Some might say that all the big problems have been solved and these days the biggest threats to our well-being are self-imposed issues like global warming and sports injuries. However we should not forget that we’re still grappling with some really serious issues, from drug addiction to terrorism. People might try to make light of them, but remember – it’s not a joke. We must take them seriously or they will get the better of us and destroy civilization as we know it.
In the series Maron, Marc Maron gets addicted to opiates and finds himself back in rehab after 20 years abstinence. He lambastes recovery culture – the empty slogans, the ‘addicts’ in rehab only because their gold-plated insurance pays for months of ‘treatment’, and the obsession with sexual shenanigans. However we must remember that addiction is a real disease, and if you are having problems then you should contact SAMHSA for treatment referrals- as Maron reminds us at the end of each episode. There you can find ‘treatment’ that consists mostly of replacing your excessive opiate use with other opiates. Of course, this has been proven to save lives over traditional abstinence based treatment. And since people can die from opiates then it must be a real disease – a chronic, progressive, relapsing brain disease. Complete with treatments.
To prevent addiction we must do a better job of identifying people at risk of addiction. Children who have impulse control disorders should be singled out so that they and their loved ones can be taught how to recognize increasingly chaotic behavioral patterns and prevent them before they get out of control, because they can quickly spiral into drug use and addiction. Many experts now believe that addiction is a learning disorder, and therefore early intervention and treatment can be provided for such unfortunates, where they and their loved ones can learn to identify increasingly chaotic behavior patterns and seek early intervention and treatment for their learning disorder – a disorder typically characterized by lengthy, dramatic and raucous recounting of all the crazy things you did while high (at least the ones you can remember).
Scientists now understand that addiction is a learning disorder, in which the victim steals a pill despite being told a million times not to, and this causes a learning disorder that compels the victim to steal pills despite being told not to. This is not a joke.
In Lady Dynamite, Maria Bamford stars as an aspiring actress whose alternating use of meth and alcohol lands her in the psychiatrist office, earning her a diagnosis of ‘bipolar’. You might be forgiven for thinking she is making light of very serious mental illnesses, with jokes like “It’s not a good sign if they reveal their treatment regimen on the first date.” But in fact, she suffered greatly from mental illness her entire life, including psychoses and crippling depression requiring hospitalizations. “I went to an OCD specialist. And within two weeks – I was 35 when I went – it was gone. Something that had plagued me for my entire life was gone.” She currently takes depakote and prozac, despite the ‘slight tremor in her hands’. That is certainly not something to laugh about. She insists that these problems are real despite ridiculing them, and if you experience them you should seek help.
Many of the school shootings that have been committed recently were by good people who got caught up in the throes of mental illness, like autism and schizophrenia. It is important to refer these people early for early intervention and treatment, where they can learn that their disorders put them at risk of being a school shooter or other psychotic break. In such cases there are pills they can take to prevent it. Just don’t forget to take it every day.
Don’t be discouraged by the denial that is characteristic of these disorders: “My son had, as an integral part of his illness, a phenomenon called anosygnosia, the inability to recognize you are ill.” Remember, even witches will steadfastly deny their nature. For this reason, treatment may seem like bullying and insults to achieve compliance. But the life of your loved one depends on it – and it can make for a great story line in a future memoir!
Terrorism is a deadly serious threat, even if TV shows like Key & Peele make fun of the stupidity of most Islamists – describing how even their best laid plans are thwarted by the dumb-as-rocks agents of the TSA. The FBI and CIA work hard to prevent ISIS recruitment by describing in gory detail the crimes you will be forced to commit if you join the group. They may even make you kill your parents and teachers! Such capers have little appeal to rebellious and mischievous kids, or to the petty criminals and drug users who are seeking to turn their life around in search of gainful employment. Remember, even the most successful and well adjusted people can be radicalized by the appeal of extremist religions. For this reason you should not teach your children right and wrong, because that is likely to scar them psychologically and put them at risk of radicalization. And of course, this is why we must bomb the hell out of ISIS – because if we don’t then they will produce videos extolling the glories of jihad and radicalize our own children to jihad against us. And we must bomb them because otherwise they will sell themselves into international sex trafficking rings. The real threat of terrorism should not be underestimated.
Some people are quick to blame terrorism on Islam and the Koran. They claim that Mohammed was a warrior and the Koran is a field manual for how to identify the hedonists and infidels and lay siege to their cities and kill the men and rape the women. However, these passages should not be taken literally – they are obviously metaphorical for the jihad – which is a spiritual struggle, not an actual battle. And people who die for the cause are promised 72 raisins (not virgins haha!). Furthermore, Muslims appreciate the true nature of psychology far better than Christians and Jews. This is indicated by the Koran’s version of Adam and Eve. When the guilty party is confronted they don’t deny it or make excuses like they do in the Bible. Instead, they cry, “Our Lord! we have wronged our own souls: if Thou forgive us not and bestow not upon us Thy mercy we shall certainly be lost.” Like all evil people around the world, they are completely aware of their own sinful nature, even if Unenlightened Christians might insist that “The Devil’s greatest trick is making you think he’s not there.” This also explains the Muslim practice of ‘throwing stones at the devil’ – of course you can destroy the devil without killing yourself in the process. Though they must do a better job of preventing the stampedes and disasters that usually accompany the ritual.
Some think we can reduce terrorism with gun control. This is true – only crazy people believe that crazy people should be allowed to own guns.
Secularism is Not a Religion
Laicite is the French policy of eradicating all traces of the evil influence of religion on public life in the country. Having learned from the experience of previous wars and massacres, most European countries have various hate speech and blasphemy laws to protect their citizens of the dangerous influence of radical ideologies that can take hold and cause public mania and destruction such as extremist Islamism or race mania. Top Nazi propagandists were radicalized under Weimar anti-Semitic blasphemy laws – if these laws had only been stronger and more all-encompassing then maybe they could have prevented the tragedy of the Holocaust, and maybe they would not have been used against the victims they were originally intended to protect. For this reason Europe must double down on their hate speech restrictions, even if such a strategy has never worked in the past and only served to exacerbate violence. And they must also prevent free assembly because otherwise people will radicalize others in close proximity, in a vicious, manic cycle. Hate speech is contagious.
And we must bring such laws to the US. Fortunately, Chris Christie implemented cyber bullying laws in New Jersey after the suicide of Tyler Clementi in 2010. These laws have already been used to suppress unpopular and potentially inciteful speech about Israel. Donald Trump can use these laws as a model to prevent the spread of radical and racist doctrines that can corrupt our minds and souls. Yes these laws may be forbidden by the First Amendment, but as Ben Franklin reminds us: security is the basis of our freedom. The Founding Fathers of the country were pretty smart but times have changed. We should not joke about such things or we may find ourselves caught up in a race mania like 1930’s Germany.
The Great Wall of Trump
If Trump’s campaign can be summed up in one phrase, it’s “Build the Wall!” The wall is the butt of many jokes and will cost more than the space program of the 60’s that put a man on the moon. But it is a fitting tribute to a man who permanently quenched our hunger for luxury office towers and residences. It is useful – otherwise immigrants will get in and rape our women and heroin will pass over the border and addict and kill our children. Now the only options are by plane, train and border crossings. Don’t worry about the price – Mexico will pay for it (Donald will get them to pay to build and staff it). The wall will reduce immigration (even though it is already net negative), and it will increase employment in careers in cleaning and agriculture, which Americans typically aspire to. And furthermore it will spur the economy through a network of railways by which to ship the illegals back to their home countries along with other ‘big box’ items. TV ratings will soar with scenes of midnight raids on suspected hiding places – much like the continuously televised SWAT invasions in Muslim neighborhoods on European TV these days.
Though we may make fun of these issues – perhaps for the sake of our own sanity – we know they are not jokes because at the same time we take them very seriously, as proven by the fact that many self-declared experts with academic credentials in the subjects can speak about them at length.