Satire, commentary and music by musicians suffering from the malady "hyper-sanity". Nevertheless, they make some surprisingly good music, interesting insights and a few jokes...
It's not surprising to us that autistic environmental activist, Greta Thunberg, calls her autism her superpower. Breathe fire, Greta! (...maybe go easy on the plague casting though... mind you, the air is cleaner...)
We're also not surprised that this pandemic virus and major economic crash is sweeping the world. Humanity, and in particular Trump's America, needed a good wake up call. Nothing like a good Old Testament plague casting. Too bad it's so often the wrong people who pay the highest price.
It is possible that the virus erupted in downtown Wuhan, because in late Oct. 2019 that densely populated city hosted the Military Olympic Games, with teams from 140 countries, including the USA. Contrary to vitriolic Republican indignation, China has never actually blamed the US or anyone else, but the US has chosen to vilify China with a politicized misinformation campaign, even though the likelihood that the virus started in that huge downtown market or the lab a half hour drive across the river, could not be proven by World Health Organization investigators, the majority of which are American. What about the July 2019 accidental breach of the Fort Detrick Maryland bio-weapons lab? Even FOX covered this. Did it spawn this subsequent naturally mutated SARS2-type virus? Probably not, but by the same token as the Wuhan lab accusation, it should then also warrant investigation.
By the Trump administration's reasoning, the 2009 H1N1 "swine flu" should be called the USA Virus, for where it first spread and was diagnosed. The CDC now says that it started at a US owned Smithfield Farm in Mexico, but only 398 people died in Mexico, as opposed to 12,500 in the US and hundreds of thousands more worldwide. For future prevention, how viruses start is the most important factor, rather than where. Blame inhibits proper research, and though China appears to be the source of the virus, Trump's bungling which has led to such obscenely higher levels of contagion in the US, is certainly not China's fault. Being that it was China who first had to deal with this brand new contagion, it's quite amazing how quickly they overcame their initial stumble to contain the outbreak. Not long after the detainment of Dr. Wenliang by certain Wuhan police officials, for spreading alarm by social media, the central government stepped in and first exonerated and then honoured the doctor, and reprimanded the police officials. Let's do the math. Currently, China has plateaued at 83000 Covid cases while the US has 1.6 million cases and rising. That's a rate of 58 cases for every 1 million people in China, compared to a rate of over 4900 cases per million people in the US. Therefore, the Chinese response to the virus has been at least 84 times better than in the USA - and that in spite of the fact they had to deal with it without any advance external warning.
As for Secretary of State Mike "Pompeo" - what an ominously loserish name. China is not pre-war Japan. They're a very efficient and relatively progressive authoritarian state, and much wiser than that, while in the US, even the best leaders need to appeal to at least some of the evil ignorant vote. According to a recent Australian analysis of a potential naval confrontation between the US and China in the South China Sea, China would win. It's time for Republicans to smell the coffee and end the hubris.
This viewpoint is the product of unbiased research, with information gleaned from news sources ranging from the American far right to official Chinese publications and many others news sources in between. It's always nice to be able to side with your own country, but in this case our allegiance has to be to the obvious truth. But what does fact-based truth matter in the age of Trump.
ANTICHRIST ACCUSATIONS (April 2018)
We were recently reading a full one page ad in USA TODAY accusing Pope Francis of being the dreaded Antichrist of the Book of Revelations. We're not big fans of the Catholic church, but obviously the combined military forces of the Catholic nations don't possess one iota of the power to pull off such a devastating feat. However, there is one country that does possess the power, and that's the good ol' USA, emboldened by right-wing religizoids - the very people making the accusations, and Trump would make an excellent candidate for the starring role... We normally don't adhere to literal interpretations of prophetic scriptures. Obviously populations aren't going to be walking around with "666" tattooed on their foreheads, but such prophecies can conform to the Carl Jung / Einstein concepts of synchronicity and archetypal symbolism, and in that fashion bear legitimacy, reverberating within space-time. For instance, the Aztecs were intimidated by Cortez because at that time, they were anticipating the return of their deity, Quetzelcoatl, who was to bring with him a new religion. Cortez perfectly fit the bill, though not literally. He brought a new religion but also conquered them. Why should the "Higher Power" have to literally conform to man's prophetic expectations, though certainly Its omniscient awareness of man's beliefs might fuel Its sense of irony.
Regarding Revelations, the antichrist gains power after surviving a "sword wound to the head". If you think in terms of this antichrist being the power and potential of the presidential office - POTUS, then the presidency has already survived the "head wound" of JFK, and now we're threatened by the advent of a wanna-be dictator trying to take full control. Obama tried to dial it down but Trump is attempting to assume this role and govern without congressional restraint. The upheaval he can cause could engender an extreme crisis, which may lead to environmental destruction and a conflict that makes Vietnam's 58000 dead look like a minor playground tussle, - maybe orchestrated by Trump himself, or by a more politically astute Republican, or possibly even a future Democrat, just doing what he's forced to do by the dire conditions he inherits. Hopefully, Trump is merely a buffoon which we overcome, but the word "trump" doesn't just refer to a euchre card. It's also a trumpet blast, and it's now quite clear that a prophesied apocalyptic "trumpet" is blowing for anyone who cares to acknowledge it, whether it be figurative or literal. The New York Times recently reported how the Trumps (Jared Kushner) have leased out their most expensive New York property - "666" Fifth Ave. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/03/nyregion/kushners-building-fifth-avenue-brookfield-lease.html
and there are many websites explaining Trump's connections to various biblical doomsday prophecies, such as his extreme "boasting", his worship of mammon (money), the fact that he was born on a "blood moon"; the stock market fell 666 points on the day he clearly expressed his attack on the FBI https://www.inquisitr.com/4768977/trumps-nose-rubbed-in-stock-market-plunge-666-point-drop-sparks-number-of-the-beast-quips-online/
and the Trump Tower is pretty much 666 feet tall (they claim 664 but?), and they're not even hiding the fact that Jared's proposed Tower 1 at 1 Journal Square, is to be exactly 666 ft. tall.
Yep, that's the exact best height. The relevance of all this is that, Trump, an obvious non-christian, has deceived the vast majority of US Evangelicals into voting for him - another Revelations prophecy, and as Obama explained, it's not wise for Democrats and left wing secularists to just relinquish the power and influence of the biblical domain to the Republican right wing's debased interpretations.
We met at the very prestigious Clarke Institute of Psychiatry's Occupational Therapy program.
THE PSYCHIATRIC STATE
There are two camps in the field of psychiatry - Camp A, which believes that what we term "mental illness" is caused by genetics and bio-chemistry, and Camp B, which believes that bio-chemistry is only part of the issue and usually not causative, in the case of adult onset conditions. Recently, 6 time bankrupt former casino owner and education swindler, Donald Trump, has appointed a Camp A psychiatrist to head up the Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Agency. Therefore, we offer this as all the proof necessary to confirm that Camp B is correct.
To understand modern humanity you must imagine what mankind would now look like without the advent of our modern but flawed psychiatric pharmacology, which has only been in use since the late 40's, when the impracticality of locking up increasing numbers of people started becoming apparent. Without humane treatment such as what we propose, to replace over-drugging and electro-shocking, there would be record levels of very apparent suffering and mayhem. In our unbridled pursuit of technological wealth at the expense of humanitarian well-being, we have silenced and hidden from view the true nature of modern humanity. We've replaced it with an artificially sterilized counterfeit, whereby the victims who cannot keep pace are often over-drugged, suffer terrible side-effects, and live shortened life spans in quiet torment. Obviously there is something seriously wrong with societies that require the mind-altering drugging of almost 1/4th of the population, not to mention the scores of people who self-medicate with alcohol and the like. It shouldn't be surprising to anyone that we are a species living with nuclear annihilation and environmental disaster hanging over our heads. Sadly, it's the culmination and natural result of our species' deepest desires and inherent attributes. There is no merit in societal success unless one constructively acknowledges that the true sicknesses plaguing mankind, are unquestioning conformity and bigotry. Technological progress is fine, but as Einstein stated: "Technology has outstripped our humanity." This is the evolutionary path mankind has chosen and if not seriously altered, it's just a matter of time before it all falls apart. Just as saving the environment will require a lot more effort and self-sacrifice from a lot more people, the same is true for the whole mental health debacle.
The term "hyper-sanity" is a new psychiatric label not yet recognized by the DSM. It refers to people who have figured out the whole story and recovered from their "condition", in spite of, rather than because of psychiatric treatment; their "condition" being the inability to conform to the systemic sociopathological actions and expectations of the planet's governing powers and adherents. Face it, it's not a cliche, we're a very sick species. The Trumpster's plan to tackle his country's mass shootings problem through half baked mental health pronouncements, rather than through proper gun control legislation is a good example of this. He could at least try to raise the legal age of gun ownership to 25, by which age forensic psychiatric instability, indicating a potential for violence, is more likely to become apparent enough that laws could then actually prevent such people from gun ownership. There's a reason why most car rental agencies won't rent cars to those under 25, and it's fortunate because otherwise there would be a higher rate of vehicular mass murder. Even by raising the gun ownership age to 21, there's too short a time frame for law enforcement to accurately act upon the tips they receive. We also abhor these mass shootings. For us they paint a very tragic and skewed image.
Yes, no matter, read this instead.
Although present psychiatric treatment has improved over the years (just as primitive 70's treatment was an improvement over the 50's age of the lobotomy) and left-leaning shrinks are generally ok, many experts claim psychiatry is now backtracking and far from equal to handling the burgeoning community mental health crisis. Milder cases of depression and anxiety are generally being better handled, but the extreme stigmatization of conditions such as schizophrenia and "bipolar" manic depression has led to a very erroneous and negatively skewed public perception. Incidents of bizarre gun violence in the US receive widespread press coverage, while the many accomplishments of recovered ex-patients go unnoticed. Due to stigmatization, such people are forced to hide their medical history and their stories are therefore excluded from public perception. Even when success stories are publicized, they tend to only paint a picture of people who owe their supposed recoveries to psychiatric treatment. The Russell Crowe movie, A Beautiful Mind, is an example of this. Mathematician John Nash was a bright enough ally to our cause, but he achieved his career success prior to his psychiatric treatment, and then spent the rest of his life suffering from stilted brain power and the muscle contortions of Tardive Dyskinesia, all caused by antipsychotic drugs.
There are many caring community workers, but patronization also causes stigmatization, and celebrity advocates are generally ineffective because of the specialized lives and treatment they experience, removing them from the street level reality of most sufferers. There are actually much better success stories going unrecognized because such people quietly blend into society after departing the psychiatric system, often owing it little thanks.
Did you know that the very first American hospital for the insane at Colonial Williamsburg, was at least twice as successful at returning patients to normal life as today's institutions, by offering nothing but food, shelter and counselling? They also reported that their later recovery rate declined as they attempted other more invasive forms of treatment, especially during the civil war. Third world countries of today, with their scant psychiatric services, also report a higher recovery rate for psychosis.
Although psychiatry does sometimes help people, by it's very nature it first intensifies the sufferer's problems by adding stigmatization to the list and it operates in a fashion similar to that of the SPCA and veterinary medicine, whereby a harsh value judgement governs the type and quality of treatment.
REGARDING THE LEGALIZATION OF MARIJUANA
Being that alcohol, cigarettes and peanuts are legal despite their proven health risks, we feel that marijuana by the same token can be legalized with stringent health warnings and controls. However, there is a lobby pushing for legalization on the grounds that marijuana poses no health risks. On this point they are wrong. Though for some people marijuana cannabinoids such as CBD, appear to provide some health benefits, marijuana THC is causing or exacerbating many more depressive, psychotic and anxiety related disorders than what even some in the medical professions care to admit, especially among the young. For years the psychiatric system has viewed THC as merely a trigger, and prescribed anti-psychotic drugs. By this logic THC could be used on the young as an early litmus test for illness. ughh! We, the "Schizoid Visionaries" are now either well established citizens or retired millionaires. Not that that's important or even to our credit, except in that we recovered by removing ourselves from psychiatric treatment and strictly limiting or discontinuing the use of such non-opioid drugs as marijuana. (Opioid drug abuse and criminal forensic psychiatry being separate issues, at least during the critical stages) The Canadian Medical Association has now released their study on marijuana legalization, and we are happy to say that their recommendations are very good; forty or so years late, but better late than never. In his autobiography, Bruce Springsteen claims that in reaction to the problems of his alcoholic father, he purposely never touched pot or any other drug, though it was always readily available, in order to maximize his efforts. Smart guy! He also states that he and his associates often were suffering from conditions that could easily have been diagnosed as mental illness, but that for them "psychiatry didn't exist", and treatment was never an option even remotely considered.
The nerve of those Chinee people wanting to take back control of Hong Kong. The British stole that city from China fair and square during the mid-19th century Opium Wars. The Chinee had some screwy idea that the British should be prevented from addicting their people to opium imported from British colonies in India. Just like future commies to try and interfere with such lucrative commerce.
( Democracy isn't automatically superior to authoritarian rule. It depends entirely on the resultant quality of leadership. History recounts the many abuses and failures of democratic movements and leaders - Boris Yeltsin, the Arab Spring, Hitler, the French Revolution, Blackbeard and the pirate confederacy, Donald Trump... )
You'd have to ask our producer and commentary editor Frederick Serafim.
CHARITY & MAINSTREAM PSYCHIATRY
As Martin Luther King Jr. and others have stated, charity is ultimately no replacement for open opportunity, and can serve to disguise and widen the relative prosperity gap. Even the Romans provided free bread and circuses to the masses for what they knew to be very cynical purposes of sociopolitical expedience. The focus is on "careers" in the mental health industry, and the patients are merely the commodity. There are very few actual psychiatric experts, only those deemed to possess expertise. At one time bloodletters were deemed medical "experts". The doctor who developed the lobotomy procedure won the Nobel prize for it in 1949, and electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) was first developed by an Italian Fascist psychiatrist, named Ugo Cerletti, after witnessing how pigs at a slaughterhouse went to their deaths more easily after being hit with an electric cattle prod. He himself actually lamented developing the technique, but such experts are held to very low standards when treating the powerless, and ECT is still in use today the world over. Although most major memories regarding people, places, events and important conversations do eventually return after a limited course of electro-shock treatments, it is horrid for students trying to cram detailed minutiae into their minds, and the subtle faculties required for healthy social development are always arrested. The purpose of psychiatry is 90% to exert social control by suppressing symptoms, and only 10% to offer any tangible help. Some improvements that could be made within the psychiatric system would be to put reform minded psychiatrists and psychologists in charge, transfer more funding to peer support groups, and downplay the role of mainstream psychiatrists and their invasive treatments, such as ECT and over-drugging. Of course, drug companies pay doctors for prescribing their drugs, and studies have shown that some of the highest commissions are paid for prescribing psychiatric drugs.
Also, it's certainly imperative to improve conditions in psychiatric community homes. We were talking to a pest control technician a few weeks back, who described for us the deplorable state of these homes in Toronto - a city which is ranked to be the 4th most livable city in the world. He also explained that he seldom receives calls to spray such homes. At another home, a resident got in trouble with the administration for taking the initiative at his own expense, to plant gardens and shrubs. Apparently he should first have gone through the proper bureaucratic channels. They look a helluva lot better than the weeds that were there, and ultimately, people have to take such initiative to help themselves, and friends and families must exercise more empathetic care. In today's world, the existence and significance of poverty has been diminished and marginalized in the popular conception, by medicalizing it.
Our solar system is quite possibly an atom and our planet an electron, within the body of a much greater being, who's complex immune system is constantly at work trying to protect their health. Under this scenario, the human species is a sub-microscopic part of that life process, subject to the usually beneficial, but ultimately imprecise actions of that immune system, which we in turn often refer to as "God". Atom-like solar systems form molecules within cell-like galaxies of that cosmic "body", who is just one citizen of the multiverse. The birth of our universe could have been the result of a celestial form of sexual procreation - a big "bang", if you will :) Just a thought...
Despite the many worthwhile moral precepts of those seminal scriptures, the problem is that the churches are really just huge cults, whereby adherents are expected to believe that god spoke in detail to men thousands of years ago, and if he's spoken to anyone since then, it is within that ancient framework, devoid of modern scientific rationality. Mankind can only progress once we place the value of religion within it's proper historical and cultural context, and come to grips with its shortcomings and paradoxes. Of course, Catholicism's centuries of corruption are well documented, but in addition, we should not overlook the fact that Martin Luther, the father of the protestant reformation, also so "eloquently" penned such literary gems as his treatise entitled "On Jews and Their Lies"; a hate filled diatribe calling for a 16th century holocaust against the Jews, which was later used by Hitler to justify his much more technologically efficient 20th century holocaust. Hey, if ML called for it then so must god, right? This kind of religizoid nonsense litters the pages of history. On the other hand, there may well be a higher power that looks favourably upon people who look for "God" through the lens of their flawed religions, if they are innocent in their efforts. As for Islam, it's not nearly so powerful a military threat as portrayed, and the way to deal with its cultural challenges is to lead the way towards the elimination of devotional hypocrisy. Of course, this isn't anywhere near happening... The son of a close friend of ours, who is a sergeant in the Canadian armed forces, was stationed in Macedonia in September of 2001. His base was put on high alert for an anticipated 9/11 attack. He didn't know particularly what was to happen, but you can be sure that if a Canadian sergeant knew this much, then there were many in power who knew much more but decided to do nothing to try and prevent 9/11, and instead decided to use the outrage to fuel the war fever, in an effort to seize the Iraqi oil fields. Perhaps had they known the exact plan and extent of devastation about to unfold, they may have tried to prevent it.