the diagnosis of “mentally ill” is often used to strip people of their liberty. by governments and by family members, alike.

we Americans don’t do well discussing mental illness. its fruits can be spectacular and entertaining. we revere eccentrics and rebels, outliers and exceptions.

as with all of nature, there is no switch that gets flipped; no obvious dividing line marked in living tissue. it’s a horizon on a ship being tossed by a storm, a whirling diagonal.

we welcome the irrational as God’s voice, we abide by it as exuberance. we shun it as foolish, diabolical and diseased. but it is always with us and it permeates our cultures.

from the scientist who labors to block it out to the marketer who strives to tap into it. and then there are the leaders.

increasingly, we’ll see Donald’s followers described as members of a cult. the formulation is accurate insofar as the roots of that base word (cult) are entangled with that of our highest achievements (culture).

the leader of a cult is the howl of feedback you get when you place a microphone in front of a speaker. it’s the resonant frequency that makes the floors shake and the walls tremble.

in other words, the call is always coming from inside the house.