Friday, July 22, 2011

Combatwords, July 22, 2011: Insanity

Combatwords, July 22, 2011: Insanity

If you tell me that psychosis, neurosis or any flavor of insanity is a mere social construct, I’m going to ask who diagnosed you crazy and why you have a problem with shrinks. We want to be outsiders, but not too far outside. You don’t want to be too much of a conformist, but if you’re too much of a weirdo, you’re not going to get the boy/girl/gold/glory and might as well eat corn chips until you’re the size of a fridge. Insanity might be a social construct, but what are you suggesting—that you’re outside society? That you eat dinner in the morning and make conversation with ghosts? I’ve got news for you—that’s basically insanity. I mean sure, personally, I’d just call you eccentric; but I’m not a judge on American Idol and I’m not your therapist either. And these freaks are on the lookout for any abnormal behavior (BF Skinner won), so if you can’t wear your best ‘I’m normal’ hat, you’d best expect trouble.

I can’t even remember if I’ve done this topic before, but I selected it because it seems like the in-thing lately is to get 5150’ed and involuntarily spend your money on a nuthouse. I have a friend who mentioned that she once wanted to kill herself to her shrink—so the therapist of course locked her up right then and there. So this is the opposite vector—if you go around talking about how uncomfortable this rotten world makes you feel, get ready for more rottenness. In her case, she couldn’t even talk about how rotten she USED to feel. Even those who are paid to professionally deal with insanity don’t want to hear it. So don’t tell me it’s ‘only’ a social construct. Maybe insanity is an analytic concept, but what are you going to do? Fight a mental health institution? That’s sounding pretty nutty to me.

Combat Expiration: 12am PST 7/25/2011

Critique Expiration: 12am PST, 7/27/2011

Bonuses/Penalties: +2 if posted by 7pm PST, 7/22/2011; +1 if posted by 2am PST, 7/23/2011. -1 if posted by 6am PST, 7/27/2011; -2 if posted by 12pm PST, 7/27/2011

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  1. Grace


    until she remembered you
    then her eyes
    looking off to the side
    her voice would slip
    out sideways
    sliding to her tv
    where glow-in-the-dark
    plastic hands prayed to jesus
    all night long
    her wire wrapped stories
    would spill pink-tongued
    from her mouth
    full of indentured servitude
    her arms fluttering too fast
    for her worn cotton house dress
    imprinted with
    an almost memory
    of ripe cherries
    and mildewed newspapers
    while she worried worried
    that she smelled
    to high heaven
    washing her hands again again
    hot water running over
    such secret stories
    told between the petals
    of her painted flowers

    when i was five
    she collected prints
    children and
    dogs and kitty cats
    all with empty eyes
    brimming with tears
    and she wept
    when my daddy said grace
    at thanksgiving
    her coat hanger shoulders
    shaking shaking
    rhinestones flashing
    in the frames of her glasses
    the lime jello day
    she died
    nothing more
    nothing less
    why didn't i tell you

    one day
    i too
    will feed
    invisible cats
    and fill notebooks
    with the names
    of people
    i love

  2. Partisan Musth

    They trumpet and rage and gnash their teeth, and wildly thrash their trunks,
    these once peaceable behemoths, now busy hurling their bulks
    about like wrecking balls crashing through the tent poles,
    threatening to pull the big top down with their tusks.
    In the past, mad pachyderms were shot at once,
    decreed too dangerous to perform their tasks.
    But now we cower before these fake Ganeshas who tower over us.
    We are afraid of being crushed; we, their mousy steeds, their Mooshikas,
    who have carried them this far, only to be crushed
    in a fit of pique incomprehensible
    to creatures more emotionally stable, more sensible.
    We should consider doing what they do India,
    where elephants are still considered useful,
    and tie them up and let them starve for several days until the fever passes.
    Despite the hooves, I’ll risk the kicks and get behind the asses.

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  5. Mens perditus

    "My dear Glaucon, good day."

    "Ah, Socrates, good day. What is is my good fortune that errand has brought you to cross my path?"

    " Errand and the path to which it brought me here and now are in fact one and the same."

    "Yes? well I am here. Have a seat"

    " I have been wondering what causes a man to lose his mind. More than that, how is it one has lost his mind for good? The word, Glaucon, for the broad subject has of loosing ones mind has just came to me. Insanity."

    "hmmm, It is a good word for such a term."

    "Yes and yet it is as a hole that has opened up under the sea. That kind that forms the whirlpools sometimes glimpsed and described by foreign merchants and sailors. Yes? Shall we fill the hole as does the whirlpool?

    " Oh I think we shall with one amendment. That we do it quickly as I have a meeting with senator Tyrion at suns 3rd quater.

    "Very well Glaucon. As a man has lost his mind or one who is "Insane" as the opposite of sane. Let us say a smithy has lost his children to a bloody murder and at his loss has decided to take such actions of revenge which he normally would not consider himself nor other just citizens. Would this man fit the definition?

    "yes I should think so."

    "Would the man seeking revenge also not care very little for his health in such a manner as one in his situation. This being a principal abnormality in what one considers as sane?"


    " Ah but would not any citizen or normal person act in such a fashion?"

    yes I should think so"

    " so this man, the one who has had his family bloodily murdered before his eyes is not in fact insane but following what any normal person would do in that situation. Yes?"

    " well ah.. yes I suppose... you know I do have to be going shortly and I don' think.."

    " ah but we have just started my dear Glaucon. What of the man who sits naked in the streets and shouts outlandishly at the citizens and who is intelligent but lives in squalor unable to communicate his thoughts or ideas. Like a man from a different culture who does not speak this language.....(as Socrates continues on with his allegory Glaucon slowly slips a a blade from his robe)

    " Do you think yes? Glaucon!?"...."Glaucon what is that blade in your hand? Glaucon?

    " I am sick of answering in the affirmative. I will stabeth thee in the right eye"

    " Glaucon are you attempting a role play of insanity? oh very good indeed"

    (Glaucon swicthes the grip of the knife in his hand and thrusts the blade solidly into the right eye of his former freind Socrates.)

    "Indeed, Socrates"

  6. Hiki +2 reminiscent of a style I used to see a lot on cl from a particular writer and I think it fits well with the theme

    Seann or R toady?
    +1 for a moment of madness at the circus and the sane perspective that was able to analyze it

    J chon obviously this is close to the heart and as such reflects in your piece. Not that I read rolling stone magazine or the like but I very well could imagine something like this in it +2 poetry prose mix thought it worked pretty well but -1 for using a collective soul song.....(kidding)

    For me I found myself way too funny +2 and originality in using socrates and glaucon +.5 round to +1. However it was impatiently written -1