You gotta admire John McCain, you really do – he’s willing to throw every single piece of spaghetti at the wall in a desperate hope something might stick. In a way, he’s doing exactly what I was talking about a few days ago, when the (admittedly not-popular) topic was “using a few seconds of chaos in order to achieve goals not usually offered to you”.
His handlers, which have to include Rove and whatever else he could scrape off the pus-encrusted scabs of late-20th-century neo-con think tanks, must think the only way out of their electoral mess is a synthetic game-changer.
You don’t need me to parrot the current talking points of election punditry, but the last time he did this (Palin), he succeeded in scaring the shit out of every person in America who believes in science, as well as energizing all the Repubs camping in their bomb shelters. Like most junk food, Palin gave everyone a Hostess Ding-Dong high for a few hours, but the instant hangover was a bitch. Now she actually lowers his poll numbers among independents, and her net favorability is down 16 points overall (according to… wait for it… Fox News!)
So what do you do? If you can’t change yourself, change the world. At this point, the only way McCain can poke open a window in the darkness is to create chaos where there was none before, and hope against hope something bizarre happens in his favor. It’s actually the smartest thing he could try, given the current immutability of the race, but in this gambit, he has to roll a hard eight, and it’s not looking particularly good. Trying to cancel the debate plays into a lot of problems he has already, and nobody in their right mind actually thinks this is anything but a ploy.
color-treated microscopy of Ritalin
But it does play into something I’m dealing with personally right now. I’ve waxed honorific about my various psychological disorders on these pages, necessitating certain drugz like Celexa and Dexedrine, but lately I’ve had to come to terms with a universally important question: Exactly how much do you need to change in order to fit into the world? Or, more aptly, how much of the world do you need to change in order for it to fit you?
I’ve been in therapy for a while, I’m taking all the drugs I’m willing to take, and still, this summer, I cratered. What I’ve begun to realize is that my peculiar brand of ADD will never be totally fixed, and if that’s the case, I need to alter my environment as much as I can.
Many of the new books on kids with ADD actually de-emphasize drug use, suggesting instead that parents create a schedule and a household that plays to their child’s strengths. Simple stuff: no tasks over 20 minutes, lots of play switching, and takin’ trips. I know this raises the cackles of old-school parents and bootstrap-pullers who think that’s a lot of prissypantin’ fagotry and kids already get too much of what they want, and they should be forced to play ball for their own good.
That’s the kind of thinking that made me the fucking mess I am, thanks. People who don’t have depression and don’t have ADD (which leads inevitably to depression) don’t get it, and they never will. They should be thankful; they should consider it one of their grandest blessings.
Anyway, I’m going try as hard as I can to adapt my mind for the world around me, but I’m also going to have a clean understanding of my limitations. I’m also going to have a fearless grasp of my requirements. I won’t get into specifics, but… coming to grips with who I am – rather than trying to drug it into submission – has been a real burden lifted.
I share nothing with John McCain, I think he’s lost his moral riptide, and I hope he loses by twenty-one percentage points. But we are both trying variations on the same strategy: if you can’t fix yourself, fix the game.