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Insane This Way

After a great deal of fuss about national security and terrorism, sentence was passed and Bradley Manning, the man at the center of the storm who used a Lady Gaga CD to smuggle out classified information, announced that what he really wanted was to live as a woman.

Posting a photo wearing the least convincing wig outside of clown college, Manning announced that
from now on, his name will be Chelsea.

Life might have been simpler for everyone if Manning had just gone straight to the bad wig. In the age of Obama, his right to pretend to be a woman would have been protected with more vigor than the lives of American soldiers serving in Afghanistan.

But that's not what Manning really wanted.

In 1974, Jerry Dean Michael, a mentally ill ex-con and con-artist, put on a wig and pretended to be Liz Carmichael, the widow of a NASA engineer with a car that could 70 miles to the gallon.

"I'll knock the hell out of Detroit," Michael declared, in his persona as Liz Carmichael. "I'll rule the auto industry like a queen." That last line was a joke that it took a while for anyone to get.

Liz Carmichael and his plans to rule Detroit, now a place filled with feral dogs and politicians which probably would have been better off ruled by a lunatic queen with a fiberglass car for a throne, received nearly as much attention then as Bradley Manning did now. Unfortunately Liz's car, that was going to revolutionize the automotive industry could no more run, than Michael or Bradley could become women.

Michael fled, was arrested, released on bail, fled again and was arrested living, once again, under a female name.

Outside an organic grocery store, a Free Bradley Manning rally leaflet sits next to a poster for "Let Me Die as a Woman". The movie, a 70s pseudo-documentary from the appropriately named Doris Wishman trying to branch out from her usual line of work filming nudist colonies for the discerning film buffs of Times Square, followed men who wanted to be women.

Back then that sort of thing fell into the shadow world at the edge of cities where gay bars, prostitutes and the other people falling into the hole inside social norms wound up. It held the fascination of the transgressive for those who were looking to push the boundaries of society to the edge and over it, but even they understood that it was interesting in the way that reading Oliver Sacks' The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat was because that what they were seeing were the results of serious psychological and social trauma.

A few weeks ago, Don Ennis, an ABC News producer who had originally announced that he now wanted to be called Dawn, let everyone know that he picked up a touch of amnesia and was no longer in touch with his female identity. With a plot line like that, Ennis should have been working on ABC's soaps, instead of its news division.

But the amnesia line worked. And everyone at work probably breathed a sigh of relief at not having to listen to Don speak in a high falsetto anymore.

A few missing brain cells and Don no longer wanted to die as Dawn, because Don was never Dawn.

What was once shocking and exploitative has become tediously prosaic. One day a balding middle aged man decides that he really is a woman, begins wearing a wig to work and all his liberal colleagues rush to learn about his new and exciting identity. But the man inside the wig hasn't left behind his old problems. So he develops amnesia and takes the wig off.

When the formerly taboo becomes the habit of boring middlebrow liberal men looking to escape their boring lives cranking out daily stories about racism for the media establishment, it says a great deal about how the formerly transgressive loses its taboo and about the resulting state of social disintegration and its accompanying absurdities.

The old idea, last current in the 70s, that gender is a construct is back in full swing. Every media outlet is now doing cheerful stories about some little boy being raised as an "Adorable Transgender Little Girl" by his Munchausen-by-proxy parents and the intolerant schools who won't let him use the wrong bathroom.

Gender as a construct is one of those mechanistic progressive fantasies straight out of a Brave New World society where every aspect of human identity can be customized. Like most of the futuristic dystopias, it ends badly.

John Money, the psychologist who coined the term "Gender Role" insisting that gender transcended sex, inflicted his theories on a little boy named David Reimer, who was raised as Brenda under a regime that could be best be described as horrifying child abuse. Reimer eventually reclaimed his masculinity and told his story in a book, "As Nature Made Him"; a title that the LGBT community would today consider a hate crime.

Every news story about a boy being raised as an "adorable little girl" is the story of another David Reimer being abused by the indefatigable identity politics of the insane.

In New Jersey, Governor Chris Christie made his state the second place after California to outlaw therapy that tells boys that homosexuality is not innate and that they can choose to live a normal life. Christie's cynicism was already legendary and his pandering to gay donors is unsurprising.

The testimony that convinced the New Jersey Senate to allow the gay lobby to launch another assault on the family by targeting the private relationship between parents, children and therapists included a deeply moving tale by James Goldani, a drag queen with a history of drug abuse, now calling himself Brielle, of being electroshocked at an ex-gay camp, whose horror was only slightly undermined by being derived from a Ru Paul Movie, "But I’m a Cheerleader."

That was a minor detail that no one particularly cared about. In a parade of congenital liars with mental problems claiming victimhood, what was one more absurd lie?

The idea codified by the new law is that sexual preferences are so innate that they cannot and should not be changed, but that gender is entirely mutable and should be changed by anyone who wants to.

That's not a scientific conclusion, but a political one. The goal of politicizing victimhood is to maximize minorities making it easy to become a minority, but very difficult to stop being one. What the gay rights lobby has done is "lock down" its supply of recruits from New Jersey and California. And there are a whole bunch of more states to go.

The bigger your minority group is, the more influence you have. And in the new post-everything America, you have the right to be transgender, but not ex-gay. But the gay rights lobby is not the only victim group that would like similar feudal privileges over potential members. Any group can have its identity politicized in the same way.

There are radical deaf rights activists who would like to ban Cochlear implants that allow deaf children to hear because they are an attack on "Deaf Culture". If they ever organize themselves as effectively as gay groups have, it's not too hard to envision Governor Christie signing a law that outlaws parents from curing their children's deafness because it will cut them off from Deaf Culture.

Deaf culture, like gay culture, is both recent and a construct. It's an innovation in response to a disability. A missing element. The difference is that with deaf culture the nature of the disability is obvious and the cure really works.

Identity politics is pride in victimization. It gains its entire identity from embracing dysfunction and refusing to change. But despite all the pride parades, the assertions of identity, the "Born this way" torch songs, the underlying dysfunction remains.

Bradley Manning betrayed his country for the same reason that he put on a blond wig; because he is mentally ill. It's the same reason that Jerry Dean Michael tried to pass off a toy car as the future of the automobile industry and why countless transgender con artists engage in self-destructive behavior.

Crazy people mix destructive and self-destructive behavior together into a toxic cocktail. That is about the neatest summary of the gay rights movement that there can ever be.The brave new world of identity politics is confusing mental breakdowns with identity and missing elements with culture.

With the construct of race nearing exhaustion, the miners of grievance chose to fragment gender and the family into a thousand pieces. Their triumphant progeny is Bradley Manning, a man filled with confused hatreds and no sense of direction. One of Gaga's Little Monsters, lashing out at his country from behind a blonde wig.

Our society has become a puzzle of broken pieces that don't fit, a strange mesh of identity politics, identities that can agree on the agenda of the left and little else. Under all the rainbow umbrellas are broken people struggling for relief, acting out, breaking things and breaking themselves. All the cheerful assertions that the next wave of insanity is really the next civil rights movement sound as hollow as they do in ghettos where the broken family is not an aberration, but the norm.

These are not all disparate elements. They are parts of the same problem. The family is at the center of a healthy society. When the family collapses, so does the society.

The left has turned dysfunction into its banner, it has made it seem trendy and progressive, but what it has really done is shattered the American family as badly as it shattered the Russian economy with its speculative theorizing and radical projects.

There is no path to restoring America, except through the restoration of the American family.


  1. Anonymous25/8/13

    There ought to be a 12 step program. Leftards Anonymous. " I haven't had the Kool Aid for ,,,,,,,"

  2. Anonymous25/8/13

    " trying to branch out from her usual line of work filming nudist colonies for the discerning film buffs of Times Square, followed men who wanted to be women."

    .. not.. sure..i .. can .. read.. anymore...



    will ... try .. l8r...

  3. Jerry G25/8/13

    The destruction of the family is well underway so that the family can be replaced by big government. And what better way to destroy the family than the devices used by government...Welfare,immigration,promotion of homosexuality, single motherhood and sex for recreation rather than procreation

  4. Conclusion? "There is no path to restoring America, except through the restoration of the American family." Not quite. Restoring America will require the restoration of reason, a faculty of the human mind that has been abandoned in virtually every realm of human action today. Reason established America; only reason can save it.

  5. Anonymous25/8/13

    The saddest part of it all is that stress and social isolation increases mental illness and having a mental illness means a strong inclination to achieving stress and social isolation. It is a very vicious circle.

    Bradley Manning's mental illness is not going to be relieved by what he is putting himself through. It will just get worse.

    Wearing a wig, drawing attention to yourself for all the wrong reasons does not help the illness it merely provides another means of hiding from the problem. You don't give alcohol to an alcoholic, heroin to a drug addict and you certainly don't provide a false gender identity to someone wrestling with serious problems. It is all the same thing. Gays may not want homosexuality to be seen as a sickness. Maybe that is fine. I've met well adjusted gay people even though religiously I don't believe it is right and I know gay marriage is wrong. I do know they are not mentally ill people. Far from it.

    A mentally ill person however should not be encouraged in a behavior that for them is destructive just for the sake of a group label.

    People forget how vicious activists often are. Even if they are activists for a cause you believe in they often get themselves followers from the vulnerable desperate for attention.

  6. Tom M.25/8/13

    As usual, Daniel is dead-on with his analysis. I feel sorry for the various administrators. politicians and media talking heads that have to deal with this BS with a straight face. Wouldn't a DNA test stop all this madness?

  7. Anonymous25/8/13

    Methinks you've been victimized by MAD magazine, Sir Greenfield.

    Pray tell, good sir, what will we ever do with those mid-40ish woman who just realized they've been victimized by their teenage trampstamp?

  8. Anonymous25/8/13

    Very very good. What worries me is that this insanity is leaving the West wide open to a more robust and centered way of looking at the world.
    No wonder Islam is confident. All it has do to is wait.
    Dave S

  9. FrankS25/8/13

    You'd hope that the insane evil of the deaf lesbian couple who deliberately created deaf babies some years back would have finally shown up identity politics and grievance culture for what it is. Some hope!
    I'm surprised this comments thread hasn't yet been overrun by outraged cries of "transphobia" and elaborate but substanceless arguments in favour of self-proclaimed identities.

  10. Anonymous25/8/13

    IMO the American family can be restored. We can see sparks of it in the small and growing number of women now choosing to home school their children.

    Far too many women have divorced themselves by working outside of the home:( It's actually heartbreaking to see infants from 8-weeks old in daycare to pre-K, to 8-hours a day in the hands of strangers.


  11. Anonymous25/8/13

    It's not the american family, you bunch of morons! The entire world is getting brain-washed and made to believe that certain things that are contrary to human nature are "correct" and "good". Judeo-Christianity teaches that morals and responsibility comes from the nuclear family, and from there come civics. American schools no longer teach anything like responsiblity, civics, or morals. We are breeding a bunch of criminals If only we could clone Reagan and bring him back! Greenfield is a genius and I wish there were more like him!

  12. Common 'Tater25/8/13

    I was waiting to see what you have to say about this! Again, you have a knack for grabbing what seem to be loose threads (or headlines) and showing the connections.

    I am going in reverse order here, but I think your last point is the most important. We do need to seriously look at what we are doing as a society and stop what is counterproductive and focus on what works. I would suspect that there are volumes written on why the nuclear family works. I recommend that the most important thing the government can do to nurture the traditional nuclear family is to leave us alone as per the original intent of the constitution and the bill of rights. "Those powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

    In the greater picture, the US has such a large economy, and such a resilient social fabric, that if the peddlers of malcontent did not have the backing of the large government legislators ("every vote counts that votes for me!") the majority of these tempests in teapots would soon disappear and would be dealt with on a local level. The truth is, the number of people that fall out of the usual behavior patterns is quite small. What we are doing now is protecting people from the consequences of their bad choices and behaviors. If Don/Dawn had been told by his employer "Don, quit wearing wigs and pantyhose to work or you are fired" that would have ended the saga.

    Lastly, I am not surprised, yet saddened by the turn of events regarding Manning and Snowden. Instead of being real whistleblowers interested in helping us identify and fix the problems in our government, we are getting what? I realize that the guys that lead the 13 colonies to independence were not perfect, they had flaws. But these two? If this is the best we can come up with, we need help.

  13. Brilliance that exceeds the Sultan's usual excellence.

  14. The left, together with, thanks to their instigation, the ever increasing Islamic poisoning of the western world, does manage to slowly but surely create their Hollywood ideal, a Mad Max society with the unscrupulous, sexually deviant and extremely violent criminals as the role models. In this the Arab world, insanely religious, shouting nothing but Allahu Akbar's at every brutal mass killing, but believing strictly in Islamic dominance, not in any sort of progress and neither in a balanced family life (wives are part of their cattle, not partners), is already showing the way.

  15. Anonymous26/8/13

    Excellent article. But is the will there to climb out of the abyss?

  16. This development says one thing to me, that Manning's espionage was well planned and premeditated and most likely he was working for Assange for a long time prior to.

    Here is why I think this; after spending a long time in the US Army, and also living in the gay Vegas (Massachusetts), people like Manning do not join the Army, especially not active duty. Yes, in my military career I have encountered gay people in the military, but not people with that gender identity thing. Anyone that has ever met one can attest to the fact that (at least in their mind) since they were born male, and identify as a female, they often will over compensate for the feminine side. And being in the Army is not very feminine.

    So then why would he join? He knew the day he signed up that his lifestyle choice would be heavily affected by signing up. This was during Clinton's Don't ask Don't tell era, so he knew he would have to hide his homosexuality, but hiding being a female would be damn near impossible. So clearly he had a different agenda for signing up for the US Army, and the USA was not one of them.

    I believe he has known either Assange himself or someone who had a connection to him for many years. He was asked to go and spy on the US military. Or, Manning conceived this on his own and then sought out Assange, but this was his plan all along.

  17. Anonymous26/8/13

    Gerry: I agree with you

    Edward: That's true. Yet I have always believed that some people won't or can't reason without emotions. A degree of soul-searching for lack of a better term.

    Anon: Oh dear.

    A large majority of families choosing to home school their children are religious and traditional families and teach the bible.


  18. Anonymous26/8/13

    Regarding Manning: I surprised that his lawyer decided to bring up the transgender issue. It's typical for attorneys to portray their clients in a positive light pending an appeal; that they are more than just the crime they've been convicted of.

    But this??

    ***I wouldn't doubt that Julian Assange recruited Manning or something along those lines. Assange had much better plan to assure his escape from justice.

    Manning didn't.

    Snowden? Not sure about him. He's lost. I see Russia gathering every bit of evidence he has and then tossing him to the wolves. He'd be of little use to the Kremlin for counter-intelligence.


  19. The same folks who insist there is no discernible difference between people bearing two x chromosomes and those with an x and a y mock creationists for their faith based anti-science beliefs.

  20. In my prep school days, as a senior studying Toynbee, our instructor taught us that, historically, no society long survived what today we call "mainstreaming" homosexuals. He used the Fall of Rome as one example. Someday some teacher may point our way, too.


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