Friday, March 19, 2010

Madness Incarnate

I am a behavior teacher. I teach behavior, and I manage behavior. If a child in the public school system is just too &%$#@ psycho to be able to handle regular classes, they send this child to me. As a generalist, I am qualified to teach the child math, English, reading, science, and social studies, and any electives they think he needs.

Some children really are insane, and cannot benefit from public school. Others simply don't give a shit. A few children really, honestly, are evil incarnate.

The parents are sometimes to blame for this, except when they aren't.

The kind of parents I deal with often can't or won't institutionalize them, demanding their rights as taxpayers to eight hours of daily day care. Sometimes, they even get lawyery, demanding that their psychotic little snowflake pass all standardized tests, or they're going to sue the school district, and they don't CARE if he's shrieking like a banshee during a lesson, eating the textbooks and trying to stab the child next to them!


I get these sometimes. They usually don't last long. Sooner or later, the child in question self-destruct, either breaking a law or doing something dangerous enough that we can throw them out, countersue, THREATEN to countersue, get them arrested, or otherwise force the parent to clean up his own mess, rather than simply dumping it in public education's lap. That's what it is, you know -- education. Nothing more, nothing less. There are nearly no provisions for psychotherapy, physical restraint, medications, and other requirements of the severely mentally ill.

In the meantime, there's me: the last line of defense for the classroom teacher and the student body, against the rights of the crazy, the abused, and the severely fucked up. I do the best I can. I often succeed. But I'm not a shrink, and I'm not a mental hospital, and occasionally I get one who's more than I can handle. When that happens, I do the best I can until the kid self-destructs... and then I and my other students breathe a sigh of relief.

This brings me to something I read recently about Orly Taitz. Some of you might recognize this person as the woman who will not be convinced that Barack Obama was born an American citizen, and therefore intends to go down fighting for her right for him not to be President of the United States.

When I first heard of her, I thought, "Wow. Here's someone really determined to stand up for what she believes in." The more I learned about her, though -- particularly after several TV appearances -- the more I found my opinion changing to "Wow. This person is batshit crazy."

It probably began when on a TV news show, she made it pretty clear that it was NOT POSSIBLE to prove that Obama was an American. Simply not possible. Nope, don't care what evidence you provide, I can and will reject it. Nope, nope, nope. There is no evidence that will convince me. Don't care what it is, don't care where it came from, I DON'T BELIEVE IT, AND THAT SETTLES IT.

In fact, aside from the lack of screeching and general verbal ugliness, she kind of reminded me of some of my less sane parents.

Yet she was out there, practicing law and doing her damndest to get Obama... um... I dunno. Impeached? Deported? Unpresidented? I don't quite know what we'd do if everyone decided to humor her...

Well, apparently, those days are over; someone has moved to have her disbarred. Apparently, whatever passes for the law in California is tired of the crazy woman, particularly after she tried to have a judge brought up on treason charges after he found against her in one of her recent cases.

It made me think of another crazy lawyer, one Jack Thompson. This guy spent YEARS trying to bring down the outfit that makes "Grand Theft Auto," insisting that there was a very real connection between violent video games and real-life violent behavior. The fact that no one but him could find it made no difference; he had a mission, and by Ghod, he was going to carry it out... even to the point of suing those with whom he disagreed, if they dared disagree with him publicly.

Sure enough, after the better part of a decade of harassing judges, suing journalists and private citizens, tying up the legal system, paralyzing courts, and singlehandedly attempting to somehow grab reality by the balls and force it to do his bidding by sheer virtue of his mighty lawyerly powers...

...he got disbarred.

Mm-hm. Two people who followed their madness and tried to lawyer the world into doing it all their way. Two people who... for all practical purposes... self-destructed.

It makes me wonder: is this a particular KIND of madness? Is this some sort of bizarre evolutionary development that keeps the seriously-insane-yet-able-to-exert-power-via-the-system from overpowering said system? The habit the seriously nuts have of self destructing?

And how long until Glenn Beck does it? I'm really getting tired of him.

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