The creator of the latest submission to the “Tales from the Amygdala” project will already be familiar to many of you. You will recognize Ann Carr from the Season 1 finale of “Louie,” in which she played (her words) an “overly emotive basket case of a babysitter.” Or you’ll recognize her from her prolific commercial work. Or from her hit solo show “Use It.” Or you’ll recognize her from her popular web series, “The Actress,” which is hilarious and disturbing and arguably the best evocation of status anxiety since Woody Allen’s “Celebrity,” a movie that gave me a panic attack.
A prefatory note about Ann’s video: at first it may seem like it’s subject isn’t anxiety at all but anger and rage. Ann doesn’t talk about hyperventilating or chewing her fingernails or anything like that. She talks about wanting to hurt people, and the fear of being hurt, and the sense that she’s going to lose control of herself. But I’d argue (and in Monkey Mind in fact I do argue) that these things are very much a part of anxiety. They are a part of anxiety because they have their source in uncontrollable, unwanted, and upsetting thoughts — thoughts that suggest things are not as they ought to be, and that your mind, while still recognizable, may at any moment break free of the reins with which you think, wrongly, you’re holding it steady.
Or maybe Ann’s just nuts. She could be nuts. I’m honestly not sure.