Electro Convulsive Therapy,(ECT) is a procedure where they attach electrodes to your head and let low voltage currents trigger brief seizures. These in turn cause a change in your brain chemistry that reverses certain mental illnesses. I think we are ready for it….as a nation.
Hopefully the outcome of this process is a return to normalcy and therein lies the true enigma. What is normal today? Who defines the standard? How do we know he or she has it right? We even have some outlying groups claiming that our definition of normal is just a ruse on our part to keep them from being part of society. I’d like to think a cottage by a babbling brook would suit most but I think somehow even that Elysian Field would come under fire from one flank or the other.
Don’t look back because the world is changing at warp speed. Common decency and good will towards men are in the rear view mirror. Just look at the news of the last week. Hulk Hogan sued Gawker for posting a sex video of he and his best friend’s wife. He was awarded $140 million. A young singer is gunned down as she is signing autographs after one of her first shows. A Stanford freshman is given six months for raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. The parents and judge say the kid’s life is ruined for twenty minutes of stupidity. We should feel sorry for him. Not a word about the young woman except by her incredible letter to the judge.
Back here in Colorado a mother is arrested for pimping her 14 year old daughter. Several people were killed by drunk drivers,many of whom were on the road despite four or five convictions. An 18 year old kills his 11 year old brother with a gun his father had stored on a top shelf. A man is arrested for possession of child porn. Another for soliciting an 11 year old girl.In Chicago over Memorial Day weekend 64 people were shot with six dead. And on Sunday morning 50 people were gunned down in a nightclub in Orlando.
The Broncos were sporting their gigantic Super Bowl rings with over 200 gems totaling five carats per while one of their stars was recovering from a shooting in which he was so drunk he couldn’t remember whether he was shot by someone else or himself. Mayor Di Blasio wants the biggest and best Gay Pride Parade ever but please do not tape the drag queens and erotica for general viewing. We don’t want people to get the wrong idea. Please tell me what if any of this is normal?
Some of us say amp it up. Don’t close the bars at two. Leave them open till 4:00AM Let’s try bigger and crazier drugs. We have Mexican cartels for a reason. Many of our fellow Americans can’t get enough. Push the envelope on everything from paying sports figures huge salaries to what we perceive in society as acceptable and decent. Moms are paying for their thirteen year old daughters to have boob jobs. Dads want to help their sons lose their virginity.
The masses have different answers to the problem. The first reaction is to bar the door. Security systems, gates, firearms and even body guards to protect. We cower. We worry. We hunker down. Others look to government as their security blanket. Gotta have more cops, more airport security, more jails and more laws. Don’t know how we are going to pay for it but let’s get it anyway.
Lastly we think the smartest course of action is to break into sects and groups. LGBT, Hispanics, Rich. Poor, Catholics, Protestants Jews and Muslims. Sorry, Atheists too. Feminists and Chauvinists. Can’t leave any one out. It is easier to band together for protection and to feign mistreatment. Those ‘bastards” can’t be one of us. It is always the other guy or gal. And each interest group has its own spokesperson and lobby. And it all works out to be what’s best for me not us.
We crave predictability and probability. We listen to gurus tell us about the market and our chances of success whether it be our portfolio or our life or even better our ability to be happy. Do this and you have it made. Deviate and you are screwed. We do not speak out. We do not rise up. We do not question. We either quietly bitch among ourselves or just snivel in a corner. We don’t say,”ENOUGH !” We started to do it after 9/11 but our passions dulled over time.
I think we have to redefine normal. We have to establish standards that are not archaic but more specifically practical and decent. We don’t need political platforms that swing to the far left or right. We cannot cater and carve out for special interests whether they be tycoons or perverts. We can’t keep pushing envelopes but rather understand the limitations that are appropriate for growth without a tawdry existence.
We are in a world of hurt if we don’t put on the brakes and just for one moment contemplate where we are in this off the chart world in which we live. Don’t just read this amateur blogger and say, “That’s nice Ted. You make great points and I‘ll see if I can do something in the next five years when I am not busy working or playing”. Or even better that Ted is just blowing off steam. He will get over his snarkiness and then all will be right with the world. Maybe the only way this will work is if we all have an ECT. I’ll be first in line. Just tell me what normal is when I come to.
Ted The Great
Roughly 110 million Americans (33%) own approximately 300 million guns. 40% of those purchased last year were done without a background check. We have 35,000 gun related deaths per annum. We have 4.2 percent of the world’s population and 42% of the guns. In case you are wondering there is no convenient way we are going to stop this usage and carnage.
About 8% of our population (25 million) are drug users. That results in a little over 38,000 deaths per year. Usage is lowest in Iowa(4.2%) and highest in Rhode Island and Vermont (over 13%). Drug users spend about $100 billion a year on drugs. We spend as a government $31 billion fighting it. We are the largest illegal drug economy in the world accounting for 40% of the world’s use.
16.3 million adults (over 18) have an alcoholic disorder. 680,000 youths (12-17) suffer in the same way. Alcohol is responsible for 88,000 deaths per year. In 2010 alcohol misuse cost our country $248 billion. 75% of this is related to binge drinking.
In the US there are at least 100,000 children per year who are trafficked for sex. Child pornography is a $4 billion a year business. In 2014 at the Super Bowl held in New York 45 people were arrested and 16 kids rescued as a ring of child prostitution was broken.
On all of the above markets exist because there are buyers of all sorts. Innocent pastimes? Victimless crimes? This is meant to be sobering. It is what we have become. You be the judge if it is your definition of normal?