I was down at 26th & California today to pick up a transcript of Dr. Watson's testimony in Billy's case. When I walked into the courthouse, there was a small demonstration (3 or 4 people) out in front.
One guy had a flag and a megaphone, but in my rush I did not recognize his cause for protest. His voice was remarkable, however, with a cadence almost Martin-Luther-King-like.
When I left the courthouse, the demonstrator was still there, yelling over his megaphone and waving the flag. I remarked to someone walking by that he had a great voice, and got the response, "Yeah, but he talks the wrong shit."
I wasn't quick enough, so I missed the opportunity to paraphrase William Munny, my all-time favorite Clint Eastwood character: We all talk the wrong shit, kid.
Maybe we all helped put both Billy and Johnny in the nuthouse. After all, Billy murdered somebody, and Johnny tore up too much furniture in the middle of the night. So something had to be done with both of them, and the psychs are convenient "experts". Who wouldn't wish for a clean, merciful, medical solution to stuff like this?
The problem is, that clean, merciful, medical solution is a delusion.
If Billy had gone along with the state plan, he'd be taking antipsychotic medications just because his psych wanted him to, even though it didn't do anything but disable him. He would be more dangerous and less able to ever contribute to society again under his own steam. That is definitely not what the taxpayers want, nor what the Illinois Department of Human Services advertises.
If Johnny had bought into his psych "diagnosis" he'd be on drugs, too. He be a mental health consumer for life, chronically mentally ill, a confirmed victim, with every excuse to fail his family. His daughters would worry about genetic risk of mental illness. That's definitely not the result Johnny's parents were after when they called the police, nor any advantage of paying medical insurance premiums up-to-date.
We will have to walk and talk with our own crazy people, not just give them away to experts. Otherwise we will all be slaves.
Or at best, we'll sure be talking the wrong shit.