Is there a fine line between crazy and genius? Do we all consider ourselves borderline genius but just a little crazy? Apparantly the conversation is alive
and well on Twitter.
i tweeted a simple, innocent ferret tweet
"genius is sometimes mistaken for crazy"
First out of the box? @AngelDevil116 who said: "C I told u SamyTurnbull I am (expletive) genius ..lol
meanwhile, back on the timeline, 17 people retweeted the simple comment!!
@dafta420 @ulpmori @BajunaJewelry @Tlushaj @albertgarrett @JamesRapsonMS @maikelbailey @harrelldewayne @SexyJeans @FritzKloen
(i've taken the time to type hyperlinks to their twitter accounts, so please follow at least one of them!! they are probably a tad less crazy than myself)
and @BridgetWinter tweeted: “I've Seen It”
and still: @TheFoolFunnel : It's the same thing
Then entered the dilemma, like any good story, we have to be put in an impossible situation, to wit: @JamesRapsonMS "The other problem is when crazy is mistaken for genius..." and in a tweet reminiscent of the 70's song, that was actually sung by a dog, @endlessraines "That's what I keep trying to tell them, I'm an f...ing GENIUS! They'reComingToTakeMeAway ha ha"
While @ugotatweet analysed it thus: " Maybe you have to be what others call crazy to be a genius."
And, in a sly summing up: RT @BobBRichS "Many thinking I'm a genius and I've thought them crazy. I considered I'd be rather arrogant if I tried to prove them wrong."
Bob, my paw in friendship, that was as smoove a move as I coulda' done myself!!
William Safire was always an etymologist at heart; rather than call himself a “wordsmith” he would relish the history of a word. He would explain a word's origins to prove foundation for the modern usage. Crazy has it's origins spelled with a “K” or Karsa meaning to shatter” ( Old Norse ) or to break. Which lead to a “break down in mental health” . An alternate explanation is: English speakers were using pot in reference to the skull at least by the 15th century. The metaphor of a cracked pot referring to someone who is out of their mind started later, beginning with cracked brain and ending up simply as cracked in modern English. Crazy, derived from the verb craze, took on the same meaning sometime in the 17th century.
Now, “crazy” has become complimentary in modern slang. “That concert was crazy good” doesn't even seem to have any of the mental health issues of previous generational usage.
My tweet then “genius is sometimes mistaken for crazy” has none of the response by the younger generation, and has been taken entirely in it's historical context of a “mental health” condition. Which belies the point entirely that it is a politically incorrect way of referring to one's mental stability.
We no longer say, “Aunt Sally is crazy” we say, “Aunt Sally is dysfunctional” or “Aunt Sally is mentally challenged” or if we are being delicate: “Aunt Sally has had a nervous breakdown”...
Now that we have that word cleared of our systems, let's examine Genius a moment. The word carries a connotation of exceptionalism: Even using a source as weak as Wikipedia which states: Genius is something or someone embodying exceptional intellectual ability, creativity, or originality, typically to a degree that is associated with the achievement of unprecedented insight.
So we come full circle do we not? Crazy can in fact be genius, and genius can in fact be Crazy. It is the savant who is slightly autistic that can remember every number in the phone book, complete with address, and middle initial. It is the Copernicus or Gallileo who is considered “mad” when they propose the world is round. Gen. Stonewall Jackson was considered one of the greatest military thinkers of all time; yet extremely eccentric, and yes, crazy in his personal mannerisms. History provides us with many examples of genius thinkers who used their genius for ill, and were thus considered crazy geniuses, like Hitler, Alexander, or Nero.
Such is life, I have imagined it thus, in a shout to Forrest Gump, or some such colloquialism from my early ferrethood: “Crazy is as Crazy Does”
Which of course means nothing at all.
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you can follow Sam on Twitter at http://twitter.com/samuel_clemons
sam writes useless drivel on just about any subject, and is working on his thesis so he can become certifiably crazy