Monday, September 24, 2007

How to Descend into Madness

If, like many people, you find yourself sometimes pining away for a good bout of foam-at-the-mouth rage as a break from your workaday sanity, this handy guide is for you. Thanks to a genuine scientifically-based analysis I can now provide a handy guide for descending into madness.

Step 1: Pick an Obsession

If you’re going to descend into madness, you’ll need to go mad over something. It used to be that people went insane over lovers. With the rise in anti-stalking laws, though, this has been more and more off-limits. A safer alternative is to become a “political stalker”, where you pick your cause celebre and then incessantly discuss it ad nauseum until people roll their eyes and grit their teeth every time they see you.

Here are some examples: Republicans, Democrats, vegans, the environment, fantasy football, animal rights, etc.

Example: “I feel strongly that gerbils should be free, not kept in cages.”

Step 2: Allow this topic to suffuse your daily life

Remember that going mad is not like getting buns of steel: it requires commitment and not just 15 minutes a day crushing walnuts with your butt. From the time you get up, until the time you go to bed, you should be thinking about this subject that is so overridingly important to you. Posters, T-shirts, key fobs, Christmas tree ornaments, tattoos…whatever it takes to display your fetish to the world, display it.

And don’t forget bumper stickers, a weak argument’s best friend.

Example: The big stuffed gerbil hanging from your rearview mirror with the words “BORN FREE” on its side.

Step 3: Begin to make irrational criticism against those who don’t agree

Let’s face it: not everybody is into making the animals at the zoo wear pants to protect innocent children from monkey penis envy as much as you are. That’s their fault, not yours. You need to begin to bring this subject to the forefront and discuss it at every opportunity, no matter how seemingly irrelevant it is. Remember: your obsession is the pinnacle of importance in the world. Even if you were on fire, you should be thinking about whether the orangutan would prefer boxers or briefs (definitely avoid the thong, though, unless it’s a European zoo).

And please, remember the first rule if insane criticism: if you can’t compare the transgressor to Hitler, you’re not trying hard enough.

Example: your coworker says “My kids want to buy a gerbil, but I don’t know if I want the hassle of cleaning the cage.”
You reply “I suppose you don’t want the hassle of sticking electrodes up its anus to torture it either like Hitler did, do you, you bastard?”

Step 4: Develop Immunity to Contradictory Facts

This is absolutely critical for you to continue to develop your madness. I also regret to inform you that this is the step where most potential maniacs go wrong.

A lot of people, when confronted with evidence that contradicts their warped world view, begin to analyze it and see if maybe they’re the ones that are wrong, like when they’re told that drinking turpentine is, in fact, harmful.

This is the mentality of the loser. In order to inoculate yourself from the harmful effect of facts, realize that there’s a giant conspiracy out there (comprised of, among others, Freemasons, the John Birch society, the USPS, and the Food Advisory Council) whose sole goal is the destruction/opposition/liberation of whatever it is that you’re so fired-up about.

And remember that when majority opinion is overwhelmingly against you, rather than despair the truly insane realize that this is de facto proof that they are right.

Example: “You know, the average lifespan of a gerbil in the wild is about two weeks, because most of them get eaten by their mother.
Your response: “That’s what the sinister gerbil cage manufacturer consortium wants you to think.”

Step 5: Attach Insane Comments to End of Sentences

Now that you’re insane, it’s time to start manifesting your madness in strange and eloquent ways. Or at least strange. The best way to do this is to come up with a stock phrase (“Because of course they put mind-control chips in your flu shot”) and then stick it at the end of sentences at random.

Be sure to include it in every excuse: “Of course I was late to work this morning; my car had a flat tire because they put mind-control chips in your flu shot.”

Example: “I haven’t done as much comedy lately because nothing seems funny as long as millions of gerbils are held in tiny wire cages.”

Step 6: Threaten, Ridicule, Excuse, Repeat

Now it’s time to punish people less crazy than yourself. First, you make some ludicrous threat (along the lines of “I’ll hold my breath till I turn blue!”). Then, you won’t get what you want. Don’t let your feelings get hurt; nobody pays any attention to crazy people. But you didn’t start this to be listened to, did you? If you did, I regret to inform you that you’re in for a load of disappointment. Only CNN and the AP listen to ignorant cranks and; well, what’s the point of that?

Then, make up an excuse for why people didn’t listen to you. Feel free to go back to Step 4 and dig up the conspiracy if you want. Then repeat the cycle. Don’t worry about people realizing you’re a combination broken record/broken clock. Nobody has attention spans that long any more.

Example: “If all of the gerbils aren’t released into the wild in the next ten days, I’m going to move to Canada!”
Ten days later: “Well, of course nobody released their gerbils. It’s because people are sadistic humanists.”
Day after that: “I didn’t move away because if I left, who would make you realize the error of your ways?”
Five days after that: “If all of the gerbils aren’t released into the wild in the next ten days, I’m going to move to Russia!”

Step 7: Become a ‘Typhoid Mary’ for your Insanity

Now that you’re mad, it’s time to share the wealth. Nobody wants to be the only one pushing voting rights for convicted foreign baby seal clubbers, do they? But how do you go about doing that?

Simple: find a sniggering moron who happens to be famous and have a talk show, then go on and spout off your inanity for a little while. He’ll snigger right along and you’ll get a few laughs, and at home some impressionable moron in his underwear will see the light, set up a MySpace page all about how wonderful you are, and you’ll be off to the races.

Example: You appear on Bill Maher to promote “National Gerbil Freedom Awareness Day” and release a gerbil, which poops on his desk, prompting Maher to say “Aw, it looks like Dick Cheney!” Everybody laughs and you go home, secure in the knowledge that you’ve infected other people with your brain-rot.

Sound good?

If you’re nodding, RE-READ THE INSTRUCTIONS! While it’s true that Maher is a sniggering moron with a talk show, I said “famous.” It’s really unlikely the thirty people who watch him aren’t already nursing a grudge against society that takes up 100% of their mental illness time.

Remember what we discovered in Step 2: this requires constant commitment.

Good luck with your madness!