The Madness of Crowds

As a child, I noticed something about adults that kind of bothered me. If you said one wrong thing to some people you could set them off. Even something innocent or harmless.

I remember when I was 11 my stepmom told me something I disagreed with and I said: “You’re crazy.” As in “Ha ha, that’s nonsense.” She went ballistic and was mad at me for days. And I didn’t mean anything by it.

Ever since then this is something about some people I haven’t liked. Because, I’m a very straight-shooting kind of guy., I usually say what I think and sometimes it causes that nuclear reaction. Even if I’m not being insulting or political. I just prefer being honest and real.

But I’ve learned that some people are like sleeper agents in a spy movie. You say the right code phrase and they “activate.” Sometimes this is because of an insecurity they have. Like in the movie Back to the Future where all you had to do was accuse Marty McFly of being a chicken and he’d do whatever you wanted. Sometimes it can be a word or a smell that brings back some traumatic memory, and they go crazy. Like in The Three Stooges where Curly would see a mouse and go nuts and only the smell of Limburger cheese would calm him down.

There’s a third way people can go crazy, and that’s when you shake their perception of reality. For too many people reality is subjective. They see what they want to see. They believe what they want to believe. When you show them they’re wrong, many of them can’t handle it. They get angry and attack you. This can be the strongest reaction of them all because when you shake someone’s sense of reality, you’re challenging their very sanity.

People often believe the craziest things. What helps them do that is something called “consensual reality.” That’s when you find others who share your beliefs and you all get together and reinforce them. You do this by agreeing with each other that you’re not full of crap. It’s human nature to want to find people like yourself who share your outlook. The problem is when your outlook is nutty. The web does a great job of helping to facilitate that.
Yes, I’m sure the critics of this site are already sharpening their comments.

What concerns me, ever since I came to that epiphany about people at the age of 11, is that there are times that come along every now and then, when a lot of people go absolutely batty.

The 2000 election really shook up many voters’ faith in the electoral process. They felt the election was stolen even though the recount was examined by many different sources who all determined it wasn’t. But the blindsiders kept on believing what they wanted. And then 9/11 hit. It was another shock to America’s psyche. For about a month people had to take it all in and process it. There was plenty of widespread panic. For a time many people on the left put aside their animosity for President Bush. You even had Barbra Streisand calling Bush “my president.”

And then the books started coming out. Michael Moore cranked out his politi-farces. The memes “why do they hate us” and “we deserved it” were getting a lot of play. Suddenly, 9/11 was all a neocon conspiracy to justify wars. We were invading Afghanistan to “build an oil pipeline” (none has ever been built because a mountainous country surrounded by hostile nations is a stupid place to build one). We invaded Iraq to “steal their oil” (except the oil contracts went to the Chinese and just about anywhere other than the US). The uther movement was born, telling us Dick Cheney ordered the World Trade Center “bombings” and that the planes were “missiles” or “holograms.”

Yes, some people watch too much TV. And TV is full of stupid cliches.

Places like L.A. are well known for its collection of crazies and weirdos. A walk down Hollywood Blvd will validate this for you any time of the day or night. But on top of that loony tune sundae with wackjob sprinkles, you have what I call the I.Z. sauce (Ideological Zone.) Major cities seem to have become hubs for a certain kind of thinking. And on the coasts especially, that means Democrat thinking. But not just any kind of Democrat. The kind of that looks at its leaders as heroes and the other side as villains in a very comic book sense of the word. Obama is a saint. Cheney is Satan’s abusive stepdad.
An I.Z. is almost like that Star Trek episode “The Return of the Archons” where they beam down to this planet where most of the people worship a god named Landru, and if they perceive you are not “of the body” they persecute you. Sounds like West L.A.

What really bugs me is, I’m not that political. I have political opinions, yes. But my politics can’t be fit into any one category. My politics is that I hate politics. Both parties have screwed up this country in some way. So I’m an independent. Always have been. I’m basically a libertarian, but I don’t agree with everything libertarians believe. I’m conservative in some areas, liberal in others. Basically, I’m my own man. Why should I bow down to anyone’s agenda if I don’t agree with everything? Why should anyone? No side is 100% right. We’re all human and that means none of us have all the answers. Yet some people today will attack you if you dare to say anything not on that invisible list of stupid ideas they call leftism. Dare to disagree and you’re likely to be called all kind of nasty things. Maybe even ostracized in some fashion.

Again, it reminds me of when I was a kid, when you come of age and the other kids start judging you by whether or not you go along with what they find acceptable. What? You don’t drink or smoke weed? Then you must be a narc! A square! Back away. Yeah, that was me. I never cared to follow the crowd or try to be accepted by doing things that didn’t appeal to me. But I realize most people try to please others so they will be liked. And that’s the root of the problem. A lot of people in places like Hollywood are desperate to be liked, because it affects their career. So they will do and say anything to fit in. Even if that means sleeping with people they would’ve never considered in normal circumstances. Doing all kinds of drugs. Trashing politicians or geo-political strategies WAAAAAAAAAY over their heads.

I’m not afraid to speak out because I believe any writer who isn’t afraid to piss someone off isn’t worth a damn. Our society is too important to sit back and do nothing while others run rampant trying to ruin a good thing.

For reasons that would take another long post, leftists managed to take over the discourse in Hollywood (though they have to fight it out with the Scientologists). And they’ve used that power to penalize or put ideological fear in people who don’t want their careers hurt. Charlton Heston said there are more conservatives in the closet in Hollywood than gays.

If you read George Orwell’s 1984, there’s a scene where the government expects everyone to take two minutes of the day to scream hateful insults at the films of a man named Emmanuel Goldstein. The government describes him as “the most dangerous man alive.” He’s basically some former party official who seems to have turned into a critic of the state. What Goldstein says is actually very reasonable. It doesn’t matter. The citizens are taught to hate any ideas that aren’t approved. They’re expected to hurl their invective at the screen. This is what people on the left do to those who disagree with them, whether they liberal, moderate or conservative. If you don’t kowtow to the invisible list of stupidity, they blast you with all kinds of self righteous accusations. They try to tear you down in public. They make crockumentaries and blogs about you or your ideas (if you’re famous enough). They take over message boards on internet sites and try to drive out any dissenters. It’s an old Marxist tactic called “shouting down the opposition.”

It’s really mindless obedience to ideas which are destructive to society. The left has no concept of right and wrong. They try to take a moral high ground by holding the U.S. up to impossible standards, yet they praise the most despicable dictators on earth. Mass murderers like Lenin, Stalin and Mao are still praised. Low rent butchers like Che Guevara are held up as icons. While failing dictators like Chavez and Castro are looked on as heroes. These are people who really suppress free speech. Who really imprison protesters. Who really kill dissenters. Last time I checked, Bush didn’t put protesters in camps, cancel the elections so he could stay in power, or kill any of his critics. He was accused of doing these things, of course. So was Reagan. I guess the left likes to project a lot.
If anything, many lefties have got rich in American bashing Bush. He was their cash cow. And who’s more hysterical than a rich Marxist? You can find plenty of them in Malibu and Santa Monica. Meanwhile, nations like China, Cuba, Iran, and North Korea aren’t being condemned for their torture practices. It’s not because they don’t have any. It’s because the left isn’t trying to tear down their society. They want to tear down ours. They want to replace it with something more to their liking.

Take a good look at their role models and you can guess why that’s a bad idea.
I have to wonder why liberals put up with this. After all, it’s illiberal. Leftists are not liberals. They hate liberals. Hell, Leftists usually hate each other. They often hate themselves, too. No wonder.

Why should we let depressed, crazy people tell us anything? Honestly. And if you’re a liberal, why are you letting them steal and ruin the word “liberal?” And the word “progressive?”


They’re not progressive. They’re regressive. They say conservatives want to return us to the 1950s. They want to return us to the 1930s! Marx and Engels are dead white men. I thought that was a bad thing to lefties. Guess not.
The New Deal is an early 20th century idea that has been accused of lengthening the Depression by 7 years. Now the Dems want to do it again. I don’t know about you, but I’m not down with that soup line scene.

Our society went mad in the last 8 years and America became extremely divided. Bush certainly managed to push a lot of the wrong buttons in some. But it can’t all be his doing. A lot of people on the left stirred the pot with their crazy conspiracy memes.

In 1841 Charles Mackay wrote Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds. In it he cites many instances where the public went wacko over some hare-brained idea. So this is nothing new.

We need to get off the crazy train and focus on the positive. For too long we have let negative people command the public discourse. They keep inventing fake crises. They use the culture to denigrate our society and the people.
We don’t have to take it anymore. It’s time we produce positive solutions and ideas and act on them. Show them who’s right.
Lead by example. Actions speak louder than words.