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The Observer is or was:
Not worth the time and effort 14%
A real and fairly normal person 35%
A real and harmless crazy person 14%
A real and dangerous crazy person 7%
An AI in the midst of an elaborate Turing test 0%
An accomplished fiction 21%
A serial killer 7%

Votes: 14

 Idle Amusements

 Author:  Topic:  Posted:
Feb 22, 2002
So the other day I was whiling away the time, listening to the radio, renting movies and generally waiting for a respectable hour to roll around before hitting the bars, when I stumbled across this here comic strip.

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Now, I know a fair bit about R. Crumb and P. K. Dick, and I've enjoyed some of their work, but they are not my favorite cartoonist and author, respectively. Neither would be in the top ten, actually. Nonetheless, I found that the little illustrated interview offered some food for thought.

Much hay has been made of Dick's insanity during the later days of his life. The particular species of delusion discussed is usually the "talking satellites" cosmology of VALIS, rather than the explicitly Christian explanation in the Crumb comic, but something new struck me this time around. To wit:

Dick attempted suicide in 1976 not becuase his delusions drove him to it, but because the voices in his head stopped, and he couldn't bear the silence.

We could interpret this in the manner most pleasing to the gibbering gibbons, putting schizophrenia on a pedestal and frowning at our current culture, or we could read a darker lesson into it-- we might find that humoring the insane is potentially quite dangerous, not simply to our selves or to society, but to the insane themselves.

Take my poll... Please!


Missing poll option (none / 0) (#1)
by Anonymous Reader on Fri Feb 22nd, 2002 at 03:28:05 AM PST
"Someone I should stalk"

Wisdom teeth... (5.00 / 1) (#2)
by poltroon on Sat Feb 23rd, 2002 at 02:17:43 PM PST
People who speak of the tremendous pain they've experienced from wisdom tooth extraction, as if to make you wary of undergoing the procedure yourself, are like people who have been given the key to the kingdom of God, only to squirrel it away because they'd rather you remain in the dark. Notice how wisdom tooth extraction is at the root of the religious experience of Philip K Dick? I had four extracted yesterday (the more the better!), and couldn't possibly put into words what a wonderous experience it is, although Crumb's comic does a pretty darn good job of it!


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