"Never before did I realise that mental illness could have the aspect of power, power. Think of it: perhaps the more insane a man is, the more powerful he could become. Hitler an example. Fair makes the old brain reel, doesn't it? Food for thought there." Dale Harding to Randle P. McMurphy, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (Ken Kesey—1962).
We open today’s Professional Moron blog post with this quote from the book Mr. Wapojif (that’s me) is currently about to finish reading.
One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest openly challenges the concept of lunacy and makes us all (especially me) think that we’re all only one step away from being incarcerated in an insane asylum.
There have been some interesting examples of “lunacy” or “madness” that have been recorded.
It’s part of human nature to be interested in this sort of thing; just what makes someone go loco? And what exactly is it like?
Anyone who has seen the truly excellent The Madness of King George can concur it creates a darkly amusing, if highly poignant, turn.
The film is based on King George III’s sporadic spells with madness where his behaviour went entirely out of the window.
Already pretty quirky, his government officials watched on in dismay as he made advances on attractive female staff, assaulted his son, and generally went a bit off for a Regal figure.
Dr. Willis, a madness specialist of sorts, is drafted in with severe restraint methods designed to drive some discipline into the King’s berserk life. As the Doctor notes (in the above clip):
"The state of lunacy and the state of monarchy share a frontier. Some of my lunatics fancy themselves Kings. He is the king."
Our very own Truman Trumanson has been described as a “lunatic” on many occasions (he once tried to floss his teeth with melted cheese) but he certainly has never fancied himself as a King. A Queen, though…. now there’s a different matter.
Other folk get labelled as “mad” and for different reasons. Should, for instance, Keith Moon have been consigned to bedlam?
As his great friend and drinking partner Oliver Reed put it:
"I knew the path to the bar, but Moon showed me the path to the bizarre."
His manager described Moon as a man trapped by a persona of his creation:
"On the one hand he was this lunatic who couldn't wait to get behind a drum kit and explode with it, on the other he was a very quiet type of person."
According to one of his girlfriends, when he didn’t drink, he loved to read and did so extensively. Crazy bastard!
Our theory is the more introverted an individual is the more mad they are likely to be, they just need to remove the introverted mask through destructive alcohol or drug intake. But, then, you know…. cheese is ace!