Antiauthoritarianism: Illustration via Juxtaposition.

If the above vid is not the perfect illustration of concept I don’t know what is.  This is the most recent YouTube upload by Royalty Soaps, what used to be a one-woman soapmaking business that has grown over several years into something else.  The backstory here seems to be that at some point, the eldest yet still teenaged daughter in some freakishly large Quiverfull-type family consisting of a mother, a father and a dozen(ish) Irish twins* started making soap and with the help and support of that family has become very successful and has now delegated some of her substantial duties to others.

As described in this vid, this woman’s business recently experienced an unexpected and frightening setback and she relied heavily on her family to correct the situation and save the day, which they did in spades.  They also had the time, energy, material resources and desire to throw her an Insta-worthy backyard 25th birthday party in the midst of this family project.  The party was beautiful and the familial love and care given and received there, as documented in this vid…well watch it for yourself and see what you think.  For me, the experience of watching this was somewhat complicated.  I enjoyed it, was moved by it but it made me deeply uncomfortable and thinky…and hungry for salad, cake and sun tea.

What was so deeply disturbing to me about this footage was the backdrop against which it was shot and I’m not referring to her (albeit somewhat disturbing) home state of Texas, or a photo prop.  The backdrop here, as it is most everywhere, is the social context of capitalism and patriarchy and what that means is that, in order for this situation and this footage to exist, this woman has had to comply, comply, comply in order to reap what must be conditional rewards of love; affection; physical presence and caretaking; emotional care and concern; and finally, material things that, under the current system, really only money can buy.  Doesn’t it?  In her case, she has had to buy into the religious, political and social traditions of her family including the patriarchal authority of her parents, the heterosexual and mommy mandates and more in order to have what she has.  Of course, the traditions of her family mirror the traditions of her culture more or less exactly.

Luckily for her there does not seem to be any obvious conflict between her own values, conscience etc. and that of her family (or culture) but what if there was?  What would happen to her if she woke up one day with, say, environmental concerns implicating overpopulation and natalism, or economic concerns implicating capitalism and the money system and the ethics of making and selling soap (or doing anything) for profit?  What if, God forbid, this Quiverfull (or whatever) daughter woke up one day with feminist concerns which implicate all of that plus the destablization of the patriarchal authority of her father/parents, her husband, her church and the State?

Continue reading “Antiauthoritarianism: Illustration via Juxtaposition.”

Advertisements

PSA: How To Report A Threat Of Violence to Increase Chances Of Arrest, Hold & Criminal Charges (Or, The One That Maybe Didn’t Get Away).

It really bothers me that I’m sitting on all this legal knowledge, experience and skill and there’s nothing I can do with or about it.  Because of the pain and symptoms of my disease I am definitely not physically or mentally able to practice law full time anymore, but as I learned early on, to my crushing dismay, there is really no such thing as a part-time attorney.  This profession is still a bros club which means that it requires long hours and plenty of so-called face time, exactly as much as you would expect in order to squeeze most women out of most of the best positions while simultaneously providing cover, excuse and alibi under which powerful men commit adultery, avoid emasculating and squikky domestic chores, and otherwise abuse their power at women’s and everyone’s expense.  Seriously, don’t let the relatively high rate of female law graduates fool you into thinking the law is a reliably safe, lucrative or accessible field for women because it’s definitely not.  Fuck me did I learn that one the hard way.

But you know what?  I’m not dead yet and I’m still breathing and conscious and pissed off enough to write this post so I’m going to write it.  Today, my upstairs neighbor had what was apparently a psychotic break and started throwing bottles of piss and garbage into my yard and threatened my life.  I called the cops and made a report.  He was arrested and removed based on my statement and that of other witnesses (crime victims are technically just witnesses ourselves) and my property manager cleaned and disinfected my yard at my request.  The cops, firemen, first responders and the whole damn town apparently turned up to watch the show.  What they didn’t get to see was the man who threatened and assaulted me get off with a warning or with no consequences at all.  Who knows what the second act will be but the first act saw my assaulter arrested and taken to the hospital first, then presumably to jail.

I am writing this post to give a practical, technical example of proper reporting behavior/content to victims who report threatening or violent behavior, which reporting will leave the cops with little choice but to arrest, hold and charge the perpetrator with a crime.  Little choice is not no choice of course and they could still let him out/off at any time.  That’s probably exactly what will happen in the end, but I gave them as little choice as possible and increased the chances of an arrest, hold and charge the best I could.  Here’s what I did.  The short answer is, you have to answer YES to both of the following questions if you want the incident to be taken as seriously as possible at the reporting stage, hopefully ensuring that your attacker is arrested and taken to jail, that he is held there, and that he is properly charged with a crime.

Continue reading “PSA: How To Report A Threat Of Violence to Increase Chances Of Arrest, Hold & Criminal Charges (Or, The One That Maybe Didn’t Get Away).”

On Futuregazing and Catastrophizing. Or, Is “Old Math Guy” Psychic?

Meet “Old Math Guy” as I call him, otherwise known as Dr. Albert A. Bartlett, Professor Emeritus, Department of Physics, University of Colorado, Boulder.  In this vid, Old Math Guy (OMG) explains the concept of exponential growth, in this case, the very serious issue of exponential population growth on a finite planet.  Old Math Guy believes that “humans” are generally incapable of grokking the exponential function but I would have to respectfully disagree with him there, only because women — adult female humans — have obviously been able to grok the concept of exponential growth for a long time and it’s why we generally (meaning, globally and across time) oppose recreational sexual intercourse (and rape) where a teaspoon of semen in that context has the potential to grow exponentially into an actual human child in just a couple of months.  And no one has to tell women that resources are finite or otherwise limited where we are made literally insane attempting to keep things alive in a global necrophilic (patriarchal) culture.  But I digress.

I have been thinking for some time that what people know as “psychic” ability, including the ability or perceived ability to futuregaze or to “see the future” is really just extreme rationality playing out in a culture that neither appreciates nor understands it.  This is a similar idea to the idea that advanced technology would appear to be “magic” to relatively unsophisticated people who did not understand it.  And it would, wouldn’t it?  As this vid demonstrates, Old Math Guy can easily see into the future using principles of mathematics and logic.  Here, he wanted to see what the population and population-related issues of the town of Boulder, Colorado would look like “in the future” so he figured out its rate of growth and how many years in the future he wanted to go and saw that Los Angeles, California had that same population now.  To see into Boulder’s future, he looks at LA now.  And it doesn’t look good for Boulder.  Is Old Math Guy psychic because he can see into the future this way?  Yes he is, if extreme rationality and “psychic” abilities are the same thing and I am thinking they probably are.

Continue reading “On Futuregazing and Catastrophizing. Or, Is “Old Math Guy” Psychic?”

No, I’m Not Okay. And Neither Are You. When “Empathy” is Just More Gaslighting Horseshit.

When anyone asks a chronically ill (or any) woman under capitalism and patriarchy whether she is “okay” what answer do they reasonably expect?  On our best day, women under this system are mined for our resources and used as targets for male perversion and violence and yes, we have thoughts and feelings about that, as pointless as those thoughts and feelings may be.  These are probably NOT thoughts and feelings of hope, pleasure, leisure, control, fulfillment, safety, gratitude or anything positive unless the woman being asked is a masochist (or pretending to be one to get by).  So what is the correct answer when someone asks us, in all seriousness, how we are currently faring in our lifelong role as useful object and target?

In the same vein, how is someone with an untreatable, incurable, progressive chronic illness expected to respond when someone asks us if we are “okay” when they already know we aren’t?  What are sick people supposed to come up with when what our interrogators are really asking, in essence, is for us to take time out of OUR day and energy out of OUR reserves to make THEM feel okay about the fact that WE are never going to be okay ever again, where in fact we were never really okay in the first place even before we got sick on top of everything else.  And neither is the person asking probably okay themselves if they are honest.  No, I’m actually not ok, mkay, and more than likely neither are you.

I am not a masochist and after living in this body and mind for over 40 years I can report that I am fundamentally incapable of and disinterested in lying about being “okay” or about anything.  Out of both exhaustion for mind-fucking rituals and principle, I generally no longer ask other women how they are or tell them that I “hope they are okay” and if I do it’s only because I know they aren’t okay but I’m hoping they are relatively okay and that things aren’t getting demonstrably worse.  Implicit in my fauxquest for information I already know, I hope they will feel free to tell me honestly how things are including if they are getting worse but really, I expect that if something is going on that they want me to know about that they will just tell me without the mind-fucking, gaslighting ritual of waiting to be asked first.  Perhaps unsurprisingly to those who perform and expect these rituals, I have lost friends (well, acquaintances) due to my failure to reliably make fauxquests for information I already fucking know but guess what?  If I ever had the energy to do that, and I never really did, I certainly don’t have it now and I also don’t have the energy to entertain fauxquests for information from other people who should fucking know better than to gaslight a sick woman under capitalism and patriarchy by asking whether she is “okay.”

Whenever a woman asks another woman under capitalism and patriarchy whether she’s okay, a puppy dies.  And whenever a woman under capitalism and patriarchy, when asked if she is okay, responds that she’s fine, the woman responding dies.  Most of us have fallen on this sword a million times and unless and until we are too sick to perform this gaslighting ritual, will fall on it a million more.  This is what passes as female friendship and female empathy under capitalism and patriarchy in fact: forcing each other to vocalize — literally vocalize — our contentment with being oppressed.

Anxiety = Trying to Keep Things Alive in a Necrophilic Culture. Depression = Knowing That’s Actually Impossible + Being Gaslighted About that Fact. PS. Everything Dies.

What is anxiety?  What is depression?  Why are females in particular often anxious and depressed?  Why are the chronically ill?  Why are the chronically poor?  Why are new mothers?  I hardly think this even merits its own post but I did want to toss it out there because we are clearly being lied to so consistently and so overwhelmingly about the source(s) of our mental, emotional and psychic suffering.  Hint: it’s not an individual problem where some 1/6 of modern Americans — that’s one in six — are taking psychiatric drugs, mostly antidepressants, and mostly taking them long-term.

Here, I would add our intellectual suffering to that list, where particularly women are tasked with keeping things alive under capitalism and patriarchy, including kids, partners, elderly parents, pets, plants, and ourselves, but where literally every facet of our necrophilic culture is stacked against us successfully doing that and where even under the best of circumstances, everything “living” eventually dies.  Thinking beings would tend to react negatively to being gaslit about that or anything — in this case, that it is possible to stop death even under the most biophilic circumstances and capitalism and patriarchy are hardly biophilic.  Do you see where I’m going with this?  This might be a short post.

It seems that some people, perhaps women in particular, are intelligent, thinking beings who may therefore be particularly prone to experiencing crippling cognitive dissonance when we are essentially being asked to believe 2 or more contradictory things at the same time.  In the case of women’s sex (not gender) role under capitalism and patriarchy women are literally tasked with stopping death.  Anxiety much?  We are tasked with keeping things alive but are not granted easy (or any) access to clean (or any) food, water, air, or to shelter, sunlight, exercise, healing medicine, or to the peace we need to make that actually possible but what we are told about any of this does not match the reality of it.  Cognitive dissonance much?  So is so-called depression actually crippling cognitive dissonance?  I’m starting to think it is and that the reason more men don’t suffer from depression is that men aren’t that smart in the first place, where crippling cognitive dissonance would seem to be reserved for frankly the cognitive (and crippling O-pression is reserved for the oppressed).

Query: if so-called depression is actually crippling cognitive dissonance, and I think it probably is, why is it treated (or even treatable) with drugs?  Discuss.

Netflix Docu-series “Afflicted”. I Watched It So You Don’t Have To.

Thanks to one of my readers for the recommend!

The above is a vid made by one of the patient/participants in Netflix’s new docu-series “Afflicted,” a 7-part series which follows 7 chronically ill people around documenting their experiences with illness and treatment and which was pitched to the participants as a project that would give a credible voice to seriously chronically ill patients but which ended up doing the opposite.  This patient/participant basically disavows his involvement with the project and slams the director and others making creative decisions for lying to the patients about the nature of the show and the motive for making it, where the participants’ mental health (and by extension their physical ailments) were not taken for granted but rather were put up for debate.  There are also a couple of criticisms of the series online from the so-called “chronic illness community” framing the series as tasteless entertainment — an offensive medical mystery whodunnit crafted for the able-bodied to judge whether the symptoms and diseases these patients describe are “real” or all “in their heads”.  That’s a fair criticism of course and I will leave it for that community to rip it to shreds on the grounds of, essentially, ableism.  But let’s go further.

My main problem with this 7-hour series largely lies in the last half hour or so, where we see that nearly all the patients have shown vast improvements in their symptoms and qualities of life through engaging with various alternative treatments for their ailments.  For those who are wondering about the point and motivation behind this docuseries, I would suggest that it functions as effective pro-Alternative Treatment propaganda and that therefore, pro-Alternative Treatment propaganda is probably “the point” and the motive behind it.  If anyone cares to research this project to see who funded it, that would probably be a worthwhile endeavor as the only ones that come out looking good by the end are the alternative practitioners who have miraculously given most of these allegedly “crazy” patients their lives back, often despite themselves, although we never find out exactly how or why the treatments so consistently worked except via copious references to the “mind-body connection” and even the placebo effect.

Continue reading “Netflix Docu-series “Afflicted”. I Watched It So You Don’t Have To.”