Thursday, March 28, 2013

Totally insane

We hear a lot about insanity from news sources, yet I doubt many folks really know what insanity is in either a clinical or legal definition. Part of the problem is there is more than one definition. One definition I like is someone continuing to do the same action and expecting a different outcome. An example would be pushing the elevator floor for twelve and expecting floor 13 to appear. When it doesn't, pushing it again, and again. Or a dog chasing a squirrel. The squirrel gets away easily and laughs at the dog, yet the next time fido sees a squirrel off he goes again, expecting to somehow catch it this time. Sounds like Wile E. Coyote, doesn't it.

And so it is with writers contests. I know somebody who enters the Writers of Future Contest every quarter. And every quarter someone else wins. Instead of giving up and moving on, she continues to submit quarter after quarter.Is this insanity? In my book, yes it is.

And someone else I know keeps entering her daughter in those dreadful child beauty pageants. Yet every time, the kid looses and gets depressed. It's not a matter of a different outfit. It's a matter of accepting reality and it ain't going to happen.

Yet people seem to prefer delusion over reality. Take the Stoker Awards. People last year kept wanting me to read their work because they dearly wanted to win an award and the fame and publicity that comes with it. And somehow I'll vote for them and they'll win. Well, most of what I saw had no more likelihood of winning a Stoker than getting the blue ribbon at the county fair for best pie. Yet people delude themselves into thinking they're going to win. Is this insane?

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