11 September 2008

Certifiably nuts

The Community Mental Health Act of 1963 was part of President Kennedy's New Frontier Initiative. Through that act, many mental institutions were closed. In some senses this was a good thing. In others it has led to an explosion of homelessness among the mentally ill.

But fortunately, not all of the mentally ill are homeless and unemployed. Consider this article by David Plotz of Slate.com
I rarely remember my dreams, but for the past week, GOP vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin has been haunting me. Night after night, she appears in my dreams, always as a scolding, ominous figure.

When I mentioned my Palin dreams to Slate colleagues, they volunteered their own. One Obama-supporting colleague dreamed she had urged her young son to kill Palin with a string bean. Another dreamed she was at a fashion show and Palin served her crème fraîche on little scooped corn chips. A third says, "In the Sarah Palin dream I keep having, she has superhuman powers but is not really a person at all. In fact, she is more like the weather with glasses and an up-do, pushing clouds around and pitching lightning bolts."

I suspect we are not unusual. Palin has gripped the American imagination in a way that seems designed to burrow into our dream lives. Palin's supermom abilities provoke envy and anxiety in women, especially other working mothers. Her instant celebrity and dazzling speech have panicked Obama supporters who thought they had the election in the bag. And then there's her sex appeal. A couple of conservative men I know have mentioned that they've been having sexual fantasies about the Alaska governor. I'm sure they're not alone.

This is completely unhinged. Clearly some of the mentally ill are working at Slate.

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