Coping: When You Find Yourself in the Asylum

I was thinking Monday (after revisiting my pillow for a while) “What would people find really useful – compelling – conversation on a Tuesday morning?

I kept staring at the headlines about the Shill and Comey staging in Washington when it hit me like a ton of bricks!

How to survive in an Insane Asylum!!!

Yes, a visit to our Comments section pretty-well made the decision for me: Seems like everyone today is fairly NUTS. Unable to get anyone to agree anymore, everyone has been reduced to what I think of as verbal flagellation.

The “Art of the Argument” is nowhere to be found. If you’re old enough, you may have seen it on display eons ago.

A person would assert something untrue, and then a critic would ask questions and a kind of civil discourse would take place…and eventually the critic would – thanks to a participating claimant – be able to lead them on the path to their side of the argument.

That’s not how it works today.

The typical exchange goes more like this:

“I support the President,” says person #1.

“F**k you,” responds person #2.

And that’s the end of it. Done, finis, over, kaput as we all flip on to the next page.

Not the kind of world you want to live in? I mean really, who would? But to quote some Millennial BS that swirls about the ‘trons “It is what it is…”

There is a way to solve this Asylum-like problem, but not everyone like our Ex-Pat friends down in Ecuador has the gumption to get while the getting is good. Helps to have m ade a fair bit of dough and socked most of it away, too.

For those of us remaining, we can use training on how to survive other personally challenging events.

WikiHow, for example has a great article here explaining “How to Survive Being in a Mental Hospital.”

The first rule offered is to avoid conflict.

While this might be easily done in a mental institution, it’s a lot more difficult when the news channels in America are all running the same soap opera day-after-day-after-day. Still, I’ve come around to thinking that there’s no point of me trying to explain anything to my kids and while Elaine and I see eye to eye (as do the people we know) for the most part, avoiding conflict has come down to avoiding people. We’ve made an art of it.

The second strategy the article puts forth is making friends.

Friends are nice, don’t get me wrong, but they do take time and I’m surprised anyone in the electronic world has any.

Oh sure, a “friend” is like a “Like” on FB, but real friends? I’ve got less than a dozen and that’s after 68 years.

Third idea is to establish healthy boundaries, but in today’s world, we can’t even figure out who’s to use which restroom.

For me, it comes down to “avoid people, avoid problems” and when you need something, just pay for the best you can find – like in healthcare.

The next survival method involves “Complying with Treatment.”

Sounds good, doesn’t it? While that might work in a mental institution, though, our here in the Real World – where lying is as common and fluoridated water – who has announced a real “course of treatment” for America?

Sure, Trump has given it some effort, but turns out that the republicans in CONgress are a terrible bunch of spoil-sport, egotistical, self-aggrandizing bozos who seem mainly intent on making a bundle and getting out.

Trump’s approval rating has fallen to 37% but even before they muck up anything else, CONgress is sitting on a 19% approval rating,, so sayeth the Gallup folks.

Besides “taking our medicine” – which no one is prescribing exactly, the next thing to do is “participate in therapy sessions.” Which, in real life in a country more than half-crazy, comes down to nothing more than the charade of voting. Hard to elect common sense when the last load of common sense left America in 1989, or so.
Next is the edict to “Follow the Rules.” Works in a mental health unit, probably, but it is virtually impossible “out here.”

We have so freaking-many “laws” that it’s virtually impossible to go through Life without breaking several laws per day. LifeHacker did an article on just one of them: Copyright infringement.

To make it even more fun, the inmates of the Real Asylum proclaim their power, hold nuclear weapons, and make up more new rules every day.

The third method to cope in the WikiHow article is to “Make the most of your Time.”


Like while stuck in traffic?

The WikiHow article suggests exercise, catching up on reading, and learning a new skill.

No, they didn’t mention the high value of lock-picking, but that’s an interesting one to try…

When all is said and done, any time you have more than three people, one of them will decide to “be in charge.”

So the next model to consider should be “How to Survive in Prison” since maybe that’s a closer analogy to where America is right now.

Next WikiHow article to study was “How to Survive in a Federal Prison…” which, come to think of it, very nicely derscribes America today.

The short shrift of it is:

1.Don’t trust anyone. …

2.Hide your emotions. …

3.Make use of your cellmates. …

4.Choose your words carefully. …

5.Always be polite and respectful to guards and other prison employees. …

6.Don’t stare at the other prisoners. …

7.Don’t be a snitch. …

8.Don’t ask the staff to solve your problems.

How does this apply when a whole country is crazy?

We find that not trusting others until some mutual respect is discovered is a good policy wherever you are.

Ditto hiding emotions. Sure, I sound like a pro-Trump guy (he did win, remember) but in the end whoever sits in the Oval has little to do with life out here in the woods.

Making use of your cellmates could re retooled as “make use of fellow citizens.” That feels OK.

Choosing words carefully works inside or out.

In terms of being polite and respectful, the easiest way to avoid things like police encounters is not to do anything to draw attention to yourself.

There… I’m feeling better already.

The term “Prison Planet” seems to be pretty close to real. And when the inmates are in charge (and set up shop in Washington), it’s taken as poor form to stare at other prisoners like those foreigners who the last set of inmates brought in.

Rule #8 ends the list on a depressing note: Don’t expect the inmates to change how they run things.

As the Trump Presidency unfolds, it will become even more clear than it is today, that yes, this is an asylum and even a well-meaning real estate developer is not likely to solve the problems which we have so deftly allowed to be “institutionalized.”

How long have we been “fighting poverty?”


How long have we been “seeking peace?”

Yada, yada.

A deeper study of how to survive in a mental institution or 50-state jail could be some of your better time spent.

Write when you get rich,

27 thoughts on “Coping: When You Find Yourself in the Asylum”

  1. What a spot on post. I really think you nailed it with this one George. Bravo sir. I feel like I want to eat apple pie with you.

    Yeah I’m Still the HVAC guy

  2. “…but in the end whoever sits in the Oval has little to do with life out here in the woods.” — I went through many POTUS, never did I notice it having anything to do with me in the Big City either; Except a steady, and now much accelerating loss of purchasing power. Yet, we determine much by our consume. Something to think about.

  3. Leave it to Beaver is gone.
    1950 is gone.
    John Wayne is dead.
    People are FULL of them selves
    Very sad.

    • Leave it to beaver is, was and will always be made-up.

      Talk to old people if you wonder ‘how it was’. I speak to an 85 year old uncle regularly. His earliest childhood memory…

      The decade was the 1930’s. He and his uncle were walking through the neighborhood and they were passing houses with women sitting on their porches. Some of the women had their legs cocked open. My uncle recalls one of his uncles saying, “I could have that for a loaf of bread”.

      My uncle told me it wasn’t until many years later when he finally figured out what his uncle was telegraphing.

      My uncle also tells me when he was coming up everyone was a thief.

      He’s also told me EVERYBODY had a good year in 1955.

  4. Thankfully, yesterday’s testimony was a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing.

    You think it’s a circus now?

    Just wait and see what happens if for some reason the House of Representatives actually votes on articles of impeachment. Then it would proceed to a political trial in the Senate presided over by the chief judge of the Supreme Court. Can you see Trump being cross examined by Al Franken? Can you imagine Senator “Vote Your Concience” Ted Cruz deciding the fate of Donald Trump?

  5. Wow, that must have been the most depressing column you have ever written. All the more so, because of how “spot on” it all was. Is it any wonder I almost never leave my farm anymore? The animals ON the farm are MUCH more sane than the animals OFF the farm. Probably because I live in a blue state… abra

    • @ Ellen –
      Nope – George has been far and away much more pessimistic in the past. I think he is just sort of reiterating a shared reality here.

      I voted for neither, as it came to a South Park choice of a ‘Douche’ or a ‘Turd Sandwich’.

      Had some hopes for Trump at first, but they fell away with each person he installed in his administration – they were all from the DC swamp. Thus no change. And now he is droning folks with vigor and looking for a war, anywhere.


      I think that folks who live in the country seem to be able to agree more – probably because we have to or else nothing works. In cities, you just dial another number or go to another big box store if you have an issue. Can’t do that when there is just one hardware store or one tractor dealership or one lumber yard.

      If they manage to oust Trump, then we will be full-tilt headed into losing a war, crashing the world economy and watching jobs become a memory. Maybe when the DC swamp is flat broke some of the creatures will leave. But my gut says they are more leech-like in their pursuits, and will not let go until they die.

      Same as it ever was – same as it is in most countries and with most governments. We are not alone in having a corrupt government; I think it’s just that the propaganda has been effective for a couple generations, and it’s wearing thin these days. But it isn’t really different – just go read some Mark Twain and you will feel right at home.

      • I remember when Obama took office with all the hope and change and he started filling his cabinet with Clinton retreads. The hope fell away really quickly! I knew we were in for just another f**king ride.

        I’ve lived in big cities and small towns. Big cities are anonymous. You’re not likely to ever see someone again who was rude to you or visa versa. The difference is that in small towns, you are more than likely to bump into that person again, or find out he/she is related to someone who has the hammer over you! People in small towns learn to keep a lid on it and be polite to everyone. It’s called civility and it used to be practiced pretty liberally. Now we just can’t heap enough meanness on people.

        They – both parties – want to dump Trump. Pence is the conservative wet dream. He could never have gotten elected on what he believes in, but he’s here now in the catbird seat and that Oval Office is looking good!

    • I grew up with parents who rarely socialized so living a loner lifestyle is natural. It does get lonely sometimes, but I have my little fur babies and enough casual contact with humans to keep me from feeling alone. It’s a sorry situation that we find ourselves in and I have no clue how to work out of it.

  6. I loved the way Comey was able to get into Vlad’s head and explain how Vlad’s hatred of Hillary Clinton was the driving force…..etc, etc.

    How the hell do we allow people like Comey to wax poetic about a bunch of BS and then repeat it ad nauseam in the media – Oh wait, I forgot that’s how it actually works…………

  7. George, in your previous posts a month or more ago when you were recounting your accomplishments as well as those of your kids and other family members I found reason to give pause to my constant prayer for asteroids… It’s like the story of Abraham praying for the sparing of Sodom because Lot and family lived there. Or was is Gomorrah? Either way population and behavior have reached critical mass in the modern world regardless of the technical prowess of the few. A moment’s contemplation of the razor edge modern society rests upon reveals how bad it has become and, unfortunately, the Internet has thrown gasoline on that fire. At least in the early part of the last century, had the cities become unlivable, a good number of citizens would have been able to actually survive and prosper outside of them. There isn’t a hole big enough to handle the bodies in a “One Minute After” scenario today and we constantly skirt the edge of these events.

    We went to a family reunion, of sorts, in San Antonio this past weekend. It was obvious that a city that size is a mere microcosm of the megacities along our coastlines. I’ve lived in many of the Midwestern cities as a kid and it was good. I’ve spent time on all four corners of these United States in the military and enjoyed it as well as points outside the country. Straight line projections of population growth, however, as they relate to stress levels are obviously false as it’s more like the continual progression of a piston in a diesel engine. That critical point of combustion occurs sooner than we’re lead to believe while the Congresscritters have behaved exactly as you’ve described in today’s article with predictable results. Intractable opinions are the norm, as one cousin related. She works on a professional level in what I’ll call a “wild animal park” and constantly does battle via the Internet and in person with those that believe all animals should be free, not cooped up in a cage regardless of spaciousness and accommodations. No assurance or argument deflects the mindset created by those that make their money off of such tension like Sierra Club, P.E.T.A., Greenpeace and what have you. Besides the lack of personal space today we’re beset on all sides by those agitators that would steal our peace of mind for their own benefit.

    I’ve said before and here it is again – this will not END in any way except badly short of an ET invasion with a better plan.

  8. For me the issue is the loss of reason and logic. Many, many folks will ignore facts that conflict with their preconceived opinion. People rely on their “alternate facts”.

    A perfect example is the Obama birth certificate issue. To this day people refuse to accept that Obama was born in the US. There is no logic, reason or fact that will get people who still believe this to change their minds.

    • Just what George is talking about. Taking a position without investigation. What about the multi-layer PDF, the use of terms not used ’61, and Loretta Fuddy’s mysterious death?

    • And for the umpteenth time Wave boy – why did the Duffer in Chief refuse to produce it for eight – long – years? You never have come to grips with that preferring to rely on faith in your government.

      • Hawaii did not have the type of birth certificate his administration produced back when he was born.

      • Yes, all of you birthers it was a scheme put together by Obama supporters while Obama was still in diapers to run birth announcements in two newspapers in 1961. The reason birth certificates look different is because town hall doesn’t copy the original birth certificate. They print out a new one and certify it as an original.

        I never voted for Obama!

    • Jimmeny Christmas, use your noodle before it wilts! He was not born in the USA! There are plenty of facts proving this, get your noodle out of the sand before the fire ants eat it!

  9. Whenever I hear “it is what it is”, I have to respond, “perception is not reality.”

  10. George , although I wasnt around to see first hand how people acted during the 20’s , Ive thought for many years that what we are witnessing now , is an exact replay of how the PEOPLE acted back then , in our own insane way. ( hmm , that sounds familiar ! )

    Looking on the internet about this topic is how I somehow stumbled across your site. Been here ever since.

    I cant use your information about investing ( no green stuff ) , but I damn sure use your information on people , which I believe is spot-on.

    What exactly am I saying ?

    Just like your investing working in cycles , I call them circles , I believe people do also. Seems that we have numerous little circles within other circles and that they have begun to converge at one spot at the same time.

    Cant say why or how , but I can easily be convinced that the insanity is somehow ” baked in the cake “.

    What changes all of this ? Do people just wake up one day and start acting responsibly ? Wheres the hope ?

    I think all of this works together for one massive down. One like weve never imagined could happen.

    …and I promise I havent had a drop to drink yet !

  11. Jean Paul Sartre said “Hell is other people” and nothing has happened to change that.

  12. Great post sir. As a former certified counselor, I can say this situation has been spiraling for a long time. I find not trusting anyone completely has served me well. It is an even more complicated world to navigate when your family is dwindling, and you have no spouse. People carry this devolving bad behavior into what passes for “relationships” anymore also. And when you’re a single female it is worse – everyone wants to take advantage of you in business and all aspects of life. Thank Heaven I have a good brain. I have learned to “cut people off at the knees” when the bad behavior starts – I let them Assume I’m a dumb blonde at first & they never see me coming – I’d rather be (as occasionally labelled by those who are trying to take advantage of me) a “bitch” than stupid.

  13. I have felt for a long time that I am mentally straddling alternative universes, where what poses as “reality” is the mirage, and “reality” is something entirely different.

    I moved to the PNW a couple of years ago to be closer to family (I’m 71), my brother and only sibling, and his wife. Today, I see little of them because it has become nearly impossible, since the advent of Trump, to have a civil conversation with them. The Trump-hate has trumped reason.

    So, these days, it’s mostly just me and my dawg. It kind of sucks, but it is easier to just avoid people. Unfortunately, even social media, which once at least felt like a life-line, has become a battlefield.

    I think that once one “sees” how the world actually is programmed to work, one cannot “unsee” it.

  14. This quote makes a lot more sense to me now.

    “When the going gets weird, the weird turn professional” -Hunter S Thompson

  15. Forget the so called elitists, what about the clueless majority? It doesn’t matter where you live, when all are dependent upon others for various remedy, even if one doesn’t want to partake in the societal institutions, from boxed schooling to boxed “healthcare” – LOL. The zombie masses are stuck in their basses. With less intelligent beings holding jobs, whether it be customer service or otherwise, the world’s problems (great and small) can’t get fixed when it has been the intention of the dumbing down of the world at large. In addition to dumbing-down of the average, are the customer service reps not speaking the language of ones own country of origin. Communication is everything, but it won’t happen in the asylum when there are those that won’t, don’t or can’t.

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