Tuesday, October 29, 2013

History? What History?

Actor Sean Penn, speaking last night with Piers Morgan and seen by what must be at least tens of people, suggested that some of the folks in the United States Congress are a bit short-handed on the reality cruise and need some professional help.

Penn suggested that these people -- who seem, incredibly, to be only those who disagree with his own political opinions -- should perhaps be committed involuntarily to a mental health facility by executive order.

By so doing, Penn offers substantial evidence for those who would like to claim he is an utter fool (line forms to the right. Please, no shoving; we're experiencing the usual heavy demand at this time and your claim will be heard in the order it was received). Government-sponsored psychiatric imprisonment was a feature of the old Soviet regime that was criticized even by governments that thought Ronald Reagan a bomb-happy Armageddon junkie.

Penn's choice to cloak his suggestion in rhetoric of concern offers even more evidence for those who would claim he is an arrogant jerk unable to believe that any idea opposed to the two or three dusty bulbs rattling around his vacant skull could come from principle, reason or even blindly-held conviction. So smart, so wise is he that the only possibility that he can entertain for holding a position different from his own is that the holder can't process reality. Morgan offered more than a little proof of his own simpleton leanings by not laughing the pompous windbag off his set.

It also betrays his inability to see the implications and consequences of his own ideas. Should the precedent be established of psychiatric committal of those who differ from the ideas of those in power, what does he think would happen to him in the event of a GOP presidential victory? Nothing, of course, because no one could think of Sean Penn as a threat, no matter how wide the gap between their opinions and his. He's a fountain of narcissistic ideas no principled leftist would accept, scraped from the shallowest end of the thought pool because it's as deep as his vanity allows him to go.

On the other hand, the largest group of people who think that everyone disagrees with them is insane are...the insane. So Penn may be in more danger of an invitation to a soothing white room than he knows.

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