Friday, April 29, 2016

ever' body 's goin' crazy!

“Insanity - a perfectly rational adjustment to an insane world.” R. D. Laing

Today I thought since I keep hearing how Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are insane, by their opponents and the media, it might be worthwhile to look into some definitions.  After looking at the definition I decided to chuck that, and just talk about insanity in general, throw a few images up, and some quotes.  No one gets how stupid it sounds to accuse people like Clinton, Sanders, Trump or Cruz of insanity or Fascism or Communism or whatever.  The use of quick hit labels is bullshit, and sooner or later, the world will tire of it.

First the definition took Insanity and said look up Madness instead.  Which drove me mad.  So...
noun: madness
tthe state of being mentally ill, especially severely.
synonyms:insanity, mental illness, dementia, derangement; More

"today madness is called mental illness"
  • extremely foolish behavior.
    plural noun: madnesses

    "it is madness to allow children to roam around after dark"

    synonyms:folly, foolishness, idiocy, stupidity, insanity, lunacy, silliness;

    "it would be madness to do otherwise"
    antonyms:common sense, good sense
  • a state of frenzied or chaotic activity.

    "from about midnight to three in the morning it's absolute madness in here"

    synonyms:bedlam, mayhem, chaos, pandemonium, craziness, uproar, turmoil, disorder, all hell broken loose, (three-ring) circus

    "it's absolute madness in here"

The truth is, people will call you crazy for doing things right, for doing things wrong, for demanding fairness, for ignoring ill treatment.  To the general populace a comment or shared thought from an artist can seem so outrageous as to be insane, when in fact, it is not.  This is not to say that creative people are not often insane, they are.  But many times the person shouting that the speaker is crazy has an agenda, and the speaker has done nothing to earn it.  I don't have a specific agenda here, I am not aiming at any sort of audience.  I respect people from the arts, as well as outside of the arts.  Calling people crazy when you disagree is a bit like calling your opponent in an internet argument "Hitler" or "Racist", there is little else that you have to say there after.  It shows mental weakness to do so, that is, instead of being smart enough to just step back you say an obvious falsehood and act like a winner?  Well no, that seems more crazy than the one you just labeled.  Because, who wants to argue or debate Hitler, or a Racist, or a crazy person?  No one.  I am somewhat sure it is libel worthy, but not so sure that I'd bet upon that.  So maybe it is libelous, but enough of an opinion based statement that it is just a dirty tool  in online arguments.

But for people of the previous centuries being called insane was for real.  Being sent to the asylum meant that you were about to lose your ability to choose in most situations, and in most cases, until recently, it often meant that would be treated quite poorly.  Asylum was meant to be a place for the sufferer to be free from pain or torture of the real world, but in reality it meant that the family or legal guardians were then free from the requirements of care, and the sufferer was left in the hands of people who often did not care or worse, enjoyed harming those who could not defend themselves.

 “Who in the rainbow can draw the line where the violet tint ends and the orange tint begins? Distinctly we see the difference of the colors, but where exactly does the one first blendingly enter into the other? So with sanity and insanity.”  Herman Melville

Humanity has suffered insanity for the length of time it has existed.  Not for reasons of hate, or harm, but for imperfection of the human form, humans have suffered both birth related and acquired mental disorders, and insanity is a broad term that relates to how those disorders distance the sufferer from the mainstream.

Just count your blessings if you suffer, that you do in an era of enlightened care, and drugs that work.  Because for many decades, it was a crapshoot.

“Where does one go from a world of insanity? Somewhere on the other side of despair.” T.S. Eliot

So fuck the world.  We live in a time when we act as if we are all fucked, but we enjoy high standards of care.  We act like we are starving when we are obese.  We call people insane when they are possessed of a different opinion.  We call someone a Communism for policies that 70 years ago were considered to be Pro America, and truth and justice.  We need to take a big shit and get over our lack of context.  Go take the blue pill, get an erection or something.

“So man's insanity is heaven's sense; and wandering from all mortal reason, man comes at last to that celestial thought, which, to reason, is absurd and frantic; and weal or woe, feels then uncompromised, indifferent as his God.” Herman Melville

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