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The Insanity of the Everyman

Let’s imagine that there exists a finite amount of absurdity in the world. This would mean that the more insane a person is, the less opportunity others have to indulge in silliness. And the more even-keeled someone is, the more opportunity others have to go off the rails. In a world where the ever-present eye social media observes us, and where we compete with each other to show off how perfect our lives are, we never have an opportunity to indulge in a little private stupidity. This means that when we discover someone who is entirely insane, entirely without scruples, and thinks that French-kissing a tiger is a normal Tuesday, we can’t help but stare. Because that person is hogging all the crazy!

Perhaps we need to be a little bit nuts to make our fruitcake of a civilization work. And so, when so many are focused on being flawless, concentrated madness finds its way to a select group. This is a natural progression, like the steam escaping an engine. Society needs to do this to keep chugging along. Observing this concentrated insanity in others allows us to return to rigidly enforcing a restriction of any in ourselves. And so today I stand before you, wearing the silliest hat I can find, proclaiming that we must take back our insanity.

You could be a full-grown man who loves ballet. Good for you! You could be a working adult with a law degree who can recite ancient Assyrian poetry. Do share! Think of one thing you can do that’s ludicrous. It doesn’t have to be much. It could be that you have a collection of old rope. You should feel free to explain to me, in detail, how Franklin Roosevelt once tied a knot in your prized tangle. I won’t really care, but I will nod in appreciation that you do, because this is what makes you happy.

The reason we don’t do this is because we are afraid of being judged. Our fear of being mocked keeps us from wearing our favorite duckbilled slippers or naming the ducks at the park. But Bucky, Quackers, and Jim don’t care if you name them. (Maybe Jim does, because he feels he got a too-plain name, but that’s because he’s really a quite boring duck so he shouldn’t complain) But we fear the finger-pointed laughter of others who do not share our interests. However, the more we suppress our urge to name ducks, the more we hide from those ballet slippers, the more that bit of silliness leaks away from us until finally there is nothing but a single person who decides to call themselves Duck Man and attempts to rid the world of eggs by breaking them all at the supermarket. Sure, we’ll read about this with glee when we see the inevitable Netflix Documentary that discusses the rise and fall of Duck Man and his egg-based crusade, but that’s just Tom. Tom never wanted to be Duck Man. He’s the sacrificial lamb to our society’s need for crazy people.

This is not a method for self-improvement. Perhaps it is, in that it could lead to happy indulgences. But this is at its heart a defense mechanism. We must keep the crazy people at bay by being a little crazy ourselves. Find a hobby, topic, anything that on the surface is quite strange. So long as it is not destructive to yourself or others, and does not keep you from earning a living, go for it. Mock others who don’t do this. In fact scold them. They’re the ones who are creating a void in which true nut-jobs must fill. So do your civic duty. Do something nutty, like write a blog with no chance of success that three people read. You know, stupid stuff.