The Century of Insanity

That’s what I keep saying about the days we’re living in.

Hola. Even though mi amigo/my friend understands that we’re now in the Century of Insanity, he is still blown away each day by insane news stories and something loco that happens when he’s on the streets of San Francisco. One example, he came within a foot of being hit by a car while on his bike the other morning because the driver was speeding and staring at his phone while driving. Multiple people including another cyclist and a pedestrian behind mi amigo were witnesses to this and started screaming at this insane driver. Mi amigo said when the driver finally came to a stop right next to him that the driver looked up from his phone with this, “What’s wrong” look on his face. Insanity. Nearly being hit by a vehicle would obviously give me a major emotional jolt, but other than immediate and imminent danger, I’m rarely phased by anything. But that’s because he and I come from two very different backgrounds. My background includes working a number of years in a mental health organisation and talking with distressed people on a regular basis as a trained counselor. When I left that organisation after a number of years working there and burned out, I said: “I’ve seen and heard it all! Nothing phases me now.” Other people who worked there said the same thing upon leaving. I suspect most psychologists and psychiatrists say the same from their experiences. Mi amigo does not have that background. What does phase me or surprise me are the little things when they go how I think they should go, which is not often, instead of how I’m expecting them to go. But other than that, constantly-awful news events and insane comments made by the orange despot, talking heads and others wash right over me.

I expect idiots to be all around me and often they are. I don’t mind that mi amigo tells me the things that he’s amazed by or finds unbelievable (“that’s amazing” and “that’s unbelievable” are what he says frequently, probably as a way of venting), but I don’t feel the same way. My response is usually silence or a spoken or unspoken: Well that’s expected, and that’s because we’re in the Century of Insanity, where one should expect the worst. And usually that’s what we see.

When we first met, mi amigo said that his military service allowed him to “see it all” which I questioned. Well it did to a certain degree, but now he doesn’t say that because even though at the time he thought he was “seeing it all” it was a very limited experience compared to my mental health work and what that entailed. I had considered training as a PhD-level psychologist — this was awhile after I graduated from the Conservatory of Music where I trained and it was suggested to me that I could work as a music therapist — but, after my work with that mental health organisation where I left burned out, I realised that I would only be helping a very small fraction of the public in the big scheme of things. I came to realise I wouldn’t be “changing the world” because the majority of people would remain in need of therapy that they’ll likely never get. So, the majority of society would remain as they are: Fucked-up, dysfunctional, septic, and so forth.

Sometime ago, mi amigo was riding his bike and he stopped at a public bathroom where he saw a homeless person digging a hole into his leg about the size of a baseball. When mi amigo left the bathroom, he looked back to make sure he had seen what he saw. He said it was too gross to even imagine. When mi amigo told me about that, I didn’t think much of it — no, I wasn’t phased — because of my experience and that one can see the most horrid, horrible and disgusting situations and scenes in our society. Also, I’ve lived in San Francisco much longer than he has, and I lived in the nation’s capital, the District of Columbia, before moving here. Living in major US cities most of my life combined with my work at that mental health organisation has caused me to say, “I’ve seen it all. Nothing phases me.” After he saw that homeless guy, he realised he had not “seen it all.” When he and I met, I think this used to frustrate him about me in that my reaction was not the same as his. Well, if anyone has had any experience with a psychologist or another type of mental health worker, one knows that s/he doesn’t respond to what their client says with gasps, bugged-out eyes or a hand-over-mouth reaction, or gaping mouth or screams or shouts or any of that. The psychologist and or mental health worker sits there calmly and listens and processes what s/he has heard and responds accordingly in a rational and reasonable manner. That’s pretty much how I react to things instinctively. I guess one could say that “my shrinks cap is always on” but it’s on by default and from experience, not because I consciously think to keep it on.

Someone might ask me: You’re not surprised by the daily goings-on in DC? Surprised? What’s there to be surprised about? There’s a reason that sometimes the District of Columbia is called the District of Corruption, although it wasn’t called that when I lived in the District that I recall. Someone might ask: But aren’t you surprised when the despotic regime in the US sends armed active-duty US troops to the border between the US and México a week before the midterm s-elections to exploit the immigration issue and to confront a Latino caravan from Honduras? No, not surprised. What’s there to be surprised about? This despotic regime constantly plays the divisive Hate and Fear CardsTM for feeding/playing his gullible, stupid-is-in, proudly-ignorant base. And through all this along with all the hate and lies spewed at his campaign rallies, where are the “Democrats?” Silent. Not even a whisper from them. Silence = complicity. They’re absolutely useless. They don’t deserve to be rewarded with anything in the midterm s-election. And by the way, the Honduran caravan is an annual occurrence and usually just a small number of the group make it all the way to the border between the US and México. If they do arrive at the border, they’re not expected to arrive for another two weeks or so after the US midterm s-elections. But Hate and ignorance override logic and reason. And from what I’m seeing, hate is winning all over the world (most recently in Brazil with the s-election of their far-right fascistic presidente). So to those who say, “Love Always Wins,” one might want to rethink that since it’s not accurate. Oh it’s a nice slogan and more appropriate for a syrupy “greeting card” than anything else but it’s not remotely accurate here in the Century of Insanity.

As I’ve written many times before, politically I expect the worse and when one comes from that perspective, there’s nothing that can happen that will surprise me, no matter how insane it is. And as I have also said before, it was all over for this country (the shithole US) back in 2000 following that stolen election, so I live under no illusion that anything is about to improve here — one is not going to vote themselves out of this disaster — until there’s maybe a revolution. A revolution in the shithole US? Laughable. This is not the EU (that stands for the European Union for any stupid people who happen to show up here). Over half of the US population is obese and wouldn’t be able to “march” the length of their oversized vehicle in a revolution. It’s true we’re in the midst of a civil war of sorts — led and encouraged by the orange despot as he promotes hate, divisiveness, he bullies people and other nations and I could go on — and the dysfunctional basura who are attracted to him also love violence, and things are getting worse by the day. But the masses are glued to their phones not paying any attention to this stuff and what matters, so the civil war will be happening around them most likely, while they ask for a cigarette and beer and then ask: “What are the fire crackers all about that I’m hearing?”

Some phone-addicted Millennials nearly walked into me last night glued to their phones in the Castro/Upper Market area — now known as the Breeder Mecca — which is now a high-crime area (this was not the case when this area was a Gay Mecca), and the crime rate is now soaring since breeders are in the majority. But observing these phone-zombie Millennials one gets the strong impression that San Francisco is now a crime-free City where muggings and rape do not occur especially at night. Millennials walk the streets of San Francisco with phone in face as if they think they’re in the comfort of their living room, as if they think that phone will protect them at all times, rather than being mugged because they are oblivious to their surroundings at night in a major city. Insanity.

Mi amigo said he was in the forest the other day and rather than looking at the forest and its beautiful, a female was quickly walking stomping through but oblivious to the forest and her surroundings and entranced by her phone. Doesn’t surprise me in the least. Her phone may be the only friend she has in the world here in the Century of Insanity. Chau.—el barrio rosa

9 comments on “The Century of Insanity

  1. el barrio rosa Post author

    I thought readers might like to watch this from France24:

    I always enjoy Emma James’s Media Watch segment on France vingt quatre/France 24.

  2. Connor

    Great headline for your article and so true….I can vouch for that.

    fyi: This headline on the S.E.P. site -

    “Significant vote for SEP candidate Niles Niemuth in Michigan’s 12th district”

    He won 2,198 votes in Tuesday’s 2018 midterm.
    2,198 votes are “SIGNIFICANT?”
    In the century of insanity a little over 2,000 votes is “significant.”
    btw, the ass eating over there is unbelievvable.

    I do agree with one of their commenters who said, “The tactics and strategies used by the SEP are not enough to create the chimera “working class” party that they seek. At this rate, they just might win a seat sometime in the 2100s.”

    I wouldn’t bet on that because they turn too many people off, I’m one of them. They think they’re such hot shit. I got turned off with that bunch bacck in the spring of this year but the other night remembered they had a candidate running so went to see how he did. Less than 1% of the vote. That’s “significant?” These wackos talk themselves into how important they are in the political landscape. WHen the rubber meets the road, nobody pays any attention to them…..nor should they!

  3. AndyChrist

    This article is timeless. Is there really any doubt that we’re living in the century of insanity?

  4. strangetimes

    insanity and then some….! they’re calling this a “high stakes election.” what’s “high stakes” about more congressional dems voting with the republicans? this is one of the biggest examples of revisionist history that we’ve seen. does no one look at what the democrats in congress have become over the past decades or so and their voting records? they’re being made out to be on the far, far left and in opposition to anything the white house sets forth. they’re nothing of the kind. on the major issues they’re in lockstep with the republicans. obama was campaining the other night for this guy who favors the wall at the border!!!!! i forget his name, doesn’t matter. at first i thought it was chubby mike pompeo that obama was standing with. i think it was pompeo’s step-in look-alike. this infuriating to watch. i see why some of you stopped paying attention.


  5. Witch Hunt Obsessed

    Speaking of insane, the sites that call everything a witch hunt… they do at the S.E.P. More insanity is the thinking that the U.S. has an opposition party. The hype for this midterm has been insane and even Europe’s media are taking part in this circus. They think there’s an opposition party over here too like something’s going to shift if the Republicrats gain any seats. Like you I can’t stand either one and what has become an irrelevant party should not be rewarded with a larger population in congress just so they can join the Republicans time after time. Thanks for the article and for your site. You’re a breath of fresh air IMO in a stagnant sea of status quo and insanity. At least you and your commenters get it. Nobody else does.

  6. D8

    I’m probably a little off-topic but since you don’t usually care about that maybe you’ll allow this :-)
    I’ll be so glad when this midterm shit is over tomorrow. I’ve tried to stay away from politics over the last year or so and I knew that this was probably the worst time to stick my toe back in it just a tad. I went to some sites I used to go to on the left, or at least they were on the left back then. I had to click off everyone of them yesterday. Both with articles and commenters it’s like they had turned into shills for the DNC. These sites used to have commenters who couldn’t stand the Ds or Rs. Guess what I read yesterday, “vote as if your life depends on it for Democrast.” What you call the fear card was plastered all over these sites. I got the impression the world was going to come to and end this Wednesday should the Ds not take back the House or Senate. Fear all over the site. There were a couple, yes only a couple of commenters like me and they were put down and told “get your lazy ass to the polls and vote for Ds.” As least on pink barrio I know I can come here and not read that garbage and I agree with your position of open borders. Right on pb. I don’t often say this but I appreciate what you do even if only a small number of us appreciate it. I know you don’t expect anyone to agree with you but I also know you don’t care. LOL. Thx.

  7. castro local

    yep, the crime is up. a friend of mine lives in upper market in an apartment building that has been burgled twice in the past couple of months. never happened before. another store has closed in the castro but in this case i guess it’s no big deal. it was a coffee store and we have too many of them already. and it was a chain… bye, bye. empty stores are just sitting and new retail spaces that were empty remain empty. so what about that lie that conservatives like to put out there about “if you build it, they will come?” so what about this glowing economy that i keep reading about and that the orange despot is being given credit for? you got it, pb, it’s insanity.

  8. E in Sunnyvale (not erased)

    I wouldn’t claim I’ve seen or heard everything. But I find myself being completely unsurprised and not shocked in the least when I learn of some new horror; if anything, I just get depressed and say, “It doesn’t have to be this way; we can do better but choose not to.”

    As for a revolution? I agree, it won’t happen in the context of a “traditional” uprising. But I think it has already happened in the context of a political overthrow – a fascist revolution has happened. And it largely started with GWB and the so-called “PATRIOT Act”, which opened a wide variety of opportunities for abuse. A fascist revolution has already happened and most people haven’t noticed, and many of those who have don’t give a shit, or like the rest of us, feel completely powerless to act. We can do better, but we choose not to.

    Didn’t know the Castro had a crime problem now; haven’t been there in quite a long time. I’m unsurprised and unshocked, but depressed.

    FedUp! – (yeah, me too): shooting at stone-throwers? I wonder if there will be any “agents provocateur” on scene to ensure that there will indeed be stone-throwing, just like there’s always a stone- or bottle-thrower at political demonstrations: the typical pretext for violent force to shut down the demonstration. Sounds a little too much like a certain middle-eastern terrorist occupying force and the way they treat the rightful occupants of the land. The US is taking a cue from that, obviously.

    Meanwhile, I’m preparing myself to be erased by the orange despot. Hey, if the fascists write me out of existence, that means I don’t have to pay taxes to support this criminal state, right? RIGHT? How can I pay taxes if I don’t exist? Why should I pay taxes if the orange despot doesn’t?

    It doesn’t have to be this way. We can do better, but we choose not to.

    I’ve found myself frequently ending statements with a quote from from Kurt Vonnegut. “So it goes.”

    ~E (soon to be erased)

  9. FedUp!

    The insane one, er, or orange despot as you very appropriately call him says troops at the border will fire on migrants if they throw rocks. Rock throwing justiifies being shot at with guns? I can’t begin to tell you the amount of rage I feel hearing that. The century of insanity indeed, led by the insane lunatic.

Fin. The End.