I think that's what it's really about. Not the fear of going senile, which is something that's hard to vividly picture even with a young and pliable mind, but the pathological need to feel in control of your world. Taking a pill, while ignoring that you don't actually know if it works, how it works or even where it's from, is still an act you decide to perform.
It's the same flaw in our reason that makes people deny vaccines for their children. It's not that they think their children are better off dead than living with Autism - although as someone with a diagnosed Autism spectrum disorder I'm always willing to accuse Autism Speaks and anyone else who suggests neuropsychiatric variance is inherently undesirable of precisely that - but that they need to believe there's something they can do, that they understand what causes Autism and have the power to prevent it; that it's under their control.
I want to show these people, in ways they can't ignore, that they're not actually in control of shit, and it doesn't matter how much they want to be, and they have only to accept they're not and learn to live with it, and they don't need to be afraid of feeling powerless. I don't know how I'd accomplish that except with the aid of extended demoralizing torture that would make me no better than the bullies I had in school, though. Maybe that's how the bullied become the bullies.
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