“Your son and daughter are going to die in a car crash!” The short, red-faced man is poking his finger at me and standing way too close for comfort. This might feel like super-bad mojo if I had kids. It still feels a little crazy, as so many things do these days.
I had just left the grocery store and made a friendly comment to an older fellow on the sidewalk. “I love your overalls – you don’t see enough of them anymore.” He smiled, his chubby cheeks rounding. “Very practical,” he said.
From behind me, a voice said, “Pretty soon we’re all going to be dressed the same.”
“Excuse me?” I turned to see Short-Angry man hurrying to catch up to me.
“Yeah, in drab, gray jumpsuits like the Russians when the Communists took over.”
(I think he was talking about the Chinese, but hey, what’s the difference?)
“Oh,” I said, now understanding what I was dealing with. “I don’t see any indication of that. Now excuse me while I go get in my car over here with the Obama sticker.”
Short-Angry followed me to my car. “You know, he wants cars to get 50 miles-to-the-gallon!”
“Yeah, wouldn’t that be awesome?” I said. “We would get a lot more gas for our money.” I didn’t mention climate change or air pollution, not wanting to have to physically defend myself.
This is when he cursed my non-existent children. “Your son and daughter are going to die in a car crash! The cars will be made out of all light shit, and we’re all going to die!” This might not have been his words exactly, but I caught the gist and exclamation points as I closed and locked my car door.
I might have just chalked this up to some sort of mental imbalance, impulse control, whatever, except that I’ve been hearing and seeing so much of it lately.
It seems America has a raging personality disorder.
Diagnosing the Patient
I used to think it was pure Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Some of the characteristics used to identify NPD are vanity, conceit, extreme self-centeredness, arrogance, bravado, entitlement, grandiosity, and self-righteousness. In the extreme, this can result in exploitation of others, manipulation, isolation, and rage.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my country, but I do see signs of this disorder from time to time. It can be more or less apparent depending on who is president, but there’s a poisonous streak of it in our DNA, I think.
Lately, I’ve come to believe that our diagnosis is more complicated. There’s a touch of Borderline Personality Disorder, surely. Swinging from one extreme to the other every election cycle, blaming others for our ills, and believing that our version of reality is the only possibility and anyone who doesn’t agree is evil or delusional. And worthy of a few drone attacks, or maybe going to Hell.
These days, there is a strong streak of Dissociative Identity Disorder, formerly known as multiple personalities. Red state, blue state. The media feeds this – journalists are taught to look for conflict, not harmony. “The People,” though, are sick of it — even as we often engage in it ourselves. My finger is pointed at myself, here.
Suicidal Nation – Guns & Climate
Sadly, this combination of chronic disorders becomes seriously acute when gun control or climate change gets mentioned. This has literal life and death consequences. We can’t get our fingers out of our ears and stop yelling, “Nyah, nyah” at each other long enough to stop our own suicide.
I’ve ranted on climate change in this space before. Today’s irrational, reality-denying, suicidal issue is gun control.
Setting aside the National Rifle Association going completely over the sanity cliff and the conspiracy theorists who say that Sandy Hook was a hoax, here is an authentic recent offering from a “Friend” of mine on Facebook:
“I’m talking about our government dictating what our rights are, taking them from us when the constitution guarantees them for us. Spouting it’s for our own good. Ok. Then… Outlaw cigarettes. They are cancer causing and addictive (and I don’t smoke so others shouldn’t either) No reason for them. Outlaw alcohol. This would eliminate drunk driving and related health issues (or did they try that already). Outlaw fast food. Causes obesity and no reason go it [sic] (I don’t eat it so I don’t care about it). Outlaw muscle cars and sports cars. They are designed to go faster then the national speed limit and have no place on the road. And since I don’t own a corvette or any other car like that then others shouldn’t either. Outlaw them all !!! I want the government to step in and regulate our lives, tell us where to go, what to eat, control what TV we watch and take that and the Internet also (yes, other countries control all of that). There is a huge band wagon out there which has spun as politically correct which everybody is jumping on… You better hope your [sic] right, and I want to see how every body [sic] who does jump on it reacts when the government we have strips you all of something you believe in… Let’s take religion. If the government feels like it wants to control how we pray, or if we can, or to who! How would you feel. It’s in the construction [constitution], but hey, that can be changed apparently. And Obama is stating he can step over the congress to do so with out giving them a say in the matter. Don’t think that could happen? It’s happening right now on another issue that you don’t care about. Wait till it happens to one you do. It may be to [sic] late by then…”
How is that anything but certifiable paranoia? He forgot the part about all of us dressed in “drab, gray jumpsuits;” otherwise, he’s done a good job of channeling the red state psyche. (In southern Virginia the other day, I saw an “O’Vomit” bumpersticker. Har, har, har.)
I don’t believe my response to his rant was paranoid, but I will own up to being passive-aggressive. For my “gun-toting friends,” I posted this:
Another friend pointed out that “gun-toting” might not have been the most constructive term. I meant it as tongue-in-cheek, similar to the way they call me a “tree hugger,” but OK, I’ll try to behave.
Anyway, I’m willing to lay down my sarcastic, passive-aggressive behavior and take my fingers out of my ears if the people in the red states would be willing to admit that maybe, just maybe,
WE SHOULD NOT HAVE FREAKIN’ MACHINE GUNS IN OUR NEIGHBORHOODS!!!
That’s my humble opinion. What’s yours?