Have you ever noticed how crazy people don’t need a reason to act crazy? There are lots of crazies in SF and Scotland too apparently. I was thinking about how many damn babies there are in the world compared to adults. I figured we were completely outnumbered so I looked it up and it turns out the baby boomers are still taking the lead in population. With their social security and their retirement plans. Turns out in the states anyway one out of every 8 Americans is “old” and represent 12.9% of the U.S, population. Those age 65 and older numbered 39.6 million in 2009, a number that has continued to explode. The latest U.S. Census Bureau brief on data from the 2010 Census shows seniors increasing faster than younger populations, raising the nation’s median age from 35.3 in 2000 to 37.2 in 2010, with seven states having a median age of 40 or older. That’s not old to me considering I’m about to turn 31 but it does surprise me. No wonder employment is so low and the economy is in pieces. Between this and the excess of the 80s. January 2011 ushered in the first of approximately 77 million Baby Boomers, born from 1946 through 1964 and surging toward the gates of retirement. Each year more than 3.5 million Boomers turn 55. Their swelling numbers predict that, by 2030, there will be about 72.1 million older persons, more than twice their number in 2000. Now how does this relate to crazy? From an article I read: As they begin to experience declines in their physical and sensory capabilities, they will demand—and respond to—products and services that help them maintain their active lifestyles and activities: flexible scheduling, continuing education, travel, intellectual and stimulating experiences, and opportunities for companionship. Match that with the incapacity our nation has for meeting these demands and you have millions of people damaged by their own expectations, dreams shattered, divorces and hardships accumulated, and social detachments from prolonged dependency on technological vacuums (like this one) prolonging isolation and distraction from any real life connections. I’m over generalizing here because my study is based on pondering and a couple articles but all I can hope for the future is that the population and excess will continue to level out with increased awareness of our impact on the environment and our psychological response to excess and isolation, and the younger generations will learn to recycle and restructure the trash we’ve compiled in the last 100 years. Another article I read says if we think of having a diagnosable mental illness as being under a tent, the tent seems pretty big. “Huge, in fact. How did it happen that half of us will develop a mental illness? Has this always been true and we just didn’t realize how sick we were—we didn’t realize we were under the tent? Or are we mentally less healthy than we were a generation ago? What about a third explanation—that we are labeling as mental illness psychological states that were previously considered normal, albeit unusual, making the tent bigger. The answer appears to be all three.” I have a couple friends who have been dependent on pharmaceuticals since they were in sixth grade. It seems to be worst today where parents diagnose their kids (like my 6 year old cousin) with ADHD and mania and have them watched like a hawk for any weird traits like having a personality is a form of crazy. Why does this remind me of the hysteria of the 1800s? Women locked up in bedrooms by the insistence of their doctors and husbands only to go stir crazy and see voices in the wallpaper. What they really needed was a good lay and yet here they were sent to psych wards and shunned as unstable for speaking up and being different. Each generation has a form of this social discrimination but only recently has it been controlled by heavily addictive and expensive substances with names we can’t pronounce and ingredients we can’t understand. If there were a war and we lost access to these dependencies how would we respond? Would everyone be up in arms counting stars like cartoon children or running mad like The Plague? I assume all of the nuts in SF got there because of the large number of homeless shelters and drug clinics in the area. I can’t speak for Scotland other than my personal experience with a stalker so of course I just mean to say that geography doesn’t matter, this behavior exists everywhere in different forms. It stems from extreme narcissism mixed with delusions. A strong sense of self without personal awareness. Overthinking without real analysis. That’s how I see it anyway. And just to wrap this up younger generations are “sicker”. There is much more anxiety. Much more emotional reactivity. We drink more caffeine, sit for more prolonged periods of time with no fresh air, no movement; people become preoccupied with lists of accomplishments and the ladder of success rather than emotional connections; we escape via social lubricants and tv. Why don’t we have even more nuts with all of this? I suppose I’m not giving any solutions other than the obvious like try to listen when someone calls you out on your shit but also realize when someone else is being crazy or manipulative. Try to listen to your gut instincts. Avoid crazy, you are not their confidants/teachers. Try to take a walk every day and get fresh air and listen to your body. All the simple things we forget about when something easier and quicker comes along for a moment. What if that something disappears and you are left with yourself and only yourself? What about that? Do you want our current generation of babies to grow up cursing our existence like we do the baby boomers? Do you want to forget why you ever enjoyed life when the show ends and you can’t sleep? I don’t know this has been a rant sort of. I’m going to go take a walk.
Clou le Fou
In conjunction with my photography exploring negative space, I have also been writing in that silent time between midnight and 4am, and here I have gathered memories and words from that space between dreams and reality.