Anhedonic with Velda

Today’s Zippy is a fantasy on the great film noir Kiss Me Deadly, which might not have been enough to move me to post it here, but there was the excellent technical term anhedonic in there…


From Wikipedia:

Anhedonia (… Greek: ἀν- an-, “without” and ἡδονή hēdonē, “pleasure”) is the inability to experience pleasure from activities usually found enjoyable, e.g. exercise, hobbies, music, sexual activities or social interactions. While earlier definitions of anhedonia emphasized pleasurable experience, more recent models have highlighted the need to consider different aspects of enjoyable behavior, such as motivation or desire to engage in activities (motivational anhedonia), as compared to the level of enjoyment of the activity itself (“consummatory anhedonia”).

According to William James the term was coined by Théodule-Armand Ribot [in the late 19th century].

A distressing condition. I’ve been in circumstances where I was unable to engage in various pleasurable activities because of terrible racking pain, but only a few times have I been in such deep depression that nothing could provide me with pleasure.

Then there’s Kiss Me Deadly, which I’ve posted some about (thanks to an earlier Zippy), here (on 8/16/12), where I noted:

The film reference in the second panel (“weapons-grade plutonium”) is to the great, enormously dark, Kiss Me Deadly of 1955, in which a plutonium bomb turns out to be the central plot device.

A poster that doesn’t mention the plutonium:


From the Wikipedia article linked to above, where Velda is introduced:

Kiss Me Deadly is a 1955 film noir drama produced and directed by Robert Aldrich starring Ralph Meeker. The screenplay was written by A.I. Bezzerides, based on the Mickey Spillane Mike Hammer mystery novel Kiss Me, Deadly. Kiss Me Deadly is often considered a classic of the noir genre.

Ralph Meeker plays Mike Hammer, a tough Los Angeles private eye who is almost as brutal as the crooks he chases. Mike and his assistant/secretary/lover, Velda (Maxine Cooper), usually work on “penny-ante divorce cases.”

One evening on a lonely country road, Hammer gives a ride to Christina (Cloris Leachman), an attractive hitchhiker wearing nothing but a trench coat. She has escaped from a mental institution, most probably the nearby Camarillo State Mental Hospital. Thugs waylay them and Hammer awakens in some unknown location where he hears Christina screaming and being tortured to death. The thugs then push Hammer’s car off a cliff with Christina’s body and an unconscious Hammer inside. [Here’s where Hammer gets to the bottom of that cliff; see panel 3 in #1.] Hammer next awakens in a hospital with Velda by his bedside. He decides to pursue the case, for vengeance, a sense of guilt (as Christina had asked him to “remember me” if she got killed), and because “she (Christina) must be connected with something big” behind it all. …

And then the plot gets a lot more complicated.

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