1. Adrienne C. asks about Tunisia and Egypt. The media are reporting the middle class played a significant role in protest demonstrations in both countries. Doctors without patients, lawyers without clients, college graduates prepared for jobs that don't exist: are we witnessing in the Middle East an archetypal middle class rebellion? And if so, at the end of the road will we see something new or just the same-old-same-old? Both possibilities were discussed in The Source of Terrorism: Middle Class Rebellion. For now, stay tuned.
2. Diana R. asks: What were my "overall impressions" of the criminally insane patients/inmates I worked with (see prior blog). Well, impressions are all I can give because I am not a mental health professional.
Two words you will undoubtedly hear when Jared Loughner goes to trial: paranoid schizophrenic. Or, as it is known in the trade, paranoid schiz.
Every time I had one in front of me it was as if I were looking at an exploding firecracker photographed with super fast film. Every shred was visible and in focus. It is hard to belive that all those shreds once were united. Not only are they no longer together, they are flying farther apart and in all directions. Forget Freud, forget Jung: there is something electronically or chemically wrong with such people. As an orderly put it, "Their brain synapses aren't firing right."
There you have it, Diana. Those were my impressions of the inmates who were paranoid schizophrenics. I'll offer my impressions of the psychopaths in another post. Other than committing horrific murders, the two inmate types have little in common, and I don't want to mix them.
The bottom line: a lot of people who knew Loughner described him as "creepy." I'd say if you feel it, you know it. After all, you know plenty of things without being aware of them. That is why when somebody explains them to you, you experience the explanation as a revelation -- the proverbial ah ha moment.
Diana, if a guy gives you a creepy feeling à la Loughner, don't try to deal with him. Let professionals do their job. Until they do, if you don’t feel right, don't go upstairs with him.