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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Death of Responsibility

WARNING:  This post was modified several days after its original writing.   I will let you in on a secret; this is actually a joke post (dateline: April 1st).   Those of you who recognized this as a subtle joke, buried within a lot of honest analysis and criticism -- another hint: there is a subtle change in the name of an entity -- should be commended for distinguishing yourselves from the vast majority who apparently did not get the joke. --- E.D. on behalf of CP&P

The Center for Disease Control is considering declaring a spectrum of behaviors as a coherent social disorder. This behavioral spectrum includes, among other things, the passive acceptance of and submission to authority, an unwillingness or reluctance to challenge authority unless (and in extreme cases, even if) strong moral codes are compromised or grave bodily harm is imminent, and a gullibility or susceptibility to believing the truth as to what one is told or receives from outside media (e.g., books, television network news, the blogosphere, talk radio).  Sufferers usually discover they are afflicted by this behavioral disorder after being bamboozled by a shady public official or stockbroker.

At first glance, this spectrum of disorders seems more serious than the purported disorder of "sex addiction" which has gotten a lot of recent attention due to the dalliances of politicians like Mark Sanford, John Edwards and Eliot "Client 9" Spitzer.  Sex addiction seems to encompass a wide range of harmful, antisocial and often aberrant or deviant behaviors.  The scope would ordinarily be too broad to warrant classification as a single, cognizable "disease," except that its sufferers do have one consistent symptom -- they all suffer some form of unexplained blunt trauma -- and its discovery also follows a pattern of discovery with one common element, that being that discovery is never made by a medical professional or through the sufferer's "self-diagnosis" but is almost always reported by a loved one of the sufferer.

Count us as among the silly fools.   We always thought this latter class of behavior simply was the province of those who used to be called "cads" or "scoundrels."   We attributed such antisocial behavior to being irresponsible, inconsiderate and narcissistic.   Now we see that we are the bad ones for being too judgmental and harsh, for failing to recognize their illness.   And since this syndrome is a "pre-existing condition," expect health insurers to be forced to pay for its "treatment" since under the recent Obama-initiated health care reforms such pre-existing conditions must be covered by law.

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