Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Fine Line Between Crazy and Crazy

I read a story at an atheism website titled Loopy Christian College Kid Stabs Himself at Atheist Gathering to Prove God Exists, about a guy who stabbed himself in the hand in front of an atheist group as a way of proving the existence of God.  Now obviously, the guy's crazy.  I mean, duh.  I don't care who you are, when you're stabbing yourself in the back of the hand to prove a point, you're not dealing from a full deck.

But what's odd is reading the comments there.  At first, the general consensus is that the guy is crazy and worthy of snark.  Here are the first three comments:
"Okay, I know I’m a bit slow but could someone please explain just how the fuck stabbing yourself in the hand with a pen proves the existence of a god, ANY god?  These people really are loopy, I sometimes wonder if there was a case for eugenics when I read this sort of shit."

"I know, Graham – lol – one word, KNOB!!!!! "

"Well he certainly convinced me…..that religion makes people incredibly stupid."
But soon, there was a change in the tone of the comments, from snark to pity.  And the later consensus is that the guy has a mental illness and needs help.  And again, well duh.

Too Crazy to Insult

And my question is: How is there a difference between "Crazy religious fundie" and "mentally ill guy who needs help"?  As if it's ok to make fun of a crazy person, as long as they're not TOO crazy.  And I see this same thing with attacks on stupid people.  As if it's ok to make fun of people for being stupid, unless they're TOO stupid; in which case we pity them and refer to them with the euphemistic "mentally challenged."

And I've just never understood that.  Because no one wants to be stupid or crazy.  And anyone who is stupid or crazy is obviously too stupid or crazy to know any better, otherwise they wouldn't be that way.  That just goes without saying.

And of course, there is no specific line that says one guy is "crazy" while another has a mental illness, or one guy is stupid and the other "mentally challenged."  We're all part of a continuum of the same thing, and one guy's average intelligence is another guy's moron.  No matter how smart you are, there's always someone else who thinks you're an idiot; and he might be right.

And it's fun to make fun of people who do and say crazy shit.  It's how we cope with the crazy shit that goes on every day.  And as long as the people involved don't get their feelings hurt by it, it's all in good fun.  But we need to stop pretending there are huge distinctions between the people we mock and the ones we pity.

Crazy Is as Crazy Does

When Michele Bachmann recites crazy stuff that displays her immense ignorance, yes it's funny and we'd be wrong to let it go unchallenged.  But she should still be pitied, as she's too stupid and crazy to know any better; and the real problem isn't that she's ignorant, but that she was put in a position of power.  Unfortunately, she's too stupid and crazy to know any better and apparently imagines she has some chance at becoming president.  And that's yet more evidence of how stupid and/or crazy she is.

It's not as fun to think this way, but we should all be pitied.  We're all humans and we all have our failings.  We all say stupid stuff and we're all crazy.  The only distinction between us is how functional we are with our stupidity and craziness. Some people simply lack the tools required to function properly with what they've been given, and sometimes they crack and do horrible things.  And once we realize that, we get closer to being able to help them before they crack.

There is no line that says one guy is sane, another crazy, and yet another mentally ill.  We're all in the same boat and we all need a helping hand.  And the ones we fear most are the ones that need the most help.  But we all need help at some point or another.  It's still ok to snark at the stupid and crazy things people do, but that doesn't permit us to neglect our duty to help these people when they need it.  And with any luck, the stupid crazy people will soon be smarter and saner, and will snark at their past indiscretions along with us.

1 comment:

Doctor Biobrain said...

It didn't really fit with the sincere nature of my post, but I would like to assure everyone that I absolutely do NOT deserve to be pitied. While I've had my share of stupid/crazy moments, I'll be the first to laugh at them and would hate to think that anyone has pity for me.

But I'm definitely an exception to the rule, and would much rather have people's envy than pity. Trust me, everyone wants to be me. I just happen to be the lucky one who got to do it.