Psychiatric Views on the Daily News - Episode 102

Eros and Jon Batiste Take Center Stage at the 2022 Grammys

Did you watch the Grammys?

PSYCHIATRIC VIEWS ON THE DAILY NEWS

“Support our work in any way you can. Any—but not silence.”

-President Zelensky in his address to the Grammys

In contrast to the presence of Thanatos at the Oscars, as I referred to in a previous column, the mythical Greek God of love, Eros, took center stage at the Grammy Awards on Sunday night. For the most part, the mood, words, and action were life-affirming.

In particular, I honed in on Jon Batiste, who won 5 Grammys. At his essence, he is a jazz musician from the New Orleans area who has branched out into related musical forms. If you have not heard it, some of his often joyous music is easily heard on Stephen Colbert’s Late Show as he leads the house band, Stay Human.

Connectively, Mr Batiste was featured earlier on Sunday on the favorite TV show of my wife and I: Sunday Morning. On the show, it depicted how as his fame was increasing, he had secretly married his long-time partner as she was being treated for a reoccurrence of leukemia.

One of his nominations was for his role in the Disney animated film Soul. Soul is the story of Joe Gardner, who has big dreams about performing jazz onstage. When I saw him, he reminded me of Mr Batiste, who has said of that depiction of performance imagination, “that it is the closest to utopia that we’ll get.”

You may also have seen Batiste lead peaceful and musical Black Lives Matter marches through the streets of New York after George Floyd was killed.

I am planning to focus on Batiste and jazz in my upcoming presentation on a Jazz Riff on the History of Racism at the annual American Psychiatric Association meeting in New Orleans. To me, he and jazz are role models for a Black and white antiracism coalition.

Jazz has had others extolling Eros in the music. John Coltrane’s longstanding best-selling album is titled “A Love Supreme.” Albert Ayler, among others, claimed that music is the healing force of the universe.

Eros and Thanatos joined together when Present Zelensky of Ukraine, who was missing in action from the Oscars, provided a video presentation on music and the war. Music is one way to help but, as he said, help in any way you can.

Sometimes, love has to go to war to successfully combat undo danger.

Dr Moffic is an award-winning psychiatrist who has specialized in the cultural and ethical aspects of psychiatry. A prolific writer and speaker, he received the one-time designation of Hero of Public Psychiatry from the Assembly of the American Psychiatric Association in 2002. He is an advocate for mental health issues relate to climate instability, burnout, Islamophobia, and anti-Semitism for a better world. He serves on the Editorial Board of Psychiatric TimesTM.