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Guest Post: Welcome To Year Five In The Crazy House

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Charles Hugh Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,

For four long years, the financial and political Status Quo has masked pervasive structural decay with artifice, pretense and lies. It's like we're living in a rotting mansion run by delusional megalomaniacs.

For four long years, the power-drunk Status Quo Elites have piled on pretense and illusion at the expense of truth. Welcome to the Crazy House. The entire rotten edifice of global financialization was visibly crumbling by early 2008, and yet here we are, four long years later, still under the jackboots of artifice and lies. Instead of the cruel illusions of TARP, now we have HAMP, LTRO, The Troika, and assorted other acronyms and inanities passing for policy.

Welcome to the Crazy House, a rotting McMansion ruled by power-drunk megalomaniacs suffering from delusions of invulnerability and god-like powers. Why are we here, you ask? Because the drunks who run the household make it so darned easy: just keep quiet, listen politely to their ravings, and you get subsidized meals, free rent, a houseful of techno-gadgetry and nonstop entertainment--and that's not even counting the amusement value of their delusional, sloppy-drunk ramblings out by the rust-stained pool.

It takes a while to habituate to the Crazy House; at first, all the artifice, illusions, delusions and lies are disorienting. The dysfunctional "family" that runs the place acts like the money is endless, as if borrowing money was the same as actually producing something of value.

Meanwhile, you hear whispers that everything's paid with credit, and some of the vendors are threatening to cut the mansion's credit. That would be curtains for the whole charade, of course, but the "leaders" pontificate about the magnificence of the rotting mansion as if still having credit was the same as having productive wealth.

It doesn't take long before you start noticing the whole mansion is actually falling apart. The surface grandeur is totally illusory: the handrails are held together with duct tape, painted to match the background; the dry-rotted steps have been patched with putty and covered with fresh paint (step on the rotted parts and they crumble); the roof leaks are masked by pans placed in the attic, and the foundation is buckling.

Once you see enough of this decay covered by slipshod repairs, you wonder how much longer the mansion can last before it simply collapses under its own rotting weight.

From a distance, the expansive pool looks inviting, but that's also illusion; the power-drunk "leaders" and their Elite guests have dropped so many wine glasses on the deck that the bottom of the pool is now littered with shards of essentially invisible glass. At first you wonder why nobody ever goes in the pool, and then a whispered explanation fills you in on the sordid truth.

The truth must be whispered, lest the "family" overhear some shred of truth; any challenge to their account of limitless, god-like powers sends them into a spittle-flecked rage. Rage, denial and fear rule the household: fear of the truth, fear of vulnerability, fear of having to face the real world.

Residents' meetings are bizarre, for the "facts" presented about the mansion's upkeep are so blatantly false that you wonder how anyone present can even keep a straight face. Yet they all do; eventually you get used to the complete disconnect between the "official reports" and reality, and you just shrug it off and seek out other more engaging distractions.

It takes much longer to learn how to stomach the "lectures" by the "family leaders," as the subject matter is once again totally disconnected from reality. The "lectures" always extol the glorious wealth the "family" controls, its equally glorious past, and all the "innovations" that are currently increasing the mansion's already immense wealth and reach.

Yet there is no sign of any meaningful innovation being put in place; there are only endless surface repairs and paint jobs to mask the underlying rot, and a front yard that is maintained specifically to display a completely artificial veneer of wealth and solidity.

Will we ever get sick enough of the lies to leave the security offered by the Crazy House? Probably not, because it's too easy to stay: the food is greasy and sugary but tasty, the rent is basically free, and there's plenty of meds, booze and drugs to fix whatever "healthcare" issues you might have. Of course none of the meds actually restores your health; they only treat the symptoms of ill-health and ruin.

The sad thing about living in the Crazy House for four years is how living a life of illusory security saps the will and perhaps even the ability to function in the real world. The grease-soaked sugar bomb food they serve has left everyone obese and malnourished, and all the electronic toys and entertainment has rendered them mentally and physically unfit and terminally distracted.

They know the reassurances of the "leaders" are false, and that beneath the surface, everything in the mansion is either squalid and falling apart or ripe with the rot of corruption and lies. But leaving opens a Pandora's Box of uncertainty and sacrifice; it's easier to stay and listen to the absurd claims of godhood and endless wealth, and phony exhortations of the mansion's mythical "can-do" spirit.

As long as the vendors keep letting the mansion's delusional megalomaniacs run up their credit tab, then it's easier to passively stay put than to face the challenges of truth and reality outside the rotting palace of illusion and lies.

If this recession strikes you as different from previous downturns, you might be interested in my new book An Unconventional Guide to Investing in Troubled Times (print edition) or Kindle ebook format. You can read the ebook on any computer, smart phone, iPad, etc. Click here for links to Kindle apps and Chapter One. The solution in one word: Localism.

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Tue, 03/06/2012 - 12:46 | 2228469 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

"The sad thing about living in the Crazy House for four years is how living a life of illusory security saps the will and perhaps even the ability to function in the real world."

Only if you are dependent upon the illusion for your inner peace and happiness. This is why my constant message is to look within and understand who and what you really are, not what the matrix tells you that you are.

Create your own reality or live within one created by someone else.

Tue, 03/06/2012 - 12:46 | 2228485 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Carefully CD, there's a "re-education" camp out there with your name on it.

Tue, 03/06/2012 - 12:52 | 2228514 tickhound
tickhound's picture

Fairfax County Police continue to remind residents "if you see something, say something"


Tue, 03/06/2012 - 12:56 | 2228534 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

The overhead message boards on the Washington DC Beltway (# 495) are always a treat to read when there's no accidents or traffic slowdowns to report.

Very Big Brother at times.

Tue, 03/06/2012 - 13:20 | 2228629 tickhound
tickhound's picture

It's getting in your face, big.  And the closer you get to the flagpole, the more comfortably numb you become.  It's like Kryptonite.

Tue, 03/06/2012 - 13:25 | 2228651 trav7777
trav7777's picture

on the key bridge into DC, the portable sign was reading "report suspicious activity" and whatnot, someone spraypainted "read orwell" on a electrical junction box next to it...lol

Tue, 03/06/2012 - 13:38 | 2228686 tickhound
tickhound's picture

So you're sayin' there's hope.

Fairfax County Police Department

Public Information Office
4100 Chain Bridge Road, Fairfax, Va. 22030

703-246-2253. TTY 703-204-2264. Fax 703-246-4253



News Release: 2012/066/0188/LHC(6)

March 6, 2012


Explosive Device Found in Franconia area Home

Franconia Police District – Police responded to a report of a suspicious device that was found in a townhouse in the 6500 block of Gildar Street around 6:30 p.m. on Monday, March 5.  

The device, described as an unusual looking box with tape and wires, was found by a cleaning crew. Police were called and summoned the Explosive Ordnance Unit who responded, removed the device from the home and rendered it safe.

The home is currently vacant and for sale. Police are continuing the investigation.

Police continue to remind residents “if you see something, say something”; if something appears suspicious and unusual, don’t hesitate to contact police.

                Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Solvers by phone at 1-866-411-TIPS/8477, e-mail at www.fairfaxcrimesolvers.org or text “TIP187” plus your message to CRIMES/274637 or call Fairfax County Police at 703-691-2131.

Sloppy bomb makers always seem to hide their bag full of wires and cords in vacant homes and public street corners.

Tue, 03/06/2012 - 15:02 | 2229115 walküre
walküre's picture

Of course the place was vacant!

The FBI took their patsi off the street right in front of the WH where he allegedly wanted to blow himself up! They also found his passport a few yards from the suggested blast area. He had placed it there carefully just in case they'd have trouble iding him afterwards!

Tue, 03/06/2012 - 13:41 | 2228698 fuu
fuu's picture

Figures you live near DC.

Tue, 03/06/2012 - 13:49 | 2228730 tmosley
tmosley's picture

He apparently lives in a DC ghetto, with a couple of crack-whores, apparently.  He thinks he's not racist because they are black crack whores.  lol

Tue, 03/06/2012 - 14:01 | 2228789 Stanwick
Stanwick's picture

racist nigger whore

Tue, 03/06/2012 - 18:06 | 2229999 CIABS
CIABS's picture

I agree with what Charles is saying, but "the Crazy House" makes it sound like it might all be a comedy of errors, which it isn't.  Sort of like, "Welcome to the Crazy House! We're all in this together and nobody knows what the heck's going on.  Oh, well, what are you gonna do?"

Tue, 03/06/2012 - 14:14 | 2228839 JPM Hater001
JPM Hater001's picture

"The sad thing about living in the Crazy House for four years is how living a life of illusory security saps the will and perhaps even the ability to function in the real world."

I've been awake for 2 years and these last 4 months have totally drained me.

Tue, 03/06/2012 - 12:55 | 2228527 Jason T
Jason T's picture

like in the movie sleeper?   min 6:00 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpX5BWHiGGA&feature=related

Tue, 03/06/2012 - 13:03 | 2228565 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Released in 1973.

Seems we were sleeping all this time and are only now waking up to the warnings that were obvious back then. Oh well, can't do anything about it now. Might as well go back to sleep.

Maybe just a little snack before I hit the hay. Yeah, that's the ticket.


Tue, 03/06/2012 - 12:58 | 2228546 ElvisDog
ElvisDog's picture

where the only food is Big Macs and 64 oz Big Gulps, and they make you watch endless re-runs of "Jersey Shore".

Tue, 03/06/2012 - 13:02 | 2228562 t_kAyk
t_kAyk's picture

how long until we get to the point of "Idiocracy"?  perhaps we are there...

Tue, 03/06/2012 - 13:17 | 2228621 HelluvaEngineer
HelluvaEngineer's picture

Quit talking like a fag

Tue, 03/06/2012 - 19:31 | 2230286 t_kAyk
t_kAyk's picture

they don't understand.  i got you dawg... 

Tue, 03/06/2012 - 13:25 | 2228648 Alcoholic Nativ...
Alcoholic Native American's picture

I like money

Tue, 03/06/2012 - 17:04 | 2229786 Shitters_Full
Shitters_Full's picture

This thread brought to you by Carl's Jr.

Tue, 03/06/2012 - 13:40 | 2228695 Crab Cake
Crab Cake's picture

Personally, Im waiting for the day I get to put extra holes in the people that try to take my brothers and myself to "re-education".

Fuck the police.

Tue, 03/06/2012 - 12:59 | 2228549 VulpisVulpis
VulpisVulpis's picture

Plato wrote about this once.




All the crazy house residents see are shadows.

Tue, 03/06/2012 - 17:40 | 2229930 Wrender
Wrender's picture

Great point Vulpis - just re-read The Rupublic recently and have used the same example with a few people.  Good on ya

Tue, 03/06/2012 - 13:47 | 2228720 Jim in MN
Jim in MN's picture
"Suppose that men kill thee, cut thee in pieces, curse thee. What then can these things do to prevent thy mind from remaining pure, wise, sober, just? For instance, if a man should stand by a limpid pure spring, and curse it, the spring never ceases sending up potable water; and if he should cast clay into it or filth, it will speedily disperse them and wash them out, and will not be at all polluted. How then shalt thou possess a perpetual fountain [and not a mere well]? By forming thyself hourly to freedom conjoined with contentment, simplicity and modesty."
--Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
Tue, 03/06/2012 - 14:19 | 2228868 rbhatia613
rbhatia613's picture

This. Goes without saying that it's easier to talk about looking within -- or to make fun of other people trying to "find themselves" -- than it is to actually man up and realize that a fancy banking job w/ 70-hour weeks out of college isn't going to help you sleep a night. 

...But then again, those MBA brochures are so damn shiny...

Tue, 03/06/2012 - 15:04 | 2229124 non_anon
non_anon's picture

rosecolored glasses?

Tue, 03/06/2012 - 15:39 | 2229294 non_anon
non_anon's picture

(glitch)rose-colored glasses?

Tue, 03/06/2012 - 12:50 | 2228497 carbonmutant
carbonmutant's picture

You can't tell the truth and get elected.

The voters always want a happy ending...

Tue, 03/06/2012 - 13:02 | 2228558 tecno242
tecno242's picture

correct.  we have passed the event horizon of a larger part of the population taking and taking from the government pot than the part that is producing for it.

thus, now the vote will never be for the man who intends to fix it.

Tue, 03/06/2012 - 13:25 | 2228646 carbonmutant
carbonmutant's picture

Pot dependent population...

Tue, 03/06/2012 - 13:48 | 2228726 Jim in MN
Jim in MN's picture

Dude, the kettle is rainbow-colored!

Tue, 03/06/2012 - 16:44 | 2229685 non_anon
non_anon's picture

yeah, just ask Jesse Jackson Sr.

Tue, 03/06/2012 - 12:50 | 2228502 ElvisDog
ElvisDog's picture

Could there be a more Orwellian-inspired term than the "Troika"? And the ironic/funny/disturbing thing is that the Euro powers-that-be openly embrace the use of that term when referring to themselves.

Tue, 03/06/2012 - 13:02 | 2228561 Lotus
Lotus's picture

red arrow was an accident (smart phone.not so smart)  sorry Elvis

Tue, 03/06/2012 - 13:12 | 2228600 Conax
Conax's picture

There, I greened him to fix his ratio, Lotus.  Accidents happen.

Tue, 03/06/2012 - 13:54 | 2228748 ElvisDog
ElvisDog's picture

No problem, I thought a member of the ECB was monitoring ZH....

Tue, 03/06/2012 - 12:54 | 2228523 FranSix
FranSix's picture

I think they should put parentheses around each word in the article for emphasis.  Double paretheses.

Tue, 03/06/2012 - 12:55 | 2228530 Piranhanoia
Piranhanoia's picture

I would only ask that you extend the timeline well past that 4 years Charles.  When did the manager first start ignoring the payments on upkeep?

Tue, 03/06/2012 - 12:55 | 2228531 BliptoP3
BliptoP3's picture

I speak for all drunks when I say I find this article offensive; we don't harm anybody but ourselves.  I think crack-addict would be a better comparison.

Tue, 03/06/2012 - 13:32 | 2228671 juangrande
juangrande's picture

i'm sure there's many a beaten spouse and child that might disagree!

Tue, 03/06/2012 - 14:03 | 2228799 BliptoP3
BliptoP3's picture

true, maybe I shouldn't be so glib.  Vehiculer manslaughter is not funny either.


I believe there should be a special drunk drivers permit, with it you could drive no matter how drunk you are - but you can only drive a motorcycle.

Tue, 03/06/2012 - 12:55 | 2228532 walküre
walküre's picture

Fiver years in the crazy house

Is this another article on the Ritters?

Give them a break, will ya! The banks are.


Granite Countertops and iTulips

The end of America.


Tue, 03/06/2012 - 12:57 | 2228539 mayhem_korner
mayhem_korner's picture



All puffed up with vanity

We see what we want to see

To the beautiful and the wise

The mirror always lies.

(War Paint, N. Peart)

Tue, 03/06/2012 - 13:01 | 2228551 Wakanda
Wakanda's picture

In duct tape and Goop I trust.

Any thing else can be fixed with PMs.

Tue, 03/06/2012 - 13:02 | 2228563 Coffin Dodger
Coffin Dodger's picture

Enjoy each day as if it's your last.

When it finally pops, you'll look back at today with envy.

Tue, 03/06/2012 - 13:05 | 2228574 tempo
tempo's picture

I just talked to some rich friends who are suing the attorney that represented their son who lost his home in foreclosure after living free for two years. My friends are really pissed that their son's lawyer didn't stop the foreclosure after only two years. The entitlement society goes much deeper than you might think. Its free for the rich and the poor. Obama lit the fuse.

Tue, 03/06/2012 - 13:14 | 2228608 reload
reload's picture

Its probably just an action on the advise of their lawyer - your sons lawyer will have insurance, file a suit and see if they blink, if they do an out of court settlement awaits, if not we can drop it before it gets to court. Just legal bullshit.

Tue, 03/06/2012 - 15:03 | 2229123 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

This.  The standard for malpractice is...  not an impossibility, but sure as fuck pretty difficult in these cases...  anything other than a gutlock is a no-go for trial...  just a desperate attempt to siphon some money back via the insurance company.  And, in all likelihood, the court (as a practicing attorney) is going to do everything in its power to protect its own against someone crying over sour grapes.  [especially if it was the same court that decided the previous issue against their son].

The other thing is that the attorney filing the malpractice action is probably...  err...  not highly regarded...  which also affects the value of the case.  (depending on your cause of action, you just have to bottom feed sometimes).


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