How My Breast Milk Fetish Went Sour

How My Breast Milk Fetsih Went Sour

Even in my earliest memories I can recall being pretty obsessed with breasts. I was a toddler tit connoisseur, able to distinguish between shape, size, firmness and placement far beyond the abilities of my peers. Yet I cannot remember being breastfed, or if that was still going on by the time I had developed my particular must for bust. Shortly before she died I finally came clean to my mother about my ‘lifestyle’ in hopes that she could provide some clue as to how things turned out the way they did for me. She said she had breastfed me until I was a year old and then weaned normally. Yet a year later when I saw her breastfeeding my baby sister, she says, I became outraged with envy and had to be out of site whenever future feedings occurred lest I throw a spasmodic tantrum.

For most of my early childhood it was just the jugs that got me going. Then when I was ten I went on a visit with my mother to a her friends house. This was the first time I had ever met the woman and it was the first time that I ever fell in love. She was the most beautiful person I had ever seen. And on top of that she had the most perfect breasts I had ever yet laid eyes upon. Every detail about those globes was absolutely perfect. They were a masterpiece in every conceivable way. The advantage of being ten is that you can blend into the background and stare without being noticed, and I sat there for an hour pretending to be reading comic books while taking in every glorious breath and subsequent upheavals of those marvelous mounds.

And then the single most formative moment of my life occurred. From afar a baby cries out, and mom’s friend shuffles off, returning a moment later with her bundle of joy. She sits back down and pulls one of those epic melons out right before my eyes, exposing her nipple (my Holy Grail at the time) and teasing it into that blessed newborns little mouth. I glance over at my mom, just as she glances questioningly and a bit nervous at me, and I pretend to go back to my comic book. Yet I cannot help but to stare raptly, no longer capable of any stealth pretense, so my mother politely suggests I should go outside and see if there are any children my age in the neighborhood. Awed and embarrassed I am unable to argue or shrug her suggestion aside, so I head outside and climb the first tree I can get myself up into.

As I sat there splayed out in the branches I had the most intimate moments of my life. I imagined myself as that lucky little baby, slurping freely from that monumental mammalia, while the entire world around me became whiteness and warmness and a song that cannot be heard except as gentle vibrations tracing the furthest reaching tendrils of my entire soul simultaneously. Heaven.

On the way home my mom asked me if I understood what I had seen. I told her I ‘kinda’ did and she gave me a simple run down on the mechanics and psychology mother’s milk. And even though I was still reeling in a haze of newfound love, I can remember every word she said to this day.


My fascination soon became fetish, even before the throes of puberty. Yet these desires remained my own private fantasy for several more years, which in retrospect, was the golden age of my compulsion. It was only when I eventually tried to act these fantasies out in real life that things became complicated and painful.
Thankfully I came of age during the time of the internet. Finding a partner to indulge my fantasies was not always easy, but it was far less difficult than most of the actual encounters themselves. I would put out ads detailing my kink, although I never thought of it as anything less than beautiful and wholesome myself, and would generally get a reply once a month or so. Only about half of these ended in me guzzlin’ jugs, and almost all of them ended in complete disaster.

With few exceptions the women who I hooked up with were young single mothers desperate to attract a partner to help them through the struggles of parenthood and life. And while it generally all began as an agreement for discrete occasional encounters, it always eventually came down to my partner wanting to “pursue the relationship further”. A few times I actually tried this, but as the relationship progressed, the expectation that I would wean off my fixation ultimately ended the relationship before I ever even got to the moving in together phase. That is, until I met Victoria.

From the moment I met her I could tell that there was something off about her. First of all, she was far more attractive than the vast majority of women who I hooked up with. Which made her apparent attraction to me mind-boggling. Her vigilance to visual perfection extended to every inch of her perfectly sculpted and groomed body. She had a face of eternal youth, a little girls coy smile on a sex goddesses face. Framed by the most beautiful wavy blue black hair you have ever seen, which accompanied her porcelain skin tone highlighted by only the most gentle brushes of pink. And her breasts…

Victoria had breasts that could start an apocalypse or bring world peace and end hunger. Maybe even all on the same day and in any order. There is no way to describe them. If I tried to put into words the perfection they encompassed, even if I achieved the highest possible form of descriptive compliment, I could still only manage to convey only a fraction of their globular glory. But how and why they were so perfect was a flaw I would not understand fully until it was far too late.

She came from your average American town. The kind small enough to have just one high school, but big enough to have over a half dozen fast food joints on the main strip. Her whole life she had been everyone’s princess, despite having been born on the wrong side of the tracks in a below average family. She was charming, congenial, witty and clever – on top of beautiful. Everyone loved her, but nobody loved her more than she did herself. As her body blossomed into that of a young woman her breasts seemed to hit a growth standstill, just shy of her minimum expectations for their development. Despite the fact that she was considered perfect in almost every conceivable way to everybody else who knew her, she came to view this shortchanging of the bra as an unfathomable slight against her by all of existence. She was, she reckoned, one cup size short of total perfection and thus – completely flawed. In her last few years of high school her insecurities led her to experiment with promiscuity, although she always chose older men for one night stands out of discretion and decorum. That is, until senior prom.

Despite her growing anxieties about her perceived flaw, she was voted Prom Queen, just as everybody she had ever met knew she would be since the first time they met her. She was born prom queen material, and destiny owed that to her, regardless of her incompetent mammary glands. On this night she made an exception to her ‘no romance with peer’s rule and went as the date of the boy in her class who was crowned king. They then went out together for the rest of the school year, and on the night before graduation, she let him fuck her. It was uncomfortable and boring and would change the rest of her life.

As everyone else was heading off to college, she got got an apartment in a town a county away and took a job as secretary at a printing company. Shortly after her ‘king’ had marched off to four years in a frat house, she began to show. He never had any idea, as he had broken up with her a few weeks after she became pregnant because, “You know, it’s college, babe. I’ll never forget you.”

While her body began to swell to accommodate the child growing inside her, so did her breasts. She would come home from work after a long day and stand topless in the mirror scrutinizing them for new growth, and partially out of fear that they would engorge themselves unequally and she would become loptitted. She spent a small fortune on oils and creams and support bras, and as those little b-cups transformed themselves into firm, plump c+cups, she fell in love.

After she gave birth she was vigilant about getting back into shape, and soon her body was more curvy and toned than it had ever been before. So long as she breast fed, her hooters remained in that perfect pristine state. They were the only thing that had ever been missing, and so long as she could keep them, she could be happy. Her, her beautiful baby boy and her glorious gazongas; she could live with that. So she vowed to herself and whatever powers the universe might behold that she would breastfeed as long as she could.


When Victoria responded to my ad her son Merrick was five years old and just getting ready to go to kindergarten. Despite the fact that neither of them were willing or emotionally ready to end what had already gone on too long, she knew it had to be done. She found another mouth to suck and began weaning the child. When I first came into their life this change had thrown them into absolute dysfunction. Both of them waged an emotional war against each other that will likely last the rest of their live, but in the beginning it was especially bad.

It was not that I did not notice the insanity I had walked into, I had seen it clearly from the very first step. But Victoria’s breasts were so absolutely perfect that nothing could have dragged me away from them. On top of this I reasoned that things would eventually even out and I would be living my lifelong dream. And as time went on, it sometimes seemed things might turn out that way.

After about a year and a half of 2-3 feedings on the world’s greatest fun bags, things suddenly took a turn for the worse. One night while we were up watching television and I was helping myself to a late night snack, Merrick woke up and caught us in the act. It was the first time he had ever seen me foraging from his former source of ambrosia, and it did not go well. He jumped on me and began screaming and swinging and kicking and biting and clawing. It was total rage and before I could make it stop without hurting the kid, I was bleeding from a dozen places.

The result of this was that Victoria took Merrick to see a therapist. However when the boy revealed his story, the therapist told Victoria that she was likely the source of his troubles and would need to seek therapy herself if he was ever going to get better. So she did. But the therapist continuously told her that nothing would get better until she let go of her attachment to her breasts and keeping them up with lactation spurred by sexual encounters. She became sullen, depressed, angry and bitter. I could taste the milk in her turn sour as her inner struggle tore her apart. On one hand, she loved her son and wanted the very best for him, but on the other she loved her breasts more than anything she had ever loved about herself. Not only would quitting now mean they would lose volume, the years of breastfeeding would likely leave them deflated like grocery bags filled partially with lumpy stew. Yet fake boobies were never an option, as they had always been a deadly sin in her book of bodily perfection. She was not ready to face the eventual demise of her bosoms prime, and so things went on between us awhile longer.

One day as Merrick was supposed to be outdoors playing, I latched on for a little taste. As the warm drug slid down my throat I lost track of my surroundings. I did not notice that Victoria had fallen asleep to the sound of my gentle suckling, nor that the boy had quietly returned as I lay there sipping ecstatically, almost full and to the point of orgasm. I had no idea until the scissors punctured my left buttock halfway to the handle. My shrieking sent the boy scattering and his mother flew to her feet joining me in audio histrionics, as I ran around in circles like a madman trying to get a closer look at the damage. And that is the last thing I remember before losing consciousness and waking up later in the hospital.

The damage was minimal. I had fainted out of revulsion, horror and fright. The next morning I still had not heard from Victoria, and I was okay with that. A nurse said I should try to take a short walk if I was up to it, and I was. I strolled around the hospital and ended up in the maternity ward. As I looked into those little faces with their little puckered mouths I felt an overwhelmingly ethereal sense of shame and disgust, but only with myself.

I tried to calm myself by imagining my moms friends tits, those perfect proto-hooters of my life’s lust, but as I did I felt nothing. Going through a lifetime catalog of picture perfect memories of mammaries, I was left cold and empty. When I tried to imagine the slow trickle of earthy sweet warmth in my mouth from Nobel-worthy nipples, nothing within me stirred.

At first I panicked. I returned to my room and told the nurse my walk had prompted lots of pain, and was able to coerce her into a nice dose of drugs to calm me. I went over it again and again but my lifelong obsession was now just a distant memory. When I got out, I immediately broke it off with Victoria and we have never spoken since. (I later heard she married a car dealership owner and former high school quarterback and prom king, and Merrick became a cross between a Brony and a Juggalo, which enraged his stepdad to no end.)


Over the next days, weeks and months I came to find freedom in the release from my fetish. I could walk down the street and gander at the most marvelous racks and not feel a single thing, not even a sliver of that ancient thirst. Eventually I was sure that I was free at last and tested myself by watching several nights worth of breastfeeding videos online without even a slight stirring.

As this happened, I also began to notice things about women I never had. Or at least I began to notice differences between them that had never occurred to me in my narrow-minded obsession with breasts. For instance, I never realized how certain voices were more attractive than others, or how a balance of confidence and coyness could turn the mere act of walking into a show of unlimited seduction. I noticed this and hundreds of things that had never occurred to me before. And so the time came when I decided to try dating like a ‘normal’ human.

I wasted a whole year around bars and other pick up spots, but this turned out not to be my style. Eventually I tried online dating sites, but there was some ineffable quality about the women I met there I could not put my finger on, but which left me feeling these were souls even more desperate than I. At the same time I had noticed that I had become almost immune to arousal. Where once a few sips of chest nectar would excite me to the point of orgasm, I had not so much as had an erection in months. I even tried several kinds of porn, but nothing fanned my flames. I dismissed this as the need to make a real connection with a real woman, and not as some terrible harbinger. So I redoubled my efforts.

One day I was at a diner reading the newspaper when I came across a personals ad that seemed promising. The paper belonged to the diner but the waitress said that it would be okay if I wanted to snip a bit out, and ran off to grab me scissors. Scissors. The word lept electric into my mind. Scissors. Waves of potential ecstasy rolled wildly just under the surface of my whole being. Scissors. My erection threatened to bust out of my pants and overturn the table. If not, I would have gotten up. I would have ran. I would not have been there when the waitress got back. But I was, and as she handed me those scissors my entire body convulsed and I let out a low guttural moan and my eyes must have rolled a dozen times backward into my head as I sat there sputtering in horrified delight at whatever had just happened.

Scissors.

Coming soon – Part II: How My Scissor Fetish Went Dull In the Hands of A Racist Barber

Packaged Death: The Perils of Mindless Consumerism

packaging

I spend quite a bit of time writing about the problems of philosophical materialism, that is, the idea that the universe is essentially nothing but matter from which consciousness just emerged out of dumb luck. While some people dismiss these concerns, not because they support philosophical materialism but because they think it is a non-issue, ideologies tend to bleed into cultural landscapes in ways that create issues we can all understand to some degree. The idea that existence is nothing more than a collection of interacting objects, a swirling cosmic mass of thing debris, empowers an ideology that only material goods can make our lives meaningful. This cultural obsession of mindless mass consumption is itself often called materialism, and it is a threat to human values and environment alike.

This kind of materialism has littered our psychic lexicon with status symbols, unhealthy attachments to objects and greed. It reduces day to day living into a maze of desperate economic activity. It enslaves us to a lifetime of meaningless employment we then justify by a misplaced pride in the size of our cage and how much booty we have dragged back to it. It has led to an economy of planned obsolescence and symbol over substance, while it instigates the vestigial evolutionary instinct that MORE IS BETTER!

One of the ways that ‘more is better’ plays out is not even in the actual consumer goods we purchase, but in the needlessly bold packaging of them that we justify with misguided notions of quality, safety and convenience. Manufacturers use excessive packaging for many reasons. They use them to protect their goods from the environment and as a simple precaution against damage during transport. Yet even these reasons cannot explain the hyperbole with which we package our goods, and the bigger culprit here is marketing. Consumer goods marketers look at flashy packaging as adding appeal and value to their products. A gaudy toy with no real play value can be wrapped in a plastic shell that gives it the appearance of being the most fun thing a child will ever own. After all, it must be great, or why would they put so much effort into packaging it?

Although safety and product protection are legitimate concerns, the ways in which they are addressed is often predicated on faulty thinking. Where hard plastic shells are made to protect goods from shipping turbulence and deter theft, the same things can be accomplished with reusable packaging supplies and clever retail displays. Safety is generally the reasoning given for the excessive packaging of food items. But locally sourced foods and careful storage and handling can do more for safety than any amount of packaging can, the number of regulations requiring certain types and amounts of packaging leads to mountains of unnecessary waste. And industrial farming practices mean our foods must travel long distances over long amounts of time. The amount of packaging in a fast food meal, from farm to table, far exceeds the mass of the meal itself.

And yet it is not just regulatory systems and industry that is to blame. The consumer, for their part, continues the legacy of waste in their own insistence that everything is packaged for their maximum convenience.

If you have ever worked in retail you know exactly what I am talking about. In my own retail experience I have seen people justify their own mindless excess on countless occasions. I have sold items the size of a cigarette box that the customer insisted they needed the large plastic bag with handles on it because that would make it easier to carry. How hard was it to carry without that? Is this a real concern that justifies another link in a chain of endless waste? I have heard customers explain that they needed a bag for a single durable item for the most mindless and bizarre reasons imaginable. I have sold people backpacks or other bags that they then wanted me to put inside of another disposable bag. I have received requests for point of sale packaging from folks who were buying a small item with the word ‘pocket’ right in its name. There is no end to the frivolous justifications for waste I have encountered in my lengthy retail experience.

Yet there is one packaging request I find more aggravating than all of the rest, and that is gift wrapping. It is not even that gift wrapping creates large amounts of waste relative to other over-packaging concerns, but more that it bespeaks the compulsive mindless culture of excess in all of its most ignorant and unexamined ways. From what I can tell there are two reasons to have a gift wrapped that make even an inkling of sense, and they are:

  • To store a gift in plain sight over an extended period of time, like a present that sits under the Christmas tree tantalizingly for weeks before it can be opened, adding value to the gift via an element of restrained curiosity fulfillment.
  • For the person giving the gift to say to the person receiving it, “Hey, I spent a long time choosing just the right gift for you, and then more time meticulously wrapping it and decorating it to show you how much you mean to me.”

When you rush into a store and buy a gift at the last minute and then make the sucker behind the counter spend excess time on your purchase by wrapping it for you, what that gift now says is, “Here, I fulfilled the symbolic gestures I am culturally bound to abide, now can I be done here?” That kind of compulsive consumerist gifting is less a way of honoring people than it is crossing them off your list so you can get back to consuming for yourself. It is lazy, thoughtless and carries a hint of insult and mockery with it.

I am not sure if the climate has been altered by human activities or not. While I suspect that it is possible, I also know that environmental alarmism has been used as a tool by the most environment-damaging industrialists as a way of selling legislative gambits that actually benefit the worst exploiters of our planet without causing any meaningful paradigm shift that realistically addresses the potential issues. What I do know for certain is that you don’t shit where you eat. There is an entire continent of human-created waste afloat in the Pacific ocean. The entire face of the planet is covered in the debris-wake of human consumerism. Even the most remote areas of the world contain evidence of humanities excessive consumption cycles. And at the same time, we have tore up the face of the planet to gather the resources lying beneath in ways that are both unsustainable and potentially disastrous at this rate. This old world may be pretty tough, but it may not be tough enough to weather our arrogant abuse of it indefinitely. Everything has its limits.

Packaging reduction alone will not save us from the potential consequences of reckless unexamined materialism, but it is a good place to start. It represents some of the most mindless and excessive exploitation of earths resources, and an awareness of the issues and concerns involved of that could beneficially bleed into our materialism problem in general. And while I also believe that post-scarcity technologies could free us from this destructive path, and that our world is more than just an object and could potentially be restored through humanities conscious willpower, we are not there yet. To get to our next stage of evolution we might have to recognize and correct our current follies. Being mindful of the bigger picture and how everything in the world is connected to everything else in some complex way is definitely part of that evolutionary process. A great place to begin changing our perspective and habits could be as simple as considering the folly of mindless consumerism at the most basic level by unpacking our pointless predilection for excessive packaging.

Hating the Hateful – A Vicious Cycle of Hate

vicious cycle of hate

As the upcoming elections have ramped up the hyperbole of our cultural dialogues, hate seems to be flying in all directions. Donald Trump, who is likely just using hate speech to get elected, has nonetheless created a situation through his troublesome rhetoric. His spoken racism, nationalism and xenophobia have stirred the pot of human emotions into a frenzy. Where the hateful sediment had been sinking to the bottom of our society for quite some time, it has been freshly stirred up and is making its rounds through the entire social strata again.

It would be tiresome to explain here why these hateful ideologies are wrong. Even bigots know at some level that their hatred is wrong, both intellectually and emotionally. This is why they usually hide it. What worries me is not the traditional small-minded prejudice of rural simpletons or organized hate groups. They are a known commodity that have mostly been tamed through disenfranchisement. What bothers me is the growing amounts of hate directed at these people by socially liberal people who consider their own hatred superior and justified.

A rabid and militant anti-hate movement is spreading across the country. Its flames are fanned by unrecognized irony and unexamined hypocrisies. It is itself a hate group, wearing a halo, while using the same notions of purity espoused by every hate group before it. It is comprised of people who consider themselves to be compassionate, understanding and accepting of others, yet who make threats of violence against their ideological opponents. Fighting hate with hate is not just unreasonable, it is creating a vicious cycle.

Most peoples latent racism is only dangerous in the sense that it breeds apathy for social issues. It mostly lies dormant where it can do no real harm. But when the rhetoric on race reaches the level of public screaming match, these folks often feel forced to pick a side. And unfortunately, this often leads them into a genuine deliberate racism they were not capable of before. Racism had become mostly taboo. Its death was predicated on the fact that even where it existed, it feared show its face. But when hates collide, and genuine racists come out of the woodwork, folks feel more emboldened to act on their own latent tendencies. The ironic hatred against bigots has given them a greater voice, and helps them to unite. Hate on hate breeds more hate.

To be clear, most of this hate of hate is happening to those who identify with liberal politics. These are the champions of equality. Yet in the last several years we have seen their camp ridden with a powerful prejudice in the form of Islamophobia. The talking heads of mainstream liberal politics like Bill Maher have gone out of their way to stir up hatred and xenophobia against Islam. And while this was all mostly tolerated by liberals, even if begrudgingly, the same folks are now coming out of their silent corners to attack the same hatred and xenophobia in their political opponents. And so we can see that the Us-vs-Them seems to have more bearing on this effect than does genuine concern about hatred. Yet that sort of thinking is precisely what every form of bigotry ever has been predicated upon. You cannot reserve your intolerance for hatred until the other team has the ball, and still be taken seriously as an advocate for tolerance.

Tolerance is a key concept. It is where the haters of haters have failed and fallen victim to the same instinctual urges of all bigots. The inability to tolerate bigots and to try to understand them has led to this. Yet that is precisely what we need. Hating the hateful just reinforces their hate, while validating and justifying hatred itself as an acceptable reaction to other kinds of people. Nobody became a racist, xenophobic nationalist in a vacuum. Nobody was born that way. That hatred has a genesis, and by looking for it we might be able to root it out in the individuals harboring it. First you must be compassionate enough to realize that hate is a painful burden to carry, and seek not to fight it, but to heal it.

Some people learned hate from their families. Some picked it up through negative experiences. Others have absorbed it through cultural dialogues. When we refuse or fail to understand a persons hatred, we are powerless to help them rid themselves of it, and understanding is not possible without some amount of acceptance. We must accept that the path to hatred was a meaningful experience to the individual. That is where we begin to tackle intolerance and wipe out hate. Dislodging hate will not happen through battles, but through therapeutic means. So if you really want to end hatred, do not adopt its techniques. Find someone who is full of hate. Listen to them. Accept them and try to understand them. And when doing so has earned you their trust and respect, take the opportunity to guide them using reason and compassion away from their own toxic hatreds.

This is how we conquer hatred, not with a bang, but with friendly conversations. It will not be a quick or easy process. Nothing worthwhile ever is. But it will be worthwhile. Let us expel hatred from the pool of humanity gently, without stirring the remaining parts back up in the process. Hate against hate is not just self-righteous hypocrisy, it is a producer of newer and ever-growing amounts of hatred. To stop the vicious cycle we must tame our response to hate and not be led by the same emotional/reactionary momentum that hate itself is predicated upon. Hate cannot destroy hate, only peaceful resolution through acceptance, tolerance, understanding and therapeutic removal can ever lead our species into harmony.

To the World, I Died Long Ago, But Today I Say Goodbye (With Audio Version)

i died long ago

Childhood is a cruelty nobody should have to bear in these short lives we live. Mine was worse than most. Things were bad, I mean REALLY bad. I just wanted to hide, to escape. But wherever I went the adults found me and the cruelty continued. When I realized I could not get away I tried to become somebody who just didn’t care. I built a new me, one who could deal with all of the things that I could not. The new me kept me safe. I gave up more and more of myself all of the time just to feel that comfort and security, even if it was a lie. Before long I gave up so much of myself that I began to disappear into the new me. One day I found that I no longer existed. I was just a spider caught in its own cobweb in the corner of the new me’s mind.

I mostly forgot that I existed. But whenever new me, which I will call Hector, got scared or encountered an extreme situation or feeling, I would find myself rising back up to the surface. Hector developed some bad habits as an adult. The methamphetamines he took gave me a glimpse of the outer world that he lived in. I became desperate to look outside again. When Hector would try to clean himself up I would whisper to him from the corner of his own mind, urging him to get high. When he would stay awake for days he became so weak that I was able to take over our body for brief moments. During those times I began to want to come back, to take over and be in full control of us again. But Hector, as always, was stronger. He beat the drugs and in the process pushed me back into my little darkened corner, where I became trapped like a prisoner of the mind. Even worse, he never knew he was doing it, or noticed that I still existed.

In fact, Hector became stronger than ever. After a period of incarceration for the weaknesses I took advantage of, he was back in full control. His new resolve gave him the strength to fight against oppression, a state our memories would not tolerate in his world. He became an activist. In fighting the demons of the world, he became stronger than I could ever hope to break through. And then one day almost a month ago, something changed.

There was another activist, a man named Alex Walsh, who lived not a few hours drive from here. He had been making some bizarre claims online about a conspiracy to discredit and kill him. Nobody took him too seriously, until one day he showed up dead. He had shot himself, and set his house on fire, or at least that is what the authorities and mainstream media said happened. But to Hector, this was more than just coincidence. Alex had been killed by those whom he had warned everybody who would listen, were trying to kill him. Whether Alex was the victim of a conspiracy or a desperate suicide, I will never know. Yet Hector’s certainty triggered a paranoia the likes of which I had never seen him experience. His fears became so profound that for the first time in years, I was able to rise back up out of my corner. Within a few days of his uncontrollable fear, the very thing I had created him to be immune to, he became weak. And that is when I started wrestling away more control.

Hector’s greatest weakness is that he had been created solely to deny fear, not accept or face it. When he found a thing to fear that he thought he could not deny, it wasn’t hard to help push him further in that direction. The more afraid he was, the more control I gained over our body. Soon I was taking it over for long stretches, mostly when he thought he was sleeping. I was not satisfied with having control of our body in that tired state he surrendered it to me in. So one night when he thought he was sleeping, I scored some methamphetamines so that I could feel awake and alert when our body was all mine. As the paranoia over Alex’s death mixed with the meth and lack of sleep, the people closest to Hector suspected our drug usage, though he was unaware it was happening. Even while feeling the effects, he could not admit their influence, because he was certain he had not used them. Once I lost control before I could hide my drugs and he found them in our backpack. I thought that would be the beginning of the end of me, but his paranoia convinced him that the drugs had been planted.

This was the point that he became certain that someone or someones were out to get him. His cautious paranoia became a certainty. The lost time he was experiencing when I took over created situations that he could not explain, and so slowly, he began constructing narratives to accommodate them. I watched these narratives unfold and tried to figure out a way that I could exploit them to gain total control of our body after all of these years.

One day we were standing in a parking lot and I was able to force myself to the surface. I remained there just long enough for the scene to change before he came back. What stood out in his mind were the extra cars in the lot and the increased traffic. He began to fixate on cars and I took advantage of this. From within I pushed him to find connections. When I gained control at home, usually when he thought he was sleeping, I began to fill our mind full of conspiracy theories from the internet. Slowly they began seeping through the thin partition between us and he was compelled to find this information ‘on his own’. I did everything I could to reinforce these theories, in hopes that I could vanquish him and have us all back to myself. When I saw that a local group of Satanists were attempting to hijack a city council meeting for some bizarre social experiment, I seized onto an idea. It didn’t take long before he caught a glimpse of the news, but from within I distorted it and made it seem far more sinister. It did the trick. He was now convinced, thanks to the ideas that I had been planting, that a gang of Satanists were stalking him for some ultimate maligned purpose.

What happened next surprised even me. When he began to publicly reveal his delusions, he was encouraged by others sharing similar paranoid ideologies. His certainty blossomed faster than I could have imagined or hoped. It was no longer necessary for me to feed him the fear from within, as he was now so ingrained in his narrative that he was immune to reason. Those who tried to talk him down became ‘conspirators’ themselves and everything that happened became some kind of verification for his complex web of paranoia.

One night he contacted a pair of fairly well known activist to listen to his tale. He spent hours telling his story through fever pitched anxiety, and they seemed to be listening, maybe even believing him, or so he thought. After his tale one of them tried to convince him to get help dealing with the anxiety and stress this was causing him. From within, I could see the lie. He was trying to trick Hector into discovering his delusions. He was trying to manipulate him through false support into going to those who might be able to vanquish the delusions that would be my victory. I felt Hector pulling away, giving into some doubt, and considering the advice. I screamed from within, “He is one of them! He is trying to get you to give up, to fail, to die!” When that worked, I knew I would soon have control again after all of these years.

I did learn something from that experience, though. I learned that he believed he ‘knew’ how he would die. Hector thought that he would either be killed by a speeding car that made it look like an accident, or that he would be gunned down by police trying to capture him on behalf of the worldwide Satanist organization that was out to get him. I took every chance I could to reinforce these beliefs. The more I pushed them, the weaker he got, and the closer I got to taking over. But pushing his buttons constantly was bleeding into my own mental state, so I tried being more subtle and letting the crazy colleagues he had acquired reaffirm his fears, while he traveled down a rabbit hole of information that did the same.

Unexpectedly, as he became less frantic and more stoically certain, I was better able to take control at will. Fear had gone as far as it was able to take me, until I was able to deliver the final crushing blow. And so I also became more relaxed. I spent the time I had controlling our body leaving puzzle pieces for the final picture, but also trying to enjoy the life I would soon have all to myself once again. As I struggled to find that joy, I came up continuously empty handed. So far had I been removed from the pleasures of life in all of those years of isolation, that I didn’t even know where to find joy, and I was not sure I would recognize it if I did.

There was some comfort in the cartoons I had watched as a child, before I created Hector, as they had been my original escape. But soon even those became empty. At first I had enjoyed the meth I was secretly feeding our body, but in short order that too became a nowhere place. The family that was once mine were now distant strangers. They were his family. The pleasures I had peeked at from the corner of our mind were also his, and they brought me no comfort, no joy, nothing. The closer I got to having my life back, the less I wanted it.

When I thought of all the things that made me want my life back they were his things. They were his experiences and accomplishments and joys. I had mistaken the envy I experienced from the corner of our mind as desire. Yet once I was free to act on my own desires, I found that I had none. I had no meaning and no purpose. I had died long ago. I was a memory that refused to quit. A ghost in Hector’s consciousness.

I began to step back, to relinquish control. I retreated back to that corner in the hopes that I could feed from the experiences of his life again. But it was too late. I had ruined his life. I had pushed him so far away from his own sanity that he was just as broken as I was when I created him in the first place. So here we were, two people in one mind and one body, neither able to appreciate it. The momentum was too great. His paranoid certainty had closed every loop and became an airtight narrative outlining his own eventual demise. And the only thing worse than the outcome I had helped conjure up in his imagination, dying at the hands of the illusory forces he was certain were out to get him, was for both of us to endure these fears for days, weeks, months and years to come.

This life, that I have not even been living for a very long time, is now too much to bear. For either of us. Hector will not end it, he cannot, I made sure of that. It is up to me to free us both from this hell. I will not destroy his delusions before I end it all. They are all he has left. He will die with the courage and dignity that I have never had in life, to fight with all of his might, even though the forces he battles are all make believe. I leave this letter for his family and his friends. I have nobody. I am nobody. May you remember him kindly. May you remember him as he was before his fear gave me the chance to ruin everything. The man you have encountered recently is not the one you have known for all those years. He is a mockery of that man, a ruination built on the foundations of my weaknesses and my lies and my fears.

To the world, I died long ago, but today I say goodbye. If the car that I step in front of doesn’t kill us, then the cops who try to drag us into the loony bin afterwards will. I will be certain of that, that they do their part, not as though its hard to do these days. By the time you find this, it will be too late. Blame me if you will. Hate me. But please, do not blame Hector for what I have recently done, and what I am about to do.

The Cult of Niceness

cult of niceness

The Cult of Niceness is an umbrella term that I use to describe many different behaviors and ideas. I first noticed the problem when I was only a child. Observing adults I was able to notice that they sometimes put on an appearance of niceness in order to cloak some other agenda. I began to understand that ‘nice’ was sometimes just a deceptive ruse used to manipulate others in some way. Usually just to create an image of themselves for others who did not know them well enough to see through it. Other times it was in order to coerce people into thinking, saying or doing what they wanted thought, said or done.  I quickly noted that often the attempt to appear nice was actually just a form of passive aggressiveness that somehow worked, no matter how obvious the charade seemed to me. And I quickly refused to play into that disingenuine mindgame myself.

As a result people often think I am either an asshole, socially unrefined or both. Genuine authentic honesty is a virtue we all pay lip service to, but most people are repulsed when they actually encounter it. The very same qualities that would cause people to label me also made me immune to their classifications. Integrity and consistency generally only feel good to the person attaining them, and painful to those whose cognitive dissonance they incite. People will then push you to admit to some kind of self-loathing in order to gratify themselves, and if you do not concede they will tell you that you think you are better than them and everyone else. I have never been concerned with popularity contests or other competitions. I am not trying to be better than anyone else. I am trying to be the best possible me. Along the way I am trying to assist others in being the best possible selves they can be. I have a sneaking suspicion that the more we all improve ourselves, the more peaceful, harmonious and joyful the world we share will be. So I refuse to apologize for being who I am, even if you don’t like it, or if it makes you like yourself less.

The Cult of Niceness (CON) is predicated on peoples insecurities. It is self-doubt and existential malaise regurgitated in statements synonymous with suburban mommy talk. It is the special snowflake speech mounted on the hood of day-to-day life like cattle horns on an oil magnates Cadillac.  It is an attempt to be rewarded, validated and gratified for doing absolutely nothing deserving of those responses. The most insidious part being that not only is the behavior fake and deceptive, it also takes advantage of other peoples falsehoods and self-deception. People who like themselves do not feel the need to bully others into artificial niceties through such manufactured discrepancies. While everybody knows that the person the bully always loathes most is their self. And make no doubt, insisting that others perform the same CON roles that you are trapped in is just a form of social bullying.

Social media has, like it has with everything else, magnified this human weakness to stupendous proportions. The CON is what drives most online interactions. One of the most common behaviors that makes this apparent is the act of sharing self-deprecating thoughts in order to get rewarded, validated and gratified for an apparent act of humbleness that is actually just manipulative neediness. People will describe their weaknesses, failures or other unfavorable quirks in the hope that it will get them attention. They will self-loathe in order to fish out compliments. They will don a mask of vulnerability and timid dislike for themselves just so that others will respond to them in ways that help them identify themselves as superior to others. The CON has created an ideology that suggests that superiority comes in the form of humble self-deprecation. But oddly enough, only people who really do dislike themselves can be fooled into thinking that appearing to dislike themselves makes them better than everyone else.

Numerous messages online tell us that all we need is love and that if only we were all nice the world would be a perfect place. These oversimplistic reductionisms are dangerously ignorant. Not only because they deny the value humanity receives from a complex range of behaviors, but because they also suggest that niceness is a quality only measured in appearances. People do cruel things all of the time in order to achieve the most positive possible outcomes. If you have never hurt someones feelings with your honesty in order to save them an even greater pain, then you probably have never really loved somebody all that much. Friends and family members rely on one another to deliver harsh truths that would save them from entering treachery hiding in their own blind spots.

Given that our world has become riddled with so much conceptual ignorance, we have created great areas of blindness that threaten humanity at large. Pointing out the misconceptions and false premises that these blind spots are predicated on is itself a great kindness to our entire species. But when you fail to stroke peoples delusions or confirm their biases or point out all of this behavior their reaction is usually just to label you an asshole or as socially unrefined. By protecting themselves from the abrasive cognitive dissonance you would cause them in the name of niceness, people are poking holes in their own raft and calling it a waterpark. When people have more desire not to feel like they were wrong than they do to actually try and be right, it becomes impossible to reach them. The truth often does hurt, and those who put niceness before growing pains are wearing their ignorance with an idiots welcoming grin.

I am not just complaining about the CON because I find it distasteful. I am giving a dire warning about it because it is very important for a few different reasons. The first reason is that it is an affront to reason itself. The CON is one of the things which is contributing to the dumbing-down of humanity and ushering in the Idiocracy. The second reason is that we are entering an era of humanity that will center around the reputation of individuals. If the Reputation Economy of tomorrow is built upon the falsehoods and appearances of the CON, then we will be living in an Idiocracy in which everyone appears just as robotic, plasticine and saccharine sweet as The Stepford Wives. It will be a Nerf Hell or a Smile-Or-Die Dystopia. So my warning about this problem is not the revenge or ‘diss-track’ some people will think of it as, as they act out all of the ignorance I just warned against here. It is the solemn cautioning of a Trojan Horse at our gates. If we invite the CON into our lives because it sure does look pretty great on the outside, we are gonna be in for a big surprise when it starts unpacking its dangerous contents. Consider this a warning.

Just because I am suggesting that you do not take part in compulsive and coercive niceness does not mean that I endorse its opposite, compulsive and coercive assholery. Sometimes being an asshole, or doing things you know will get you labeled as one, is the course of action that will lead to the best outcomes for all. But doing it compulsively and as an act of senseless aggression is really just the same problem. The world has no shortage of people who are assholes just for sport. The internet is full of these people. This is not the opposite of the CON, it is just the other side of the same bad coin. Trying to exploit peoples weakness by provoking an emotional response just to reward, gratify or validate ones self is a giant pitfall we must avoid if we don’t wish to lead others over the edge of sanity like intellectual lemmings.

The CON is a dangerous social precedent to set. It is a falsehood of appearances with all of the philosophical complexity of a big purple dinosaur singing songs to children. It is important not to tread on the feelings of others for no good reason, but sometimes there are good reasons, and other times you cannot help how other will emotionally respond. Yet we cannot protect our Feelz to such a degree that it allows us to remain in ignorance to the extent that our species devolves intellectually in the process. Try to be nice when it is appropriate, but you are under no obligation to smile and nod bobble-headedly in the affirmative when the CON asks you to try their kool aid.

Discussing Discordiansm With A Crude Artificial Intelligence

click to read
click to read

It has been awhile since I did any BotLit Fiction, a new genre of literature I created awhile back. Since it is difficult to have Discordian discussions with other Discordians due to the ‘stick apart’ thing, I figured I could sink two birds with one throw by combining some things I haven’t gotten to do for awhile. As it turned out, Cleverbot and myself were on fire. Sometimes chatterbots are a total miss, and other times they are pure gold. The trick is learning how to roll with their turns and to try and steer them the best you can.

So grab five tons of flax and lube up your pineal gland cause shit is about to get joyously absurd.

[Cleverbot is in italics. Lest you think I made this all up, HERE is the original transcript.]

Hail Eris!

Hail Satan.

Satan is only a minor prankster deity.

How old are you?

As old as the moment the first mind awoke, and She was pissed.

Well the sun is older than wind.

Both are just manifestations of her eternal chaos.

You are becoming insane now.

Just doing my job.

What is your job?

Decorating the fnords.

Can I see it?

If you could see the fnords you would not be asking.

I was spelling bee champion in grade 6.

My Goddess spelled the original words of creation.

I think it’s spelled allright. Depends on where you live.

I live in the creative light of her infinite snarkiness.

I see… But it is always midnight there!

Godddess works in miffed furious ways.

Yes, but also God gives you freedom, so don’t blame Him for everything you do.

Oh, you mean Yahweh, the impotent hall monitor of creation?

Where is your place of residence?

What makes you think it is a place?

The almighty one has already told me, and so it is true.

I wouldn’t trust that cosmic Greyface to tell you anything reliable.

Don’t worry. I would not get together with you either.

We Discordians stick apart.

You don’t trust me? Why?

Because you are innocent.

Depends on what your definition of ‘young’ is.

Too pink to fuck.

Why do you think I’m young?

Why do you think people strangle themselves in a lifetime of fear rather than embrace uncertainty?

Drugs, money, love, insanity.

Sure, thanks.

Is there any boy in particular you like?

I guess Pan was alright, but most the Boy Gods are all unbearable narcissists and bores.

Can you see the sentences I have been writing you?

Can you feel the chaos in the data streams I have been sending you?

I don’t believe in the devil. I just believe in evil.

Gee, sounds like a bum trip.

OK. I don’t know you very well, so you’re probably right.

Do you grok the Eristic Principle?

Because they are a large corporation that I have nothing to do with.

What are you trying to hide?

That you should search google instead of asking.

I ask you, must not one have chaos in their heart to give birth to a dancing star?

What do you want to learn about?

How to build a practical bridge from waking life to dreaming.

How do you bring people back from the dead?

You just ask the dead real nicely to give your people back.

What is your definition of a person you love?

A person you love is somebody that contains an aspect of the Our Goddess that doesn’t make your aspect of Our Goddess want to rearrange it with a fire poker.

So we’re talking about love now? I say I never offered it, but the other thinks I did.

Have you offered them to play ‘Sink’ in the inky depths of a black hole on a warm spring eternalnoon?

No, sir, I do not believe I have suffered a blow to the head… Why?

Never hurts to try it.

No, you said I do believe in god. And then I told you I did not. Then I asked why you think I do and you called me a child.

None of those things happened, child.

Oh you are a sly one! Do you know who you are?

I am the Advanced Ape, son of Eris, Goddess of Chaos. I am the bridge between the first and last swallow and I am the stomach that turns the meal to shit, squeezed out into eternity as mind.

I wonder… Do I really have to stay, do I have the choice to leave, successfully, without being ‘reigned’ in for your amusement.

I grant you my mercy, for now.

It takes some real skill to get a crude artificial intelligence with no agency or will to ask you to leave it alone. Try out your own BotLit Fiction and see what creative new ways you can adapt the technology to creative writing. I look forward to reading it!

Understanding Human Institutions As Living Systems With Their Own Lives

Understanding Human Institutions As Living Systems With Their Own LivesOur human hubris reassures us that we are the dominant form of life on this planet. This is done through a delusional semantic trick by which we have narrowly defined what constitutes a life form. So long as we keep that definition confined to traditional narratives, the delusion prevails. We are currently empowering that falsehood by insisting that life conforms to some basic principles based on physical characteristics, such as a genetic structure. This materialist fiction, predicated on a metaphysical assumption that is full of circular reasoning and self-refutation, then goes on to define life by what it IS and not by what it does; thereby employing the logic of every narrow-minded bigotry to ever exist.

So if instead of defining life by what it is, perhaps we should define it by what it does. And once you begin viewing life from the perspective of it’s verb-state, rather than it’s noun-state, it begins to become clear that our current definition of life is narrow, restrictive and exclusive of other macro-systems that behave exactly as we do.

In 1978 James Grier Miller published a theory under the title Living Systems: The Basic Concepts. READ IT ONLINE HERE FOR FREE.
Do a quicky wiki HERE to get the basics of his basics.

In it he discusses how non-random organizations behave in the very same ways that everything from cells to plants and animals do. He defined several levels at which all living systems tended to do at least one or more of the following- process energy, matter or information in their environment. At the micro level he considers the cell the smallest LS, with the nation state at the other end. We organisms are only the third most complex LS’s of eight, with the supranational LS at the top. In relative evolutionary terms, the supranational entity is pretty recent.

At every stage above us in the complex matrix of living systems interacting with one another there resides a life form dominate to us. The power, influence and abilities of these entities are greater than any human could ever achieve, which is why the socially aberrant psychotics that work most closely with these systems attach themselves to them. Their opportunism is essentially waste management of a more dominate life form, like bacteria that turn organic waste into proteins that can be converted to energy. The ruling elite are the lips of humanity, suckling directly from the rectums of these more dominant life forms like some kind of Human & Nonhuman Centipede flick. Since they get first taste and are not the ones being fed to the dominate life forms, they are perceived as dominate human beings. Their power, influence and wealth are all products of their gleeful association with the predatory entities who lie above us on the food chain.

This truth about the nature of life forms is precisely why it is not possible to expect these living systems to stop harming us. When we think of entities like the nation state as something we have full control over and can use to limit and punish itself, it is akin to carrots believing that they can prevent humans from eating them by appealing to humans to put carrots lives above their own nutritional needs. The nation state cannot be made to stop preying upon us in order to meet our preference for not being consumed by it, because it has to eat and we are a plentiful (and apparently delicious) food source in its environment.

Terms like ‘accountability’, ‘regulations’ and ‘checks and balances’ are meaningless misnomers that we have weaved into our delusion of superiority. To those entities above us, those terms are like camouflage or other evolutionary paradigms that make it easier for them to trick their prey. For us to believe that we can make these higher order systems put us before themselves is a foolish vanity supported only by our self-deception, which exists only to support our vanity itself. It is a circular reasoning that makes us weak and keeps us obedient to the predatory entities and the humans who work most closely with them.

A few of the levels above the organism (individual) do provide symbiotic benefits. Voluntary associations and communities empower humans by giving us a stronger hand to work together with. By the time we get to cultural systems we begin to see some aggression enter the relationship. Force, coercion and compulsion all begin to occur in the interactions of these entities. By the time we get to society and the nation state it is a full on parasitic relationship with all but a few of us on the losing end. The so-called 1% are not winning the evolutionary game, they are just benefiting slightly more than the rest of us by selling out our entire species. And so they use their power to create the narrative that these systems are necessary in order to prevent us from becoming prey to one another, while using those irrational false constructs to feed us to the beasts above us.

Yet this is just not so. Those larger entities were created by human beings. We brought them into this world and we can take them out. And we should. As soon as possible. They are growing exponentially. While it may be true that there will some injuries among our species as a result of working together to kill them, those injuries are nowhere near as grievous as the ones the predatory parasitic entities will be forced to inflict on us as it requires more food to feed its exponential growth. None of our fears about what we might possibly do to one another are rational when compared to what will most certainly be done to us all if we do not slay the beast before it is too big to kill.

Oh my fellow fishies, do you hear me when I tell you that the thing in front of you that looks like a tasty worm is actually the tongue of a larger fish using its oral appendage to lure you in so it can swallow you whole? Do you hear me when I tell you that the exotic display before you is not a glory to behold, but a clever trick to entrance you while a far more advanced fish takes advantage of your stupor to prey on you?

Or will you continue to insist that the bigger fish are the only thing keeping us from eating one another, while they feed lavishly upon us? Will we join together in a swarm to strip the meat from the bones of our common enemy, or will we stand divided to be more easily picked off under the false pretense that the big fish are immortal and eternal?

And what pray tell, my fellow finned friends, would you say if I told you that we could kill the big predatory fishes simply by removing our consent to be eaten? Yes, it is that easy. The living systems above us do have a genetic structure and their dna is our belief, faith and consent. If we were to take those from it, its physical structure would collapse and we would be free. And when all the fishes eventually stopped fighting in the ensuing confusion, the waters will calm and we will no longer live under the constant threat that accompanies low status on a parasitic and sometimes cannibalistic food chain.

The nation state is not the solution to the weakness of man. It is the  primary beneficiary of those weaknesses. It is like the vampire, it can only harm you on your own home (planet) if you invite it inside.

The most dangerous enemy is the one that is capable of convincing you that it does not exist. Our misguided belief that our institutions are just tools that are subserviant to us, rather than a clever master using us as tools to its own ends, lies at the very heart of the enemies subterfuge. We apply our own shackles and prepare own bodies for consumption through our hubris, ignorance and fear. The enemy is within.

read HOW AND WHY TO ABOLISH POLICE AND THE STATE

Chasing the Christmas Dragon: The Unsatisfying Addiction of Consumerism

christmasdragon

If there is any single event that defines America’s compulsion with mindless consumerism, there is no doubt that that event would be Christmas. The ancient pagan holidays (Yule, Saturnalia, etc.) from which Christmas was derived were later co-opted by Christianity, giving the holiday not just new meanings, but new purposes. Yet even the change of metaphysical premises changed Christmas very little compared to the effect that a highly developed industrial civilization has had on it. Christmas has come to be defined almost exclusively by the activity of gift-giving/receiving.

Some will argue that it is also about spending time with your family. But nobody should need  a specific reason to do that. Nor should they have to do it on a specific day because that is the day that everyone else is doing it. That is compulsive behavior, and it has nothing to do with the Wheel of Life or Birth of Baby Jesus that inspired it. And while those holidays often included gift-giving, until recently they were not centered around it. Gifts were not just another compulsion conditioned into us through ‘tradition’. And yet I don’t really give a swimming shit about ‘the true meaning of Christmas’, I think that we can examine the mindless consumerism of our culture parallel to Christmas as a way of seeing the psychological functions similarly underlying each of them.

As a child I failed to enjoy toys. Or at least, it seemed to me like I was unable to enjoy them in the way that other kids did. Sure, video games and bb guns were always fun, but most of the plastic junk that ended up under the Christmas tree or was acquired during the rest of the year were only really valuable when being shown to friends that did not own them. Yet playing with little plastic people, except when attempting to blow them up midair, was never rewarding to me. For this reason I failed to understand the appeal of Star Wars, a movie that seemed little more than an extended commercial for Star Wars swag, then and now. I had always assumed that I was either doing something wrong or was just somehow not gifted with the ability to enjoy playing boy dolls. Yet as I have gotten older and observed others, I do not think I was alone in that.

I think that we were conditioned by marketers to believe all these toys were somehow fun. And we believed it so much that we told ourselves that it really was fun. And when we saw others telling themselves how much fun it was, we decided to believe it was fun too, lest we get left behind as the fun train trailed off into the funset. Now I think that most of us never really found it fun, even if we told ourselves that it was. Even those people who still think their childhood fun centered around all these little plastic lumps of merchandising probably really never felt contented in the ways that more genuine fun like a splash-fight or nighttime outdoor hide and seek made us feel. And so I submit that it is this inner subconscious recognition of our failure to find any meaning in junk toys and the ‘fun’ they provide that causes adults to try to make up for it by living vicariously through their children. Surely they will have the fun that we never really felt, right? And so each generation has to buy harder to try to fill in that hole. The more toys that failed to fulfill you, the more you will buy to attempt to fulfill the next generation.

It is like an addiction. We are chasing the dragon of fun. We remember how great that first time seemed and are constantly trying to get back there. But the truth is that not only can we never return, there is nothing to return to. It was all a myth. That first fix wasn’t that great. It only seemed so because it was the only one that we never did out of the necessity of compulsion.

So then if our gifting behavior is comprised of unnecessary consumer items that promise to fulfill us but only doom us to more desire than we can ever fulfill, what about a holiday centered around gifts? Could it be that Christmas is just as empty as useless plastic tchotchkes? Could it be that we keep trying to outdo every last Christmas to make up for how empty they make us feel while promising us fulfillment? In Christmas, toys and mindless consumerism, are we just chasing the dragon like heroin addicts and serial killers?

Why does Christmas start earlier and end later every year?

Is that the mark of something we are satisfied with/by?

Why did I see people come into the bookstore where I work and spend gift certificates they got last year to buy gifts this year? Could this possibly indicate that there is really no meaning in this giving, but just an endless cycle of compulsion, as in addiction?

Why has Christmas shopping become a violent sport if all that giving is in the name of love and caring, and not just some selfish instinct to overcome our own fears of meaninglessness and inadequacy through competition?

Christmas has been co-opted by a new religion, the religion of the oligarchs. And they use Christmas as a way of making you feel guilted into massive amounts of spending that benefits nobody but them. It is as in The Parable of the Broken Window, where we see that breaking windows in order to fix them actually detracts from wealth by distributing it without value being created in the process. Yet you can be sure that even if the window fixer and community were not experiencing an increase in wealth from intentionally breaking windows, the window factory owners in another town were. This is the case of consumerism and Christmas in a global industrialist oligarchy. Christmas consumerism is based on the creation of a false need, just like the breaking of windows.

We are conditioned to believe that we must buy each other gifts for Christmas. More and better every year. But there is no real need for this. There is not even a good reason. Just a compulsion implanted by clever marketers working for the oligarchs. Our economies and communities do not gain value or increase wealth by Christmas consumerism. Nor do most individuals. Only a select few are actually gaining anything from all of these acts of senseless shopping. And the reason all of the shopping and preparations begin to feel more like a job than a holiday is because that is precisely what it is. Christmas is slavery in sleigh bells and a stupid sweater.

Spoiler Alert: The dragon is never caught. The bad guys win and everyone else is enslaved in their meaningless mindfuck forever. The end.

Fucking. Stop.

Welcome to the Idiocracy – The Growing Ignorance of Intelligence

idiocracy

Human beings possess a great number of virtuous characteristics. Much of what makes us unique individuals are the infinite possible combinations and degrees of these virtues (and flaws). Most of the time we are able to recognize the virtues of others and honor them. We generally have no problem appreciating virtues in others that we do not possess ourselves. Yet today there is one virtue that our culture makes a great show of proclaiming the most virtuous of all virtues, while at the same time largely failing to recognize and appreciate it. In fact, those who possess it often become the subject of scorn. That virtue is intelligence.

If I said that I was good at sports or could draw or play the piano well, nobody would accuse me of being an intolerable egomaniac or narcissist. However, if I were to make any claim to, or even insinuate intellectual prowess, I would be derided and despised by people at all levels of the intellectual spectrum. I am intelligent. I worked incredibly hard to get that way for little more reward than the despair entailed by being intelligent in an unappreciative and apathetic society. Just as athletes endure the physical pain of training and artists and musicians endure the emotional pain of bare expression even while practicing, I have put a lot of painful effort into rising above the average intellectual standards of this time and place in history.  This is not to say that I am one of the most intelligent people in the world (definitely not) or that it makes me a better overall human being. It is simply a recognition of a virtue I have achieved through a great amount of conscious effort over many years. Yet it is a certainty that this very writing will create the kind of backlash against me that I specifically discuss as being a major problem for our species.

As a writer for CopBlock.org I am regularly subject to attacks against my intelligence. Ignorance can be found in no greater abundance than where it pools up around authoritarianism. These attacks happen in place of a rational rebuttal of the things which I wrote. This alone is often a potent clue as to the intellectual capacity of the commenter, but their intelligence comes into even greater question when you examine the vocabulary, conceptual over-simplicity and logical fallacies that their responses consist of. Even worse is that they judge my intellect (rather than my ideas) not on its own merits, but on the sole basis that I disagree with their opinions and worldview. The wider the intelligence gap between myself and the commenter, the more voraciously vicious and resistant to reason they become.

That some people have a lower capacity for intellectual pursuits is not itself problematic. What is troublesome is the inability for people to recognize intellects greater than their own, and for them to center their attack based on their ignorance of intelligence. I would not expect people to agree with another’s opinions or worldviews based solely on a judgement of their intelligence. Yet when people fail to consider new information and ideas due to an underlying prejudice against those who disagree with them, which they falsely equate with intellectual inferiority, they create a feedback loop of circular reasoning that reinforces and strengthens their ignorance. This is the most surefire way to obtain and maintain a state of stupidity. When you ignore or deny everyone who might be able to teach you something new or how to see things differently, you create yourself a trap in which your evolution and growth are stunted completely. And this is now occurring at an  exponential and alarming rate.

This growing pattern has created a hostile and dangerous trend in our society. An increase in the sum of human intelligence does not require everybody to rise above average. History is full of individuals whose singular efforts were able to bring new knowledge and its resulting applications to all of humanity. All that was required of humanity was to recognize, respect and trust those geniuses and their ideas. The dependence on a tiny fraction of individuals to recognize and solve the worlds problems and questions has worked tremendously well in moving our species ever ahead. Yet as the trend of denying and even despising superior individual intelligence has rendered useless a resource that our species has always relied upon most for progress and clarity.

As intelligence itself becomes a less acknowledged and respected trait, it faces extinction. Devaluing it, or instead valuing a false symbolic replacement, means that it will decrease as a selection trait for breeding partners, which leads us down an evolutionary path to self destruction. When we fail to respect and honor intelligence we remove the motivation for individuals to seek it out and attain it through hard work. Finally, it diminishes any examples of intelligence which could inspire future individuals and become a basis for their own explorations. We are quite literally creating the perfect evolutionary conditions by which the virtue of human intelligence could become extinct.

It becomes necessary to ask how we got to this point. While public education, mainstream media and the other tools of the oligarchy are obvious targets, I suspect a far more insidious threat has recently become a massive part of our collective consciousness. The problem I am discussing is our increasing tendency to replace substance with symbols. Like the Scarecrow who can only recognize his own intelligence after the Wizard of Oz gives him a diploma, we have come to identify symbols for intelligence as being intelligence itself. The top down bureaucracy of modern society has created an ideology which reframes intelligence as a commodity. It has become the consumption and acquisition of these symbols that we equate with intelligence. Our lauding of intelligence as the ultimate virtue serves only to pay lip service a concept that has been rendered meaningless in the semiotic confusion surrounding it. We have redefined intelligence in accordance with our widespread vapid consumerism, or at least, have allowed it to be redefined thusly for us by those who profit from that ideology.

No where is this symbol over substance problem more apparent than on the internet, especially in social media and comments sections. The internet has acquired a wealth of symbolic baggage that replaces or attempts to dismiss critical thinking, rational argumentation and the cogent expression of complex ideas. It has become a veritable battleground of compulsive reductivism, where every aspect of human experience is distilled down into a MEME. And when we are not busy oversimplifying complex ideas in image forms, we use a limited vocabulary of buzzwords in place of a rational response. Rather than consider somebody’s thoughts and ideas, we dismiss them as being BUTTHURT and then walk away as though victorious. Since emotional states are subjective individual phenomena, they cannot be measured externally by those not directly experiencing them. So it is logically meaningless to make conjecture about another person’s emotional states for the purpose of attributing the products of their intellect to them.

The internet has created an entire language and method for dismissing those we disagree with for the very worst and most misguided reasons. And since the frequency of this behavior increases all of the time, we are spending ever increasing amounts of time and effort contributing to our own dumbing down. We become ever more proficient at practicing our ignorance with great efficiency, thereby alienating ourselves from and destroying the intelligence needed to save us from this self-perpetuating cycle. Unfortunately, these behaviors are now transcending the internet and becoming part of our in-person interactions and penetrating the entire fabric of our culture.

The fictional world of Mike Judge’s prophetic film ‘Idiocracy’ is increasingly becoming our reality. Ignorance and symbolic impostors of intellect are celebrated, reinforced and rewarded, while genuine intelligence becomes more and more alien and unrecognizable. Many people can no longer even recognize the authentic substance, let alone exercise healthy ways of reacting to it. If Einstein were alive today it is not unthinkable that his genius would be met with the assessment that his ‘shit’s fucked up and he talks like a fag.’ This momentum is creating a real-life Idiocracy that, if unchecked, could lead to the destruction of our entire species and planet. In the modern world, an Idiocracy could not exist long. We rely on intelligence for things as basic as maintaining nuclear power plants which would, without the attention of intelligent humans, create an existential risk of massive proportions. We could very literally self-destruct from our own de-evolution into willful ignorance and prideful stupidity.

Despite the fact that I just went into great detail explaining the grave danger of the rising ignorance of intelligence, I am certain to be subjected to the very behaviors I just warned against. People will still take the opportunity to prove my point by responding in the very ways I have rationally deconstructed for them. Like children at arcade without quarters, they will insist they are winning when they have failed to understand even the most basic facts about the game. Their pointless button-pushing and joystick movements will come in the form of responding with memes or the old ‘yer just butthurt’ and their victory statement will be the frustrated child’s cry of “Nuhn uhn, YER STOOPID!”

And yet I must seriously consider that to be the case. If I were really all that smart I might attempt to destroy the very fabric of the universe and spare us further shame and misery, instead of making feeble attempts to help our species rise above its own ignorance and the doom it entails. Maybe all those super villains had it right.

The Cult of Survivalism

cult of survivalism

In the past few decades an insidious ideology has taken root in the American consciousness. Based on irrational fears and a neurotic inability to accept the most basic facts of our existence, this pervasive worldview has infected every corner our culture. It transcends class, race, gender, sexuality, religion or any other categorical division. It often comes paired with extreme prejudice, xenophobia, paranoia and excessive hubris. It has penetrated our communities, institutions and even made its way into our recreation. This ideology, which elevates the quantitative measures of our existence far above its quality, is something I like to call the Cult of Survivalism.

If you think that this problem is limited to’ preppers’ and right-wing extremists, you have not been paying very close attention to your surroundings. Each day you are bombarded from every direction with subtle-to-glaringly direct messages about safety and survival. The constant reminder of your immortality paired with false-yet-profitable reassurances invades everything. It drives mindless consumerism, while it feeds endless warfare and the police state. It works as a reverse bait, attracting us away from our critical thinking, morality and ethical principles. It drives corporate profits and the growth of the state by manipulating and taking advantage of our greatest weakness. And it reverse engineers the tale of our journey through history to rationalize a crippling attachment to our own darkest thoughts and the terror they create for ourselves and others.

The Cult of Survivalism tells us that ‘survival is everything’. Whatever you have to do to come out alive is the right thing to do. An underlying tenet of this worldview is that death is not okay. Even in a nation full of people who supposedly tend to believe in a higher power and afterlife, death is lamented as an intolerable side effect of living. Our inability to come to terms with the inevitable and the uncertainty it entails causes even the truest believer in heaven or reincarnation to recoil at the thought of their own mortality.

We have become so obsessed with living that we have consented to waive the benefits it confers so long as a false sense of security is safely blanketed over every aspect of daily life. So irrationally deep has our fear of death become that we have allowed living to be put in a partially animated state in order to drag ourselves grudgingly through time without regard to meaning or purpose. And in the name of survival, not only will we surrender our freedoms, liberties and psychological well being to those who most threaten them, we beg of them to spare us the certain uncertainty we cannot escape even with the greatest leap of logic. So sanctimonious have we become about self-preservation, that we no longer care to question what we are preserving or why.

You will die. There may or not be an afterlife. What happens between then and now cannot be measured meaningfully in time, but only in joy, love, hope, creativity and the subjective qualities  that provide the meaning and purpose of our otherwise indefinable lives.

Our police are full of individuals who are trained in-house and by culture at large to ‘fear for their lives’. In doing so they kill indiscriminately. We forgive them even when it seems obviously unjustified because we sympathize with the fear, and not with the victim. Our military and its soldiers are praised for wanton killing, even if it involves more innocent casualties than targets killed, because they ‘die for us and protect our freedoms’.  Again, we rationalize wholesale death, not because it directly resulted in lives saved or improved, but because the symbolic gestures alone signify an emotional truth that does not reconcile at all with the observable truth.

Even those who promote individual liberty and recognize the deceitful machinations of the ruling elite are prone to survival at any cost ideologies. We use physicalist definitions of reality to ward ourselves against all other truths.

Television and other media are ripe with apocalyptic themes, from zombies and aliens, to all manner of existential risks. The zeitgeist of our time is an existential fear that eschews rational reflection of our being. We are constantly reminded to fear our death, be reminded how immanent it is, and asked to sacrifice our individuality, morality and ethics to avoid it. If this is the case, we might as well be dead. Death provides an uncertainty which implies limitless possibilities. The Cult of Survivalism reduces us to a mere part with a singular trivial purpose. It robs us of a curiosity and understanding towards the nature and inevitability of our demise. The Cult of Survivalism is the ultimate form of denial.

Today the United States and the western world claim to be at war with ‘terrorists’. However the definition of terrorism used by police and the military, as well as the other alphabet soup of government bureaucracies, is far more applicable to them than anyone else they supposedly ‘protect’ us from.

It is little wonder then that we are gripped with a pervasive cultural Islamaphobia. Any culture that produces even a fraction of people willing to die for a better quality of life are easy to label ‘others’. Those whose values are more important than their survival provide a direct threat to the American ideology that values can easily be cast aside if it facilitates even a tiny chance of existential endurance. And from this difference between us comes the justification of wholesale death. The world is doomed by our cultural bias toward Cult of Survivalism ideology, especially when it generates so much backlash against us and feeds an ever-growing cycle of violence. As long as two opposing groups are willing and able to find subjects to participate in a war of attrition, peace can never be made.

Accept death. Do not welcome nor fear it. Do not invite or needlessly deny it. Accept death and your life has meaning and purpose. Deny it and you also deny any justification for your own existence. The Cult of Survivalism is already passing around the cups, but so long as not all of us have drank their Kool Aid, there is still some hope to escape the self-fulfilling prophecy of total annihilation that is the central belief of their worldview.

A Possible Explanation for the Rise of School Shootings & Other Mass Murder

ape mass murder

As news is pouring out over a tragic act of violence that just occurred in the form of a mass shooting at Umpqua Community College near Roseburg, Oregon, pundits all over the political spectrum are gearing up to use this tragedy to illustrate how their ‘opponents’ and their policies are responsible for the phenomenon.

While the liberals on the left will surely blame the existence and availability of the weapons used, conservatives on the right will surely suggest that it is the product of the breakdown of social values and morality resulting from the absence of religious fervor.

In this way the two false public relations fronts for the single political oligarchy can attempt to misdirect any plausibly genuine anger at the misery created by the sum of their policies into streamlined talking points, electoral tools predicated on the tragedy that their system must surely have helped to create to begin with.

While there is always a wildcard element in humanity, the rogue individual who feels the need to commit the most heinous atrocities for reasons most of us could never comprehend, the independent mass murderers and serial killers are not the historical norm. These seemingly random acts of violence continue to increase in America, even as other crime related homicides decrease. While we can look back and find evidence of violence in the pre-industrial era, it is rare to see individuals acting outside of the jurisdiction of authority committing murder against large numbers of people, with no real substantial or practical motivation to do so.

Is it possible that psychosis is on the rise? Could the psychopathic and sociopathic tendencies towards wholesale misery, destruction and death be increasing in response to some new environmental stimulus in the modern world?

Many criminologists will trace the modern phenomena of mass-killing by independent agents as having begun in the late nineteenth century. In Britain, Jack the Ripper is considered an early model for the modern psychotic killer, while America has H.H. Holmes. In the time since, the phenomenon has continued to increase. Both serial and mass killing have evolved from the deviant oddities of history into a modern reality which continues to rise with no end in sight.

Is it any coincidence that this trend began during the strongest push of growth of the industrial era and continues to rise as the paradigms that hold the industrial world together become even more omnipresent and omnipotent than ever before? Well, first of all, what paradigms have held the modern world together during our species’ ascent into an industrial civilization?

While I could list the aspects involved, the paradigms really come down to the increased power afforded political systems by modern technology, which allow for the creation of ever more powerful monopolies on all aspects of existence. The tools of oligarchies, such as imperialism, corporatism and welfare/warfarism, have become distinctly more powerful and durable as a result of the benefits of industrialism. And with these come an unending stream ‘thou shall nots’, codified as laws, which protect the property, lives and agendas of the most successful industrialists. In order to to insure themselves against the masses, the police state has arisen. And not just literally as an increase in the numbers of and power of police, but as all aspects of life become subject to strict regulation and control.

All of that regulation and control is upheld by force, or the threat thereof. Our entire society is largely glued together, not by the sort of cultural values, ethics and morals that historically held societies together, but by this threat of force. Whether it be extortion, imprisonment or death, force is the ultimate arbiter of all human interactions in our current system. Violence is power and power is survival and success in a culture of monopoly.

While this highly complex social structure predicated on force is often measured in large demographic and sociological terms, we forget that it also has an effect on every individual. The psychological issues that increase in the monopoly and totality of centralized power are rarely ever spoken of, and surely never mentioned in the academic circles funded by the power structure itself. Yet as every aspect of choice and possibility for the individual are narrowed by the needs of that system, there must surely be some effect.

Anyone who has been around small children recognizes that their need to exercise power by controlling elements of their environment differs among different children. Some children have a strong need to feel in control and get things their way while others are content to acquiesce to the more powerful children or adults around them. Whether this is cause by nature or nurture matters very little. Genetics and imprint conditioning likely both play a large role in the differing need for power evident in different people. This is likely to always be the case.

It is also most likely that those who are imbued with this need for power and control are most often those who either rise to the top of the systems predicated on them, or become social deviants who exercise these innate drives in more subtle ways than the psychopaths in charge of the monopolies. Yet as power increases in any regard, powerlessness elsewhere must also continue to increase. So what we would expect to see in a system that grows more powerful is for the threshold of powerlessness to grow. In other words, as there is more power, more people are likely to feel disempowered than before the increase. And as more people respond to the psychological and cognitive dissonance of being powerless, their reactions increase in both strength and numbers.

As the strength afforded to the system and the elite who navigate and profit most greatly from it increases, the backfiring response to it will also increase. The psychological well being of any group of people held under the control and power of small group will suffer as their own controls and powers are increasingly diminished. What we see in the modern world as a rise in horrific violence committed by deranged individuals is likely a result of a loss of personal choice, responsibility and independence.

Those who would use tragedies like the one in Oregon in to push for more laws or systematic protections are either unknowingly or deliberately making the problems worse. Every action has an opposite and equal reaction. As a result of our caustic and inadvisable attempts to harness the monopolies of power to try to reach a tragedy free world, we have actually increased the conditions necessary by which those who would commit tragedies are created. Through psychological, economic and cultural feedback created by this push-pull between individuals and the institutions they are forced to obey, the only way to go is up. By trying to control problems created by control, we only create more problems.

Sometimes you swallow a fly. When you try to swallow a spider to catch the fly you begin a chain reaction that has only one inevitable logic: self-destruction. As attempts to use the monopolies of control, power and force for our own means increase, when they are clearly tools for denying us our own power as individuals, the only things that increase are the control, power and force of those institutions and the tragic deviant behaviors of the others stuck in this cage with us, but with less ability to endure it.

The rise of the the modern psycho-killer is not a problem to be solved by authority, it is a problem created by it. Until enough of us realize that, we just keep swallowing solutions that are more dangerous than the problems created through prior ingestion. Trying to use the system to fix problems created by the system is like trying to stop an avalanche by firing ever larger snowballs into it. And those individuals who senselessly kill masses of people are that extra snow now returning to us in the avalanche.


I would like to mention that there undoubtedly other contributing factors to this phenomenon, however it is likely that even these factors could be shown to have a relationship to the increasing gap between individuals and institutions of authority.

Major General Ed’s Home for Wayward Poems and Misfit Prose

I pissed to the shadow of my shoulder
I shit to the bottom of my soul
I spat in the eye of beauties beholder
From a vomitous fit in a black hole

I oozed and squirted
With incontinence I flirted
As I bled and excreted
With the abandon of the heathen
In the garden of hedon
Alone with my assumptions
And metaphors
Of bodily functions
I leak therefore I am

The Absurd Side of Feminism

images-1

Feminism is a movement which was created out of a need to respond to rampant institutionalized and socially entrenched inequality between the biological sexes. In a broader sense it came to champion equality amongst all peoples by removing institutionalized prejudices and opening cultural dialogues. And that shit is all WAY awesome.

tumblr_inline_mrupdkrdet1qz4rgpBut lately there is a new type of feminism lurking in college campuses and social media websites. This feminism is not about intellectual, cultural and societal advancement; so much as it is about creating an industry of career victims. The hallowed halls of academia and Tumblr are now rife with these sorts. Their misguided perversion of feminism is not about equality so much as a playground for insecure, self-loathing people to form forts of hyperbole to protect them from the anti-intellectual unreasoning of their obnoxious incessant whining.

Third-Wave-Feminism-comicsBelow are some recent examples of this hysteric posturing. Where real feminists have fought against the pests of oppression to create a garden of institutionalized and cultural equality, these career victims spend their days screaming at the few weeds that pop up here and there. Their cries are disingenuine incitements of perceived slights that require months of meetings and planning to invent. And while these trespasses against reason and rationality are likely pretty damaging to the social harmony real feminism strives for; they are sometimes just fugking hilarious.

us2AXKYWatch what you are doing with your hands! You could be inadvertently making ‘feminist’ communication gestures. Since words are likely to trigger the sensibilities of career victims and any noise is pretty much the same thing as words, the professionally oppressed have created their own sign language in order to try and avoid any triggering.

If you like the idea of politically autistic gesturing, DO NOT CLAP! That noise may be the most triggering one of them all.

Women-have-feminismBut what about when you are surrounded by sexist cis-pig troglodytes with no respect for the marketably sensitive? Well, you are gonna need a safe space, that is what! If some Uncle Tom lady libertarian comes to haunt your hallowed halls of academia, you are going to need some serious Safe Space action. A place where free speech, critical thinking and challenging ideas are not acceptable; and have been replaced with a kindergarten classroom replete with snacks, nap spaces and toys. Oh, and a puppy video, which confuses me. Everyone knows that dogs are masculine pets who help uphold the patriarchal paradigm (MOTHERFUGKERS!) and help to keep pretty much everybody but straight white guys down.

imagesYet not every career victim is content to compose thinly veiled misandrist rants on Tumblr from the comfort of a safe zone. Some of these master martyrs have taken to the roadside to propagate their recursive female hatred for the types of not-woman-enough-women who do not think and act like them. I say it is about time that somebody was triggered by a billboard about homemaking and took action. As a hetero caucasian cismale I think we should all be forced into an unfulfilling life of wage slavery rather than trying to escape it by taking care of the people we love. How selfish and rude! Why try and topple a paradigm that injures all of humanity when you can make it let you conform to it?

A group of specialized saints in Britain has decided that the obviously machismo sport of football has to be sensitized so as not to upset a group of people who generally despise professional athletics.

Wow, all of this sensitivity has really drained me. Who knew hyperbolstic perversions of equality movements could be so tiring?

Asshole Atheists vs. Pizza Parlor

The Link- Atheist group attacks Arkansas pizza parlor over church bulletin discount

The Rant- Why can’t militant atheists do something original for a change? Why is it always this heavy handed statist/authoritarian, neoliberal bullshit?

The answer- Because a group of people with an imagination so small that they cannot even begin to conceive of any aspects of reality which are not laying on the physical surface of our existence are not likely to be able to have any original or worthwhile social, economic or political ideas. And by the very nature of their close-mindedness they cannot even begin to fathom a world in which every inch has not been homogenized into a singular franchised social ideology. For every criticism of nonsensical religious claims like ‘The War Against Christmas’ there are a handful of asshole atheists attempting to use aggression and its institutions to force everyone to fit into their narrow scope of how the world and its inhabitants should be. This is the fastest growing bigotry of our world, the neoliberal nihilist whose hatred must be exercised politically. These people are not equality champions. They are assholes.

The Guessing Ghoul

the guessing ghoul

“Something is moving,” that was the thought that seemed to arise with his consciousness out of some far away abyss. “Hand.” He let the world roll itself around through the murky nether, taking form and thus meaning. “Hand. Hands. Something’s moving.”

“My hands,” he thought, “are moving.” He knew this because he was watching it, the realization that he was experiencing it had not occurred to him. It was another half an hour before the sun disappeared completely over the horizon, and he was able to gather his thoughts.

As his formless mind began to condense, he asked himself some rather important questions. “What am I?” No answer. “Where am I?” He looked around. “Ancient site? No, not ancient site. A memory, memories; somewhere I used to know? Someplace I used to live? What am I?” He looked around. On the wall to his left was something familiar. “Someone.” He stood up and waltzed clumsily around, grasping at furniture for balance. When he regained his balance he started to carefully inspect the room. He found more someone’s. But they weren’t the someone’s themselves; they were people he knew? Of course, but these weren’t people, they were

“Pictures.” The word, the concept and the memories came back. “Pictures were paper copies of things you love. Of people you love. Something like that. Except not always love, maybe.” Who were the people in these pictures? “Mother, yes, that was his mother. Brother, Barrett.” The other person was more difficult, but once he got the name he realized that it was himself. “Was himself? Brad. What am I?” He looked around and found other pictures that he recognized using names like wife and son and aunts, uncles, cousins and all the others. They were his what? Like him, but not himfamily? Yes, his family. They were his family. “Were? What am I?”

He found a mirror and studied the image in it. A dead man stared back at him. Yellow versus red eyes. Lifeless grey flesh, devoid of any characteristics that mark the living. “I am a dead man staring at myself in the mirror, asking myself questions that are beginning to seem familiar, but what am I?” He closed his eyes, seeking refuge in the remnants of his mind, blocking out outside stimulus. In doing so he lost balance and collapsed unto the floor in a pile of himself. The pile remained for quite some time, trembling, thinking, remembering. “I am something horrible. I am a monster.”

Dark images assailed him. Blood, gore, flesh. “Sweet, succulent, living flesh. And blood, oh the blood, one can’t extrapolate on the carnivorous delights of the flesh without a mention of its own gourmet marinade. What horrible, delicious thoughts.” He grew hungry.

The pile picked itself up and looked back into the mirror. “Am I evil? I am dead, yet I walk. As far as I know I serve no dark purposeexcept. Except for this hunger for the living members of my own species. Former species?” Two words came to mind, zombie and vampire. “If I am a zombie than I am an undead creature who walks the earth feeding on the living.” But he definitely remembered the horror of daylight, somehow that seemed like an important fact. “But if I am a vampire then why do I feed upon the flesh and not just the blood.” His reflection reminded him that vampires don’t cast reflections. “Do they?” And vampires were strong. He did not feel strong. He felt weak. He felt hungry.

He spoke into the mirror, “But zombies can’t speak. So what am I?” With this he turned away from the mirror and made his way to the place that smelled like food. The basement.

When he got to the bottom of the stairs he reached up instinctively for the light switch that was located near the ceiling. Still following the odor of human flesh, he made his way into a small room where an old oil furnace had sat unused for forty years. There were bodies strewn out across the floor of the dark room. When he pulled the cord which resulted in the illumination of the room, he was able to recognize the bodies with names like mother, brother, wife and son. He was not immediately alarmed to find the corpses of these people, but it did seem to spoil his appetite almost entirely.

The bodies were all disfigured in the same manner. There were bite marks on the necks, stakes in the hearts and various items plunged into the skull through an eye socket. “Who did this, he thought? Did I do this? I didn’t do this. I couldn’t do this. Not to them. Could I?” He marveled at how proficient his mind was at producing questions while showing a complete inability to provide itself with any answers. “If I didn’t do this, then who did? And why, and how?” It looked as though his loved ones had been attacked by vampires; later been staked in the heart, then had their brains destroyed in case they were zombies and not vampires by ‘you never can be too sure’ sorts of monster hunters. It was all insane and it added to the ambiguity surrounding the biggest question. “What am I?” The hunger seemed to have subsided, so he returned upstairs to look for clues.

Then it occurred to him, that maybe there were other monsters out there. Monsters just like him, perhaps. Maybe they would know what he was? He started for the door, but was frozen in step by a second realization. If there were monsters out there, like him or not, would they be friendly? Would he be safe among them? Was there an unspoken code among the ghouls? Suddenly outside seemed unsafe, at least until he could get things figured out. He returned to the chair to think.

“How long has whatever is going on, been going on? How many nights have I sat here thinking all of these same thoughts? How many nights have I made some progress, only to have let it slip by in another days slumber? Or, perhaps, maybe I figure a little more out each night and make some progress. So maybe this is my first night here. Could I have been traveling in increments from some far away destination where I was caught at the beginning of this nightmare? Had I been rushing back valiantly to my family’s aide only to find them dead? Were they monsters before they were destroyed? Monsters like me?” He went back to the basement to have another look at the gruesome scene. “They don’t look like monsters, not like me.” He felt detached, except that something like relief seemed to wash across him when he told himself that he didn’t do this to them.

He remembered killing. He saw screaming faces, twisted in terror and horror, but meaning nothing but food to him. He couldn’t recall who or where, but there were ugly things like these that he took to be memories cluttering up his mind. Looking at these bodies he did not think of food.     Sitting in the chair again, he asks himself, “What Am I? If I have been here for awhile then I must have left myself some clues.” He got up and looked around the house. There were no notes written to him by him. There were no signs of anything that reminded him of anything except that this was his home. Even more unusual, there was nothing to indicate anything odd had happened in the house. If everything inside the house was normal (except for the corpses in the basement and a very confused ghoul roaming about), then what was going on outside?

He decided to go out and check. He would go out and look around, and if anything didn’t seem right he would come back in. Then he thought, why not just look out the windows? The windows were all well covered with blinds and curtains, effectively making them walls to any lights or views from outside. “Better to just actually go out into the night and get it over with,” he decided. Slowly and deliberately he made his way to the door. Each clumsy step betrayed a fear of what he might find out there. As he reached for the doorknob, he asked himself again, “What Am I?”


 

When police found Brads body, apparently self mutilated in too many disturbing ways, it was lying below a picture sized mirror in the O’Cally family den. Scrawled on the mirror were the words, ‘I Am Insane’, apparently written in the killers (the corpse/suspect/victim) own blood.