I, David Oaks, PsychoQuad, 1st “Stand-Up Comedy” July 30, 2016, “Bleepin’ Funny” Sam Bond’s Garage, Eugene, Oregon (Both 5 & 10 min versions)

UPDATE: Both a five-minute edited version and a ten-minute full version of my Sam Bond’s Summer 2016 comedy can be found below now for your viewing pleasure. In a while we will post the February 2017 return to the stage, thanks David Zupan, you are a real friend! We have also updated additional info after the videos, including links.

Below, you can watch the both a five-minute and ten-minute video of me, David W. Oaks, getting laughs and a standing ovation, with captions, of my stand-up comedy, Summer 2016.

Before I broke my neck in 2012, I was director of MindFreedom International with more than 40 years as a community organizer. I am a human rights psychiatric survivor activist and I have spoken in a dozen countries. This is my first paid public speaking gig after my fall. I praise the great disability support I receive, “Keep Eugene Weirdest!”

Five-minute version:

Ten-minute version:

This full version of the comedy, with the popular line “Hey you’re all going to die!” can be appreciated by anyone, but includes a few local references:

  • Oregon Country Fair is a huge gathering each July near Eugene in the woods, with thousands of volunteer-participants. I am an Elder there. Just use your search engine to watch images and video of Oregon Country Fair, to try to get an idea of this wild event!
  • George Braddock at OCF, helps organize the huge Ritz sauna there, and is an expert on disability, especially bathrooms. Just search for the following phrase to try to get an idea of George’s imagination: ritz oregon country fair
  • Making a news announcement here, I say I am running against Rep. Pete DeFazio (D-OR) as a write-in this election, because of Pete’s co-sponsorship of a bill that would increase forced outpatient psychiatric treatment. I call this the “Bill Cosby School of Mental Health,” and I wonder if Pete needs psychiatric help, first. You may view news about a visit to Rep. DeFazio’s office by a few of us to make this point, here: http://138.68.254.83/awards-to-pete-defazio-opposing-forced-psychiatric-drugs
  • This public gig was at the monthly stand-up comedy event at a community gathering place, Sam Bond’s Garage. “Bleepin’ Funny” happens every month led by comedian Leigh Anne Jasheway, who can be seen sitting near the front of the crowd. Check the Sam Bond’s website toward the end of each month. On Facebook you may check the page for Leigh Anne Jasheway.
  • Also, on the stage you can see one of my several employees, Ian.
  • I often have creative events at Kesey Square, in downtown Eugene, named for my friend, the late Ken Kesey, local author of the book One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Search this blog for several events we have held in the square: kesey.
  • For instance, on November 4, 2016: You can read more about this free tour on my blog at: http://138.68.254.83/keep-eugene-weirdest

Below you will find a transcript of my comedy:

First, my five-minute version:

“Bleepin’ Funny Comedy Night” 5 minute version at Sam Bonds; Eugene, Oregon on July 30th, 2016

DAVID OAKS

PsychoQuad

So, everybody, I am David Oaks, PsychoQuad. [applause, cheering]

A funny thing happened on the way up a ladder to get our cat, Bongo.

Now this was in December, 2012,  which you call the end of the Mayan calendar.

Right? I did not believe in that BS.

So my shoes were wet, and in going for Bongo… and, well, I fell.

So Lee Anne Jashaway [hostess for this comedy night] suggested I talk about the worst case scenario.

Hey, you’re all gonna die. [applause, cheering] Thanks.

No, really, the moment I fell I got more labels.

But I had an advantage.

In ancient days, 40 years ago, I was a working class kid going to Harvard

and it flipped me out.

So I ended up in a psychiatric institution five times and it flipped me out.

Alright. So a dozen shrinks diagnosed me as psychotic. It’s true.

That means “psychotic,” that means… [pause]

Hey, bar guy!

Hey, bar guy! If you make a noise, I’ll get your address and be in your life! [applause, cheering]

Is that clear? Alright.  

Anyway, so there I was, now with a psychiatric label.

I’ve had a lot of time to think. 4,000 hours of NPR. [laughter]

alright. My main label is not what you think.

My main label is, I see some of you, “White Older Guy.”

“White Older Guy” or a WOG. [loud laughter] That’s my label.

Now, we’ve had a good run. 10,000 years.

OK, we’re about to leave. We’re shuffling off. Alright.

Alright. Please, please, learn from our mistakes. [loud laughter]

Please. It’s your planet but uh….

So, I do not recommend that you break your neck anywhere. [laughter]

But if you have to break your neck, do it here, Eugene, Oregon.

And my goal now, I want to be the weirdest in the world.

Weirdest in the world!  

You heard about Mohammed Ali? “Greatest.”

I want to be weirdest.

And I say we all in Eugene… Screw Portland. [laughter]

What do you mean, “Keep Portland Weird”?

Keep us weirdest!

Thanks much.

[loud cheering, standing ovation]

Here is the full ten-minute version:

[revised 10/31/16]

“Bleepin’ Funny Comedy Night” 9.25 min. version at Sam Bonds; Eugene, Oregon on July 30th, 2016

DAVID OAKS

[applause] Ian’s great. Thank you, Ian. Let’s hear it for Ian. [applause, cheering]

These guys are amazing. I have about eight employees, and they’re great. Thank you.

So, everybody, I am David Oaks, PsychoQuad. [applause, cheering]

So, ah, so really will we find something funny here?

A funny thing happened on the way up a ladder to get our cat, Bongo.

Now this was in December, 2012,

which you call the end of the Mayan calendar.

Right? I did not believe in that BS.

So my, uh, shoes were wet and in going for Bongo… and, well, I fell.

So Lee Anne Jashaway [hostess for this comedy night] suggested I talk about the worst case scenario.

Hey, you’re all gonna die. [applause, cheering] Thanks.

No, really, the moment I fell I got more labels.

But I had an advantage.

In ancient days, 40 years ago, I was a working class kid going to Harvard and it flipped me out.

So I ended up in a psychiatric institution five times and it flipped me out.

Alright. So a dozen shrinks diagnosed me as psychotic. It’s true.

That means “psychotic,” that means… [pause]

Hey, bar guy!

Hey, bar guy. If you make a noise, I’ll get your address and be in your life! [applause, cheering]

Is that clear? Alright.  

Anyway, so there I was now with a psychiatric label.

I’ve had a lot of time to think. 4,000 hours of NPR. [laughter]

Alright. My main label is not what you think.

My main label is, I see some of you, “White Older Guy.”

“White Older Guy” or a WOG. [loud laughter] That’s my label.

Now, we’ve had a good run. 10,000 years.

Ok, we’re about to leave. We’re shuffling off. Alright.

Alright. Please, please, learn from our mistakes. [loud laughter]

Please. It’s your planet but uh….

So the number one group to help me

over the last 42 months is surprising:

It is Oregon Country Fair. [cheering] They win.

I don’t know if they were aware they were competing,

but wow I mean, you have got Debra, my wife, who is way ahead

ah, accessibility workers, you name it.

My bathroom is by George Braddock at the Ritz.

I mean wowie zowie.

So, I do not recommend that you break your neck anywhere. [laughter]

It is a tough way to be surrounded by great people like Ian and Emily.

But if you have to break your neck, do it here, Eugene, Oregon.

And my goal now, I want to be the weirdest in the world.

Weirdest in the world!

You heard about Mohammed Ali? “Greatest.”

I want to be weirdest.

And I say we all in Eugene… Screw Portland. [laughter]

What do you mean, “Keep Portland Weird”?

Keep us weirdest.

Alright. So tomorrow I’ll be at Kesey Square.

So if you want some weird fun.

But wrapping up my eight minutes: Let me tell ya that, during the “Sunday Streets” especially at 3 PM.

I have a news announcement. All right.

I’ve known [Rep.] Pete DeFazio [D-OR] for three decades.

Pete is great. But the pressure has gotten too big.

Pete DeFazio. You are all invited to tell him you heard it here.

I am running against Pete as a write-in candidate.

David Oaks. O A K S. No E.  Now you can tell Pete.

My reason is: “Pete, you’ve become the Bill Cosby of mental health.”

Repeat this joke. It’s a funny joke. [laughter]

“Pete, David Oaks says you have become the Bill Cosby of mental health.” Come on everybody. Try it out. Come on. Try it. Be revolutionary. [laughter] Try 1, 2, 3.

“Pete, you have become the Bill Cosby of mental health.

“According to David Oaks

“According to David Oaks… who is running against you.”

So, Pete, get some psychiatric help.

That’s from your psycho quad friend. By the way,

Lee Anne, you lead me. Thank you. [cheering]

[inaudible] Thanks much. You’re all so funny. I’ve enjoyed it.

We have enjoyed you for months. Thanks much.

[cheering, standing ovation]

[revised 10/31/16]

To stay in touch, please get on the email list which you can do on the right side of this blog.

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Mental Health Revolution, or Why Humor is Necessary if You Are Really Serious About Overthrowing the Corrupt System: My Stand-up Comedy, Ghostbusters Satire, and Dead Family & Friends Such As Leonard Roy Frank

David W. Oaks portrait by Isaac Paris c 2016

David W. Oaks portrait by Isaac Paris c 2016

More than 42 Months After I Broke My Neck, I Do a Stand-Up Comedy Act this Saturday, 30 July 2016

Or perhaps I should say “sit-down comedy”? My intro for my act by the MC will be this:

“From right here in Eugene, our next sit-down comic is David Oaks, also known as PsychoQuad. That means he can slay any audience and then plead insanity!”

If you live in the Eugene-area, or know someone here, get there early to save your seat at Sam Bond’s Garbage, the bar Blair! I will bring my own seat. The monthly show, Bleepin’ Funny, is hosted by an indisputably leading comedic talent in our area, Leigh Anne Jasheway-Bryant. And it is a free event.

I have been going with my loving wife, Debra, for most months to Bleepin’ Funny, for years. I have been in the audience, in fact Sam Bond’s saves a table or two for my friends and me. But this Saturday, 30 July 2016, when the show starts at 5 pm, I am slated to take the stage about the fourth slot.

I have been practicing my stand-up. Before my fall I had the disadvantage of speaking “seriously” in about a dozen countries, for a fee. But humor is better and more fulfilling than boring non-stop seriousness. Or not?

Today, 27 July 2016, above we scoped out the stage at Sam Bond's, where I am to perform this Saturday. I have two plans for getting on the stage. They involve four strong, sober volunteers with strong backs. I will bring a hold harmless clause printout so they will not worry about lawyers. But should I wear a bike helmet?

Today, 27 July 2016, above we scoped out the stage at Sam Bond’s, where I am to perform this Saturday. I have two plans for getting on the stage. They involve four strong, sober volunteers with strong backs. I will bring a hold harmless clause printout so they will not worry about lawyers. But should I wear a bike helmet?

Bleepin’ Funny always features some stand-up, plus Leigh Anne takes the stage with a crew and does some lively, fresh improv. The show ends about 7 pm. It is all-ages, so bring the kids and do not worry about blue material. Call me crazy, but, I say get there early. Heck, even if it is nearly empty you might volunteer for my chair-hoisting crew! See Ian if you want to help out.

The comic Isaac Paris drew me to this amazing possible career, if these weird people known as stand ups can tolerate a professional weirdo. Move over Josh Blue, you no longer are the king of cripple comedy.

Isaac helped arrange for me to do comedy and be on this show. He is up in his native Alaska this week, so he will miss this Bleepin’ Funny. My documentarian and good friend David Zupan plans to video my act, with permissions of course!

Last week, I rehearsed at the Lane Independent Living Alliance (LILA) Peer Support Club, and Zupan was out of town so I did not pursue the documentary. But a relative shot me with their laptop for my own edification. You would think we had somehow violated the law, because an unsmiling employee had her boss e-mail me a verbal unfriendly terse note, I guess government-funded places like that can never have documentaries? My friend Mark Roberts is the brother of the famous Ed Roberts! I guess if Ed were still alive, and tried to speak at a Center for Independent Living, he would not be able to be taped for broader distribution. Hey, protect those privacy rights, cash our taxpayer-money checks, and let us celebrate there are now several-hundred Center for Independent Living (CIL’s) in the nation today, the backbone of the USA disability movement. I love CIL’s, but it is time to start an ADAPT local chapter; I hear you ADAPT headquarters in Austin, Texas.

Humor is Necessary: Please Laugh Once Per Minute (Just Joking!)

Anyway, the good humor, at least we hope it is good humor, will be at Sam Bond’s Garage, a down-home community center with good beer, great little menu, and even great outdoor seating in the back during warm months when it is appropriate. See you there, I will get there very early to save a place or get drunk.

Some Actual Real Humorous News! Well, True Anyway, and I Think it is News-Worthy Mental Health Revolution News

During my rehab, over these more than 42 months, I have had one (1) paid gig doing my work. Incredibly, probably because of a recommendation by my good friend, psychiatric survivor New Yorker Celia Brown, of MindFreedom, my solitary paid gig during my rehab has been to be one of the many independent contractors in the mental health reform field to review and comment on drafts of several manuals, mainly about mental health peer support, by the World Health Organization (WHO), based in Geneva, Switzerland.

The WHO, yes, the same global health agency that tackled some nasty viruses in recent years, has a small but active division working for global mental health. Five years ago, I had the good fortune to visit WHO headquarters in Switzerland, because a number of us psychiatric survivor activists met with and consulted for the head of WHO mental health at that time, the passionate and brilliant Italian psychiatrist, Dr. Bendetto Saraceno. The doctor now directs a psychiatric non-governmental organization in Europe, and has retired from WHO.

This year, the WHO mental health manuals have not yet been released to the public, and so the content is private. However, for my generous independent contractor fee, I tried to provide online input for all the draft manuals. I tried to provide written comments that were both practical and revolutionary.

Some of the non-normal written comments that I made about these drafts, as an actual official paid WHO consultant, were:

  • The world very much needs a revolution, especially because the climate crisis has been so ignored for too many years. Yes, as the Pope recommends, I also suggested revolution for our planet in my official written comments to WHO, as a contracted consultant. In fact, since another round of input is to be requested, I currently still am an WHO independent contractor. Of course, I am speaking for myself and my opinion alone here, not in any way for WHO.
  • Repeatedly, I made sure that my position was crystal clear, that one hundred percent of all people, all the time, every moment, from womb to tomb, are in a state of mind that is in extreme, life-threatening crisis. That is right, my 42 years of activism in psychiatric survivor revolution provided me with four words as my lesson: “We are all nuts!” Nothing wrong with being nuts, if that word has any meaning at all. We may always all of us be nuts, but we can choose what kind of nuts we will be. Will we be creative positive nuts? Or destructive divisive nuts? We must choose.
  • Everyone alive, everyone, has a crisis. Maybe your’s will be very short, but we all have at least one crisis. We are moral. We love. So, prepare for your crisis! Hey, all you need to do is get ready for the unexpected. May I humbly suggest building your community of friends and family?
  • We must act now! We cannot wait for perfect information, in fact science has a theme: Mystery! Whether it is quantum physics, black holes, fractals, chaos theory, string theory, dark matter, dark energy, etc.: As Socrates noted over and over, we do not know much, to this day. But we still need to act, we still need to ask questions. Just as the wing of a butterfly can later influence the course of a hurricane, we must flap our wings! Note we have enormous influence, but not control.
  • The other side of the Butterfly Effect is that as the climate crisis triggers dozens of positive feedback effects, we are entering unpredictable chaos. No way I am giving up hope! Hey, that was me lying on the floor with a broken neck 42 months ago! But my paralysis is mild next to our society’s paralysis. Everyone, all of us, get off the floor!
  • A first step is to realize that internal revolution in our hearts and minds, is not stoppable. Let us make this shared goal more visible now, to help our global morale. I am not saying we will win a quality revolution, but I am sure we can try right now! I believe in you, you all are Supreme Commanders this time! OK, not all of that went into my comments to WHO.
  • But, I made it very clear in my written comments to WHO as an official consultant, that the thing we the public have been calling “normal” does not actual exist. Yes, like some horrible nightmarish virus, “normality” has been eliminated, it does not exist. Since I know that several WHO people have a great sense of humor, it turns out they are human, then I hope they take some credit for finding their funny bone and realizing the seriousness of saying, “There is no normal!”
  • Yes, normal is not in fact, well, normal. Eliminating all traces of “normal” is not the same thing as going after a virus. Yes, some people choose to take drugs to address mental and emotional issues. That is their choice. But “normality” and mental wellness in general, is about something far deeper and more profound than any “normal” medication.
  • I encourage folks to use the easy online interface with WHO to provide resources, suggestions, feedback, important points about the mental health industry, and more important the revolution in mental well being, which uses choice/freedom as a kind of umbrella for recovery, and once shielded there are thousands and thousands of approaches! Just use your search engine to search for the following phrase and then type in your comments: World Health Organization Contact Form. Dr. Saraceno told me, that every comment made to WHO must be treated with respect, and logged. Yes, even so-called irrational comments. Please send your favorite empowering alternative, ask WHO to send this to their mental health division! At the bottom of this is a three-minute video to promote reaching out to WHO. The revolution does not apply only to us consultants, but to everyone, even non-human animals, plants and maybe every particle.
  • Hey wouldn’t it be cool if the whole universe, you included, are equals all working as one? Now that is a Revolution!

On the Birthday of My Friend Leonard Roy Frank (LRF) 15 July 2016

David W. Oaks and his wife Debra react to publicity about the debut of Ghostbusters 3 on July 15, 2016, which is also the birthday for the late and amazing Leonard Roy Frank, psychiatric survivor, editor, friend, revolutionary.

David W. Oaks and his wife Debra react to publicity about the debut of Ghostbusters 3 on July 15, 2016, which is also the birthday for the late and amazing Leonard Roy Frank, psychiatric survivor, editor, friend, revolutionary.

I first wrote this on the 8th day of Creative Maladjustment (CM) Week, which was 7 to 15 July 2016. Yes, Creative Maladjustment Week is now eight days long to end on the 7/15 birthday of this psychiatry-surviving, electroshock defying, mystic-being, beatnik-pioneering, quote-editing San Franciscan Leonard Roy Frank (who would have turned 84 this year of he were still alive).

During these three and a half years of my deep recovery I estimate that I have listened to more than 4,000 hours of National Public Radio news, tuning in every morning via our local KLCC-FM. For example, I feel as if I am personal friends with John Hockenberry, host of Takeaway, because he first got his start here in Eugene KLCC-FM, he is in a wheelchair, but he only exchanged one message before he moved to the East Coast and became a national radio star. He still seems to support revolution, and you do not have to use your imagination much to hear that.

So, for better or worse, I have had more time to think, with my brains, heart, great support folks. Leonard, you showed us that after incredible torture the human spirit can still come back and help humanity. Every time I spoke privately with Leonard, we laughed and laughed. What a keen and at times wicked sense of humor, informed of course that near-biblical personal moral code.

A bunch of my friends in our movement are now dead, or as some of us joked very, very disabled: Rae, Judi, Howie, so many more, and now Pat Risser. If we remember to reform the corrupt mental health group, NAMI, even half as much as Pat wanted, always keeping our sense of humor and outrage, think of all the loving parents who we can support, now being tricked by this drug company front group!

More info about Leonard can be found all over the web, or go to any major bookstore and ask for their huge book Quotationary. Leonard lovingly edited this book of thousands of quotes, and subversively inserted dozens of great quotes very critical of the mental health industry, psychology, psychiatry, electroshock, etc. While he did not hide his identity as a psychiatric survivor during his work as one of the world’s experts on quotes, the fact is that he ended up gathering quotes as part of his strategy to re-create his incredible mind after psychiatry tried to destroy his loving spirit, unsuccessfully.

Sounds like LRF got the last laugh on the mental health industry torture machine. Since this apparatus apparently lacks a spirit of humor, getting the last laugh may be very winnable! I know that so many people have been cheering me on and sending support in so many ways, thanks! My Mom used to send out personal thanks with hand-written cards. As Mom got into her late 90’s she stopped sending cards. Her death last year really put a crimp in her card writing!

But do MindFreedom members really know that this shy Mom of mine worked for years as a volunteer in the main office, sometimes three days a week! Truly, Violet Oaks, my Mom, was MindFreedom’s top volunteer. So far.

For those of you who have read this long post, despite my many severe disabilities, or perhaps because of my creative maladjustment to these extreme challenges, I am talking with board members about coming back in some way, perhaps as a consultant. If I can crawl back to the work place, with extreme accommodations, so can anyone!

So a MindFreedom folks, do you want me back helping on our ship after these 42 months? If you can work together with other members, and ask me to come back, maybe I will, in some way. Before I fell, during my 25 years at MindFreedom’s helm, I raised about one million dollars for this grassroots human rights coalition.

We always prided ourselves about being independent of government money, and working for donations, often from very poor folks. Now, your feedback is appreciate, here, or via Facebook, or with your hearts. And the Oddsquad Advisory Team, and others, I need your advice right now. I must find the tight rope between recovery and revolution.

You may also refer to MindFreedom’s portal about Leonard.

Breaking your neck is never a good idea but if you must break your neck, I would recommend Eugene, Oregon, USA. I have so very many of you to thank! Surprisingly, the absolute winners in the “Support David W. Oaks During His Recovery,” is the Fair Family connected to Oregon Country Fair.

This message is to you all: The rest of my life could be weeping tears of joy thanking you all, every moment! How do I know? I can’t wait, I must act now and thank you! Thanks, thanks, thanks. The word for thanks in Lithuanian, origin for all my grandparents, sounds like a sneeze:

Ah-h-h-h-h Ch-o-o-o-o-o! That word is spelled “aciu,” with some pronunciation marks. Sorry, no time for that, just thanks thanks thanks!

DISCLAIMER: Thanks to homecare worker Sara and my admin for taking my raw notes and fashioning that into the blog, though I take full responsibility and finished my final edit today 27 July 2016. Because of the coincidence of Ghostbusters 3 debuting on 15 July 2016, I was eager to get something out that day. Thanks everyone, especially my darling wife Debra, when I fell, I know that we fell. I hope people give you, Debra, support that is even better than the amazing support so many have given me this past 42 plus months!

 

OK, Here is a Three-Minute Free Video Encouraging You to Contact the World Health Organization, Now!

It is easy, you can suggest your favorite humane alternative to the inherently flawed, corrupted-beyond-comment mental health industry to our World Health Organization, just direct your search engine to their Contact Form:  http://www.who.int/about/contact_form/en/

 

Above entry was a originally posted on my personal blog, which can be found here: 

www.davidwoaks.com

Protected by Creative Commons, only for non-commercial use with attribution. 

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New Short Documentary Airs About Me: Diagnosed-Psychotic Quad Activist Global Revolutionary! You Can Watch Now, Free

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

David Oaks and Debra Nunez

David and Debra on our back deck, “home and in love.”

Today a documentary about 10 ½ minutes long, by my good friend David Zupan, airs on statewide TV and you can see it online for free, details below.

You can see:

  • Me tear up my psychiatric label “psychotic”
  • Martin Luther King call for us all to be “creatively maladjusted”
  • A re-creation of my big fall that broke my neck
  • What screwing up your vocal chords can sound like  
  • Support from my amazing wife and community
  • Us protest for global revolution because of climate crisis

Yes, making revolution visible now all over Earth is a great way to be creatively maladjusted to global warming, and this documentary shows that if I can do it, then so can you!

Here is an actual movie-trailer about one minute long for this documentary:

Producer David Zupan said, “Creatively Maladjusted shows how human rights activist David Oaks and his wife, Debra Nunez, creatively respond to tough realities with the help of courage, community and humor.” The piece will be shown on the Oregon Lens series. (Please see the next page of this blog entry for the links to the 10 and a half minute documentary.)

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Follow Your Fish: The Logic Behind “Creative Maladjustment”

Follow Your Fish: The Logic Behind “Creative Maladjustment”

There we were on 14 July 2012, walking down the winding path of the Oregon Country Fair, where tens of thousands every July have filled crowded paths through a woods full of music, crafts and food booths, lovingly stewarding the spirit of the 60’s since 1969. I was ushering Patch with a bullhorn, calling out, “Here comes Patch Adams, to accept an award for lunacy promotion!”

Dr. Adams was in his clown regalia for the walk: Pants pulled up to his armpits, strange grimace on his face, holding a big fake fish in front of his face to help motivate himself for his slow strange walk.

For those too young to know, Patch is a psychiatric survivor, physician and clown, who was the subject of an Academy Award winning film named after him and inspired by his life, starring comedian Robin Williams. Patch is the most famous leader in our MindFreedom International community, and has a network of thousands who seek truly deep change throughout our health care system.

Here’s the award MindFreedom gave to Patch Adams on 14 July 2012 for ‘lunacy promotion,’ including lost marbles, loose screws and nuts. The award is by psychiatric survivor artist Tim Boyden, using recycled and found materials.

Patch and I were headed down the Oregon Country Fair path to a gathering to give Patch an award (see photo on left) for his leadership of a vision created by Martin Luther King, Jr. that few people seem to have heard about:

MLK, in many speeches and essays, said the world may be in dire need of a new organization that MLK called, “The International Association for the Advancement of Creative Maladjustment” or IAACM. It was an laugh-line, but like many good jokes had logic and truth behind it. MLK said we all ought to be maladjusted to oppression, the question is can we be creative in our maladjustment, rather than self-destructive? Repeatedly, MLK said in a variety of ways, “the salvation of the world lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.”

Well, in Patch’s hands that day was a fish.

Accompanying us on our walk through the Oregon Country Fair was Patch’s main leader for changing the mental health system, Carl Hammerschlag, a psychiatrist/author from Arizona. Carl called out occasionally on the path, “How many six-foot-six psychiatrists do you see in a pink ballerina outfit?” Because that is what Carl was wearing from head to foot, tutu included.

Does this kind of positive celebration of mental and emotional differences necessarily mean opposing rationality? As a leader for 36 years in what is often called the “mad movement,” I know some seem to assume that we are largely celebrating illogic and irrationality. I do not agree.

As a psychiatric survivor who has been through five institutionalizations, and quite a number of diagnoses, I can tell you that one of the tools for my own recovery was the use of logic, evidence, and rationality.

Today, here is a very simple and undeniable logic to consider: What is generally called “normal” by just about any common definition, is in fact causing a climate crisis, and countless other environmental disasters. I’m not saying all that is called “normal,” is bad, just that one of the worst spiritual illnesses to ever visit our planet Earth has that name: Normal.

Throughout human history, respected thought leaders such as Socrates have said the pursuit of wisdom begins by recognizing that none of us has a grip on reality, that we all know nothing with certainty. And now, the scientific jury is back, the evidence has been rationally considered, and the logic is irrefutable: Socrates was right. What is called “normal” may be guilty of Gaia-cide, the shredding of our precious planet’s web of life.

That’s why I have been saying that the slogan of the mad movement ought to be, “We are the 100 percent.”

So yes, when Patch and Carl and I navigate a crowded path of the Oregon Country Fair, bullhorn in hand, with Patch following his fish, and Carl prancing around in his pink tutu… Yes, it may look a tiny bit irrational. But logic is one of the strands motivating us, the logic that MLK brought to us all many times when he called for the International Association for the Advancement of Creative Maladjustment. (IAACM).

Please take the next logical step, and ask yourself: “How can I best exercise my own leadership in the IAACM?

David W. Oaks
Eugene, OR

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