Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature. ― Tom Robbins
Ron Unger writes about madness and play over at the Mad in America webzine. Don’t miss this one! Madness these days is viewed in the same way as the Ladies Temperance Society viewed alcoholic beverages. We are “awfulizing it.” Let’s get others to lighten up and recognize that a little humor goes a long way. Laughter is often the best medicine and as for play:
“Curiously, those convinced that the best way to reduce “stigma” is to portray madness as an “illness like any other” see it as part of their job to suppress any notion that there can be something fun about madness. For example, a NAMI page on stigma reduction contains the following paragraph:
Another triumph came in the field of advertising. Nestle’s line of Tasty, Tangy Taffy Bars featured wrappers bearing distorted cartoon faces of characters with names like “Psycho Sam,””Loony Jerry” and “Weird Wally.” Two alerts and even a letter from former First Lady Rosalynn Carter convinced Nestle to repackage the candies, minus the stigmatizing names and cartoons.
Of course, if madness is not an “illness like any other,” if it is more of a human thing, very multifaceted and containing potential for growth and change as well as hazards, then it might be a good thing to notice the fun side of madness; to notice not just the dangers, but also how it might be sometimes be liberating or even just amusing.”