My favorite song of all time is Oingo Boingo’s Insanity.
An example of this song in concert is here..
Lyrics for the song can be found here..
It is my favorite song of all time, mainly, because it captures the underlying sense of insanity that pervades so many aspects of our society (For example–one can easily see that the “Christianism” that Andrew Sullivan talks about so much could be sensed back in the late 1980’s and early 90’s and isn’t just a recent phenomenon, even if it does seem to be reaching its peak now…).
In a similar fashion, I think my favorite movie character ever is Heath Ledger’s portrayal of The Joker because it turned this aspect of society into a personified demon/trickster figure who out-thought everyone and everything around him.
Getting back to the song, I also love it because the “voice” of the song is not just a critic that stands outside of this insanity, claiming to know all about it while also being able to withstand it. Such figures are not credible to me because they reek too much of wish-fulfillment. Instead, the song is honest about the inner core of insanity and madness that slips and slides through our daily lives, and the voice of the song has–by the end of it–succumbed to the insanity himself.
In my opinion, such a fate awaits us all in greater or lesser fashions if we do not mature as individuals and as a society to tackle the problems we face. Don’t get me wrong–I’m not a doomsayer–I think we can master the problems that face us, but it is going to require sacrifice, much thought, patience, and willpower.
In many ways it will require something that takes the best of all sides of the political spectrum, but also really takes nothing from them. Rather, it will require that we become individuals who possess more of what Andrew Sullivan describes as a small “c” conservative temperament–and which you can find some good description of here–but also in a liberal outlook that was so aptly described by Bertrand Russell as:
“The essence of the Liberal outlook lies not in what opinions are held, but in how they are held: instead of being held dogmatically, they are held tentatively, and with a consciousness that new evidence may at any moment lead to their abandonment.”
Further elaboration on the liberal outlook is found here…
In the end, we must see reality for what it is, and to recognize the madness and insanity that exists. Wishing it away or renaming it does no one any good.