My Blog Week: June 12 to June 18
A Word on the Week
Blight (part two)
Our society wants to manage mental health better, but we have a folkloric problem. We allow narratives into the culture that we know are false. Legally, states of mind have leeway up to the individual becoming a threat to himself or others, and so a number of treatable behavioral issues don’t, and shouldn’t, require intervention, loss of autonomy—and certainly don’t merit beady-eyed gossip. But, do we see frankness about mental illness rewarded, or, when it runs afoul of fantasy, is the citizen (merely) put back at square one? Make mental illness a thing “not to be talked about”, and crazy ideas about crazy run fully amok. Talk about it, and possibly be made the lonely pioneer, whose only reward is to be harassed on a personal basis.
That shooters are always cited mentally ill follows an old propagandist pattern, helpful to those who don’t want new laws and new attitudes. First, let’s consider what competence is…to make a plan, to acquire materials, to sketch a timeframe, to get up one day and carry the plan out. Those abilities are hallmarks of sanity. Sanity, as a measure, doesn’t require wisdom, or human feeling, or a background of strong socialization, or kind mentoring, or abiding faith. It requires (among others) contact with reality, and a grasp of cause and effect.
If we look at the Trump administration’s Covid response, we see a number of things being planned, with a goal of minimizing the “negativity” of the pandemic, motivated by hopes of not losing votes in the 2020 election. The administration’s priorities, which included funneling Covid funds to favored parties, caused unnecessary deaths. There seems little human feeling involved, little empathy, in this relentless achieving of an enormity. Were they all insane?
Somehow, the public is gullible to a fallacious link between the horror of an act and the sanity of the person who commits it. A shooter purchases his weapon in a culture that makes the purchase easy. Finding a place that sells guns isn’t difficult; not much is asked of the purchaser beyond the exchange of money. No one can say the plan to buy an assault weapon, in a culture where many applaud the act, is nuts, outlandish. When the shooter kills people, he is handwrung away as insane, although other plans that result in deaths don’t raise the rhetoric of, “such minds are impossible for normal people to comprehend.”
The mentally ill may suffer paranoid or depressive spirals, but they have human minds and draw conclusions as others do. The “unfathomable” insane person is just a do-nothing straw man, for conservatives who would like a magic answer to their gun money problem—to be able to keep taking it; to avoid looking like they don’t care about the terrible death toll.
This week marked an anniversary for me. I fell and sprained my wrist on May 17, and finally am able to draw cartoons again, so the one above is new. After a couple of weeks with no roundup, here are recent posts, and two more easy link lists that got skipped. On Monday, Catastrophe, and a letter to the reporter Hess from a Martinique official. Tuesday, “The Resident”, with Des and Wiss getting closer to an excess of sociability. Wednesday, The Sword Decides!, the prostitute Simona weighing her place in an apocalyptic world. Thursday, The Mirrors, Charmante drawing strength from a Sunday sermon and news from a neighbor. Saturday, “Depression Glass”, with Merrilee and Jonah discussing Jate.
Images on my posts sometimes have a link to related information (click first image), sometimes serious, sometimes whimsical, sometimes in answer to a direct reference. Since people can be leery about links, I include them here: what they are, what sites they point to.
My Blog Week: June 12 to June 18
June 5 to June 11
May 29 to June 4