28 January 2011

'American Mental Illnesses': a self-diagnosis

Someone in downtown Troy, New York, has a habit of taping xeroxed advertisements for Alex Jones's conspiracy-mongering books and videos to the panes of bus shelters and vacant storefronts. He's brazen enough to leave these anti-government adverts in the middle of the downtown post office, and now, apparently, he's grown brave enough, or confident enough of his own opinions, to express himself directly. He's left copies of two different screeds throughout downtown. I've appropriated a copy of the one titled "American Mental Illnesses," which was drafted, with no sense of irony, on an Albany Medical Center history sheet. I transcribe the text in full below, adding boldface and italics for the sake of organizational clarity.

Sickness symptoms: To watch all you ever worked for and had wars for...to be played...given No voice...to be only given: spots & shots & parroting like tots...always stay a sleep for ever...In the Land of Never, Never...Brake-Stop -- Control -- Command -- New American God Union powers -- big Rx -- big city & state & God to all fed Government funding.

objective: Always, Always, Always...sound the trumpets the king is here. (Left or right) the game system: to make every Citizen Bad & mad and Blame game. To take all money to self fed. Government and lord over you all!!! Left & right take all your rights!

problems: 1) socialism: to own all you own even your very thoughts to be Controlled; every day!!!?
2) socialism: parroting to social mind (mass media owned & operated by Both sides left & right polly want a cracker! polly want a cracker!
3) socialism: control; no walls to stop; total Control all public places; cameras, Air ports, Bases, phones, Auto's, TV's, schools, sports stadiums, computers, ect.

objective: 4) socialism: finish you off, collect you up...Bring to camps...immunize forced, Gun control only Government counts and its Unions. total loss of freedoms.

* * *
I'm no psychologist, but I like to think that I recognize some pathologies when I see them. Do you suppose there are people like this outside the United States, outside of mental wards? Where else is an abstract concern with individual liberty taken to an existential level, and then beyond to mania? Don't look for economic analysis or anything resembling political science here; this manifesto is a confession of absolute fear of "control," an announcement of personal incompatibility with complex systems. To him, no doubt, my disparagement of his concerns only marks me as a "sheep" if not an actual conspirator against his freedom. Any suspicion I express regarding his mental health would only confirm for him the establishment's intention to brainwash him into dehumanized conformity with the god-state. There is, I fear, no arguing with this author, precisely because his problem is illness, not error.
Let's leave some room for nuance. The fact that I reject the writer's warnings doesn't make me an uncritical cheerleader for the establishment, nor does it signal a blind faith in "government" on my part. At the same time, not every person who considers the existing socio-cultural and political establishment oppressive is a mental case. However, this broadside demonstrates as baldly as possible that there is such a thing as irrational fear of government. Whether demagogic hucksters like Alex Jones contribute to or only corroborate such people's suspicions is open to debate. But here is definite linkage of a sort between rhetoric and behavior. The author is a fan of Jones; on the second broadside (Trojans will recognize it by the big "R" on top) he includes the infowars and prisonplanet web addresses. If the author is the person who's been promoting Jones's products, it would seem that he's been inspired, at the least, to put his own fears in writing for public consumption. What's the next step? There may not be one, but the stakes seem dangerously if not mortally high for our writer. His purpose here is not to propose remedies, but to sound a warning. But as to remedies: does anyone in America want this person to own a gun?...


Anonymous said...

At least here, in the "civilized" part of the nation, such a person is unlikely to be able to get the requisite references to meet the state's regulations. However, should this person manage to make it to, say Texas or Arizona or Colorado or one of the other states which have minimum regulation, he/she would merely have to show a current photo id and a quick background check to ensure he/she is not a convicted felon.

hobbyfan said...

I happened to see this today while waiting for the bus. First, it was the mental illness flier, and then, moving around to the bus shelter, was the usual Alex Jones promo garbage that also includes a handwritten plug for Jesse Ventura's TruTV show, Conspiracy Theory.

Whomever this person is, he/she isn't brazen enough until he/she gets a permit to hold a public forum at, say, Riverfront Park. We never see who it is who is posting these fliers, and until we do, I wouldn't take a lot of stock in what he/she has to say. Needs to work on formatting the personal fliers, BTW.