Adrienne BoettingerFriday,21 June 2013

The Snap:

Maybe you were hypnotized by his piercing blue eyes and that’s why you haven’t really pondered the mental health of Russian President Vladimir Putin. I mean sure, he tries to help birds migrate, steals a Super Bowl ring, wrestles bears, and darts tigers, but that’s what all world leaders do, right? Hmmm, I guess when I look at that altogether and remember some of his other hijinks I do see how people could think he’s batshit crazy. But is he literally insane? Can a person of questionable sanity become a world leader and maintain power?

The Download:

Although it’s easy to throw stones at politicians and world leaders—don’t actually try this with Putin or he’ll rip your arms right off your torso—being large-and-in-charge has got to be tough. Picture every President of the United States; they enter office full of vim and vigor, but by the end of their first term they’re a not-so-hot mess. When you’re a world leader, you rarely sleep, you’re watched constantly and you’re responsible for the happiness and well-being of your entire country. Sure, you can have a bowling alley in your basement and never get stuck in rush-hour traffic, but there is a price to pay for that much power.

The stress of such a job would make it seem unlikely that a person can be legitimately wacko bird and not crack within a week of assuming power. Although some leaders have definitely seemed screwy enough to make for interesting reality television programming, would they be considered legally insane?

You’re probably thinking, of course Putin is insane! The man stole the Super Bowl ring of the owner of the New England Patriots, saying as he took it that he “can kill someone with this ring.” He thinks the ballet is a good place to announce his divorce from his wife of three decades. He makes up wildass statements like that he can predict the end of the world and Western countries shouldn’t help Syrian rebels because those same rebels “not only kill their enemies, but open up their bodies, [and] eat their intestines in front of the public and cameras.

In comparison to some former rulers though, Vlad doesn’t seem so nuts. A Danish ruler of the 18th Century threw food at people and constantly masturbated, the last King of Egypt stole Churchill’s watch and shot lions in a cage at the zoo because of a nightmare he had, and Mao Zedong refused to brush his teeth or bathe, possibly because he was too busy staging nude underwater ballets.

Does this mean we should cut Putin some slack in terms of armchair diagnosing his cray cray? Probably not, as he still acts like a sociopathic megalomaniac. But maybe we should see the way he’s acted out as a cry for help and deploy Dr. Phil or somebody ASAP.


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Hat Tips:

Psychology TodayCNNThe Atlantic WireTimeNBC NewsCrackedNew York Times, Image Credit: Flickr

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