And then you notice it, too. About half the crowd watching him gets which it is, and stops laughing. About half the faces in the crowd have gone from giggling and guffaws to silent stares. About half feel sorry for those bobcats, because this feller's flat out crazy.
He's got no sense. He's left this world behind; he's living under a different sun and moon, in a place we've never been. That makes him worse than stupid, worse than mean. More dangerous than a rabid dog, because walking away from him won't settle it. He'll just show up on your doorstep to kill everything and everyone you've got.
It's not funny anymore. This guy can get you killed, right where you live. Maybe we'd better take a little walk under his sun and moon before we end up in that bag of his.
The curious thing about crazy people is that -- outside of padded cells and straitjackets -- there aren't any, not really. There are no crazy people walking around among us, no matter what you've seen.
Human beings don't work that way. The truth is, whatever a crazy person does makes perfect sense, to them. It's a different sun and moon they stand beneath. It's the same for each of us -- we always know what we're doing, even if no one else does.
For example, if you genuinely believe and know that invisible space aliens are directing people's thoughts, your attitudes will naturally be defensive and paranoid, and your actions will naturally be to wear aluminum foil on your head at all times, and to warn everyone else to hurry up and follow your example before it's too late for all humanity. You believe it, so your attitudes reflect your belief, and your actions follow. To you, that's the only reasonable action to take. To not take those actions would be -- crazy.
The fact that people say you're wrong means nothing, if you know you're right. The fact that you're the only one wearing tinfoil means nothing to you, once you realize how important it is to wear it. You are right, after all. Everyone else is wrong, and it's only a matter of time before they realize it and come back to praise you. So you stay the course, you finish the job.
When a human being does something crazy, they aren't crazy within themselves, they are making the best sense of things that they can, and acting on considered values and decisions. Core beliefs within them created well thought out values and attitudes and a worldview, which then dictated perfectly sensible actions to take -- like taking a shit in a busy intersection, or worshipping raccoons.
Which are perfectly sensible things to do. To some people.
To the rest of us, that is batshit crazy. To the rest of us, crazy people don't do sensible things, they do inexplicable things for no earthly reason that we can discern. Even if they explain themselves we think they're nuts, because we don't stand under their sun and moon. Not believing what they believe to be true, we cannot follow their attitudes about life, which made their crazy act perfectly sensible to them. We walk away, shaking our heads.
Follow me a ways, under another sun and moon:
Instill core beliefs of duty, honor, obedience and aggression into young men, and they will do the crazy deed of caramelizing scads of Iraqi children and civilians with white phosphorus simply because they got the order over the radio: "Shake n' Bake 'em, boys, cuz Cap'n said go!"
Hearing their orders, these young men jump to, and do a highly professional job of it.
Nonetheless, that is a batshit crazy thing to do. Under another sun and moon than the madness of war, they would never do it.
Then let's trace the crazy all the way back, to the grownups ultimately responsible for sending those fuzzy-chinned grunts out to Falluja to introduce whole families and neighborhoods to Willy Pete.
Follow me a ways, under the sun and moon that shine over the Pentagon and Congress and West Wing.
Instill core beliefs of racial, class, ethnic, religious, and national superiority into a cadre of career politicians and civil servants and soldiers, and they will express attitudes, values and a worldview of pure American imperialism and superiority. These attitudes lead to predictable actions in support of them. These career movers and shakers will proudly and openly carry the White Man's Burden. They will do the crazy deed of seeking preemptively to dominate the planet, to prevent any nation state or people anywhere from ever interfering with total American hegemony. They will say with all their hearts that the American way of life is not negotiable, and they'll back that with tactical nukes if they have to.
They aren't kidding. Nobody ever kids about their core beliefs. When you see them making plans to nuke Iran, you can believe they will do it, because they know they are right; they fully expect to be proven right eventually even if you disagree with them now. They know they will win your approval and praise in due course. They know you will inevitably thank them for glassing over Persia because they know -- they absolutely know -- that their beliefs, and attitudes, and actions are right -- America must come out on the very tippy top, no matter what.
No matter what. The end justifies any means. Carte blanche. The Project for a New American Century.
Absolute American hegemony is the only rational action to take, to some people. Like all crazy persons, they see their view of things as the only sensible, only possible course of action. It's not whimsical, or accidental, it's not cynical or lying. They believe it, and they mean it. They've written books and books about it. They've thought it through very carefully; they've added it up every which way, and -- what do you know? -- they still come out absolutely right. Putting America at the very tippy top of the whole world is the only sane thing to do.
Nonetheless, that is batshit crazy. As crazy as worshipping raccoons. Or doing inexplicable things in the intersection.
Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz -- all the hundreds of neocon crazies in DC, and all the government and military people who go along with this New American Century madness are directly responsible for those caramelized civilians and children in Falluja. And a lot more. A lot more. Their beliefs led to certain attitudes that made certain actions perfectly sensible. To them.
They aren't stubborn. They aren't stupid. They aren't wrong. They are simply right. Crazy right. And they aren't done yet. And we can't solve this by ignoring or walking away from them because they will visit their madness upon every American family. They'll bring it right to your door, right into your bedroom, right into the kids' rooms and take them away for foreign wars to put America on the very tippy top.
The mess that their wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have created hasn't convinced them they are mistaken. Even a bag of bobcats will not convince them that they are mistaken. They know in their hearts that they are as right as rain, and it is we who are crazy, we who want to stop these resource wars before they begin. We who don't mind at all if America is simply one nation among 193 others. We who don't mind at all if America is not Number One, No Matter What.
The moral of this story?
To fight these people with words, actions and attitudes is to engage in an endless firefight of words and actions and attitude. It won't reach them; they won't fall.
Nothing will change their crazy except exposing their core beliefs as lies, fundamental lies about America. What America is, and what we stand for. How we view human beings. How we treat human beings. How we treat our own citizens.
Nothing will destroy these neocon nuts faster than ridicule and laughter about their core beliefs.
America is a fundamental idea about the freedom to live and let live. These neocons are not Americans at heart, they are members of a master race, in their minds. They believe they have rights over Americans that most Americans don't have, and that Americans have rights over other human beings that are absolute.
They aren't kidding about it, either. Those are their core beliefs.
In WWII my father walked from Normandy to the Elbe, shooting strangers as he put it, then re-upped for the occupation. Got fluent, and very good at interviewing.
He swam in a sea of heartfelt stories about the war years, how it was no one's choice, no one's fault, no one ever wanted this, and no one knew what went on. Those were the common themes, he said.
And then there were the true believers, whose only regret about the war was losing it -- to a plague of GI and Russian boots and tanks and planes. Too many of us to shoot. Just too many of us to shoot.
These Nazis hadn't changed their faith, they hadn't lost their faith, they had lost a war, that's all. They still believed that some people deserved to live, and have, and do. And some did not. Those sub-type humans were to be herded and harvested and discarded.
My Dad said he never wanted to shoot the strangers he shot. Never wanted to look at them or know why they had to die. It was just a lot of shooting, and then it stopped one morning in the spring of '45.
But these Nazis reciting their philosophy to him, a year or two afterward, he wanted them gone from the face of the earth -- if he had to do it with his bare hands. It was personal. These were the very people who created the war. The very people who caused it, chose it, and pursued it, and would again the first chance they got.
Dad was a gentle man, and scrupulously fair. Never wanted to hear unkind things about people. Said folks were doing the best they could, whatever they did. But on the topic of Nazis, he said the kindest thing is to shoot people who get like that.