Friday, February 19, 2010

Psychotic people.

     Yesterday, a psychotic man flew a small plane into an IRS building. The story is here: uphill battle

     Most interestingly, I had read a short essay written by Philip K. Dick the morning it happened. He wrote the essay in October 1979. Here is the relevant excerpt:

     "An excellent therapist I once knew made the point that in almost all cases of criminal psychotic acting-out there was an easier alternative that the disturbed person overlooked. Brenda Spenser, for instance, could have walked to the local supermarket and bought a carton of chocolate milk instead of shooting eleven people, most of them children. The psychotic person actually chooses the more difficult path; he forces his way uphill. It is not true that he takes the line of least resistance, but he thinks that he does. There, precisely, lies his error. The basis of psychosis, in a nutshell, is the chronic inability to see the easy way out. All the behavior, all that constitutes psychotic activity and the psychotic lifestyle, stems from this perceptual flaw."

     Most people suffer from an acute inability to see the easy way out. Those are the types of people that yell and display much anger. I remember my 5th grade physical education teacher, Mr. Beekman, pointing out that it's unhealthy to bottle up anger. However, there is something to be said for people with chronic psychosis - they are very pleasant to be around until they crack.
     Another thing of interest is that 'shootings' are not new. They were making the news in 1979, just like they are today. In Los Angeles in 1979, a 17 year old girl named Brenda Spenser walked into a shoolyard of children and opened fire, killing two of them. She did so 'because she didn't like Mondays'. 
     As for the attack on the IRS building, I can relate to the anger some people have for the IRS. As I pointed out in my previous blog post, I view the IRS as bullies. But to destroy one's own life in order to attack a bully is not very helpful to one's life. Just like with Korean gangsters, if you give the IRS some of your money, then they will leave you alone. I view it as 'paying them off'. Paying them to leave me alone; that's how I justify it. I could fight them, but they are bigger and stronger - it'd be like jumping into a pit of crocodiles. However, if I were psychotic, then I'd view the pit of crocodiles as the easiest solution.