Thursday, February 21, 2013

Predictable Madness

Ernie Pyle wrote about induced madness nearly eighty years ago, only he was writing about thirst induced madness, rather than psychotropic-drug-induced madness that we are seeing on an all too regular basis.  The most remarkable part of our current insanity epicemic is that the media, politicians, and medical professionals refuse to acknowledge the link between young men taking psychotropic drugs and mass murders, when it is evident to anyone who sees the faces of these monsters.  Instead, everyone tries to pin the blame for mad behavior on the tools that murderers use to commit mayhem.

Insanity can be managed, if you acknowledge it for what it is, and treat it accordingly.  Read Ernie's account of a man who dealt with madness on a regular basis.  The lesson should be applied to the disturbed people among us today.
 *    "Ike Proebstal knew about men who die of thirst.  For thirty-three years he had been a prospector and a mining man among those snaky sands and bare mountains, and he had saved many a man from death.  A fellow down the road said to me, "When Ike Proebstal tells you anything about this country you can bank on it being true."...

..."I wish my brother was still alive to talk with you," he said.  "He had a real reputation for finding missing men.  But I've saved quite a few too.  The first fifteen years we were here, my brother and I rescued at least two people a year, I guess.  There isn't so much of it any more.  The auto has changed that.  People drive right out across the desert, and they can take plenty of water with them.  But even so, there's somebody lost from around here about once a year.

"You know, a  man dying of thirst always takes off all his clothes.  I don't know why, but they do it every time.  Years ago a  man rode into my prospecting camp late in the afternoon.  He was more dead than alive, and so was his horse.  He said he had left his partner under a bush about five miles away.  I started right out.  I ran almost all the way, for I knew I could just barely make it by sundown.  I knew that if I didn't get there before dark I'd never find him, because he'd get up at dusk and start traveling.  They always do.

" Well, I found him.  He was lying there on the sand, naked as a baby.  A few feet away was a tripod made of short steel tubing about two feet long, with a kettle hanging on it.  I kicked the tripod down and stood there and called to the fellow, 'I've got some water for you.  Come and get it.'  The fellow raised up.  His face was black as coal and his tongue was swollen and sticking out of his mouth two inches.  He jumped up and ran at me and tried to take the water away from me, but I handled him all right.  I'd brought a canteen of water and a whisky glass.  I gave him just one small glass of water.  Then I made him put his clothes on and told him if he'd follow me I'd give him a drink every hundred and fifty yards.  The boys back at the camp had built bonfires so I could find my way back.  When we got about halfway I asked the fellow how he was feeling, and he said fine, that he was sweating.  So I said, 'All right then, you can drink all you want now.'

"He told me later that he was crazy and yet he wasn't crazy.  He said he saw me standing over those steel bars, and he knew why I was doing it.  He said if it hadn't been for those bars he would have killed me to get at the water quicker."

People who have taken anti-depressant drugs have told me that part of you is placed up on a shelf, and you are watching yourself as if you are another person when you are on these drugs.  The advertisements on television that push these drugs always warn you to tell your doctor if you are having "Thoughts of Suicide."  That sounds more like an admission of the problems with these drugs, than advice.  Anyway, the behavior associated with these drugs is predictable, just as the behavior of a thirst-crazed man is predictable, and managing the resulting behaviors should be child's play for medical professionals, but no-one seems to be working on it.  Pushing the pills, and passing draconian laws that will solve nothing, is what we are getting from the folks who call themselves professionals.  The folks who think they are better than the rest of us all need to sit down and be schooled by the likes of Ernie Pyle and Ike Probestal, the desert rat who  actually helped people who had gone mad.

*Cactus Country, from Home Country, by Ernie Pyle, copyright, 1935- 1940, Scripps-Howard Newspaper Alliance; Copyright, 1947, William Sloane Associates, Inc.


Joshua Tolley said...

While I'll agree that it's obvious mass murderers generally have mental problems, and that they typically have exposure to psychotropic medication, and that it's certainly possible that the medication and the murder sprees are connected, I can't agree that it's evident these folks are deranged simply by seeing their faces. To suggest that a face alone will pinpoint the madman is no different from saying a barrel shroud is the difference between a safe firearm and an evil assault weapon.

David aka True Blue Sam said...

Don't miss the point, Josh. The Gabby Giffords shooter, and the Aurora shooter both mugged up wide-eyed smiles after they were arrested. The Newtown shooter looks like his soul has already fled. The doctors who were prescribing meds for them were missing clues about the potential these guys had for evil. No, you're not likely to see it when passing them on the street, but, the prescribing physicians should sure be looking for problems in patients with mental problems.