January 11, 2011

The Lunatic

I cannot bring a world quite round,
Although I patch it as I can.

-- Wallace Stevens

I can't look at the face with the shaved head and insect eyes, but I see it everywhere. I won't eat the pellets of pundit kibble but they are strewn at my feet everywhere and need to be scraped off the shoes of my soul. I can't read the he-said/she-said bicker that flickers on the tube and screen, but it is repeated and repeated until the drivel flows higher than my knees.

It's always like this in media memeland where the news travels faster than thought and the usual perpetrators of the lie spew their usual lies. The "narrative" is set out in templates as rigid as rebar laced through concrete: Nothing to hear here, move along. Nothing to see here, move along. Nothing new to be here, move along.... Oh, by the way, see those people over there? Yes, the ones who had nothing to do with it. They did it. What? You don't believe me. Come over here and let me shout it in your ear over and over until you can't hear yourself think. Repeat after me: "Even though they had nothing to do with it, they did it." Got that? Good. Now go and vote likewise.

The reduction of tragedy to political commentary in this age is a banality. To point to it is only to extend it. To use insanity to count coup on political opponents is not insanity, it is evil.

Lunatics have always been with us and always will be. Insanity is an "occupational hazard" of being "the smart monkey." In the sixties our keepers decided that it would be a "good idea" to deinstitutionalize the insane among us. Like all "humane" ideas it started small and over the decades grew to a flood until the insane walk among us on our streets with little hindrance. We lump them with addicts and alcoholics and bums and kindly call them all "homeless." As such, they hide in plain site until they choose to make their madness manifest. And then we wonder how all the "signals" could have been "missed," why "something" was not done to protect the insane from themselves and others from their manias.

But "something" was done. It was the "humane" thing to do to free our lunatics and to make it, slowly, as difficult as possible to re-institutionalize them and keep them there. It wasn't chance that killed in Tuscon. It was policy.

And now, among many others, a little child is shot dead.

Across the street, it's morning recess. Hundreds of children run back and forth on the playground shouting and laughing, their last cares of childhood forgotten in the next moment. The coming cares hidden far beyond the present moment. Some will be heroes, most will be decent people with the standard measure of joy and sorrow in their lives to come. One or two will come to a bad end. Some will find life unfair. One, here or there or elsewhere, will sink into the pit of madness from which there is no return.

And that one, then, will become a face with insect eyes that cannot be looked at but is much commented on by pundits who, in the end, have nothing to say to anyone at all -- and speak only to the single glass eye and directly to the mute button.

Long ago a friend who knew many in our permanent pundit class of "clever sillies" had nothing but scorn for them. She described their "professional" pretensions as "intellectual insanity." She was right and if you would see the proof, scan the web or channel surf the news nexi. In Arizona one lunatic is in a cell. In media memeland the others simply spew their vitriol, smear their feces on the nation's walls, collect a check, and go to dinner.

When I was a child
I caught a fleeting glimpse
Out of the corner of my eye
I turned to look but it was gone
I cannot put my finger on it now
The child is grown,
The dream is gone.
I have become comfortably numb.

The lunatic is on the grass
The lunatic is on the grass
Remembering games and daisy chains and laughs
Got to keep the loonies on the path
The lunatic is in the hall
The lunatics are in my hall
The paper holds their folded faces to the floor
And every day the paper boy brings more
And if the dam breaks open many years too soon
And if there is no room upon the hill
And if your head explodes with dark forbodings too
I'll see you on the dark side of the moon
The lunatic is in my head
The lunatic is in my head
You raise the blade, you make the change
You re-arrange me 'till I'm sane
You lock the door
And throw away the key
There's someone in my head but it's not me.
And if the cloud bursts, thunder in your ear
You shout and no one seems to hear
And if the band you're in starts playing different tunes
I'll see you on the dark side of the moon

"I can't think of anything to say except...
I think it's marvellous! HaHaHa!"

All that you touch
All that you see
All that you taste
All you feel
All that you love
All that you hate
All you distrust
All you save
All that you give
All that you deal
All that you buy
Beg, borrow or steal
All you create
All you destroy
All that you do
All that you say
All that you eat
Everyone you meet
All that you slight
Everyone you fight
All that is now
All that is gone
All that's to come
And everything under the sun is in tune
But the sun is eclipsed by the moon.
There is no dark side of the moon really.
Matter of fact it's all dark.

Posted by Vanderleun at January 11, 2011 11:01 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Pitch perfect.

Posted by: james wilson at January 11, 2011 12:06 PM

As usual, unbelievably excellent.

Posted by: Captain Dave at January 11, 2011 12:25 PM

When these kinds of events occur I pretty much turn off the net, the radio - don't have a TV. But if you write about it/them, that's all I need to indulge. You speak the Truth like it is the embodiment of your very soul. It's not a signpost for us to follow to transcendence. You give us transcendence. Thanks!

Posted by: John Hinds at January 11, 2011 2:47 PM

Well said. It wouldn't be a stretch to imagine your words were inspired, at least partially, by Loughner's chilling mug shot. If not, then from experience walking among the lunatics. Most tragic is the "intellectual insanity" of the Left, most notably the "brilliant" president who called and thank Sheriff Dupnik, the same Sheriff who failed his community by allowing Loughner slip through the cracks of his jurisdiction. The same Sheriff who sounded quite mad to me in blaming everyone except the shooter, himself and the "policy" and philosophy that actually facilitated the terror.

Posted by: RedCarolina at January 11, 2011 3:19 PM

Nice piece G. When I first saw the mug shot on Drudge I immediately thought, damn ...Uncle Fester. If only he was as sane as Uncle Fester. I am actually starting to really worry about the sanity of the leftist media pundits. They are connecting dots that exist only in their imaginations.

Posted by: Dave J at January 11, 2011 5:20 PM

"To use insanity to count coup on political opponents is not insanity, it is evil."

Hear, hear. Folks that I know, just us chickens, are appalled and disgusted by what they they have witnessed as of late. In words attributed to Admiral Yamamoto: "I fear we have awakened a sleeping giant".

While we were sleeping, or maybe just being folks, blackguards have come in the night to steal our precious heritage. The folks are pissed. They are a prowling and a growling and sniffing the air. My bet is on us. This, too, shall pass.

Posted by: Roy Lofquist at January 11, 2011 5:55 PM

I wonder if there was prescribed child medication in his past. I can't fathom how the current crop of teachers would have allowed him to not be medicated for school. Surprisingly (or not), nobody seems to be asking.

Posted by: Roger Drew Williams at January 11, 2011 7:06 PM

The revulsion and disgust brought forth by this horrific tragedy should have been possible to exacerbate.

Our Betters And Their Media Pulpit have risen to the task. Sadly enough.

Once I knew the numbers and the i.d. and circumstances of the shooter, I just turned off the news. I only check back to in hopes of hearing that the wounded are improving.

Our political class is an embarrassment. But the media... they've become low traffic bloggers just chumming for traffic.

Posted by: TmjUtah at January 11, 2011 7:26 PM


The revulsion and disgust brought forth by this horrific tragedy should have been IMpossible to exacerbate.

Posted by: TmjUtah at January 11, 2011 7:45 PM

You are right, though, tmj: It was exacerbated. The possibilities are endless with the political opportunists.

Posted by: Jewel at January 11, 2011 8:00 PM

Tho photo is one that should be filed in the dictionary under "madman"
I could shoot him in the head and go have a cold drink.
I know it sounds redneck, but I am pissed about the little girl.

Posted by: flannelputz at January 14, 2011 7:55 PM