Andrew Hamm: the Bipolar Express

Ruminations on theatre, music, and just about anything else that crosses my bipolar brain.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Charles Krauthammer: "A Moment of Silence"

Krauthammer echoes my revulsion with political opportunism in Friday's column, which reads, in part:

If we are going to look for a political issue here, the more relevant is not gun control but psychosis control. We decided a half a century ago that our more eccentric and, indeed, crazy fellow citizens would not be easily locked in asylums. It was a humane decision, but with the inevitable consequence that some who really need quarantine are allowed to roam the streets....

In a previous age, such a troubled soul might have found himself at the state mental hospital rather than a state university. But in a trade-off that a decent and tolerant society makes with open eyes, we allow freedom from straitjackets to those on the psychic edge, knowing that such tolerance runs a very rare but very terrible risk.

I differ with Krauthammer on the need for more gun control, but his commentary on the risk of the psychotic in a free society is interesting. And Krauthammer brings more light to a baffling and shameful speech of Barack Obama's, wherein he compared the violence of mass murder to the violence of Don Imus and outsourcing. Yes, outsourcing.

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  • At 4/24/2007 5:10 PM , Blogger Joey Fanelli said...

    Maybe Obama really is an idiot.

  • At 4/24/2007 8:13 PM , Blogger Frank Creasy said...

    I've not seen the text of Obama's speech, and I trust, Andrew, that you have good enough discretion not to take it so far out of context as to distort the meaning (it sounds pretty damning, though I've not made up my mind on Obama, or many other candidates, just yet...except Hillary, who's just like Fredo. She's dead to me).

    However, I must say that Krauthammer alludes to some very serious concerns here. Our whole perception of "normal" versus "abnormal" has been minimized, rationalized, and politically-correct-ized to explain away all sorts of bizarre, aberrant behaviors. The hippies espoused "do your own thing", which in the popular vernacular has been dumbed down (surprising as THAT idea may be) to simply, "whatever." Until the looney straps on a bomb or walks down the hallway with both guns blazing, few have the courage to hold him accountable for his perverse viewpoints; more lamentable is the lack of societal safeguards that would enforce such courageous actions by a Good Samaritan.

    The lunatics do, indeed, run the asylum. Question is, who else ya gonna get to run your government, write your newspapers, and broadcast your evening news?


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