Skip to main content

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?

Comments

as long as you're here, why not read more?

long division

after the united states election last year, there were the usual calls for the country to unite behind the new president. that never happens anymore, because, since george w. bush scored a victory in 2004, having launched the country into a war in iraq for no reason, the people on the losing side of a presidential election have been pretty bloody angry about it. democrats hated bush 43. republicans really hated obama. democrats really hate trump.

it didn't help that trump didn't make the typical conciliatory gestures like including a couple of members of the opposite party in his cabinet, or encouraging his party to proceed slowly with contentious legislation. barack obama arguably wasted at least two and as many as six years of his tenure as president trying to play peacemaker before he felt sufficiently safe to just say "screw you guys" and start governing around the ridiculous congress he was forced to deal with. not-giving-a-shit obama was the best president in …

making faces :: i could maybe not buy this one thing

i've been into makeup on some level for a long time- much longer than i've been writing about it, for certain. even as a young woman, i loved the feeling of i got from applying a deep-hued lipstick and some mascara. it took years for me to figure out eyeshadow, and even longer for me to appreciate blush. but at this point, i think we can agree that i'm pretty much into the whole gamut. [except liquid and super-matte lipsticks, and most very sparkly eyeshadows. but that's because they're painful for me to wear.]

the thing about spending a long time collecting and holding onto just about everything is that you accumulate quite a stash. lately, i'm trying to force myself to think about what i already have before laying down money for something new. most recently, i found myself drawn to the modern renaissance palette from anastasia. me and a lot of people. by the time i started thinking about it, it was already sold out in my local sephora and online. i signed up…

when you want a great pair

i have finally come to the realisation that i might be trying to learn too many languages at once. that's not to say that i don't want to learn all the languages that exist in written form, but spreading myself across a dozen at one time doesn't allow for a lot of progress in any of them. therefore, while i'm still "checking in" with all of them, i'm trying to focus on a couple at a time. lately, that's been swedish and norwegian, because they are both grammatically similar to english [even if the swedish accent is very tough for me], which makes things progress faster. in general, i've been trying to pair similar languages because, while it can get a bit confusing, building the skill sets of both at once strengthens each of them. if you want more bang for your linguistic buck, 'pairing' like this can be quite helpful. here's a few suggestions for ones that i'd recommend:

swedish and norwegian :: they are so similar, it's easy …