‘All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.’ George Orwell
‘All human beings are mentally ill, but some human beings are more mentally ill than others.’ Philip Rose
And so we reach October 10th, 2013. For billions of people, just another day. Statistically, for about one in 366 people, it will be a birthday and for some it will be a wedding anniversary, or some other type of celebration. Thousands of people will welcome a new life beginning, and as many people will grieve as an old life ends. Some person somewhere will have their life unceremoniously ended by a random bomb or drone attack, and someone somewhere else will be off to work in a munitions factory. Meanwhile, a few people will know that this is World Mental Health Day. But in the grand scheme of things, not that many.
Throughout the world, every forty seconds, someone somewhere will decide to end their own life. Depending on how fast you read, a handful of people who were alive when you logged in will have chosen to be no longer with us. Give them some thought, perhaps, and if you are that way inclined, pray for them. But don’t forget to pray for the living. They are more in need of it.
To a great extent, the subject matter of this blog has shown that human nature is inclined to insanity. One of the signs of being mentally ill is to continue to believe something when it has been proven, beyond shadow of a doubt, to be false. By this definition, George Bush, Tony Blair, Alastair Campbell and virtually every other politician is mentally ill, as are the majority of voters. The 9/11 perpetrators were nearly all from Saudi Arabia, but it provided a good excuse to attack Iraq and Afghanistan. And of course, the Weapons of Mass Destruction never existed. But we were convinced, weren’t we?
Human beings continue to destroy the very environment in which we live. We continue to lead a way of life that is totally unsustainable. Nothing like collective madness to make us feel better.
Not content with messing things up for ourselves, we drug our kids with Ritalin in a effort to make them slightly less of an inconvenience. If we can’t get Ritalin, we allow them to self-medicate with booze and weed. The new sensible approach to a civilised world.
We convince ourselves, or are convinced by others, that the major world problems are inevitable – not instigated and exacerbated by the amoral bankers and immoral capitalists who will stop at nothing to line their own pockets, while the finger of blame points inexorably to the poor and less fortunate members of society.
So what can we learn from this blog? That human existence is indeed one of perpetual mental illness. And those who so vehemently say they are not mentally ill are usually the ones who are the true lunatics – the lunatics who have taken over the asylum. How else could a story of anti-bullying be supported by people who advocate the worst possible solutions to human problems – violence and revenge? Those of us who dared to stand up for forgiveness and understanding and the extension of love and compassion were trampled in the rush by those who wanted to persecute innocent people and who, quite literally, wanted to condemn school children, guilty of no other crime than simply doing what children are wont to do in moments of inexperienced stupidity, to prison, condemnation and, at the worst, death. The innocent were condemned to death without trial.
And all for what? Some girl who nobody had ever heard of decides to make yet another attention-seeking video, a fictional work designed entirely to make her look like a victim and a martyr, and millions of people respond to it as if it were the truth. Not one single word in the video is the truth, yet people fell for it hook line and sinker. They took the video and used it for their own tawdry purposes – the Press couldn’t resist highlighting the salacious aspects of it to get more readers; the TV companies filled a few minutes of their packed schedules just so their viewers would get their daily dose of empty anger and shock; the Internet fanatics used it to promote their blogs, or to issue yet another fatuous Facebook page where they could all pretend to be the next Mother Theresa or Chad Varah.
Meanwhile, the story is exploited. The mother – in herself, an interesting case of mental illness – continues to milk the story for money, all the time existing in a state of delusional denial and avoidance of the blame that she so richly deserves, having spent at least the last 12 months, if not the last three years, on an all-expenses paid holiday in Cloud Cuckoo Land. Lazy journalists still – though less often – revisit the story to see if it is still alive. Organisations, in a desperate attempt for publicity, attach the story to whatever product or event that would fail without it. And the freaks still persevere with their many Facebook pages.
They are all mentally ill. You are all mentally ill. We are all mentally ill. And that’s the way it will always be. I leave you with an amusing article from Stewart Lee. We are, indeed, all fucked.
“We’re fucked. We’re absolutely fucked.” “Sit down and be quiet sir,” said a member of staff, “you’re upsetting everyone.”