Saturday, December 08, 2007

Jackholer epidemic

Yes, yes, yes, there’s been a horrifyingly tragic outbreak of Jackholer Syndrome in the federal government (and elsewhere) over the last 6 or 7 years, but have we really reached the point where we more or less compel candidates and nominees to be injected with radioactive dyes and chucked into CT scanners the better to see which parts of their brains are defective?

Well neuropsychiatrist Daniel G. Amen thinks we‘ve reached that point.
As a neuropsychiatrist and brain-imaging expert, I want our elected leaders to be some of the "brain healthiest people" in the land. How do you know about the brain health of a presidential candidate unless you look?….

Ensuring that our president has a healthy brain may be more than an interesting topic of conversation. It can be important information to put into the election equation. A president with brain problems could wreak havoc on the U.S. and the world at large. Maybe we shouldn't leave the health of our president's brain to chance. We have the tools; shouldn't we look?
One note of caution: It should be pointed out that as we don’t yet have access to scans detailing Dr. Amen’s brain function, we do not know if his thinking is defective. He himself could be afflicted with Jackholer Syndrome. It’s that old conundrum: Who will test the testers?

Dr. Amen continues: “One could argue” -- and I am not going to stop him -- “that our current president's struggles with language and emotional rigidity are symptoms of temporal lobe pathology. The temporal lobes, underneath your temples and behind your eyes, are involved with language, mood stability, reading social cues and emotional flexibility.”

Which means that these images represent Dubya’s brain after the approximately 20 years or so of binge drinking he’s owned up to. Adjust accordingly if you suspect that Dubya tooted a little as well. Apparently, Dubya’s brain looks like a giant rotten tooth. Makes sense.

Look, a good number of powerful people personally knew George W. Bush as a binge drinker, a prick, and a bit of a thicky and yet they vouched and covered for him. Hell, the entire national Republican Party vouched and covered for him. An embarrassingly huge portion of the media vouched and covered for all the powerful people and organizations who were vouching and covering for George W. Bush. And millions and millions of American voters said to themselves, or at least were reported to have said to themselves, “Hey I could sit and have a beer with that dude” and voted for him. Twice.

As fascinating as the results would be, are we willing to inject radioactive dyes and stuff all those people into CT scanners to see how their brains function?

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