Super-sanity

A hard sci-fi writer who puts an above-average amount of sci in his fi—I guess that’s what hard sci-fi means—asks his readers to help him explore the world of Multiple Personality Disorder by suggesting hard sci for him to read. One of them points him towards … Batman (“Boff!”, “Crunch!”). How about a mind, a consciousness, a personality that’s geared differently to every different situation? Would such a person be insane, or supersane? The Joker’s shrink thinks she may have stumbled upon the answer:

Batman:
Well, you’ll pardon me for saying so, but your techniques don’t seem to have had much effect on the Joker.

Dr. Adams (Joker’s therapist):
The Joker’s a special case. Some of us feel he may be beyond treatment. In fact, we’re not even sure if he can be properly defined as insane. His latest claim is that he’s possessed by Baron Ghede, the Voodoo loa. We’re beginning to think it may be a neurological disorder, similar to Tourette’s syndrome. It’s quite possible we may actually be looking at some kind of super-sanity here. A brilliant new modification of human perception. More suited to urban life at the end of the twentieth century.

Batman:
Tell that to his victims.

Dr. Adams:
Unlike you and I, the Joker seems to have no control over the sensory information he’s receiving from the outside world. He can only cope with the chaotic barrage of input by going with the flow. That’s why some days he’s a mischievous clown, others a psychopathic killer. He has no real personality. He creates himself each day. He sees himself as the Lord of Misrule, and the world as a theatre of the absurd.

Here’s what Grant Morrison [the author of this dialogue; bc] said about it:
“The idea of Joker’s “super-sanity” haunted me for years and eventually developed into my theories of multiple personality complexes as the next stage in human consciousness development.”

(John Henning quoting Adherents.com at Peter Watt’s blog.)

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