The Rabbit Hole 4?

“Remember how I found you there
Alone in your electric chair
I told you dirty jokes until you smiled
You were lonely for a man
I said take me as I am
‘Cause you might enjoy some madness for a while”

– Billy Joel

It occurred to me that times and people change. In dictionaries of the late 1800s, “alienation” was defined as a mental affliction. Today, it is normal. What if any madness that does not prevent reproduction is actually a mental set and behavioral pattern that evolved because it enabled humans to survive? Maybe, when conditions require madness, we humans rise to the occasion.

Imagine, if you will, an anthology of stories about different madnesses wherein the insanity enabeled people to survive. Obvious plots include extreme sacrifice – deliberately dying to save others or murder of innocents to save other innocents, for example. But the premise is that insane behavior can be shown to benefit survival of our species. A deadly airborne virus that dies in the tar-laden lungs of heavy smokers comes to mind. Or, invasion of an alien race that eats only the brains of non-alcohoics.

Of course, it could be simply stories about those who succeed where others fail because they try what none of us sane folk would think of. I’m sensing a fun anthology here. And, a social service. We’ll be saying that crazy people can be necessary. “I know he’s crazy. But, who else would try it?”

Anybody interested? Tom Wolosz has offered to put together Volume Four of The Rabbit Hole. He asked for theme suggestions and this is one. What do you think of a new volume?


18 thoughts on “The Rabbit Hole 4?

  1. mimispeike says:

    I’ll start thinking. Madness, as an aid to survival. I suppose that may be said of every character I’ve ever created. But I suppose also you mean something more specific than a general mindset.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. “Madness: an aid to survival” sounds like a counter-factual (in the long-term) definition/supposition to me. “Madness” as a theme would seem more promising, plot(s)-wise. . . . I dunno: “Madness” qua madness seems too broad a theme; “madness: an aid to survival” too narrowly delimited, perhaps. Tricky!

    Liked by 5 people

  3. DocTom says:

    Well, we could open it up a bit. We could offer a choice of stories either dealing with alienation or an alien nation. :)’

    Also, I thought that something very broad might work, since a wider net might bring in more good stories. Off the top of my head I suggested “From the mountains to the sea. Weird journeys, places or things.”

    Liked by 7 people

    • Film trailer:

      A “golden afternoon”. A beautiful 7-yr-old girl watches a vest-wearing rabbit w/ a pocket watch dash past–“I’m late; I’m late!”

      She follows; peers down a yawning rabbit hole.

      Thunder booms in the skies above.

      Startled, Alice slips and plunges down the rabbit hole.

      Jump-cuts: Cheshire cat, a hookah-smoking caterpillar, the Red Queen: “Off with their heads!” A mad tea party, crazed animal dances, a bewildering montage of outre tableau and bug-eyed faces.

      Fade to black.

      A split-second later:

      Establishing shot: Front door of a Victorian home creaks open.

      Jump-cut: Woman rising in bed, hair awry. “Alice? Is that you?”

      Jump-cut: Long shot of Alice: black silhouetted in doorway, feet spread wide apart, clutching a butcher knife.

      Jump-cut: Alice’s shockingly white, expressionless face.

      Jump-cut: Alice’s blood-shot eyes fill the screen.

      Jump-cut: Woman in bed, rising more fully upright. “Alice?”

      Jump-cut: Front door closing.

      Jump-cut: Woman climbing out of bed.

      Grave-voiced announcer intones: “A week later–Alice came back.”

      Lightning-fast montage: Flash of silver-bladed knife; crazed dancing animals, spurts of blood, fear-crazed human faces.

      Film title appears in crimson Gothic font on the screen, to a rumble of kettle-drums and discordant violins:

      Alice: The Return.

      Liked by 4 people

  4. Yes, the prospect of having Vol 4 is welcome.  Yes, madness with beneficial consequences could be a good theme for Vol 4.  BTW, one of the little jokes in my contribution to Vol 2 has the form

            Anticipating … is madness, but sanity may be overrated.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. DocTom says:

    If we use the overall theme “Journey into Madness”, we can then flesh out the call for submissions in the following way:

    (Note, this may be a poor example. Feel free to offer suggestions.)

    “Descent into madness” has often been the theme of stories, as the protagonist journeys from the land of the normal to some other place, but when you fall into the Rabbit Hole the question arises: “Is that always bad?” We’re looking for odd, weird stories where the end of that journey can be anything at all – even (especially?) beneficial in some strange way. Stories can emphasize the journey, or the end result. Just remember to keep it weird as befitting a trip down the Rabbit Hole.

    Liked by 3 people

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