The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

‘Die, Navin R. Johnson!’

Posted on | January 19, 2011 | 6 Comments

“The new phonebook’s here! The new phonebook’s here! . . . This is the kind of spontaneous publicity — your name in print — that makes people! Things are going to start happening to me now!”

To explain the non sequitur: Steve Martin’s excitement over the “spontaneous publicity” of the new phonebook is how I felt when I got Instalanched last night. But of course, the consequences of Navin R. Johnson’s publicity weren’t quite what he expected. The crackpot gunman looking for an opportunity to wreak his vengeance on a “random son of a bitch” — well, we used to make fun of lunatics like that. Americans used to have a sense of humor. But then political correctness came along, and advocates for the mentally ill told us it was wrong to laugh at kooks, nuts and wackos.

Everything became very serious, and everybody had to be very sensitive, but I don’t think all that seriousness and sensitivity actually helped anyone. In fact, I’d be prepared to say that things have gotten much worse.

Good mental health isn’t about being somber and thin-skinned. A genuinely healthy personality is cheerful and optimistic, and is not easily easily angered or discouraged. If you devote your life to looking for reasons to feel offended and seeking scapegoats to blame for your unhappiness, you’re just like that wacko flipping through the phonebook looking for some “typical bastard” to kill.

Seriousness and sensitivity? That crap will make you crazy.


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