Skip to main content

Using insanity as a way out of the insanity

There's an interesting article by SlumJack, posted to the homeless section of, titled "How Homelessness Causes Psychiatric Disorders."

The main character, Alex, undergoing "aversion therapy" in the movie version of A Clockwork Orange.
I buy in to the thrust of what SlumJack writes in his piece, without being too sure of some of his details.

The gist of the argument is this, in my dandified words [Excuse me, SlumJack, if I am broadening your argument a tad.]:

If you are a longterm sane and sober chronically homeless person, you are stuck waist-deep in the big Muddy Muddy.  Unless you make a claim of being bonkers, and get certified as such (which isn't difficult to accomplish what with the too-eager and -friendly "doctors" out there), you'll never get out of the homeless-help services' Cesspool of Hopelessness that they (and society, with it's disinterest in your circumstance) has put you in and left you in.

But there is a steep price to becoming a certified-insane sane person:  You'll get treatment, most of which is on the order of what the character Alex was put through in Clockwork Orange.  That is, your brain'll get mucked with, and you will, just generally, move from one Cesspool of Hopelessness to a different, adjacent one.

SlumJack ends his essay with this wisdom: 
…being homeless is such a hard way to live, being such a day-to-day, hand-to-mouth, relentlessly difficult existence that one can come around to, well, adjusting his priorities. As O. said to me: "I'm not getting any younger and this ain't getting any easier."

This process has been going on a long time, too. While some people on the streets are indisputably sick, I can't help wondering what this farce might mean in terms of the much-publicized rates of mental illness in homeless people.


Popular posts from this blog

The Mission Five Years Ago, And Today

I have spent the night the past two weeks plus at the Union Gospel Mission and am having an excellent time of it -- not only regards to sleeping in the dorm that the mission has, but also listening to the sermons that are delivered in the early evening. The Christmas music that is performed is also splendid. [And the food -- the FOOD -- has been fantastic during my stay so far! A happier Tom there couldn't be.] I chatted with a pal last night about The Mish – about how things were about five years ago when we both used the mission’s services frequently, and how thing are, today.
Five years ago, there were a lot scuffles between the guys when the front gate was opened in the early afternoon and in the area near the contact window there were some brawls as guys fought over where guys were in line to get a bed in the dorm.
Nowadays, however, the mission is very much a peaceful place both on the grounds of the facility and and out on the street.
I do not know what transformative eve…

Homeless Sacramentans lose case that would have given them the right to set up outdoor camping

8/11/13 I certainly give attorneys Mark Merin and Cat Williams credit for pursuing a case against the city of Sacramento to give homeless Sacramentans the right to set up tents and a campsite. I wanted them to win their case, but they didn't. They lost it.

BUT, it is also necessary to look at the particulars of the case that Merin and Williams brought and see that the situation underlying the court case was not very compelling.

During the period eight years ago when 22 homeless campers set up their tents and brought in supplies to Mark Merin's vacant lot at C Street, near 12th, there was loud noise and plenty of other mayhem. Drug dealers were on the street encouraging buys from the campers. The Hernandez couple that lived in a house nearby were constantly being taunted by the campers, disrupting their lives.

Per always with Safe Ground camps, calm was deserted for the sake of boisterousness.

Leader John Kraintz and the other Safe Grounders would claim to have signed strict a…

After a Three-Month Hiatus, a Fall from a Ladder & a Broken Wrist, Evangelist Jimmy Roughton Returns to Union Gospel Mission to Preach

After being away from Union Gospel Mission for a quarter of a year, Jimmy Roughton returned to preach at UGM on the cold night of December 13 -- despite suffering [a little? a lot? dunno.] from a fall from a ladder that likely immediately preceded a significant injury (a wrist that was broken).

It was good to see his group from Capital Free Will Baptist Church up on the pulpit, with Roughton rough-and-ready to seduce and inspire the happily-captivate crowd at UGM.

Roughton told us in his opening words that he was now in his 27th year coming to the mission.

I recall the first preaching I had heard from Roughton on June 13, 2009. At that time and up to the current time, Roughton is the only preacher I had ever heard evoke Pascal's Wager -- which is something he would do, occasionally thereafter at the mission. He would evoke Pascal's wager, yet again, last night [12/13/17].

Pascal's wager

Last night, Jimmy evoked Pascal's Wager. He did so near the end of his talk, citing …