FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

by BEN TRIPP

My brother ­ we’ll call him Sam, seeing as that’s his name ­ works in a daycare center for lunatics. You can’t say he isn’t public spirited. I wouldn’t set foot in that place with a police escort and a hazmat suit to use the pay phone, but Sam just shrugs and says “where’s the corn chips”. He’s the very thing the Powers That Be in this country are trying to wipe out. Not only does Sam work in a place devoted to public health, it’s special needs public health. And not only that, the joint is black-owned. You cannot imagine a facility less beloved by the Republicans. Reagan did a lot of damage back in the day, yet he zapped only the most helpless people in society. Bush Jr. has been handed a more comprehensive task: don’t just attack one part of the system, poison the whole thing. And yet, I wonder what the plutocrats intend to do with all the crazy people and the old people and the poor people when their boy succeeds in starving off the remaining few bits of the Welfare State. Because all those unfortunate folks will get even skinnier, but they won’t disappear.

My brother is one of these Kung Fu experts that can wrench a man’s head off using only his arm hair, but instead of attacking, he merely stands there looking so menacing you finally strangle yourself unconscious to end the terror. He has studied every fighting form imaginable: master of the Mincing Buffalo, the Swift Goose, Irritable Monkey, Colorado Bulldog, Peculating Dragonfly, Hesitant Mantis, Crouching Walrus, and Snoozing Chuckwalla styles, among many other species. He is nearly invincible in hand-to-hand combat. While this is as useful on a day-to-day basis for most people as being able to inflate your ears like balloons, it is impressive to see. Add to this a wall-to-wall dermal tapestry of densely-needled tattoos, a condition of advanced emaciation, and eyeballs so sunken they look like bird’s nests with eggs in them, and you have an intimidating kind of person. Yet it is precisely his physical training that makes him perfect for his job.

With a gentle pressure, Sam can cause an agitated 300 pound maniac to sit meekly in his chair. No pain is caused, no cruelty delivered, just a slight application of an unopposable force to which even the most demented and bacon-smelling lunatic must yield. It’s just the sort of thing that used to get discovered and written up in professional journals, back when the public weal was of any concern. Time was, the authorities would have noted this quiet, gaunt guy handling these immense psychotics with ease, and they would have investigated what was going right with the system. They would have found out Sam was a Kung Fu expert, and they would have started teaching some sort of modified Kung Fu technique to the nurses working with dangerous nutcases. I would call it the Schizophrenic Wildebeest Style, but nobody’s asking me. Nobody’s asking Sam, either. They just give him a modest raise every couple of years and don’t remark on his full sleeve tattoos. And yet, there could be a revolution in the care and treatment of loonies, if only the revolution wasn’t focused on ending the care and treatment of everybody.

Not that there’s a concerted effort to close mental hospitals like during the Reagan years. As I already said if you would just pay attention, please, the situation is actually far worse. There’s a concerted effort to cut off funding to pretty much any institution that does anything that rich people don’t require and middle-class people (you remember them) don’t want to think about. Every once in a while some well-off kid suffers a dorsally angulated solitary metaphyseal greenstick fracture in the distal radius and has to go to the emergency room and his parents ask, why is the only emergency room in another city, but for the most part nobody wants to know. Out of sight, out of mind. But out of mind is exactly the condition of the guy who will be wandering around naked and yelling in your front yard, if we don’t start taking the Bush budget cuts seriously.

It’s not just people in need of psychiatric care that will get screwn. Anybody that needs a little help to pay for meds, anybody older than sixty that doesn’t have a fat retirement account in euros, anybody disabled in the service of the country, all little kids that aren’t born rich and idle, the list goes on and on. I only focus on the mental cases because I’m worried my brother will lose his job and go crazy. If that happens, there isn’t a man alive that can make him sit meekly in a chair. And he knows how to find my lawn.

BEN TRIPP can be reached at credel@earthlink.net.

His book, ‘Square In The Nuts’, has been held up at the printers by thugs but will be released as soon as hostage negotiations conclude.

See also www.cafeshops.com/tarantulabros.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

December 08, 2016
John W. Whitehead
Power to the People: John Lennon’s Legacy Lives On
Mike Whitney
Rolling Back the Empire: Washington’s Proxy-Army Faces Decisive Defeat in Aleppo
Ellen Brown
“We’ll Look at Everything:” More Thoughts on Trump’s $1 Trillion Infrastructure Plan
John Stauber
The Rise and Fall of Obamacare: Will the Inside Story Ever be Told?
Ted Rall
Ameri-Splaining
Michael J. Sainato
Mainstream Media Continues Absolving Itself From Clinton, Trump Election Failures
Ralph Nader – Mark Green
Divest or Face Impeachment: an Open Letter to Donald Trump
Gareth Porter
US Airstrikes on Syrian Troops: Report Data Undermine Claim of “Mistake”
Martha Burke
What Trumponomics Means for Women
Ramzy Baroud
Fatah, Hold Your Applause: Palestinian Body Politic Rotten to the Core
Steve Horn
Jeff Sessions, Trump’s Attorney General Pick, Introduced First Bill Exempting Fracking from Drinking Water Rules
Joe Ware
The Big Shift: Why Banks Need to Stop Investing Our Money Into Fossil Fuels
Juliana Barnet
On the Ground at Standing Rock
Franklin Lamb
Aleppo Update: An Inspiring Return to the Bombed Out National Museum
Steve Kelly
Hidden Harmony: on the Perfection of Forests
December 07, 2016
Michael Schwalbe
What We Talk About When We Talk About Class
Karl Grossman
The Next Frontier: Trump and Space Weapons
Kenneth Surin
On Being Caught Speeding in Rural America
Chris Floyd
In Like Flynn: Blowback for Filth-Peddling Fascists
Serge Halimi
Trump, the Know-Nothing Victor
Paul DeRienzo
Flynn Flam: Neocon Ex-General to Be Trump’s National Security Advisor
Binoy Kampmark
Troubled Waters: Trump, Taiwan and Beijing
Tom Clifford
Trump and China: a Note From Beijing
Arnold August
Fidel’s Legacy to the World on Theory and Practice
Dave Lindorff
Is Trump’s Idea To Fix a ‘Rigged System’ by Appointing Crooks Who’ve Played It?
John Kirk
Cuba After Fidel
Jess Guh
Repeal of Affordable Care Act is Politics Playing with the Wellbeing of Americans
Eric Sommer
Team Trump: a Government of Generals and Billionaires
Lawrence Davidson
U.S. Reactions to the Death of Fidel Castro
John Garvey - Noel Ignatiev
Abolitionism: a Study Guide
Clancy Sigal
Caution: Conspiracy Theory Ahead!
December 06, 2016
Anthony DiMaggio
Post-Fact Politics: Reviewing the History of Fake News and Propaganda
Richard Moser
Standing Rock: Challenge to the Establishment, School for the Social Movements
Behrooz Ghamari Tabrizi
Warmongering 99 – Common Sense 0: the Senate’s Unanimous Renewal of Iran Sanctions Act
Norman Solomon
Media Complicity is Key to Blacklisting Websites
Michael J. Sainato
Elizabeth Warren’s Shameful Exploitation of Standing Rock Victory
David Rosen
State Power and Terror: From Wounded Knee to Standing Rock
Kim Ives
Deconstructing Another Right-Wing Victory in Haiti
Nile Bowie
South Korea’s Presidency On A Knife-Edge
Mateo Pimentel
Some Notes and a Song for Standing Rock
CJ Hopkins
Manufacturing Normality
Bill Fletcher Jr – Bob Wing
Fighting Back Against the White Revolt of 2016
Peter Lee
Is America Ready for a War on White Privilege?
Pepe Escobar
The Rules of the (Trump) Game
W. T. Whitney
No Peace Yet in Colombia Despite War’s End
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail