Mama, We’re All Crazy Now by Stan Slap
Wait a minute — what has happened to us? People are afraid all the time — a low, humming anxiety. We’re angry and quick to direct it at others, to be self-righteous, intolerant and unforgiving. We’re obsessed with the lifestyles of the rich and heinous and take delight in turning the sordid affairs of others into celebrity status. We’re hungry for something even though we’re fed constantly. We’re complacent but restless. We’re desperate to feel yet eager to be anesthetized. We categorize our own inconveniences as nightmares and stay uninvolved in fixing real nightmares of those less fortunate. We’re sure we’re going to Heaven if we can prevent others from getting there first to spoil it.
I know a lot of very accomplished people; nobody sleeps without chomping down a couple of Ambien brownies. Anyone who feels anything is feeling a cold breath that whispers we are somehow vulnerable and incomplete.
How, exactly, did we let this happen? This is not our true character; this is not who we ever wanted to become.
It’s not some cosmic coincidence. If we can be kept uncertain and angry (anger being the normal psychological response to fear), feeling like victims — helpless and unaccountable for what happens to us, and hungry to be something we’re not… then anyone can sell us anything. From consumer to citizen, someone is always trying to sell us something and you can bet they’ve figured this out.
It’s not always easy to see — it’s relentless but subtle. It wasn’t one obvious body blow; it was a lot of paper cuts to the soul that went unnoticed, untreated and that infected our true sense of self. It has taken its toll. And the only thing we can do — what we must do — is to take it back.
It starts with knowing yourself. If you don’t know what’s true for you, everyone else has unusual influence. Understand who you are and who your people are. Gather them — your chosen community of relatives, friends and neighbors. Let them know who they are, stand by them and expect the same. Humanity is only undependable when you don’t start from humanity in the first place.
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“The last thing I want to say is ‘I’m a victim,’ but I am. I believe it’s a trickledown from Bush.” -Courtney Love