve the well-being of those we support, and our own as well.This is not just theory. Many colleagues and I can share countless stories of people who have made a better life for themselves and their loved ones by rejecting a narrative of pure loss and tragedy and discovering a new path. It won’t be easy. It won’t be without sorrow and grief. But you will find the gifts and solutions hidden among the challenges, and each person’s life with dementia will take on a level of meaning and value that our current view does not permit.I wish you all the best of luck in the important work you do.Related PostsBook Review: Aging Together – Dementia, Friendship and Flourishing CommunitiesBooks on dementia are usually addressed not to friends but to family caregivers or professionals. I approached this book with excitement because we rarely see the words “dementia,” “friendship” and “communities” together.Re-Branding Dementia AdvocacyI think it’s time to challenge a bit of the language being used to advocate for people living with dementia. The negative effects of stigmatizing language are huge, and our language choices are often the places where such stigma starts or ends.Trust at StakeThe full text of Eilon Caspi’s recent journal article “Trust at stake: Is the “dual mission” of the U.S. Alzheimer’s Association out of balance?” is now available for free thanks to an anonymous donor seeking to raise awareness of the gross imbalance of effort and funding between the Association’s dual…Tweet142Share988Share158Email1K SharesTags: Alzheimer’s Disease Dementia PBSlast_img read more