Michael Matteo: When the norm becomes abnormal

Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.

Recently, John Hinckley Jr. the man who shot President Reagan in 1981 and wounded several others, in an attempt to impress (then child actor) Jodie Foster, spent 30+ years in a mental institution.  He was found not guilty of the assassination attempt by reason of insanity.  He was released from a mental hospital in 2016 and lived with his mother until her death.  A panel of doctors in 2021 said that his mental illness was in full remission and they stated that he did not pose a risk to society (I guess that have no heard him sing).  This decision made him free and clear as a functioning member of society.  During the time that Hinckley was living with his mother, he began posting music online, and wishes to start his own record label which he will call Emporia Records.  At this writing, one of the videos he posted had over 287,000 views and his YouTube page has over 26,000 subscribers.  He has released dozens of songs on YouTube, Spotify and I-tunes.  It was just announced that a concert in July in Brooklyn, NY is sold out.  You can judge for yourself whether or not, you believe Hinckley has musical talent.  In my opinion, he isn’t exactly Luciano Pavarotti or Freddie Mercury and I’d rather listen to the sound of my garbage disposal, but that is my personal preference.  Is it possible that his selling out a concert venue is more about America’s obsession with freak shows and making less than marginally talented people famous?

This isn’t just about one man.  America has many people whose behavior, appearances and odd fashion choices would definitely not get them hired if they were to show up and act this way on job interviews.  One need only look at videos of tik tok to realize that America definitely has a serious mental health problem, which is encouraged by a liberalized mental health industry that has moved so far to the left that things once labeled disorders are now considered to be lifestyles.  The barrage of those who can now be made “famous” through their internet rants that expose what would have been considered mental illnesses 20 years ago, are viewed as their right to free expression and eccentricity, and people dare not judge their odd appearances, histrionic diatribes or questionable intelligence or else you will be labeled as an intolerant fascist.  

Whatever happened to calling people out for behaviors?  Has it really become fashionable to be so outlandish in an America that struggles to cope with mental illness in terms of violent behavior?  The epidemic of woke ideology that has made normal people fearful about making judgments about odd or even psychotic behavior has made what is abnormal the norm.  The victim mentality encourages people to act outrageously and if confronted, it becomes a win-win situation because being called out allows someone to claim victim status and blame those who are merely identifying behavior they consider to be abnormal as oppressors.  The eccentricity meter is definitely expanding and people who behave in odd ways are given a pass because it’s the “woke” way and pushing these boundaries is simply a part of the game.  

Are those who are going to see Hinckley’s sold out performance really going because they admire his singing “talent” or are they going because they admire the fact that he shot a republican Ronald Reagan, who has been vilified by the left, and got away with it and is now a free man?   In 2022, Sirhan Sirhan was denied parole by California Governor Gavin Newsome despite Sirhan’s repeated claims that he has no idea what happened the night he shot Robert F. Kennedy.  Too bad he wasn’t released too, perhaps he could work with Hinckley and do a show similar to the climax of the play/movie Chicago where Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly billed themselves as Merry Murderesses in a song and dance act. 

Idiosyncrasies make the world an interesting place, but what is the line between odd, not harmful behavior and behavior that is obviously abnormal.  Given today’s liberalization of psychology, which is combined with a “healthy” dose of wokeness, just about everything is within the normal range and anyone daring to question someone’s behavior is quickly labeled as unsympathetic and dismissed.  This includes normal parents who don’t want their children being exposed to drag queen story times, or woke teachers using explicit details, videos and reading materials to sexualize young children.  This includes those who readily blame gun violence solely on guns, and who are noticeably silent about the mental states of those sick individuals who opt to shoot up schools and kill innocent people.  

A society that is fearful of calling out abnormal behavior because it hurts the feelings of those individuals is grooming and cultivating more and more people to act irrationally and abnormally.  Some may say, “What is normal?”  However, a society that refuses to classify things like pedophilia, bestiality, and many other aberrant behaviors as abnormal is doomed.  Too many people, especially younger individuals in their teens and twenties, embrace the notion that you can have your own pronouns or that others must embrace whatever is in your mind regarding about how you identify or they will be chastised as prejudiced bigots who are prime for cancellation.  Their illogical positions make then unable to answer a simple question: What is a woman?”  They are in full support of gun restrictions that will move the age of gun ownership from 18-21 because they rationalize that 21 year olds are miraculously more responsible than 18 year olds, but then argue that 6 year olds are capable of making adult decisions about their gender.  This is the height of insanity.  These are the same people who, when polled, think that Joe Biden is doing a good job despite every economic indicator to the contrary.  This is what happens when mental illness takes over a large number of a population, who are more comfortable living in a fantasy world, than dealing with the harsh realities of factual evidence.  Perhaps it’s appropriate that the president of the United States, who has demonstrated definite symptoms of mental decline and illness is the president in today’s America; a country that appears to cater to the mentally ill and demonstrates that the inmates are definitely running asylum which is America.

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