February 8, 2011

Not since Napoleon XIV have psychotic individuals suffered such awful abuse from the pop culture.

Oh! Shame! Shame on Waunakee High School:
Waunakee High School's varsity dance team is headed to a state competition today, but advocates for the mentally ill are upset by what got them there — a "we get crazy" routine featuring all 18 dancers bouncing to hip-hop music, their hair wild, heavy black makeup on their snarling faces, and costumes made to resemble straitjackets and restraints with the words "Psych Ward" on them.

News of the routine spread fast this week after photos of the dancers in their costumes were published in the Waunakee Tribune. "The pictures are quite disturbing," says Hugh Davis, executive director of Wisconsin Family Ties. "We had parents and kids with mental health issues standing in the office with tears in their eyes. This brings up painful memories. It is incredibly insensitive."
Do you remember the terrible tizzy in 1966 over "They're Coming to Take Me Away"? We all loved it, thought it was hilarious, it was played on the radio... and then it was gone... squelched by political correctness back before we'd seen enough political correctness to say "political correctness."

Here's some guy's video of the song...

... which you can find on this nice collection of 21 songs by Napoleon XIV.


chickelit said...

In my day we called Waunakee "Wanna hickey" because the high school girls were so hot.

Paging Titus on this one.

Skyler said...

If they weren't such nut jobs, they wouldn't be having such a problem with this.

It's a circular problem.

The Crack Emcee said...

It sounds to me like they still have mental issues - since when are we supposed to tip toe around every possible problem someone has? My advice:

Stay home - with the doors locked and the blinds pulled - where no one could possibly "abuse" you like this again.

Either that, or get real help.

coketown said...

Okay, "psych ward" on the fake straight jackets is a little over the top. But it's not like they had one of the girls dress up like Carrie Fischer.

TosaGuy said...

I would perhaps take these things more seriously if they were not put for by people paid to be outraged.

ricpic said...

Sensitive people are the biggest bullies of all.

traditionalguy said...

But since the Shia Muslims get to act crazy anytime they want to, we will suffer an acting crazy in public gap. We need to match the Muslim Rage Boy'a act scream for scream.

MadisonMan said...

Yes, where is titus? I don't see what the big deal is -- grown people crying because of old feelings stirred up by high school dancers? Too bad.

I don't recall the brouhaha about There coming to take me away at all. I was only 6 at the time, however. But I sure as heck remember the song, so it wasn't squelched very quickly.

I'll be happy to see those keen nice men in their clean white suits.

Shanna said...

That dance sounds pretty cool, actually. Congrats to the Wanna whatever high school for not doing the same old thing everybody else does.

That song, on the other hand, was kind of weird.

bwebster said...

I thought the song was just a funny novelty song when it came 45 years ago. (Yeah, I'm that old.) Now it comes across as a bit...unnerving. In a good way.

5'll get you 10 that Hollywood makes it into a movie before the decade is out.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Let's get back to basics, and now I feel really old. Back when I was a little kid my parents had a record from the late '40s on which Beatrice Kay sang:

"Hooray, Hooray, I'm going away, with the men in their little white coats. I'm all dressed up in my new straight jacket ... " etc. I'll try to dig up the lyrics somewhere.

Nap XIV was riffing on Kay's piece.

woof said...

(Sounds of a scream, police sirens, birds twittering)

Hooray, hooray, I'm goin' away
With the man in the little white coat
I'm all dressed up like a Christmas packet
Cosy and warm in a cute straightjacket
Hooray, hooray, I'm goin' a-way
And I'll bet you're wonderin' where
Well I just heard from Napoleon B
He wants to have a little talk with me
Hooray, hooray, I'm goin' a-way
With the man in the little white coat

Hooray, hooray, I'm goin' a-way
With the man in the little white coat
I'm all dressed up in a brand new bonnet
Ribbon of red and a birdcage on it
I'm only a bird in a gilded cage
It's the place that I call home
The window's large with the nicest view
The bars are pink and all the locks are blue
Hooray, hooray, I'm goin' a-way
With the man in the little white coat

(Musical Break + Insane Laughter)

Hooray, hooray, I'm goin' away
With the little white coat in the man

Goodbye-hic, Goodbye-hic, Goodbye-hic, Goodbye-hic, Goodbye-hic, Goodbye-hic
You know what I am? I'm a little broken record

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Well, okay, here's a snippet of the thing.

They have the date wrong, unless Kay released an earlier version.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Nice fetch, Doggie.

Where's it from, and is there a longer recording than the bit I found?

Mary Beth said...

We had parents and kids with mental health issues standing in the office with tears in their eyes.

An office full of weepy people. Lovely.

MadisonMan said...

Everyone should just sit down and watch High Anxiety.

The Crack Emcee said...

It's a good things none of them were at this thing because they'd have to put those adults back in mental wards.

The kids, apparently, would be fine.

Unknown said...

Where was it squelched? Madison?

It sure wasn't in Philadelphia. They played it all summer.

If it sounds weird now, it's because all the crazies are allowed to run loose.

Now that's PC.

DADvocate said...

"They're Coming to Take Me Away", loved that song.

I don't remember the song being taken off the air. As a novelty song, it had the usual short life novelty songs have.

Too many damn crybabies nowadays. If you want to be treated with respect, don't be a crybaby.

David said...

"They're coming to take me away, ha ha."

Never forgot it. Used it on my kids when I would screw something up, causing general mirth on their part. Then I'd turn it on them: "They're coming to take YOU away, ha ha!" The kids remained sane through all this but it drove my wife crazy.

"Not funny, David."

"They're coming to take me away, ha ha."

Harry said...

People having a laugh at crazy people is not like people making fun of people because of their race. I mean, we can all imagine going crazy, right?

Palladian said...

"Yes, where is titus?"

This is like saying "what ever happened to that nice Variola virus?"

Freeman Hunt said...

I wager nobody who's actually in the "psych ward" is going to be able to watch a dance competitions.

The Crack Emcee said...

They're Coming to Take Me Away, Indeed.

amba said...

(without watching) "To the funny farm, where life is beautiful all the time . . ."

Stephen A. Meigs said...

I figure that insanity tends to be a state ideal for figuring out that sodomy is bad. People have a tendency more-or-less to realize this on an emotional level. Believing the spacemen are coming with their rectal probes isn't far from realizing that sodomy is vile. Accordingly, in a place where sodomy has become rampant, one would expect a good deal of vicious sentiment against the insane. But I'm all for free speech. Crazy people don't tend to give a f*** what other people think of them, whereas slutty skanks and gays are often quite easily shamed. Oftentimes people who behave shamefully realize on some level in their emotions that perhaps they have behaved shamefully, and so their own natures tend to become sensitive to shame, just because they have evolved for their own good to be that way. Notwithstanding there are religious types, etc., who wrongly profit from excessively and indiscriminately creating shame, an open climate where shame can be dished out whenever and wherever is a good thing mostly. In a shame war between crazies (or just reasonable clean people) and skanky or gay types, the crazies will win hands down, yep. Ideally, adults rather than kids would be the ones to decide what's shameful, but in a climate like ours where adults are separated from kids because unlike(????) teenage boys damn the adults might have nasty sex with teenagers, what do you expect?

Of course, it is typically a good thing to rescue people from problems in a way that might less be expected to make them feel worthless as human beings. A spirit of outright I-don't-give-a-f***-if-you-kill-yourself mockery is a much higher level of shame than any just reforming type might typically consider appropriate to cause in a skank. But rampant glorying in pro-sodomy rapacious behavior can lead to dangerous gang-like mob behaviors from nasty males like Hitler. Clean people don't care directly about being disrespected, but yeah they do care about themselves and their fellow humans not living in a Nazi or Stalinist rapacious climate where one never knows when someone will knock on your door to forcibly sodomize you, shoot you, or haul you away to an asylum. When my grandmother's town in Belgium was freed from the Germans after the First World War, one woman who had collaborated with the Germans was given castor oil and paraded naked through town strapped to a horse. Mockery has a place, and an unbalanced appreciation for it one way ought to be corrected early. One should remember that Hitler spent his youth (18-24) in Vienna, the same city that at the same time gave us Freud, the preposterous basically pro-sodomy psychiatrist.

As long as people are free to mock skanky, homosexual fascist mob behaviors as much as they are allowed to mock craziness, there is no danger. Otherwise, there is great danger.

I haven't seen a video of the dance troupe. Maybe they were just identifying with craziness, an innocuous thing.

Loren said...

I liked the flip side of "They're Coming to Take Me Away"... "Yawa Em Ekat ot Gnimoc Er'yeht"

You didn't need a special record player to play the song backwards, they laid down the track that way.

Amidore said...

You have to remember that WFT is working tirelessly to correct harmful stereotypes of the mentally ill that pervade our public consciousness. Seeing them indulged in this routine probably is disappointing for them. Surely most of the participants can distinguish between the imagery and reality in this case, but I think for someone in WFT's position it ends up coming across as the equivalent of a blackface routine. It's having fun in the context of antiquated misconceptions people have about the mentally ill and their struggles. Crazy people amiright? If it was a dance routine in the vein of The Life of Brian, I'm not sure political conservatives would all be laughing it off as all in good fun. And that actually might be good.

That being said, I'm not offended; I don't think this is that big of a deal, and even if it did hurt some feelings, sometimes you just need to have a thick skin and redouble your efforts.

Rockport Conservative said...

Oh, I do remember that song, my son played it over and over and over and over. And we are all sane in spite of it. I really think it was quite catchy. I am 74 but I never heard of the other one of the man in the little white coat although it was a phrase used by a lot of people, "that man in the little white coat will be coming," to mean there was a lot of craziness going on.