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mental health mondays :: crazy like a fox?

have you ever wondered where the rule that says you get treated differently if you've committed a crime
if you're a crazy person came from?

if you have, and you haven't bothered to google it yourself, let me enlighten you: it stems from a british court reaction called the m'naghten rules. the reaction came to a case against daniel m'naghten [or "mcnaghten"], a scottish woodworker who killed a highly placed tory civil servant, believing him to be prime minister robert peel [who gives his name to a number of different fixtures here in montreal].

m'naghten believed that he was the target of government spies, who were conspiring against him and who meant to do him harm. when brought to trial, even the prosecutor was forced to admit that it would be unfair to try the man, because he was so clearly delusional. as a result, m'naghten was acquitted. the ensuing furore caused the government to put questions to the court concerning how it was to be determined that someone could be acquitted on the basis of mental defect. you can read the record of that here [conveniently highlighted].

from the beginning, there were problems with the definition, because so much was unknown. more than a hundred and fifty years later, things haven't really become any clearer. particularly since it's often suspected that the people who claim to have been insane are actually playing the system, claiming that they were incapacitated for increasingly specific periods of time, under increasingly specific circumstances, all the while hoping to avoid lifetime in prison or the death penalty.

however, it might be interesting for you to know that, in fact, there was more than a little controversy over even the case of poor, deluded daniel m'naghten who thought the government meant him harm. you see, at the time of his arrest, daniel was carrying £750, the equivalent of about $60,000. carrying that amount of money was about as unheard of in his day as it is in hours and lead some to speculate that, rather than being a sad schizophrenic sack who imagined conspiracies all around him, that daniel m'naghten was actually part of a conspiracy and pretended to be a conspiracy theorist in order to save his co-conspirators.

how crazy is that?

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jihadvertising?

i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:



am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

mental health mondays :: pop quiz

those of you who are friends of mine on facebook [that might look a little weird to those of you seeing this post on facebook] may have seen my weekly "sunday quiz time", where i just ask random questions in the name of stimulating conversation. after doing that this week, i ended up taking a very wide variety of quizzes on mental floss, which made me a little smug about my knowledge of geography and a little rattled about my knowledge of the finer points of grammar. [i want to say, in my defense, that the one grammar quiz i found was really f**king hard. is that last sentence grammatically correct? i don't know. i have no confidence in my grammar anymore.]

i got so into answering questions about just about anything that i thought it might be fun to apply that format to mental health mondays. i've already done links to quizzes about various mental disorders and how to tell if you have them [i think it turned out i had all of them], but i wanted to do a special set of…

i agree, smedley [or, smokers totally saved our planet in 1983]

so this conversation happened [via text, so i have evidence and possibly so does the canadian government and the nsa].

dom and i were trying to settle our mutual nerves about tomorrow night's conversion screening, remembering that we've made a fine little film that people should see. which is just about exactly what dom had said when i responded thusly:

me :: i agree smedley. [pauses for a moment] did you get that here?

dom :: no?

me :: the aliens who were looking at earth and then decided it wasn't worth bothering with because people smoked even though it was bad for them?
come to think of it, that might mean that smokers prevented an alien invasion in the seventies.

dom :: what ?!?!?

me :: i've had wine and very little food. [pause] but the alien thing was real. [pause.] well, real on tv.

dom :: please eat something.

of course, i was wrong. the ad in question ran in 1983. this is the part where i would triumphantly embed the ad from youtube, except that the governmen…