How to be crazy and influence people

Definitions of insanity are notoriously difficult to pin down. Sometimes, however, there are clear examples that one can point to and say, "Ha, there. I know it when I see it. That's insane!"

In an unrelated story, a woman was beaten and spit upon by a mob of Orthodox Jews because she turned on a tape recorder. Not because they didn't want to be recorded -- that could conceivably make sense. No, the non-Jewish woman did work (turning on a tape recorder) on a day that Jews are not supposed to do work.

Reporter feels mob's hate in the Holy City

By Middle East correspondent Anne Barker

...

As the protest became noisier and the crowd began yelling, I took my recorder and microphone out of my bag to record the sound.

Suddenly the crowd turned on me, screaming in my face. Dozens of angry men began spitting on me.

Spit like rain

I found myself herded against a brick wall as they kept on spitting - on my face, my hair, my clothes, my arms.

It was like rain, coming at me from all directions - hitting my recorder, my bag, my shoes, even my glasses.

Big gobs of spit landed on me like heavy raindrops. I could even smell it as it fell on my face.

Somewhere behind me - I didn't see him - a man on a stairway either kicked me in the head or knocked something heavy against me.

...

I knew about the parking lot riots, and was considering writing a post about it in the future. But this afternoon I read this account over at Pharyngula, and I had to make sure that I recorded the story for the future.

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