In Music, Words

I don’t know what it is about today. I can’t help feeling uneasy, like something bad is about to happen. Am I the only one that finds that sign in the Co-op intimidating? You know, the one by the tills that says ‘You’re Next’?

I had to boycott the inauguration. I said I’d only do it if I could sing Paranoid by Black Sabbath but the Donald’s people wouldn’t have it. They didn’t take kindly to the suggestion that the line “Make a joke and I will sigh and you will laugh and I will cry” reminded me of his victory speech.

That legendary song, by the way, was knocked out in a hurry by the band’s bassist Geezer Butler, real name Terence Michael Joseph Butler, a vegan, a Villa fan, but definitely not a Satanist. Nor was he paranoid. He just needed a song to finish the album.

Back in 2006, the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London reported that one in three people in the UK regularly suffers paranoid or suspicious fears. So the paranoiacs are outnumbered two-to-one – that fact alone seems like reason enough to be paranoid. Only when the paranoiacs are in the majority will we begin to cure paranoia.

According to the study, the degrees of paranoia ranged from thinking people are are saying nasty things about them (40%) to believing there’s a conspiracy to do them harm (5%).

Where do you fit it?

Ha! Only joking. No, really. I was joking! Come on…

Joking aside, these figures are alarmingly high. And this study was carried out 10 years ago: pre global financial meltdown, pre Brexit, pre Trump, pre ISIS, pre Putin, pre Bieber… It would be interesting to see the figures today. Especially around 5pm UK time.

The main cause of paranoia, it says here, is the media. This email won’t help. Anything that spreads awareness of the rise in paranoia is only going to make people more paranoid. So sorry about that. But you might be thanking me for it soon. As Yossarian said in Catch-22, “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t meant they aren’t after you.” A little suspicion saves lives.

Unless you’re Stalin, of course, in which case it does the precise opposite. It’ll be interesting to see whether the Donald goes the same way as Stalin. Or whether the Russians really did record him doing embarrassing things in a Moscow hotel room and are about to claim their 250 quid and gift us all the greatest ever episode of You’ve Been Framed.

World leaders are particularly prone to paranoia but right now the Donald’s demeanour brings to mind a line from Woody Allen’s Deconstructing Harry:
“I don’t think you’re paranoid. I think you’re the opposite of paranoid. I think you walk around with the insane delusion that people like you.”

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