Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Going forward with Gramps

I’ll keep this brief:

Grampa Munster approached me cautiously and made a confession. He says that the therapists have never been as bad as he has let on, that most of the fault is his for being secretive and that he now welcomes the prolonging of his temporary court orders and the continued therapy sessions with those he had formerly labeled his tormentors. He now blames himself for the dysfunction and torment of his therapy visits and claims that his complaining about them was just “using them as escape-goats” (his words). He claims that he will learn to open up to them properly and upon this progress they will lessen the frequency of visits and eventually support the expiry of his court orders.

I have accepted this at face value though I remain well aware of the genuine pain and anger he has often expressed in the past, aware of these therapists’ lower-order behavior in my own presence, and of all the criticism I have heard about them from former patients, church officials, security guards, one corrections officer, a parole officer and a lawyer.

I don’t trust them but it is no longer my business.

I told Gramps very explicitly that he has the power to end his relationship with these therapists and demand a new one (this is firmly established and furthermore established who the new therapist would be: one whom I already have an excellent working relationship with and who would welcome my occasional participation at sessions) and that he may choose to continue dealing with the Gruesome Twosome if he chooses but that I am moving on with my end of our plans regardless if he is, which means:

I will expect him to move forward with intentions to get out more on his own, to make new friends, to sample peer-support group activities and part-time employment options and that I would help him with all of this at initial stages and to somewhat cut back on my personal visits with the expectation of all this new activity more than filling in the gaps, and that if he instead chooses to reject these initiatives out of interrogation-fear which he currently purports shall desist, than he shall suffer more loneliness as a consequence of his choice. Because I have been giving him more time than I can afford for a long while now, in anticipation of the January 2016 release date and the opportunities we both counted on.

I warned that I would be less receptive to letting him vent to me about maltreatment and less likely to take him on certain excursions if I think that Thing One or Thing Two might be inclined to interrogate him about it. I am done with that kind of liability. I will not have these clowns making false accusations to police that might incriminate me as Munster’s friend or volunteer.

To make a long story short, I don’t encourage this decision but I will respect it. We will of course remain friends but I will not feel obliged to suffer any consequences on account of this decision.

Since that discussion, things have gone well. I took him out to a support group meeting and he may follow through with participation on his own or else we will explore some other group which hopefully requires less of an academically intense process (which naturally unsettles Gramps). He also took it upon himself to call up the detective and ask about the possibility of part time employment. The cop was supportive as he has also been supportive of Gramps’ interest in making new friends and getting out more.

So things are well on that front. He seems bright and positive and for now I have not cut back on my time with him.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Caveat emptor

Hey there.

My posts have become sparse of late but not because I am ignoring the blog. I’ve been up to a whole lot of research which I aim to disseminate in installments here in this space, and very soon. I need to make sizable initial progress before I will know how to break it all down into chapters and thus before I can begin to post. My aim is to keep it all as brief as reasonably possible.

The subject matter (which I have absorbed in large volumes for years now) is too complex and immense to ever be brought fully under the reliable umbrella of one person’s living experience; to be tarred with the bold label, truth, and is too critical to every living person to be lazily reconciled. As I seek specific subject matter in order to update older material and to fill in the gaps, I must do everything in my power to be vigilant: to question the motives of every source; to disregard unconsolidated claims; to give weight to demonstrably neutral sources, to decipher the logical middle ground between opposing stakeholders, to apply the most robust logic and to be wary of the gaps in logic offered to me, which often do not become evident but in hindsight.

Perhaps the greatest hurdle though, is that of transparency. Contrary to normal, almost universal, human behavior, I do not take delight, subconscious or otherwise, in bearing bad news. And though I have an unusually strong regard, perhaps passion, for the pursuit of unvarnished truth, there are conceivable realities of which – I’m inclined to think – I might literally respect people’s wishes to remain ignorant, all things considered.

The great problem, I suspect, is how to know when an argument comes from an associate’s genuine desire for truth, but approached from a different direction or bias then mine, or when it comes from a buried desire to remain ignorant. How do I know when to persist and when to charitably decline? Not just in the blog but in my life going forward? The greatest jeopardy lies in the people who outwardly believe they seek truth while subconsciously demanding illusion. These are the most dangerous people to corner with convincing logic.

And how do I warn readers here, that I might drag you into something you don’t want to be dragged into, before it’s too late? All I can promise is an honest attempt at honesty. Buyer beware.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

We did it! A turning point in history!

We did it! A turning point in history!

This was the title of the Avaaz newsletter which was emailed out to members, myself included, to celebrate the great victories in Paris and leading up to Paris; successful fights which undid Bad People’s attempts to block climate deals. As I read this long list of victories and the great revelry over humankind, in essence securing a future, I felt the worse dread I’ve ever felt; a sickening feeling.

It’s nonsense of course. The Paris spectacle cannot accomplish anything that will help the planet to keep us alive. The overwhelming feeling I get, reading between the lines is:

Hey! Let’s just love big brother. We ran out of time. It’s too late now so let’s all fantasize that this is the victory we’ve all been waiting for! Now we can end our days doing what we want and having what we want cause clean energy is coming to save the day and our children our going to live on and have everything that they want! Let’s tell our kids that everything will be okay and we have nothing to apologize for! We never stole their world from them and traded it for toys and pleasures and indulgent privileges. It’s perfectly normal to destroy the thing that gives you life and trade it for immediate pleasure because magical panels and magical windmills will just rebuild nature for us!

What I read between the lines is: Okay. We give up. But let’s not face the facts. Let’s hide in fantasyland together.

It was just like the Liberal Theologian back in the hospice again, saying, “Let’s get on with it,” and her guests cheered because they did not realize that what she meant was, “Let’s get on with dying. Let’s get it over with.”

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Venting: a closer look

I want to thank IntrepidReader for this excellent and thoughtful comment. My wish is that more readers would challenge what I have to say in order that I can identify what I've failed to explain or else expose me to a useful new idea: 

I like to vent. Not because I think I am better than anyone else, but because sometimes my anger and frustration are too great for me to deal with without first blowing off steam. Sometimes I vent because my anxieties cause me to question my own feelings and reactions...so it becomes an is it them or is it me situation. And sometimes, getting the feelings out makes the situation seem less monumental...it give perspective. I think venting is a totally healthy and human interaction, that's why we have blogs and friends etc. Now, constant venting without addressing the problem or taking action...that's a whole different thing.

We all claim not to think we're better than everyone else but our instinctive ego is always trying to feel that way and is always subconsciously perverting our feelings to that end. I know that I'm better than most people at some things and far worse than most people at other things! And I know that my own ego doesn't prefer to see it that wayI The ego is never satisfied and always wants more. I once put a ton of work and contemplation into trying to isolate and understand my own instinctive forces. It was literally the central focus of my life for a while; all while other people were busy doing the necessary work which enables me to lead a materially comfortable life - for which I am grateful! My duty is to complete the circle by sharing what I've learned; regardless that few people want to believe in me or give me credit for my accomplishments, which is fine. My ego doesn't like that but it has less power over me than it once did so that's fine!

I concede that venting is a healthier alternative than some, in dealing with anger, frustration and other tensions which we feel are products of external forces such as other people's poor behavior.

However: I have personally never in my life experienced any form of anger or frustration that I don't now realize was a product of my own flawed reactions to external sources; not the sources themselves. I don't believe I have ever experienced a kind of anger or frustration which I don't now perceive as societal illness which the mainstream fails to recognize as such.

The healthier scenario, not to venting but to a reliance on venting is to be more mindful and inward-looking until we get enough of a handle on our masked instincts, the gap between they and our conscious self, and the illusions thereof, that we develop reactions more in tune with reality, which do not necessitate anger or frustration.

In reality, given my constantly-improving perceptions of causality, the nature of the the universe, life and humanity, I know that I have nothing whatsoever to be angry or frustrated about, though I am still not immune!

I now experience a small fraction of the anger and frustration I once did in life and even now, when I do, an alarm usually quickly signals that I am participating in illusion and swiftly I recover and have a little laugh at myself, though I occasionally have my bad days when this process lags. I must say ardently: It is extraordinarily peaceful and joyful to live this way, and still I have room for improvement. And it is supposedly my purpose in life to help propagate and further understand this evolution which I interpret as being vital to the future (and even survival) of the human race, though I seem to tumble off this game-plan with unfortunate regularity.

Yes, if we seem to be venting but are actually looking for some kind of solution, then that is useful! I think that my associates sometimes perceive I am venting when I am not; partly from projection and partly because I can get intense in a conversation because I'm struggling to explain something which I dearly wish to explain properly. That intensity can be misinterpreted.

When we get steamy, then yes, at that point, better to blow it off! But with Grampa Munster it is the exact same complaints over and over and over again. If it were someone with a more competent mind I would tell him to put a cork in it or find another audience. I think IntrepidReader agrees (as does The Healer): Repeated venting of the same issue reveals your failing to deal with the problem and it is an indulgence to lean on an audience at that point.

My goals in life are very difficult to achieve because there is no satisfactory existing framework within our society that I know of, for me to enlist with. I need to waste less of my time, which is mostly my own fault, but still it makes me feel resistant to other people wasting my time, including the above repeated-venting scenario or that in which we complain about items of perfectly typical human behavior which are not news; which occur throughout the world a million times a second.  

Yes, venting has its healthy benefits, but only within the paradigm of normal society which is a society of illusions. Yes, when we find ourselves venting, let us use it to look for solutions and keep my claim in mind: That in our truly healthiest state there is no opportunity to vent. In our healthiest state we grasp the inevitability of everything around us, including poor behavior, realize it is not to be taken personally, except when deceived by the ego, and realize that the imperfections of an otherwise beautiful and miraculous human race represent opportunity and not despair!

Tuesday, December 08, 2015


The subject of venting is rallied about me with frequency these days, mostly in Circles of Support company because the matter of Grandpa Munster’s struggles with therapists is such a hot topic; therapy which he receives as some form of victimization. He often uses his Circles people as an outlet for complaining, and this, I understand.

Gramps lacks the mentality to look at circumstances remotely outside his egoic point of view or to deal with apparent problems in a more useful manner.

But I feel so very resistant to listening to the venting of those with a more qualified mind. It strikes me as a terrible waste of my time (and theirs) because I know it can feel like a necessary or therapeutic thing but I know it only serves such a purpose at an illusory level. I know very well that any complaining I might be inclined to do regarding the specific transgressions of a specific neighbor is essentially invalid. I understand the nature of causality and the inevitability of this flawed nature of the current humanity. I understand that when I am angered by specific actions of those around me, it is in fact my own flawed expectations which are the real culprit. 

I understand that no one is perfect, that we all transgress harmony on a very regular basis and the only useful policing of transgressions is to have the awareness to identify our own shortcomings and the evolving consciousness with which to improve ourselves. The great barrier is that every one of us has a lengthy code system which essentially criminalizes a great volume of unkind behaviors on one hand while licensing a great volume of unkind behaviors on the other hand, which we rationalize with apparent (yet deeply flawed) logic. Our unique codes cross and intersect those of our neighbors creating our individual illusions that we are each better than everyone else. 

I can’t help feeling that I would prefer my associates vent at someone else, because, frankly, any idiot can provide an ear for that. I can’t help but feel that my own skills and insights into these matters; essentially matters of illusion, are rare and should be reserved for associates who wish support in battling these illusions and/or making progress with their own struggle to improve.

And likewise (and to be fair), I should never be venting to other people because I should know better, and I should be demanding the better me of myself. My associates should be quick to tell me off if I fall into the venting temptation. And to The Healer’s credit, she usually does! More often, I catch myself at the game and apologize for it but the associate is quick to decline the apology and welcome the complaint.

There is a fine line though, between venting, and the verbal acknowledgment of non-harmonic behavior when framed as societal commentary; while seeking solutions in a conceptual way. The difference may seem very hazy but frankly, the tone of voice always gives it away. And when I hear that complaining tone of voice I know that it is ego doing the talking; the ego patting itself, making itself feel superior to the transgressor; a transgressor who almost undoubtedly, on their best days, are more noble than we on our bad days.

Monday, December 07, 2015

Eat Poop U Cat

I played "telephone pictionary" on eatpoopucat.com for about two years, drawing over 700 quick cartoons and supplying perhaps 400 or 500 captions. The site was run on the private funds and goodwill of one benefactor who had to give it up a while back. A core group of us has restored the hobby in a very occasional, very manual way, without any "liking" and scoring. I'm one of the few who occasionally takes charge and runs a strip; passing the latest caption or drawing to the next member for their contribution and eventually sharing the final result. Without the website to give our work an internet home I shall here give life to some of our strips: The ones which I facilitate or take part in (or both).

The great advantage to this new primitive functionality is that there is no huge volume of unfinished strips at my fingertips, thus I don't get tempted to sit in bed drawing cartoons all day long!

If this looks like fun to you, message me your facebook identity and I'll bring you into the group.

Monday, November 30, 2015

More personal stuff but I'll keep it short this time!

I woke up at a little after 7AM. I’m looking at the clock and it’s 7:16 and already I have pondered a number of things, some of which I really should let out in the blog. Including:

  • The natures of my insomnia(s) and all the harms they do.
  • My health problems and why they are worsening and not being properly addressed.
  • Why I constantly have useful thoughts and revelations which I almost immediately lose.
  • Why this blog is never what it’s supposed to be and what I can do about it.
  • Why my fiction is never what it’s supposed to be and god-knows what I can do about it.
  • Why people have such unhealthy minds.
  • The benefits versus harms in “recreational” drugs.
  • The wisdom in Zappa’s statement that parents make kids weird more so then music, TV, etc.
  • The generally healthier minds of younger people and why I’m generally more drawn to the company of younger people these days.
  • My friendship with Neo and why I’ve so largely failed to pass on so much of the valuable perceptions I wish him to benefit from.

And there’s probably more that I’ve forgotten already

The most useful thoughts I have occur when I have just gone to bed or when I’ve awoken too early and stay in bed praying I’ll be able to fall back asleep. I’m losing stuff. Every day (or night) I lose most of my most valuable thoughts. It’s extremely unfortunate. The job I have carved out for myself in life is to share the benefits of my research and contemplation in terms of the areas which I’ve had rare access to and which offer solutions to serious problems. Clearly the process in not working; is not complete.

This morning I made the very rare choice to give up on sleep after just 4 and half hours of it and grab the laptop and try to write down some of this stuff instead. But my mind flies through so much stuff so fast (as minds do); so infinitely faster than I can type! Plus the action of recording my thoughts drastically interferes with my thoughts themselves! The barriers to making the optimal use of the human mind are staggering. Instincts, illusions, the very undeveloped nature of our infantile consciousness itself. The great barriers to communication; both interpersonal and internal…

I want this blog to be open and intimate and not preachy. I want it to be more useful to people or potentially useful. I often think I should liberate the blog from its own compromised past and start a fresh one, but with anonymity more of a priority. 

How do I know I’m losing stuff (ideas, understandings etc.) if they’re lost? Only because the experience of thinking useful thoughts which I know need to be retained while conceding not to write them down, is such an incredibly familiar one. I remember the constant recognition of this scenario. While the scenario of remembering previously escaped ideas etc. is incredibly rare. That’s not good. And poetic voices have warned of this – in few words – and in the same spaces refer to a need for discipline, both in terms of doing your poetic work every day and in terms of practicing simple focus.

You know, just yesterday a new writer pal (I make one or two every November) was talking about the common dilemma of dividing her time; kids, responsibilities and two hobbies: writing and knitting. She was describing the sort-of tedious experience of knitting and having to focus on something so simple and mechanical because there is great jeopardy if you make a mistake. You’ll discover it later and then have to undo all the work you’ve done since the mistake was made. I found myself suggesting to her that her knitting might be making her a better writer; that such an activity may be strengthening her mind. It has been suggested that the real purpose of alchemy was to transform the alchemist’s mind through the practice of extraordinary discipline. The techniques of the alchemist required immense concentration on menial processes and that the lead to gold thing is largely a metaphor for the transformation of mind.

Anyways… let me recognize that I am in need of a transformation of mind and let me commit here to that pursuit. National Novel Month expires tonight. Let December be National NewDay Getting His Shit Together Month.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Now I'm definitely lost.

I will try to keep this brief.

I’m in the habit of referring to Gramps as an eight-year-old, to people who haven’t met him. I’m referring to his mentality of course and frankly, I wonder often if that’s giving him too much credit. He cannot hang on to any but the simplest concept at once, and for no longer than the space of a sentence. Any concept which requires the understanding of multiple components might be sort-of learned in time (by rote if not actually understood) but cannot be explained by him. As soon as he utters one thought, the only thing his mind can hang on to is the sentence he just spoke. The next thought to come drunkenly staggering out of his mouth will then follow the previous one in some relatively random direction. So if you ask him a question, you have to be prepared to ask it again and again after every sentence unless you win the lottery and he accidentally stays on track.

He knows very well he has terrible communication problems and instinctively battles it by continuing to ramble forever and ever and listener-suicide-inducing ever… hoping that the right words will eventually come out, while he forgets why he started talking in the first place. It is charming and exasperating to witness. Having a conversation with him is like having a conversation with a million monkeys.

The authorities and his therapecutioners absolutely adore this because they let him ramble as long as it takes until something comes out that they want to hear, or can be interpreted as such, and use it for their agenda: which is to keep him basically imprisoned for the rest of his miserable life.

And when Gramps gets lucky and a few sentences flow out that actually contain some narrative they say, aha! You can do it! You don’t have a disability, see! And they pretend that a clock which manages to get the time right twice per day is not broken.

The therapecutioners  deny him advocacy except for the .01% of the time which authorities prescribe it, and they will not allow him to read from anything he has written. When he has tried to bring a journal they tell him that anything he writes will be lies.

Add his crippling anxiety disorder and all he ever wants to say is whatever the authorities he fears, want him to say. Which is to hang himself. They see him as someone fallen through the cracks who can never be safe outside of prison. But I know him better, and I know this not to be true.

So they keep him isolated for all intents and purposes.

He has acquired a trust in me which he has never experienced in many decades, since his mother probably, who fled to Florida long ago, and there passed away, so he heard. And he will open up to me and honor my advice but everything I do to prepare him for upcoming encounters with authorities, I now see, is a vain ineffectual comfort.

He went into the meeting yesterday with Good Cop and the therapy ghouls and nodded to everything they suggested, committing to maintaining their treatment.

And now I am wholeheartedly and thoroughly fucked.

Because I do not have the patience or the resources, financial or otherwise, to maintain the sacrifices I have been making for another two years, as we counted down toward January 2016 and made all the plans through which we’d get his life in order and my logistical dilemmas in order, all of which depended on escaping this tyranny.

The sad thing is that the light at the end of the tunnel is shining well within reach. Gramps can have a new deal, with a new therapist, and more fair restrictions if he simply had the balls to demand it.

But the authorities control the game. Whoever gets a piece of Gramps last, will get what they want. And Good Cop will make very sure to get at him last. He’s a man of no wisdom but clever to be sure. I cannot win this battle for Gramps without an official recognition of his disabilities and the right to advocacy appointed, and they will not let this happen. They hold all the cards.

Somehow Gramps knows, instinctively, that there will be trouble now, between us and he is afraid to admit to me on the phone that he has sold out. He begs me to come see him in person. He does not understand that that is not a good idea. He needs me to be there when he spills the beans so that I can give him reassurances which are too vital to him to receive by phone. But I cannot give those assurances. I cannot lie to him. And I don’t know yet what the plan will be going forward. How will I ever know?

I cannot maintain this relationship as it stands for another two years. I couldn’t realistically maintain it for the last two years but got cornered into it when paranoid authorities put an end to the only arrangements that made it possible in the first place, which we have not been able to duplicate; a debacle of extraordinary lunacy and false-confession badgering which only reinforces the liability I am no longer willing to endure. The ghouls interrogate Gramps about everything he does with me and knowing now, almost certainly, some degree of my disrespect for them, if not my conviction that they are downright evil, might love to coral Gramps into some confession which implicates me in some way.  I know they always ask about me and hear god-knows-what about me from Munster's meandering lips and they question my ethics and judgement. No offender goes into so-called treatment without dragging his closest associates in with him.

The next two years will undoubtedly be worse. He’ll be filled with self-hate for putting himself in this mess once he regrets it and also for letting me down. And there are pending disasters in therapy. I just recently became aware of figurative landmines which Gramps has planted and might have avoided stepping on for another two months but not for two years.

I don’t know yet what to say to Gramps when he tells me what he thinks I have not yet figured out. That he has sold out and that I must sell out too or else battle him-and-the-world.

I cannot meet with him because I have no response for him. There is no version of the truth soft enough for his fragile psyche to endure.

The truth that I cannot go with him down this road.

And I cannot let him go alone.

I have no answer.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Mission Impossible

I’m kind of lost.

I told Grandpa Munster not long ago that after the expiry of the relevant court-order this January 2016, there was no way he was going to have to endure any more interrogation and abuse, which he has endured for many years, from the pair of court-appointed so-called therapists who one lawyer describes as “…more nutty and batty than any of their clients;” a pair of crack-pots who no client in their right mind would ever pay for so-called psychological treatment out of their own pocket, but who have gotten rich from a 25-year Scooterville courthouse monopoly via duped taxpayers, strictly for playing watch-dog with former sex offenders. Watch dogs of the snapping snarling variety, if what I’m told is true from several of their gratefully-former associates .

I’ve watched him cry, rage and panic over these visits for almost three years now; more than the normal time-frame for this court-order, the last set of orders to stipulate mandatory therapy (and 13 other directives) which are traditionally intended to expire, leaving one very reasonable set of orders remaining for life.

A couple days ago we learned that authorities wish to extend the current orders for another two years for reasons which make it fairly clear that they will keep at it indefinitely; reasons which are hilariously bogus. Personally I’m agreeable to the optional orders in theory, if they were managed by authorities in an enlightened way, but threatening to contest said orders in court is probably Munster’s only bargaining chip with regards to escaping his therapeutic torment.

Gramps is sixty-five and appears significantly older due to poor health and medical neglect from living in a government-appointed group home serviced by a rug rat doctor who has probably also never had a client who wasn’t railroaded to him through government contract.

He has a severe learning disability and severe anxiety disorder (which have never been addressed by his therapists) and is entirely stupefied by any contact with authorities, including the therapists themselves who intentionally posture themselves as authorities and take constant liberties, telling him what he can do and can’t do (in the guise of treatment, I presume they would claim, not that they permit anyone to ask).

Gramps has not committed a crime in decades.

Our core strategy was to acquire legal recognition of his disabilities, his inability to satisfactorily represent himself in legal affairs and the right to designate an advocate to speak on his behalf, whether a lawyer or myself.

Confident in all the options and tools I understood to be at our disposal, I made a personal guarantee to Gramps that he would be done with his oppressors in January; that I would not allow it to continue; that I would ensure it was stopped by any means necessary. I knew it to be a grave injustice which weakens, not aids, Gramps’ mental health, making it more difficult, not easier, to be productive and safe in the community; an injustice I was prepared to fight by any means possible, within the law, and possibly beyond.

And one by one, all the tools and options fell apart in the space of one long morning.

We got off the phone with the lawyer yesterday, having a stack of hopes dashed, and sat there feeling quite incredibly alone in the world. We studied the dismal options for a couple more hours, and made the desperate move to put our hopes in one police detective. We literally crossed no-man’s land to seek help from the “enemy.”

I coached Gramps at exasperating length until he summoned the courage. He made the phone call and convinced Good Cop to meet with him without the therapists’ (Bad Cops) presence, but then fell apart trying to arrange my participation in the meeting. He cried for a while and cursed himself for his stupidity and the mess he’d made of his life. I plied him with praise and support. He called back to try again and miraculously Good Cop agreed to let me attend “for moral support,” and added, “But I’m not going to argue with him!”

I coached Gramps for a couple more hours yesterday and again today before the meeting. The strategy was solid:

1 - Find out Good Cop’s intentions regarding renewal of the court-order.
2 - Indicate that you will fight the order in court for the reasons that the therapy is dysfunctional and intolerable. Use firm words: “I can’t take it anymore!”
3 - Don’t talk about cutting a deal yet (accepting the orders with the proviso that a new therapist be appointed.)
And 4 - end the meeting swiftly without mentioning any of our other plans and concerns. “Anything else Good Cop asks, you’re not ready to talk about it yet.”

The three of us sat down, and before Good Cop had anything relevant to say, Gramps fell apart. Every plan went swiftly out the window as he volunteered that he understood he would need a renewal of orders and cautiously suggested that the therapy was not ideal; not comfortable. “Could I please have someone else?” He would go on to volunteer all sorts of ideas which I’d counsel him not to, before I could stop him.

Knowing that police make notes and will use one’s words against you, knowing the great risks, feeling the tremendous pressure of opportunity versus jeopardy, I made the tough decision to jump in and prayed to get away with it. I adopted the posture that I was on Good Cop’s side (having intentionally sat beside him) and began questioning Gramps. “Are you being honest right now?” But every question was designed to push him in the right direction. For the next 45 minutes I interjected constantly: “Didn’t you tell me that they call you a liar when you’re telling the truth…? That you’re scared of them and intimidated by them…? That you hate them…? That you come home from appointments and cry…? And then get angry and take out your anger on other, less fortunate residents…? Didn’t you tell me that getting away from them was the most important thing in your life…? That you’d rather go back to prison then to have to see them another two years…? That you’d rather be dead than see them another two years…? That you wish they were dead!”

Good Cop listened to all this and more as Gramps tediously tried to indicate that I was not wrong and that he opens up to me more truthfully than to anyone else, while still trying to be Good Cop’s loyal lap dog and not be disagreeable with him. It was painful to witness.

Miraculously, Good Cop indicated it was somewhat possible to arrange a different therapist but he was not in favor of it. He indicated it might be possible to remove a couple other stipulations which have become unnecessarily restrictive. He even suggested he could do a one-year order instead of two.

I was thrilled to hear of possible concessions and grateful for his apparent openness. It became apparent to me that Good Cop dearly wished to avoid a court battle over these orders which are normally agreed upon between police and offenders and expedited in court. I knew that Gramps had some power though he had no courage to use it.

It was a long meeting but cutting to the chase: Gramps agreed (to me regret) to meet with he and the therapists tomorrow, without me, to address these complaints and that if they could not be resolved, there would be a further meeting with the same foursome plus myself and one or two officials from the Circles of Support organization (of which I am a volunteer member but currently acting entirely outside that capacity—their mandate does not permit my current level of potentially-adversarial involvement.) I am Gramps’ unofficial advocate who thus far only participates at the whim and mercy of his oppressors.

Was Good Cop as cautiously gracious as he appeared, or is he luring Gramps into the wolfs’ den to be coerced into a reconciliation of some theatrical degree?

I must expect that Gramps will go into the meeting tomorrow, without me, and completely freeze and sell the farm. There is no hope of him standing up to his tormentors to their faces. I know that. I can only pray that he doesn’t sign anything or agree to anything in terms of renewal of supervisory orders, and that whatever great volume of damage he does, playing lap dog to them, I can somehow later undo.

I thought we’d have a lawyer on our side, you see, but it seems that legal aid will not provide such without a potential jail sentence in the equation.

I feel like it suddenly became Gramps and I against the world, but then – just  me against the world, fighting for Gramps, with him somewhere in between, being used against himself.


Looking around, I see that I have failed to warn that it is November and that means National Novel Writing Month and that means little-to-no blogging. Hopefully no one has been wasting their time coming by every day. I assume everyone uses some kind of news feeder to know when there’s a new post?

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Shall we politicize the holidays?

I cringe every time the subject of political correctness arises because I NEVER seem to hear an enlightened opinion. The general concept seems too vague to be relevant. I suggest it can only be realistically examined in particular examples.

In a perfect world people would think carefully before speaking or acting, and would demonstrate respect where it is due, and take responsibility for their words and actions. I realize that the human ego works against all of that, and for most people, any of that is a lot to ask.

Most people who I hear complaining about political correctness, seem to resent it as a cumbersome new code-system suddenly required to protect them from unjustified criticism. In other words, they come across as dingbats who don't know that they are dingbats and are mystified to be finally treated as such.

I personally don't give a flying care what kids look like at Halloween because they are just kids who are bribed by candy to look silly for us. Whether you dress up as Einstein or a skeleton I would happily surrender the tootsie roll without projecting arbitrary social interpretations onto the poor kid - concerning physics or flaying.

With Christmas just around the corner I shall grab hold of the nearest bolted-down object and steady myself for the coming onslaught of grating carol broadcasts and Greeting Debaters. I’m not aware that there is any intelligent debate to be had or ever was.

As a human being, you can either think about what you say before you say it, or you can be dull. You can either say what you mean, or be a dunderhead. You can mean to be respectful or you can be an asshole.

There are no inherently correct or incorrect seasonal greetings. It always depends on who you are and who you are communicating to: how wise, present, dull or dunderheaded you are being.

Let’s remember what Merry Christmas means. It is short for, “It is my wish that your Christmas will be merry!” Thus “merry Christmas” between Christians is perfectly appropriate obviously. And as a former Christian I do not manufacture imaginary harm by hearing it (Don’t get me wrong. I still like the dude but I’m allergic to some of his worshipers’ habits).

Example two: Wishing “Merry Christmas” to someone of a specific faith who does not celebrate Christmas but rather a specific winter ceremony of another name, is either presumptuous, dull or insincere, depending how well we know the person and their particular divine bents, or whether we give a damn.

And… example three: A government-sponsored billboard which wishes “Merry Christmas” to the public appears balefully ignorant of the fact that much of the taxation which pays for such trinkets comes from non-Christians or else was chosen to speak to a limited sector of its public and not to others, which is surely fiscally inefficient!

I won’t bother addressing those who claim that Canada is a Christian nation and “Merry Christmas” ought to rule unimpeded (if such dinosaurs still exist). I will flatter myself so much as to assume that no one of that intellectual quality would be reading this blog.

Frankly, I don’t care what anyone says to me, or around me, in between credit card transactions this jolly Productfest Season. Say what you want and let it reveal something about you!

To anyone who resents this concept and wishes to dribble arbitrary Merry Christmases everywhere you go, with clemency, as I have often done, it is surely no great crime. But it reveals we are lazy, insincere or both, and would be a far more honest person if we kept our mouth shut instead of issuing artificial sentiments from the tongue and not the heart.  

Or if we all agree instead that we like artificial sentiments from the tongue as a societal behavior model, then why should it matter what the hell the words are?

Happy Productfestia!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

acme / ˈakmē/

All empires have been temporary and this one has shown no indication of permanence. Indeed the cracks are spreading like disease as corruption and greed erode the foundation.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

acknowledge /əkˈnäləj/

By definition I suppose I am a Rush fan. For I cherish their immense beautiful body of work. But I feel in no way relevant to the term Rush fans when they who think of themselves as the intelligentsia of music use the term. They are not talking about me. They do not know me and I do not know them. And they are of no consequence in my mind, though of much consequence in the web of causality.

But they cannot speak for me. They say that I am vindicated because a cozy club in Cleveland has issued a stamp of approval. And I suppose I had thought I wanted this. But now I think I don’t. What morbid normalcy might they now inhabit where once they walked on clouds?

Saturday, October 17, 2015

This may be the most important thing I ever say, in my whole life:

So I get an email from the JazzLion, dropping his phone number, asking me to call. His words are brief but intimate. I take notice.

I last saw him in December 2014, right before he split to BC for a series of adventures which attempted to bridge the natural world which he tries to hang on to, and the sleazy commercial world we humans have insisted on letting dominate ourselves. Early reports were promising. I began to think he would not be returning. Apparently so did he, at least for a while. I telephoned.

In his words, he hit rock bottom in Calgary, knocked out of employment by the third boss in a row to con him with false promises, at least according to his perception. With no home or money and a head full of destructive thoughts, aimed at himself and others, he called on Mom for a loan for a coach ticket back to Ontario where his greater support system lies.

His considerable intelligence never seems to match up to his emotions. His goals never seem to match up to both his perceived purpose and circumstances simultaneously. The gifts he offers never seem to match up to the wants of his neighbors.

We seem to meet up on a little better than annual basis. He will spend the next few days on a bus and then we’ll get together. I know he is feeling lost and hurting and questioning his purpose in life. I know where I want to start in terms of trying to help him find his way toward life pursuits that might work for him, and I shall write it here and now, for his benefit (review) and mine (reminder) and hopefully others (something to think about):


If you want to get at the truth of anything you have to start by identifying the appropriate context which is always the largest relevant context. In this case, the universe.

The universe is mind-bogglingly huge and relatively empty of life; to what degree we are not sure, but we can be almost certain of one thing: There is no species in existence in the universe quite like us. That is a logical near-certainty. Because in order to be wrong about that, the other humanoids would have had to come into existence at right about the same time we did, so close to the same time that this would represent a wildly unlikely coincidence when mapped on the scale of the universe’s immense duration. We can observe enough of the universe and of earth to know that life occurs in the universe in extremely unlikely circumstances and intelligent conscious life in staggeringly unlikely circumstances; a staggeringly rare event. But given the immensity of opportunities in the universe: trillions of trillions of trillions of worlds (we can predict); such unlikelihood may happen more than once. But given the humanoid passion (and rate) for exploration and expansion (no doubt a primary factor in what we’ve become; what we are), any similar humanoid species not of Minerva (or Earth as you might say) has to either have killed itself off by now (as we have proven to be fully capable of and are currently forecasted to do) or else has simply not yet evolved anywhere else in the universe. We know this is a mathematical near-certainty because otherwise we could not have avoided this race because to be anything like us and thus with a similar rate of expansion capacity, it would have flooded the universe by now. And we have not run into them.

So trusting we occupy a rare supervisory role in the universe, what does that mean for us?

It means that something brand spanking new is happening in the universe which is well beyond its previously normal scope: that of swirling matter snowballing according to gravity and densities and explosiveness with one or more isolated oases of death-life where cellular organization takes rapidly altering compositions as different forms rapidly consume the prior forms and are rapidly consumed in turn: evolution as we know it. The brand-spanking new thing is consciousness and it has the ability to utterly transform the nature of the universe but might tragically decline to. Consciousness is subject to evolution of an intentional form without need of countless generations and has proven to me, and (I interpret) to others, to be capable of very rapid evolution.

Consciousness enables a web of intelligence, love, empathy (much more love and empathy than most people even begin to realize), communication and cooperation; the kind of cooperation which can put a man on the moon, set its sites on Mars, and soon beyond, with startling growth of reach (technological advancement).

Consciousness, though infantile at this early stage, in the care of humankind, has the capacity to perhaps sadly disappear, or else evolve and flood the universe with harmony and benign intent instead of this cold physical circular causality with rare blips of death-life.

This is a drama of utterly epic proportions which affects the entire universe and makes all other dramas, especially the contrived human societal ones, completely irrelevant, as much as we pretend otherwise. And we are at the centre of it. We are the universe’s witnesses to this event, as well as in the starring role. And the thrilling thing is that we participate in that role at every moment, no matter what we do, and we are able to witness this drama at every waking moment (and arguably when dreaming, perhaps) if we choose to! Because everything we do, if you break down the components fine enough (not a lot of work in most cases) either propagates our normal beastliness or else propagates the evolution. Everything.

At every moment we can be slave to our instincts or else be mindful. (Speaking from a variety of established perspectives:) We can be spiritually asleep or spiritually awake. We can be animal or truly human; a grown child or a true adult. We can experience living death or be poetically alive, serve our internal devil or internal godliness. And every choice, every moment, is huge! Every one of our actions, in adherence with the laws of causality, are potentially eternal – or awfully damn close to eternal; eternal for all intents and purposes.

Eckhart Tolle, who has earned my immense trust, would tell JazzLion that being this witness is his internal purpose, with an outer purpose being his duty to design. I would add that choosing a side in this cosmic fork in the road, must form a basis for his purpose, whether you call it inner or outer.

Tolle says that some people who recognize the human purpose will involve this spiritual reality as a core component of their outer purpose. I know that that has to be true of me; that I must make it true, and given JazzLion’s capacity for intelligence and empathy and wakefulness, I would suggest the same of him.

Frankly, I would say this of quite a few of the special people I know. And I know that some of you read this blog. I really hope you are listening!

Love you.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Achromatic /ˌakrəˈmatik,/

We see the trees but not the forest; the sky but not the biosphere. We see the stars but not the worlds; the person but not the angel. We see the child but not the miracle.

Achilles /ə-kĭl′ēz/

How staggering to contemplate the forces against us. Though it seems that only two instinctive forces have any significant hold on me on my best of days. But together, outnumbered, they still drag me down. One shortens my time. The other distracts me and uses it up.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Me, you, your kids and dinosaurs

Well… here’s another blast of pessimism sure to scare away more readers! Good luck!

I am sometimes a little saddened by the eternal optimism of dear friends who are smarter than they allow themselves to be. Optimism that is ultimately disastrous as it results in hope, inaction and capitulation in the face of looming disaster. It is so painfully rare to meet someone who comes across as mentally unfettered, capable of perfectly clear thinking (a lot to ask, I know!) But people do not realize what impenetrable walls are built from everything we invest in (and I don’t pretend to have escaped that entirely). Career, reputation, wealth, property, marriage. Even children. Your children are a detriment to your rationality! The walls that are built in the process of parenthood will not allow you certain vantages; to fully entertain certain possibilities, because they are too threatening to that most dear. No matter the circumstances, no matter the evidence, the all-powerful ego that is a stranger to you but yet is the master you and tied ferociously to your children, will simply not allow the conscious you to open up to the possibility, for instance, that your children might have no future. It will cherry-pick arbitrary favorable evidence that suggests, for instance: that people are basically decent, so how wrong can we actually go?

My courageous period – and the only such period of my life (so far), culminated when I was sitting all evening in front of my desktop computer with a blank MS word document staring back at me and for the second night in a row, trying to understand the question that I was trying to ask myself. “How decent am I really? Am I evil?”

I finally came to understand the question and I strongly suspected that if I took one step further, that there would be no going back (I still get the piss-shivers every time I watch The Matrix blue pill-red pill scene). And there it occurred: my singular moment of triumph in this life:

“Yes. I am evil.”

I viciously turned myself inside out and counted the ways.

I cannot fully recall what the next few days were like. I recall I was deeply withdrawn, deeply horrified and strangely exhilarated to find myself in an alien place I would never have imagined existed. God knows what would have become of me if a sort-of final piece of the puzzle kind of event had not fallen into my hands some time later. It was Richard Dawkins’ suggestion of the selfish gene. Regardless the accuracy of that specific scientific testimony, it pointed me directly down the path I needed as I began discovering first-hand the evil inherent in every living thing and the original necessity for it and the actual beauty and miracle of our circumstance! But I digress!

I am always surrounded by evil unrecognized by the captive consciousness of the doer (myself included). Always. Every day. And mostly – on my good days – I do not dwell on the beastly half of the doer but love the self-victimized consciousness instead.

And I know some things you might say. Perhaps: No! I am not evil. I am good. I love my spouse even though he or she is such an asshole sometimes! And I love my kids even though they torment me! I buy fancy car seats for their safety and a big safe automobile for us and I buy us a big house and plenty of heat to keep them warm and I buy them the latest gadget so that I can be attached to them at any given moment and more of the latest gadgets so that their friends won’t think little of them (because their reputation equals my reputation equals my ego which is everything). Yes I love them and that love is magical and you people without kids – you will never know this magic!

But oddly there are those of us who have no kids and yet love your kids in a different way even if we barely know them, and, who even love your kids’ kids though they may yet be born.

I hope you won’t get me wrong. Some of my favorite people in the world are wonderful parents who I admire and I’m sure parenthood feels utterly amazing at times. I am regretful at times to not have experienced it in the direct way which many of you have, but that parental love is not enough!

Building a life around loving your kids so that they can build lives around loving their kids so that they will love theirs… no matter how good that feels it is a circular loop. It is not progress. It is not evolution. It is not enough to justify what you do and what you choose not to see! That circular formula will come to a crashing demise if our love for our kids and our desperation for (inevitably artificial) stability manifests itself in our killing the biosphere, in part directly and in part by sitting back in hope and inaction while the great powers around us – the industrial corporations and their politicians and their media and the so-called “environmental organizations” which they have quietly usurped and tamed and made into industry-compatible profit machines, entertain us and mollify us with their bunting and their elections and their promises which never come true and make us think that everything might just be okay because there supposedly is a battle going on between political parties and supposedly a battle going on between greens and industry and there is nothing you can do – we got it covered. There is a reason the promises don’t come true. These battles are theatre and the electoral changes in government become an excuse to exorcise the promises of the prior reign.

No civilization on planet Earth has ever had the remotest possibility of surviving its own flawed unsustainable architecture except for hunter-gatherer societies (not to suggest that nothing else is possible – I don’t know). But everything else has inexorably destroyed itself like a dumb-ass frog in a slowly boiling pot. And now we have the mother of all civilizations – the global industrial-military civilization, doing the very exact precise same thing, with the entire planet at stake and nowhere else for us to go. And here we are just farting around in the bubbles while the elite imperialists of the world, steeped in obscene wealth (mostly blossomed from old criminal origins abetted by politicians), love their children by amassing the wealth, power and privilege to eventually put them on whatever small ark of humanity or other limited eco-fix that technology might hopefully avail them at the eleventh hour.

If some version of the internet (and people) survive into the next age, will your great grandchildren look you up on the McFacebook Archives to see how you participated in the Great Eco-Struggle or the Global Market Meltdown of the 21st century? And interpret that you spent it taking selfies and giggling at cats? Would you be okay with that?

Let us remember that it’s easy to love our kids; in fact unavoidable. It’s in our genes. It’s a biological imperative. The stupidest most pig-ignorant beer-swilling party-time hicks in the world – you know – the ones sticking firecrackers up their ass for youtube fame… love their kids. Even wolves and weasels love their kids.

Even dinosaurs loved their kids.