For it is indeed a dreadful disease. A disease of the mind, or the soul, or the psyche, or the hypothalamus, or whatever region of brain-space it is assigned to. It is an inflammation of the thought processes, and somehow disables the capacity for rationality on the part of those who suffer from it.
This affliction is commonly known as the “Screaming Nazi Heeber-Jeebers” (SNHJ). The official medical term for the condition, however, is schicklgruberitis. In recent years it has been spread widely by an unknown vector or vectors, and is now endemic in most Western countries. Politicians, academics, and journalists are particularly vulnerable to its ravages.
There are three somewhat distinct sets of symptoms of SNHJ:
|1.||Fleeing in terror from any person or group that has been publicly labeled as “racist”, “fascist”, or “Nazi” by a famous person or in the news media.|
|2.||Striving mightily to prove to all and sundry that one is not a “racist”, “fascist”, or “Nazi”. This is attempted by emphatically proclaiming one’s prominent associations, actions, and stated opinions that prove otherwise.|
|3.||Accusing other people of being “racist”, “fascist”, or “Nazi” when they venture beyond certain ill-defined bounds of discourse, or associate with any group identified as “racist”, “fascist”, or “Nazi”, or fail to observe certain rituals expressing public approval of officially designated victim groups.|
Obviously there is some overlap among these groups of symptoms, and a victim of SNHJ may move through two or more manifestations of different symptoms in succession.
For example, a common sequence of symptoms begins with #1, when the patient is first infected with SNHJ. After being designated a “fascist”, he instinctively withdraws from any area where designated “fascists” are perceived to assemble. But that is not enough to effect a cure, and he then engages in #2, behaviors intended to rid himself of the “fascist” taint. This, however, is almost invariably unsuccessful, so he resorts to #3, the projective stratagem of labeling others as “fascists”. Thus he infects them with SNHJ, and so the vicious circle is repeated.
Once a sufferer has been fully infected with SNJH, achieving a complete cure is a difficult and prolonged process. Isolation, a change of environment, restricted media access, and other strategies may be employed, with varying degrees of success. Most sufferers from SNJH never completely recover. They may appear symptom-free for weeks or months, and then a minor, seemingly innocuous trigger — for example, watching a BBC documentary on the English Defence League — will cause a recurrence of the full-blown disease, with the same dispiriting symptoms.
The fortunate few who experience a complete recovery from the Screaming Nazi Heeber-Jeebers can expect a sudden sensation of light dawning in their minds. The moment of recovery is often confused with one or more forms of intoxication brought on by various forms of substance abuse.
Eventually, however, the patient realizes that what he is going through is the all-but-forgotten sensation of normalcy, a sense of well-being reawakened in his mind as the scourge of SNJH departs his limbic system at last.
He often experiences a moment when he says to himself, “Aha! At last I can think again! I feared those days were gone for good!”
The transition back to a normal life can be difficult for long-term sufferers of the Screaming Nazi Heeber-Jeebers. With that in mind, a global volunteer organization has been established to help people in the midst of SNHJ recovery. This group provides peer counseling and support for those most in need.
If you are recovering from SNHJ, have family members with SNHJ, or have full-blown SNHJ yourself and are wondering if recovery is even possible, you may want to pay a visit to the Gates of Vienna Foundation. All services are free of charge.