Everyone's a little nuts. And by "little" we mean garden-variety madness, the kind practiced by the likes of Angelina Jolie, now nurturing another adopted orphan. Jolie's gone mommy nuts -- God knows what Brad Pitt is thinking sometimes -- but at least she's got the smack to give the kids a decent upbringing and her heart seems in the right place. A no-harm nuttiness, if you will.
This we understand; this can be digested. But the insanity regulators seem busted these days -- a little has become a lot, and we don't seem to mind at all. Like adrenaline and other substances, madness is addictive, and it takes stronger doses to let us hang out on clouds.
So we shrug when David R. Garvin goes beyond a little nuts and guns down a restaurant worker and two auxiliary police officers in New York. Those who knew the schooled journalist and frustrated screenwriter could see the snap coming; Amanda Cooley Davis, an actress who worked with Garvin, told a reporter that "of all the people I’ve known in my life, for anybody to go postal, this is the least surprising." Did anyone do anything to stop the madness? How could they, when "go postal" is a common idiom?
We laugh instead of weep when Rep. Rahm Emanuel tells new Democratic members of Congress to steer clear of Stephen Colbert and stay off “The Colbert Report," the satirical show. Reason? The comedian might poke fun at the politicians, and voters might not get the joke. Now that Democrats control Congress, Emanuel is dictating from fear, not confidence. Insanity.
We barely get roused when language and common sense get divided. Everyone in government agrees that Valerie Plame's identity was classified information, but once it's released and her CIA career is ended, the debate becomes whether classified really means classified, whether "covert officer" means something less than "undercover spy." People who defend Plame are "traitors." People who approve of the leaking of her name are "patriots."
We don't care anymore. We're Americans; we've got more junk that anyone else on the planet. We're so big in our heads, we don't even pay much notice when federal agents run rampant over our privacy and hoover up phone records without warrants. Nothing to hide, nothing to fear. Nothing to care about.
In his new book, Tom DeLay says Republicans lost control of Congress because "they did not communicate their message and their victories with enough strength to overcome short-term, media-fed issues that arose right before the election." All those other things that ruined the GOP in 2006 -- Iraq, Duke Cunningham, Mark Foley? Simply media-fed issues, with no basis in reality. Any other way of thinking would be logical, rational, sane -- in other words, complete madness.