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wundayatta's avatar

Why is it, when you give free reign to your imagination, people think you're crazy?

Asked by wundayatta (58599points) August 26th, 2008

I was recently accused of being off my meds (in jest, I believe), and of wasting people’s time by asking a nonsensical question (in all seriousness, I believe). Now, I happen to enjoy being thrown off track by things I don’t understand. I like the wierdness when you just can’t tell if someone is pulling your leg, messing with you, or actually losing their marbles. Especially on the internet, it creates a delicious tension, or an opportunity to play. It can give people permission to think of any absurd thing, which, I think, can often be quite funny.

Yet, people seem to feel obligated to make sure you haven’t stopped your treatment protocol. To me, crazy is a kind of good thing—at least in this sense. Playful. Silly. Good sense of the absurd. A defense against cynicism. But I have to wonder. Do people also get made uncomfortable by these things—so much so, that they want to marginalize those who do not fit the norm?

For the record, I do have a brain disorder, and I am taking my meds! Believe me, if I weren’t taking my meds, if would be quite obvious. I am not playful. I am severely dark and oppressive. I overreact to everything (hmmmm, perhaps like this?) I was crazy (in the sense of being imaginative) before I got the disorder, anyway.

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28 Answers

robmandu's avatar

Maybe it’s the assless chaps that gave you away?

wundayatta's avatar

@wildflower: Wow. I wonder if Apple computer is really that way.

I am not asking a rhetorical question, though. I’m hoping people will have something to say that will illuminate the role of craziness in our culture.

wildflower's avatar

People are deemed crazy by others because their thought patterns are not alike. For some it’s possible to accept that others will follow another logic, associations and patterns, but for many, that’s beyond comprehension and therefore it’s easier to say: There is only one sensible way, which is the way I understand and follow – anything else is crazy!

I suppose when you mix that together with the super-fast pace everything has to take in our oh-so-wonderfully-modern society, it’s even more tempting to not take the time to understand and write it off as “craziness”.

That’s just my thinking – call me crazy if you will ;)

augustlan's avatar

Daloon, just so you know…I found your “orange” question so funny that I added you to my Fluther…the “off your meds” answer I gave was definitely made with good humor!

marinelife's avatar

In principle, I am not sure I completely agree with your premise that people always do this. I think it depends on the situation (or, in this case, the question).

I do agree that many people are made uncomfortable with behavior outside the so-called norms.

augustlan's avatar

I think we can all use a dash of the absurd from time to time. You seem like an intelligent, thoughtful person the vast majority of the time, therefore, I would not assume you were crazy just because you are occasionally “imaginative” or just plain silly. Now, if you walked around talking about such things all the time, then I’d certainly wonder…

loser's avatar

That reminds me, I forgot to take my meds.

Larssenabdo's avatar

Definitely 42.

wundayatta's avatar

@marina: that’s cool. Could you say more?

@augustian: there has to be some tipping point between occasional flashes of creativity, and wild and crazy flashes that might be too over the top for people to feel comfortable around it. Difficult question, I know, but could you talk your way into describing the fuzzy line demarking the tipping point?

@Lars: I always hesitate to go for such complex answers, since few people will understand, but maybe you could parse it out for us?

Larssenabdo's avatar

Well…it’s the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything.

Other than that, I agree with Marina. Sometimes people don’t freak out, but generally speaking, as long as they are not signing my paycheck, I look on it as their problem if they can’t deal with my flights of fancy. I do think some people have a lower tolerance for any exuberance, be it in a positive or negative way. An ex used to be uncomfortable with my unhappiness—which makes sense to me; one feels helpless to act and wants to remove the suffering. But this was even true when I was really joyful, as if any display of passionate emotion was too much. Weird.

marinelife's avatar

@Larsenabdo I attribute it to the hangover of Puritanism.

@daloon Would it be possible to ask which question of yours evoked the answers that prompted this one?

augustlan's avatar

@Marina: It was this one, and I’m afraid it may have been my answer that prompted this Q. For the record, I was just kidding.

marinelife's avatar

Ah, well one person’s creativity is another person’s meaningless flight of fancy. I suspect, daloon, that it was the venue and the times.

There are so many wacky questions on Fluther these days such as the frizzer question, the “I’m scared I want a baby?” (non-question), the lining up Chinese (I could go on, but ad nauseum arrives rather quickly.)

If you had posed the same sort of query on a writing or other creative board, I think the reactions would have been different.

If people here had had a chance to know you better, you might not have gotten lumped in with the wacky questioners.

I would not assume the responses were a global statement about you or about Fluther’s acceptance of and tolerance for creativity at all.

wundayatta's avatar

Jeez, can’t a guy ask a hypothetical question? Sure, it arises out of my personal experience, but it is a larger issue, for me, at least. Sure, Marina said I was crazy, as a joke, and I understood it was a joke (although I was ragging on her with the “I think”), but people do actually call other people crazy, and mean it. I’m just trying to get other people to give me their sense of what’s going on there.

marinelife's avatar

@daloon I think you have me confused with someone else. I never said that you were crazy.

wundayatta's avatar

Hmmm. Guess I must be crazy!

augustlan's avatar

Um, yup…it was me who asked if you were off your meds :)

wundayatta's avatar

Come on! One blue avatar is the same as another! You can’t expect me to keep track of these things! Especially since not only am I crazy, but I’m also male.

Your honor. I plead nolo contendre on the grounds of a Y chromosome.

augustlan's avatar

I pardon you :)

augustlan's avatar

ps…what happened to your “butt”?

wundayatta's avatar

got tired of it—I originally selected the image at a very different time of my life, but it got banned. So I tried it here to see if it would fly. It did. Now I’d rather have something that more accurately reflects me at this moment.

marinelife's avatar

@daloon I like the new avatar.

loser's avatar

What is it? Hard to see sometimes on these darned iPhones!

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