Up with Crazy!

 Posted by at 18:09  Up With
Jul 292014
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Some people never go crazy, What truly horrible lives they must live.

Charles Bukowski

Have you ever gone crazy? Of course you’d never admit it but face the truth, crazy people think they are fine. So if and when you go crazy you don’t have a clue. If you are really crazy , it’s the world that’s gone mad. You are just trying to cope. Everyone wants to believe that crazy is coo coo, that a crazy person is evil and out to destroy the world. When the reality is that crazy people just aren’t willing to accept the same constraints that you do. Sometimes attacking crazy makes sense- take serial killers. Other times you can be crazy but the world applauds – take workaholics. Society loves workaholics and vilifies serial killers. But they are both crazy.

Crazy is all about following conventions, coloring within the lines and waiting patiently in lines. If those things make sense to you then you probably aren’t crazy. In fact, you probably believe that people who follow conventions are the crazy ones. It’s enough to drive someone mad.

Still crazy after all those years

Still crazy after all those years

There are other ways to be crazy as well. I don’t know about you but most of my life I’ve been focused on being cool, calm and collected. Think Cary Grant- suave and unflappable. That was my ideal.

Of course I failed miserably

I was missing on all cylinders because I don’t have the looks, the witty comebacks and snappy one-liners and the hutzpah to bullshit and bluff when I don’t have a clue. Setting myself up for failure just because I can’t measure up to a fantasy is standard operating procedures for me. It is Just another reason to beat myself up. I was convinced that what you see in the movies is the way life ought to be and that my miserable life just reflected the reality of my limitations. But all the while I never thought I was crazy.

My ideal was to be unflappable, cool, collected and in control at all times. In my mind that was the ideal. When I set out on a path I’m a bulldog. I pursued that goal with a passion, pounding down any actions or thoughts that would interfere with my image. The results were not good. Not only did I not become Cary Grant, I didn’t become me either. I became an unrelatable cardboard persona that nobody- including my self could like. I was really confused. What I didn’t understand was that normal people have doubts. Normal people are never unflappable automatons. Normal people have edges. Normal people go crazy sometimes. It’s the people who who appear to have it all under control that you need to worry about.

Over the years I have learned to appreciate crazy. As much as society encourages ‘out of the box’ thinking, it refuses to face the reality that getting out of the box is just another way to say crazy. What is crazier than that? So in my senior moments of clarity, I reject the craziness of my youth. I abandon my fixation on Cary Grant and the fantasy that I can be cool, calm, suave and collected. I embrace my inner curmudgeon and let it all hang out. I’m not trying to be anything other than just plain me- warts and all. Now that’s really crazy.


Ralph is the inspiration for Cantankerous Old Coots and is our Grand Duke of Cantankerousness

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