on the language of “saving”

i’ve written a lot of rants recently so i’ll try to keep this one short(er).

for context: when Even is telling Isak about his dream wedding, he says, “after i’ve climbed up to the balcony i ask you: ‘what happens after I’ve saved you?’  you answer… i save you back.”

any mentally ill/neurodivergent person will recognize this as dangerously close to the trope of a mentally ill character being “saved” by their (almost always neurotypical) love interest, that love is somehow an all-powerful cure for depression, anxiety, ptsd, bipolar, bpd, you name it.

the only thing that’s really different this time is that Even is the one talking about being saved (when it’s usually the neurotypical saying “i’ll save you”) though admittedly in the context of an elaborate movie reference, not necessarily mental illness (but you know the skam writers will take us to hell and back with the double entendres).

there’s also the word itself, implying that mental illness is something you need saving from in the first place. mental illness is not the end of the world. mental illness requires therapy and medication and support and self care. not saving.

my point is. they’re walking a fine line. Isak can’t save Even from himself. this goes back to “only you can feel what you feel.” Isak can’t go down the same path as Sonja, who almost seems to consider it her duty to take care of Even . the best thing Isak can do is to love and support Even and to help Even take care of himself.

statistically speaking, someone has to resonate with that “stressed out” song by twenty one pilots, but i saw a post saying that its target demographic is young suburbanites. anecdotally speaking, i don’t think that’s true–most people i know who fall into that category who have heard the song find it grating, because memories of childhood are just as likely to be stressful as they are nostalgic. my mom and aunt liked it, though, and insulted me greatly by telling me that the verse about playing pretend reminded them of me.


Korean artist JeeYoung Lee (previously featured here) continues to amaze us with awesomely imaginative transformations of her tiny 3 x 6 meter (~10 x 20 foot) studio in Seoul. Lee spends weeks, if not months, hand-painting backdrops and building sets and props for each photo she takes. There’s no digital photo manipulation involved, everything you see in these elaborate scenes was created by hand. It’s all very real and incredibly labor-intensive, yet each photo looks like a glimpse into Lee’s vivid dreams.

At the focal point of nearly every photo is the artist herself, her gaze never quite meeting the viewer’s directly. Inspired by Korean fables or personal experiences, these imaginative self-portraits explore “her quest for an identity, her desires and her frame of mind,” according to OPIOM Gallery. “Her creations act as a catharsis which allows her to accept social repression and frustrations. The moment required to set the stage gives her time to meditate about the causes of her interior conflicts and hence exorcise them; once experienced, they in turn become portents of hope.”

Lee’s latest exhibition, entitled Stage of Mind, opens in Bogotá, Colombia in May of this year, and then in Belfast, Ireland starting in June.

Click here to explore even more of JeeYoung Lee’s awesome photos.

[via Colossal and My Modern Metropolis]