Photo by Jamie Taete
Comedians are really going to enjoy this – apparently they’re all mad. New research published today in the British Journal of Psychiatry, by three authors including an Oxford professor named Gordon Claridge, says successful comedians display symptoms of psychosis and psychiatric disorders. The ability to make people laugh comes from unexpected brain associations. The comics are going to drink it up – all they’ve ever wanted is confirmation that they’re mad. Because all anybody ever wants is confirmation that they’re mad.
We drink to go mad, take drugs to go mad, have sex with the wrong people and sabotage our own chances in life to go mad. We do things today that will hurt us tomorrow, because we long to be mad. People pretend to reel away from it, of course. "I've been seeing this girl but I'm going to end it because she's fucking mental," says your friend, pouring out his woes about how he won't be going there again because he just wants an easy life and she's unhinged, can’t handle it m8. Shaking his head while fiddling with his phone in his pocket, waiting desperately for it to vibrate so he can go back round to hers for six rounds more, because "fucking mental" directly translates as "goes like a Duracell bunny fighting a helicopter blade and won’t let me sleep in the morning because she yearns to wake me with 100 angry gobjobs while setting fire to pictures of my ex with a disposable neon green cigarette lighter, and it does have to be green, and frankly, I’m into it.” He will tell you that he despairs of these late-night phonecalls saying she needs him, to which he responds in the only way an exhausted man who has simply had enough of this madness can – by pressing the Addison Lee app on his phone with an alacrity only previously known to the accident and emergency services.
Sean Penn had 65 guns but he’s having them melted into a sculpture. He says it’s because his new girlfriend, Charlize Theron, is a strong woman who provoked him to change his ways, and that it will be “liberating of bullshit and ugliness to destroy my cowardly killing machines”. This is thought to be because Charlize comes from a tough background in South Africa, where her mum allegedly shot her dad dead in self-defence. She doesn’t want any guns in her life, which you can understand. So she’s fallen in love with a man with 65 of the fuckers, and who was charged with domestic assault when he was married to Madonna. People go towards a madness that they think they know how to cure. People look at a man like Sean Penn – whose face is a country that said it would grant exit visas but ran out of ink, so you're just going to have to stay here all fucking night – and want to be the one who cheers it up. But they wouldn’t have fancied him in the first place if he was safe.
I mean, Charlize Theron is not trying to date Alex James, who has apparently gone beyond assuring his place in history in the great Cheese Wars of Nether Wallop, by planning the launch of a soft drink called Britpop. This is not a drill. This is happening. Alex James, whose entire career has been one long selfie, aided and abetted by a double bass. Nor is she trying to date Francois Hollande, the French president who has offended his nation not by taking a lover, as the French president is wont to do, but by going round to his lover’s apartment in some seriously naff shoes, because he’s only got one pair, and they’ve got mud on them. No, she is shagging Sean Penn, who wakes up in the mornings looking like he had a dream that he punched himself and ran himself over in a car and he doesn’t want to talk about it. Sean Penn, who could possibly have received the Chris Brown treatment, if the elastic bungee belts around the universe weren’t so quick to pull clever and powerful white men back into the comfy chairs they already occupy.
We’re all drawn to the things that remind us of all the shit we have already had, and all the pinheads we have already danced upon, trying to be angels and knowing our feet are too big, and that we’ve only got one pair of shoes. We're all trying our best to go there while pretending to head in the opposite direction. The actor Shia LaBeouf is currently doing his best to go mad across the sky, sending messages to other stars, skywritten by planes. In fact, his co-star Rupert Grint (the ginger one from Harry Potter) says he watched Shia LaBeouf drop acid on a film set in front of the whole crew. “He smashed the place up, got naked and kept seeing this owl,” said Grint. “If anything will make you not do drugs, it’s watching that.”
Clearly, LaBeouf is worried that, deep down, he might just be deathly dull. Liz Jones is currently on Celebrity Big Brother – put there because she’s a famously crazy columnist (look, my mum made me watch it, alright). She gets paid a fortune to write about how bonkers and wretched she is, because people long to read that stuff – turns out she’s the most straightforward person in there. I always suspected she knew exactly what she was doing, and now I know. She’s the sanest of the lot.
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