There are gradations to crazy.
Look to a certain extent we can’t help living in the crazy years. Okay, sure, we can’t help living in the crazy years because we’re alive now and the years sure are crazy, but that’s not what I mean.
What I mean is that as a society we can’t help being a little crazy, simply because we have more abundance than any other time before us. We have time for humans to get a little insane.
A wise rabbi once said “man doesn’t live of bread alone” and he was right, of course. But for most of human history the quest for bread was so difficult that it consumed much of human thoughts and resources. And therefore it kept you grounded in reality to an extent.
I grew up in a place where earning your daily living still took a marked amount of time, and required you to have some (at least contact with reality.) We had crazy. Of course we had crazy. Crazy is when the human mind, which thinks in stories, interacts with the world which doesn’t come in stories, and tries to impose the wrong story on the world. But there are degrees of wrong.
The first level of crazy is barely crazy at all. You’re actually pretty on point with the world, but you have some quirky habits or some strange ideas about subjects so rare and strange that they rarely show up in your environment. You’re still a decent worker/father/mother, but you have what the regency called “an odd kick in your gallop.”
A lot of us here are like that. Heck, I was like that growing up. I went to school, I worked, I did what I had to do at home, but I had this bizarre fascination with science fiction, wanted humans to go off world, and was passionate about things like “future history.” It was crazy because 90% of people in my society then didn’t give a good goddamn about this stuff, but also because a lot of my ideas back then were sideways and upside down to reality. But unless you were going to put me in charge of planning trips to other worlds, or a future government, no one had any reason to care. In fact, unless you wound me up or read my (rather wretched) fiction, you had absolutely no reason to even know about my crazy. I presented as an awkward girl with remarkably few feminine gifts. (In the “My daughter has made blah blah for her trousseau” competition, mom must have had a heck of a time.)
Then there is what I’d call crazy-crazy. A classmate of mine from elementary school went clean out of her head and decided she was the real queen of Portugal (which, btw, is not a monarchy). That’s not funny and it can be downright embarrassing/distressing for friends and family. Particularly since the family was then trying to marry her off (I’m trying to remember whether they did. Mom never told me.)
People will gossip, conversation becomes a minefield, and you have to worry “what if it gets worse? what if she decides we kidnapped her?”
Crazy-Crazy is not pretty, but it can be handled. In this case, the girl thought she was the real queen of Portugal in durance vile and in disguise in a farmer’s household. She still did her work, pulled her weight, dressed herself, etc. You might have to call her “your majesty” leading to awkward things like “Has your majesty milked the cows?” but while a tragedy for the person and near relatives, crazy-crazy is not in itself evil and does not in itself create problems for people who don’t have to deal with you personally.
Then there’s insane-crazy. Insane crazy usually involves complex theories and rather bizarre constructions-in-the-head. It can be harmless or not, and it usually requires one to be comfortable enough not to need to work. The local example of this insane crazy was fairly harmless. He was a well-to-do young man who had been in an engineering degree when his head went askew. He sat at one of the city coffee shops, drawing up increasingly more elaborate plans for an intercontinental bridge to the Americas. And it isn’t just that he thought his continuous improvements could now deal with the tides, or that he kept coming up with things like artificial islands to help anchor it, but also to provide hotels and restaurants for rest stops, no. It’s that if you sat down with him and let him explain his magnificent dream, in the end he’d always explain to you that it could never sink, and wouldn’t dissolve in salt water, because it was… made entirely out of soap.
Long ago people had stopped trying to explain to him stuff like “Soap still dissolves in salt water, it just doesn’t foam” and structural integrity and… well… anything. The basics of his insanity weren’t debatable for him, because he was right, you were wrong.
An author that shall not be named, because he’s the last thing we need here, who wrote what is possibly the worst book in the world, and drew the cover himself, suffers from that kind of insane crazy. He knows his book is the best in the world. He knows he’ll win the Noble (!) and the Oscar (!!!!) for it, and it will be acclaimed as a great book in human history.
His premises are just as crazy as the one about soap and sea water. You see, h created a character without flaws, and he thinks no one ever did it, and also that it’s going to revolutionize literature. And you can’t convince him otherwise, so if you try you get screaming about how you’re jealous and you’re trying to bring this book down because of your (atheist, no seriously. Even though the book is not in any way religious) evil agenda.
Why is this more serious than crazy-crazy? Because not only can these fantasies be seductive, and persuasive to people who shouldn’t be that crazy, but they have so many built-in begs and inner explanations that once someone is infected it’s hard to get out. Marx also tried to build a bridge out of soap, planned in every exact detail, and didn’t listen to things already known to economists in his time including “that’s not how any of this works” and “Good heavens, man, you didn’t account for distribution.” and “the problems you highlight are already getting resolved.” But his theory had so many begs and excuses and was so infective his bridge made out of soap has put 100 million in their graves over the 20th century and threatens to put more.
Insane crazy is a proof of “idle hands” (and brains) “are the devil’s playground.”
But there is worse. There is bad-crazy.
Bad crazy often starts as a bridge made out of soap. Insane-crazy, a theory dreamed by some college professor with too much time on his or these days often her hands and an ax to grind or a pony to ride.
But it’s such a just-so story it spreads and hides. It hides so well that people don’t realize they’re infected. But its distorting effects twist society’s processes to the point that something vital stops working.
Yes, the entire myth of “toxic masculinity” is one of these. It was born of the disappointment of feminists. Look, in the days when women were actually held back, those that made it were exceptional people.
Since I grew up in pre-history, or rather in Portugal (in some ways, same thing) in the 60s, where sexism was matter of fact and every day, I can tell you that, yes, to have the same grades as a boy you needed to work twice as hard, be brighter, more nimble, and more consistently good. Any boy started out with a good 20% on me in any teacher’s head, because “boys are smarter” wasn’t disputed, or even questioned.
So I understand that in the early twentieth century, women that made it to positions of prominence, where they became known for professional excellence, had to be GOOD at it. Amazing, in fact.
And even then, they might hit a glass ceiling, because they were the nail that stuck up. Everything conspired to bring them down.
Female liberation was played against this. People looked at these women, knew what they’d achieved against what obstacles, and dreamed that “if only women were allowed to be on an even footing with men, they’d be the best at everything. Every woman would be a leader.”
This is a form of insanity, because women are still human, and most humans are… average. That’s why they call it “average.”
But you can see how what they saw would deceive them.
Except that the obstacles were removed and women… were people. Sure. There are exceptional women, just as there are exceptional men, but in many ways, even with contraceptives, we women are still running with our legs in a biological sack. Oh, men too. They’re just different sacks. And men’s impairments, in a way, apply better to business, to creating, to competition.
Look, it’s become “sexist” to refer to PMS and women’s hormonal cycle as being at all different than men’s hormonal gearing up. Yeah. Any ideology that requires me to ignore my lying eyes in favor of their theory is bad-crazy which can destroy society, so these are my middle fingers. Reality is what it is.
Having gone the full ride on the hormonal roller coaster, being a woman built mostly by nature to make more humans, let me tell you, it ain’t easy. The hormonal ramp up of puberty is probably worse for boys, but the monthly ride of women is… interesting. I had years of having really bad pains, which meant if I had a test on one of those days I had to work DESPITE it. How bad? well, neither of my giving-birth experiences were worse, and in fact the second was much milder, until they gave me pitosin (the second started out with pitosin) and then with the ramping up of pain of pitosin, and giving birth in one and a half hours (long story. Let’s say they believed the report on the first birth, which had been doctored (ah!) and should never have given me the d*mn thing) was about the same as I used to endure for two or three days straight. And yes, I studied and took finals under that kind of pain, with no pain killers because most of them just make me more ill and woozy.
Then there were my middle years where I’d get unreasonably angry and borderline-violent for about a week before. It took a lot of engineering my own brain and knowing “this isn’t real, it’s hormonal” to stop myself being hell to live with. And sometimes I didn’t manage it. I’d be in the back of my brain, watching the rest of me rage and go “what the heck? Why am I doing that.”
And then there were various dysfunctions. We won’t go there, because most women don’t get those. But menopause… well… it’s special. I seem to have elided most of it, because I went into it surgically and with a hammer, having everything removed and having to cope, which at least was over in a few months. But I’ve seen relatives and friends go through it: it can stretch to five years of having NO discernible mind. You forget everything, lose everything, can’t sleep, can’t keep commitments, etc. And we still haven’t come up with a replacement that has no bad effects and makes actual sense. We’re trying.
Anyway, so yeah, women are running with their feet in a sack. But most of them are about average for normal human beings. So, yeah, they can do jobs and perform well, despite all of that. What you’re never going to get is “every woman excells”. Even if you stop the hormonal side effects, most women will lack the drive, the brain or the NEED to excel.
Men’s testosterone makes them more competitive, and so in a way gives them a bit more drive, but most of them are still unfocused/not ambitious enough to SACRIFICE to be the best. Because, guess what, success always requires sacrifice. And human beings don’t like to sacrifice.
So, women entered the workforce and most of them became… average. Which of course they would.
But feminist insanity required every woman to be exceptional. And so theories to explain it came up, including seeing patriarchy and oppression in ever-smaller things, including “she’s bossy” and “boys will be boys.”
And then we have toxic masculinity. Is there toxic masculinity? Of course there is. Well, there is toxic and it can have a masculine expression. Because of obvious biological differences, the most toxic of women will have issues beating up people or raping them. It can be done, but it won’t be common.
Is masculinity toxic? Not more than femininity. The latest insistence on doing everything the feminine way has got us “feminine business” and “feminine politics” where everything is run on image, innuendo and gossip: the female version of toxicity. You’re either with the group or out, and if you’re out we’ll demonize you.
So blaming everything on men is bad-crazy.
I have a friend who has been trying to defend the Gillette add as in “But they’re giving to causes that help raise boys who are fatherless” etc. I love her to death, but no. While that might be laudable, the fact is that that add is another brick in the wall of “If you’re a woman and your life isn’t perfect it’s a man’s fault.”
This bad crazy not only destroys marriages, it destroys GIRLS. You see that thing above “to succeed you must sacrifice?” If you infect females with the idea that they’re owed success and if they don’t get it, it’s men’s fault, you’re both undermining them and turning them into rage-filled screeching monkeys, who are exactly zero use to society. (Oh, but they vote for Marxists, so I guess there’s that.)
Worse, this bad crazy is riding on other bad crazy. Which like most bad crazy since the twentieth century has its origins on the insane crazy of Marx.
The question is, WHY was this ad made at all? It certainly doesn’t sell razors. So, why?
Because for decades we’ve taught our children their most important role in life is the crazy cakes “change the world” or “make a difference” and the difference they’re supposed to make is in the class-war (or race war, or sex war now) sense of bringing about the Marxist paradise. We tell them they’re supposed to speak for the voiceless, then tell them the voiceless are the “designated victim classes” (whom frankly we can’t get to SHUT UP.) We tell them this is what gives meaning to life. We tell them through school, through entertainment, through news narratives, through the people who are being lionized.
And this is bad crazy. Really bad crazy. By itself it is a wrench that will take society apart. We have publishers, writers, journalists, and probably taxi drivers, policemen, engineers and who knows what, increasingly convinced their highest calling is not doing their job, but “educating” or “improving” or “raising the consciousness of” other people.
Even for a credo that worked with humanity — say Christianity — when a society becomes convinced pushing the idea is more important than doing their job, the wheels come off (see Portugal during the discoveries.) BUT when the credo is neo-Marxism, or actually “increasingly elaborate excuses as for the only thing Marxism brings about is death” it’s exponentially worse.
It’s also the explanation for why the wheels come off every field that gets taken over by the left: because the people in those fields stop understanding what their actual job is.
And it’s everywhere. At such a deep level that most people — even those mad at Gillette — didn’t see that the actual problem is that no one involved in the damn ad understood it had NOTHING to do with SELLING the product.
It’s bad crazy. There’s a lot of bad crazy running in the world. And we must stop it — and build under, build over, build around — or it will kill society.
Seeing it and asking “But what does this have to do with what you’re supposed to do?” is sometimes enough. And if it isn’t we need to create parallel structures and companies and fields that actually perform that function.
Or we weill sink like a bridge made of soap.