Sunday, July 30, 2017


Before I try to understand the use of mental health categories as curses, allegations of worthlessness and evil, which Scaramouche brought up in regard to the president’s staff, I need to deal with a phrase often used to praise the President, that he is “crazy like a fox.”  That is, like the famous mob boss, Vincent Gigante called “Chin”, who went onto the streets in his pajamas to project insanity as a cover.  A person who is “crazy like a fox” pretends to do things that are unaccountable, startling and against convention because they are using them as cover in a deliberate and therefore sane way.  

The most drastic is presidents who start wars in order to cover their own bad behavior.  War is an ultimate distraction.  Forbidding soldiers who have unconventional sexual identities (though being gay or trans is fairly conventional these days, at least in media terms) or giving police advice to “rough up” those they arrest (social tinder as we approach the most flammable time of the year) might be evidence of personal hangups or pandering to a class of people who consider political correctness to be a form of unjustified restraint, an insanity of educated people.

Trump has been considered “crazy like a fox” as a clever strategy that obviously works because he is rich.  Wealth is considered both evidence and a virtue.  Until now the media has never described how often he has gone into bankruptcy, lost deals, and diminished his inherited fortune.  How he has managed to evade justice in the courts has been attributed to buying the best lawyers.  But now we understand that like a delinquent son, he has had a sugar daddy: Russia.  The sugar was compromising in terms of sex, but much more than that, the mafia-type glue of extortion, money-laundering, blackmail, and other proscribed but common practices — all leading up to treason, a wickedness he sees all around him, but only as personal betrayal of himself.

Categories of sane behavior are not so interesting to people as is insanity.  Since craziness was medicalized a couple of centuries ago -- a part of our surrender of much of philosophy to science or pseudoscience -- we’ve all become adept at distinguishing the categories (boxes) created by theory systems built on behavior and introspection rather than bodily function, an irony.  The brain is in a bone box where it is accessible only under methods we’ve just recently developed, like fMRI or molecular analysis of the glymphatic fluids.  We’re just now figuring out which little blob of tissue does what and how.

A further difficulty when dealing with psych stuff is a form of craziness: projection.  We see everyone else through the lens of our own prejudices and predilections.  The bitter women who accuse their lovers of treating them badly out of narcissism (self-centered neglect and abuse in the lover’s own interests) can be queried in terms of whether they didn’t enter the relationship for their own benefit (money, protection, affection).  

By now this whole generation in America has been accused of narcissism to the extent that sub-categories of the classification have had to be invented to keeping it from being such a junk category that it’s no longer useful.  “Malignant,” “grandiose,” psychopathic” are favs of Sam Vaknin who has created a career by calmly claiming to be a diagnosed narcissist.  By now, wannabes have been suggesting that there is such a thing as “healthy” narcissism, merely self-protection and possibly with happy consequences.  

In addition to these categories, mental health malfunctions may be classified as “personality disorders,” a failure to form a good identity; or something more deep-seated, until one comes to the level of psychosis, which is extreme, obvious, and must be treated with drastic means like chemical restraint or a strait-jacket.  These days it is most often the cop on the street who must meet it with a club, a taser, or pepper spray — or, to save time, a bullet.

Ingestion-based psychosis entered upon to get insight or pleasure can destroy the capacity to function.  So we suspect The Mooch of cursing because he is “high” which means without restraint.

Let’s look at his choice of insanities:  “fucking paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac.”  I’m not counting “cock-blocked” or auto-cock-sucking.  “Paranoid schizophrenic” is believing that people are after you when they are not; believing that the whole world is hostile and destructive (which is not exactly fantasy) to an intense degree that hampers behavior and leads to a bodily state of constant panic.  Schizophrenic means an identity and function that are scattered, incoherent, out of touch with reality.  These accusations are an elaborate way of saying someone is lying.

Science is now telling us that there is NO reality except what we create as a construct in our own minds.  Mental health people have not assimilated this yet, but observation of the world confirms that people have quite different ideas about what is real and sometimes they are irreconcilable.  The crux of the problem is that a “culture” develops an idea of what is real (normal) and will create niches for people whose reality is productive (artists, scientists) but cannot tolerate for its own self-preservation any individual or sub-group faction (mafia, religion, Posse Comitatus) that is destructive.  If the sub-group gets big enough, “reality” can be renegotiated.  (Blacks, Native Americans and women can be citizens.  Sex need not be confined to marriage.)

A human being is a complex system of cells that cooperate to perform certain functions.  If one little function, like circulating oxygen or neural messaging, gets interrupted, the results can destroy function and sanity.  It can be very subtle.  A concussion to the pre-frontal cortex can seem like simple orneriness.  Our industrial chemical molecules kill bees and sterilize men without us even realizing it until the consequences are painful.  Mental health consensus is something like that.  Our social valuing of greed, domination, violence — indeed, their celebration by the media as dramatic Old Testament behaviors — have pushed and tempted individuals into an insane level of acts toxic enough to force the culture as a whole to deal with it for the sake of its own preservation.

But this is a culture that IS paranoid schizophrenic, suspecting that anyone who is not “like us” is a danger; or destroying children, the disabled, and the elderly while claiming we love and protect them; insisting that we are honorable and good-looking, when we are not.  Luckily, due to human variousness and written memory, there are still people capable of negotiating the return of the rule of law IF they have the courage and focus.  And IF another paranoid schizophrenic country doesn’t start a nuclear war, provoked by insane presidents.

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