Used to be, in the old days, I reflected, we sent the really crazy family members to the far corners of the compound. They could rattle all day in their chains, and still be fed and occasionally humored and talked to.
Nowadays, my friend was suggesting, everybody is crazy, and they’re all loose in the asylum. They’re not confined to the far reaches, either. You can run into them just about any hour of the day, and they’ll be in your face and roaring in your ear.
In Eureka Springs, this last weekend, at our hotel, a man took from the trunk of his black Mercedes an AR-15 and fondled it, caressed it as a lover would his beloved (my son Gabe told me this story). Glad I wasn’t there. I would’ve opened my big, anti-NRA mouth and got in trouble. Let boys be boys, hey, and fondle their automatic weapons.
In Fayetteville, we just had a human rights ordinance pass, designed to protect LGBT rights, and the losing side, religious nuts and allies, sued the city. Not only poor losers, but unwilling and unable to accept the rising secular tide of fairness for all. It’s all about them, of course, and that millennia-old book of perversions and persecutions called the bible.
Also in Northwest Arkansas, a young man charged with murdering a jogger said he thought that shooting him, as he ran along a path, would make him (the shooter) feel better. Evidently, it did not.
Of course, it’s not just the crazy family members that we love to tell stories about, and keep in their place, if we can, in the far corners of the compound or the mind. It’s every other living, stretching, talking, gawking, fame-seeking human being on the planet.
Don’t tell me the next time someone shoots up the neighborhood that he was always so kind and helpful, always so quiet. Of course he was, the crazy fucker, he was hiding it all so that when he broke out, fearfully and violently, into the open, his insanity would be all the more spectacular and effective.
We live with insanity daily, and some of it is our own.