On Social Convergence

May 15, 2006

Mental illness. Prozac, Ritalin, depression, and psychological disorders. Why are they cropping up now more than ever? Why are they so common now? The obvious answer is that they treat people who are not well adjusted. And then my question becomes, adjusted to what? Perhaps the fact that we need to medicate so many people to allow them to fit into society means there is something wrong with the society, and not with the individual. Perhaps we take the inability of one to accept this society as an individual problem, when the problem lies with the structure itself.

Young women are constantly bombarded with the message that they are fat and not nearly as pretty as the women in their magazines. Who is surprised that they are depressed after growing up until this constant societal criticism? Who could be amazed when the ridiculed are miserable? But oh, she is depressed. Give her a pill. Never mind that the cause is starring us in the face. Never mind the pressures put on her by social expectation. Fix her. Bring her back to productivity. Give her soma.

Get in line. By alphabetical order, last name. Sit in your seat. Do not get up. Do not speak. Do not fidget. Now color this picture. Now perform this song. Now play this game -- it is gym time. Stay inside the line. Your essay must be three paragraphs. Rise, put your hand on your heart, and repeat your loyalty oath. oh, but this child will not be silent! Oh, that child will not rise when told to rise, nor sit when told to sit. Drug him. Bring him back into the herd. Return his wandering mind to the flock.

Innovation by its nature requires thinking outside the box. New ideas require pressing bounds. But that is alright. Have your drugs and stop acting out of line. Your school, your magazine, and your drug companies thank you.