Saturday, November 21, 2020

Smothering Instinct

I'm extremely forgetful. Perhaps because of my tendency to look below the surface of things and not to stay on top of things? Whatever the reasons, I depend on careful organizational skills and when I find myself under the thumb of the pandemic and not going anywhere there's a tendency to forget about my daily planner which contains (or is supposed to) all my project intentions, chores, appointments and recurring events: everything from teeth-brushing to garbage day to NFL Opening Day.

I sometimes forget to take my meds; both for blood-pressure and the miracle sleep-enabling drug.

Sometimes I forget a couple days in a row and things get sketchy. Recently I went three days in a row without the miracle pill due to a combination of sleep irregularity, lack of organization and terrible service hours/closures of the pharmacy from Friday through Sunday.

The result was the same as the last time I went on a three-day bender. My emotions went right into hyer-drive. While I am always missing a few very dear loved ones and have so since March, a kind of panic sets in in the above circumstance. I feel like something is going to go wrong and I'll never see them again; never hug them; or perhaps that my absence will lead them to forget about me or perhaps to not need me? I don't really understand it. There is no logical interpretation of what I feel; just an extraordinary yearning for certain people.

Certain best friends who I have had in life slipped away from me and lost interest in me despite my continued interest in them. That's probably part of it.

And also being a person who had to fight his way out of the closet in a much earlier day there remains a life-long liability which few straight people could fully comprehend. It lies, normally unwoken, in the pit of every such person who has suffered this adolescent trauma in a less-kind age; as the Eloquent Potter puts it: the fear of being de-grouped. If you know a gay person and you want to utterly kill them just make them feel unwelcome in their established peer group. For us there is nothing crueler.

Now that the internet has given us all a soapbox for preaching our advice any old time at all there's a great tendency to indulge (like yours truly, especially!). But sometimes there's a resentment if we feel that the advice to embrace sacrifice is coming from those who have less to sacrifice. We feel like the call to sacrifice is much stronger when it comes from those who must sacrifice more. This does not reflect on the accuracy or wisdom of the message though!

For instance I am full of parenting advice which I believe in confidently but I rarely ever breathe a word of it because I've never suffered the things which parents must suffer. So my voice is a weaker one. That doesn't mean I'm wrong. It means I'm less trust-worthy.

That's actually a poor example. Here's the point. When my excellent brother and other folks tell me here is the sacrifice we must make in order to ensure our parents health, there is a part of me that knows damn well they are right. But there is another part of me that says "Okay but by the way, go to hell because you have a wife and kids for you to love in your household! I have no one!"

I have a housemate who sleeps two floors above me and a there's her dog too, but these relationships are tricky ones and the love there is not of the sort that seems to keep me alive; not like my family and such dear souls as the Eloquent Potter or Aqualad or Neo for instance.

As much as I adore them, by the way, no one comes close to my Mom. She is number one; our relationship is sacred. But luckily I see her about every five weeks and we either call or skype at least three times a week.  

I found out with certainty after near-thirteen years with Long-Time Companion that the standard relationship model in our society is largely nonsensical to me and that I suck at it either way and since then I cherish close friendships with whom I can share anything (and even the odd one which has edged into sexual behavior though my interest in sex is well into its final hour) and multiple best-friendish companions have in essence replaced the idea of a spouse.

Phone calls and video chats with great friends are great!  But as a person who is starved for physical contact at the best of times these events are simultaneously a reminder of what I am missing.

In my drug-starved despair I hit the facebook status alarm bell, worried or perhaps offended some dear people and an hour later tried to trust my logic and issued a retraction. But the damage was done. Friends of a masculine-problem-solving nature be they men or women; those who rush to fix things as quickly as possible rather than pause to understand them, tried to give me advice; advice I already knew and knew could not satisfy my instinctive perception of my clobbered needs, but bless their kind souls for trying.

Telling a starving man that you have no food, that he'll have to be happy with cigarettes or chewing gum or a harmonica, solves no problems.

I'm a few days back on the pill regular now, and I still miss these people (and some others) quite terribly. But I feel again that this hell-born Covid disaster will surely pass at some point and I will just have to hang on, one way or another, and take my damn pill every day, and pray a vaccine comes to the rescue.

And when this is over I'm coming for you with a giant hug so brace yourself, and just like the childless female penguin who competes so desperately for an available orphan, I'll try not to crush you to death.

Building the Map Room

Monday, November 16, 2020

Yep. It's Pandamondayum.

Here's a somewhat longer piece of panda therapy I cobbled together mostly from clips from the It's A Pandaful Life! documentary by Russia Today.

The track is Epona by Enya from album The Celts. Granted pandas do not self-identify as Celtic as far as we know but they're far too lazy to object.

Child of Nature

Urge Kijiji to join the growing movement against brutal puppy mills and the proliferation of euthanasia of friendly adoptable dogs.

SMP map room construction begins

Friday, November 13, 2020

Gender Schmender

We know that diversity is king.

We know that genetic diversity produces the healthiest offspring in mammals.

We know that diverse interests produce the most intelligent minds and emotional health and neuroscientists understand why.

We know that biodiversity is key to the biosphere and the potential survival of every doom-pointed mammal (all of us) on this crippled paradise of a planet.

We know that cultural diversity breeds cultural health and understanding and shines light on the darkest bleakest xenophobic redneck minds.

And I know - I know - how diversity in personal style avails joy and celebration in living every day. As such I don't care what you do with your clothes and your hair and your skin paint and your bits, bobs and bangles. Just do what you want, regardless of your sex. Whether you look like a boring traditional male or traditional female or somewhere in between, just please follow your inklings and be original. Be yourself. I won't judge you. Why the hell would I? What could I possibly have to lose?

We know that little girls and little boys are virtually identical in their gender-role-based interests until such a time as adults begin to impart arbitrary traditional roles upon them.

So if you want to "identify" as a male or female or neither or something in between then please do! Think of yourself the way you are inclined to think of yourself, by all means! And express it any way you're inclined.

And I will think of you how I am inclined to think of you, by all means, though I won't care about it.

For goodness sakes try to be a strong. I know it must not be easy sometimes, but looking for help by dictating pronouns is a dangerous game. If you're a close friend and you talk about yourself in such a way that my instinctive view of your gender changes then I will fall into line. I have a friend who went through a full surgical transformation and I no longer think of her as "he" and I instinctively refer to her as she. It just happens. She is very feminine in appearance. And I have other friends whose appearance does not convey to me one role or another very strongly, and so I think of them as I always have since my first impression when we first met.

I don't actually give a damn about the label; it's just instinctive and the only reason it comes to light whatsoever is because of language. There is no genderless form of the words he or she. Them is plural in most contexts. And pronouns are not words we think about when we talk. They pop out instinctively. But he and she means the same damn thing. Can we please learn to think of them as interchangeable? Instead of using them as affirmation? They are a shit tool for affirmation. Can we please not use them to test people? Trying to constantly think about pronouns when speaking is a matter of exhausting mental gymnastics.

When I say he or she it is not a reflection of what you are. It is a reflection of which way I instinctively interpret you lean. And if my interpretation differs from yours, so what? It's just me being honest about something completely void of importance to me. It is not an insult. That doesn't mean that your struggle isn't important to me. There are just other ways I will demonstrate that.

Our language has flaws. It has always been imprecise. We must do our best to communicate effectively, clearly, accurately prior to using language as a tool to show how nice we are.

Not too long ago I visited a drive-through and the person who handed me my lunch had the most beautiful appearance - in my own subjective view of course - that I have ever perceived at first sight. So beautiful. Stunning. Breath-taking. I was unnerved. It was almost tragic. I dearly wanted to linger and to ask this gorgeous creature if I could take them out for dinner. I wanted to know all about this person. I wanted to look at that face. I have no certainty if it was a girl or a boy under that hair and those clothes. If I had to bet I would say she was probably - either currently or originally - anatomically a boy but I really did not care. I did not want in her pants either way; only to bask in her light. This was a surprising experience. I never would have predicted this. And if we went to dinner I would not care what clothes or hair this person showed up in; which gender tradition they presented. I drove away feeling very very sad that such a joyful admiration could not be expressed because I was too scared to challenge our piece of shit societal expectations and superstitions.

Diversity is king.

Dress You Up

Help rescue LGBT+ students persecuted by Turkish police

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Keeping it in

Recently binged this Netflix serial The Keepers and it was a very tense and intriguing true crime deal featuring the catholic church, some scandal of the type you'd predict plus a whole lot more. It features some very sober; sometimes chilling perspectives on the proven phenomenon of repressed memory.

Recently I witnessed something which led me to look at another form of repression; clearly related. I won't go into that directly but instead offer a more simple example to follow.

What I realized is that when the mind represses certain thoughts (current; not memories) from surfacing because they are... too dangerous to immediately contemplate it might not be able to remove the reaction to them; the pain, but merely to delay it.

Take a look at this video: a well-meaning and perhaps misguided attempt at fun by loving parents who think they understand their child and probably don't always. They are perhaps tickled at the tears of joy they produced in their boy's eyes, without realizing that these are actually tears of pain which only manifested after it was finally safe to let them out. Meaning: The pain was delayed and muted but not fully extinguished. The source of the pain is the sudden irrational fear that he may not be loved - or loved sufficiently, which is, again, probably never fully appreciated consciously, but enough to manifest a shadow of despair which is only freely felt once he perceives it was a false alarm.

Boys Don't Cry

Save some bees. You know it's them that feed you eh?

Sunday, November 08, 2020


I was thinking about empathy and was suddenly surprised I had not considered something before: That the development of this capacity to generate feelings spawned by another person's experience and not our own - should hardly be surprising; that this capacity and the capacity to appreciate our own experience may in fact be nearly - or else exactly - the same thing.

Identity is a strange thing and largely warped from illusion. I must wonder if feeling something for our own self is (at least for empaths) in fact just empathy - because a human being is not a solitary party. The conscious and extinctive minds are not the same thing and are (I'm inclined to say "in fact") so obviously separate that they must communicate (or more likely eavesdrop) in dreams. 

We do know for fact that the brain is a collection of agencies which lack a stable hierarchy. They have to send communications back and forth.

I know that when I feel strong emotions (good, bad or neither precisely) in regards to my own experience it feels very much like an empathetic experience because I rarely feel much liability if any. It's merely the context which moves me.

I mentioned this to the Eloquent Potter - that I wondered if empathy and attached feelings were in essence the same thing and he seemed to agree. He claimed that empathy was in fact egotistical in nature. I see the point. Common empaths are not psychics. We don't actually feel another's feelings. We feel our own but which are stimulated by the ponderance of another's experience as we interpret it, no matter how close or far we are from the mark.

"Egotistical" sounds like a harsh criticism when I think of some empaths. One dear friend who identifies as such seems never to look down on those she empathizes with but in fact seems to suffer for her gift often more than the actual sufferer does. In fact there are infrequent occasions where I will withhold from her my own unfortunate experience because I feel certain she will hurt for it much more than I am! I'm talking about Dog Whisperer and I freely name her because credit is due. I know she is sincere in her empathetic offerings. She regularly handles her own suffering as well as that of others with generous grace and aplomb. There's a good soul in that woman and I hope she knows it.

Ganges Delta Blues

Tell Biden we don't need another pipeline at an extraordinary expense to the biosphere

Saturday, November 07, 2020

Out-foxing youtube

Here are three little improvements in my life right now besides the solid health enterprise: I'm blogging fairly regularly. I'm exploring music regularly on Spotify. Music that is new to me along with dear old songs from the past that did not make it in to my personal collection as yet. And three: I'm putting a social consciousness to work much more regularly. And as a bonus the mindcrack addiction is a little more under control.

As you can see I've been folding this recipe together with useful petitions at the end of my posts. These are worthwhile movements which I have supported with an easy few clicks of a button.

The youtube links are songs which I have listened to recently on Spotify and which lyrically say at least a little about a subject at hand.

If you're following the links and getting ads then please make that stop. My method is by using Firefox browser and employing a Firefox add-on ad-blocker. If you have any trouble finding or downloading this excellent free add-on please leave a comment and I will post precise instructions! 

Shock the Monkey

Save forests and caribou

Wednesday, November 04, 2020

My dreams of you

The last four dreams I've had which were recalled by waking memory were all dreams of old friends: writers, gaming buddies and such loved ones as Earth Writer, Aqualad and Dog Whisperer. Covid has insidiously revealed, to my surprise, a capacity for loneliness.

Some friends (and family) I may have inadvertently alienated long before.

Facebook had become a force of unbearable toxicity to me and in a period of desperation, when it had become a source of anguish to my troubled sensitivities, I began severing connections. Stupidly; very very stupidly, I unfriended those who were avenues to subject matter I could no longer bear to think about. There were such better logistical solutions to deal with that but I was not very savvy at the time, and somehow did not consider that I might be insulting them. I had no such intention. Before long I realized my mistake and was too cowardly to go around apologizing. And a short time later I just left facebook altogether, which probably should have been my initial act.

But later the new "Scooterville Tigers" Marketing and Media gig seemed to necessitate that I embrace all social media and so I returned. Since then I have learned how to use facebook more positively, sparingly and safely.

It's November and NaNoWriMo has begun, hampered of course by the pandemic. My world now is small. My confidence is small. Health recovery is my only real bag. Commitments outside of that would be monstrously daunting. One step at a time.

But my thoughts are joyfully with writer pals this month and I hope to do some vicarious living through them, and one such friend is Sick Boy; a victim of my facebook purge. I don't know how well apologies might be received, but if you're reading this, Sick Boy. I hope you are still running the HamNaNo group. I will be coming around online to say Hi to everyone; not to participate though, and for what its worth, I love you and I miss you. And I'm very sorry.


Help 4-yr old Daksh be reunited with his Canadian-resident parents

Tuesday, November 03, 2020


I need to shower. I need to brush my teeth. I needed to get the bins out for collection day and didn't. I desperately need to go get groceries. I need to do laundry and other neglected chores around the house.

There is no sign that any of these things will happen. They all involve some pain. Some just a little and some a lot. I have no courage today. I am not at peace with discomfort today. I'm trapped in bed.

I forgot to take my pill two nights in a row. This is probably why.

My housemate tells me to ask for help when I need it but for some reason I don't.

I chatted with an excellent friend online moments ago and her problems are surprising similar to mine in places. She tells me I find it hard to ask for help.

Do I? I was not aware of that. I really don't know if that's true. But today I am happy for online communication.

Take a pill, Rich. Ask for a sandwich. Start getting your shit together again. Go East. One step back. Two steps forward.

Draggin' the Line

Stop cellphone price-gouging