“working with the thinnest thread of sanity and intelligence”

Sep09 136
Creative Commons License photo credit: Lord Jim

We’re working with the thinnest thread of sanity and intelligence here. We were always subject to the lowest common denominator, but historically those people on the bottom wrung of the sanity and intelligence scale were treated officially as outliers, lunatics and morons. People who weren’t quite sure they saw what they saw, or knew what they knew, would be reluctant to say anything, no less reach out to police to close down a mall. Not anymore.

Most of us have seen a package unencumbered by a hand sitting in a public place. Watch for a few more minutes and someone comes back, maybe a nice mother with some wayward children who required collecting. They clutch the package and walk away holding hands. No terrorism here.

We wait and watch. Rarely is anything so askew as to demand immediate action. We can distinguish an umbrella from a rifle. We don’t rush to assumption of the one in a million occurrence with nothing more than a flash of a fear to push us over the edge. But then, we aren’t the ones phoning in reports to police from Nordstrom’s.

Empowering Hysteria,” by Scott Greenfield, Simple Justice, April 25, 2011

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