March 14, 2006

Okay, do you think that we, as a society, can all agree to stop saying, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results”?

Because that’s not insanity; insanity is thinking you’re the Empress of China.

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18 Responses to Okay, do you think that we, as a society, can all agree to stop

  1. Adam875 says:

    I’ve always preferred the American legal definition of insanity as being unable to differentiate between right and wrong. And there’s nothing wrong with thinking you’re the Empress of China!

    I was very sad to discover, looking at, that “Extreme foolishness; folly” is actually a definition as well. Though “Folly is doing the same thing over and over…” is really a much better aphorism.

  2. JP says:

    I once met someone who said his mother was the queen of Austria, and that she was between nine and twelve feet tall.

    Is that insanity?

  3. mak says:

    But I am the Empress of China. Who are you to tell me otherwise?

  4. chris says:

    You are quite right, that is not insanity. It is, however, “perseveration”. It’s where you keep trying the same thing and go no-where (for example in an IQ test), rather than trying a different strategy or moving on to a different task. Perseveration is usually in reference to a child being assessed for mental deficit. Ask your psychiatrist bf about it. 🙂

    Now that I bring it up, have you ever taken an IQ test, Faustus? Say, the WAIS?

  5. anapestic says:

    I believe that Insanity is the name of a woman in Cleveland who’s been in a terrible rut for a while. She’s done the same thing (boiling an egg for twenty-five minutes, as it happens) over and over again for years, and she keeps hoping for a better result. She’s certainly annoying; to the best of my knowledge, however, she has never thought of herself as the Empress of China. But I have not spoken with her recently, and she may very well think that you are the Empress of China. And, really: if not you, who?

  6. Adam875: But that’s the problem. As we all know from Law & Order, a schizophrenic who murders somebody may know that his actions are wrong and yet still be powerless to resist the voices compelling him to do things. Does that mean he should be thrown in jail forever?

    JP: Only if you dated him.

    mak: Okay, in your case, insanity is throwing yourself a 30-million-tael birthday party instead of strengthening the military so that, in the wake of the Boxer Rebellion, the Eight-Nation Alliance has absolutely no trouble seizing the Forbidden Palace and sending you into exile.

    Chris: I know all about perseveration, and it turns me on when you use big words. I think I did take an IQ test long, long ago but I have no idea what my score was. Now I am so incapable of sustained concentration that I would probably be unable to answer any questions and get a zero.

    anapestic: She is actually my aunt, so I’ll thank you not to call her annoying. And she thinks mak is the Empress of China, which according to him he is.

  7. Aidan says:

    I was having tea with Jesus the other day, and he made me Queen of Spain. He said that Empress of China was taken.

  8. Mush says:

    I’ve been doing the same things over and over again hoping for different results for years, and I’m not the Empress of China.

  9. Jeffrey says:

    Well, thank heavens I’m the queen of Sheba. I was worried there for a moment.

  10. David says:

    I thought it was called “dating in New York.”

  11. Elliott says:

    Oh my! Many queens already. I think I will go with Size Princess for now.

  12. Joe says:

    I think there may be some confusion between “insanity” and “vuja de,” the latter being that “eerie feeling that you have done something already but you know you do not ever want to do it again but will be doomed to repeat it anyway.”

  13. Paul says:

    Empress of China?! 🙂


  14. Menen says:

    By their own definition, people who use this phrase all the time are insane. Getting them to stop could prove challenging.

  15. Sartre_Jnr says:

    Believing you’re the Empress of China may be special, but wearing a dead swan on the red carpet as did Bjork (albeit a while ago), needs a Darwin award.

  16. Ruby says:

    Sometimes the appropriate response to reality is to go insane.

  17. Andy says:

    This woman on the A train this morning yelled at no one in particular, “Don’t you TELL me what to do, I know where you live!” and then she spit on the floor. Does that count?

  18. bpbc says:

    I was the Emperor of Saskatchewan once. But I got better.


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