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⚑ October 10, 2017

Happy National Mental Health Day 😱

A moody drawing by an artist signing as ferguson, September 2016.

A moody drawing by an artist signing as "ferguson," September 2016.

You have two choices, really, if you want to preserve your mental health in 2017. You either watch the news or you don’t watch the news. It’s as simple or as complex as that. Welcome to the most ironic holiday it is possible to have today without going crazy. Next year at this time, we might not have a choice. News watching will be mandatory and you’d better have a happy attitude, or else.

If you have always liked to keep up with current affairs, you no longer have a neutral source you can depend on for regular delivery of useful information. Instead, you have to pick a road that veers toward the right or toward the left. The left road, right now, is full of fear and loathing, and the right road – whenever I venture upon it – seems to be angrier than ever, and every once in a while I come across someone hating my own kind. I tried understanding Nazis when they were on Jerry Springer, but I just couldn’t. Back then, when TV was the dominant media supplier, you could move on to a different show and never see another Nazi anywhere but on the History Channel, where all Nazis were properly dead and buried.

Many many people say they are turning off the media entirely in order to save their mental health. It sounds good, in theory, and the media junkie might want to try it before the power goes out in her neck of the woods. There is no Trump if you don’t turn him on. There is no hatred when you interface with Mother Nature, and even if our fight with her isn’t fair and we will most certainly lose in the end, at least we know it’s all true. Rain on your shoulders, wind in your face, the kind sun on your arms, your Apple watch beeping an orange alert …

And you are plunged back into the current news. It’s not possible to be sane by avoiding reality, and it’s not possible, any more, to know where reality has gone. It used to be so easy when UFOs defined the bleeding edge of the crazy envelope, but even that reality is now shattered. Turns out, there are racists everywhere, even among those who say they are looking to the universe for answers. Here’s a quick clue: We all taste the same to the worms and to the Space Brothers. It’s the human race, and it feels like we’re losing it.

Donald Sutherland has turned.

Donald Sutherland has turned.

I know I should point to the Monster and scream so others will see him and together, we will handle the situation. But then suddenly the Pod Movie starts playing again, as it does every time a Monster takes over, and a person I thought I knew pretty well tells me that she’s in love with the Monster and thinks he’s just a swell guy. β€œGive him a chance,” she says. β€œHe’s very sexy because he’s rich,” she says. Her eyes sparkle. Of course they do. πŸ”